I had a lovely boozy dinner on Saturday with good friends of ours, who also don't have kids. Instead, we occasionally talk about our nieces and nephews and great-nephews and great-nieces, as we are talking about all sorts of other things. But it is a nice relaxed way to have a conversation. We talk about what to do with all our stuff, and who will clean it up when we go. (She is teaching her niece and great-niece which of her possessions are valuable or historic, and how to tell.) We joked about both needing to stop hoarding, but refusing to stop getting ourselves the occasional treat. Because, as she pointed out, we still need to live and enjoy our lives.
She knows I blog about our No Kidding lifestyle but is busy with a high-powered job, and probably has never read this. It's not her style. She's openly without kids, but not so openly Not By Choice. Both my friend and her partner are great examples of people with a full, busy life without kids. They have family (several generations) nearby, and lots of friends, they mentor young people at work, have hobbies, are active and outgoing, and have an interest in the world. We're lucky to have them in our lives.
In fact, I often think of a quote of hers when others talk about "having children is the purpose of life." "Rubbish!" she scoffed when I quoted a mutual friend who said this to me as I was between pregnancy losses.
"There is no purpose in life other than to enjoy the lives we have."
Believe it or not, when she first said this to me probably 18-19 years ago, I was a little shocked. I hadn't heard anyone else say anything like that before. But gradually the more I thought about it, the more I agreed with her. And every time I remember her quote, I appreciate the lesson. She's right. And I'm glad I get to enjoy life with her in it!