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The Highlight of your life (so far)


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#21 of 98 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted October 21 2006 - 11:49 AM

That's what freaks me out - the fact that married people think that selfish is a bad thing and looked down upon. That's exactly what is happening with my friends and why I am starting to question things about life. Just because I'm older, it doesn't mean I need to stop being selfish. Why am I now being looked upon as 'bad'??

#22 of 98 OFFLINE   Christ Reynolds

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Posted October 21 2006 - 07:53 PM

same here. i dream of giving them the worst 20 seconds of their lives. CJ
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#23 of 98 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted October 22 2006 - 04:21 AM

LOL - that's great!

#24 of 98 OFFLINE   JamieD

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Posted October 22 2006 - 04:25 AM

That's kind of simple. It's a clique/group/rationalising their own choices thing. Try to discuss unions with a union member, religion with a fundamentalist, or the military's actions with a Army/Navy/Air Force member. You're not one of them. You must have something wrong with you. Welcome to the "not one of the crowd" club. But don't worry. Some day you'll "get it".
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#25 of 98 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted October 22 2006 - 04:44 AM

That's it - I'm not one of them and it's very hard to find people in my situation to discuss this with. From my perspective, the older you get (without kids) the more you start viewing life differently than everyone else. I'm doing great in life and love it, yet everyone always seems to get disappointed when I say I don't have a wife or kids. The pressure of raising a family is always in my face and I'm seriously starting to doubt if kids are this 'main' thing in life, because I'd really hate to think that my life isn't at it's peak, and nor do I want to believe that life can only be peaked by having a family - Since most people I know have kids, I don't have anyone else to talk about it with - and there's no reason to talk to people with kids because we're on totally separate ends of the spectrum to come to any real consensus. So anyways, to answer my own question, I believe that the highlight of my life was my birth. My life is my life and no one elses. I don't think it's selfish of me to think of my life in terms of myself, so I'd have to say that my birth was the most important thing to happen to me. Some may think that it's all downhill from there, but I see it as being comfortable and happy with who I am. I remember always striving for 'something else better' and was always either disappointed that it didn't happen or disappointed when it did happen. I think a lot of things that make us happy are created in our own minds because of some fear and we convince ourselves that we are happy when in fact we are just covering up our fears. I see a lot of people fearing just "being" - That's what gives me the most pleasure in life, just being! but everyone else has such a fear of this, they look down on it and are constantly telling me things like "How come you're not doing this?" or "How come you're not doing that?" or "Aren't you bored?", etc. One friend asked me "If you were to die tomorrow, would you be happy with your life so far?" - HELL YES I would!! WHy would she think otherwise? Why do we always have to value our lives by accomplishments and not by just being happy? If you are always setting standards to achieve, you'll never be able to just 'be'. So that's the thing that has been bugging me.

#26 of 98 OFFLINE   Joe S.

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Posted October 23 2006 - 04:15 AM

So you came here to ask everyone what the highlight of their lives are, and got pissed off when it turns out that it is their kids because you don't have kids?!?

Now there is a 6 paragraph post about how much you love your life, yourself (nothing wrong with that either), and how darn happy you are; yet the post is so convoluted and twisted with angst at your ex-friends that I can barely make sense of it. If you are so happy with yourself that you can barely stand it Mark, why the heck did you ever start this thread? Obviously you didn't want to hear it, why did you ask it?

I'm sorry to rack up on you man, but of everyone here you seem to have come into the discussion with the biggest chip on your shoulder and a determination to push your POV on everyone else. You don't like kids, don't want them? Great, don't have them. But expecting your friends with kids to still be bar hopping, party loving, and always available is just fantasy. If it bugs you, find some new friends because their kids are always going to win the day. Blame nature if you must blame someone, we are all a slave to our chemical impulses Posted Image

#27 of 98 OFFLINE   Bob Turnbull

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Posted October 23 2006 - 04:52 AM

Try to find a book called The Paradox Of Choice by Barry Schwartz. He discusses the concept of people who are "satisficers" and those who are "maximizers". Those who set their requirements, meet them and are happy with that tend to be much happier and less stressed than those who always need to do or get the best. That doesn't mean you have to settle for something or sit back and never move forward, but if you are satisfied be happy about that. And no, that doesn't mean you have to have kids. I firmly believe that I could be completely happy if my wife and I did not have a child. Of course, I can't quite picture my life without my son, but that's just because he's such a huge part of it. Though our social circle is certainly leaning more towards people who have children these days, we're lucky in that we still have and maintain relationships with several very good friends who do not have children. And some of those are single as well. I certainly miss the freedom that they have in doing things at the drop of a hat or persuing other activities. But that's OK. I'm pretty damn happy with what I've got. And they are pretty damn happy with what they have too.

