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Just because you are single and childless doesn’t mean you cannot live your fullest life

By Nina Steele 

Single and childless womenRob 38, is one of the participants in the BBC documentary ‘Second Chance Summer: Tuscany’, the first instalment of which I wrote about last week. Like all the other participants, a life changing event made him question is whole existence, including his own mortality. That life changing event was the death of his beloved mother. As he and some of the others on the show realised when they lost people close to them, the assumption that we all have plenty of time ahead of us is often responsible for the ‘waiting to live syndrome’ many of us have been guilty of at some stage in our lives. The death of his mother was a brutal awakening, which made him decide to take the plunge and start a new life in Tuscany, making wine for a living. Of his new life he said: “I am looking to build something. I am looking to leave my stamp on the world. It’s not going to be a family because I am single at the moment, but my parents left me some money and so maybe it will be a business, or buy a house, build a house. Do something that I can say, I made this”.

As I said before, the ‘waiting to live syndrome’ is something we have all been guilty of at some stage in our lives. We say to ourselves that we will start doing more of the things we love once this or that happens. Some people don’t even start at all, and wait for conditions to be exactly the way they have always pictured them in their minds before taking action. Some of the people who have always dreamt of getting married and having children, choose to put their lives on hold until they find Mr or Mrs Right.

I once worked with a young woman in her early 30s. She was single and childless, and her lifelong dream was to get married and start a family. She is the eldest of three children and was always expected to be the first to walk down the aisle. As fate would have it however, her younger sister beat her to it. Not only that, her sister also had something she always wanted, to own her own property. Even though she earned a decent wage as a manager, and could afford a flat in a less fashionable part of London, she thought she could only achieve that dream with a partner. As far as she was concerned, her true life was out there and it was going to start once she found her soulmate.

In complete contrast, two other women who have shared their stories with me and are also single and childless, could not be any happier. They both have good jobs and are now so settled in their ways that having a partner or children is the last thing on their minds. They understand that there is much more to life than what society would have us believe, and had the courage to choose what works for them.

Which brings me back to Rob the participant in the BBC documentary and his decision to ‘go for it’ now. It took his mother’s untimely death (she died aged 57) to make him realise that we all have a role to play in the world and that only us can determine what that role should be, as opposed to letting society do it for us. Yes your life right now may not be what you had in mind, but that is where you are, and since none of us know what is around the corner, making the most of it is an absolute must.

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