Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Applying a Lesson Learned from Infertility

It's no secret that I've been stressed out and struggling for the past several weeks (a month? two months?). That's life. Stress happens. I don't say that dismissively to myself. My stress is real. It's also not unique. Everyone has stress. I'll go out on a limb and say most everyone currently has stress in their lives. Times aren't easy.

But I was getting sick and tired of feeling how I was feeling. I couldn't change any of it, so what could I do? Some options I thought of were to practice acceptance (suggesting this almost always annoys me but I still believe it's a beneficial coping strategy) and to change my perspective. I've been trying both strategies. 

I decided to rely on what I did toward the end of my experience with infertility. Instead of constantly thinking about what I didn't have, I decided to think about what I did have. I even wrote a list. It was long. I was pleasantly surprised. That was helpful.

Our poor primitive brains have not evolved from hanging on tightly to negative information. Yes, this was helpful when we needed to avoid getting eaten by a wooly mammoth. (Just kidding. Wooly mammoths were herbivores, but you get my point.) But, hanging on to negative information is not such a great thing when we live in a 24/7 news cycle of bad news. 

The brain can only handle so much.
The heart can only handle so much.

We have to be kind to ourselves, especially when society isn't.

No matter what we're missing and no matter how sad/lonely/bored/broke/frustrated we are, we have so much. That's not to take away from our very real negative feelings. It's to remind us of what we do have.

We have ourselves. We have each other. We have today.
And when today sucks, we have tomorrow. Every day is different.

Just a reminder. Because it's easy to forget.


  1. Lovely. It really is easy to forget. And focusing on what we have, a lesson in gratitude, can make a big difference. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. It's hard.

      I'm going on day 3 of having no running water at my house, waiting for the repair to be completed, and hoping so freaking hard that the workers don't run into any more problems than they already have. I want to shower, do laundry, and wash dishes. Not to mention flush the toilet... I'm not on either work schedule for two weeks, but I'm doing well at not spending money. Plus, it's a new semester and I don't have any time to spend money anyway. I have too many assignments to do (and figuring out everyone's syllabuses almost requires an advanced degree!). So those are my current problems. They will all probably resolve themselves and a couple of months from now I'll have all new problems.

      But dang, I am so STRESSED right now. And reminding myself that I have so much.

    2. Dear Phoenix,

      I am so sorry you are stressed. I am sorry that the workers ran into problems, too. But I am glad you have these coping mechanisms to come back to. I have used them, too. Even nowadays, I still try to think of at least three things I am grateful for when I go to bed. Usually I end up with more than three ;-).

      Thinking of you!

      Much love

    3. Thank you, Elaine. Cultivating gratitude can be powerful. Yes, I am stressed, but there is also a lot to be thankful for. So I feel both: the stress and the gratitude. :)

      Also, an update! I took a shower yesterday and we are running the dishwasher right now!! We have water again. <3

  2. These are great reminders. Acceptance (which can feel real sucky at times, like, Do I REALLY want to accept this?) is hard. But the gratitude, the paying attention to the positive... that is so important. It is so easy to focus on the things that prevented you from being lunch. But then they pile up and the positive gets lost. I was listening to a podcast and they were talking about making to-do lists, and then the importance of a Ta-Da! List, at the end of the day, of the bright moments and the moments you accomplished something, no matter how small. This reminded me of that!

    1. A Ta Da list!! I love it. Like, recognizing that I made that phone call I didn't feel like making or running that errand I didn't feel like leaving the house for. <3 <3 <3