These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What Makes the Journey

Recently I was thinking about something. There is an ironic twist to how we develop our relationships.

When we are young there is a tendency to rush into relationships, and yet that is the time when we usually have a whole lifetime ahead of us. There is an urgency, a rush to connect, almost a panicky sense about it. I don't know why this is, but I would speculate that because of the lack of experience in life, we feel we should hurry as this might not last unless we nail it to the floor right NOW. Please forgive my imagery here, but I'm reminded of how male (fill in the blank with whatever critter you like) flock around the females during mating season. Do we humans still have that instinct to mate, to create progeny, to carry forward the genes?

I remember myself from long ago being the same. As a teenager, if a boy paid attention to me and I were attracted to him, it seems that there was a frenzied drive to connect and become a couple. At that age, it wasn't about sex (at least not "out loud") but about belonging to that person and having that person exclusively belong to me. I can't tell you how many times I was part of a couple after one date! Hurry, hurry, tomorrow might be too late, I might lose out, he might move on to someone else, I don't want to be alone! Yikes.

I would say that I became more selective as I aged through the teens, but there was still some of that sense of urgency. As a divorcée in my late 20s and early 30s, it was still present as I dated, although I was a little more sophisticated about it. Of course, at that age the possibility of producing more children was theoretically still present. I'd had my tubes tied by that time, but that doesn't change the internal clockworks, so was I still being driven by some internal instinct? I remarried after a few months, having dated just a handful of men. Why? Oh, of course, I was in love, but I think I didn't give it as much thought as I should. I was in a rush to be in a couple.

There is pressure in our society, particularly for women, to be part of a couple. How many times have you experienced one of your friends, who is half of a couple, trying to pair you up with someone? The intent is probably good, but think about this .... I don't know many "matchmakers" who are single. Do you?

One would think at my age people would have a sense of needing to hurry because time is short. "I need to get on with this, because I may not have a lot of time left to enjoy this person, this feeling, this exhilaration." But rather than feeling that push, I'm inclined to move very slowly, to experience the seasons, to taste all the tastes and smell all the smells that are available before selecting what I want to bring home in my shopping basket. I don't care if my new relationship blossoms tomorrow or in four years! I'm more interested in the unfolding of the blossom than the glory of the fully opened flower. Once again, why? I can't imagine myself saying at age 15 or 29 that it would be alright if a relationship took four years to reach it's height!

I can say that I now relish the journey more than the destination. As long as we are journeying, we are experiencing new things. Once we arrive, it is not a disappointment, but we are settled into a stationery set of sights and events, somewhat anticlimactic, perhaps. And if I made that trip in two hours, I probably missed some scenic things along the way, whereas if I took a week to get there, I might have explored a plethora of vistas.

So .... why? Is it because we've already made enough mistakes and don't want to repeat that? Probably, at least in part. But I think there is something else. I think by a mature age, we have learned several things. There is a lot of life to be experienced. There really is something to be said for the old adage about stopping to smell the roses along they way. What is here today will probably be here tomorrow, too, and if not, it wasn't meant to be. Most importantly, it is OK to be alone, a single, just one, unattached. Sometimes it is even better to be independent.

While I've been an unattached individual I've found time to learn about myself and my world, something I was unable to do while in a relationship. As part of a couple my focus was on the relationship and the other person. That's a good thing, and I don't mean that it should be otherwise. But I was never single long enough, mature enough to learn about me. These past three years have allowed me to do that, and I think that if I ever chose to be part of a couple again I'll be a lot better at it.

I don't say that people shouldn't be coupled. That's not my message, not at all. I just wish somehow that we could understand ourselves better at a younger age so we are better in the couple, and more enduring in the couple. It would be great if we could slow down in our youth, not rush ourselves into these things. Our decisions might be wiser, our relationships more lasting.

But perhaps that is what makes advanced years so sweet, the fact that we .... finally .... get it.

What do you think?

"I have wandered all my life, and I have traveled; the difference between the two is this -- we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment."

Hilaire Belloc


  1. My childhood, teenage years were not healthy and I looked at marriage as a means to escape. I made the decision in my early thirties not to date, to focus my attention on my family, children, and myself. I have not regretted my decision. I have lived without a man for over 15 years. Now that I am content with who I am, my children have grown and moved on I realize that if, by chance, someone should come into my life it would be okay. Truthfully I don't think it will happen. I have grown use to sleeping single, making my own decisions, and I don't know if I could deal with having to share. It would take someone with a lot of patience. I am pretty set in my ways.

