Sometimes things just work out. Not due to hard work, planning, luck, or divine intervention (if you are so inclined). Sometimes, just sometimes, things fall into place.
And while I could spend plenty of time dwelling on the negative aspects of my situation, I certainly prefer to focus on the good things. Today I speak specifically about children and parenting.
In a recent lunchtime conversation with a friend, I was sharing my concerns about what the time out of the office would mean for my career. As we spoke, she drew parallels between our short-term disability stints – mine for lung cancer, hers for pregnancy and childbirth. Her words were reassuring, but the conversation left me in (yet another) ‘wow, this is my life now’ moment.
A few days later, I was sitting at home when the neural pathways connected and delivered one of the largest realizations I’ve had since the diagnosis: “It is REALLY good that I don’t want children!”
It’s true. Human infants just don’t ‘do it’ for me. Now you are wondering why this is. The reasons are several and to expound on them here would distract from the aim of this post. The important thing to note is that my maternal instincts and needs have always been met by my nonhuman children. Perhaps they’ve spoiled me. 🙂
This works out on so many levels. With many types and stages of cancer, women are able to take measures before, during, and after their cancer to preserve their fertility. But when you talk about inoperable, stage IV cancer, the conversation changes from “how do we get you cancer-free?” to “how do we allow you to live as long as possible?”
Not having children allows me to focus on taking care of myself and alleviates any worry of ‘what will happen to my children once I’m gone.’ Not wanting children eliminates the ‘what if…’ line of thought and allows me a peek at even the thinnest of silver linings.
Sometimes, things just work out.