In Someone Else’s Words

I’m still not over my feelings of anger and sadness about how my second, and last, attempt at breastfeeding failed.

It still hurts me to read about successful breastfeeding relationships.

It still feels like a slap across my face when readers are urged to keep trying, because it does get better and it’s so worth it to stick it out (and I absolutely KNOW that no one is slapping me across the face with that message, it’s just what it feels like when I read it.)

I still wish, every day, that I had that ultimate bonding experience with my son. That I were still enjoying it. That it were a part of our lives.

I think it will get better when he’s older and I can assume we would have stopped anyway, but at nine months, I think we’d still be going strong, had we ever got going at all. So the pain lingers.

There is never a day where I wish I’d kept pumping, but there is also never a day where I don’t regret that we didn’t get to breastfeed.

Sometimes it’s hard to articulate, how and why this hurts so much, why I feel like such a failure.

Then I read a post like this one and I feel such overwhelming gratitude that SOMEONE is able to put it into words so much better than I ever could.

I want to write about this more, hopefully on my public blog–because this is something I’d love to speak about publicly–but I’m not sure if I have the time for it. In case I don’t get my own message out there, I wanted to at least write this here. And link that that article. Because it says everything I wish I could say, better than I could ever say it.

Disjointed Attempts

Ugh. I tried to write a post. I got three paragraphs in and just deleted it. It was for the best. You can thank me later.

It’s 10pm. I’m waiting for the power drill to charge up (don’t get a chargeable power drill, especially the kind that won’t work even if it’s plugged in. WTF?!?!?!?!) so I can I finish installing the gate at the top of the stairs. Our house is old and nothing was built the right way and I’m guessing there is a 40% chance this gate will work once I install it. I’ll let you know how it turns out. (UPDATE: It didn’t work. The ground is not flat so the gate didn’t match up with the lock AT ALL. I’m waiting for the power drill to charge up again so I can drill four more holes. I HATE THIS POWER DRILL SO MUCH. Oh, and it is now 11pm.)

I got 23 boxes packed at work today. I paid a high school kid to help me and we did all the easy stuff today. Tomorrow is the harder stuff that I have to really sort through as I pack it. My new “room” isn’t really a room, it’s a modular and it’s SMALL and I have to get rid of a lot of stuff. Tomorrow is going to be tough. I’ll probably be down there again on Friday. It kills me that I’m missing so much of my last weeks with my baby boy but I’m trying not to think about it too much. It is what it is. It has to get done.

I’m listening to an interesting parenting book that I was really liking at first, and then it launched into an attachment parenting rant and started bagging on working parents a bit and I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck bristling. I recognize that feeling attacked as a working parent is a BIG trigger for me, so I’m trying really hard to let it go. We’ll see if I succeed. If I end up liking it, I’ll review it here.

I took Monito to the OT this morning. As I suspected, she declared that everything looked great. He could move food to all areas of him mouth and didn’t seem to have any sensory issues. She gave me a lot of great tips for moving forward and I’m glad I went. I’ll pass along the best of the info soon, I promise.

I had a weird experience with one of the mom’s from Osita’s class today. I’ve actually written about her before (a LONG post) that I never published because I felt weird doing so and not long after I wrote it something happened that kind of negated the whole point of the post. Anyway, I’ve thought that maybe we could be friends, as our daughters AND our sons are the same age, she lives really close and we’re both teachers. Sometimes it seems like it might work and then she does weird stuff and I don’t know what to think. I’ve long since stopped actively pursuing her friendship, as that didn’t seem to be getting anywhere and the last thing I want to seem is desperate (especially since I am, so I probably reek of it). Anyway, it just makes me realize how hard finding a friend is–I mean, everything lines up perfectly between us and we still don’t seem to fit.

I asked another mom out for dinner or drinks not long ago (via text) and she said yes, but then later in the text conversation she admitted that she had lost all her contacts with her phone and didn’t actually know who I was. So that felt… awkward. She said she suspected it was me but still, I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about that. I mean, I guess it shows that she’s nice enough to say yes to dinner/drinks with someone without even knowing for sure who it is, but it also feels like I can’t even be sure she actually wants to hang out with me, since she didn’t know who I was when she agreed. Of course she’s leaving this Friday for two weeks in Italy (with her mom and brother, for a wedding, it’s cool, I’m not totally jealous). I’ll let you all know how our “date” goes when she gets back (it totally feels like a date by the way. I feel like I’m on the market, looking to date other moms. Ugh. I sucked at dating romantically, I’ll probably suck at this too.)

