Thursday, September 10, 2009

Single with a Purpose: Guest Post

In response to my Single with a purpose post, my friend agreed to write down some of her thoughts on the topic. Thanks friend, it's always good to hear different points of view. Take a look:

"I found your post about being single with a purpose very thought-provoking, and it caused me reflect on my life and the unique opportunities I've had because of my spinster status. I'd like to share just a couple.

When I was 25, I started working for a not-for-profit agency and had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with some pretty influential politicians because I planned fundraisers and other events. Those few moments spent with people of influence turned into an invitation to attend a conference at which several employees of various helping agencies were able to put forward ideas to these politicians about how to help families struggling with poverty, domestic violence, immigration laws and many other issues. When it was my turn to discuss these issues, I took a big leap of faith and described the visiting teaching program, and how it could be applied in a social sense. For example, families established in our communities could volunteer as visiting families to ones newly establishing themselves, and visit the newcomers on a regular monthly basis, and assist them in ways that are needed, mainly friendshipping.

Although I knew I was out on a limb, many of the people present found the idea exciting and very adaptable to all the needs we were discussing. Even though I have since left that career and community, I have had success stories relayed to me by families that experienced this very new way to visit teach. Even though I believe strongly that raising a family is the highest goal I could ever achieve, had I been home raising children at this point, none of that would have happened.

Also, two years ago I unexpectedly lost my job, and was devastated, and the only comfort I could find was to tell myself that I at least I was only providing for myself. True, but not very helpful in the moment. As I interviewed for a new position, I felt like I was spinning my wheels and tried hard to keep my chin up rejection after rejection. Finally, after two months, one place I had interviewed with a month earlier and had felt so positive about after the interview, tracked me down and offered me the position because due to unforeseen circumstances, the chosen applicant had to turn it down, and I was the runner-up. I knew it was risky to move several hours away to a community I'd only ever been to for that interview, and for a temporary contract no less, but no other jobs were forthcoming, so I grudgingly accepted.

That move turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Not only was my career building in ways I'd never dreamed and my contract made permanent, I felt myself growing spiritually in ways I had long desired, and my social life was stronger than ever. The most interesting part of this whole experience was that the person whose position I was filling on a temporary basis turned out to be part of a branch that had long been missing from my ancestry's family tree.

The diligent genealogists in my family had searched for this branch for years, and never could find information on that name, and here I was working in one of the descendant's office. She and I have a great relationship, and through this unexpected twist of fate, our families have been reunited. I'm positive at some point the Lord would have found a way for our families to find each other no matter what, but I feel it was a privilege to be the instrument of reuniting these two families, and grateful that although it was difficult circumstances that caused me to move in the first place, my spinster circumstances gave the flexibility needed to do what was required."

Does anyone else have any experiences they'd like to share?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stages of Spinster Grief

So I have a theory that most spinsters go through a grieving period just like any person who has had some kind of major personal loss. And I think this grieving period follows the stages of grief that go along with it-you know: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. This is called the K├╝bler-Ross model by the way (I just learned that on wikipedia 5 minutes ago-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model).

I think I could name a different friend experiencing each one of these stages now. I myself have cycled through each of them a few times and I think I have finally now come to the acceptance stage. I have probably spent the most time in the anger and depression stages and sometimes still have those feelings, but mostly now I just feel like it's going to be okay. Accepting isn't neccesarily giving up or even believing that I'll never get married. It's more a feeling like this is how my life is, I am single, whether I like it or not and I can be happy and find purpose and enjoyment in my life no matter what. It's more about accepting your life as it is and finding peace, which feels pretty great.