Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Productivity Overload

Tomorrow is the last day of May. Dang, 2023 has been a lot. 

And that's coming after 2020 - 2022 (pandemic) 

and 2016 - 2019 (selling my children's house, going to school, moving out of state, & divorce),

which followed 2012 - 2015 (infertility and failed treatments). 

My challenges of 2023 have included major relationship stress (which we've worked through, yay!), school stress (which is positive stress but still stressful), and training for pediatrics.

Whatever you have and have had on your plate, I bet you are tired too.

I think it's productivity and processing overload. 

I think I am burning out, but I also think I've changed massively.

This pediatrics coverage that I'm training for and will be providing feels so different from any other time I've worked with kids. On the surface, I know I don't have the energy I used to have. I know I don't have the same kind of enthusiasm. I also know I'm tired of kids on screens and other people's parenting. (Just being honest!!)

But today I realized that I have different things to offer now. I went to work at the nursing home. I was excited to drive there and grateful to be there. I connected with several different people in ways that were meaningful to both of us.

I've changed, and my gifts have changed.

And I'm very, very tired. 😂😂

This past Memorial Day Weekend feels like a reset of some sort. The past is behind me; the future is ahead of me. I mean, that's always the case...But I can get stuck in the past and anxious about the future, and that's not what this is.

I did nothing this weekend. No school, no work, no cleaning, no projects. Just lots of rest. Watched some tv. Sewed a tiny bit. I will honor where I am, follow through with my commitments, and say no to everything else for the rest of the year. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

My New Doctor

I changed health insurance providers this year, and of course my primary care physician (PCP) isn't covered by my new policy. I considered just paying out-of-pocket on the rare times I saw her because I liked her so much. Then I got a letter saying she's moving. 

So I didn't end up having a choice in the matter. I had to find a new general doctor. So last week I looked up who was covered by my insurance, made an appointment, and hoped for the best. 

I doubt many people look forward to going to the doctor. I know a lot of women who are childless not-by-choice hate going to the doctor. Especially a new one.

What's the waiting room going to look like? The decor? The magazines?

Plus, the paperwork. And the questions. Completing the medical history, figuring out the first day of my last menstrual period, just... Everything. It's a lot.

But I take a maintenance medication and need someone to prescribe it, so off I went.

And it was SO GOOD. I can't believe it.

It turns out the place that's covered by my insurance is within walking distance from my house. I've never walked to the doctor before. That makes it so easy! Then the place was fine. It was clean with bare decor and not a bunch of mother-child statues/paintings/charcoal drawings. There actually weren't any magazines so no Parents magazine or Women's Day (which is really geared for mothers, not women in general). The office staff was nice and friendly, and so was the nurse that did my intake stuff. She didn't say anything thoughtless as I shared my extensive non-reproductive history.

And then the doctor came in.

Are you sitting down? You should be sitting down.

She looks at all of my forms while I explain that I'm there to establish care because my current PCP is moving. I was fully prepared to educate her about involuntary childlessness, if needed, when she referenced Mother's Day, looked at me, and simply said, "I spent too much time on Facebook on Sunday and had to put my phone down."

Pause... Pause...

"Wait..." I asked her, "Do you have kids?"

And she said no.

I immediately asked her if she wanted to be my doctor forever. She laughed.

I said, "Seriously! Whether your situation is by choice or by circumstance, there is already so much you understand. So much I don't have to explain."

She smiled at me. She gets it. I can tell.

My new doctor doesn't have kids. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

Sick Day

Hi, it's me again. I'm so tired. Again. 

I woke up this morning to go train for the pediatrics coverage I'll be providing when my co-worker goes on maternity leave. I dragged myself out of bed, got myself in the shower, realized I felt like I'd been hit by a truck (full body exhaustion on the verge of physical breakdown), and thought, "Oh hell no." My thoughts continued, "I can't do this today. And that's okay."

So I texted my co-worker, emailed my boss, and went back to bed. I woke up in the middle of the afternoon and knew I made the right decision. I was not sleep-deprived, and I still slept an additional FIVE hours. That's not normal, and that's probably what my mind and body needed.

I am tired, but I am also so, so grateful. I like my jobs. And I really love that I have the opportunity to interview women around the world about their experiences with being childless not by choice.

But whoa. Going from that research topic to training for pediatric coverage is quite demanding on my energy in a very unique way that I cannot accurately describe yet.

I am realizing how pronatalist working in pediatrics is. I mean, duh. But also, yep, I'm realizing it. It is EXHAUSTING. I've worked with kids and their families for decades. How am I just now noticing this?

Of course, on Monday I was training with my pregnant co-worker and another pregnant co-worker. One is at 32 weeks and the other was at 40 weeks. She probably had her baby yesterday or maybe right now as I type. They were not annoying at all. In fact, they were both very enjoyable women to be around. But they were still pregnant. And I am still infertile. 

I thought I'd come home and crash (mentally and/or physically), but I didn't. I went the next day too without a problem. Then I spent Wednesday and Thursday working on stuff for school. I guess today is when I crashed. It was actually pretty good timing I guess, so thank you to my mind and body for that.

It's okay. I'm good with kids. I'll do what I can throughout the three month coverage. But then I'm pretty dang darn sure that I am really done working in pediatrics. I'm only coming out of retirement to help my co-worker, her clients, and my organization that needs someone to cover.

It's good though. There's so much good. So, so much good.

I finally have some friends! Like, in real life. So I have you all online, my old friends from where I used to live through text, and now I have some people here to actually hang out with. I knew it would take a long time, and I was right. Haha. However, I started going to this bar/restaurant, met some regulars, and now have plans to hang out with two other women. 

