Monday, December 27, 2021

Monday Night

Hello Friends. It's Monday night. It's not a holiday or any other significant night. 

Just another Monday. 

Well, I suppose it's the last Monday of the 2021 calendar year. It's the Monday that falls within the week between Xmas and New Year's. It's a mostly regular Monday where one might go to work, although it's probably a Monday where everyone should just stay home and hibernate. (But, as we all know, society is not very good at accommodating what people actually need.) 

So overall, it's just another Monday night. Which is fine and possibly even worth celebrating. It was a Monday without pretense, a day that held no expectation. Heck, I did 1.5 out of 2 things on my To Do list and felt extremely accomplished. It's not exactly a time for productivity. 

It's a Monday night in winter. I ate some leftover cranberry sauce turnovers, cut some fabric to start a new quilt, and I've now retired to my beloved recliner with a stack of books to peruse.

Wishing you moments to pause, moments of peace, and moments enjoying the little things.  

(I just liked this picture. I searched for images of a winter night quilt and found this. It matches how I'm feeling. Found at

Friday, December 24, 2021

Not Sad on Xmas Eve

It's Xmas Eve and I'm not sad. In the past, I didn't feel sad until Xmas morning. But... I don't feel anything lurking beneath the surface. It's fine if I feel sad tomorrow, but I don't think I will. 

I'm excited to open the presents I bought for myself! I already forgot what fabric I ordered.

I'm looking forward to having mashed potatoes. My boyfriend is looking forward to the ham. We are also going to have roasted brussel sprouts, green bean casserole, and homemade beer bread. (His stepdaughter brought us a lot of flavored beer when she came to visit for Thanksgiving and he's been using it to make delicious beer bread.)

I bought two bags of cranberries to make cranberry sauce. I only bought one bag for Thanksgiving and then we ate it all. I didn't have any left to make my annual (as of last year) leftover cranberry sauce turnovers. This time I am prepared! And I have big plans to make the turnovers on Dec. 26th. Lol.

I look forward to drinking my coffee in the morning. To watching my boyfriend unwrap the small silly presents that I bought him. To open all of my fabric boxes. To cook a full meal together. To work on the puzzle that's taken over our dining table. To decide on the next quilt I want to start.
To read, rest, and watch tv.

I'm grateful for my home. I love it here. I'm so comfortable and I'm so happy. 

I have dreams for the future and I am more than content for now. 

I started a Xmas Sampler quilt this year.
I sewed these blocks all month;
then I packed everything up to work on again in December next year!
It will be a festive, multi-year project.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

It is done.

I originally posted this on 12/8/21 under a different title, but then I second guessed myself and unpublished it. But... It's all true, my last two weeks are over (Why does so much that sucks involve a two week wait??), and I now feel more comfortable re-posting this without any edits.

It is done.


Repeating "it's not me" in my head really helped me last week. 

Unfortunately, things at work escalated. Accusations were made, lines were (majorly!) crossed, and I submitted my resignation. The whole thing completely sucks. I feel like crap and I'm out of a job. But what was I going to do? Stay there? Why? For what?

I just don't tolerate bullshit like I used to. I've had bad job after bad job after bad job. I've loved my students and I've loved my patients, but I've never been paid or treated well by an employer.

I know life isn't fair. Most likely, anyone who is reading a CNBC blog knows life isn't fair. 

But I reached my limit many years ago. It was exactly in the moment when I learned my last fertility treatment did not result in pregnancy. In that exact moment, although I had no idea doing what or where, I was determined to live a life that I thought was worth living.

And my most recent job wasn't it. Not by a long shot.

So I'm putting it out there in the Universe: I WILL find another job. But even better than that, I will find a good paying job at a place of employment that treats me well.

Infertility took so much away from me. I won't compromise with anything else in my life.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

When You Don't Have To Watch What You Say

It's so important to be ourselves. I hope you have a place where you don't have to explain yourself or a person with whom you don't have to censor yourself. It's relieving. And necessary.

A couple of weekends ago we went and visited my boyfriend's family for the first time since the pandemic. We had seen his parents once but not his sisters. It was relieving. And necessary.

We drove to the city to see everyone and stayed the night with one of his sisters. We saw her toddler for the first time in two years and met her new(ish) baby. She and her husband had just finished having some major remodeling work done on their house. It was the first time I saw it all: their new guest room, guest bathroom, kitchenette, and bonus living room/play room area. I was immediately in love. Like, I really felt emotional about it. I loved it so much.

I turned to his sister and exclaimed, "I love it! The space is perfect. I love the play area. And all of these bookshelves remind me of my nursery. I can't wait to watch these shelves fill with books."

I said all of that without a second thought. And she didn't miss a beat. She was excited too. She said something along the lines of, Really? You think so? I'm so glad you like it. I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

I didn't feel awkward and she didn't act weird about me referencing my (never-used) nursery.

It's awesome to have places and/or people in our life where it feels safe and comfortable to speak freely. Infertility isn't all of my life. For a time period, it felt like it was. But not anymore, not for awhile. It's just a part of me now. And I'm glad I have friends where I can talk about my real life experiences and feelings without it being totally weird.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Review: Reclaiming the Childless Holidays

It snowed! I'm snuggled in my recliner this morning with a Xmas quilt and a cup of coffee, sitting next to the Xmas tree with its multicolored lights turned on even though it's not nighttime. Most of my ornaments are still in storage, but I ordered some cute woodland animals last year and added this year's ornament to our new growing collection. I sewed a tree skirt from vintage looking fabric last year and a few wrapped presents under the tree are waiting patiently until Xmas morning for my boyfriend and me.

