I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've been pretty darn lucky in life. I had a great upbringing with a great family, all of which lived within three miles of my childhood home. I was an excellent high school athlete and student, achieving high honors in three varsity sports and graduating as valedictorian of my class. I went on to a very reputable state college and was a Big10 athlete there, while meeting my future husband and future best friends. After college I became a successful biology teacher and earned a master's degree in environmental education. During my time teaching, my husband and I got married, bought a house, adopted some cats and hens, and built up a family-operated greenhouse and landscaping business. Recently, I had the opportunity to leave the teaching field to help my husband run that business.
I guess it's my Midwestern roots that tell me, "Keep this to yourself. If you admit to your good fortunes some of them will be taken away." I don't necessarily believe bad things will happen if I discuss my good fortunes, but at the same time I've never verbalized them to anyone before. Things in my life have a way of falling into place rather smoothly. Of course I've worked very hard to be successful and to obtain certain goals, and I've had setbacks, but I have yet to experience any huge obstacles in life. Does that make me lucky? weak? spoiled? Perhaps my work ethic and attitude help deflect major obstacles before they get in my way.
Either way, I'm very happy with my life, including the people, companions, and opportunities in it. Sure there are weak areas in my life that could use some focus, but overall I've got it pretty good: I've got a first-class education; a first-class husband; an exciting and enviable career; supportive family and friends; a cozy household with three wonderful cats; a backyard with three hens, a view of the woods, and space enough for a vegetable garden; and time to read good books, crochet, tie flies, and fly fish for trout. I don't need much more in life than that .......except maybe children.
The topic of kids has been more and more in my radar recently. Children are the next logical step in a logically-lived life, but there's no looking back once that decision is made. I'm thirty-two years old but still don't feel mature enough to start having children. I didn't start menstruating until I was in college (TMI), which makes me feel like my biological clock is ticking ten years behind those of other women my age. There's also some selfishness in putting off pregnancy. I find it disturbing to think about the physical nature of pregnancy, not to mention the actual birthing scene. Also, how will I get chances to trout fish once I have a couple offspring to take care of? How will I possibly continue my annual camping trips with my girlfriends and the yearly road trip to Montana to fly fish for cutthroats? I'm sure I'll still be able to do most of the things I currently enjoy doing (I won't be the only parent involved, after all), and it's logical that I'll enjoy being with my kids more than I do these other activities. But the truth is, I won't have the freedom I currently enjoy. Kids are a total game changer. I feel selfish for associating children with vanishing independence, but I also realize that children will surely give me greater rewards than the activities I lament losing. In the end, though, who knows if I'm even fertile? I guess the possibility of children in my near future will help me appreciate my independence in the present.