05 November, 2013

Living in the moment

Travelling allows us to live in the moment.  To take full advantage of the experiences, or simply to ensure that we remember to drive on the wrong (ie, right) side of the road, we have to live in the moment really.  What's the point of travelling otherwise?  It's an odd, almost out-of-body, experience, especially when in a foreign (for us) language environment.

That focus on living in the moment meant that, aside from the daily quick review of news on the internet), we felt removed from any society - our own, and certainly the other-language-speaking societies we were moving through - and largely uninfluenced by mass media culture.  (I do recall refusing to buy a particular washing liquid at a supermarket in Italy because it had babies on the label.)

So it is a bit of a shock to come home and suddenly find ourselves immersed in news and advertisements and media and culture.  Reminders that "family" to so many only means parents plus children.  TV advertisements that say "you're GREAT, Mom" in such a cheesy, saccharine sweet voice that I shuddered.  Stories in the newspaper of a woman in France who kept her two-year-old in the boot (trunk) of her car.  (Reinforcing my view that having or not having a child is neither a reward nor a punishment.)

I'm noticing anew the every day reminders of living without children in a world that insists you must have them.  By and large I'm observing the reminders - they're not really hurting me.  But I do remember how hard such reminders were in the early days, months and even years of loss, and of realising we were living a life without children.  And I hope that those who are still going through this, who still feel hurt and lost and alone, can take some comfort in my promise that as the years pass, these things get easier.  They really do.


  1. I agree. With years passing by, it really does get easier.

  2. Thank you for the reminder that living childfree does get easier as time passes. I ran into Target to buy a few items this afternoon, and every woman I saw (or so it seemed) was PG. Still makes my heart ache.

  3. Culture shock!! ;) It does get easier, but the constant reminders around us don't help the process. :p

  4. Thank you for your words. Sometimes I wonder if it is me thinking that the world seems focused on children as the main way to happiness. Walking around in this world can sometimes make it seem life is incomplete. However, that is not the case and you sharing your voice helps to validate there are other ways to happy. It is not right or wrong, just different. Thank you fir sharing that it dies get better in time.

  5. It does get easier, in time, though try telling me that after a loss. Distance and time help, but even now I find myself hugely annoyed by all the "if you don't have kids, you don't understand" crap. I wish the American culture would quit clinging to the traditional nuclear family as ideal. It's become so rare these days, I honestly wonder why we hold it up on such a high pedestal. Families come in so many shapes, sizes, and configurations - and not all families have children. It's time we recognize that!