Thursday, February 23, 2012

Patience

This is the only moment of each day when Buster posesses any sort of quality that resembles patience.

Or self-control.

Yes, that bone is almost the size of his head.

Also? I know that I'm a terrible human being for making him wait to eat it because I needed to take a picture.

I really think he would wait all day if I asked him to.

But? I'm not that mean.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent & %&*^#$


In addition to being quite sarcastic, I also have a very dirty mouth. Some might say pirate or sailor-like, really.

I try not to cuss, really I do. It just happens, you know?

Not that curse words simply slipping from my mouth is acceptable. As a writer, I realize that there is always a seemingly "better" word that could be used. But it's just sometimes hard to find a better word- like when I'm driving my car. Or, when my dogs do something terrible.
Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. It's all about penance and moderation and trying to be a better person---which I surmise would mean less (or even no) cussing.

So, I'm giving it all up. All of my favorite curse words and even my least favorite ones, too. Out the door for forty full days. Every last one.

My dear sweet husband (who is doing P90X & not playing iPad games for 40 days) has also suggested another joint Lenten resolution: eating dinner at the dining room table with the television off.

f^#k.

I mean golly gee whilikers, that sounds wonderful. After hearing this suggestion, I suggested we take turns bringing a list of topics to discuss while sitting at the dining room table for conversation purposes. There's nothing I hate more than silence and conversation lapses. It makes me feel uncomfortable.

I also suggested he remove all his jackets and stuff from the top of this particular table, but there's no need to get crazy here. I mean, it's just Lent. Right?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Things I don't say

People tend to cling to certain phrases and sayings and repeat them frequently. I am no exception to this rule, which is why I plan to make a bold Lenten resolution.

However, there are also a lot of things that will never, ever come out of my mouth:

"That is such a beautiful poncho!"

"Have you seen my Crocs anywhere?"

"Why don't more men wear short-sleeved dress shirts?"

"I'm totally wearing the right shoes for these conditions."



"I would like this deep-fried, please."

"You know, Gordon Lightfoot really makes great music."

"Wearing socks with your sandals is always a great choice."

"Oh yeah, I heard all about that on ESPN last night."

"I guess those shoes are cute, but the heels are just too high."

"I think I'm under-dressed for this event."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 16th


Today's the day. The one I thought would change something--anything--about this experience.

Today is 18 months since our adoption application was accepted, exactly.

When I reminded my husband of this, he scrunched his nose and said, "Really??"

His point was well taken: it does(n't) seem like that long. When you are in a constant state of waiting for something important, time passes both quickly and slowly--it's difficult to describe.

I figured we would never actually have to wait for this day, to be honest. The oldest sales trick in the book is to tell someone that the thing they want will take X days/months/years, even though you know with certainly it will come sooner. And when it does, you look like the hero.

Not the case here. Other than sending us two Christmas cards, we haven't heard a thing from the adoption agency in the last 18 months. The only thing we have to tell the people who want to know how things are going is absolutely nothing.

For me, my feelings can be best described as a mixed bag. I've always thought that was a funny term--until I lived it.

But, that's what happens when you have to have your feet in two different worlds. The world of moving on, acceptance and finding happiness--paired with the world of still wishing and hoping for the very thing you are trying to put behind you. The reality is that you can't live in both places if you want to remain sane. It's hard to describe how this feels, and I have yet to think of an analogy that applies to this feeling.

How can you possibly expect your heart to feel two completely different things?

I've begun to realize this: you can't. It's not a reasonable expectation, really. You instead need to find where you belong in the midst of that equation, wherever that might be.

What I have come to realize is that I have always led a very conventional, expected life. My choices have always been traditional and have never really gone against what was expected or even accepted. But, infertility has changed that part of me.

Our choice to walk away from fertility treatments was not traditional. Most people wouldn't choose our path, this I understand. I understand (really, I do) why people try everything possible to have a biological child before "moving on" to adoption. I know what it feels like to stand at a very significant crossroad and feel like everything has fallen apart and be presented with an opportunity to make things right again. But, I also know what it feels like to hear your heart telling you to choose the path that is not popular. Our hearts pulled us in a completely different direction. I know what it's like to feel for the first time in your life that it's your life, and you should do whatever you want.

I have always known that people who love us would support our choice either way--doing anything to make our dream, whatever it might be, possible. And I have always anticipated that there will be people who just don't get it.

Until you've stood at those crossroads with your own two feet, it's likely you will never really and fully understand the tsunami wave of feelings you feel in that moment.

It's a death.
It's a bad dream.
It's heartbreak.
It's confusing.
It makes no sense, no matter how many times you do the math.
It contains no logic.
It makes others uncomfortable.
It makes you feel inadequate.
It makes you angry.

Despite all the pain and power to pull you down, I believe this: you are stronger in the places where you're broken.