Oh, and I lost my Fitbit, so that is totally bumming me out right now.

So that is me at the moment. Trudging through packing my room, trying to baby proof this house, mourning the loss of my FitBit, and trying not to show how desperate I am for a friend to unsuspecting mothers (and I’d be totally open to “dating” women who aren’t mothers, but I honestly don’t even know where I find them. We don’t tend to inhabit the same places these days). It’s, well, kind of tedious, but I’m doing my best to get through.

{I just read through a bunch of posts in my reader and now I feel like a total asshole for being so whiny in this post (and all the my recent posts actually) when there are people with real, honest-to-god, problems in the world. I’m still going to put it up, because I wrote it, but just for the record, please know that I’m aware: me=asshole.}

{That damned power drill better have some juice by now…}

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2ND UPDATE: I finally got the gate installed. At 12:21am. Five hours after I started. At least it works.

Tailspin

I feel like the dust is still settling from BlogHer.

I don’t really believe in “meant to be” but I do believe in creating meaning out of what might otherwise be deemed coincidence. A few things happened in quick succession last weekend. Actually they all kind of happened at once, spinning me furiously so that when I slowed enough for the nausea to pass, I wasn’t sure what direction I was facing, or what I was even looking at.

I’m still trying to get my bearings.

The first thing was this: I wrote that post about how much it annoys me when bloggers ditch their blogs mid narrative, never to return. I used strong words. I wrote in all caps. Honestly, that was my angry voice, the one I use with friends in texts when we’re chatting about something that just really ruffles my feathers. I don’t usually use that voice on my blog. It was very much “me,” the “me” that I show only to some people. I don’t know how it snuck out of the basement rec room where it is normally relegated, or why it broke free, but it did. I guess I just feel really strongly about that particular topic, and so I said some shit and didn’t really think about the consequences when I scheduled it.

But there were consequences. And people came to my blog and one of them was quite frank in the dialogue that ensued. And it got me thinking.

So the whole time I was at BlogHer, surrounded by literally THOUSANDS of women who do the same thing I do (give or take)–in very different Internet spaces and with drastically varying results–I was thinking about what had transpired on my blog. As I watched women find their tribes and connect with their readers, I thought about how I knew almost no one there (at the conference) and I wanted so badly to meet the people I did know through blogging, but I’d probably never meet them, and I cared so much and I had no real way of knowing if anyone else felt the same. I spent the whole time at BlogHer listening, trying to figure out why ALL THE WOMEN write, realizing there are SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE, so many women who come to blogging to talk about other things besides not being able to get pregnant, and losing babies and feeling broken and alone. They come to write about all sorts of other shit and they find their tribes and it all just seems a lot simpler, and at the same time harder to understand.

The blogosphere is a big place. I used to think that when I’d fall down the rabbit hole of comment links or BlogRolls and found woman after woman writing about IF or RPL or adoption or parenting after all of those. But I had NO IDEA how much bigger the blogosphere actually is. How our little corner is a thousand times smaller than I ever could have imagined. I felt so small when I was at BlogHer. Our community felt small. I’m not quite sure what that means.

A couple of other things happened too. I watched Elizabeth with her best friend and I was struck, as the cracks in my heart deepened, by the fact that I don’t have a friend like that. I don’t have a friend who has walked with me through so many seasons of my life. I don’t have a friend who has known me for that long. Most of the friends I’ve ever felt close to are gone now. I could barely maintain a brief phone conversation with them today. I have no one in my life that knows me to my very core. And there is no one I know that well either. It feels like a gaping hole in my life, and there is absolutely no way to fill it. No one will ever be… enough.

Finally, there was a small mention on someone’s blog about getting together with blog friends and I thought, I will never do that. I will never spend a weekend away with women I know through blogging. It just won’t happen. I’m not close enough to anyone to do that, and even if I were, it would never come to pass. Maybe that woman was right, who wrote those things on my blog. Maybe I don’t have any real friends in the blogging world. Maybe it’s all just an elaborate facade. Maybe I need to get a real life.

Those things–the post and the responses it got, the things that were said, being among all those thousands of bloggers, seeing the physical proof of how large the blogosphere really is, and what a small percentage our community represents, witnessing a real, honest, true friendship, and being forced to recognize that I don’t have that, being forced to recognize what I actually have here, it kind of threw me into a tailspin. I honestly don’t think I’ve landed yet.

