Guest Author - Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger
Just as Mother Nature created four seasons, individuals have similar seasonal patterns during their lifespans. Winter is filled with challenge, learning, and growth; spring brings beauty, opportunity, and curiosity; summer is all about awareness, nurturing, protecting, and understanding; and fall is the time for reflection on lessons learned. During certain seasons individuals become parents while others realize that raising children is not how they want to spend their lives.
Being childfree means people have no excuses not to pursue their dreams. Many who choose to procreate live their dreams through their children, which can be wonderful if their children have similar aspirations. The childfree have the freedom to be the best that they can be, and once autumn approaches they will want to ensure they have something to reflect on by having the satisfaction of knowing that they did something worthwhile with the time that was given to them.
Autumn is the season of reflection. Realizing one’s contribution in life can be rewarding and fulfilling. The childfree have the luxury of time to contribute and nurture in many different ways.. That a person elects not to have children does not mean that he or she does not want to be involved in children’s lives in some fashion. Many devote time to organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), babysit for relatives, help pay for their nieces’ or nephews’ educations, and donate to children’s causes. The childfree don’t merely live their own lives; they invest in others’ lives as well.
Another important factor for people to consider before autumn approaches is ensuring they have a circle of friends they can rely on—important in every season of life, but especially late. Autumn can be joyous or depressing. Many people are no longer working and are left with the leisure time they have spent most of their lives earning. Many childfree individuals wonder if they will be lonely later in life. Everyone fears loneliness, whether they have children or not, so establishing friendships with like-minded individuals will make their autumn years much more joyous.
If it is difficult for people to make friends, they can try taking a personal growth course at a local university, attend a weekly exercise class, or join a book club. Eventually, they will start to meet others. If people, who are childfree plan for their financial futures, give back in ways that are meaningful to them, and stay connected with others, their autumn years will be just as beautiful as the season itself.