Universally Speaking

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the perceived importance that society places on having children. I know it’s a topic I want to delve into, but I don’t even know where to begin, it’s such a divisive and complicated subject. Plus other people have already put their two cents on it out there, and, quite frankly, they’ve probably said it better than I ever could (The Fertility Privilege). But yet again, the universe bumped me on my ass, and I find myself reeling from the value that is placed on those who can, and do procreate, seemingly with ease.

I was helping a client yesterday, and he was being rather chatty, but in an annoying way. Now, I’m going to be judgey mc-judgerson for a minute here and tell you about this guy. The best way I can describe him is, a doofus. He was rather self absorbed, and kept calling me “dear”, even though he was very close in age to me. He was one of those types that is very loud and boisterous, has his opinions, and doesn’t stop to consider any one else’s.

He was already irritating to me right from the get go, but then he started in about his son, he was telling me what an advanced, amazing four year old he is. It was at this point that he asked me if I had any kids. I gave whatever rote, mechanical answer I usually give, “no not yet”, or something to that effect. I think he asked me if I was planning on having kids, and I told him “eventually”, which he seemed relieved by, as if my not wanting kids would have been some cardinal sin (which we all know some people truly think it would be). He told me what a wonder his child was, how it was the best thing that ever happened to him, that having a child is the most important thing, and on and on. Basically saying that life is nothing without a child. I don’t know why he felt the need to prattle on about it. It was like he was trying to convince me on why I should have a child.

Then the same day one of my old corkers came in, and I was booking something for her, and she was chatting a bit with me. I haven’t seen her in probably over a year, and she worked in a different department than me so I never really got to know her very well. At some point in the conversation she said to me, “so any good news lately?”. I just told her, “oh you know it’s been same old same old”, as I realized what she was really asking me. She then outright asked if I had any kids. I said, “no”, to which she asked, “oh you never really wanted kids did you?”. I almost want to just start telling people that no, I don’t want kids. I corrected her and told her, we do, just not yet. Usually my standard response is “eventually”. Seems to buy me some time, but even that may run out soon.

I was off work Thursday, due to the fiasco that was my IVF baseline day. I was initially supposed to only be gone for the morning, but with the cancellation/uncancellation of my cycle I called in and told them I wouldn’t be in the rest of the day. I was only able to give my boss two days notice of this appointment, as I had to wait for CD1, so I told her I had a doctors appointment that I had been waiting for, and was told I shouldn’t expect to be back at work until after lunch. I also mentioned to her that I may have more appointments coming up in the next couple of weeks but would try and keep them before work (which is true). Then when I called at noon and told our receptionist I wouldn’t be back in the rest of the day apparently I raised some concern, as well as curiosity. My boss text me later that evening to tell me she hoped I was ok, and that she was worried about me. I told her I was having some medical issues, but nothing life threatening. That seemed to be enough of an explanation for her, but some of my other coworkers did as me if I was ok, or if everything was ok.

I appreciate the concern, but some of it is just innate curiosity, and my office likes to gossip. I really wanted to keep all of this completely separate from work, but obviously that would be next to impossible. I’m a private person, I don’t want to share my personal business, especially since I work with gossipy middle aged woman who already have children and will never understand what I’m going through anyways.

No matter where you are, it seems priority is given to those with children, having a family is seen as growth and maturity (although this couldn’t be further from the truth in some cases). People proudly display their families with stickers on the back of their vehicles (my brother and sister in law, and half the rest of the world). I don’t care that Timmy likes soccer, and Janie likes dancing, or that you have a dog, a cat, a fish and a horse. I’m a part of society too, I have skills to offer, and I matter. I am hoping that I’m close to adding to my family and I don’t want that to  change my perspective. I try not to think of having a baby as completing our family, because just the two of us and our dogs, we are complete. We would just be getting a much wanted addition. And I promise I won’t think I am a better person because of it.

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M.I.A. Where I’ve Been, and Where I’m Going

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I’m sorry, I’ve been a bad blogger. I don’t really know what happened, or where the time went. I wrote my last blog post, and then J went out-of-town, and I had intentions of writing some updates, getting some pre IVF jitters off my chest. And then J was home, and I still hadn’t written anything. I was having good days and some bad days but I was feeling ok. I wasn’t having as much anxiety about our impending IVF cycle, and so I decided maybe I would just take a little bit longer of a blogging break. I’ve still been following along, and sporadically commenting but some of you may be wondering where I went (maybe? Maybe not?). I was in a friend’s wedding this past weekend, and the lead up to that was taking a lot of my time and attention (which was a nice distraction). In the past few weeks I’ve eaten sushi, drank (in excess at the wedding), had as much caffeine as I damn well please, and generally done what I want, when I want.