I’ve been making plans, because that is what I do when I get sent into a tailspin, I grasp desperately at something, anything, to ground me. When there is nothing in the present to hold on to, I grope desperately at the future. Except the future is only an illusion. It’s just smoke and mirrors, and I’m left with nothing in my hands but scratches.

I’ve made myself wait. I’ve held off on actually doing anything because I want the dust to settle and I want to get a handle on how I feel. The thing is, I might not know how I feel for a long time, so now I’m trying to decide how I can trust myself enough to make some decisions now, in the absence of accurate information. It’s hard to chose a direction when I’m not quite sure yet where I want to end up.

This posts makes almost no sense, but I’m going to press post anyway, because sometimes that is what we do.

Please forgive me.

Smaller, More Reachable Goals

Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement on my last post. I realized as I was reading them that my post made it seemed like, at 155lbs, I was where I wanted to be. That isn’t actually the case, I want to be at 145 so I can wear all my old clothes, especially my size 8 pants. I was going to write a post about how I haven’t really reached my goal, and that I still have a ways to go, but then I stopped.

Because you know what? Fuck that. I did reach a goal. There was a reason I was focusing on 155 first–I knew that when I reached it I’d feel a lot better about myself, my clothes would fit better, and I wouldn’t feel so desperate to see the scale move. And I was right. I feel so much better in my skin. When I see myself in the mirror I don’t cringe. Sometimes I actually think, Damn, I look pretty good! I got myself some capris and tops for the St. Louis trip so I don’t have to wear my worn out, stained maternity clothes anymore. The bras I bought at the beginning of my pregnancy fit pretty well. I don’t feel the need to starve myself to see drastic weight loss. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m in a MUCH better place than I was when I started. Those 15 lbs made a HUGE difference and I worked hard to get them off, so I’m going to celebrate where I am, instead of just thinking about where I want to be. I’m glad I set that initial goal of 155lbs. I’m glad I was working toward that first, so when I got there I could take a moment to reflect on what I had done. If I were only focused on 145 and fitting into my size 8s, I’d probably feel pretty battered down right now, like I’d never cross the finish line. Instead, I feel proud of myself–and I should!–for making a real, measurable change to my body.

I’m glad I had this experience now, before I start really working toward bettering myself as a writer. If I set smaller, more reachable goals on that journey, I will set myself up for more celebration and less disappointment. Especially in the beginning, I want to make sure my goals are achievable, things that I KNOW I can do because only I stand in the way of not doing them. Signing up for a writing class was my first goal, and I already achieved that. Completing that class will be my second goal, along with a few other things that I’m working on now (and will talk more about soon). These are all things that I am in complete control of achieving. They don’t require anything outside of myself, like a certain number of page views or having submitted work accepted. I hope I can remember this lesson for at least the first two years; my goals should be about what I can control, otherwise I might start feeling hopeless or depressed. Otherwise I might give up.

I need to do this with some other things too, like paying down my credit card debt. I think I’ll make my first goal to get down to $4000, and then down to $2000. It’s hard to pay that thing off, and every time I reach a goal I should take a moment to appreciate what I’ve done. Maybe then it won’t seem so daunting.

I’m sure some other goals of mine could be restructured in this way. I’ll have to start doing this more.

Are you more successful when you create smaller, more reachable goals? Is there a goal you’re working toward now that might benefit from some restructuring?

In the Aftermath

I used to think that when I wrote a post that pissed people off that it was automatically my fault. That I fucked up in some way. Either my whole point of view was flawed, or my delivery was botched, or my supporting arguments were weak or SOMETHING was messed up, and it was my fault that people got angry. I guess I assumed that if I wrote well, no one would get hurt or upset. (Interestingly I felt the same toward other bloggers, that if *I* got upset reading a post then they had done something wrong. At least I was consistent.) Anyway, it took a lot of evolving for me as a person to understand that I was as much responsible for my own interpretation of what someone said as they were for writing it. Sometimes even more so. Eventually I was able to take that and realize that other people were as responsible for their interpretations of what I wrote, as I was for reading it.

The short version? It’s not always my fault when what I write pisses people off. (Just like it’s not always someone else’s fault when what they write pisses me off.)

I know, crazy right? I can’t tell you how long it took me to get to that place.

