Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Rekindling Old Passions and Finding New May 25, 2012

I have a new passion: bird spotting.

Okay, so it’s not exactly new, nor is it the kind of passion that has me twitching in a hide in the middle of a field every weekend, so let’s call it a rekindled interest instead.

When I was young, I knew the names of hundreds of birds. Since then, I’ve moved to another continent with new birds and I’ve forgotten so much of what I once knew.  But on a recent trip to the coast, after squinting at a flock of birds nesting on a cliff face and having no clue what they were, I invested in a pair of binoculars and a copy of Sibley’s Field Guide to Birds of Western North America.

In all honesty, I stink at bird identification, and I’m stumped by more birds that I identify, but I’ve added several species to my scorecard, from the tiny Oak Titmouse that visits the “Bird Café” outside my office window, to the magnificent Bald Eagle that circled above me in the San Juan Islands. I even managed to identify a Western Screech-Owl after an in-depth search for recordings of its call. But most of all, I’m having fun rekindling an old hobby and learning something new.

So here’s my challenge to you on this fabulous (pre-holiday weekend) Friday: What can you learn about next week? Maybe it’s an old passion you can rekindle or a new pleasure you’d like to investigate. Find something new to learn and report back on what you’ve learned, even if it’s just a bit of trivia on your topic.

For now, I’ll leave with a very poor quality iPhone photo of a pair of Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser) that I spotted on the creek in my neighborhood. Happy holiday weekend to those of you stateside, and have fun learning something new!

P.S. Thanks to Kathleen for her suggestion for this post and for her excitement over my very common Common Merganser.


Meeting New People July 1, 2011

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my readers in person!! It was so much fun.

At first it was a little strange, because the only thing we knew we had in common was our infertility and we both knew that the topic would come up, which it did. I learned something new about my own diagnosis from her experience. It was something my own doctors had never told me and, while it doesn’t change my prognosis, it helped me to put another piece of the puzzle in place, and make sense of what happened to me.

We also talked about food, shopping, and Los Angeles, and discovered a mutual love of travel. I left our lunch feeling as if I’d found a new friend and I hope that she felt the same way.

Our childlessness does not define us and it is only a small part of who we are, but my own experience has been that my childfree status is what connects me to someone initially and affords me the opportunity to find out what else we have in common.

We have a dynamic community of women here from all over the world and all walks of life – and with a broad range of interests. I urge you to use the common denominator to find friends with other interests – and avoid have that awkward “do you have kids” question.

On the main site you’ll already find writers, readers, gardeners, pet lovers, and cooks. You’ll find groups in Canada, California, and Texas, too. But is you’re interested in scuba diving, crafting, decorating, or belly dancing; entomology, etymology, archaeology, or theology; philanthropy, mythology, philately, or newts, start a group! Make a connection. Find something else to talk about. You may even find a new friend.