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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by MarkHastings, Oct 20, 2006.
That casts further doubt on the notion that you're really happy and content, Mark.
I'm not offended, in the fact that a lot of people are like that (i.e. not just friends and family) - it's just that people I don't know don't push their views on me as hard as those closer to me, but I can tell you that I've been in the presence of people who spout off their views around me. Example: I've met people and when we start chatting, they'll ask if I am married or have a girlfriend. When I say I don't, they look down (like they're sad) and go "Oh, that stinks." Honestly! I've had people say this to me! People that I JUST MET!!!!
Being happy and discontent sounds contradictory (kind of like the Peggy Lee song Is That All There Is?).
No, it isn't like blowing smoke in your face. It's simply advice. Unlike second-hand smoke, you have the option to "breathe it" or not. You also have the option to tell them to stop giving unwanted advice. You even have the option of telling them to "F*ck off!" Afterall, who wants people in their life that are bad for them, especially one who is so adamant about his happiness being based on being without a wife or kids? If you are so unconcerned with being alone, why do you care if the people who are making your life miserable are out of your life? Another thing I wish I would have learned much younger in life - Eventually we cease being a victim and start being a volunteer. Mark, I really think you may need to seek extra guidance with the feelings you are having, as was suggested before. Life just isn't as hard as it seems you are finding it. Sometimes our minds get caught in the trap of thinking we are not worthy of having good things happen to us, so our thoughts tend to concentrate on the details instead of the whole picture. We obsess over things that we shouldn't, trying to "fix" things that in reality just "are". You wish your friends and relatives would understand your goals, yet (by your own admission) you have trouble understanding them yourself. Start with understanding yourself and I promise, the rest will follow. Someday you may instinctively be able to handle situations that currently puzzle you; you just need a basic toolkit to do it with. There are many places to find these tools, starting at the local bookstore and/or library. Time to start living, my friend!
The highlight of my life so far has been my marriage ten years ago, however, I seem to be stuck in that "find more" phase as well. We have not been able to conceive a child and are not willing to go through the expense and uncertainty of in-vitro or adaption. Most of the time we are ok with our decision but there are days when we wish we could have had children. It does leave a certain void in our lives. We baby sit our three year old niece and that makes it worse sometimes, especially for my wife, who is getting very attached to her. We have filled our life with other "material" things and found that something is still missing. You made a decision to not get married or have kids and that is just fine but you have a socially or biologically driven need or void (for lack of a better phrase) to fill to make your life complete in leu of a wife, kids, and everything else that the rest of your well-meaning friends thinks you need. You and I are both in the same place at different points in our lives. I've given serious consideration to doing away with all the "material" and finding out exactly what it is I REALLY want to do when I grow up. Here is to hope that you and I both "find more" because I don't really think either of us is happy, trust me, when you can admit that, you will be better off. Edit:sorry if some of this sounds like the last few posts, it took me about a half hour to compose this and quite a few responses slipped past..
So then discontent is probably an inappropriate word. Yes, discontent means you are not happy with your current situation. I am happy with my current sitaution, but I am looking to the future and wondering if I should start looking for something else. Even though I am happy now, what can I do so that I will remain happy. Do I need to start doing something else? Is that being disconent with my current situation? I'm not sure. What is it? Or is it that biological notion that I HAVE to procreate and I am fighting that urge - perhaps I can't ignore it and I'm trying to find something else to replace it so it'll go away.
Once again, Chu's "Unlimited Hummers" solution cures all problems. I gotta hand it to the guy, he may have found the holy grail. Seriously, Mark, I still have a card that was given to me by my (future at the time) sister-in-law when I was 14. It simply said "LAUGH!". I have always been a pretty serious guy and she knew back then that I needed to laugh at myself and the world much more often. Took me about 20 years to "get it", but I still have that card, so I must have known there was some truth to it.
Mark, I hate to say it, but I don't have much sympathy for people whose problems are of their own making. You alone control the extent to which other people's comments have the power diminish the happiness you derive from doing whatever you want with your life. People have this power over you only because you give it to them. I also observe that, while you become indignant when others make presumptions about you, you are very quick to make presumptions about others. Although I would never suggest that having kids would open your eyes to a new purpose in life, I do think you need to get some perspective. This problem is all in your head. Therein lies the solution.
