Video du jour

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

The irony doesn’t escape me. It’s 5:15 am and –thanks to our dog — who refuses to sleep, I’m wide awake.

It’s not as if I’ve had a difficult time falling asleep … it’s more that I can’t seem to stay asleep. If anything, all I want to do is climb under the covers and fall into a deep, deep sleep. Depression can obviously do that.

And with me, depression can cause waves and waves of anxiety, which only add fuel to the insomnia-fire.

Recently Hubby and I had one of our long discussions (one of many we’ve been having lately). This one happened to start off with an innocent comment our 15-year old nephew had said last Sunday when we met them for lunch.

“Auntie,” he told me, “you look sad” . And I couldn’t tell him any differently, other than to say that I’d been tired a lot lately.

My husband brought that up during our discussion as a means to show me how even a 15-year old could see my depression. And if he could see it, how many other people would see it as well?

All I know is that over the years, I have changed. Oh … I think the heart of me — my center — will never change, but the way I’ve looked at things or approach things have definitely been altered from my life experiences.

I know these thoughts are no different than any other person in their late 30’s/early 40’s. After all, isn’t this when we begin to look back at our lives to where we were and compare them to where we are now? Isn’t this where we reflect back on those dreams we had in our early 20’s and think about whether we’ve achieved them or not?

You see, as I approach 40 this year, this is one of the anxiety-ridden things I think about frequently. I think about our early post-college years where then-fiance and I would dream about our future together. We’d dream about our married life together; of kids and the large house in the suburbs. We’d talk about how our kids would be into sports or some sort of activities where we would be the proud parents who’d show up with video cams in hand to record such moments. We talked about vacations as families.

And, of course, I also had my dream of wanting to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom for a spell, while waiting for our four (yes, four) kids to all be old enough to go to school. I also dreamt about making friends with other Mom’s; friends of our kids, where we could hang out and commiserate about daily life with kids. I dreamed of arranging playdates and birthday parties and all these wonderful things I could do when I became a mother.

But we all know where those dreams went. Our best laid plans … right down the potty.

While making the decision to live child-free has lessened the “blow” to my need to maternalize (is that even a word?), it hasn’t taken away the fact that I have had to face the “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” when coming to terms with my infertility.

In other words, in order to figure out what our next step in child-rearing would be … Hubby & I had to walk that “boulevard” alone. Together, yes definitely … but alone.

So now that the we’ve passed that boulevard … and even though it’s been almost two years now … what do we do now? What’s our next step? What’s our goal? I know that children aren’t in our future, but so what is our new future?

It’s all of those worries that keep me from having a full night’s sleep. It’s what causes me anxiety in the middle of the night.

Which direction in life do we need to be heading? What we can do with our lives now that we’re closing in on 40 … the decade where we should feel more “settled” in our lives?

It has all the makings of a dreamless night. A night where I’m not sure what our new dream is going to be.

Which, again. The irony doesn’t escape me.

How Winter Kills

Like the snow in Metro Detroit, I’ve been in and out of everyday life. And like the snow, my mind should be ever present during this particular month, since it’s supposed to be the month of new beginnings; of making resolutions to change things.

But like the snow, I’ve only surfaced in bits in pieces whenever life seems to be most inconvenient.

This depression sucks.

No. I mean literally. It sucks the life and energy out of me. And throw in a (un)healthy dose of anxiety with it … well it just makes life all the more interesting.

I’m trying my best to move past this depression; doing all that I can physically and clinically do, but the weight of this sadness seems to be omnipresent.

Thank God for an understanding Husband; one who has stood by me through thick and thin. He’s been there through the low-hanging, non-anxiety moments and all the way through the high-octane drama-fueled moments. Sometimes I wonder – scratch that – I always wonder how I’ve managed to find my soulmate and my best friend who still loves me despite all the baggage I carry.

If anything, Hubby (and the furkids – although the fur-dog has been on my last nerve lately … ) is the reason why I keep getting out of bed every morning.

Even though I’ve written the occasional post about the grief I’ve been experiencing, I know I’m not usually so outright with my depression. But it has been suggested to me that I start writing more about it, because this seems to be the only outlet where I can openly talk about my struggles.

