Taking Back My Space

Microblog_MondaysYes, it’s been awhile. But just got done reading Mel’s post. I’ve been wanting to resurrect this blog for quite some time, so I figured this was my best opportunity to start.

Here’s my first #MicroblogMonday:

Happy Birthday to Dr. Brother … and thanks for making me an Auntie Em once again!

Scan 22

Being Happy …

I saw this quote on Facebook the other day and thought about how perfect it was in relationship to the last post I wrote.

I need to do that. Be happy with my life and where it’s at. 

For the most part, I think I am … I’m lucky to be married to my best friend and that makes all the difference in the world. I have someone I can implicitly trust all my hopes and fears. I have someone who has been with me to h*ll and back with all the curve balls life has thrown me. And he’s still standing next to me. 

So I guess you can say I succeeded in being with someone that makes me happy. Now, what should I do to be that someone that makes me happy? 

I guess it starts with figuring out what makes me unhappy and making a change from there. 

More Than a Woman?

Tired. That’s how I’ve felt this past weekend. I think the 10-hour days are catching up with me and I’m not looking forward to Monday when it will start all over again.

I think it’s time to take some time off. Maybe a scheduled mental health day to regroup myself. On a Monday. Or a Friday. So I can extend my weekend by an extra day.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m still going to spend the day before returning to work worrying about what I need to do the day I actually return to work. 

I worry too much. Not a surprise for people that know me very well. To others though, especially at work, I guess I put off this vibe that everything is going to be okay. But internally, I’m a nervous wreck.

Why is that?

Hubby seems to think I put too much pressure on myself, that I should learn to ease up on myself. That I should learn to break down projects into manageable tasks. And he’s right, the smart man that I married.

I do put a lot of pressure on myself to be as best that I can be. I guess it goes back to that thought that if I try hard enough, I’ll succeed in anything I do.

And we all know that Infertility taught me that that statement is not always relevant to everything. 

So why am I still living my life like that? I guess I do it in the hopes of being a better person than would be if I had kids. That somehow, I need to make up for being more of a woman because I don’t have kids. 

Does that sound ridiculous? 

I know it does. There are lots of women living child-free by choice that can attest to this. Heck, there are women that have gone through infertility and are now living child-free that can say that they still feel like a whole woman. 

Right now, I’m not one of those women. Which is why I worry too much. And expect more out of myself. And I wish there was a way that I could just be happy with who I am. 

 

Mixed Feelings

Hubby: “You make sure you wake me up before you take the test, okay?”
Me: “Okay, I’ll tell you when I have to go.”
Hubby: “No. Wake me up and tell me you’re going to take the test.”

So that’s what I did this morning at 6:30 am. Woke Hubby up to tell him I couldn’t hold it any longer. That I had to take the test now.

2 minutes later it was all over. We hugged each other and then crawled back into bed.

Hubby: “You okay?”
Me: (pauses) “Yes.”
Hubby: “You sure?”
Me: (pauses again) “Sure.”

But really I wasn’t. Eventually,  I told Hubby the truth. And the truth was that I had mixed feelings about the pregnancy test that I took this morning. 

It was negative. And I had mixed feelings about it being negative.

I was sad, that’s for sure. You see, I’m late with my period by over two weeks and there’s the part of me that was hopeful for a positive test after all these years. 

I won’t lie … I was already planning ahead; thinking about setting up a doctor’s appointment if the test came back positive. I had in my mind when the “maybe baby” would be due. And was deciding if Hubby and I would want to know the sex of the “maybe baby” or let it be a surprise. 

I was feeling hopeful.

Now that we know for sure that I’m not pregnant, I’m disappointed … but on the other hand, I’m also relieved. 

Relieved because I know that I’m 40 and I don’t know if I have the capacity to be a good “older” parent. Let’s face it, we’d be closer to 60 by the time our child would graduate from high school. If we were lucky, in our 70’s by the time our child married. And if we were really lucky, we’d have time to enjoy grandchildren. 

Oh, I know it’s no longer uncommon for women to get pregnant in their 40’s. However, 40 wasn’t the age I was planning to have children. I wanted them more than 15 years ago.

Besides, I’ve been coming to terms with living child-free after infertility. I’ve started to think of Hubby & me living our lives as a Family of Two. What would having a child now do to this new path in life?

I’m feeling other emotions (like good old Catholic guilt), but sadness and relief are the predominant ones. I’m sure that these feelings will fade with time, as everything eventually does. But for now, since it’s still fresh … I’m just going to let me feel what I feel. 

 

Failure = Success?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the post I wrote last week and how failure has shaped my life over the past decade or so. Then my Hubby sent this article to me that talks about how failure can actually turn into success.

I’m not sure how I feel about the article. I mean, I get what the message is; that in order to succeed you have to allow failure into your life. That we can learn from our failures. 

