Pat is gone for a week of vacation and I am essentially newly single for a week. All of a sudden, it’s like I can’t remember what I did when I was single. I have all this free time. I went for a walk, I went to dinner by myself (way more self-conscious than I remember), and now I’m wasting my evening on binge-watching Netflix. I should be reading my Bible, praying, completing tasks, curing cancer, what-have-you…eh, never mind, back to the next episode. 😉
Being single reminds me of one of the key truths to being single later in life – you have been given immense opportunity to do something amazing with your life. For those who got married in their early twenties, life quickly went from college to being concerned about your family. For those married in their late twenties, there were probably a handful of career-crazy, make-all-the-money, do-all-the-things years. But being single into your thirties means that you’ve had time to develop as a person, you’re settled into a career path, and you have time to develop both your personal interests as well as your service to God and the community.
This opportunity, like most things though, is often unappreciated until we are in a serious relationship or married. We waste the opportunity by feeling sorry for ourselves for being single, or regretting the path that God has chosen. Then we meet the right person and boom! Our opportunity to be single-mindedly devoted to something is gone, because we are now joined to another.
In the 32 years prior to meeting Pat, I did a lot – I started a community program, I volunteered, I served at my church, I ran a marathon, I wrote books, I traveled. All great things. But equally important, I can go into marriage ready to embrace of being joined to another because I have already served myself and my solo dreams.
How about you? Are you making use of the opportunity that being single later in life has given you?