Of course sometimes it is my fault. There have been a few posts in particular that I know I fucked up on. The “When I am being a SAHM in the summer it doesn’t feel like a job” post (jeez, I still can’t believe I wrote that) comes immediately to mind, and there are others. I don’t think yesterday’s post was one of them (though in hindsight, I do wish I presented a few things differently–more kindly). I also don’t think some other posts that I’ve read that have inspired heated (and sometimes very hurtful) comments were wrong either. How can I tell the difference between when I got it wrong and when someone is bringing their own issues to the table (or just doesn’t agree with me and never will)? Well, there are a few ways.

One is the other comments. If there are a considerable amount of comments that agree with me, then I probably didn’t totally miss the boat. If other people understood my intent then I probably made it clear, or at least clear enough (I’m sure I could always make it more clear) and I’m probably not totally misguided in feeling that way. The second is how I feel about the piece as I read comments. If comments make me change my mind about what I believed or how I wrote about it, then I recognize I messed up something fundamentally. If clarifying comments help other people to better understand what I was trying to say–and we can come to an understanding of some kind in the comments section–then I know I faltered in my delivery. But if the comment section is just an endless back and forth, I know that someone either straight out disagrees or that their reaction to my words is about them, and not me.

I used to do that. All the time. I used to read a post about one thing and then my own pain and guilt and issues would twist the words into something else. Natural parenting stuff was a big trigger. I was so insecure in my own parenting that I felt other people writing with passion about their style of parenting (when it conflicted greatly with how I parent) was an attack (explicit or implicit) on my own way of doing things. I wrote a lot of comments coming from that place of insecurity and hurt. It sucks to look back at those responses, but I understand that I had to go through that to get where I am today. I’ve tried to offer reparation for my actions in those instances but some people couldn’t forgive me, and I get that. You can’t take back what you say and some people can’t forget.

I still notice that posts about blissful breastfeeding relationships chafe me in certain ways. When someone boasts that they could never have the bonding experience they had with their child without their wonderful breastfeeding relationship it makes me feel shitty, like I’m somehow less of a mom. But I’ve grown enough to know that they aren’t saying that to hurt me. They are saying that because it is their experience. In fact, there is every reason to believe I would have felt the same way if I had had a great breastfeeding experience. That is why it was so hard to let it go, because I believe I missed out on something that has no equivalent. I suffered a real loss, and it sucks, but that doesn’t mean other women shouldn’t be able to talk about it. That expectation is absurd, and frankly, unfair.

It took me a lot of years to get to that place. It’s still hard with some issues, to just let it go, but every encounter with words that my guilt and insecurity twist into something else I handle better. Recently a cousin posted an article to FB about how a new study shows that CIO damages infants, with some diatribe about how she hoped all parents would see it an know the error of their ways. In the past I would have felt an uncontrollable urge to defend my parenting, but I didn’t even click to read the article, or browse the comments or anything. I just walked away, because I knew the people supporting her there were not interested in hearing about my very positive experiences with CIO and because I knew I didn’t need to defend myself to her or anyone else. It made absolutely no sense to engage.

I am proud that I have gotten to that place. I don’t always stop, I don’t always resist the temptation to engage, but more times than not I do.

After a lot of long, hard, exhausting contemplation, I think I know why yesterday’s post inciting such a shit storm. It was a couple of things. #1 the tone. Obviously, I could have been nicer. A LOT nicer (I was not imply anything in that post, it was all VERY explicit). I could explain why I wrote it like I did but that doesn’t change the fact that I could have presented it in a much kinder way. #2 In my vitriolic introductory statement I didn’t make it clear that I not only meant bloggers who left without any explanation, but also bloggers who left abruptly and especially on the cusp of some major transition. I thought I made that clear later in the post but some people didn’t register that, so obviously I wasn’t clear enough. #3 I shouldn’t have included the final part about being bummed out that some bloggers I really love are gradually fading away, because some people thought I felt the same way about those bloggers as I felt about people who just abruptly fell off the earth right before some major change, with no explanation or warning.

Still, I realize that even if I had done those things, the angry people still would have come to comment (I’m still flabbergasted as to how they ended up there, as I have no reason to believe any of them still, or ever did, read me). It is clear now that there are some people that just absolutely do not agree with me on this issue. We couldn’t find a common ground. I thought a simple, “Hey I’m out,” final post is a reasonable expectation, but it was clear that for some people, even expecting that is absolutely too much.

