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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