Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Thought on Men and Women: Part III

Read part 1 and part 2.

3. It’s a personal reaction to #1 and #2. No one wants to be pitied (“I wonder if every time we talk about our kids, Liz feels sad? Poor lonely Liz.”), and no one wants other people to feel awkward talking about certain topics around them (“Maybe we shouldn’t talk about our husbands since Liz doesn’t have one. Poor lonely Liz.”) And that’s what I feel happens, eventually.

And any time I try to tell people that I’m usually okay with not being married, I don’t think they believe me. Or, they think I’ve just “given up” or “lack faith.” And this irks me to no end.

Sure, there are some moments when I wonder what my kids would look like, or if any man would ever find the fact that I sometimes sing myself to sleep, endearing. But, over all, I’m fine. And this is why:

I believe in a Heavenly Father who loves me and has a plan for my life.

I believe that the plan He has for my life is just as good and rewarding as the plan He has for those who get married.

I believe that my life is just as inspired and valued and divinely guide as those who are moms with children.

I believe that I am here to follow “the first and great commandment” which as we all know is “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” as well as the second “Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself” (Matt. 22: 37-39).

Marriage and family is ONE way to accomplish those commandments. It’s not the only way.

I have full faith that everything I need to learn in this life will be provided for me. If that includes a husband and children, then great! If not, then it wasn’t necessary for me at this time. It’s as simple as that.

Of course, I know I have to do my part in the marriage area. But that doesn’t include agonizing over it, and having a miserable life!

If you are a righteous person, keep all the covenants you’ve made, and generally do the best you can, then Earth Life will be the only time you’ll be single. Think about it! The freedom of it all is astounding, really. And I plan on enjoying it while I can!

I’m more than happy to wait on the Lord’s time for marriage and family. (After all, maybe that means that during the Millennium, I’ll get to marry a Scottish highlander who died in 1367, or a Civil war veteran, or an ancient Samurai warrior. That sounds much more exciting then marrying Ned from accounting, anyway. (Although, if Ned is my meant-to-be, then it will work out with him.(And, no, I don’t really know a Ned from accounting.)))

This, my friends, was basically what I told my V.T. companion and the sister we were visiting. They really seemed to understand that it’s not that I don’t like them; it’s not that I think THEY are boring, it’s just that we’re living different lives. Good lives, valuable lives, but different. And that’s okay.

“But, Liz,” you’re thinking, “you’ve talked a lot about women, but you haven’t said anything about men like you stated in the title of your post!”

Well, I told you that I was going to give some background AND a digression, didn’t I?

Here’s where the men part fit into our conversation:

After my long diatribe on the married/unmarried thing, I then told them that I would love to come to their girl night sometime (after all, I do like them) and that I frankly wouldn’t mind also popping over on one of their play dates (after all, I do like little children).

And that’s when I had this epiphany:

Single female (whom you met thru V.T.) wanting to come over to hug and play with your kids = good (Poor lonely single sister).

Single male (whom you met thru H. T.) wanting to come over to hug and play with your kids = creepy (Has someone talked to the Bishop?).

Yep, that was it.

7 comments:

Heather said...

Hahaha--so true! And well put. You've brought up several good points that I'll have to put more thought into. Thank you! Thank you for being the amazing person I love!

Rachel said...

Liz,
As usual, completely on target. I don't know if I'm just immune to it or if I just don't get any of it but I very rarely feel pity from others for not being married. I count that as a blessing. I think this comes with being active in a ward. The more people know you the more they realize that you're still a complete capable person, even if you aren't married. I also don't feel uncomfortable with groups of women talking about their family lives. Although, like you, it gets a little boring. It's like being in a room full of mathematicians. The conversation is eventually going to get back to something I know nothing about and therefore can't add to. And I really like to add, converstaion wise.

I never thought about your man epiphany. We at least have access to family living. They don't. And I do think that older single women in the church have it much easier then older single men. We kind of become the fun aunts of the ward and they become the ward weridos.

Liz said...

Rachel, I really only feel this way when talking to young mothers or really old ones (like grandmas).

I think this is because young mothers are overwhelmed with kid things, and so their world revolves around it, and old mothers come from another generation when that was the majority of what women did.

Laura said...

I too, appreciate your man epiphany. Fun aunts vs. ward weirdos. True.

Liz said...

Laura:

In regards to your first comment (that I don't see right now on the comments--strange)I know how hard it is, and so I know that there is comfort in removing yourself from painful situations (i.e. church) and you know I've done that myself.

But I've worked HARD to come to a place of accepting that what I want is second to what I need. And to realize that I have a hard time distinguishing between the two. (I always think that what I want is what I need. Don't we all?)

So, I just rely on the Lord, and try to remain faithful and positive which is not always easy (please refer to the gazillion emails I've sent to you about how my life is crap--oh, and know that I'm still going to send you those kinds of emails, occasionally).

Some days are better than others.

But, I just keep trying...

Amanda said...

I have started several responses to these three threads and not posted any of them because none seem to say all the things I'm thinking. I guess I can just go ahead and say something though. I just always feel like giving you a standing ovation when I read your thoughts and ideas.
First, to address the 'would you wave your wand and marry off all single friends?' I was actually thinking about this the other day independent of all of this and my answer is no. I was thinking about specifics and what I know about my friends, both old and new. Some of them were those of you reading this blog. I don't know how to say this and not feel like I am going against everything that the General Authorities have said. I don't think marriage is an institution that creates happiness. If you aren't a happy single person, you WON'T be a happy married person. Not that much changes. I think that those that marry at the same time that they really become adults, only have a married frame of reference. So to them being an adult means being married. So, married always seems better than not married because cool stuff happens when you are an adult. For those who are single as adults and marry later or not at all, life's enjoyment come from a wide variety of things that are fulfilling and satisfying.
Also, I have tons more married friends that I pity than single friends. It's not about being married or not, it is about having a full life and choosing to proactively live it.
I know I'm not as eloquent as anyone else on this blog, but thought I'd put my 2 cents in.

Liz said...

Amanda:

I completely agree with you %100! Be happy first.

Be happy with everything you have. Be happy despite what you don't have.

That's the only way to live, and it's not the easiest thing to do. Being unhappy is simple. Life provides you with plenty reasons to complain. Being happy requires a a choice--and for some (sometimes me) it's the hardest choice of all.

Oh, and you're also right. I feel more sorry for unhappy married people than I ever do for unhappy single people.