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?