Living in the Now?

Sometimes, I really hate feminism for making us all have to work, instead of staying home, cultivating hobbies, and making dinner every night.

Then, sometimes I really love it for making it possible for us to spend our time productively, even if we’re single.

It is a female habit to analyze every change in one’s life against the effect it will have on a hypothetical future family. How will I handle kids and this job? How will  I support a learner on this income? If I get electrolysis, will it all be undone by pregnancy hormones? If I get a job in finance, what will I do if my future husband wants to live in Kansas City? Do I really want to get promoted if it means working longer hours that will keep me from being at home when my kids get off the bus from school? And on and on.

A few days ago, eating tuna out of a can on a business trip in Manitoba, similar thoughts crossed my mind. And suddenly I realized: that’s a really stupid way to approach life.  Imagine if I’d done that 6 years ago. Where would I be right now? Definitely not in Manitoba. Imagine all the things I’d have missed out, hugging the metropolitan area, working part time, living a family-oriented life with no family to orient around.

You can always rearrange your career later, if necessary. Why downgrade ahead of time in anticipation of what might never be?

So, my resolution for the next six years is not to worry about the hypothetical. I’ll just live my life based on my current life, which is one situation I know I can count on being in (for nine months at least).

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Link: All the Single Ladies – My Thoughts

Part 1 of Link: All the Single Ladies

 

The Atlantic article: All the Single Ladies

Here’s my favorite line from the article. Analyzing, as she is, the major changes occurring to the American family and modern marriage, Bolick points out why this is such an issue right here and now:

“But real change can seldom take hold when economic forces remain static. The extraordinary economic flux we’re in is what makes this current moment so distinctive.”

That’s it, folks. We’re in one of Those Times. You know those great crises of change in history, like the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, the colonization of America, the rise of Christianity, the rise of Islam, the unification of Italy, the birth of modern economics (eg: The Great Depression)?

All of these moments are romanticized in our minds and our public libraries, but truth be stated: they were miserable periods for most of the people involved.

This is our fate–this is the revolutionary moment in history that we’ve drawn. So, some aspects of our life may seem miserable. But just think of our future! When this revolution is completed and the New American Household is established, we will be romanticized in novels, documented in history books, expounded upon in college courses.

We’ll be famous!

Who knows? Maybe they’ll even read BadforShidduchim as a primary source documentation from this period. If you want to be quoted in history, comment below!

Too Comfy Being Single

People have two lives. There’s the outer one that’s evident to all observers. This mostly consists of a blank face and your actions. Then there’s the inner life. This is where the thoughts that drive the actions occur. Any given action could have a myriad of thought processes behind it. The mysterious part is that nobody really knows why you do anything unless you tell them.

‘Course, that’s never stopped anyone from speculating, assuming, and concluding about your motives.

Thus we have people observing SIR and lamenting that she’s getting too comfortable being single.

I don’t know what SIR’s been doing to incriminate herself, but I can imagine by extrapolating from my friends and myself.

The fact is, we’re single. And while I’m single – while I’ve got nobody else to think about – I’m going to enjoy my independence. While I’m free from the burden of humongous bills, I’m going to splurge every now and then. While I have no family to care for, I’m going to advance my career.

Does that mean I’m not ready to settle down and look after a spouse? No. Does it mean I’m not saving for the future and can’t tighten the belt for necessary expenditures? Seriously, no. And does that mean I don’t plan to look after my children when I’ve got ’em? No, not that either.

Is that wrong? Would you be happier to know that I spend my evenings in my room tearfully reciting Tehillim, instead of being outside in the fresh air building a soapbox derby racer? Would you like a ticker on my forehead so you can see how I weigh so many decisions against the belated Prince who just isn’t showing up?

Because the fact is, I am not comfortable being single. As a single, I have to hedge all my bets. Everything I do and every decision I make occurs under the shadow of my single status. Should I take that job and move there or risk unemployment but stay here? Should I try to find work with a company with awesome flextime options or go for the one with the better pay? Should I be buying something large and non-transportable when I might be married and across the continent in a half a year? Hey, Prince Charming, can you show up already and save me from living two lives at once?

Let’s face it. I’m a prisoner to the status I’m hoping to change. As long as I’m dating, part of my life belongs to a guy I haven’t met yet. And it’s a lot harder to  accommodate a guy you haven’t met, because you have to accommodate him in so many possible variations. Trust me: when he finally shows up, fitting him in will be a comparative breeze.

Me: O-oh! So you’re the permutation that wants to study toucans in their native habitat! Glad to meet you. See, I’ve got this alternative transportation fund I’ve been thinking of in terms of snowmobiles, but now I know to label it the Outrigger Canoe Fund. You’ve really taken a load off my mind. What took you so long?

Him: Delays out of Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport. Also, my toucans were breeding and I didn’t want to miss the mating rituals.

But even prisoners have fun. People, being people, always make the best of their situation. That’s why I’m out with the girlfriends tonight, and that’s why I bought those gorgeous boots I don’t technically need (yet), and that’s why, if you don’t need that wheel, I’ll take it for my soapbox racer. It’s the perfect size.