So what have I learned from my failures? Losing a job taught me that nothing in life is ever “stable.” Moving back to Detroit from Chicago after my Dad passed away taught me that guilt is a strong enough motivator. Infertility taught me that not everything that you give 100% into will result in success.

Not necessarily happy things, right? Truth is, failure has taught me to be more wary of people, of situations. The once confident woman that I was in my twenties, has morphed into a 40-year old woman with more self-esteem issues than a teenager. 

What I need to do, as Hubby keeps telling me, is realize that I should let go of these failures and move on. And I need to realize that everything I do won’t necessarily fail; that even little things in life (and work) can be a success. 

I need to believe in myself.

Dark Spaces and Other Things

I went to a dark space this past week. I went back to the land of longing for a child of my own.

That’s a place, while always in the back of my mind, that I haven’t been to in a long time.

It started when I found out that a newer co-worker of mine had triplets. So naturally I asked if this was a surprise to her when she found out she was having triplets. That’s when I found out that she and her husband had done IVF and had succeeded with pregnancy after their second try; a frozen cycle from the remaining embryos from her first try.

D*mn it. I was jealous.

So jealous that I thought of our one failed IVF cycle and the failed ability to even have tried a frozen cycle. Which then had me thinking that if we did succeed with our cycle, our child/children would be 9 years old.

Nine. Years. Old. What a different person I might have become if we were successful.

Maybe I wouldn’t be such a sad person inside. Maybe I wouldn’t feel so anxious all the time. Maybe I wouldn’t be so afraid of failure like I am about everything in my life.

I know. I’m realistic enough to know I could still be the same person I am today, with or without kids. However, I do know that my fear of failure stems from the belief that I grew up with: If you try hard at anything, you will succeed.

Except as hard as Hubby & I tried to conceive, we did not succeed.

Failing at trying to procreate was the first time I ever had to question that belief. The corresponding darkness that followed our failed IVF only allowed me more time to question whether anything I do would only result in failure.

So the dark place I was at this week? It all boiled down to my fear of failure in EVERYTHING I do. From feeling like I’m a failure at work, to feeling like I’m a failure in my personal life.

I’m still a little fragile from this past week … probably will be for a while, if I’m being honest with myself … but I’m trying to be better. Trying to realize that sometimes failures can be opportunities for improvement. And trying to remember that mistakes are really just mis-takes

I Want My Mommy

Earlier this week Hubby & I woke up at an ungodly hour. My mom was flying out to the Philippines and needed a ride to the airport. It being an international flight, she needed to be at the airport at least 3 hours before take-off.

Her flight was at 7:00 am.

Needless to say, Hubby & I got little sleep the night before.

With Hubby staying curbside, I was able to help check my Mom in at the airport and say a proper good-bye before she headed into the security line.

What she said to me in those moments have stuck with me this past week and have made me realize that, as much as I think I’m okay, I’m still not quite okay.

On the way home from the airport, I cried. Cried, because I was already missing my Mom who would be gone for six whole weeks. Cried, because I knew that it was time to make another appointment … one I haven’t had in about six months now.

Cried, because as much of an adult I (supposedly) am, there are still some days that I just want to be a child again and want Mom to tell me that everything is going to be alright.

Things will be alright, I know. Even though they’re not right now. I know this because I have the love and support of a wonderful husband and … even though we don’t get along all the time … my mom.

I miss you, Mom. Hope you’re having a blast in the Philippines.

Out of Practice

I am really having a hard time keeping up with this resolution to write more. I think it’s because I don’t have anything to really “talk” about lately.

I could talk about work, since that’s pretty much what my life revolves around lately. Except I really don’t like to discuss work-related issues on here for fear that it might be found by a co-worker or a potential employer who might not like what I have to say about my current employer. So talking about work is a no-no, for me these days.

I could talk about what we did last weekend, but I fear that you may find it boring and mundane. (Met up with a friend for dinner on Saturday. Saw Les Mis on Sunday.)

I think part of this writing funk is a result of a couple things: 1) I’m sorely out of practice, and 2) I’m just not exposed to a whole lot of happenings around the world. Or at least I haven’t been in touch with the news lately.

Oh, I know about major events like the Newtown shootings. And Oscar nominations. And the big giant squid caught on video in the northern Pacific ocean. But to expand on how I feel about these things brings it back to how out of practice I am in writing.

I’m still hopeful that this exercise of writing at least once a week will get me back into the swing of things. But then I seriously gotta think of topics to write about.

But for now, all I got is a post full of nothing. Kinda like a Seinfeld episode, except not as funny.

Let’s hope next week is better …

Life … As I Know It

I’m sitting at a coffee house listening to one of the many playlists that Hubby has made from our digital library of music. It’s a chill mix; one I like to listen to when contemplating life.

It’s been a long time since Hubby & I just hung out at a coffee house, sipping warm lattes and surfing the web. For me, it provides the downtime I need in order to focus on writing something … anything.

