So for National Blog Posting Month, there are optional writing prompts every day. When I started this challenge a week ago I thought I wouldn’t have a need for them. But today I’m exhausted from the weekend and have a busy week ahead, so it seemed like a good way to get some inspiration.
Here is the writing prompt for today:
“Making family time is important to me. How do you balance your children, relationship, and work life?”
I’m single, have no children, and work a stress-free job that I don’t take home with me physically or mentally.
When it comes to a romantic relationship, I’m sort of looking for, but not longing for one. For the past 18 months that I’ve been single, it has not been important to me to meet someone or fall in love. I worked hard at a relationship for 7 years and now I’m enjoying just working on me. But hey, if you know any funny, hot single guys you can still send them my way. I won’t say no. And just think of the fun we’ll have looking back on how awkward and hopeless my attempt at flirting with him was!
As for the children part, I’m 38, and I still don’t feel any urge to reproduce. Never have really, but I know better than to say I never will. I realize the clock is just about to stop on that possibility, but I’m okay with that. It’s a choice I’ve made, and there is no regret so far. And as my little brother likes to say, “I love babies, I can just never finish a whole one!”
The job is good, and I do what I can to make it interesting and challenging. Even though it’s not what I love, I chose a job in finance because work in the culinary world is stressful, long on hours and short on pay. I’m at a point in my life where I want to work to live, not live to work, and this job allows for that.
But this life I’ve chosen leaves me with an a lot of spare time. Before you feel jealous, please know that it’s not always easy. Last summer, after the big breakup, a whole, empty Sunday would literally give me a panic attack. Back then, going to bed was my favorite time of day, because sleep was a relief from the empty space that was left after the break up. I know that sounds sad, and it was. But don’t worry, things are much, much better now. The spare time sometimes still presents a challenge, but the panic and sadness around it are mostly gone.
Those of you with children and committed relationships: I see your what you have and I know what I’m missing. I covet your lives sometimes when I see how your kids look at you and how tightly they hug you. I envy that you have a partner sometimes, because I miss the comfort of knowing that if I choke on my dinner, someone will be there to perform the Heimlich.
What I’ve had to learn is how to balance is my abundance of free time. I had to ask myself a lot of questions about it this year. How do I keep a balance between enjoyable solitude and uncomfortable loneliness? How should I keep busy and engaged, but in a meaningful way where I’m not avoiding reality? How do I channel my interests in food and cooking into something fulfilling and creative?
This blog was born out of those questions. It’s a creative outlet for me, and keeps my connected to my love of food. Turns out it’s also keeping me connected in a bigger way, because I’ve made new friends here and found new blogs to entertain me, comfort me and crack me up. Even though my blog is full of mostly silliness, it’s become an important way for me to feel fulfilled. I enjoy every minute of the writing process, and am really glad to have new readers every week.
More food, less pain,