Never Again


This is a follow-up to a previous post, Never Ever.

I have done many things in the past that I will never do again. Some were mistakes I learned from. I have lost interest in other things. There is stuff I would like to do again, but can’t. And I am afraid now to do some things I used to do!

As a young’un I did all kinds of physical stuff I don’t have any wish to do now: swim in the 15-degree ocean – that’s our mid-summer water temperature, jump from a 5-metre diving tower into a pool, water ski, snow ski, or play any of the team sports I learned in school. But there are a few things I have done and would still do: jump on a trampoline, shoot baskets, canoe or learn to kayak, river raft or try out tubing, or re-join step aerobics like it’s 1988!

In simple ways, I have become more adventurous and not less: I love food with spices and heat, I am comfortable travelling and navigating (except in Moncton, LOL!), I am fine with road trips and driving in new cities, I can take a considered investment risk and I feel confident making big decisions like buying a house or changing jobs.

On the other hand, I don’t live for risk and it’s not something that motivates me. I like the feeling of gaining experiences, but not thrill-seeking.

Not so in my late teen/college years when I would go on a first date with a new driver in his car, or go to a bonfire (bush party) way back in the woods, or crash on the floor of a friend-of-a-friend’s living room after a late night. Followed by all the drama caused by friend fallouts, intoxication, pregnancy scares, and you-name-it. I would not bring back those times for anything!

As someone with lots of relationship baggage, I’ve made some big mistakes. Rom and I have been happily married for 7 years. Having a lovely life partner takes away all kinds of fears: that I would have to keep “putting myself out there,” that I’d have to keep spending my time meeting and getting to know unsuitable people, and the fear of having to “settle” and stay with Mr/Ms Good Enough. Barring fatal accident or illness, I should be set for life now. To never ever date again – or divorce!

Another big life decision has left me with regrets, but I prefer not to dwell on it: I have only one child. There were plenty of opportunities to have another/more, but not within a family situation that felt permanent. I could have just gone ahead, but to be honest, I was more fearful of permanent ties to bad exes than I was optimistic about enjoying a second child as a single parent – so there you have it. And by the time Rom came along, I was in another stage of my life and not so willing to start over. Or able, either – age-wise, it might have been an arduous journey.

There are other life decisions I have firmly made up my mind about. I lived across the country from my family (of origin) for 15 years. Now that I’m back, I will not be leaving this area while my parents are still here. I would consider an excursion of a few months, but not a permanent move. Otherwise, I am not averse to moving within town – to another house, or to a rental, in a completely different neighbourhood, if I should ever have reason or desire to.

The more I’m invested in my job, the less I’m inclined to look for job opportunities elsewhere, so my employer will have to deal with me for a long time yet. I could try to do something else on the side, but I don’t need to, financially. It would have to be something I loved for its own sake. And since that is the case, I might just as well volunteer.

That brings me to another area of Never Ever. I have spent decades of my life overextended from work, parenting, relationship, family, and volunteer commitments. I am now in a quieter phase in which there are many fewer demands made on my personal time, and I intend to keep it that way. I don’t want to become insular, but I have a good sense of how much time and space I need to recharge, and what kinds of things leave me depleted. I am more protective. I try to find a balance in which I feel healthy and not prickly.

Another Never Ever is being in debt. Except for catastrophic emergency, I don’t see myself incurring consumer debt again. I don’t have a list of someday-wants or an I-deserve-it list that includes a cottage, boat, or golf membership. I don’t begrudge others any of those things! I will continue spending my money on trips to London and Toronto, concerts and plays and nice meals, a warm home in winter and technology that is only slightly dated. Those are my choices.

So, no more drama or drunkenness or dating or divorces or debt! Let’s strike out all the Ds, shall we?!

And if my life sounds so very quiet, I embrace the tranquillity. It’s about time!

What will you never, ever do again? How about maybe?


  1. Fiona

    Something I love about growing into an older age is being able to say, ‘Never Again’. It’s such a powerful statement…so reflective of a rich life lived, yet also of reaching a point of strength/power to control one’s destiny and to make choices about the experiences you allow into your life. Although it’s bitter-sweet for the experiences that age takes away, like having more children.

