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There Is No Such Thing As Having It All

Thursday, June 20, 2013
This week I have spent time with two Single women academics, and they have both invited me to visit them in their different European countries. I would love to visit them in their European countries. I live in Europe already, so it is not that difficult, and I love love love love love love travelling by myself, in silence, straining to understand the European chat of the Europeans around me, and making a million notes in my diary.

I love chatting with Single women academics. I used to be one. Well, I used to be a Single woman graduate student. And I used to get together with women all the time for big chit-chats. So the idea of travelling by myself to other European countries where I can sometimes be silent and take notes and sometimes have a glorious woman-only chit-chat is fantastic.

But it's not that simple. It's not that simple because I am married, and being married involves a daily (sometimes hourly) examination-of-conscience question called "Am I being fair to my spouse?"

Because B.A. likes travel, too, only not in silence and not by himself. And he'd like to travel as much as I do, only he can't because he has to work in one place. And his work pays almost all the bills--including my bills. And I am already travelling for a week without B.A. in July. So it would not be fair for me--I have been thinking about this for hours--to go jetting off to other European countries right now, especially as I have spent all my recent earnings towards our September holiday in Italy.

Fairness to a spouse is not something you have to think about when you are Single. And I know that many Singles would answer, "I would give up absolutely everything, including freedom to travel whenever I want, including career prospects, including my best friends, including seeing my family more than once a year, to marry the love of my life, even if we never have any children." And that's fine. I felt the same way when I met the love of my life. I feel the same way now!

But the thing is, you must remember that marriage involves work (above all, on your own personality) and really, honestly, truly, no word of a lie, marriage sometimes includes not doing stuff you really want to do because it would simply not be fair to your spouse do it.

There is no such thing as "having it all," so embrace what you do have.