I learned something really valuable in the comment section of that post, which is that some people have VERY different reasons for writing a blog and very different expectations of the relationship that are participating in with their readers and commenters. For some people, their blog is not a ongoing dialogue and their readers have no relationship to or with them whatsoever. That is NOT how I feel about my space, and I don’t think that is how most of the people that I follow feel about their spaces, but it’s valuable for me to know that some do. I think now, when someone stops blogging abruptly, I can better understand how they walked away–the whole blog experience means something fundamentally different to them than it does for me.

Finally, I’m left with some stinging words rattling around in my brain, about whether or not I take my blogging relationships too seriously or depend on them too much. I’ve always known that my IRL relationships are lacking. It’s not that I don’t have some great ones, but circumstances make it hard to connect. I’ve tried to make IRL friends that are more accessible but it’s so hard to find people I click with. I don’t know how to find more meaningful friendships, but maybe I need to step away from this community more, so things like a blogger leaving abruptly or another one slowly fading away don’t hurt so much. I may not have appreciated the way those ideas were expressed to me, but that doesn’t mean they are inherently wrong.

To sum up this novel-length post I will say this, thank you for those who came and voiced your thoughts, despite–or maybe because of–what was happening in the comment section. I really appreciated it.

And now, back to what the beginning of this post was about…

How do you explain when someone seems read something in your words that you didn’t intend? Do you ever feel like a writer’s words imply something they are not explicitly saying? How do you feel and what do you do when your words incite angry responses?

Breaking the Unspoken Agreement

So I’m just going to say this. I know it might be an unpopular opinion, and that’s fine, but I feel really strongly about this so I’m going to put it out there. (I’m also going to assume that the people I’m referring to aren’t reading this blog (you understand why in a minute), so that makes it a little easier to just say it).

I think it’s REALLY FUCKED UP when people just walk away from their blog with absolutely no explanation. I think that is a shitty thing to do. I think it’s inconsiderate and thoughtless and selfish and RUDE. I think it’s just plain WRONG.

I dare you to try to convince me otherwise.

You see, what happened is this. I’m getting ready for BlogHer in two days. I’m now part of a group of Bay Area bloggers on Facebook and I asked them all to introduce themselves and say where they live and link to where they are writing. I want to add them all to my reader for a bit so I can see who interests me. But the idea of adding all these random blogs to my list, which is still about 90% ALI blogs, felt wrong. So I decided to create a folder for them (and, while I was at it, a folder for all the other blogs of women I meet at BlogHer) so I could still read just the people I’m used to most of the time, and then delve into the new people when I feel like it.

That was a fine plan except 95% of my blogs were not categorized in Feedly (because they weren’t in Google Reader), so I had to go through them all and put them into an ALI folder. As I was going through them, I realized that I hadn’t gotten a post from some of them for ages. So I started yet another folder. This one was titled Ghost Blogs?.

By the time I was done sorting everything I had about 80 blogs in the ALI folder, 30 in a Miscellany folder (yes, I was also surprised by this) and 50, you read that right, FIFTY in the Ghost Blogs? folder.

One by one I went through the blogs in the Ghost folder. Most of them hadn’t been updated in over a year. Some hadn’t been updated in THREE YEARS! I couldn’t believe it. For almost all of them I clicked on the final post and read it over. One post was about concerning NTU results. One was about a slow rising BETA. One was about a baby who was due in the next few days, but was expected to take his time. One was about a third rising BETA and first hopeful pregnancy. One was a, hey I haven’t written in five months but SURPRISE! I’m 20 weeks pregnant and all is going well! ALL OF THESE WERE FINAL POSTS. The blogs were NEVER UPDATED AGAIN! Who does that? Who doesn’t let their readers know what happened? How they are? If their babies were okay?

Reading some of them I was reminded of wondering what had happened, of thinking about that blogger for weeks and months afterward, going back to the url to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, commenting on the last post to check in. Sometimes I even emailed. I remember wondering for so long, WHAT HAPPENED?! ARE YOU OKAY? I was worried something went wrong. I assumed the worst, because WHY ELSE WOULD SOMEONE JUST NEVER COME BACK TO THEIR BLOG?!

Looking back through those blogs and reading those last posts made me mad. Remembering all the emotional energy I wasted on these people who never cared enough to return to their own space and give their readers a little closure. I think that is so incredibly rude. If you write a blog, you are asking people to read it. If people comment in your space, you know they are there, reading. IF YOU KNOW PEOPLE ARE READING A BLOG YOU OWE THEM A LITTLE RESPECT.

