Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis

A full life? A good life?

I finished a novel (A Window Opens - Elisabeth Egan) last night. It was an audible book and I was mostly enjoying it until the last 30 minutes. The story was about a woman who was a wife and mother who's fortunes led her to take a job at a major corporation. Mainly for the money. Much of the book is making fun of corporations (where I spent most of my working life) and while a bit over the top, it was fun.

Until the last 5% of the book and then the author gets out her giant, heavy, Unless You Have A Husband And Stay Home To Take Care Of Your Kids You Are Wasting Your Life sledge hammer.

I mostly always have drawn the long straw of life. My parents were lovingly married to each other for more than 50 years and I was a fully baked adult when they died. They taught me that I could be and do anything I wanted as long as I was responsible about it. And they gave me the tools I needed to make what I wanted happen.

I chose to not have children - it was not a thoughtless decision. I tried marriage and quickly realized that I had no skills there.

My parents believed and at least tried to instill in me that being responsible is giving back. They were shining examples. They were the consummate volunteers. When he retired, Daddy turned into a religious Meals on Wheels volunteer. My Mom helped found Hospice in western North Carolina. The two of them lived in Zimbabwe for six months and Russia for another six months - Daddy was a volunteer executive and Mom led little Russian kids in American songs and read books to the elderly and blind in Zimbabwe.

The kids I did not have are oh so lucky. I would have sucked as a parent. I tell myself that the elderly people I don't drive to the doctor's office and the homeless people I don't dish out meals to are better off. I'd be a whiny and probably mean volunteer.

I, personally, do not tick a whole lot on the This Person Is Valuable list. I've always been sensitive about this. I should do more I know it. I don't do it but I am aware I should. I don't need some bitch in a holier-than-thou novel to drive the point home.

I'm going back to assassin thriller novels.
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