And although this blog is (and always will be) about living child-free after infertility, I thought that this was my little corner of the universe where I can tell you about my life, both good and bad. So here’s where I lay it out on the line:

  • I’m still grieving over the death of my father. Between my two parents, it’s become apparent to me over the past year and a half that I truly was a “Daddy’s Girl.” I thrived in the moments when my Dad would play around with me and tease me. And there were the silly jokes the two of us would play on each other that only the two of us would get. And I miss those things horribly.

 

  • In the same aspect, I realize how much different my relationship with my Mom has always been; particularly now that my Dad had passed. I’ve always known that we never had that “Mother-Daughter” bond that is constantly seen in movies and TV shows; we’re just two very different people. And without Dad being there as a buffer, this relationship has only intensified … and not always in a positive way.

 

  • Even though it’s been over a year since deciding to move back to Detroit, not a day goes by that I don’t miss living in Chicago. I miss the city and the atmosphere. I miss the late night trips to Dim Sum or Korean BBQ with my cousins. I miss walking.

 

  • But what I miss the most is that Chicago represented a new life for me. A life where Hubby & I carved out a place for ourselves; where the two of us really started focusing on us as a “Family of Two.” And while I love my hometown and take pride in telling people that I’m from Detroit, I miss that part of our lives where we were just far enough from “home” where Hubby & I could be our own family.

 

  • And finally … even though Hubby & I have decided that child-free living after infertility is our life, there are still those days where I worry about our future and what other things in our lives we can contribute to the greater good of our world. Will all I have to show at the end of my life is that I’ve worked hard for a living? That I loved my family and friends to the best capacity that I could? What about my legacy? What will I leave behind? And will I have made a difference in someone’s life? I know now that having kids won’t necessarily “satisfy” or provide answers to all of those questions, but having lost my Dad … and knowing the person he was … this is something that weighs heavily on mind.

 

I could probably go on with more “issues” that seem to run endlessly through my anxiety-ridden head, but these are the ones that are constantly in my stream of consciousness. These are the things that keep me from doing the things I would normally enjoy doing.

Like reading.

Or knitting.

Or taking pictures.

Or writing.

Or simply watching TV.

But I’m trying … at least I’ll try to work on the writing bit.

And maybe Mother Nature will be kind enough to work on a mild winter for the rest of us.

Too Pieces

The day stretched on as if it were the longest day of summer; yet it was the middle of winter. It was only 4:30 pm, but dusk was around the corner; the clouds in the wintery sky making it seem darker than it should be.

She should be doing something to keep her mind busy; anything to take her thoughts off the shades of grief that lay inside the pit of her stomach. Instead, she sat at her local bookstore’s cafe mindlessly flipping through the latest gossip rags and fashion magazines.

Normally reading such things would entertain her; would make her laugh at such ridiculousness. Or at the very least, inspire her to change her wardrobe to something other than jeans and a t-shirt. But today, she neither felt nor heard nothing but the silent hum inside her head that told her that something about her was defective.

That silent hum had always lived inside of her for as long as she could remember. She never felt pretty enough or smart enough to accomplish anything significant in her life. And although she had a good career and an incredible husband, she never thought she could deserve to be happy.

At times in her life, the silent hum would surface outwardly. When she and her husband found it difficult to start their family, that hum became a silent roar. When she lost her job, the silent roar returned. However, eventually that roar would once again return to a hum.

She knew that her antsy-ness today was because that hum was slowly turning into a roar. She even knew her actions over Christmas was its root cause. But just like those other times, she had no idea how to silence the roar. She had no way of stopping such negative, self-defeating feelings that lay rooted inside of her.

Although she knew she had the support of her husband, her best friend in life … her family … she also knew she would ultimately be the one responsible for taming the beast inside herself.

She also knew that in order to tame the beast, she had to get rid of the hum all together. She had to stop depreciating herself and start to build up that self-esteem.

This will prove to be a difficult task for her; especially since she never particularly had consistent, ongoing self-confidence. Her entire life had been rooted in self-doubt with only fleeting moments of confidence. It would take a lot to rid her life of that silent hum.

What could she do? What *would* she do? She had already sought the help of professionals; she already had the support of her loving husband. The only thing she could do is uproot those thoughts of self-doubt and self-deprecation and replant confidence and self-esteem in its place.

