Monday, December 30, 2013

Talk In A Funny Accent...Seriously!

I remember as a kid I could never understand what the big fuss about New Year's resolutions was. It seemed a little silly to wait until January 1st to make some big proclamation. If you want to change something about yourself, change it.

The older I get though, the more I see the need for resolutions. And the more I learn about the brain, the more I understand why.

The brain organizes itself like a tree...the trunk and thick branches are the main pathways that branch into finer and finer distinctions the older one gets. So if you've been building on one habit for many years, it takes some serious pruning and reorganizing to get a different habit to grow it its place.

This brings me to my New Year's resolution...talk in a funny accent. Yes, really.

You see, for some reason some people have a lot of trouble understanding me when I talk. I don't have a speech impediment or anything like that, I just talk very fast and mumble a lot. There are times when I can speak very clearly, such as when I use my "Trust me, I'm a Project Manager" voice. But that sounds much too professional to use at home and I'm sure Adam would just ignore me anyway.

Adam in particular really can't hear what I'm saying a lot of the time. I think we'll have to have his hearing checked out, but I'm sure he'll say it will come back with excellent results, so it has to be me. Though, I, of course, feel there are many times when he doesn't hear me because he is not listening. ☺

It would seem like the simple solution would be to raise my voice. But I feel like if I raise my voice, a bitchy and demanding, or at least angry edge creeps in, especially if I'm making a request. So often I keep my voice quiet.

I have a feeling that drives Adam nuts as he often guesses at what I want or has to ask me to repeat what I've said. By the third time, I really am angry, so my loud voice sounds bitchy automatically. Thus the cycle repeats itself.

Perhaps it has something to do with the muscle tone of my mouth and the fine motor control I have there. Maybe, I thought, (and it's possible I was drunk at the time) maybe if I talk in funny accents for several days, I can break up the tone in my mouth and introduce variation to the way I enunciate, eventually making my voice clearer.

Perhaps if I can keep this resolution, I will one day be easier to understand so I turn to you oh wise ones...what accents should I try?


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

Well, it's Christmas Eve, and I don't know how much time I'll have to post, with the eggnog and the wrapping paper and the jingly bells flying all 'round. Family duties, you understand. So I thought I'd bring in a guest poster, to keep you entertained for the day, while I flit to and fro.

I couldn't find a real guest poster on Christmas, and on such short notice, so I've decided to try something radical. Just this once, because it's Christmas, I'm going to let my inner child tell you what she thinks of the holiday season. Unfettered, unadulterated, and no holds barred.

I hope you enjoy this look at Christmas through the eyes of my younger, more immature self.
____________________________________________________________

Hi. My name is Janet. I'm firty eight years old. Okay, not really. I live inside another Janet, and she's thirty eight. But I never got older than nine or ten years old. Mommy says that's because I didn't eat my vegetables.

So, Christmas is the best time of the year! I remember when 'Old Janet' was little, too, and we were so excited about Christmas together! We would always help put the Christmas tree up...that's when you knew it was almost Santa time. Of course, Mommy always says that we didn't really 'help'...we would hang an ornament, and then break a couple, and try to stuff tinsel up the dog's butt, and Mommy would have to give us a 'time out'. I don't really remember all of that, but I'm pretty sure the dog would have been happier with tinsel up her butt. Everybody needs a little Christmas spirit...even the dog.

The hardest part about Christmas was always getting to sleep. I'd go to bed around ten or eleven, but I'd lay awake for a while, listening for hoof-steps on the roof. I never heard any. Finally, though, I'd get to sleep, and dream of all the cool presents that I was gonna get. I didn't ever dream of 'sugar plums', 'cause I don't know what those are. Everybody always talks about 'visions of sugar plums', but I've never seen one of the things. And what's so exciting about plums, anyway? It's not even a good fruit! Maybe 'sugar oranges', or 'sugar strawberries' I could see, but 'sugar plums'? I never did get that. 

Then, at five in the morning or so, I'd wake up, and get Mommy and Daddy to go open presents. I'd drag them downstairs to the tree, and we'd see what Santa brought. It would always be fun...there'd be toys, and games, and sports equipment. Santa wasn't so good with the stuff that needed to be put together, though. My metal toys that read 'some assembly required' on the box were usually bent, and my bicycles would have grease, or blood, or Santa sweat all over them. I always thought it was weird that Daddy would have a bandage or bruise or sling on Christmas morning, too.

