Thoughts and ideas to inspire, uplift and affirm the childless and childfree, by circumstance and by choice
A Buddhist teacher whose work I love, Pema Chodron, talks about the importance of finding the ‘workability’ of your situation. This isn’t a matter of plastering Think positive! Be happy! Smile! over a wall of suffering. It’s also not a matter of staying stuck in unhappiness and giving up hope that things will ever change. Rather, it’s about taking a good look at things as they really, truly are and then figuring out the best way to create a workable life around and among them.
My own inner circle of female friends are: a new mother-of-one in a couple, a mother-of-three in a couple, a mother-of-one in a pretty shaky relationship, a single mother-of-one and two single women who wish they were having children. (I am the only cheerful-non-mother I know.) Maybe because we’re all in our thirties, we seem to end up talking a lot about the various satisfactions and dissatisfactions associated with our reproductive choices and circumstances. And I think that despite the radical differences between us, our levels of contentment (and even excitement) regarding our day-to-day lives depend pretty much entirely on whether or not we’re getting and staying in tune with the workability of our situations.
I don’t think that getting started needs to be a particularly esoteric process. Maybe it’s more a matter of making a note of the skills you bring to the table, the different tools and resources you have at your disposal, the places you will and won’t find support, the obstacles and weaknesses that need to be factored in, the amount of time and energy you have to work with, and then considering all of those ideas in relation to what actually matters to you, what interests you, what gets you excited, and what you would most love to offer and achieve.
My hunch is that many childless and childfree women will come up with some pretty interesting possibilities. I feel as though I might be getting there.
But in the meantime, what about you? Do you feel as though you’re finding the workability of your situation?
[The beautiful image above is a Kokeshi doll hand painted by Abby Jacobs
of Happy Abby. You can find her gorgeous work here.]