So here I am, on CD1 of my IVF cycle. I thought AF wouldn’t show up until tomorrow (CD29 rolling into CD1) because when I’m on BCP that’s usually how it goes. I was paranoid that she would be late, but I started feeling bloated and crampy over the weekend, and then today, there she was. So I picked up the phone and left a message on my clinic’s IVF line. I called later this afternoon, so I am expecting a call tomorrow morning telling me to come in Thursday morning for my baseline ultrasound. It’s go time. But first, let me back up and tell you what’s been going on, ’cause it’s a lot.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately, and not just because of IVF barreling down on us. Recently we’ve been considering purchasing a new condo, in our same building, but on a higher floor, with a bit more square footage. We are fortunate enough to have a small mortgage on our current unit which would allow us to keep both, and have one as a rental property. Figuring out the purchase is a bit stressful, as it will mean we will have two mortgages. Not to mention we would be purchasing from the executor of an estate, so we are not working with a realtor, as overall it is a pretty cut and dry sale. We already live here, we know the details of the building, but all of the legal paperwork, and figuring out the best tax arrangements for our situation is a little over my head. We have bankers, lawyers and parentals to help us, but it is still a big thing, and it is sort of scaring me. We may not get it, we aren’t willing to pay more than we think it is worth, and that may not jive with the family member executing the will. So be, it isn’t the be all end, all we just thought it would be a smart investment. So, that’s all going on right now.

In addition to that, J has been interviewing for an international job transfer (he applied for it a while ago, and they just recently contacted him). It has seemed to be much more serious than many of the other interviews he has had in the past months, and they are wanting to make a decision by the end of this week, or early next week. Let’s just say it is somewhere tropical…So if he gets the offer, we think we will take it. I may be pregnant, we may have embies on ice, or we may have nothing, but we can’t keep putting things on hold so we are going to go about our lives in the best way we can while trying to continue our IF journey.

One last thing that came up somewhat recently as well; J has a rather large lump on his leg, that has been there for about a month or so, but has gotten larger. He finally went to the Dr. last week, who then sent him for an ultrasound. They called yesterday and asked him to come in on Wednesday for the results. He asked if he couldn’t just get them over the phone, and they said no, that he needed to come in. So if that’s not scary as all hell, then I don’t know what is. Obviously there is some reason for the bump, but we have no idea of what it could be, or how serious it is. That one has got me very worried. So we will have to wait and see.

So with all of the above going on, we are also about to embark on our IVF journey. Before AF even started today I was feeling anxious, and then once I made the call to the clinic, my nerves increased. Now I am feeling calmer. It is like knowing you have a mountain to climb, but that you don’t have any choice but to do it. Methodically plugging through becomes the default. We’ll manage it, somehow. Other parts of our life will play out, however they may, and we will deal with whatever comes. We’ve become good at that, IF is a good teacher in patience and perseverance, although not the nicest way to learn. With that, so begins IVF 1.0.

Enjoy the Now

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Mondays suck. Especially when the weekend was particularly enjoyable. We had a glorious weekend, filled with sunshine, friends, family, food and drinks. I had another Saturday off, even though it was technically my “turn” to work. We spent the morning lazing on the couch, hanging out with the dogs and watching golf (yes, I like golf). J had to go out to get his brother a birthday present so I asked him to pick up some blueberries on his way home so I could make pancakes. We visited a teeny tiny little restaurant in NYC that made the most heavenly blueberry pancakes, and I wanted to recreate them in my kitchen.

J came home with blueberries in hand exclaiming that he felt like he went to Whole Foods for how much they cost (we don’t have Whole Foods in our area, but I am well aware of its nickname “Whole Paycheck”). $8 for a medium-sized clamshell of blueberries! Apparently it is still too early in the season to be buying such things. If it were me that had gone to get them, I would have said forget it at that exorbitant price, but J doesn’t see money the same way I do. Oh well, I was craving blueberry pancakes, and that’s what I got. They were delicious, although they were more blueberry than pancake (oops). The dogs also got to enjoy some of the blueberries as well, which they were quite pleased about. Most expensive dog treats ever. But hey, at least they’re healthy.

