Friday, April 22, 2016

Good Intentions

Easter came early this year.  But in leading up to Lent, I was researching churches in my area to figure out which one I'd like to call my spiritual home.  Bummer that I could not find any with a Sunday evening mass, as I am a fan of sleeping in on the weekends.  It is also seems like a good way to end the day at the start of the week.  It takes a little bit of that Sunday dread away, a remnant from my life from teaching (Yes, teachers can have that same sinking feeling as students as the weekend comes to an end and early Monday morning is waiting.).  I scoured the Internet and FB to glean the vibe of the church and if I would fit into its community.  Then I saved the mass schedules and addresses of the churches on the short list.  My plan was to try them out.  T~ has been supportive in saying that he will attend with me, despite us having different faiths.

Just before Lent was kicking into gear, we got up one Sunday morning and went to church.  The building was a bit more modern for my taste and the priest seemed a little full of himself and a little showy.  However, I liked the vibe of the people who attended the church.  They seemed friendly and kind and it had a welcoming family feel.

But at a second glance, I realized just how many families were present and it felt like a really high ratio.  Granted this was a mass that offered Sunday school, but it still felt like a lot.  I started to feel uncomfortable and sad.  It made me realize how differently I had once imagined my life.  I pictured it with children, which would include taking them to church.  Surrounded by children and families made my heart ache.  Yes, maybe T~ and I may one day have a child.  But, it will likely be one...maybe, maybe two.  But it will not be the brood I had once imagined.  It will not be the same.

And I felt that twinge of one day having a large family die.

How I longed for a simple life and not one with all of these complications postponing these dreams of a family of my own.  How so many take it for granted that it all seems to fall into place.  Why has it worked for them and not for me?  How very far away it all feels to me as more and more people my age have finished building their families.  They are in the thick of it, the exhausting thick of it, and I feel like I am missing out.  I continue to be the outsider looking in and missing the dream that will never be.

I feel small for having these feelings.  I am tired of the heartache.  I am over the reminders of what I don't have.  It is especially difficult when I am trying so hard to be strong, to be grateful and to dream new dreams.

So, unfortunately, I have not returned to church.  I have avoided it.  It is hard to be in a place to renew your soul while it is being crushed.  I feel guilty.  I have to stop feeling sorry for myself, refocus on the positive.  It is hard to let go of a dream.

But, maybe it is time to try again.  Maybe I will try a different church this time.  Maybe I'll try a time that does not include the children's mass.

The other big hurdle is going to be getting our marriage validated by the church.  That is a whole other blob of judgment and possible rejection waiting for me.  Ugh.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Good Quote

"Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be.  Grieve the losses.  Then wash your face.  Trust God.  And embrace the life you have."--John Piper

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Hindsight

Today, I felt happy because it was spring.

But last week, I felt guilty.  I felt guilty because I wasn't sure if I deserve to miss you both.  It was a long shot.  And honestly, your existence should not have been mentioned.  There were too many other steps to get in the propper place.  I feel embarrassed about that and somewhat angry and manipulated.  Hindsight.  Perhaps, you are not mine to miss.  But, the heart is not rational and it will feel what it will feel. You would have been seven.

It is spring, a time to turn the page and leave the sadness in the past.  It is a time to start fresh and look forward.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

In-Person Parent Time

There is a guy, Tim Urban, who writes a blog called Wait But Why.  The topics of the posts can be a bit all over the place, but many are an interesting read.  Sometimes when he kind of gets more introspective, I kind of feel like he is walking around in my head.  Yes, I think and worry about those things, too!

One thing that I probably spend too much time worrying about is having the opportunity to spend time with my parents.  Some of it probably has to do with experiencing several significant deaths at an early age.  Some of it likely has to do with IF as it brings an awareness of the fragility of our being.  And with currently being childless, I don't have kids to distract me from thinking about these particular big life thoughts.  It is not to say people with children are not deep thinkers or share similar thoughts, I just have more time to dwell on them.  Finally, some of it may be because I'm a sensitive, old soul who enjoys deep meaningful relationships and favors quality over quantity.  Parents are pretty significant people in our lives.  It freaks me out to acknowledge that my time with them is limited.

