Labor Day doesn't make me think of work. Or a break from work. Labor Day just makes me think of pregnancy and, well, labor. Something I never had or did. I was always scared of it though. I kind of wished the stork thing was true. I would've loved it if a bird had dropped off a baby for me at my front door. Biological or not, I didn't care.
But I do appreciate this day off. I've appreciated this whole weekend. I haven't done a damn thing. I still feel so maxed out from my pediatrics coverage, school and graduation, and just the last 12 years in general. I'm limiting the rest of my year to what I already have planned and nothing else: working part-time, continuing my research project, and participating in the quilt sew along that started this month. I also have two trips planned, one to see my sisters and another to see my friends where I used to live (for the first time in over five years!).
I am very excited about my trip to see my old friends. I'm going for a long time--a whole week and I still won't have enough time to see everyone and do everything. Then I started thinking about it... The first two nights I'm staying with one of my best friends. She doesn't have kids. She never actively tried, but she never actively prevented either. Even though she's married, I suppose she is childfree by circumstance.
Then I'm going to spend two night in a hotel. I'll spend those days visiting old places and meeting up with friends at my favorite restaurants. I actually signed up for an all-day workshop and texted one of my best friend's sisters to see if she would like to join me. She's going to! We've never actually hung out without her sister. I just knew she'd be interested in the workshop. Also, she doesn't have kids. I'm pretty sure she and her husband tried. I think she is childless not-by-choice. Maybe it will come up; maybe it won't.
Then the last two nights I will spend with my oldest best friend (the one whose sister is joining me for the workshop). I haven't seen my friend in EIGHT years. We didn't have a falling out, but we were going through our own things for awhile and didn't keep in touch. I texted her on her birthday a year and a half ago, and we've been back in touch ever since. We are both very grateful for that. And guess what. She doesn't have kids either. She never wanted them. Well, it wasn't that easy. She wasn't sure if she wanted them or not and spent years in counseling before realizing she didn't. So she is childfree by choice.
Also, we have plans to have dinner with a third friend who ALSO does not have kids. I think she might have wanted them, but... Her husband didn't. Nevermind that she is divorced now. So maybe she considers herself childless by circumstance? I'm not sure.
On the final day I will meet up with my best friends from high school. Among the three of them, they have seven kids. Now that I have grieved my losses and created a new life for myself, I can enjoy the occasional picture and updates about their kids. I love my friends, so therefore I love their kids. Even if I've only met two of the seven.
Weird, huh. That's a lot of women without kids. I used to feel surrounded by mothers and fertility, and now my world feels so much bigger. Thank God.
My feelings about having kids have changed too. That's been weird for me. I don't want a baby anymore. And that is completely crazy to me. My whole lifelong dream was to be a mother. What do you mean I don't want a baby anymore??
But I had to change. My life depended on it.
I could not continue to exist with that deep, unquenchable yearning. I don't know how I did it. And if you would've told me ten years ago that there would be a day where I wouldn't want a baby, I would have known that you DEFINITELY didn't get it.
But I had to change. And, step by step and year by year, it happened. I think that's another reason that working in pediatrics just doesn't resonate with me anymore. I don't live a child-centric life, and I don't like entering and exiting that world every time I go to work.
It's just been a lot. A lot, a lot of hard work. What I've been through, how I've changed.
And those are my rambling Labor Day thoughts.