Yes, I believe that bloggers do owe their readership something. I believe they owe their readership an quick, simple update to let them know that they are done. I don’t think they have to explain why they are stepping away (though I would very much appreciate some understanding), but I do believe they deserve a simple, “Hey, I won’t be back here. You can stop waiting and wondering and returning to this space.” Even a, “Hey, I don’t think I’ll be back here, other shit came up and I might be back, but I might not,” that’s fine too. A blogger doesn’t owe her readers explanations or certainties, but she owes them some basic information, even if that information is, “I just realized I haven’t written in three months, it might be another three months before I write again or it might be never. Just a head’s up.”

So there, I’ve said it. I feel personally slighted by the bloggers who just walked away and never told us they were going to go. I think that was a fucked up move, especially when something big was about to happen. I think never coming back broke an unspoken agreement between the blogger and her readers, and I think everyone who read them deserves an apology.

There were a lot of other blogs I sorted through that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. Many of the 80+ blogs I had in my ALI folder haven’t been updated in months. Some have been updated only once or twice all year, or haven’t yet been updated in 2014 at all. It made me incredibly sad to be reminded that so many people who used to be a staple in my days are just gone now. It’s not that I don’t think of them, because I do, but seeing their blogs and not being sure if they too would end up in the Ghost Blogs folder was kind of excruciating.

It’s not like I don’t know anything about all of them. I see some of them on FB, but I don’t really know what is happening in their lives and I wonder if others are on Twitter, happily tweeting away, but I still can’t bring myself to participate there. I still feel like the middle school loser sitting alone at lunch, while the popular kids bustle around the tables I haven’t been invited to sit at (or have been purposefully excluded from). Even if I could get over that feeling, the pace is so fast and the connection so fleeting. I feel like it’s just another thing compelling me to open my phone a million times a day, and I already have enough of those.

I know this is what happens, people drift apart, they stopping seeing each other and eventually realize they aren’t friends anymore. I know it’s an inevitability, but it still sucks. I wonder if part of what feels different, and almost hurtful, about it is that I’m still here, writing. I’m still doing my part to keep the lines of communication open, but so many people aren’t anymore. Maybe it kind of makes me feel left behind, like they have moved on to something else and I’m still here, plugging away, even though these people who were so important to me don’t seem to care anymore.

I’m sure that sounds supremely self-centered. Maybe it is. Honestly, I don’t even care if they don’t read me. I just want to read them. I’m sad they don’t write anymore. I’m sad I can’t comment. I want to know how they are, what their kids are up to, if they are happy.

But I suppose we all have to learn to let go. We have to let go of the people we read who abruptly abandon their space with no explanation, and we have to let go of the people who disappear slowly, over months and years. We have to let go of the people who tell us they just can’t write anymore. I’m pretty bad at letting go. I’m a sentimental person and if I can keep someone positive in my life, I will do it. But sometimes you just can’t, and that is part of life too. It seems that is a defining part of motherhood.

So if you’re still reading, and still writing, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, because I love you and DON’T WANT TO LET ANY OF YOU GO.

And you if you decide to stop writing, or realize it just kind of happened, please consider providing some closure for your readers. I promise you, they will appreciate it.

What do you think of bloggers who abruptly leave their space with no warning? Are there bloggers who are disappearing slowly that you’re sad to see go?

The Last Few Days

My bed is afloat on a sea of snotty tissues and so bullet points will have to do.

– THURSDAY was my birthday and it was surprisingly good. Osita ended up staying home with a sore throat but my in-laws were kind enough to take her for a few hours so I didn’t have to cancel a lunch with a friend. When I got back two of my good friends FaceTimed me while Monito was sleeping. Then Mi.Vida took me to a really amazing sushi restaurant that he made reservations for almost a month in advance. The dinner was incredible–and someone bought us a bottle of their most expensive saki, for no reason at all really, they just thought we seemed cool! It was an awesome night. The only downside was I had a sore throat that I could tell would become something much more menacing the next day, and I found out that after I’d dodged it all week, I was finally being called into jury duty the next day, Friday, at 12:45pm. WHO PICKS A JURY AT 12:45 ON A FRIDAY!?