Some may dismiss my worries because they say we are all getting older and it is life that we will not have our parents forever.  True.  But does it not bother you?

Tim Urban does a very nice job of quantifying this concern of mine.  In fact, he has a mathematical, pictorial representation.  He also discusses in-person parent time.  You can read his blog here.

As I was reading his blog, I vacillated between excited appreciation and increasing fear.  It was a relief to read that someone else thinks about this kind of stuff while trying not to rev up feelings of anxiety.  He gets close to the edge of the runaway train effect.  However, he closes on an important message.  Proximity, priorities and quality matter.

I am thankful to have moved back to Ohio.  I feel a bit more at ease than when I lived in other places.  It feels very good after visiting them this past weekend just because I had the time.  Big fan of unstructured time.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Twinsters

It is winter.  So, it is the perfect time of year to cozy up on the couch and peruse the Netflix cue or watch the things you have put on your list.  As soon as I saw the movie, Twinsters, I knew I wanted to watch it.  It is about two young women who find out about each other through happen stance on the internet.  They remarkably look alike and find out that they were born on the same day and had been adopted from Korea.  Their story unfolds as they get to know each other through Facebook, Skype and texting until they finally meet in person.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  It was fun to watch the excitement as they were just learning about each other and taking steps to get to know each other more and more.  It is amazing how technology allows us to connect and get to know other people so intimately, especially when they are so far away.  In some ways it reminds me of the IF community, how strangers can become friends.  I had the opportunity to meet some of the women I met through an online group for IF support.  Watching the movie reminded me of the giddiness and excitement of meeting my IF sisters.  It was life changing, as it was for the twins in the movie (but much more likely life changing for the twins).

The movie was also very interesting because it is about adoption.  Without wanting to spoil the movie, I appreciated how it told the story of how each adoption story is different.  While these women are twins and their lives have paralleled experiences, there are also distinct differences, too.  It is beautiful how the sisters are intuitive, sensitive and thoughtful of each other as they share their past, build their relationship in the present and begin to navigate how they want to share their future.

Then, how T~ and I have loosely talked about adoption, I found the movie interesting in what it brings up in terms of the thoughts, worries, frustrations, blessings and world of an adoptee.  Food for thought.  Plus, I've always had some kind of gut feeling that maybe if I were to be a mom it would be to twins.  I don't know why.  Maybe it is a wish or a hope, but I feel there is some kind of connection, but not sure what exactly.

It is a very good story.  I definitely recommend it.

Microblog Mondays

Friday, February 5, 2016

Setting the Tone

After much reflection and searching on Pintrest, I have found my new mantra or inspiration.  It is from a motivational poster.

"Feels good to get some stuff done.  Yay!" -- MaryKate McDevitt

Some good words for the procrastinator in me to remember the good feelings of accomplishment and relief when the task or job is done.  I'm trying write more consistently in real-time on my blog.  I was satisfied with the number of entries last year, but I'd like to get out of the habit of back dating them.  :)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

January Resolutions

It's 2016!

When thinking about a new year, I take my time.  Or sometimes, I let inspiration wash over me when it comes, which can sometimes be in late December.  I guess my point is that I have a flexible time table when thinking about self improvement or inspiration to have a better year.  Sometimes I try to set a goal and sometimes I set a theme.

For example, one year I found a quote that I really liked and kept it as a mantra to help me refocus.  It was my self declared year of peace.  It really was empowering and challenged me to let go of the little things or better prioritize my concerns while dealing with them in a more positive light.

Other times, it may have been a little more concrete, such as trying to write a certain number of posts each month.  This was helpful when it felt to me that my blog had lost its focus or when I almost felt like I had run out of things to say, or at least IF related.  It gave me permission to acknowledge (again) that my life was more than.  Instead of waiting for an IF related post, the posts began to evolve into sometimes what goes on after IF, that life carries forward with other things to celebrate or observe or take notice.  However, IF does continue to pop up from time to time, but it is different.  I am different.  I guess it kind of shows how IF may always be part of who you are, but the focus can shift.