    Regarding my house. When the inspector walked into main area of the house he said "this is a true adobe." After doing some research I found out out that the two additions were built in 1984, the rest of the home was built in the 1940's. It has a lot of character. Saguaro Rib ceilings, a bee hive fireplace, and the floor. This is all in the older part but the floor is brick, like a walkway. You can pick up a brick and viola there is dirt. The two additions have "normal floors." We can have a floor poured in the older part but that would send my realtor in a frenzy. His advice on the older part is "leave it alone." Floors and all. Truthfully the older part is in wonderful condition. I just received word from the stucco man that the additions are as well. Maybe it won't take much to fix up the additions.

  2. IE, I hear what you say. I'm realizing that after only 3 years, it would take a lot for me to "give in" to sharing with another person. We'll see. Maybe. :D

    Oh wow about the house! That is fantastic, and what a find!! I can't wait to see pictures!

  3. Agree very much with that Lynilu... and that as my hormones have ebbed, so has my desire to rush into anything. It's not a need anymore, it is a mild want IF all else fits well :)

  4. I was pretty single much of my first 40 years. I dates some and had a couple of serious relationships. One of the best things about that was I really learned a lot about myself and developed a real confidence in myself. I met Cowboy 16 years ago and know that when we met, it wouldn't have lasted a year much less a life time. There is a lot of wisdom with age.

  5. LA, I agree, if the right person walks into my life, cool! If not, I'm OK as is!

    MJ, aren't you glad he came back? :)

  6. I probably married to young. Although its a good marriage. I am truely lucky in that sense. My brother in law married his wife after knowning her a week not such a good choice. They werent married a year before the divorce was finalized. Would i marry again no I dont think I would.

  7. Red, many of us married too young. You're one of the lucky ones.

    I'm not sure there is a "key" to success; I've known people who dated or knew each other a long time and it didn't work out and people who were married "too soon" and were married for eternity. I wonder if we are prepared, having asked ourselves the right questions, or if we get married "just because."

  8. It is the first time in history when being a couple is a choice, at least in the US and other wealthy countries. Now, women and men can find sex and companionship and even parenthood without marriage. So, I think we will see fewer couples in our society. Or fewer couples which survive long term.

    In my opnion, not having the drive to be in a couple is a good thing, because then if you find someone it can be about liking that person as much or more than needing the other person. When we have the drive to be in a couple, I think we can fool ourselves into thinking we are in love.

  9. (M)ary, good point about couples.

    "When we have the drive to be in a couple, I think we can fool ourselves into thinking we are in love." Or we may be in love, but not deeply or enduringly. We have a tendency to feel we "fall in love" and then have a need to stay on, even after we should realize it is just a crush. There is such an obligation to be in love.

  10. I feel that I married too young, too naive and felt it was an escape from a homelife that was less than ideal.

    I am so lucky to have a man in my life now that is very good to me.

  11. Daisy, a lot of girls did that, I think. I married too young the first time, but not for that reason. I was in love, and frankly, I still love the man, but we were just too immature to make it work. The second time it was because of the "couples" thing, I believe.

    You're very lucky to have Man in your life. I wish every woman could have what you do. :)

  12. People who aren't able to be happy single, won't be any happier in a relationship (once the newness wears off).

  13. As much as I love Stacy and we have a good marriage (with one exception which you know about) I think if something (God forbid) happened to him I would not care to be partnered again. I would just like to travel and do things with Madison.

  14. Sandra, you hit it right on the head. No one else can make you happy. Happiness is an internal thing, an emotion, and something for which we are self-responsible.

    MQ, something a lot of people don't understand is that having a good marriage doesn't assure that another will be good, too. Nor does having a bad relationship teach what not to do in the next one! Yeah, we have to go a step at a time, and one each step we must think, feel, touch, savor the experience before we know whether to take the next step.

  15. I have been thinking about this post for a couple of days. I love this new phase I am in where it's OK and it feels good to take things slow. You described how teenagers are perfectly. I think I have been that way with all my relationships; except this one with Susan. Now I know it's OK to take things slow and get to know the other person before moving in, etc. Susan and I are proud of ourselves because we aren't following any of the typical lesbian rules when it comes to our relationship. We decided early on to do what feels right to us and it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing.

  16. Caroline, I have loved my time of clarity over these past couple years. I feel as if I'm finally seeing the world in real light. I know that if I do come to another relationship, it will be with my eyes wide open.

    I'm glad you are finding happiness. It is long overdue. :)


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!