Been Awhile

I have two good excuses for how long its been. One I’ve started school again and am currently working on my research proposal. Yikes! Also my computer died.. I may or may not have spilled an entire gin and tonic on it….. I’ve been borrowing my husbands computer for school work but haven’t had a lot of free computer time, I’ve been keeping up with your blogs on my phone. It does make commenting a challenge. I’ve got lots to write about starting with my nephews from California being in town but I’ll have to write more later. Miss you guys

Climbing

Recently my friend invited me to go climbing with her and since I have been looking for a new fitness hobby, I decided to give it a go. There is one catch, however, I’m terrified of heights. Massively terrified. I get the full physical response shaking, sweating, pounding heart, the urge to vomit, and vertigo. I really don’t trust myself on ladders because even a tiny 6 foot ladder sets me off.  Climbing, at least indoors, is much safer than ladders but it has still been a struggle for me, before yesterday I was only able to make it about 6 feet up the wall before I’d lose it and have to come down. Yesterday I made it almost all the way up, I only had a foot to go but my legs were shaking so bad I couldn’t make them work anymore. I manage to do really good as long as I didn’t think about how high I was, and trying instead on focusing on the physical act of climbing but the higher I got the harder it as to ignore. I’m really pushing myself though because I really don’t want my fears to prevent me from doing things in life. 2014 has been a big year for me as far a facing my fears. I quit my job with no new job lined up and faced my fears of the unknown and financial ruin. They payoff was huge and it altered my attitude about taking risks. Knocking down the barriers created by fear is opening up a whole new world for me and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

It’s okay to give up on your dreams

When did it become unacceptable in society to admit the fact that ones dreams and reality don’t always match up. When did it become the thing to tell people to “never give up on their dreams”. It seems to me like though most of human history the majority of people have known that life isn’t fair and that hard work doesn’t always mean success. Your average serf or peasant had to accept the lack of control over their own destinies and cling to whatever little joys life afforded them. I’m not saying they were happier necessarily (wars, famine, plagues) but I think the skill of accepting things is quickly becoming a lost art. The Buddha who spent his life trying to understand the nature of suffering decided that unfulfilled desires are at the core of suffering.

The other thing that really bugs me is how society perceives the act of giving up. It is seen as a weakness, not a strength to accept that some things just aren’t meant to be and look for happiness in other ways. Giving up always has negative connotations. We tell dying people who are torturing themselves with chemotherapy in order to buy a few more months to “Stay strong and don’t give up.” Even people deep in the trenches of the suffering tell themselves and others to not give up. Somehow the idea of discussing the fact that a person might be better off accepting reality has become taboo (with cancer, infertility, or even career dreams). I’m not devaluing hard work. Its important to work hard in every aspect of your life and a lot of times if you work hard enough at something you will achieve your dream. But a lot of people who devote the majority of their energy towards one single goal will often achieve their dream and then “wake up” to the rest of their life realizing their single minded pursuit of one goal left a lot of collateral damage in its wake. Then there are sometimes when no matter how hard you work you can’t achieve your dream.  You can sacrifice so much in pursuit of that dream, refusing to give up, that when you finally realize that its not going to happen for you there is nothing else left.

In the end, no one should be telling anyone else how to live their lives. Nobody should say “don’t give up” because they have no idea what “not giving up” may cost. On the other hand telling someone its time to give up on their dreams is never helpful and never well received. Instead of telling people what to do we should be wishing others the strength to handle life’s challenges and the ability to find happiness no matter how things turn out.The decision on when and if to walk away from a dream has to come from within and you have to learn to shut out all the negative messages that society will hurl at you.

I gave up on my dream of having a child. I didn’t give up because I was weak or I didn’t want it badly enough or even because the work was too hard. I have found immeasurable strength in my new found ability to accept that things don’t always work out how you hoped and in the knowledge that you can be happy anyway.

A new level

(This post is about my personal path to healing, everybody heals differently and at different paces. Different people want different things with their lives, no judgement is implied.  I hope me telling the story of my path to healing and happiness doesn’t offend anybody.)

I’ve reached a whole new level in getting over being infertile. This month we had a pregnancy scare. It all started with our coffee pot finally giving up. I decided that instead of replacing it with a regular coffee pot we needed a espresso maker/coffee pot combo. Jack was pretty excited about our new toy so we had espresso for breakfast and lunch that day just because he wanted to play with it. Now, I love coffee but it isn’t the best for my stomach sometimes, and my beloved husband forgot that little detail and put several shots of espresso in each drink. By the end of the day I was puking my guts out which I attributed it to the coffee but I was nauseated for a couple of days after too.