It's simple physiology really: muscle soreness comes from tiny tears caused by exercise or resistance training. In two days, those muscles heal larger and stronger than they were before. Your body actually becomes stronger in those weaker places---and so does your heart.

I am happier today than I have ever been in the last three years. I'm stronger than ever. I'm more powerful and more in control of my life's path than I ever thought possible. My torn muscles have finally healed. I'm completely at peace with my old wounds and my slowly fading scar--and everything it represents in my life.

And all this waiting? It's great, actually. It gave me the time and space to realize that I'm happy with being unconventional. I'm just really, really happy. And? Not caring what anyone else thinks is the actually one of the best feelings in this confusing world of ours.

And that's what moving on is all about.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

...on surviving.

“But don’t forget who you really are. And I’m not talking about your so-called real name. All names are made up by someone else, even the one your parents gave you. You know who you really are. When you’re alone at night, looking up at the stars, or maybe lying in your bed in total darkness, you know that nameless person inside you…Your muscles will toughen. So will your heart and soul. That’s necessary for survival. But don’t lose touch with that person deep inside you, or else you won’t really have survived at all.” -Louis Sachar

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Truth


It doesn't matter how many times the universe shows us it is impossible, we still believe it is possible to hide from the truth. Sure, you can put it off for a while---but it will always come bobbing back up to the surface to remind you that it cannot be eradicated from your life.

There are plenty of high profile, widely publicized examples of this phenomenon: Tiger Woods, Bernie Madoff, Jerry Sandusky, et al. All people who tried to stifle the truth--their own faults/sins/shortcomings--and we all know how those stories end. It often seems like the smarter or or more successful we are, or think we are, the more we believe we are able to outsmart the truth. Somehow, we believe we can deny who we are or what we've done in a way that no one else has ever managed to do before us.

It never works, you see. Not permanently, anyway. The truth is willing to give you a rain check; willing to promise you that if you try hard enough and manage to lie enough, it will fade into the background. But it will never disappear entirely. And best of all, it will be waiting in the shadows to show itself at the most inappropriate of occasions. We think living a lie is easier and cleaner than being honest because we are afraid of what the truth potentially means for our life--and it's always more frightening in our heads. Or, the truth is damaging. Or illegal. Or whatever, really. It matters not what the truth is, we still fear what it will do to our life.

I have always been fascinated by our insistence upon resisting our own personal truths, too. Ever notice that when you start to feel a certain way that you believe will not be popular, you have a strong urge to hide it? Perhaps it's an unpopular decision or a choice that will potentially disappoint someone else. We believe that ignoring the truth or lying about it will save someone else from heartbreak. We also believe that lying is a better option than being honest. It's just our natural instinct to save our loved ones from pain, I think.

But what about you? What about your happiness? Odds are you have had moments in your life where you had to scratch and claw your way through something terrible to get to this point in your world--physically, spiritually, financially or mentally. Things haven't always been easy, or simple for you in those moments. Think about how that felt: did you try to hide it from others? Did you seek out the truth? Or, were you too ashamed to admit your own faults and shortcomings to admit anything at all?

Whatever your truth may be, I think it's time to set it free. Let it out there for everyone to see; even if it isn't nearly as pretty as you hoped it would be. The people that hate you for it never deserved you anyway. And the ones who truly care will understand---because all they want is for you to be happy.

Just set it free, and everything else will fall right where it should.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Ebb


The weather has been wildly fluctuating lately, which means people are filling the awkward parts of conversation with weather-related remarks. Terms like "crazy" and "can't make up it's mind" and "this is terrible" are being thrown around. I mean, I get it: it was one degree and snowy at one point. Last week, it was fifty degrees and rainy. I suppose crazy is a good way to describe this particular occurrence. Whatev.

But I always come back to this: the weather isn't all that much different than your life. There are breezy, sunny days at sixty-five degrees and frigid days at eleven degrees and you have to learn to adapt even when you truly despise the experience. When someone talks about the ebb and flow, this is what they mean: sometimes the tide will go out (ebb) and sometimes it will come back in (flow). But, it always comes back. The water that returns to the sea will again return to the beach. Sometimes it just requires a little patience for it to arrive.

When we experience an ebb in our lives, it feels like it will never end. When will our reprieve come? Why has everyone forgotten about us? It feels like the tide will never return and we are somehow stuck in a permanent agony. Like everything else, it's not going to last forever--the world couldn't possibly function with such a lack of balance. And neither could you, quite honestly.

When times are good, it's so easy to forget what the bad times felt like--and the opposite is also true. All you need to do is be patient and let your ebb teach you something about who you are, or who you are meant to be. And if you don't feel like doing that, just plant yourself on the beach and wait for the tide to come back in. It's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This has been stuck in my head since Saturday

...and now it will likely be stuck in yours. You're welcome/I'm sorry.

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