Welcoming 2016

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It’s hard not to reflect on the year past at the beginning of the next. While I don’t make New Years resolutions, I usually take a backward glance before the calendar flips forward. 2015 was finally our year, despite some ups and downs, our daughter entered our lives and that was hands down the highlight of the year. Though life with a baby started out tough, I feel like I have a little more of a handle on things and my anxiety level has come down some. Not to say I know what I’m doing, but we’ve got some consistency and it makes life much more enjoyable. I’m not the most skilled with words, and I don’t wax poetic, so here is something I ripped right off of Facebook.

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another.

Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough, and we’ll be more content when they are.

After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.
We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our partner gets his or her act together when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice holiday, when we retire.
The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?
Your life will always be filled with challenges.
It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway.

A quote comes from Alfred D. Souza. He said,
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”
This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.

So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time…and remember that time waits for no one.
So, stop waiting until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until winter, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink…. there is no better time than right now to be happy.

Easier for me to say now, but would have been wise words while battling with infertility. Yet it still applies, as I sometimes need to remind myself just to enjoy the now while my daughter is small. And never is that easier than when she is snuggled in my arms and I have nowhere to be but with her.

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Struggling to See the Light

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Good evening my fine bloggy friends, get cozy because this is going to be a long one, I have a sort of two-part post tonight. I am now sitting at 12DPIUI, 3 BFN and losing any semblance of hope that this cycle is a success. I’ve been having some more stronger cramps (an indication that AF is going to be a real bitch this time around), feeling a bit bloated and gassy, and I keep getting that feeling like I am bleeding, only to check my underwear, and nothing. I know it’s not over ’till the Red Lady sings, but I have a feeling she is in her warm ups.

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This has been a hard one let me tell you. I have been feeling as though I have a finite amount of strength/courage/bravery/patience to tackle the beast that is infertility and my stores are starting to dwindle. I’ve been reflecting on previous cycles, as compared to this one and it feels like this one is taking a bigger toll. Over the past few days I have been feeling, well, depressed I guess is the best way to put it. I’ve not been sleeping well, when I wake up in the morning I feel exhausted and that I can’t face the day. I have been having a hard time concentrating on important things like work, and driving. I just don’t have the energy to get anything accomplished lately, even small tasks seem like a lot of work. I just have a general sense of malaise settling over me.

It’s not really that surprising that I am in this place now, it has been a trying 18 months. This is the first time that I’ve really felt it hard but I don’t think it is something that I can’t overcome. I have been vigilantly watching for this time to come as depression/mental illness is in my family and therefore I am at a higher risk. I feel good that I am aware of it, and myself, enough that I can tell myself that this too shall pass (and if it doesn’t I have no problem seeking professional help).

I think this blog has helped me in that it is more than just a way to vent, and commiserate with others in IF land, but it forces self reflection and self evaluation. I often find thoughts will be rolling around in my head and I have the urge to pen notes for upcoming blog posts. This has helped me organize my thoughts, realize what I am feeling and release it. Also, I am not the best writer and this is a pretty good and harmless way to try and improve.

In putting my thoughts into this blog I’ve also notice there general tone is not a positive one. Now this doesn’t entirely surprise me, because for one infertility is not all kittens and lollipops, so discussions can turn dark. Also, I am not the most optimistic person, so I can have a hard time seeing a silver lining. But on that note, I’ve decided that I am going to try and include more positivity in my blog (even if my own woes contradict said positivity) because nobody likes a Debbie Downer.

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*For those of you that get this reference, you are awesome.

So anyways, I was thinking of ways I could bring positivity to my blog by focusing on something else in my life that I have more control of, because obviously putting more focus on my empty womb is clearly not the direction I need to be taking this. So it got me thinking about books I’ve read on happiness, and positivity (just because I am a pessimist, doesn’t mean I don’t try to look on the bright side…). The first one that came to mind is “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary D. Chapman. It’s a good book, although a bit hokey, the principle is sound. But then that got me thinking about a book called “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. You may have heard of it because I’m pretty sure it was a best seller.

Now I am generally pretty skeptical and reluctant to dive into self help/improvement type books but I did like this book. It played well to my analytical brain as it wasn’t just all feelings and fluff, but organized, tangible things you could do to try and bring more happiness into your life. Gretchen has since wrote another book “Happier at Home” which I didn’t love as much. She also has a website that started from The Happiness Project that has a toolbox with article, tools, ect. to help you on your happiness journey. So I figured that would be a quick and easy way to pluck some positivity out of my life, and maybe bring a little sunshine back. You can visit her website here to check out all she has to offer. She has a daily inspirational quote email that you can sign up for, which I used to, but then grew tired of receiving them…

She also has a section called 21 Day Happiness Project. There are 4 that you have to pay $4.99 for, and one free one, which was the first one she ever put out and based on it’s popularity she decide to create more. The free one is based on, you guessed it, relationships! Though I am pretty confident in my marriage I know it is something I can never take for granted, because we don’t have a baby but we have each other, and that might have to be enough. Our marriage is one of the reasons we’ve waited a few years after our wedding to even start trying. We wanted to focus on us, and making sure we were strong before deciding to take on a new challenge. Anyone who says marriage isn’t work might see themselves with divorce papers in the not so distant future, or find themselves in a very unhappy marriage.

So I signed up for the relationship project, and it consists of one email per day for 21 days that offer me tips and suggestions of things I can implement to improve my relationship. So as it provides me something else to focus on for 21 days, and something else to write about, you get to come along on the journey with me.

As soon as you sign up you receive the first email of the 21, now since I signed up in the evening, this one is sort of a write off, but luckily it is something I already do in my marriage. Yay for me! Todays tip was, “Kiss in the morning, kiss at night”. Now J and I are not hardcore PDA type people but I feel we are very affectionate with each other. He always holds my hand when we are out somewhere, we always kiss in the morning before leaving for work (ok, generally J kisses me as I am still half asleep when he leaves for work), we always greet each other with a kiss whenever one of us comes home, and we generally kiss goodbye in any circumstance. We also always kiss goodnight, even if I am not coming to bed right away, I will “tuck” J in, wish him sweet dreams, and give him a kiss. Yeah, I’m a night owl and like to stay up late, whereas J works early and likes to go to bed early. Not always the best for baby making rituals, but we make it work. We also always finish any phone conversation with “I love you”, and same whenever we part from each other (to go to work, or just leaving the house for a bit). So I think we’ve got this one down.

Is it something you need to institute in your relationship? It’s something simple but makes you focus solely on your partner for those few seconds (or longer…). So as I go through my 21 (well now 20) days I shall share the wisdom among you! Enjoy.