Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Annoyed At Work

Parents are on my damn nerves. All of them. Everywhere.

Nah, not really. Hahaha. Exaggerations like that are rarely helpful. 

Let me get specific: I am very annoyed with one co-worker's constant parent-related comments.

There. I said it.

(May this blog forever remain anonymous so that my mom, sisters, and random co-workers throughout the years never find it.)

But I get annoyed at all of the little comments that she says every day. Things like "I'm a mom and my kids will always come first" [when talking about work, which, of course they will but why tell *me* that?] and "Well I can't buy extra stuff because I have my own kids to buy for" [uh, okay, no one asked her to buy anything, I was just showing her some things I'd picked up at the store]. 

I know the comments have nothing to do with me and are all about her and where she is in her life right now but STILL...

In isolation, the individual comments are not that bad. But over time...
Apparently, they add up. Because I am Annoyed. 

I just want to complain. I am so over it. 

She was supposed to train me, but she wasn't very good at doing that. She is skilled though so I do have a lot to learn from her. She's quick to correct me on little (i.e., inconsequential, unnecessary) things but doesn't help me on big (e.g., organizational processes) things. Plus, after working there for less than a month, she told me to stop asking so many questions or I was going to burn her out. I thought that was weird.

So there are some work style differences there. That's to be expected. 

It's the Mommyness I don't like. The latest comment was "Well, I have to. Because of my kids." 

True statement. Could be said about a million different things. Could also come off sounding really judgmental if you are talking to a woman who does not have kids.

I've just had my fill lately. 

I replied in all seriousness, "Yeah, me too," out loud in the office and no one even noticed.

But it entertained me.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Coast For Awhile

What a decade!

I've been trying to put into words what my new house means to me.
How it feels. How far I've come. 

I bought my children's house in September 2011. It was beautiful and it was perfect. It was big, affordable, and equidistant from the two sports centers I anticipated commuting between. It was also near my husband's job. Closer to home = less time in traffic = more time with family. 

It was a two-story brick home with bushes in the front yard. The central living room had a two-story ceiling. There was a small fenced in backyard and a park, pool, and splash pad down the street. There were four bedrooms that all opened into the central living room. I figured this would give everyone their space while still keeping my family physically together.

Yes, I really thought like that. 

There was a second living room at the top of the stairs that would have been the play room. I had been teaching for years. I had so many books and puzzles. I had games and stuffed animals.

I had everything except a baby.

Damn, that house was nice. It was perfect for raising a family.

And that's exactly who we sold it to. A family. With multiple children. If I remember correctly, it was a large family. And they had a sister/aunt on the next street over. I loved that I helped bring a family closer together. They needed to live in the house that I bought for my children. Not me.

And since then... 

I've been untethered but grateful. I held my breath each time I looked for something to rent, and I let out a sigh of relief each time I found the next place. Grateful but not at home. Grateful but still living in other people's places, not wanting to invest in anything, and knowing I'd be moving everything again soon.

There was the rental house near my grad school. It was in a familiar neighborhood (where I went to college and where I had my first couple of professional jobs), but it was expensive. And hot. 

There was the apartment I got out of state. To be honest, it was really nice. But that whole thing was just weird. My husband was supposed to move with me. We had been planning it for years. But he never looked for another job in the new city. He never tried to transfer with the job he had. On the weekends when he was in town, we didn't explore the new city. He didn't listen to me as I tried to tell him about my clinical rotations. I was growing and he was... Not? Staying silent? Moving away from me? Moving away from us? There were other things as well. The marriage became untenable. I told my husband I didn't want to be married anymore. And then I found myself, unexpectedly at the age of 38, living on my own in an apartment in a new city. It was full of emotional processing and fun. I have great memories but it wasn't home.

The next place was a condo. It was too small. It was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. 

The next place was a house. I was so thankful to be back in a house. But it was dark. And hot.

And now.

Now I live here in my home. I've been searching and searching. Home is a place AND a feeling. 

The home I bought for my children would have been perfect for them.
But this home is perfect for me.

There's a yard. I might get a trampoline. I like to jump (for very short bursts at a time lol), but I also like to read outside on the trampoline on a beautiful day. We have trees. There's a car port. It rained the other day. It sounded awesome on the car port. I wanna put in a patio and a fire pit and a hot tub. Over time. Eventually. I have the rest of my life. It just feels good to be excited again.

It's an old house. It's not big but it's big enough. It's a single story. The living room is full of light and stays cool in the summer. We'll see how winter goes. But I have a good feeling about it. The kitchen is good so far. Not too big, not too small... The bathtub is big. Not huge or anything but it's bigger than the ones I had in my rentals.

