have been feeling a little bit like Rip Van Winkle these days. Do you remember him? He’s the main character from Washington Irving’s 1819 short story. Rip is kind of a lazy old dude who wanders off into the mountains and begins drinking and playing games with a group of folks he finds there. He falls asleep and wakes up 20 years later and it seems the world has passed him by.
I think women give in to their ‘inner Rip Van Winkle’ if you will when they get married. It is as if we see that there is someone else around to ease the burden and we let so many things go. We’ve all heard the stories of the women who spend decades focusing on child-rearing and nothing else. Then, their marriage ends for whatever reason and it is as if they have to start over. My situation is nothing like that, but I still feel like Rip Van Winkle. I open my eyes and look around and wonder “how in the world did I get HERE?” Twelve years ago, I was single, owned my own home, owned my own business, owned two (very raggedy) cars and had a host of friends nearby whom I could call any time. I remember back then my singular goal was “self-determination”. I suppose that’s not all that different from self-actualization, just a lot more self-centered. It was all about me. I wanted to do what I wanted when I wanted and didn’t care much about anyone else. I had no significant other and couldn’t stand to be around children. Mine was a solitary life and I liked it that way. Everything was on my terms. I was in control.