It sounded simple enough; replace the negative with the positive. Believe that the glass is half-full rather than half-empty. Begin to believe in herself.

But why then, did it seem so much more complicated than that? Why does the silent hum persist?

Now Comes the Night

One Year Later from Emily Ty on Vimeo.

 Celebrating the life of my Dad … One year later.

Up and Away …

An Apple A Day

The first computer I ever touched

The first time I ever touched a computer was as a third-grader in the small Catholic grade school I had attended. I remember being intimidated by the big machine in front of me with a keyboard that didn’t seem to have the letters “in the right order.” Or at least that’s what my 8-year old mind thought.

But what I do remember is the black screen with the green lettering. And the game that our computer teacher-slash-gym teacher would have us play.

“Open apple” to catch the falling apple in the basket, he’d tell us. “Closed apple” to close the basket from animals trying steal the apple.

It was a large bulky piece of equipment, that Apple III computer; but it was the first computer I ever touched.

And as I sit here typing away on my MacBook Pro, I can’t help but reflect on how much Apple has been a part of my life.

Open Apple, Closed Apple

Okay, so maybe for a spell of time — let’s say  back in the mid ’80’s — we owned a Texas Instrument computer. And maybe those high school days were spent working on an IBM computer. (I’m sure Steve Jobs would have forgiven us; seeing that he had left Apple during that period of time.)

But you see, I count those days in our grade school’s “computer lab” as the moment I became a “loyal” Apple fan. So loyal that, even though my university’s computer lab had rows and rows of PC’s … I would patiently wait for one of the 5 or so Apples to open up to type up my term papers. Or I’d wait to use one so that I could figure out how to work this “new technology” called “electronic mail” … a way that I could save money from my phone bill so I could communicate with future-Hubby at his university’s computer lab that had rows and rows of Apple Computers.

Macintosh SE 30

(Yes kids … what’s common, everyday technology for you today was brand-spanking new for us back in the early ’90’s!)

Even after graduating from university … the first home computer I owned was a “hand-me-down” Macintosh SE 30, loaned to me by future-Hubby when I moved into my first apartment.

Hubby, too was a big Apple fan. Of course, his started at the University of Michigan and continued afterwards as one of his first jobs after college was working for the now defunct Computer City store. And because of the nature of his career, Apple Computers were the most prevalent work-horse when it came to Graphic Design. So once he bought his first Mac, we never looked back.

Apple website home page for Oct 5, 2011

Today, our household is filled with Apple products:  from the first Mac SE 30 (that stills sits on our kitchen pass-through) to the shiniest biggest iMac that Hubby uses for work on a daily basis. Not to mention the “computer graveyard” we have in our basement (or in our home office) that contains bits and parts of Apple stuff. (There’s even two old 2nd generation iPods with the classic “click wheel” lying around somewhere … Don’t judge — one of them was a gift from a dear friend that didn’t know we already had one!)

And then there’s our iPhones (old 3G ones) and iPads … things we now feel like we can’t live without.

By now you’ve gathered that Apple has been a big part of our lives, especially over the past 20 years. And I’m positively sure that we’re not the only ones that have been loyal to the company. So yes, reading about Steve Jobs passing had really affected us … and, by seeing all the FB posts and tweets, his death has obviously affected the rest of the world.

Hubby's tribute to Steve Jobs

I’ve said it before … maybe not anywhere here on my blog … but I’ve always said that Steve Jobs is the Walt Disney of my generation; the greatest innovator of the latter 20th/early 21st century. While he had already cemented his place in history by being one of the co-founders of Apple Computers (along with Steve Wozniak) in 1976, he will always be remembered as the man who successfully merged high-end technology with every day life.

As I said above, I can no longer live without my iPhone or MacBook Pro … but I’ll have to learn to live without Steve Jobs.

And because this is still my favorite commercial …

 

 

 

Round Peg, Square Hole

I admit … I haven’t been doing much since being back from vacation. Which I suppose is a good thing. I’ve done a lot of reading lately; definitely more than writing.

