Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Fabulous Friday February 3, 2012

Time for a Fabulous Friday again, I think.

 

Here’s your chance to rave about all that’s good in your life right now – big plans, fun things, or even just life’s sweet spots.

 

I’m off for a weekend at the coast with Mr. Fab. It’s partly work-related, but that work will include wine tasting, eating, and milling around pretty towns. The non-work bits will be all about resting, chilling in a cottage on a clifftop, and taking some beautiful hikes. The weather forecast looks good and we are ready to just spend some quiet time together. I expect to be back on Monday, refreshed and ready to take on the world. Fabulous.

 

So, what’s fabulous in your world this Friday?

 

It Got Me Thinking…About $25,000 January 31, 2012

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

Two of my close friends are preschool shopping. In both cases, they submitted multiple applications shortly after the births of their children, because public schools are not an option (a topic for another post or a Whiny Wednesday) and getting into San Francisco’s private schools is very competitive. This is insane enough, in my mind, but here’s the kicker: Tuition for one child, for one year, is a whopping $25,000. “But it’s $35,000 in New York City,” one friend told me, as if that would make Californians seem frugal by comparison.

Twenty-five thousand dollars! That’s 250 $100 bills or 100,000 quarters! And that got me thinking…. If I had that amount of money to spare, how might I spend it? Here are a few options:

  • With parking at $2 an hour here, I could feed meters (with my 100,000 quarters) while running 12,500 hours of errands. Let’s do some math: At 3 hours each week, I’d be set for 4,167 weeks, or 80 years!
  • A new car! ConsumerReports.org compiled a list of the best cars under $25,000. I’m eyeing the Mini Cooper with a stick shift.
  • Six friends and I could stay in “Premiere Inns” while on Backroads’ multisport adventure in Costa Rica—biking, hiking, and soaking in hot springs in a forest setting. Sweet!
  • Since I could buy in bulk and get a discount, I’d order 468 12-packs of my favorite 82% cacao extra dark chocolate bars from Scharffenberger. At 210 calories per bar, that works out to….oh, screw that! I’ll…
  • …hire a personal trainer! The going rate is $75 an hour, so I’d get 333 hours of crunching abs and burning fat, roughly 6 hours of training each week for one year. Hmmm…I could get in shape for the Boston Marathon…or American’s Next Top Model!
  • 833 mani/pedis ($30) at the little spa down the street. If I visited once a week, I could indulge in 16 years of pampering!

With the exception of the car, all of the above seem extravagant—if not ludicrous—to me. But it is fun to think about. If you won $25,000 in the lottery today, how might you spend it?

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Right now, she’s thinking about running out to the store to buy a bar of chocolate.

 

Happy Holidays December 23, 2011

Filed under: Fun Stuff — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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My Mum arrived last week to spend the holidays with us here, so I’m going to take the coming week off to enjoy some time with her.

If you need a little support over the coming week, please hop on the forums. There’s always someone there to talk to and you don’t have to deal with things alone.

I will be back on January 2nd, ready to start the third year (can you believe it?) of Life Without Baby. I look forward to catching up with all of you then.

Thanks for hanging out here with me this past year. I appreciate your willingness to talk openly on this blog. Special thanks to Kathleen for all her support and for her wonderful weekly “It Got Me Thinking…” column. Thanks also to Dorothy, who joined the conversation this year with her “Eyes of Faith” column, and to the other readers who contributed guest posts.

In the meantime, I wish you all the very best for the season. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year. See you in 2012!

~ Lisa

 

Whiny Wednesday: Vegas, Baby! September 21, 2011

I just got back from a couple of days in Las Vegas, which you’d think would give me ample material for Whiny Wednesday topics, but in fact, Vegas didn’t grate on my nerves and send me fleeing for the airport, as it has in the past.

The purpose for the trip was to meet up with my most long-time friend, a woman I’ve known so long, I can’t remember ever not knowing her. I think we met in pre-school, but our parents knew each other from many moons before that. We manage to get together somewhere in the world about once every five years, and this time she happened to be passing through Vegas on a trip around the south-west’s National Parks, so we agreed to meet there. We ate, we walked, we talked, we laughed, and all in all, we had a fantastic time together with our significant others.