We would spend all morning playing with our new toys while Daddy napped on the couch. Followed by a HUGE feast and then bed.

Anyway, that's how Christmas used to go, back in the good old days, when me and 'Old Janet' were about the same age...but things change. Now we don't leave anything for Santa to eat, or get up early to open presents, or get much of anything but 'practical' gifts. 'Old Janet' seems to like curling irons and new clothes but what good are those things to me? Gimme some candy, or a board game, or Barbies. Where's the good stuff these days?
____________________________________________________________

So, that's my Christmas story. I hope your holiday turns out well this year...no matter what you celebrate. Whatever it is, I hope you get just what you want. Just try and save room to wish for something for your inner child, too. Merry Christmas!




Thursday, December 19, 2013

Head In The Sand

Last Friday was Cycle Day 3 and while not a momentous occasion, an important day in regards to my fertility nonetheless. 

Now that we've made the decision to move forward with IUI in the new year, it was time to measure my Day 3 levels (again). FSH, LH, and E2. I've had this done, many times...always with disappointing results, but disappointing or not, it needs to be done. Simple enough eh?

I left work at lunch, made the ten minute drive to my clinic, parked my car, grabbed my paperwork and then proceeded to sit in my freezing car for the next thirty minutes. I could not make myself get out of the car! I just couldn't. I sat there frozen in place...staring at the doors to the clinic. 

"What's wrong with you Janet?" that negative inner voice screamed at me. 
"Get out of the car"
"Go"
"Open the door...and get out of the car".

I sat there for a few more minutes, paperwork clutched tight in my hands and then started the car and drove away. I never made it into the clinic. I came back to work, locked myself in the bathroom and had myself a good 'quiet' cry. 

Here's the thing...December 21st 2011 I found out our second frozen embryo transfer had worked, I was pregnant but that joy was short lived and on Christmas Eve I found out that I was going to miscarry. Christmas was horrible, I was a wreak and spend 99% of it down in the basement with my head buried under the blankets...disconnected. I let that Christmas slip right by me and I missed out on the opportunity to spend time with my family. Time with R who we tragically lost on June 14th, 2012. It was my last Christmas with her.

Christmas 2012 was our first without R...it was as you can imagine, difficult.

Christmas 2013...I want to be happy. I didn't want the weight of what I expect to be bad news in regards to my results to weigh me down with disappointment and sadness so I drove away. 

Do I have my head in the sand? Perhaps...but I'm okay with keeping my head buried until next year.




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Occupied

A while ago I recounted the story of a woman walking in on when while I was using the restroom and wouldn't leave (I'm too lazy to go back and find this post so if you recall this great, if not...well...). The only thing worse than being in a public restroom and having someone open the door on you is being the person who opens the door. I always feel so guilty and weird and never know what to say. But, after years of experience, I've come up with the best ways to handle this awkward situation.

Silently sneak away - I know your first reaction when you see someone on a toilet in front of you is to scream, but I’m telling you this is the worst possible thing to do. It will freak the person out so much more and it might draw a large crowd. So, I suggest being completely silent in hopes of being invisible to said person on toilet.

Overly apologetic - If you can’t silently sneak away you should be prepared to give your sincerest apologies. You can stand outside their door and beg for their forgiveness, offer them something from your purse as a peace offering. Suggestions include lip-gloss, pens, granola bar or a gift card (it could be expired but don’t tell them). You can go even further with your apology by locking their door so they can’t get out of the bathroom, then running to the closest store and buying them flowers. While there you might as well buy extra lip-gloss, pens or a granola bar in preparation for another awkward bathroom encounter. If you noticed that they were low on toilet paper when you accidentally walked in on them, go the extra mile and buy them a roll of toilet paper. People appreciate thoughtfulness. You could also just go to a bathroom close by and steal some toilet paper, but be sure to knock before and make sure no one is in there. You don’t want to get stuck doing double bathroom apologies. It will get weird and expensive.