Life. I might as well talk about what life has been for me lately. It seems it’s all about work during the weekdays; especially since I work about an average of 45-50 hours a week. By the time I get home on the weekdays, I’ve got little energy to do more than eat dinner and watch some TV with Hubby.

Weekends are different. I take my weekends seriously, in the fact that I like to relax and do things I like. Like sleep in. Read. Catch up on recorded TV shows. Go to the movies. I’m hoping to add writing back on that list, as I want to continue on with this blog.

I know I’m lucky to have the time to do these things on the weekend because most of my counterparts don’t have the same luxury. Facebook friends talk about how their weekends are filled with kid-related activities; things I know they’re proud of sharing (rightly so!).

However, after almost three years (has it been that long?!) of accepting a child-free life and speaking openly about it, I’ve now begun to hear the phrase “You’re so lucky” more often. As in, “You’re so lucky you don’t have kids to wake you up on weekends.” Or, “You’re so lucky that your lives don’t revolve around your kids’ schedules.”

I don’t know how to take that. On one hand, it’s true … all of it. Yet the other hand holds those small pieces of my broken heart that still mourns the fact that I don’t have any children.

Then I think, “Do they really feel that way? Or are they just saying that to make me feel better?” I once had someone told me that I look so much younger than I do because I don’t have kids. It’s statements like that, that have me doubting the sincerity of some people.

I know it shouldn’t matter; that I should just let the words roll off my shoulder. And for the most part, they do. It should … it’s been just about three years, right? It’s just once in a while I still feel those small bits of my heart that long to have children.

So that’s my life these days. Work during the weekdays. Play during the weekends. And every so often, contemplate what my life would be like if I did have kids.

End of the Year Wrap-up

Well, I must admit I haven’t done my best in writing on this blog for 2012. Hopefully that will change in the upcoming year.

Yesterday, Hubby & I met up for a late night dinner with one of our good friends. All of us talked about how 2013 was around the corner and how 2012 seemed to fly on by. There was so many things that we all wanted to do more of, but just didn’t have the time. For Hubby & our friend, it was drawing more. For me, it was writing more. So then and there, we made our New Year’s resolution to do the things we wanted to do more of. This, of course, is my lame attempt at trying to write again.

I guess I could start off by telling you what has happened in the last year.

In May, I started a new job that has me grounded in Detroit. No more traveling, no more working at home. While I sometimes miss the traveling part and the “work in my pajamas”-part, I know that being based in an office-setting is much better for my mental health. I realized I needed the constant connection with co-workers that you just don’t get when being an independent worker as I was in the previous position. At least I can say that I tried the “consultant” role and it just wasn’t for me … at least at this time in my life.

This new job is a challenging one. I’m back in a leadership role, this time as a manager of over 4 different areas. There are days that I feel that I’ve got my role down pat. Then there are the days where I feel I’ve lost my grip on reality. It’s at those times that I turn to Hubby to help ground me and keep me from flying off the deep end. He’s good to me like that.

In July, I turned 40 years old. As expected, nothing really changed overnight, except now I’m more acutely aware that I’m just not as spry as I used to be. My SIL (whose birthday is 4 days before mine) and I did celebrate our 40th by throwing ourselves a picnic. Lot’s of family and friends showed up, so it was a great time full of laughter and fun.

At the end of October, I traveled to New York to be a part of my cousin’s “Halloweekend” wedding. She had some pretty cool details that made the wedding goth-like. It also helped that the wedding wasn’t that far from the town of Sleepy Hollow! The highlight of the wedding for me was being able to spend time with my Mom’s side of the family. That, and spending time with my niece, Emilia, whose whole family made it to the wedding so that “Mia” could be a flower girl.

Getting out of New York actually proved to be quite exciting as well. Superstorm Sandy threatened to ruin the bride’s day, but it held off until the next night. However, that did cause a lot of flight cancellations, including ours. This meant we had to drive all the way back to Detroit in a rental car in order to make it to work the next day. Luckily, Delta refunded us our return trip, so we didn’t lose out on too much.

The rest of the year went by pretty fast; Thanksgiving, Dad’s anniversary, Christmas. Mom spent Christmas out in Dallas with Dr. Bro, Dr. SIL and Mia (jealous!). The weekend before Christmas, Bobby & I got to spend time with Dad’s side of the family, especially one of my cousins and her family from London, Ontario. It was a fun Saturday night full of playing with the kids, poker and beer pong with our Uncle.

Yes, you read that right. Beer pong with our Uncle. All I have to say is that, even though the girls lost against the guys … that was probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time! (But, boy did I pay for it the next day … )

And now it’s almost New Year’s Day. I can’t believe the year has gone by so quickly. As I said, my New Year’s resolution is to write more, and I’m hoping that the weekends give me enough time to write what I want to write. And not sound as lame as I do right now. Practice makes perfect, right?

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