Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday morning reflections

Recently, it has seemed like half of the people I know are pregnant or have just had babies, whilst the other half are travelling or have recently done so / are about to head off.

On my morning run yesterday, I counted the number of people in each group. The result? About 6 in each, not counting partners. As you might expect, there's not much overlap between the two groups, so the total comes to about 12.

Now, 12 people is not my entire social circle. Clearly I do have plenty of non-pregnant and non-travelling friends and acquantances. At the same time, 12 is not a trivial number.

Why is this making it onto my blog? Well, because I am finding the experience a bit odd. When enough people you know do a certain thing, you start to feel slightly on the outer of an impromptu club.

Fortunately, I have no desire to embark on a long period of travel right now (ok, maybe a small desire, but practicalities win out at the moment) and I definitely have no desire to be pregnant or have children right now.

At the same time, it feels strange that so many poeple I know are either throwing caution to the wind and travelling the world, or madly preparing their work and home lives for the addition of a baby and all the responsibility that entails.

A random travel photo, because I have nothing else even remotely relevant. 
Central Park, New York City, 2008.

I suppose the strangeness is also enhanced by one category of people (the pregnant group) experiencing something that I can't begin to fathom. It's a real privilege to be able to follow friends through 9 months of pregnancy and then into new parenthood, but I don't understand the process at all. It's exciting to witness, but I don't know what it's like, and if I'm honest, the whole thing is somewhat terrifying to an outsider looking in.

Of course, the travellers will return home and I suppose that pregnancy will become more common and less noteworthy as I get older. No doubt my running thoughts will go somewhere completely different next week. But because these things were swirling around my mind, I thought I would swirl them around the page (screen?), and thus this rather random post.

Sorry if you were hoping for a recipe!

Have you had similar experiences with friends or family moving in directions you weren't moving in? I suppose it could be unusual to get this far in life without experiencing that, so perhaps I'm just catching up.

A second irrelevant photo: Bodiam Castle, East Sussex, England, 2010

On other, perhaps more sensible, matters, I finished The Finkler Question (Howard Jacobson) over the weekend, so that has been added to my Books page.

It took a full month for it to work from the bottom to the top of my April book pile (which extended into May...), but I thought it was a worthwhile read. Definitely thought provoking, although sad in parts.
I also trialled a new dinner combination last night, so there will be recipes later in the week, and I have a chocolate review coming well as an as-yet-untasted but delicious looking chocolate discovery!

All of which make not travelling (and not being pregnant!) very worthwhile.


  1. Oh, this post is somewhat painful for me. So much of me longs, longs, longs to be throwing myself into travel again and saying consequences be damned! And yet at the same time, many of my mid-twenties friends are getting married and it makes me feel so hopeless and lonely in my singleness!

    Love the book photos, too! I love seeing what other people read :)

  2. I think it all goes in stages. Even though neither group is the one for you at the moment, things keep changing. I've got to the stage where some people are ending marriages. My grandparents have got to the stage where their friends are slowly dropping off :-/
    So it all changes...
    Keep the book list coming, I like checking out what others are reading :-)

  3. Most of my friends are thinking about marriage, and settling down. But for me, it's still something that I don't want to think about at the moment - just not yet. I think we all have different priorities, and will go through different stages in life at a different pace. SO just take things a step at a time, and do what you think is right for you at this point in time. I've learnt that what's right for one may not necessarily be right for another person.

  4. @Hannah
    I'm sorry to have hit on a nerve :-/ I do feel lucky that my sense of oddness about others' travel / babies isn't a longing, or at least not exactly.

    I did experience something similar to what you describe a few years back. I had been single for quite a number of years, and didn't really want to be in a relationship. However, this culminated in me feeling doubly lonely, because so many of my friends were getting engaged / married, and I was evidently extra odd because not only was I not in a relationship, I didn't really want to be in one, and couldn't conceive of being in one happily! Ah dear, the doubts and pressures we put on ourselves.

  5. @cityhippyfarmgirl
    That does put things in perspective...I guess life is always going to go in swings and stages. It sounds like the age / stage I'm at might have a few things going for it relative to what comes later...

    On a happier note, I'm glad you like the books :)

  6. @Kayla
    A great perspective :) And I agree whole heartedly.


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