And in case you are curious... They're both in their late 30s and they don't have kids. Not that kids are a dealbreaker in friendships. Especially not now that I'm getting older so people's kids are getting older. But there's something about being friends with another woman who doesn't have kids. Even if you never talk about it. Even if you never know if it was by choice or circumstance. There's just a commonality there that doesn't have to be explained.

I also went to a quilt guild meeting this week. I walked into the room and THREE different people said, "Hi, Phoenix!" I don't remember the last time I had that experience. It felt good.

So I'm finally getting settled. I'm coming up on the second anniversary in my house, which means that will be two years in a row that I won't be moving. I'm always glad when I'm not moving. Maybe my nerves will slowly but surely calm down more with each passing year. Or not! Lol. Because that's life.

Anyway, I logged on to share I had a sick day, but then I started rambling about other stuff. Good stuff! So I'm happy to share. We all could stand to hear more good news in our lives.

So, Happy Friday! I hope you have some time to enjoy something you like, no matter how small...

Who knew I'd like hand sewing? But as much as I love piecing quilt tops, 
I also love sitting in my recliner and sewing on binding while watching tv.

Monday, May 15, 2023


Yesterday was Mother's Day, a day that used to hurt me but now I really couldn't care less. Like, I just don't care at all anymore. And I used to cry all day long. For years.

I can't believe how much can change. I really can't. Except I'm living it.

Take last year for example. After quarantining for over two years, my boyfriend and I started going out to eat at restaurants. On the second time we went out, it was Mother's Day. Neither one of us even realized it. Ha! I mean, who goes out to eat on Mother's Day and doesn't realize it?? (It was easy. It was later in the day and the place wasn't packed. Then we were seated next to a large table full of men. There were zero Mother's Day vibes going on hahaha.)

And this year? Pretty much the same. My boyfriend and I stopped at a place by our house for a beer and a burger. The sun was shining and it was nice. I ended up running into a former co-worker, and she said something great. She's single, no kids, in her early thirties, and works in pediatrics. She told me, "I woke up this morning and before I even got out of bed, I put my hand on my heart and wished myself a Happy Mother's Day for all the mothering that I do."

Isn't that a loving thought to have about oneself? I've always felt very maternal, so I loved it. :)

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Excluded Again

I'm feeling a little bit bummed. Yesterday I learned my boyfriend's family is all getting together for the weekend for his sister's youngest kid's birthday. We weren't invited. I think it's weird.

Being excluded doesn't hurt like it used to. It's more annoying than hurtful. It ain't my first rodeo.

I've written about my friend whose kid I was very close to. I was invited to every birthday party until I wasn't. Now THAT hurt me at the time.

I've written about my own sisters not including me when they would do stuff together with their kids. Sure, I was in my teens/twenties at the time, but I still would've liked to have been included.

I've written about my ex-sisters-in-law, who were my age and had children. They got together all the time with their kids and without their kids. I was never invited. One of them lived next door.

So it's not like being excluded by parents is a new experience for me. And, like I said, it's not painful like it used to be. But I was excluded again, and I noticed.

I told my boyfriend that I have to pull away from my relationship with her. I love his sister, but I can't put myself in the situation of continual disappointment. It's best to process now and move forward knowingly. I am not going to be the aunt to these children that I thought I might be because we are never invited to the big (or small) events. 

That's fine. It's fine. 

I'm glad I know how to protect myself. I'm glad I've learned to lower my expectations for others.

I'm not in a close relationship with anyone currently raising children.

And it annoys me greatly that the general public thinks I can have some great role with other people's children when parents repeatedly fail to include me in their lives.

Picture retrieved from 

Monday, May 8, 2023

More Reconnection

Remember when I wrote about reconnecting with one of my best friends at the beginning of the year? I said it was great to talk to her, and I unexpectedly got some answers about what happened while we were drifting apart.

Well, last week I missed a call from her. Past midnight. Oh no. 

I hoped nothing bad happened as I sent her a text in the morning after seeing her missed call. I told her I would call her after I got home from work and that I hoped everything was okay. She texted back, apologizing for calling so late and sharing she was emotional from one friend's funeral and another friend's terminal illness. I said no apology necessary and called her later.

We talked for THREE hours.

I listened as she shared about her friends. I listened as she talked about being a caregiver. I asked about mutual friends and we tried to catch each other up on everything. We covered so much and could probably still talk for another three hours.

At one point she flat out asked me, "What happened? You just disappeared." And I admitted that I did. I told her again that not having kids just about killed me. I was embarrassed and sad and ashamed. She said she couldn't be there for me because she didn't know what was going on. I told her that, in retrospect, I don't think anyone could have been there for me at the time. Even if they knew everything. I was so far gone. Nobody could reach me. Not even my best friend.


I give myself grace. 

I don't think I should have handled anything differently.
I don't think I could have handled anything differently. 

I completely lost myself, and I withdrew from everything. I didn't know what else to do. And now I'm on the other side of it and I still don't know what else I could've done. And that's okay too.


Not raising kids when all you wanted to do your whole life was raise kids is HORRIBLE.
It's no surprise I lost myself.
It's a miracle I came back to life.


Gahhh, it was so good to talk to my friend!!! 

And I have to tell you the funniest damn thing that she said. (Note: she's childfree by choice.)

She was at work the other day when her co-worker was leaving early to go to... Maybe it was a baseball game for his kid? But she said it didn't matter. It was some kind of game. And the other morning it was a parent-teacher conference. She said it's always something. She wasn't saying it rudely. She likes her co-worker and her job a lot. But she did say she is always there in the office, watching everyone with kids come in late and leave early. And she told me...

She said, "I love my job, but you know what my biggest mistake was? My biggest mistake about this job was not making up fake kids in my interview."


She has a point...