We met BIL and SIL with the nieces for some late afternoon appetizers, and we sat out on a patio. I indulged in a delicious mojito (doubles were on special, so I had a double). We then had dinner at our friends’ house, along with another couple (who we’re also friends with) and I enjoyed a few more drinks. We had a fire out in their backyard and it was so nice visiting in a quiet intimate setting, rather than a large group of people. Even J commented on the way home, that he really enjoyed himself and I was very happy that we got to have a nice evening out with friends. Him and I are both, for all intents and purposes, introverts. We don’t always come off that way, but neither of us like big parties, or being around a lot of people for an extended period of time.

I didn’t feel super awesome yesterday, even though I didn’t have that much to drink the day before. I wasn’t hung over, just really tired and felt kind of junky. For now I am not going to concern myself with my alcohol consumption. I don’t normally drink much to begin with, but summer is here and I have more parties, weddings, ect. that I will want to indulge at (or don’t want to be questioned endlessly if I don’t drink. Is it bad that I drink in front of some people so they won’t ask me if I’m pregnant?). So I will imbibe on those special occasions, but once IVF time comes around, I know I’ll have to stop. I’ll enjoy it while I can.

Sunday was another fairly lazy day. J and I went for lunch with his mom. It was a little awkward as there is still some fairly heavy family drama going on that does not  involve us, but we are, unfortunately, intertwined. I mostly get to stay out of it, but J is often caught in the middle and he doesn’t know what to do about. We had a fantastic yoga sesh yesterday, and generally enjoyed each others company. All in all a lovely weekend.

In a totally unrelated line, I’ve been using a meditation app on my phone to help me fall asleep lately (as I have had problems sleeping for the past several months). Last night I put my ear buds in and tried to fall asleep, but one of our dogs was in the bed and making it difficult to get comfortable. I tried to shift him over (he is only 10lbs after all) but he was just dead weight. Normally if I pick him up and move him, he’ll squirm or yawn or something, but this time nothing. He was making these weird wheezing noises occasionally, and for some reason I had this irrational fear that he was going to stop breathing. So then I couldn’t fall asleep because I kept touching him to make sure he was still warm, and listening to his little heart beat, and his lungs rising and falling. I was just being paranoid, and he was just really tired but it freaked me out. It was like all of my worries and anxiety were brought to the surface by this little dog sleeping soundly at my hip. So then it took forever to fall asleep, which I finally did, although it was rather fitful. So needless to say, I was not happy to wake to the screeching of my alarm this morning.

Again, totally unrelated, last week I was reading a book about called IVF: A Patient’s Guide (highly recommend it, it is written by an embryologist, for patients. Had lots of great information). J asked me what I was reading, which led to him asking what our IVF “deadline” was so to speak; when we would officially be starting, and when he should stop looking for/applying for jobs. I told him I anticipated CD1 would be around Jul. 16, and that should be pretty accurate seeing as I am on BCP, and my cycle is like clockwork on those suckers. Realizing this is only 6 weeks away, he said “well I shouldn’t even bother continuing to pursue job opportunities then”. I told him he could if he wanted to, as we agreed that we would keep at it until IVF started. But the likelihood of something coming through in that time frame is pretty slim, and he realised it. He still has some applications floating around out there, but opportunities always seem to peter out before they even get going.

He is annoyed that it hasn’t been easier for him to get a transfer, and also, obviously, frustrated with IF (which in reality is the bigger problem). I feel bad for him, because I know he blames himself for the fact that we have to do IVF. I mean, yes, when it comes down to it, the main issue seems to be on his side, but in the grand scheme it doesn’t matter whether it’s a problem with him or with me, it is a problem for both of us. But that, compounded with the fact that he can’t take this next step with his career is a lot to take. I can see how he must be feeling totally helpless.

