Monday, October 6, 2008

Life Changes

I'm online a lot...mostly for work, but still it happens. I find that lately, more and more I am running into friends in cyberspace. So chatting away with people I haven't seen in ages has become a pleasant occurrence and one I truly enjoy.

This morning I ran into Cheryl (not her real name!!)......I met her through my association with FAWCO and she was always so very nice. Well, we got talking and things are not looking so great for her. First, her husband has decided he is not interested in the marriage anymore. Nothing new there, some men of a certain age, think they can do better than the wives they have and that some young thing will be interested in them and make their lives exciting again....what to do? That happens frequently lately.....

As many in her situation, Cheryl, is putting herself through a question and answer exercise: where did I go wrong?, why is this happening and what do I do about it? That is normal...but she also has started to focus on a novel idea: I did this. NO, she is not getting herself waddled in self-pity. She is recognizing that when she was young and had everything, she had little care for the future. She spent money in traveling and redecorating, she did everything that she wanted and had no concern for what would happen when she grew older. She had no interest in financial matters and thought that everything was always going to be the same.... AHH, youth!

I said the right things, told her all would be fine and we promised to keep in touch from now on. We probably will, but let's be realistic, time and distance are not on our side. Afterwards, I sat here thinking....she is right! Most of us will have no problems of this kind, our marriages are solid and we'll grow old together. For some of us, though, Cheryl's case is too close for comfort. Youth makes everything look so safe and so permanent. We do spend, travel, live our lives like there is no tomorrow....but in these times of market instability.....that is scary.

So, maybe Cheryl has a point: were the friends that worked all their lives, saved and planned for retirement, the ones we thought boring and we felt sorry for, right? are they having more fun now with their future secured? I couldn't say, since no retirement plan seems secured at the moment, but I figure they have something to count on.......In any case, the question is out there: have fun now and will see about the future or work now and have fun later? These are things that we ponder in these days of crashing markets, 401K loses and uncertainty in stock values......not your average Life in The Tropics, for sure!

1 comment:

Pratishtha Durga said...

There are certain questions, Mercedes, that don't have a black and white answer. I think of the same things. Tarun is a spendthrift. I, not so much, but well, guilty as charged.

I hope Cheryl finds a way out. Loveless marriages are worse than most other things.