Be a boss - If you are an aggressive person and have trouble mastering the sly sneak away and if apologizing isn't’ in your nature, then I recommend you yell at the person in the bathroom. Tell them that they should either lock the door or react more quickly to you opening the door. You could also claim ownership of the bathroom. Tell them that the stall they were in is your special stall. You could say that the stick-figure girl or boy on the door is you when you were younger. If the door says "Women" then say your name is "Women." The same goes for the door sign saying, "Men" or "Unisex." Do all this yelling, however, after you have shut the door.

So, next time you find yourself in an awkward bathroom encounter, just remember my tips. You’ll be able to flush that embarrassment out of your system for good.



Monday, December 16, 2013

Ahi, il Mio Cuore

One of the most difficult and hard to accept lessons of adulthood is realizing that you will feel pain and that you cannot go over or under or around it. It’s a terrible place to be in because, well, it’s painful. But the most relevant aspect of pain is that it is caused by something that cannot be ignored or avoided.

The most important fact to remember about emotional pain is that it will not kill you. It will sting and make you cry, and perhaps make you not want to eat or talk or whatever, but it will not kill you and you will recover. It will simmer and sift around inside you, then eventually it will pass. After it is gone, you will change as a result of it. Whatever you feel at any point in time is not forever. 

Pain is a typical experience to have at some point in life and yeah, it’s super terrible, but you can enact important basic steps to get you through it...eating healthily, sleeping, exercising, getting outside and forcing yourself to be around those that love you even when you feel crappy for being a sad or angry complainer in sweatpants. Basic self-care and human interaction is the best medicine when it comes to being stuck in personal purgatory.

And though sometimes it lasts way more time than you wish it did, when you pass through it, you are actively becoming stronger and more stable and more healthy as an adult. You are growing tools that will help you to faster and faster recoveries in future pain. One day that same feeling will not be so scary or unfamiliar. It will just “be”. Kind of like being stuck in traffic. It’s crappy, but it’s not like you can’t handle it. Despite how much an idea like this sucks, this attitude is an extremely healthy way to deal with the emotions you wish you didn't have. It’s in fact a sign of maturity. Sometimes a middle state of ambivalence is one of the hardest places to be. Good for you if you can accept it and travel through it with grace.

In emotional band-aid short hand...

First things first. Take care of your body and your brain will much sooner follow. Just remember that pain is a healthy part of life and when it’s so intense you feel like you can’t be in your body, try to cling to the things that take care of your body and support your serotonin levels. That includes rest and exercise and a little bit of pampering in the name of a happier you. And if it helps, you try and repeat to yourself..."this too will pass" and your body and heart will heal and there are many who love you that will help you get back up again.



P.S. This was a letter to myself. You'll survive this Janet. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dilemma

I’m having a bit of a dilemma. Which is putting it mildly. I am not sure whether to shut the factory down for good, or keep it chugging along in its pitiful, yet marginally functioning state.

If things were normal, if *I* was normal (cue hysterical laughter here), then I might be happy to let things chug along as they were and see what happens. But things (my body and I) are far from normal and so I feel like I need to make a decision either way. Which really sucks and makes me feel a renewed sense of frustration, irritation and mourning for the sorry state of affairs of my reproductive bits.


We recently had an appointment with our RE to discuss our options and see where we stand. It was great to touch base with Dr. L but as expected, nothing has really changed. My fertility has been on a fairly rapid decline and there's not much we can do to change that (FSH last tested at 20). It was good to hear that my tubes are open and that my uterus appears to be in good shape but despite our best efforts...my hostile uterus remains empty. 

What next?

We'll repeat my Day 3 blood work with this cycle (which was only 24 days) and in the new year, at some point, we'll move forward with IUI. I would have thought that with this decision I would feel some sense of hope. Some sense of "this will could happen" but the honest truth is...I feel hopeless. What's the point? 

My last two cycles have been 28 and 24 days and one of the first signs of poor egg quality, fertility and the approaching end of your child bearing years, is shorter cycles. This is my current reality and while it's sucks, it's my reality...the only one I have and there's just no way around that. No easy fix. No magic pill.

This brings me to my dilemma...

If you were me (aren't you thankful you aren't!), what would you do? Shut the factory down and get on with your life or keep the rusty machinery going just a bit longer. Just in case? What say you, oh wise and wonderful ones?