#28 of 98 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted October 23 2006 - 05:54 AM

"That's what freaks me out - the fact that married people think that selfish is a bad thing and looked down upon. That's exactly what is happening with my friends and why I am starting to question things about life. Just because I'm older, it doesn't mean I need to stop being selfish."

Ive gotten this as well. Where people say my G/F and I are wasting our time if we dont get married and I dont understand that way of thinking either. Why is not wanting marriage seen as "selfish"?

Something Im looking foward to? Saturday, my G/F offered to dye a white streak in her hair for my Bday (I swear it was her idea). Made me laugh. I just said it was up to her(but I have to admit I hope she does itPosted Image)


In all seriousness, Ill just settle for having a job I dont hate. I need to find a new job.


Mark, the meaning of your life is the one you give it. I dont have or want children. Its a decision I made and I can live my life and die completely happy and content with that decision. Its not for me.Im not afraid of dying and I dont feel the need for a part of me to live on after death or anything like that.I have other things I do for fullfillment, I play in a band, I sculpt, I spend time with my G/F and so on. "What we leave behind isnt as important as how we've lived" for me, its so true. You must do what makes you happy, and if people cant understand that doesnt involve children, thats their problem, not yours.

#29 of 98 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted October 23 2006 - 06:16 AM

Yes, my friends are really starting to annoy me and I'm seeking answers - obviously I'm angry at what's happening, but I can't talk to anyone about because anytime I broach the subject with people with kids (which is 99.9% of the people I know) they get offended and tell me I'm selfish, or that I don't understand, or that I'm crazy, etc. That's why I posted the subject here - just trying to get some perspective - Sorry if it came off like "Hollier than thou" - It's just that I'm getting quite annoyed at how people have been treating me lately.

#30 of 98 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted October 23 2006 - 06:35 AM

"Yes, my friends are really starting to annoy me and I'm seeking answers - obviously I'm angry at what's happening, but I can't talk to anyone about because anytime I broach the subject with people with kids (which is 99.9% of the people I know) they get offended and tell me I'm selfish" Youre not selfish, you just dont want the same things they do. Again, if they cant understand or accept your choice to not want marriage or children, thats their problem not yours.

#31 of 98 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted October 23 2006 - 07:21 AM

Well, I haven't seen threads started by parents upset with their "friends who don't want kids". So I'd argue the lack of understanding is more one-sided here than Mark will admit.

From your posts, Mark, you have established yourself and your happiness as the center (and meaning) of your life. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that, and it's your life. But plenty of people don't feel that way. I have dear friends who have chosen to not have children, and I completely respect that. It involves knowing yourself and what you want (as Jon points out). It irks them that we aren't always available like we used to be for social interaction. But whenever they (and their like-minded friends) get on a subject about life or kids, I can only smile. It's a matter of experiential perspective. All parents have been on both sides of that equation. You have only been on one. I agree plenty of people are on the parental side for the wrong reasons. But you are stereotyping as bad as I've seen any (hypocritical) parent stereotype a non-parent

But when you are a parent...that's what you are. Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) else takes a back seat. Those are the breaks. Either find single friends (which will get harder and harder the older you get), or get over it. As a counterpoint to Jon, what matters to you hardly matters to them. That's your problem, not theirs Posted Image
Hey buddy...did you just see a real bright light?

#32 of 98 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted October 23 2006 - 07:46 AM

I will echo the sentiments that Mark should find new friends. I am early 40's, unmarried and no kids (that I know of Posted Image ). Aside from one friend, I catch no grief and no "pushing of a POV" from any of my friends and family. The one friend is immediately silenced in the middle of his "Don't you want to be married?" rants by a quick "Don't you want to be single?" from me. My family is not judgmental and my mom even bought me a card that says "I think, therefore I'm single." that is stuck to my refrigerator. Any other aquaintences who bring up the subject are either ignored or never allowed a place of prominence in my life. As an example, my brother's (soon to be ex-)mother in law once asked me why I didn't have a girlfriend/wife to "take care of me". I replied that I've been "taking care of me" since I was 18. I can do my own laundry, iron my own clothes and I'm a better cook than any woman I've ever met. I'm a lousy housekeeper, but I can always get a maid. As far as anything else is concerned, there are always willing participants who have the idea they may "domesticate" me and I'm willing to give them a shot at trying. In the course of 30 seconds, I completely invalidated her complete existence; never mind her dated ideas on the helplessness of men. She never spoke to me again.Posted Image

