It had been preying on her subconscious for quite some time, but it wasn’t until she was getting ready for Adele and Mike’s Millennium Eve party that it finally sunk in. All her friends were either married or in long-term relationships and had children. She was on her own and childless. Her solitary status was bad enough, but she had made things worse when, at the pinnacle of her career, she had allowed it to slide.
And what was she doing about her unsatisfactory existence? On the relationship front… nothing. Stuck in the countryside, the only unattached males in the vicinity fell into three categories.
- The ones she had known since childhood who still didn’t realise that, for numerous reasons, they were always destined to live their lives as solitary males.
- Those new to the area, who had been around the relationship block, often more than once, wandering around with glazed looks on their faces and carrying invisible truckloads of emotional baggage on their shoulders.
- As well as the widespread, predatory males, who frequently forgot they were married.
The thought of entering into another relationship was appealing, but she wasn’t desperate. She might still fantasise about waking up next to Jack every day for the rest of her life but it was never going to happen and she only had herself to blame.
She had no one else to blame for giving up her much-loved career either. For years she had churned out cutting-edge articles and interviewed the rich and famous. A glittering career that had years to run, but she had turned her back on it and London for a lost cause.
Three years on and forty-years-old, she had applied for a job as a junior hack for the provincial rag where she had worked when she was eighteen. She was shocked when she found out she hadn’t got it because she was underqualified and had been up against bright, young BA (Hons) Journalism grads. So much for spending fifteen years of your life as a columnist for a leading UK magazine.
If nothing else, her rejection for the post of Junior Reporter has served as a reality check. Life had always been an uphill struggle. She was tired and disillusioned. But was her life really destined to stay this way? Alone and racing towards GLOW status on a downhill slippery slope. It was time to do something to turn her unsatisfactory life around.
As a self-confessed quote freak, the words of Carl Jung kept popping into her head.
“Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.”
Jung’s wisdom perked her up, as did the thought that in a handful of hours she would be popping champagne corks and watching the Millennium fireworks with her closest friends… and their children. Welcoming the arrival of a new era, filled with hope and promise.
She felt a shiver down her spine; a tingle of excitement about her future. Karma perhaps? Whatever it was, she decided to make a new life for her forty-year-old self in a warmer climate. It had always been an ambition to live further south one day and there was no better time to make the move than at the start of a new Millennium.
Maybe, if the Mediterranean stars were strategically aligned, she might even bump into her soul mate for life and find out that her ovaries were not shrivelled prunes after all.
There was so much to look forward to.