I posed this question recently and got some interesting answers. Mainly it had to do with being unsatisfied in a relationship and fearing being in said relationship for the rest of their life. Others had been cheated on, or felt “used up,” or had thought the grass was greener on the other side. I can’t count how many friends I have in this age range who are currently separated, have separated and reconciled, or are finalizing divorces. It’s more than I can count on two hands.
And then I know people in this age range who simply refuse to get married for fear of the above happening. Is it a wise choice? I don’t know, maybe. Is it selfish? Again, I don’t know. Better to not create, then break up a family than to do so, I suppose.
As our own family has wrestled back and forth with these issues, Dave (I just misspelled that as “Cave” and found it hilarious for some reason) are both struggling with turning 40. He’s just around the corner in a few days. I still have a year-and-a-half left until I get there. But the thought of 39 looming makes me jittery. Half my life is gone. Have I made the right choices? Am I making them now? How is this affecting the kids? They hate me working, but it is necessary right now, and I enjoy work, a lot. Staying home for a few days while they were sick reinforced this. It is not that I DO NOT LIKE MY KIDS (don’t get me wrong here), but like Henry, I need structure and routine, and work provides this for me. It flows over into my after-work life as well.
Dave said, “You went from being a rockstar homeschooling mom to wanting to work, I don’t get this?” I don’t really either, other than I hit my breaking point and just couldn’t handle the pressure of being home all day long. When you homeschool, your job as mom is amplified 10-fold. It is your life. Throw in two non-compliant students and a mom who got so discouraged she mentally threw in the towel, and that’s a recipe for disaster. I’m not 100% in love with public school; we’re not free to go places whenever, wherever, and we’re bound by their curriculum which I don’t always understand. And the testing. Oh the testing. And the teaching to test, not necessarily teaching to learn and master concepts. We have slacked with them this year. We could have done much better, helping them after school, but we were BOTH burned out for different reasons. This makes me very disappointed in us, and feel very guilty. We could have done so much better, and will next year.
I don’t really know how any of this relates to the title of my post.
Perhaps others are in our shoes and it’s just too much. I feel time slipping away, and I want to go back to being 25 again, free to do whatever I choose. But I cannot. I have obligations and responsibilities beyond myself. At least I can fit into the clothes I wore when I was 25, my only consolation.
But no matter, I’ve learned a few things: you can’t go back in time and have a “redo.” You are where you are on life’s journey. You can try but you’ll leave in your wake a trail of broken hearts and sad faces. You also cannot take a flattering selfie and look 25 again. To wit: