22 May 2011

I am still not a mom

It's been 70+ days since we found out that the adoption fell through.

In that time I've: wept, blogged, withdrawn from the world, come back out into the world, exercised, not exercised, gained and lost 6 pounds, gone back to therapy, attended a conference for work, decided that I'm going to have a nervous breakdown if I continue my work, tendered my resignation (effective July 1), started looking into new careers and returning to school, cleaned my house, let my house become a complete wreck, avoided the subject of adoption, talked incessantly about adoption, got weepy when I would see little babies out with their moms, came down with The Plague, missed a week of work, started revamping my novel.


At least over the course of the past week, I stopped thinking about the fact that I am still not a mom.

Until today.

It just kind of hit me. And I don't know why. I walk into the house after my trip to the gym and there it is loud and clear in my head:

I. Am. Still. Not. A. Mom.

Which then leads to this thought:

Chris. Is. Still. Not. A. Dad.

And the really sad thing is that we're not having those great little conversations that we had been having for a long time before the adoption fell through...

"We're not going to be able to sleep in on the weekends anymore once the baby comes."

"I can't wait until we get to take her to her first PawSox game!"

"Omigod. I am so not looking forward to the poopy diapers."


It seems like we've kind of lost our enthusiasm.

We've turned our attention to other things to avoid thinking about the fact that we were supposed to be more than two months into parenthood by now.

I am still not a mom.

Which kind of sucks.

However, there's not much I can do about that now except be in the present moment.

And so in this present moment I am off to drink a green smoothie, have some lunch, shower and then hit the grocery store.

Life goes on.

18 May 2011

Being with discomfort

"Did you take anything for that?" my husband asks me a few days ago during the height of what I am now calling "The Plague." The "that" he's referring to is me practically hacking up a lung every twenty minutes or so.

"No [coughs]," I reply in a deep scratchy voice through a stuffed up head and chest. "I'm waiting until I go to bed for the night [coughs] to take any cold meds [sneezes and blows nose twice] so I can at least breathe a little better while I sleep. [coughs] During the day I'm just trying to let [sneezes] this thing make its way [coughs] through my system."

He looks at me as if I have lost my mind.


A few hours after this conversation I still cannot breathe. I'm huddled in my nest of blankets on the living room couch and still hacking away. Our elderly cat is enjoying the warmth I'm emitting as a result of my fever. She lays snoozing on top of me, opening her eyes each time I cough to regard me with a baleful glare as if to say, "You're disturbing my nap. Hush."

Like my husband, I'm sure the cat would love it if I would just take the cold medication.


Unlike those folks who medicate themselves day and night in an attempt to squelch every symptom of an illness, I prefer to simply be still and quiet and let whatever upper respiratory yuck (because that's usually what I get) just run it's course.The cold meds aren't going to make it go away any more quickly. If anything, I sometimes think squelching the symptoms slows the progress of a virus through your system forcing it to linger.

Better to just let it do its thing and get it over with.

Yep, that's my strategy.

It hits me as I'm laying there trapped under the cat and coughing yet again: In spite of feeling wretched, I am actually good at sitting with physical discomfort.

I am good at just being quiet for days on end and being still and sitting with the discomfort. At waiting it out and letting it run its course.

How weird is that?

In the next moment it hits me that, sadly, I do not possess the same skill when it comes to my mental and emotional life. While I might be good at sitting with physical discomfort, experiencing psychic discomfort of any kind...yikes!

Nope. Not good at all at being quiet and being still when it comes to sitting with difficult emotions or thoughts.

Like most people, I want to squelch the symptoms of discomfort in the realms of the mental and the emotional - numb them with things like food, movies, televsion, my computer, solitaire, anything fun and pleasant that will distract from the discomfort.

How sad is that?

And especially now when I have just given notice at my job, with no new job in the wings and my future plans uncertain. I'm making the leap into parenthood (hopefully, if our adoption ever goes through) and potentially into a writing career.

Yep, there's definitely going to be some psychic discomfort heading my way.

Maybe I should replicate my nest of blankets from my days with The Plague? Think that would help?

17 May 2011

How many self-help books are too many?

I open the plastic storage bin in search of a specific journal that I've used in the past to record notes and thoughts about a particular self-help book.

And there they all are.

My collection.

I've had to move them because we turned what was the guest room/my studio into the baby's room. My studio is now down in our finished basement. And I haven't taken the time to pull out and shelve my self-help book collection in the new space.

Until I look at them in their bin this evening, I had forgotten how many self-help books that I actually own.

Holy buckets, Batman.

That's a whole lot of advice from a whole bunch of experts staring me in the face from inside that bin.
That's a whole lotta books.

Books rife with meditations and affirmations. Buddhist books. Art therapy guides. Zen books. Writing therapy guides. Mystical books. Practical self-help books filled with strategies that I can easily incorporate into my everyday life!

Authors who promise they'll take me on the wonderful journey to becoming the thin, healthy, professionally fulfilled, sexy, happy human being that they know I can be!

Many of my self-help collection have illustrations. Others have accompanying workbooks or spaces within for me to write and journal. Still others allow me to create my own illustrations or add my own artistic touches.

So many tomes devoted to guiding me through multiple exercises that will lead me through the pain through the suffering through my past and my present to get to the healing and to discover my ultimate truth!!!

I've read them all. I've worked through them all.

And yet...

Here I am.

Forty-three years old and not quite where I would like to be in my life.

Still struggling.

Still looking to yet another new self-help book for some guidance and inspiration.

Maybe I just haven't connected with the right book yet?

How many self-help books are too many?

03 May 2011

The missing piece...

Being present is challenging when you're waiting for something.

Especially when you're waiting for a big something.

Like becoming a mom.

And you have no idea when it's going to happen.

Or even if it's going to happen.

As hard as I try to be in the present moment, to be in the here and now, to enjoy this moment and the next, to live...somehow it just feels like my life is on hold.

I hang out with my husband, go to work, go to the gym, see friends, write, make art, do all of the things that I once did before we decided to adopt, but now I do these things with a sense that I'm missing something. 

Something essential.

Every part of me is just aching everyday for that missing piece.

Still...everyday I try to smile, try to be a good wife/daughter/friend, try to do my job, try to take care of my body. And everyday I feel it down to my core. The missing piece.

How can I miss something so much that I've never had?