I sort of already had it in my head that more than likely we would go forward with IVF, but I kept it to myself since I wanted J to know that I am still open to the idea of moving. If something had, or does, come up, I will still be open to it. But again, chances are not great. I am still trying to think of IVF in abstract terms and not psych myself out about it since it is still in the distance, but at the same time educate myself as much as possible. I am treating it like a research project right now, rather than something that is going to happen to me. But time is ticking away quickly, we are already in June. I know the next 6 weeks will go by quickly, as we are busy and have lots of events to attend. I am a bridesmaid in a wedding on Jul. 12, and that will be the last hurrah before diving into IVF a few short days later. It will be a good distraction, but I hope I am not to stressed out by the impending IVF cycle to enjoy it.

I have a lot bouncing around in my head lately, but I’ve mostly been doing well. I think not having to worry about TTC or even consider whether I’m pregnant or not (thanks BCP!) has helped. I still have tough days. When it is not busy at work, I troll IF blogs, and get too worked up about everything. I try to have somewhat of a plan in my head, but we all know that IF does not care about your plans. I am also trying not to think that it will work the first time. As much as I desperately want it to work, more than anything, I have to be realistic and not get overly hopeful (I know, we haven’t even started cycling, I’m just trying to stay grounded).

I have an appointment with a psychologist tomorrow, just to help me work through everything and hopefully be in a decent head space before we actually start IVF because I’m sure it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Home, (Semi) Sweet, Home

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Well folks I’m back! The downside of limited internet access on a cruise ship is I couldn’t keep up with you all. I did go back through 10 days worth of blogs and I am finally caught up, couldn’t really comment on everyone, but much love to you all! I’ve missed following everyone, and am glad to be reconnected. The good part with the lack of internet, I barely had time to hit up Facebook. And two of my friends had babies while I was gone, so I’m glad I was able to avoid that while I was trying to put IF out of my mind. I feel like I have a million and one things to talk about now, but I’ll start where I left off; vacation.

It was lovely and relaxing. We shopped, we ate, we scuba dived (scuba dove?) a lot, we worshipped the sun and we ate some more. The vacation on a whole was very good. I read the Kite Runner (finally, after hearing nothing but rave reviews for years about it). It was very good, but sad, and surprisingly touched on infertility in the story (sorry if you haven’t read it yet!). I thought about IF a lot less, like maybe once or twice a day it crossed my mind. Which for me is good, normally it’s all consuming. My anxiety eased, I slept well and overall felt pretty good.

Can I just take a second to tell those of you who do not scuba dive how amazing it is? It is probably one of the most amazing (once you get past the freaked out feeling of breathing from a tank and being encompassed by the never ending sea) experiences. It is a slow moving, slow breathing, and quiet (except for the noise of your breathing and the bubbles) activity. Your main objective is just to take everything in. Investigate all of the sea life, the beautiful corals, the amazing colored fish, the turtles (yes turtles!) and the plethora of other creatures, some of which you would never know existed. If you’ve never done it, I’d highly recommend giving it a try. It was something I never saw myself doing until my brother in law suggested a bunch of us get certified, and now I can’t get enough.

Anyways, towards the end of the trip, when we had to start thinking about packing up and going home the anxiety started creeping back in. The thought of returning to work made my stomach turn. Getting away from work and everything else was awesome, but it just made it that much harder to go back. Now again, obviously my job is a small problem in a bigger whole. But it is what I spend a good chunk of my time doing, if it wasn’t another annoyance on my plate then I don’t think it would be so bad.

So yesterday I resent my resume to the company that had flat out offered me a job back in March. I see on their website they’re still hiring for the same positions so I feel like if I want it I can probably still have it. I want to see the offer and what the benefits package looks like first, and then go from there. But having something on the back burner is comforting, though leaving my current job will be really tough if it comes to that. I’ll cross that bridge if/when I get there.

Also on the job front J has been contacted by another location for a transfer. The regional recruiter and the location’s specific manager have both been in contact. He’s still playing telephone tag with the direct manager (we just got back on Sunday, so he just called them back yesterday). Again, it may lead to nothing, so we’re not getting our hopes up. We’ll just have to wait and see what comes of it.

On the IF front, I am on CD4 today. Good ‘ol AF showed up on the day we were flying home. So not only was I super bummed about coming home but I also failed at a natural cycle (not that I’m surprised or anything, the timing was just…blech). It’s a good thing I felt her presence earlier in the week and had the sense to pack some tampons in my carry on. So I got to fly feeling all bloat-y, crampy and gross. Then we hit our connecting city only to find out our luggage never got put on our first flight, along with 50% of the rest of the passengers. Awesome. For those of you that ever have the misfortune of flying with Air Canada; I’m sorry, and please don’t judge my country by our shitty airline.