So while in the past I have been trying to be mindful of trying to post regularly, I think I am going to try to do so more in the moment.  I will sometimes go back and write backdated posts because historically, I want to capture the general time frame of when I had those thoughts, experiences or ah-ha moments.  But, then I lose time in trying to keep up with other blogs that I enjoy more fully.  While I will read in real-time or with binge reading, I do try to keep current in my reading.  It may not show in my commenting, but I try.

So, I guess this year I should find a good quote about time.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015's Inaugural Elite Entry

Since there is not a Creme de la Creme this year, I want to recognize for myself what was my best blog entry for the year.  When deciding, I thought about something that really touched me deeply--not only while I was writing it, but that it also resonated with me after I wrote it.  There is something in the post that communicates something deep and significant while continuing to be appreciated after having reflected on that moment, idea or experience.  A lesson learned, something to remember carrying forward.

I hope to start this practice this year with the intention of doing it next year.  So, for this year, I have two posts to honor because they seem an appropriate pair.

2015's Elite Entry:

To Plan or Not To Plan

2015's Elite Entry Honorable Mention:

Healthy Hope and A Choice for a Childfull Life


Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Music

Christmas music is one of my favorite parts of the holiday, along with several other things like twinkling lights, fresh trees, cookies, candy canes, Christmas Story, Elf, wrapped gifts, spending time with loved ones, midnight mass, the nativity and the story of Jesus's birth.  But, I feel Christmas music sets the tone in many of the places you spend time preparing and celebrating the holiday whether it is at home, shopping or at church.  My favorite Christmas songs are by Johnny Mathis.

However, it has been a long, long time since I have been able to find the joy in Christmas music.  Some things were ripped away when my life changed and I really felt the lonely darkness and cold of the winter season.  Music was painful.  It took a lot of time and healing to really embrace music more fully again, and it seems like Christmas music was the last to fall into place.  While I will wait to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving Day, it was not something I was actively seeking out in my recent past.  But this year, I found myself tuning into the radio station quite regularly.  It was not until Christmas Eve that I came to realize I have been enjoying Christmas music more wholly again, and that made me smile.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Healthy Hope and A Choice for a Childfull Life

While scrolling through Facebook, I saw a piece that caught my eye from mindbodygreen.com.  It comes from the perspective of a life that once dreamed of having a child, but it did not come to be for the author.  She shares her insights and learning from a living a life without children.

My IVF Treatments Failed.  Here's What I Wish Others Struggling With Infertility Knew.   By Justine Brooks Froelker

I appreciate that she is another voice who shares the side of the story of when a person is not able to have a child of their own.  What happens?  How does the person move forward?

Some of what she says echoes what others have expressed.  Although, hearing those sentiments repeated is validating.  She talks about breaking the silence, being careful not to compare your journey to others, respecting our individual limits and being more than trying to have a baby.  These seem to be good things to keep in mind however your IF journey unfolds, baby or not.

Then the author takes it to the next step, the space where there is no baby.  Below are a few quotes I really liked.


"For us, healthy hope has meant redefining our dream of family, accepting that we will never have children, and yet doing the work to always have children in our lives."


"For us, this is in living a childfull life and finding ways to parent in honor of our babies who we don't get to hold."


"When we give ourselves permission to feel it all, at the same time, we can find our clarity again.  In the complicated gray of life, we can awaken to life in color again."



It takes time to figure out how to live without a child in your family in the way you had once hoped and imagined.  It takes time to sort through the feelings and knowing you will not ever be done feeling them all, but finding a way to dream new dreams and deciding how to fold children into your life, how to make room to experience motherhood or parenthood a bit differently.  And maybe for me it has been a bit awkward at times, but I'm trying to figure it out.  T~ and I are still near the beginning of our life as a couple.  While we are newlyweds, we have been together for three years and have had several conversations about children and family.  We still have hope, but we are realistic in knowing that time is limited.  This part of our story is still playing out.  But, it is up to us in how we decide to live while in this space of between.