[The Listserve] I'm right on top of that, Rose!

Catherine
03/22/2018
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Hi, everyone!

I'm 38, and I decided a few years ago to believe myself - I don't want to have children, I don't want to be a mother. It was a lot easier to accept that for myself than to forgive myself for feeling that way. I feel really guilty for not feeling maternal, for not giving my parents grandchildren. I feel responsible for ending my family line on my father's side too, at least biologically. My brother will also likely never have children, and I have one first cousin on my father's side who is adopted. I feel guilty as a person of Jewish descent that enough of my family survived the annihilation of the Holocaust to create me and I am not continuing our story. I know that isn't reasonable, and it's not my responsibility! But it weighs on me sometimes.

My mother told me recently that a friend of hers was telling her you never know, maybe I'll suddenly have kids (at 38?) - that "you never know what God has in store for you." Sure, that's fine, I said - but I know what I have in store for me, and it isn't kids. She remembered that even when I was little, I never played with my dolls that they were my children, I just made up stories about them and their lives. I love my friends' kids, but I love them as people. I don't know the feeling of wanting kids, and I feel like having kids when you don't want them sounds like hell on earth for both the parent and the kid. My mother has this fantasy that I'll marry a widower with children, but that seems like a really macabre thing to wish for. This is all to say - I struggle! But I believe myself now.

Recommendations ...
Check out what services your local library offers other than books and free WiFi! Many these days offer ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, even movies to check out remotely. Mine just added comics. Some have free subscriptions to otherwise paid newspapers.

If you visit New York City, use the Citymapper app instead of Google Maps to get around via public transportation. It has real-time service changes for the buses and trains, and even tells you if you should get on the front, middle, or back of the train! It's great.

Van Morrison's Astral Weeks album

The Mountain Goats - pretty much any album, because if it speaks to you you'll want to listen to all of them

More thoughts ...
I have seen this said by previous people here, but it can't be said enough, especially to a group of people who just by being subscribers have expressed curiosity and openness to the world - Donald Trump is abhorrent, his administration is abhorrent, and I and millions of other Americans are working to block what we can, elect politicians who won't ruin lives worldwide, and organize to fix and save whatever else can be fixed and saved - and to get back on track toward a more inclusive and progressive country. I don't know what will be the effect of decades of senior and mid-level diplomats, scientists, and administrators being driven out of our government, but I'm hopeful. This is why we have term limits. We need even stronger term limits (like for senators).

If you have any punchlines for the joke "I like my coffee like I like my men," please send them! That's my favorite joke format.

Thank you for listening.

Catherine
Brooklyn, New York
catherinelistservenyc@gmail.com

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