#33 of 98 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted October 23 2006 - 08:19 AM

"As a counterpoint to Jon, what matters to you hardly matters to them. That's your problem, not theirs" Yes but were not asking them weekly, "why did you get married" or "why dont you leave your wife" I can relate as I hear the when am I getting married question at least a coupel times a month. Not only from aunts and uncles(since my family has really dwindled in recent years and theres only a few of us left)but more from female friends, which I have alot of. Alot of people look at it as a unwillingness to grow up, which its not. I think thats really narrowminded to judge that way.Ive never wanted children and only went through a brief period in my 20s when I was reconsidering that decision. While I will freely admit that there have been times when Ive felt I cheated my father or grandparents from my not having them - it always comes back to its my life.

#34 of 98 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted October 23 2006 - 08:53 AM

I know...When I look at my friend, she's definitely changed - as you stated, yes, she is now a mom and everything is for her kid. That's fine and all, but I've noticed that her "everything for my kid" attitude has cost her who she really is. She isn't who she used to be. That's what worries me about ever having kids. I don't want to lose who I am...I see so many people lose their identity and they are fine with this. For me, I don't want to lose that.

#35 of 98 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted October 23 2006 - 09:55 AM

You don't lose your identity. Hardly, though there are a few tough years where your child needs you ALL THE TIME.

But hell, my son helped me FIND my identity. I appreciate my parents more, my wife more, people in general more. I'll accept I don't know what it is to be single and late 30's surrounded by parents. But you have to then acknowledge that you have no idea what being a parent takes, and your sadness at finding out that the life highlight of most parents involves their children is based on ignorance, not a flase perception of their lack of freedom.

Deal? Posted Image
Hey buddy...did you just see a real bright light?

#36 of 98 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted October 23 2006 - 10:03 AM

Why did it take a child to do this? My friend says that to me all the time. She'll say "Mark, you have no idea how much different you look at life", etc. etc. - like I can't experience these same things without kids?? (and you wonder why I get so outraged at her ramblings Posted Image)

I say a lot of that stuff comes with just getting older. I think my friend would have experienced the same things if not for her kid, but it took her kid to open her eyes to it. I believe we all can open our own eyes and don't need anything or anyone else to do it for us.

Chuck, your son didn't help you find your identity, you did it yourself whether you believe it or not.

#37 of 98 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted October 23 2006 - 10:16 AM

So now you know Chuck's personal journey better than he does, at least enough to make that last declaration. Hmmmm...OK... Have you considered that you may simply be out of your depth in this matter? And that there truly are things one cannot really imagine unless they've been there? -- H

#38 of 98 OFFLINE   Bob Turnbull

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Posted October 23 2006 - 11:01 AM

Hmmm, I'm not really with you on this part...Your identity is still there. You haven't changed. You just have very different focus. That can certainly be at the expense of focus on your friends, but it doesn't mean you've completely changed. Sure, some people end up changing their views on many different issues because of this big change in their life, but that's no different than changing those views for some other reason.

#39 of 98 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted October 23 2006 - 11:18 AM

Becoming a parent means a change in priorities (less me, more them). It's a different life after having kid(s). Some people manage it better than others. Whether the change is better or worse is a value judgment by the person experiencing the change in their life and immediate family situation.
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#40 of 98 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted October 23 2006 - 11:36 AM

So then why does everyone want me to get married and have kids? Why must everyone assume I can not be happy without these things?
I've actually done this with most of my friends. I guess that's what's bumming me out. I've basically lost a lot of friendships because of this fact. They're just constantly trying to make me feel less of a person because I am single/without kids.

I actually was sitting with two mothers and we were all having a conversation. The 2 were talking about the joys of having kids, and one of them actually had the nerve to say "I wish everyone could experience this. They have no idea what they're missing out on" and the other mother said "but not everyone is meant to have children" and the other one said "Yeah, I feel real sorry for those who are missing out". Posted Image




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