#Microblog Mondays: Giving Thanks

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Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, also known just as “Thanksgiving”… I am very thankful for so much that I have in my life today. Things could definitely be worse and there are those that would envy what I have. But rather than list the things I am thankful for in a somewhat humble brag-ish way I’ll say I’m aware of what I have and feel gratitude for it.

On the flip side of that coin, things could be better. I have some major stressors in my life at the moment, infertility being the biggest/worst. I’m not going to say that just because I have gratitude for the good in my life that I don’t feel sad for what I’m missing. I know things could be worse, but sometimes they feel shitty enough as is without trying to slough off the grief because I am fortunate in other parts of my life. There are many many lucky people who will never have to experience the pain of infertility and I wish I could have been one of them.

All in all it’s about balance. I try not to take for granted the good I have in my life, but I allow myself to acknowledge the shitty aspects of my life as well. Trying not to let either side win out, getting buoyed too high, or dragged too low. I give thanks for the clarity and insight to see my life for what it is, imperfect.

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Stress/Relationship Challenge Days 9 & 10

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Ok, so I suck at writing everyday. I didn’t really think of that when I signed myself up for a DAILY relationship challenge and decided to share it with you all. So, moving forward, think things through! On that note, I want to talk a bit about stress. I generally don’t get too stressed out. I may get flustered at times and feel all spazzy and freak out a little bit but it is usually very short lived. Or I have a bit of a stressful day at work but I can usually let it roll off my back pretty quickly once I leave work. J started a new position with his company about a year and a half ago (or maybe even two, but anyways besides the point) and for the first little while he hated it, he was stressed to the max and it affected him a lot outside of work hours. I always told him he needs to turn the work part of his brain off once he leaves, because when he’s not there, he can’t do anything about it anyways so worrying isn’t going to do him any good. Even now that he is more comfortable in his position, when we go on vacation, the last few days he starts to get more tense as he thinks about going back to work and all he has to do. It drives me crazy, why think about it when we’re not even back from holidays!

The past 5 or 6 months have been very busy at my job, therefore quite stressful, but generally nothing I couldn’t handle. That was until the past week or so. I had a little problem that snowballed into a big one, plus all of my busy-ness on top of that, has made me a tight ball of stress. It made me think of how this stress might affect our IUI chances, and fertility in general. I know the old adage “just relax, and it will happen” is a load of crap, especially when there are medical issues at play but I know being overly stressed can’t be helping anything. Stress can cause all number of other problems, and can even release the hormone cortisol which can wreak all kinds of havoc on your body. So I know being stressed out here and there is not going to be a huge issue but chronic stress can be a problem. And unfortunately infertility is a vicious cycle, it stresses you out, and then you worry about being overly stressed which just feeds back into itself. Infertility has been a big stressor in our lives, plus all the other daily struggles and I fear that stress may play a more serious role.

At this point, I don’t know that there is a lot I can do about it though. I go to yoga every Sunday, that is a really great stress reliever, and acupuncture started out as a good release but it just sort of started pissing me off because it was a hassle to get the appointments and I am feeling like it’s not really helping me in anyway. My big problem at work should be resolved soon, but it involves me swallowing my pride and taking the hit for it. The impending IUI, and doing OPK’s at work, trying to block time off work for the IUI when I don’t actually know when it is going to happen. Stressful. It is easier said than done, but I try and remember that worrying is about effective at fixing my problems as chewing bubblegum to solve algebra problems. Not, at all. So with that in mind, I am going to try and chill. No assurances that I am going to succeed, but I need to just let it go, and whatever happens with this IUI there isn’t a whole lot I can do to control the outcome, except show up and tell my uterus to be cooperative.

Sidenote, took my last Clomid pill last night, excited to be done with those btches for the foreseeable future! Though I know I will feel the affects for a few weeks yet, I threw the pill bottle out with a flourish last night!

Onto the Relationship Challenge Days 9 & 10;

Day 9: Plan a Nice Little Surprise

Studies show that we react more strongly to an unexpected pleasure than to an expected one. The brain gets a bigger thrill when some little treat comes as a surprise, whether it’s a dollar found in the street, a free cookie sample, a gift for no reason, or an unexpected compliment from a boss. And not only do we feel happier, but these little boosts of happiness also make us temporarily smarter, friendlier, and more productive.
Try to plan nice little surprises for the people who are important to you—something as small as bringing home a favorite dessert, doing a chore without being asked (how long has that light-bulb been burned out?), suggest a fun outing, or send a quick, loving email.
Resolve to “Plan a nice little surprise.” By acting in a thoughtful, loving way, you boost your feelings of tenderness towards the people in your life, and they feel more beloved by you. And that contributes more to happiness of home than practically anything else you can do.

This one, I love. While I hate the actual anticipation of surprises (when you know something is coming but you don’t know what, or sometimes even when…ahem, a pregnancy/baby for example) I do love the result of a surprise. J often brings me a Dr. Pepper (my favorite!) home after work, or some other little treat. Generally it’s food. Is that bad? Anyways, I love these little things that say he 1) knows what I like, and 2) he was thinking of me. It’s really sweet and such a simple little gesture can be so nice. I try and do the same for J (again, usually food) or I’ll pick something up for him that he’s been meaning to get whether it just be more deodorant (boring) or something a little more exciting. It’s a lovely, simple way to brighten a day.

Day 10: Follow a Threshold Ritual

Gratitude is a key to a happy life. People who cultivate gratitude get a boost in happiness and optimism, feel more connected to others, are better liked and have more friends, and are more likely to help others—they even sleep better and have fewer headaches.
Nevertheless, it’s challenging to cultivate gratitude. It’s easy to take for granted the people closest to us—and perversely, the more reliable and familiar a person is, the more likely we are to take that person for granted!
To remind yourself to feel grateful for the people you love, consider taking a moment each time you enter or leave your house to reflect lovingly on your home and the people you see every day.
Resolve to “Follow a threshold ritual.” In the tumult of daily life, it’s so hard really to see the everyday, to realize how precious it is, and to feel grateful for it.

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p>I am so grateful for everything I have in my life, I am very very lucky. But I suck at remembering to appreciate it, especially in times like this where I feel like life is not shaping up how I hoped. But it is a good reminder, even in all this suckiness to be grateful for my wonderful hubby, our sweet little dogs, our family and the stable life we have that allows us some financial freedom to do as we please (within reason). And if this cycle doesn’t work, I will still be thankful for all that I have.

In other news I am also sucking at ICLW, so I am going to be a commenting machine today to catch up!