Monday, December 9, 2013

Go Easy

Food is delicious. Cold weather and fireplaces are amazing. Friends are wonderful. Loves are magic. Exercise feels awesome. Nature never ceases to be beautiful and soothing. There is so much to enjoy every day in life, yet a lot of us have a hard time staying in the moment, even when that moment is singular and something worth replaying in our minds for eternity. It’s kind of like living in a constant state of looking forward or backward, or always feeling like wherever you are there’s something that needs to be fixed. Something we’re forgetting that we should be remembering.

There can be lots of reasons for why we take ourselves out of the moment, but in general I’d guess that it’s a feeling of discomfort with something deep down and ancient, a discomfort with low-self esteem, feelings of depression or anxiety that we’re trying to put logical labels on, or perhaps a fear of a discomfort we knew long ago. One of the best tools I've learned is to remind myself that all those feelings and instincts are...


A) 99% made up in my own head, and 
B) completely useless and irrelevant to what will happen and is happening. 

All that it does is remove you from the present and steal away the joy from any experience you might be having.

When you decide to give yourself the gift of an experience – be it a vacation, a dinner, a love or a party...don’t take yourself out of it while you’re in it. Savor it and soak it up. Smell the smells and taste the tastes. Laugh at things that are funny. Love and be loved. Tell your brain to leave you alone and perhaps recite a little reminder, something along the lines of, “You are smart, you are fine, things are okay, and this is where I want to be right now. Be nice to yourself and just try and enjoy it.” Remember...most things to come and everything past is out of your control. All you can ever do is your best and then after that you've got to let go of the outcome and remember that about yourself. Forgive yourself for things that aren't perfect. Time spent regretting and worrying and fearing is time stolen from your life. What’s the good of a cookie if you hate eating it?

So with the upcoming holidays and days off of work, remember to let yourself savor the happy, relaxing and novel moments. With your friends, your family, your pets. The cold air on your face after you've eaten a delicious meal. The mornings you sleep in and wake up when it’s basically afternoon. It’s okay and you are okay and maybe better than okay. The world is not ending and there’s nowhere your mind should be but in your stretching body. No need to force anxiety or “shoulds” over what has been or will be. You’re living something now and you should never cheat yourself out of the enjoyment. Remember, you like yourself. Don’t forget to go easy on you once in a while.



I owe you an update on the quest for Baby JaAdam...coming soon, stay tuned.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Have I Gone Mad?

I've been blogging for a while now (2 years and 8 months to be exact) and it has changed me. I look at things differently, I spend my life looking for things happening around me to happen in ways that I never used to but the biggest change is my inner narrative.

I cannot remember when it started, but it must have been since I started writing because I never used to do it. I don’t just mean a normal inner narrative, where you play out the day as you go along, maybe thinking how you will tell someone about it, but I mean an inner ‘written’ narrative, complete with grammar check and title.

Whenever and wherever I am, no matter what is going on around me I’ll be writing a story in my head. I’ll change the things I see into a story. Not only that but I will do mental rewrites in order to shape it into something I like.

When did this happen to me?

It doesn't matter what it is and it never seems to go away. I’m sure I only used to do that when I was actually at the keyboard trying to type...now I do it on the move.

Almost every incident I see, that my head types out a story for, gets shelved, mainly due to the incident not being funny or interesting to me, sometimes because I forget it, but without fail the ‘story’ will get tested and sounded out in my head. If I see someone trip up on some stairs I can be five minutes away from them before I've finished planning out a blog post about it and ruled it out on account of it being nothing.

The other day I was walking by a brand new Target (that just happens to be next to my bank) that just opened near work, and my head was off to blogland again. I mentally wrote and rewrote a post all about how handy and exciting it is to have this new store open. I imagined describing the thrill of walking down new aisles picking out chocolate and bubble bath. I even spent a couple of minutes planning what I’d say I was looking forward to buying. I ‘rewrote’ that piece three times before realizing that what I was thinking was utter crap. What was I on about? Getting excited about a Target, just because it’s en route to work? Please!

What happened next made me laugh.

I realized what I was doing. I realized how utterly mad I had become, to be walking along writing a story in my head about a new Target store. What really made me gasp was when I started thinking about how I could write about thinking about writing that post. I stopped. I actually stopped walking. I thought, "And then I actually stopped walking along with a suddenness that shocked me through to the core." I waved my hand. I thought, "And then I waved my hand theatrically towards the shiny new store as it shone brightly against the dull stones of the old building it had been inserted into…"

I laughed.