If I have any reason for whining this Wednesday it’s that I’ve taken so much time off for traveling fun lately that I am way behind in every other aspect of my life, including work, exercise, and household maintenance. But I suspect I’m not going to get a whole lot of sympathy, am I?

Still, it is Whiny Wednesday, so please don’t let my good mood get in the way of your complaining. Today is the day to get it off your chest, so whine away!

 

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.

 

Life Without Baby Takes a Holiday August 13, 2011

Filed under: Childless Not By Choice,Fun Stuff,Uncategorized — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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Well, let’s face it, I’ve been whining for long enough about needing some time off, so I’m finally taking it.

I’m leaving next week for an extended visit to England to see my family. Mr. Fab is coming along too, and we plan to get some serious rest and recuperation.

Ordinarily, I would have taken my laptop and kept blogging while I was gone, or at least backlogged a month worth’s of posts before I left. In light of my need to regroup, I’ve decided instead to just take some time away. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a good idea.

So, I will be gone until early September. I hope you’ll snoop around some older posts or head over to the main LWB site and get your own conversations going. Knowing me, I’m sure I’ll check in at some point to throw in my two cents.

But for now, be well, and I’ll look forward to returning reignited and ready to go in September.

 

Nieces and nephews August 5, 2011

I have just booked my flight to go home to England to see my family. I am counting down the days. I am long overdue for some time off, but more than that, I want to see my nieces and nephews.

I’ve been writing on this blog lately about the role we can play in the lives of other people’s children and how valuable that can be for us and them. The problem is that I’ve lived away from my family for 20 years. I have a niece and a nephew already out in the workforce, three more in college and another three growing up way too fast. My circle of influence over them, or even my participation in their lives at all, feels so insignificant.

Now I don’t have children of my own, I wish that I could have played a bigger role in their lives. But that’s all water under the bridge, as they say, so all I can do now is make an effort to spend some time with them, which is exactly what I plan to do. Soon.

 

Getting away from it all July 26, 2011

Mr. Fab and I love to travel and long ago set a goal of visiting one new country and one new U.S. city every year. In the early days we checked off Canada, Brazil, Italy, and Tahiti, and explored Seattle, Washington D.C., and New Orleans. But over the last couple of years our circle of exploration has shrunk and some of the top destinations on our wish list remain uncharted, at least to us.

For a number of years, I didn’t want to risk a trip to Guatemala, Colombia or China, just in case I got pregnant and ended up with Junior tagging along in utero to some malaria infested region. After that episode, we both threw ourselves into our careers as an avoidance technique regarding the lack of Junior’s arrival.

Now we’re tired. Planning a trip sounds like so much work right now, and the idea of arriving in a strange city where we don’t speak the language – something that was once the major thrill of travel – seems so unappealing. What we really want to do is hole up in a cottage somewhere quiet, where we can walk to dinner and spend peaceful days reading, talking and napping. But that all sounds very middle-aged to me.

Maybe the solution is to take the sedentary vacation and use the quiet downtime to plan an adventure for next year, but somehow that defeats the object of getting away to unplug and unwind, doesn’t it?

What’s changed for you in the past few years? Do you have passions that could use a rekindle? Does making the effort just sound like too much effort? If so, do you have a favorite way to reboot yourself when you’re dragging, like I am? I certainly could use some suggestions.

 

Whiny Wednesday: Busy trying to relax June 29, 2011

Filed under: Family and Friends,Uncategorized,Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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My husband passed this comic strip across the breakfast table to me earlier this week.

 

This is me.

We really need a vacation. I am long overdue to go home to see my mum. We just planned a weekend away that turned into a business trip and had to be planned and replannned and replanned and rescheduled so many times that I feel as if we’ve spent the past three weeks planning a vacation we’re not actually going to get.

I’m almost ready to throw some clothes in a suitcase, go to the airport with a credit card and get on the next flight to anywhere. Right now, I can’t think of anywhere I wouldn’t want to go.

It’s Whiny Wednesday. What’s your whine?