On December 26th, I turned 32 years old. As a bonafide member of the fertility-challenged club, I immediately felt the pressure increase. Oh, who am I kidding, I started feeling the pressure of another birthday long before the day ever occurred. Ya’ll know the feeling… panicky, anxious, the 9-month countdown in your head constantly calculating potential birth dates (ok, so if we get (& actually stay) pregnant during Jan, that’ll be a Oct/Nov baby. Which means that we’ll have one before next Christmas/birthday. Must. have. baby. before. next. Christmas/Birthday.) You know the calculator… I think anybody who’s been on this particular train probably has or has had the damn 9-month calculator.
And then I started having this radical thought… what if it doesn’t matter that much? What if there’s not a huge difference, in fertility terms, between 31 and 32 and 33 years old? What if it’s actually ok to stop freaking out every month that it doesn’t work? For a while, at least… I’m not delusional enough to think that the freak-outs would stop completely.
In 2009, I continued the pattern of using my grief as an excuse to crap on my body. Feel sad? Eat something. Miss Mama? Eat something. Wish that your uterus didn’t kill babies? Eat something. I have justified this behavior to the tune of a 40+-pound weight gain. Maybe more… I wouldn’t know the exact damage because I avoid the scale like it’s diseased. Weight gain and emotional eating are common side effects of loss and grief, and the excuse is there if I choose to keep using it. But I don’t like feeling this way, and the sadder I am, the more I eat, the more I weigh, the sadder I am. And it’s become a vicious, disgusting cycle.
What if I focused on my own health and non-baby-related goals for a while instead of fixating on all things fertility?
And then I read mekate’s beautifully written post entitled “battling urgency” and thought “YES! Yes. Yesyesyesyesyes.” I’m on the right track. This self-imposed pressure, the clock tick-tick-tocking in my head, the continual recalculation of potential birth dates… it is, as my Grandma says, for the birds. It’s serving no purpose except making life a little (or a lot, depending on the day) more miserable.
So for 2010, rather than “resolutions,” which carry an implication of failure before you’ve even begun, I’m making a TO DO list. Little things and not-so-little things that I realistically think that I can accomplish in 2010. And you may notice that my health is mentioned, while a baby is not. 2010 may not be The Year for us in terms of a baby… and I’m determined to be ok with that. My heart yearns for a baby of my own. But if I’m able to check off the things on this list, 2010 will be a year of accomplishments achieved & progress made.
- Complete (like, actually, FINISH) three quilts using my fabulous new sewing machine. Have I mentioned that I got a fabulous new sewing machine for my birthday? Well, I did. And it’s effing fabulous.
- Hire someone to trim the trees over our house before we have a big disastrous crash.
- Read 25 books off my reading list. Have I mentioned that I keep a reading list for myself? Well, I do. And it’s been sadly neglected.
- Become a “regular” at church on Sunday mornings… you know, one of those people that you just expect to see instead of the “what’s their names again?” people.
- Sit on a beach with just Bobby and a trashy romance novel. (Completed 5/22/10)
- Resolve the horrific mess that used to be a koi pond in our backyard.
- Repair the hot tub and use it. (Will be completed week of May 24th)
- Volunteer to help with a charitable event. Not sure just what that event will be, but I’m sure one will present itself.
- Actually take my daily vitamins on a daily basis. (I’m starting… promise)
- Write thank you notes with actual pen & paper, starting now for my Christmas & birthday gifts.
- Put window treatments on our living & dining room windows. (Completed 5/1/10)
- Paint the office. I really dislike the current color.
- Fix my decorating/painting/etc mistakes in the master bath. Exactly how that will be accomplished is to be determined.
- Redo the framed pictures in our hallway.
- Make my health a priority. A real priority. (Started in January. Stopped in April. Started again in May… to be continued)
- Put 3 (or maybe even 6) months of expenses in savings. Just in case.