Then my period was late, almost a week late, which never happens to me and I mean never. Not even when I was on 2 mls of PIO daily. Even when I am having crazy hot flashes and menopause symptoms up the wazoo, my period is on time or early. When the thought occurred to me that I might be pregnant, my first emotions were not joy. I thought “Of course the universe would do this to me right after I started a new job” I refused to test because I made a solemn vow to myself a long time ago to never pee on another stick again and I waited for my period to come.

During those few days I fretted about the possibility, most of me knew I probably wasn’t pregnant, but a small very loud part of me fretted. There are many reasons I fretted, my new job, our desire to start a small business, worry that it would take energy and attention from my nephews and my dogs.. but the main reason I was worried about being pregnant is the simple fact that I no longer wanted to have a child. I used to want to have a child very badly but I couldn’t and so slowly and over time I taught my self to want new things.

It wasn’t easy but Jack and I spent a good part of the last year talking about all the good things that were open to us because we didn’t have kids. Every time we didn’t get enough sleep the night before or my one of my nephews had a colossal meltdown we would say to each other “Imagine if we had kids!” Quietly in my head I came to terms with the fact that I probably lacked the patience to be the kind of mom I wanted to be and I found other outlets for my desire to nurture. I found joy in the extra time I had to devote to my husband, the person in this world I love the most and I relished my ability to be a truly awesome aunt. I embraced the financial freedom that came without having children, I would have never been able to quit my old job if we had had children because the risk would have been to great. If I hadn’t quit my old job, I would have never found my new job, which I love, nor gotten the raise that came with it. I enjoyed my freedom to dream and the many different possibilities the future held. There was and is the occasional sadness but it became easier and easier to move past the sadness and focus again on the joy and excitement.

There was palpable relief in the room when I announced to Jack that I had finally gotten my period. I know that if I had been pregnant we would have adjusted and been happy but we did also start discussing the possibility of Jack getting a vasectomy, just to be sure.

Emails

I couldn’t find emails on all my regular commentators so if you didn’t receive the password could you get me your email? You can email it to me at erinvns at yahoo dot com or post it in the comment section. I guess that makes it less convenient than I planned but oh well. 

Things have been pretty good lately..

I’ve been in my new job for 3 weeks now and so far so good. I love the schedule, no 430-430 shifts, and I am finding the work really interesting. I just got my first pay check which was great because we were finally starting to feel some effects from my 6 week unemployment. Overall I am cautiously optimistic about this situation and feel I could be pretty happy here.

With my new balanced schedule I have been going to the gym every morning. I have a new imperative because I feel that I have to practice what I preach and that going to the gym is part of my job. I think that’s been helping with the hot flashes and insomnia and evening out my hormones. Between that and sleeping better I have a lot more energy so physically things are going good too. I am a bit nervous about balancing everything when I start school back up in June but hopefully that will go smoothly as well.

The only down side is that Jack has been sick for the last 3 weeks first with the flu and then with a secondary sinus infection. It has sucked because he has been sleeping on the couch since then. Also the poor man has been training for a 100 mile bike ride in mid May but has been completely derailed.

I’ve decided to use password protected posts to talk about something exciting that has been in the works for awhile but I don’t want so share with the general public. I know it is a pain to email and ask for passwords so I am going to email it to my regular commentators so they don’t have to ask. If there are regular lurkers who would like to read a long I am happy to share as long as you have a blog or something that I can get to know you by.

PS  Willow has been pretty upset with me since I went back to work and is making sure I know it. She snuggles with my husband but stares at me the whole time to make sure I’m jealous. Its adorable.

On the second day of work my coworker gave to me…

A triplet pregnancy announcement and a partridge in a pear tree. 

I was a little blindsided to be honest, especially when people began to quiz her on how her triplets were conceived (IUI+ Injectables). For a moment I felt shock, then a pang of jealousy (about her success, NOT the triplets), then my heart really went out to her, I wondered if I should identify myself as a fellow IF sister let her know that I “get it” but I remembered that I really wanted to close that chapter in my life and didn’t want to be the “infertile lady” at my work. I don’t know her that well at this point but I’ve decided to avoid the topic of pregnancy and kids as much as possible.  My work persona is going to be some one who never was jazzed about kids and prefers beagles instead.