At a time when we gather to celebrate gratitude, I entered this week not feeling particularly grateful and in fact feeling low-grade frustration and even bitterness. And fighting it–judging myself for it (“I shouldn’t be feeling this”), pushing it away, rejecting what is. Easing up on work and spending time with family mean that difficult emotions held below the surface finally rise to the top. The lurkers come out into the light, ready to arm wrestle.
At the end of my last work day before the holiday, the tension was broken by a series of gchats, emails, and phone calls from key single girlfriends who finally got me to cry, to make all the sad lists of things not working, to say it out loud. I got back mountains of love and reminders to be kind to myself, to lean into it, to feel these feelings. You are courageous, you’re doing your best, don’t beat yourself up. Uncanny how aligned was their wise advice from across the world, my far-flung friends, always ready to send reinforcements across the airwaves. (love you!)
So what’s the state of the union? The conference went fine but I had to go to the doctor for a UTI two days after arriving, followed by this mysterious digestive issue of a few weeks ago that has returned. Even while feeling run down and unwell, I was still in go-go-go mode. At these types of events, there isn’t one minute for you. Every minute is spent preparing for the next focus group, event, meeting, presentation. I ran on the treadmill at the gym once and felt so zapped of energy I only did two miles and some of it walking. This rarely happens to me.
Unexpectedly, I also was getting waning attention from the Moroccan. We were texting for the first couple of days after I arrived but I noticed that it didn’t have the momentum or intensity that it had. His last text to me was “Il pleut des cordes ici” (it’s raining cats and dogs here). That night, my last “bonne nuit” went unanswered and I left it there. That was five days ago. Loin des yeux, loin du coeur.
And, the big one: I’m still not pregnant as I approach the end of the year, the beginning of the year I’ll turn 40, the anniversary of my decision, after six tries and record-setting emotional highs and lows. Sometimes I’m so patient and fine with this journey and other times, when I’m disconnected and pulled in a million directions, I start to feel resentful. A good barometer is whether I am able to be happy for others in their ecstatic pregnancy news and lately the answer is: not really.
Spending time with my nieces (who are 4 and 1) reminds me over and over that, to quote the Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” It happens 85 times a day as they go through the struggles of not being allowed to munch on the remote control or have more dessert. It starts on Day 1. We have a lifetime to practice being at peace with what is. And it TAKES a lifetime of practice.
I didn’t want to write this earlier because it was such a dark tangle. What good does it do to barf up a neg bomb? How do I redeem this post with some kind of positive conclusion?
I know, you’re saying–you don’t have to. Don’t impose a happy ending, tacked on, disguising it in witty word play. Just be honest.
Well here’s the truth: I am back to being my own kindest friend. When I find myself being critical or judgmental, I think of Tara, “May I be kind.”
Remember the sick baby of my previous post, the one in the hospital who needed me to hold her and give her an abundance of love? I think the baby was me.