Which is a shame, because I do have some fun pictures from vacation to share with you. Unless, of course … you’ve seen it on my personal FB page! 🙂

Instead, I’ve been on a reading kick. I finished “The Castaways” while in line at Universal Orlando. And yesterday, I just finished “The Help” … a book I had wanted to read before seeing the movie. Today, I start “The Solitude of Prime Numbers“.

I’ve not felt inspired to write lately, and I’m going through one of my phases where even FB or reading other blogs doesn’t sound appealing to me right now. What I do know is that it likely has to do with those emotional peaks and valleys I’ve been experiencing lately.

I’d elaborate more but … quite frankly, it feels like I’m beating a dead horse.

So instead … to honor the “retirement” of Steve Jobs from Apple, I decided to post one of the company’s older commercials; one that I have always loved. And seeing that there are many times (especially lately) that I feel as if I see things so much more differently than others, I figure that this should be my inspiration for the day.

My Favorite Song This Time Last Year

Day Thirty – My Favorite Song This Time Last Year:

Wow. I can’t believe it’s been 30 days of posting songs and videos on my blog. Okay … so I’ve interspersed a few posts in between the 30-Day Song Challenge, but they were for good reasons. At least I think they were.

Regardless, this now means I get to post another NaBloPoMo badge on my “Badges of Honor” page. Woo-frickin’-hoo!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed following along with my music posts. As you can probably gather by now, music has always played a big part in my life. Somehow, I can’t see my life being complete without having a song in my head and in my heart.

But today, really is about the last song I need to name. I have a hard time remembering what I ate last night, let alone trying to remember what song I liked this time last year. I mean, give me a break … I’m getting senile in my older years. Especially since I have a birthday coming up this week.

So instead, I’m posting my favorite song once again. Except this time, I actually had time to put a video together for myself. So enjoy the slideshow below … as the description I added on YouTube says, this video is:

A photographic tale of my personal relationship with Hubby & with kids … and the fact that we can’t have any of our own. Resolving that part has been hard on us, but now we know … “Apron Strings can be used for other things than what they’re meant for.” But I would like to think that other persons (whether they’re kids or not … ) can still be happily “wrapped in my Apron Strings.”

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

 

A Song From My Childhood

Day Twenty-Nine – A Song From My Childhood:

I’m not sure why I always think of this song whenever I reflect back on my childhood. I could probably bring up a ton of songs from my younger years, thanks in part to my parents’ own love of music. Or I could bring up some old storybook songs that my parents used to play on our record player.

Yes, oh younger ones, that’s what us older kids had for on-demand entertainment back in the day. No VCR’s back then, and TV programming that was dictated by the TV stations.

Which is probably where I remember seeing “Yellow Submarine” for the first time.

But really, the reason this song has such a firm grasp in the recess of my mind is because of this memory I have of singing this song with my parents in various locations. I remember singing it at home on the mornings or afternoons when Mom would put some Beatles on the record player. And I remember singing this song in our old station wagon while my Dad played his 8-tracks on those road trips to London, Ontario (or even that famed trip down to Disneyworld in the late ‘70’s).

So now every time I hear this song, I remember singing this song at the top of my 5-year old lungs and having such a blast with my parents.

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

A Song That Makes Me Feel Guilty

Day Twenty-Eight – A Song That Makes Me Feel Guilty:

Once upon a time when Emily was a young lass of twelve, her brother brought home a cassette tape by the Violent Femmes. The emerging 80’s alterative music lover (thanks in part to her older brother’s taste in music) loved the infectious songs recorded on that now-classic album.

There was one particular song that cracked 12-yr old Emily up every time she heard it. It was a song that her brother loved to play over and over again, just to get a rise out of his “baby sister.”

One fine day, while blasting out the Violent Femmes’ “Add It Up” on the stereo system, the siblings’ mother came rushing into the room. She pressed the stop button on the cassette tape player and then took it out of the stereo system. She then proceeded to throw said cassette tape down on the ground and smash it with one stomp of her heel.

From that day forward, every time Emily hears that song … she can’t help but feel just a tad guilty.

The other part of her looks back at that memory and GRINS. Because really … how smart were those two siblings to play such a song in front of their mother?

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

Who knew that one day we'd be delinquents in our Mom's eyes?

 

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