Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A quick update and musings from funeral and christening

First, a quick update. I was pretty good over the weekend; not starting a diet as such but certainly reining in and cutting back. I've started my diet proper this week and have actually joined Slimming World!! I'll keep you posted.

I had the afternoon off on Friday to go to a funeral. It was of a friend from my old local and quiz team compatriot, Jim. He wasn’t nearly old enough for his death to be in any way “alright”, not that many are, however old the deceased. He was only 61 but, to be honest, years of hard living and not looking after himself had led to him looking much older and to his early demise not being a huge surprise. Such a shame though as he was a good bloke (and he knew a LOT of sporting, movie and old pop music trivia!!).

It’s strange when you go to a funeral of someone you’ve only known for a few years and then only in a limited context. Suddenly the rest of their life is opened up to you and you learn all sorts of things about that person which you didn’t know before. Rich had known him for a lot longer so had already told me some stuff but it was good to see a couple of albums of old photographs which some loving relative or friend had put together showing his former sporting prowess (he had a trials for Wolves apparently!) and the fun he had with his mates and former wife back in the 80’s and 90’s. All those posed pics of trips to the Races or Christmas parties or just larking around in the very pub we were mourning him in.

It makes you think, of course, about lots of things, all funerals do.

He and his ex-wife had remained on good terms and she came to the funeral and mixed with his family which was good to see (and not a little poignant for me). They looked so happy in the photos but had obviously parted and somehow stayed friends. I wish that could have happened for me but it will almost certainly never happen.

He had no children which is starting to ring some chords for me now too. I suppose I’ve always somehow assumed that I “might” still have them. But this seems unlikely now and, while I don’t really want to go for it, to upset that applecart, it is something I’m having to process and make peace with. All those thoughts about the future generation which I have at the back of my mind have at some point to be put into a box and forgotten because it’s just not going to happen for me. But it would be daft to rush into trying to have kids at this late stage just because the thought of NOT having them is unsettling. I think one should positively WANT them first…and Rich seems to be of the same opinion. I think…..God, even now I can’t be certain about this and it’s pretty damn major really. Sigh.

The nature of friendship is another thing I’ve thought about. Who are the ones who will stay close? Who will be there for you in years to come? Going through a divorce tends to bring friendship (or otherwise) into sharp relief but also, now that I’m emerging blinking out the other side, it has highlighted the importance of friends and the fact that I should not take them for granted. This is also especially true now that so many of mine are having children….and I’m not (can you detect a theme here?!). My friend Jim warned me right at the outset that I would lose some friends and I would discover who is a true friend while going through the divorce and, boy, has he been right!

So, nothing serious then!!

So that was Friday. We went out in the evening but were both so tired we could barely stay awake so only had a couple before staggering home and collapsing into bed.

Saturday was the first match of the new football season. Sheffield Wednesday were playing at home against Rochdale. It was a very heartening victory - 2 nil. Not spectaular apart from one amazing volleyed goal but solid, organised and hard working, all of which are new attributes after the rubbish they served up to us last season. So we left feeling cautiously optimistic....weird.....

Sunday was the christening. My friend Angela and her husband were christening their daughter Isabel. She was brilliantly behaved and it was a nice party which allowed me to catch up with several people I only see a couple of times a year so all very satisfactory. On the kids thing - I realised I wasn't particularly wistful about the baby, not wistful at all to be honest so I suspect I've pretty much made my peace with it anyway. It must just have been the funeral making me ponder.

But then that's children as a concept for you. Often the sheer work of raising them seems overwhelming when viewed from the outside so why would you want them? But what you don't see from the outside is the joy they bring and the difference they make to one's life. And also, the having them there, grown and whole as you get older.

However, I think that as I've never had that visceral "need" for children, just a sort of wishy washy "I'd like to have them one day" feeling, I suspect that I will be happy either way and as that is looking like not having kids, well, so be it.

Golly - that was all very deep. I'm going to post this now despite the fact that I've got all sorts of news (nothing exciting believe me), diet and exercise updates and a few vague notions of other posts I'd like to write. You've got to stop somewhere eh?


Linz M said...

I have the same thoughts myself regarding children. When I was younger, I always assumed I would want them one day. Then I hit my 30's and I decided it probably wasn't for me at all.

Now as I get older, I do wonder if it will suddenly be an issue for me when I am no longer able to have them as it's always been my choice before not to... if that makes any sense!

Anyway, all of my friends are having children and it doesn't make me broody or bring about any desires at all. I guess my decision is the right one for me.

What I think I am trying to say in my usual waffling style, is I totally understand where you are coming from!


Peridot said...

I don't want children either - people continually say I'll change my mind but at 40 I think the broodiness would have kicked in by now.

I find it hard that good friendships have had to take something of a back seat whilst they have children but I figure if I hang on long enough, when the kids get to teens, I'll get my friends back!

The only thing I fear is old age without anyone to care for me or visit - but a) this is not a good reason to have a child, being totally selfish and b) you have no guarantee of that anyway!


Sarah said...


Totally agree with Linz. I'm in my mid 30s (still clinging to "mid") and have never had the maternal urge for children. And seeing how keen some people - particularly women but also guys sometimes) - are to have kids, I know that if I had, I'd know about it. I do wonder and worry that my biological will at some point go into overdrive and I'll be stuck.

But hey, other than assessing it periodically, what does one do? Bizarrely, this happens particularly with my nice man as he has kids and won't be having any more (medical procedure before we met, say no more) and he says that I should think of being with someone else if I want kids. But I don't, I'm happy with my lot and my life where I can be selfish and think of me, go on holiday wherever I want and lots of other cool things. I don't suggest that everyone else is wrong and I'm right, but I'm right for me.