Monday, May 18, 2009

crunchy nuggets of bug

I've been spending oodles of time lately thinking about happiness, and how I can hunt it down and force it to be a part of my life. Apparently the desire to tackle a problem and make it submit is a character trait long a part of my personality. My mom likes to tell the story about how, as a tiny chica, I decided that I wanted to learn to ride a bike without training wheels. And learn I did, over the course of one day and many tumbles. I was determined. This steely will didn't always manifest itself with such cuteness when I was a kid - my mom also likes to tell the story of how I threw a tantrum and knocked out her tooth (with my head) because I wanted to wear a summer dress in the winter. I was determined. And I'm pretty sure I wound up wearing that summer dress. (Sorry mom. You really put up with a crapload.)

I've only sparingly applied this tenacity in my adult life. Opportunities to advance professionally, socially, financially have passed me by, because they are not important to me. What is important to me is having a family. For a long time now, I've ignored all the other tumbles of life because my purpose has been getting pregnant. Staying pregnant. Dealing with the loss of pregnancy. Repeat.

Lately I've been realizing how sick and tired of it all - by all I mean devoting my whole self to a long shot - I am. I never thought I would get here, to where the possibility of a kid free life doesn't make me want to puke. I think maybe, at some point in the not-so-distant future, it might actually sound good.

I think part of my depression/sadness/anger/frustration in dealing with my semi-reproductive system has been the irrelevancy of will in the whole equation. It doesn't matter how badly my heart aches when I think about seeing Hubby holding a little one: my body just doesn't work the way it should. I've been trying everything I can to fix it, but I'm failing. At some point I'll have to admit defeat. Those are facts, and I have to accept them, even if they make me feel like shit.

And so, without even intending, I've shifted my focus to things that make me feel good and whole and worthy of being alive: running (10 miles! with no company or headphones! never thought I'd be able to do that); cooking; finding the funny in life; taking care of my house and pets (although this last one hasn't gotten the house organized/purged yet, nor the toenails trimmed on the herd). And I've realized something: for me, the road to happiness is a choice. I can choose to sit on the couch and cry because everyone else keeps having babies, or I can go for a run and listen to the birds and feel the sweat drop down my back. I can sit and wallow, or I can dance with Hubby and laugh in the living room. I can choose to focus on what isn't, or I can enjoy what is.

We're still trying, of course. And I'll still be as healthy as possible, but now it won't just be to increase my baby productivity odds but also to take care of me. I just can't let it - the dream of baby - crowd out everything else, including the little nuggets of happy I pluck out of life, much like baboons plucking delectably crunchy nuggets of bug from each others hair.

Happy nugget of the day: little dog's tumor was the good kind, if there can be a good kind of tumor. My boss assures me she's got at least several years left in her before she makes that trip to the rainbow bridge :)


  1. That's great your dog is going to be okay! I love this post, I love how it shows the cautious optimism for the future that many of us in IF land have such a hard time finding, but when we do find it we treat it well and hold onto it as much as we can.


  2. Thanks for the kind words. It sorta sucks that our optimism has to be tempered by caution, but at least we have it!