What to tackle next in the “Not Alone” series? Well, how about some joy? Morgan and Jen ask, what are your favorite things about being single? I suppose my list boils down to three things:
Let’s be honest, I’m a youth minister so I’m not exactly rolling in the dough. Being single means that I can live simply without having a family to provide for just yet. I’m free to go out and buy a new dress if I feel like without worrying about whether or not that means I’m stealing food out of my baby’s (or husband’s) mouth. Being single means that I’m the one managing my finances however I see fit (doesn’t that sound prideful? Eek.). I’m not saying that I’m some crazy spender (youth minister, remember?), but being single means that I don’t have to check my spending or saving with someone else. If I go over my budget for eating out, I’m the one that has to deal with it and figure out how to make due. It is hard to explain without sounding really prideful – my money, my way, mister! – but being single affords my bank account a little more freedom.
I love to travel. Seriously. I’ve yet to leave the country, but I’ve been to about 30 states and enjoy going anywhere and everywhere I can. Because my finances are a little freer, I’m able to save up and travel with less constraints. I don’t have a baby to tug along or a husband who needs me around to do things, I can simply hop in my car and take off for the weekend. I can go see cathedrals and try and see as many in the country as I can. I can take off for ten days and just go on vacation without worrying about leaving my kids in the care of my husband (not to say that I would necessarily worry about this if I were married, if I married the guy then I’d obviously be okay with leaving our children with him!).
This joy goes hand in hand with the first two reasons I enjoy being unwed. A lot of the time I can be a Type A personality and plan as though my life depended on it. Then other times I really enjoy cutting loose. If I’ve got a day off from work I can pack a lunch, hop in the car, and drive until I find a trail I feel like hiking. I don’t have to plan it out in advance, find a sitter for the kids, or make sure my husband knows exactly where I’ll be and when. I just get in the car and drive, and if I drive so far that I have to spend the night somewhere, I’m free to do that too. I’m also free to join a friend for a movie last minute or go camping just because we can.
Of course, all this isn’t to say that married people have no money, don’t travel, and can’t be spontaneous, and therefore live boring lives. I’ve got plenty of married friends who still travel (with kids, too!) and can be spontaneous, though in slightly different ways than I can as a single person. Perhaps some day all of this will change, but for the time being I’m learning to enjoy the life God is putting before me and appreciate the joys of singlehood!
What about you? What are/were your favorite things about being single?