We landed at home and it was SNOWING! So I went from 30 degrees Celsius to snow in the same day. Boo. We did eventually get our luggage back 24 hrs later. They broke the handle off mine so now I have to fight then for compensation, but that’s another thing. It is still eff-ing cold here. The weather man cheerily reminded everyone yesterday that although it only reached a high of something like 6 degrees, that on May. 6 last year it was a balmy 30 degrees. Thanks, because that’s really helpful right now when I’m freezing my arse off.

So anywho, back to AF. I did my CD3 bloodwork yesterday because they wanted to update it leading into IVF. I also had a requisition for Antral follicle count ultrasound and that has to be done between day 2 – 4 so I called yesterday to confirm that for today. I also booked my saline infusion sonohysterogram for next week. I had some days off during the week so I figured I may as well just get it all done since I have the time. I did the Antral follicle count today, but that’s going to be a whole other post.

So in summary; Vacations are awesome, but now I’m back and, reality bites.

*Side note, J bought an e-cigarette when we were in Houston, and although he is still on a small dose of nicotine with that, it is better than actual cigarettes. And soon he can wean down to nothing. Plus we are starting our new supplements regime today. Bring it!

Lost at Sea

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I’m sending out an S.O.S. We’re lost, and I’m not sure which way we’re headed anymore. Ok, so this is not a new theme but it seems to be getting worse and more confusing. I used to have sight of land in the distance, but now the fog has closed in and I don’t know which way is out.

Yesterday my boss told me that I have been accepted into a training program that I have been on a waiting list for, for several months now. They only take a few people at a time because it costs the company a fair bit of money. Once you are enrolled you have 2 years to complete it and people were enrolling and then not finishing, so then you have to start all over. So in any case, I won’t actually be enrolled until later this year because there is a seminar that they would send me on in September so they want my enrollment date to be as close as possible to the seminar so I get the full 2 years from that point.

So, as far as I know I am enrolled for the seminar, which is on a cruise to Alaska. It is part seminar during the days we are at sea, and part familiarization trip with the cruise line we are travelling and Alaska as a destination (I am a travel agent for those who aren’t aware…yes livin’ the dream…sometimes). Now I’m not sure if I were to quit my job before September (if J gets transfered, or if I decide to move to a different company) if I would have to pay back the seminar, because generally these things are non refundable. They may be allowed to swap someone else out for me, so at this point I said yes and I’ll worry about it down the road. The bigger problem comes if I were to quit after the seminar; if I were to leave within 6 months of the seminar, I would have to pay it back (that’s company policy).

But what if I get pregnant? If it is before September I would have to tell my boss and turn down the training opportunity altogether. If it is after September, then I wouldn’t technically be quitting, plus I most likely wouldn’t be going on mat leave within 6 months of the seminar so it shouldn’t matter too much. But then I will be signed up for the 2 year training program. I’m not sure how that would be handled if I were to leave.

I am not going to say no at this point, because who knows what will happen. I can’t live my life assuming I’ll be pregnant, or we’ll be moved or who knows what. This is an awesome step in my career and my company is paying for it, so I want to take advantage.

On that note, we still haven’t heard anything from the job interview J had a week and a half ago. We’re dying here. He said he might try and contact the recruiter to see if she knows anything, or can put him in touch with the decision makers. It’s annoying because they said they would be in touch by the end of last week…still waiting!

I was having a bad day yesterday, I was feeling overwhelmed at work and when I start to feel that way it makes me stressed and lately I don’t handle stress well. I think too, because this new training opportunity came up it kind of threw me a little bit. So then I fall into a downward spiral, stressed over work, thinking about our upcoming appt with Dr. M, worried about the future and what it will bring. Plus I felt like junk yesterday. Little did I know that AF was making her way to me (3 days early). I missed a BCP sometime mid cycle, so I took it in the morning when I remembered and then I forgot to take my last pill on Sunday but at that point I figured, who cares if I missed the last one.

I think once we have an answer on what’s going on with J’s job prospect, I might feel a little clearer in what I should do. Hopefully we can make some decisions and get ourselves back on track and in sight of land again, a new land of opportunities and exciting challenges.

 

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!