Thursday, March 23, 2023

My 8th Survivor Anniversary

I began my day by reading Robin Williams quotes. I remembered one that always resonated with me, looked it up, and ended up reading a long list of his quotes. It was a good use of my time.

The quote that prompted the search:

"I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy.
Because they know what it feels like to feel absolutely worthless
and they don't want anybody else to feel like that."

The quotes that kept me reading:

"There’s a world out there. Open a window, and it’s there."

"The human spirit is more powerful than any drug and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendshipfamily. These are the things that matter."

"Sometimes you can have a whole lifetime in a day
and never notice that this is as beautiful as it gets."

So, anyway, today is my 8th survivor anniversary. Eight years ago today my last IVF failed and I knew I was done trying to conceive. I couldn't do it anymore. 

Here is last year's survivor anniversary post. 
And here is where you can find the links to previous survivor anniversary posts.

And now it's 8 years later. I don't have kids. I went back to school. I left where I'd lived for 25 years. I got divorced. I learned how to quilt. I started working in a new profession that I love. I moved a bunch of times. I bought a house. I went back to school again. 

It is okay now. (I wrote about that in my last post.) Still, I had a deep cry for about ten minutes yesterday. If I do not give in and feel it, it will persist for days. So, I went with it and felt it all. And it felt awful. And then it passed. Those feelings did not stay with me for the rest of the day. 

Because of my emotional acknowledgment and release, I was able to be creative yesterday evening. I went to a workshop on Saturday and learned about sashiko (Japanese slow stitching). Then last night I made a cute drawstring bag with my sashiko patches. I might have discovered a new obsession... I might want to make lots and lots of bags with sashiko patches now... :)

I made no plans for today. I slept in a little and enjoyed my coffee and blog reading. I need to go grocery shopping. I'm motivating myself by telling myself I can browse the fabric section for bag supplies. Later today I will spend a couple of hours working on the revisions for my Institutional Review Board (IRB) application for my proposed research study. I wouldn't be able to do academic work on behalf of women who are childless not-by-choice if I hadn't gone through everything I've been through. I'm grateful for the opportunity to conduct a pilot study.

So it's a good day. It's a good life. It's been extremely hard, but it's been worth it.

You can buy the pattern online for $6 here. 

It is designed to be handsewn, but I used my sewing machine. I also added a layer of batting to the exterior panel before attaching the lining to give the bag more shape. 

My sisters don't want a quilt, so I think I will sew these for them to use as make-up bags. 


  1. I think your sisters will love the bags.
    I'm here marking your anniversary. I'm standing alongside you, with you, as you remember eight years ago. You've been through so much, and you have seen so much growth, which as we all know is both painful and joyous. And you are okay. Brava!

  2. What a great way to spend your survivor anniversary. Remembering, feeling, reflecting, and creating. That bag is gorgeous! You have been through one thing after another, and it is awesome that you are okay, and moving forward while honoring the past, and embarking on research to help other women, too. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Phoenix!

    I know I am repeating myself, but I really like how you honor your losses and practice self-care. I absolutely love this: "Still, I had a deep cry for about ten minutes yesterday. If I do not give in and feel it, it will persist for days. So, I went with it and felt it all. And it felt awful. And then it passed. Those feelings did not stay with me for the rest of the day."

    Those feelings did not stay with you! It was so important to feel them. Yet, it must be encouraging for many of your readers to know that things can change from one year to the next, year after year. The fact that you write "it's a good day. It's a good life" now says it all <3.

    Sending hugs for your eight year anniversary!

    1. Thank you Elaine. Your friendship as you walk alongside me (across the ocean!) through this life is priceless. <3

  4. I am so glad you took the day to be good to yourself. (And I love those bags! -- I'll bet your sisters will too!)

    1. Thanks! I'm obsessed. :) I've been working on making more, but it is slow going with my schedule. I don't have time for work or school; I have too much to sew! Hahaha