I love it.

And I'm grateful. For so long I felt lost from Oct. 31 - Jan. 1, not quite sure how to celebrate.

When I was a kid, I was in a community production of A Christmas Carol. I was in the chorus and showed up in full cast numbers. I remember singing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," set outside in a snowy scene on the streets against a backdrop of Christmas shops masterfully built by the set crew. All of our movements were choreographed as we walked across the stage and back, acting out various scenes like visiting on the streets and peeking in shop windows. 

During my darkest years, that's how the holidays* felt to me. Like I was back in that play, peeking into windows of shops and homes and watching Everyone Else's holiday celebrations. I felt alone and isolated. In a world of my own.

I don't feel that way anymore. I've reclaimed the parts of the holidays that I enjoy and I stopped putting pressure on myself to celebrate according to anyone else's agenda. Every year since knowing I wasn't going to have children has been different for me, so of course the holidays haven't been the same either as I've moved through the various stages of my grief.


This year I listened to Jody Day's webinar, Reclaiming the Childless Holidays. It was fabulous!! So much so that I took notes. Haha. Four wise and heartfelt women gathered online to share their thoughts and feelings about celebrating the holidays without children and they shared so much good stuff. 

In their introductions Jody Day shared, "I deserve the holidays too... I get to celebrate my life too." Another speaker, Sophia Andeh, said she took back the things she enjoyed and let go of the things she didn't. Catherine-Emmanuelle Delisle, a third speaker, said Christmas used to be a trigger but now it has become precious for her. Now she has developed a sensitivity for women around her who don't celebrate or for whom the holiday time isn't joyous or about gathering. She shared, "I tell [these women] they are in my heart and I feel for them." Then it was the fourth and final presenter, Karin Enfield's comment, that I most related to. She said that she loved Christmas but, in the past, also felt embarrassed and ashamed about celebrating it. (I'm not quite sure why, but embarrassment was always a strong feeling for me during my darkest years.) 

These women made sense to me. I kept listening.

Karin went on to say that she really did want to celebrate the holidays. She wanted to celebrate the light and she wanted to celebrate herself. She began creating new traditions.

A question was submitted anonymously: How do I change the holidays?
Jody answered, "Experiment." Her other strategies included always having an exit plan and alternating time with others with time with just yourself. She acknowledged that it can be difficult, that changing how you do the holidays is a work in progress.

That's when Catherine added, "It's all about accepting your feelings." She said acknowledging your feelings is key, as is asking, "Which way is best for us to take care of ourselves?"

Then Sophia added, "Have compassion for yourself." If you try something new and it turns out to be a disaster? "It's okay," she said, "you tried it."

There were so many good thoughts and one-liners in this thoughtful presentation. I don't want to give away all of their wonderful words, but I even learned about some new-to-me concepts like "internalized pronatalism" (where we believe the pronatalist messages we've been given) and "grief-tending" (a reminder that my grief needs and deserves to be taken care of). Also, an interesting book was mentioned: Set Boundaries by Nedra Tawwab. Most importantly, each speaker had a variety of ideas for how to celebrate the holidays and what kind of traditions you can create if you want.

I took their advice and ordered myself something special. I ordered a sewing-related advent calendar. It was a splurge, but I have really been enjoying opening a new notion each day this month. I also did some fabric shopping over the post-Thanksgiving holiday weekend when there were a lot of sales. Every package that arrives goes straight under the tree. Xmas morning has typically felt melancholy to me, but sleeping in and having some new fabric packages to open will bring me some good cheer that day.

Jody reminds us, "We are a very special group of women." And We ARE.

Please grieve and tend to yourself as needed. I hope you can enjoy parts of the holiday season, but it's fine if you can't or don't. No pressure either way. 

I don't care about the idealized version of the holidays.
I just care about you.

*The word "holidays" is meant to cover all important celebrations during this time of year including, but certainly not limited to, Christmas, Xmas (the secular version that I celebrate), Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, and Yule.

Also, P.S. If you were one of the few people that read my now-unpublished post from earlier this week, don't think you're losing your mind. (It's not you! Lol.) For the first time during my blog writing, I chose to remove a post after publishing it since it was about a situation that's still ongoing. Maybe I will republish it after the situation ends. Or maybe not. Either way, don't worry, you're not missing out on anything interesting. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

It's Not You

I don't know who needs to hear this, but here you go.

You are not the problem. It's not you.

If anyone judges you for your preference to stay home during a pandemic...
If there's someone who has a way of making you feel unsure, uneasy, or uncomfortable...
Even if your own mother tells you that "everyone has bad things happen to them" after you express your sadness about losing your children, your marriage, and life as you knew it...

It's. Not. You.

Even if everyone at once is opening their traps and forcing their bad opinions on you and you can't help but let some of that noise and bad energy seep in, even then, it's still not you.

Ok, it's me. 
It's me who needs to hear this.
I've been needing to hear this all damn day. So I told myself. And shared it with you.