    I think growing into the 40s is definitely a time of moving on from all the big D’s. The very thought of dating again fills me with intense ennui. Maybe I am just too settled after a long-term relationship, but I can’t imagine the rush of energy some of my friends have had in finding new love at near 50. Also so ‘over’ debt and drama. Maybe not entirely grown out of ‘drunkenness’ but a work in progress.

    I think some ‘Never Again’ items for me would be: being underpaid for the value of a job; being financially dependent on anyone else; being in any kind of abusive relationship; living in sub-par housing…and a few behavioural elements I had when I was younger but hope I have forever outgrown!

    • I love your list. Speaks to a good sense of self-worth. I agree with all of them! I think some people have a sense that as you grow older, you get less daring and live a more sedate life. I would feel it’s kinda sad if someone is addicted to having “first” experiences forever, or keeps doing categories of things that don’t really work for them – even worse if they do so just to appear youthful. Of course I believe in learning and growing and trying new things, but it’s also important to know, trust and respect yourself. It’s great to be so much less affected by peer pressure. And to make time to do the things you love most, more often!

  2. Dar, my never ever agains would include some very foolish things I did in my youth. Drinking and driving or being in a car with a driver who should not be doing so. We were fortunate. Taking for granted people’s feelings. I mentioned to another blogger, I wish I could go back in time and remedy poor decisions I made. I never was a bad person, but I am a far better one today and would handle certain situations differently. As for the material decsions, I recognize wants and needs are different things and you don’t have to have something. My kids laugh at me for my four year old lap top with three keys missing. I tell them I know which ones they are (Y, O and >), so it does not bother me.

    Thanks for the reflections. Keith

    • I hear you, Keith! It is shocking to look back and think about what behaviours seemed normal then. I’m glad society has changed, and glad for the efforts of people who brought the issues to the fore. I would be a wiser youth if I could go back and inhabit my 18-year-old self, but I am thankful I don’t have to!

  3. EcoCatLady

    Hmmm… an interesting question to be sure. I guess my top “never again” would be having a full time job. At this point I simply cannot fathom how I ever made myself squeeze into that box, nor how others continue to do it. Of course, I never fit very well in that box in the first place!

    It makes me really sad that so many women have regrets about not having more children – I personally am SOOO grateful that I never had any – both for my sake and for the sake of my non-existent children. I’m sure there would have been many wonderful things about having kids, but there are also many, many wonderful things about not having them, not the least of which is the absolute rock solid confidence that the long string of family craziness and dysfunction ends with me.

    In terms of the rest, I can’t really say for sure. I’m not one of these plan life several years ahead sorts of people – I figure I’ll just have to take it as it comes. I would hope that CatMan will be my last relationship, but he is 20 years older than me, so one never knows. Plus, given the current level of crazy in US politics, I’m sorta wondering if there will actually be a future to plan for at all! 🙂

  4. I said that I’d never go to a nightclub again and then went to one where the people were friendly and the soundtrack was world music. It was brilliant! x

  5. I said I would and and then that I would never – and as time passes I change and change my mind. I said I would never date again, bought a house for myself and met a man. Then we broke up and I moved countries. So I said I would never date again and then I ran into the man and packed up everything and moved to another country. Now I will never date again… But I reserve the right to change in the future.

  6. I like your list of never ever d’s. I hope I never have to date. Not only because I don’t want to separate from Mr S but I couldn’t stand making small talk and flirting with someone and then working out what things he or I could compromise on. And exposing my body to someone. Oh there’s just so much about it I don’t want to go through again.

    I’m adding not jumping on a trampoline. My pelvic flaw/floor won’t stand it.

    • Yes, that’s just it about the dating thing. Add the expectation of sexual texting and photos and the person’s history/baggage. It’s a whole other world out there. The idea of getting to know someone deeply still appeals though. Just this weekend I had a surprisingly intimate conversation about “life and everything” with a couple of customers at the library (we were at an under-attended program together) and it reminded me of the pleasures of discovery and friendship.

  7. I’d never ever jump out of a plane again, or do some of the jerky things to others that I did in my late teens and early 20s. Oh, and I’d never, ever, ever be an au pair again. 🙂

    • Sorry I missed your comment earlier! Jumping out of a plane even once is completely out of my league. I am not proud of my behaviour at all points in my life either. And I have done my share of providing care for other people’s children, too 🙂

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