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30 Days to Greater Happiness - November 6

Sunday, November 06, 2011

I'm a little off on the Spark calendar, because yesterday I did days 5 and 6 instead of days 4 and 5, so today, I will do Day 4, even though it's actually day 6. Got that?? Ha!! Just what you need at 7:12 on a Sunday morning, especially the Sunday morning after we've changed our clocks, me messing around with days and dates... Anyway, my friend Gretchen (GOLFCHICK2) is also blogging this series, so if you happen to be reading her and my blogs (I am not so presumptuous, but since we are both members of Red Sox Nation, she a bit more dedicated than I these days, since I am mad at them..it is possible that at least fellow nationers might be glancing at both....), for a couple of days we will have covered different topics....

Oh well, as usual, I digress...as usual.. So, Spark tells us (on the fourth day even though this is the 6th day):

Cultivate
friendships.
The happiest
people spend the
least time alone.
Attend social
gatherings, host a
party, and call your
close friends to
catch up as often as
possible.

Well, whether this is 4th day or 6th day advice, it is great advice. And I'm going to say something that might sound really bad, but what he he!!, I'm going to say it anyway. One of the loneliest times of my life was in the couple of years after I had my son. Isn't that interesting? Let me explain...

I am an older parent, so the women who had a one, two, three year old child at the same time that I did, were in many instances, decades younger than I. My contemporaries were watching their kids go through middle school or even high school.. So I was in this no man's land of being in my early then mid-40s and not having anyone who was going through the pangs of early motherhood with me that could share my place in it at the time I was going through it.

It's different having a child when you've watched a LOT of your family and friends already having gone through it, because there is so, so much you've watched and experienced through them. So you THINK you know, and intellectually you do, about all those stages, plus, you've just got so much life experience, that your approach, or at least mine, was quite different from a lot of the people around me with kids the same age, and yet intellectually knowing and actually experiencing are very different things.

In addition, my best friends were beginning to wean themselves from the life of constantly having to be in that hands on lifestyle with their kids. So when they said "hey, let's go out for dinner" I was home giving my son a bath.. Now, I am not a martyr, at that particular time, I certainly WANTED to be home giving my son a bath, and I suppose it is only in retrospect that I realize all of what I'm saying and the impact that it had on me.

Why am I going on and on about this? Because it took me a long time to realize what was going on. Because I was living my dream, being a mother to a child I went through years and years of infertility treatment to have, and yet..I wasn't the happiest I'd ever been. I couldn't figure it out, and perhaps am still discovering the depth of that unhappiness today. Of course, it is very different today. Ten year later, 42 year olds have seen a lot more life than they had at 32, so I have a lot more contemporaries. Plus, my son at 10 gives me a bit more freedom than I had before, so I can plan those dinners out, and I have many friends whose kids are the same age that I have gotten to know as neighbors, or through school or sports, so that sense of isolation is gone.

So take a look at your life..I'm not saying there is always something you can do about the particular circumstances you find yourself in, but at least you can recognize them for what they are, and know that they are temporary. Or you can make sure you keep up with your old friends, there are so many ways to do it..social networking, email, texting, of course the phone...and here on Spark, of course, there is always a community of like-minded folks willing to give of their time and support.. The one thing that helps all of us is knowing that whatever stage we are at in life, whatever happens to be going on in our lives, we are not alone, others have experienced and survived.

To quote the Beatles, we all can "get by with a little help from our friends..."

Have a Sparky day everyone!!







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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MUSICMOMOF2
    Tina, this blog says so much to so many different people. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Sunday!
    3281 days ago
  • THIS-CHICK-FIT
    Your blog series just got me through 15 minutes on the bike! Thanks Tina!

    As a parent with an older child and a younger child, it is hard to cultivate friendships. I must say that moms in their 40s are getting more common today than in the past.
    3281 days ago
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