I thought, "The eruption of laughter came deep from within the very depths of my soul as the ridiculousness of the inner narrative gripped my head like a vice."

And then I thought, "No, the laugh would come from my belly and grip my soul like a vice, not my head. Also I don’t think I thought up enough commas in the waving my hand line."

Argh...I am going mad!

I've become a walking talking story, writing myself as I live and then generally forgetting it all before I make it to my computer.

I think that is the worst bit...the waste of good material. While I busy myself writing mental masterpieces, I forget to do the one thing that would actually make being insane worthwhile...which is to write the bloody stuff down.

By the time I sit down to write I've forgotten all the good lines I’d worked out, and most of the actual incident to boot. Also I will remember the Target idea but forget all about the very interesting man that I saw which I've just recalled now that I’m sitting at the end of this post. I really must try and remember to write that one up...in my imagination it’s quite a good post.

So am I alone in my insanity? Do you all do it too? Are we all mad or was I just not concentrating before I started blogging? Help me out here.







Wednesday, December 4, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I've always wanted to be one of those people who laughs all the way to the bank, instead of one who cries every time she leaves.



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Opus, Volo, Quibus

What do we legitimately need nowadays besides a roof, warmth and sustenance? 

There are the things that make contact and work more possible...a computer, some kind of cable, wireless in your house. Other things that keep us "us", like our hair stuff, the right moisturizer, etc. Then there are those other things that we tell ourselves we need, or sometimes we tell ourselves we don’t need them but we tend to buy them anyway. The late night binge of whatever sort, or the online/in store "retail therapy".  In the moment it tends to work (or at least that’s what we tell ourselves) but really it’s like a pause button that costs us more in the long run. All of those "needs" that we have are tied to an illusion. That we have an emptiness. A void of some kind, that we need to fill or temper somehow, with something outside of ourselves.

I know the void feelings well and I constantly have to remind myself that it’s just an illusion...a concept that has been created as a distraction. There’s nothing lacking and nothing that needs to be filled. The key to relief lies in our ability to see that. Once we can see it or rethink it, we can figure out the right reaction to whatever the feelings are. The relief lies not in stuff or temporary numbing, but in spending some quality time with ourselves. Some damn good company. Things that remind us in a much more subterranean way who we are, why we are great and why we need look no further for comfort or soothing. Ever.

You are a great friend to hang out with on Saturday nights. You can make yourself laugh, watch a fantastic movie, have valuable experiences that require no one else to witness them. Sometimes it can feel weird to spend time with yourself, like you could be doing something better or more noteworthy, but the truth is, the key to happiness in many ways lies in your best friendship with you. It’s cool to have a day where you spend the night in and make yourself the best meal ever. Other weekend activities like a hike, a walk to a favorite bakery, perhaps an at-home spa treatment or even (for me) organizing and cleaning your climbing gear...there are all things that help you reconnect to that self-awareness.

Even if you do spend lots of happy time alone, the self-soothing piece of this equation is still relevant to you. When we feel like we need something outside of us to make us, feel whole, whether it be a brand, the love of someone else, the new whatever it is...all of that is false, and not what you need to be a better you. If you don’t already, start addressing yourself as a voice of reason. Like talk to yourself. I do it (all the time) and it helps me hear myself better. You are a self-contained entity that is bright, singular, and need only to follow the true course that your spirit wills you toward. And if that means you don’t go to any cool party or wear any cool clothes for years, that doesn’t change that. You are the source of newness and thought and creation and reflection. Forget about the stuff and just remember who you are outside of it.

via behappy.me



Monday, December 2, 2013

Something New

Glassblowing is a glassforming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble (or parison), with the aid of a blowpipe (or blow tube). A person who blows glass is called a glassblower, glassmith, or gaffer. A lampworker manipulates glass with the use of a torch on a smaller scale, such as in producing precision laboratory glassware out of borosilicate glass.

Saturday evening, despite being sick with the flu, we ventured out to our first glassblowing class in an attempt to make a Christmas ornament and hopefully one worth putting on our tree.  Now I can't quite call myself a glassblower, glasssmith or a gaffer but I did try my best and it was a great deal of fun....



How was your weekend?


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