The highlight of my life? Good question. The day I left my ex-wife instead of killing her, she was a cheater you see. April 14, 1993. It's been a wonderful life ever since.
I definitely need some new perspective...just not sure what it is yet.
You don't sound happy with how you interact with friends and family.
I think this is the right track for you Mark. The thing about having kids is it just short-circuits everything else in your brain. Total chemical reaction (what emotion in life isn't?) but it's like trying to resist a Borg assimilation. For anyone without a solid direction in life this can be great: the path is laid clear before you, all you need do now is accept it to be happy. You can still have other interests, but your top life priorities are pretty much set in stone by nature for you. For you, not wanting kids, this does leave a gap. When someone with kids asks what your purpose in life is, if you can't say, "I want to devote my life to ________," they see you as directionless. And sort of like how a heroin addict can tell you in 2 seconds a 100% cure for boredom, a parent can give you a 100% cure for listlessness. It worked for them and every other parent they have ever known, it *would* work for you too. But since you don't want that, you need to be able to complete that important statement above and get them off your back: "I don't want to have kids because I have decided my life is all about _____."
Contrary as ever....I remain both happy and discontent. These are not exclusionary states for me. I am happy yet shall always remain in a state of unrest with the itchy feeling there is not enough time/money/ brain to see everything and do everything which attracts me. I WANT it all. ....that is my normal state. Mark, I call family and close friends the blessing and the curse. If it was not your single state of childlessness.......it would be....something else. People who love [feel affection for] other people are always helpfully trying to suggest life improvement tweaks. It’s more fun than playing in your own life. Don’t throw those babies out with the bath water...attempt never to forget many really do it out of care for your happiness loosing sight that by harping on...they are spoiling your overall generally satisfied state. Just use humor and spend part of your time crafting new lines to deflect and make them aware that your life would be so much better without revisiting the same questions over and over. But attempt to keep it light (other than with crassly rude practically total strangers.) I’m sure those who love you are worried about your biological clock and feel a greater urgency that time may ‘run out’. If they didn’t care for you....they’d have no comment, letting you ‘stew’ (their eyes) in that gosh awful, not to be sanctioned, got to be lonesome state. Appreciate they care but find novel (and Kind) ways to tone them down, hopefully they will eventually respond in similar manner. I live happily in my dissatisfied state, coming to terms with the fact that I shall never know what it feels like to make love from a male point of view, nor get to live by myself on a island for a year or two. one of the jillion or so things I have resigned myself to never knowing or experincing.....
Yup, if you ended up having children... they would just start telling you how you should raise them. Be happy with who you are, nothing else really matters.
I like this advice. It's like I am happy with my situation, but I am letting everyone else make me feel like I need more "purpose" in my life. Since they think I need to have kids, they feel that my life has no direction or meaning and I am letting them make me feel like I need to find something else, when in fact I don't need to find anything else. Maybe that's why I can't seem to figure out what that "else" is (i.e. I already have it). Good stuff
Learn french. Then you can say "existential ennui" correctly. Better yet, go to France. Or some other place. And I don't mean Cape Cod or even Puerto Rico. When was the last time you stepped out of this country? It's a BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG world out there, there is a shit load of stuff to see. Go to Greece, Egypt, Amsterdam, Brazil, Peru, Thailand, London, Ibiza, Kenya.... wherever! You are single, unattached and if you can afford a BMW, you can afford to travel somewhat extensively. WTF are you waiting for?!! I will never understand how those can afford to be all over the place... aren't! What a waste . -- H
You could also turn it around on the breeders: "If you didn't have kids, what would you be doing now?" You might want to consider volunteering in some other cause or endeavor important to you in order to get the focus off yourself which promotes a "paralysis by analysis" loop, Giving of yourself will reward you in other ways, direct or not. Try to make a difference in someone else's life, old or young. Think outside your own needs.
No matter how drawn out I am and busy doing for others ....... that’s me! [It’s a curse I tell you!!!!]