I'm rambling. But I love it. It's a place where I wake up and drink coffee. I get ready for work. I check things online. I make phone calls. I write lists. I unpack. I organize. I eat. I sew. I watch tv. 

I live my life. I am home.

It has been ten solid years of infertility and grad school and my dog dying and moving and getting divorced and changing jobs and enduring a pandemic. But I got to where I want to be. I like who I am. I like where I am. And I like what I do. I am home.

I can't put into words what my new house means to me, but this was my effort in trying. 

Now, I know life always has its ups and downs, but I'm just gonna try to coast for awhile... 


Friday, August 6, 2021

Inflammation of My Feelings

This morning was hard on my heart. 

For part of my job, I work in pediatric healthcare. There was a community health fair for children today. I didn't think much of it. Okay, cool, community health fair, do some free screenings, sounds good...

But it wasn't. 

Well, it was. It was really great actually. It was a wonderful opportunity for parents and their kids.

But it ended up being hard for me. It really made me feel things. And it was confusing in the moment. I didn't know what I was feeling. But I knew I didn't feel good. So I half paid attention to my feelings and half just went on auto pilot and got through the morning.

But now I've had some time to reflect.

I'm home. I'm happy. I'm on my couch with a quilt. I ate dinner. (Pizza!) I'm tired from the work week. (The good kind of tired, the kind where you worked hard and you feel it.) And I'm happy to be home. Did I mention that already? ;) By the way, things here are going well. Repairs are slowly but surely being done... We will finish unpacking eventually... It's just nice to BE somewhere. No, it's more than nice. It's much more than that. It's a big huge relief. I've been searching for years for a home after I sold the house I bought for my children. I appreciated every place I've lived since then, but none of them felt like home. This house does.

But I digress.

So. This morning. I felt awful. There were several contributing factors. The current pandemic and people's varying level of precautions stresses me out. Also, the health fair was held in a building where I wasn't comfortable. I don't even know how to explain it. The environment was just very off-putting. But it was also (mostly) infertility.

Infertility sucks.

There I was in a room with mothers and their babies and toddlers. Yes, there were other healthcare professionals in the room too. But guess what everyone had in common except me?... Ding, ding, ding. You win a prize if you guessed that I was the only one in the room without kids.

Big sad, annoyed, and hurt sigh.

It's not the kids. It's never the kids. I love kids. I like them; they like me. We are equally fascinated with each other and we get along fine. 

It's the moms. It's my sadness that I never got to be a mom and never got to have mom friends. It's the camaraderie that I will never share. The experiences I will never have. And being reminded by held baby after snuggled toddler after knowing smile from one mom to another...

It was a long three hours. And then it ended. I kind of had a stomach ache, but I also compartmentalized the event and told myself to think about it later. And I did when I got home.

There were so many triggers at this morning's event. I didn't realize how many there were at the time. But it was quite the combo. And that's okay. That's how it goes sometimes. What I can do is isolate what factors bothered me and do my best to avoid them in the future.

I think community health fairs are important, but I don't think I should do anything else that day. I don't think I should have any other responsibilities on my work schedule on days when there are health fairs. I will need to go home and just nap. It takes a lot out of me.

I love kids and working in pediatrics, but I'm not interested in learning about babies or working with new moms. I think there are other people better suited for that. I enjoy and excel at working with kids ages 3 and above. In small groups. Preferably one-on-one. For finite periods of time. ;)

I took care of my infertility-inflamed heart today. I knew I felt crappy. I honored that by giving myself some space and time to reflect without judging myself. Then I figured out some things I can try to avoid in the future.

And, most importantly, I still appreciate and enjoy the life that I *do* have. The feelings from this morning didn't fester or linger. They were just there in the moment while I was immersed in that particular environment. I went back to work in the afternoon and now I'm home. 

This really shows me progress in my recovery from infertility.

I'm thankful for insight and healing.
And for my life and my home.
Even on the hard days.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Another Lesson Learned from Infertility

Well, hello August. August 2021. If you count March 2020 as month 1, we are now month 18 into this pandemic. Everyone/Everything everywhere is exhausted. 

I try to remember what it was like when I was 18 months into trying to get pregnant. I remember it was awful from the very first month. Just like this pandemic has been. I felt lonely, sad, confused, frustrated, devastated, and angry. I was isolated from my peer group. I avoided people as much as I could. I ran errands, volunteered once a week, and ate Mexican food with my husband on Friday nights, but, other than that, I didn't do a whole lot. I try to remember more details, but that time period (months 8 - 24 TTC) is one big blur of sadness. 

It felt like it would never end.
Just like this pandemic is feeling.

I remind myself that everything is temporary. Change is inevitable. The days are long but the years are short. Over time even the Grand Canyon was carved by water...

It won't be like this forever.