The View from the Beach

So I’m sitting on a bench overlooking a beautiful beach, playing hooky.  I shouldn’t complain.  And on one level I’m not.  San Diego is beautiful.  Absolutely gorgeous weather.  No humidity, just brilliant, soul-warming sunshine.  It feels like 80 which is obscene – just yesterday I was back home, shivering in a sweater.

But the reason for being here, enjoying the sunshine …  That’s a whole other matter altogether.

Life is clearly about choices.  And choices are about consequences and the road not taken.  Not that it’s ever really bothered me.  I’m more the type to explore the new path I’ve charted, than to look back with … even with nostalgia.

So in life, I’ve chosen paths that most do not.  I’m married, without children.  Already an anomaly (although not as much as society would have you think – new figures show increasing numbers of married women will never have children).  Yet more so in today’s warped society where the women who seem most destined to succeed – in everything, not just the workplace – chose to forego so much.

For some odd reason, the working women of the 60s and 70s seem to have raised a generation of women content to be the wife of and the mother of.  It wasn’t enough for their mothers, yet somehow they just know it will be more than they need.

And now I find myself at my husband’s corporate retreat, the wife of. 

Even worse, I feel conflicted – oh, not that I made a poor choice.  But that perhaps my poor husband did.  Wouldn’t he be happier like everyone else?  He would be the center of my life.  Me, waiting at home for him, tending to home and hearth, raising adoring children who excelled at soccer and piano? 

It would certainly be easier. (for him)

But also far less interesting. (for him)

So I doff my beach hat, to the man who made his own path.  He’s sitting now in a giant plenary session, no doubt being indoctrinated by corporate higher ups, but quietly breaking away from the herd, charting his own path.

One that’s just for the two of us to explore.


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