- FRIDAY started off surprisingly well. Osita had to stay home because she had a bullshit fever for like five minutes the day before and I’m nothing if not a rule follower. We watched some TV while Monito slept and then my in-laws came to pick them both up so I could head to jury duty (do you recognize a theme here–mainly that without my in-laws I’d be fucked?!) I got downtown quickly enough to eat a quick lunch with Mi.Vida and then rushed in the courthouse only to be told that I didn’t read the website carefully enough and we’d been transferred from the Civil Court to the Criminal Court, which is a good 10 minute cab ride away. There were three of us standing there dumbly as this was explain so I convinced the other two to share a cab with me because there was no way I’d let the nice man reschedule me. We were lucky enough to get a cab quick and literally arrived JUST IN TIME to be counted for that day’s service. After thirty minutes it was mysteriously announced that “they couldn’t continue” that day and we were all excused. BEST NEWS EVER.

I thought Friday was making up for the shitty parts of Thursday but then my cold hit like a piano falling from a great height and I suddenly couldn’t move. By the time I’d picked up Monito from my ILs house (Osita stayed a bit longer) and got us both home I was a wreck. My throat was on fire and my head and ears ached. I was feeling super awful when I realized that my license officially expired on my birthday and I never got a new one in the mail, despite sending the renewal paperwork in over a month ago. I gchatted with Mi.Vida about that while I checked my checking account to see if the check I wrote was processed (it wasn’t) and then I started to think about what I should do because with an expired drivers license I couldn’t legally drive my car. As I was trying to see if I could get an appointment sometime soon at the DMV (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) Mi.Vida called and after much shuffling of metaphorical feet announced that the DMV never got my renewal paperwork because it was STILL SITTING ON HIS DESK AT WORK. I’d asked him to mail it a month ago (and even double checked that he had) and yet it was sitting on his desk the whole time. Needless to say he felt terrible and spent the rest of the night groveling for my forgiveness (which I gave him rather quickly, I’m proud to admit–mostly I just felt too shitty physically to feel shitty mentally too).

- SATURDAY I was sick as a dog and didn’t do much of anything except blow my nose every 2.5 seconds and cough until my chest hurt. (Actually, I did haul the kids to Costco with me because I’m a masochist (and needed more Kleenex–only a set of TEN LARGE BOXES would suffice). We actually did okay, despite sharing the idea to go to Costco with every other San Franciscan within a seven mile radius (which is the entire city, actually, because it’s that small). So far I’ve made it through two of those boxes of Kleenex so it’s a good thing I stocked up at Costco.)

Saturday night we watched What About Bob? which totally holds up. So good. So dark. So hilarious. Both Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus are geniuses.

– SUNDAY I got up with Monito (because I NEVER ask Mi.Vida to get up with him, not even when I’m super sick and feeling like shit). We played in his room for a bit and then I took him for a walk to Walgreens to get some Sudafed because I realized that I hadn’t used over the counter meds for the past SIX YEARS because all that time I was either pregnant or nursing or trying to get pregnant, but now I can take WHATEVER I WANT (hence the two Diet Cokes a day habit I’ve embraced) so we walked in the misty fog to Walgreens and got some Sudafed and antibacterial soap (this if the first illness I’ve had since I stopped pumping and I REALLY don’t want to pass it to Monito) and headed home. Evidently Osita slept past NINE this morning and I was so jealous that Mi.Vida got to stay in bed that late while I, THE SICK ONE, was trudging through the wet morning fog to get medicine to alleviate my OWN SYMPTOMS that I actually kind of hung up on him. I know it’s my own fault for not asking him to get up (and I just made myself feel better telling him that getting up today was an early birthday present (his birthday is tomorrow). I need to figure out how to manage these things better. We just (literally right now, before I typed this sentence) agreed to take turns getting up early on the weekends. I hope we can actually do that.

So that was the last few days. Oh, and I forgot that I’m writing a lot in my new space, partly because BlogHer is this coming weekend and partly because I just want to write there. I feel like my tribe here is dwindling and it will behoove me to branch out more, because so many of the women I follow in the ALI community are writing less and less, or not writing at all, and I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to just stop, so I need to start finding a space that is less about how infertility and loss touched my life, and more about all the rest of it.

I’m sure I’ll keep writing here for a long time (and I hope you all do too!)–heck I may never stop–but I don’t want to be left behind while everyone else gets on with their lives, so I’m trying to be proactive. I hope what I write there is compelling enough for you to read it, but I understand if it’s not.

What was your weekend like? Anything to share?