Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Welcome Back September 3, 2012

Mum’s 80th birthday bash

I’m back. In some ways it feels as if I’ve been away months, and yet the time has flown by, too. It took quite a bit of coaxing to get me back to my desk, and writing this post is my first “back to normal” activity.

I had a great month away and am glad I forced myself to really stop working (for the most part) and spend a little time alone with my own thoughts. I feel refreshed, with my priorities in order, and (just about) ready to throw myself back into life, work, and, of course, blogging.

My trip to the U.K. was wonderful and my mum’s 80th birthday was a huge success. As an added bonus, I got to enjoy watching the Olympics on home turf (although not actually in London) and to cheer one of my hometown athletes, Jessica Ennis, to a heptathlon gold medal. It was inspiring to be caught up in the Olympic spirit.

I also got to enjoy time with my family and caught up with a couple of dear friends. It’s always a little odd to be around my extended family as I feel my childlessness more keenly when I’m surrounded by talk of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. I’m more aware of being the odd one out and of bringing a different dynamic to the family because I don’t have children to talk about. The family tree my mum has hung on her wall reminds me again of the grander scheme of my family history and the significance of my own nubby branch, that stops two generations before those of some of my older cousins.

The antidote for my melancholy comes from my two long-time friends, who are also childfree. The topic of family and children almost always comes up in our conversations, even if just in passing, and it’s good to talk face-to-face with someone who gets me.  Our conversations don’t linger on this topic and we’re soon talking about everything from hiking to books and politics to our aging parents. And we laugh…the best medicine of all.

So, now I’m back, I’m ready to shake things up a bit around here. I have some new topics to share with you, some new ideas for the blog, and hopefully a facelift (for the blog, not me.) I’ll look forward to having these conversations with you soon.

Jessica Ennis’ gold post box

English summer hike, part I

English summer hike, part II

English summer hike, part III

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Just when you thought it was safe… September 12, 2011

…I’m back! Refreshed, revived, and raring to go!

My vacation flew by and I didn’t do half the things I’d planned, and yet it feels as if I’ve been gone for months. How’ve you been? How was your summer (or winter, if you’re a southern hemisphere reader)?

My trip was wonderful. As always, it was so good to be home (home, meaning my birthplace), back to everything that’s familiar and back with my family. It was good to see everyone and spend time doing the things I love­–hiking, biking, running, (eating), and catching up with old friends.

There’s a familiar pattern to my trips home. For the first week, everything is a novelty and it’s fun to observe my people and the places I know well, but with a foreigner’s eye.

By week two, I’m thinking of moving back. I’m looking longingly at the countryside and envisioning how I could spend my days hiking and running. I’ve bought some gardening magazines and I’m fantasizing about the incredible garden I would have. I’m thinking about what it would take to be able to support myself there.

By week three, I’m ready to go home. I’m thinking about work and I’m missing my routine and my cat. And inevitably, I have an encounter with friends or family that makes me realize that I am now an alien in my native land. I’ve changed; I don’t fit in any more, and, even though I’ll always refer to Britain as “home” I know that California is my real home now.

So I pack my suitcase, throw in some chocolate and tea, kiss my mum goodbye and leave home to head home.

And here I am.

Of course, I’ve been gathering material on my travels, so I’ll have plenty to write about for a while. I’ve also been giving some thought to the future of this blog, so look out for what I hope will be some exciting changes in the coming months.

To kick things off, Kathleen’s It Got Me Thinking… column will be moving to Tuesdays and I’ll be inviting some other guest bloggers to share some of their thoughts. If you’re interested in writing for Life Without Baby, drop me a line, or stay tuned for more information coming soon.

It’s good to be back and I’ll hope you’ll tune in. I’ve missed your company.