Why “Normal” Lives are Overrated
My blissful-single-girl mindset was challenged recently when I went on a girls’ weekend with four of my LTMFs (long-time-married friends).
The grass is always greener
I’ve actually been going on this particular girls’ weekend annually for the past twenty years. The five of us go to a different place every year and spend three days seeing the sights, eating and drinking too much, watching chick flicks, and especially engaging in girl talk. For the entire twenty years we’ve been doing this, the other four girls have been married, to the same men, and living “normal” lives, while I’ve been single to one degree or another. And I have to say that I’ve always found this completely unfair. How is it that these women found their husbands in college or shortly thereafter, got married, and have been living happily ever after for well over twenty years, while I’ve spent the same time struggling as a single person and desperately seeking Mr. Right? I always have a good time on these weekends, but inevitably I come home feeling jealous and slighted, that life is not fair. And this year started in the same direction, but then…
Is the grass always greener?
We spent most of the weekend discussing our lives, which for the LTMFs involved discussing their husbands and kids. I’m used to this by now and since most of their kids are older, I actually enjoy hearing about what’s going on in their lives. Believe me, in the early years there were times when I thought if I had to listen to one more discussion of PTA meetings or soccer practices I was going to put a bullet in my own head! But those days are past and since I haven’t had any dating stories to share with them for the past couple years I spent a lot of time listening. And what I found was that while I’ve always seen their lives as stable and happy, they actually have a lot of issues – kids with special needs, kids dropping out of college, kids with health issues, marriages that are boring or less than happy or romantically challenged. So, yes, they lead “normal” lives, but is that better than my single, “abnormal” life?
Green grass comes in many shades
What exactly is a “normal” life? In my mind, a normal life is one where you meet the love of your life sometime in your 20’s, get married around 30, buy a house in the ‘burbs, have a couple kids (or don’t), and spend the rest of your lives working toward promotions at work, raising your kids (or not), taking vacations, buying a bigger house and nicer cars, and saving for retirement. Is this a nice way to live? Sure. But is it the be-all-end-all? Absolutely not! My four LTMFs are living the exact “normal” lives I just described and are they happy? Well, yes, I think so, to one degree or another, but their lives are certainly not without issues and many of those issues are ones I avoid by being single and childless. So, I guess what I learned from this girls’ weekend is that “normal” is not always better. And who wants to be normal anyway? In fact, we single girls have the opportunity to lead “extraordinary” lives because we have the ability to make our lives any way we want them without the constraints of relationships. So, come on, single girls, find a way to make your lives extraordinary and most importantly, find your bliss!
Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com
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