I like goals. I revel in making them and I feel incredibly proud when I meet them. I’ve made a lot of goals in my life. They have defined certain periods for me, in both positive and negative ways.
This month I made two goals, one was to participate in NaNoWriMo in some capacity, at least getting started on my novel and the second was to practice 15-30 minutes of mindfulness meditation at least six days a week.
So far I’ve done a decent job of one and failed miserably at the other.
Yesterday I was participating in an online discussion about goals and how to achieve them. I realized, as I contemplated what others had written–and wrote my own responses–that right now I have absolutely no bandwidth for goals that don’t center around self-care. Combating this depression, dealing with the emotional ups and downs of TTC and looming secondary infertility, keeping my shit together at work and nourishing my relationship are all I have the time and energy for right now. I just can’t focus on writing or photography or even making my daughter’s 1-2 year photo book.
And that realization makes me frustrated and depressed.
I don’t want to lack energy for EVERYTHING else except keeping myself together. I want to be able to express myself in my writing and keep my house in decent shape and make meaningful connections with my partner and revel in the amazingness of my daughter, and I don’t feel I can do any of those things right now. All I can do is carve out precious time to practice sitting meditation and try to just experience this point in time for what it is and not what it might be. This is so, so hard for me.
Sometimes I wonder if I should just take the Zo.loft. I sit an stare at the bottle, the tiny 12mg pills and watch my thoughts oscillate. It’s funny, because I used to sit and stare at my old meds bottle but the practice was not at all similar. That experience was full of longing. This experience is full of trepidation and also frustration that I need to take something and anger that the thing that will most help me is not allowed, and ambivalence that the thing I can take likely won’t help and rage that all of this is because of something that isn’t even happening. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the SUCK of it, I can’t see past it to anything else in my life.
This community used to be my sanctuary, but it’s not anymore. I’ve realized this recently; the reality of how much it has changed for me snuck up on me somehow, thought it should have been totally obvious.
I’ve been trying to reach out more as a blogger. I’ve added a lot more blogs to my reader, mostly the blogs of people commenting on my blog. Sometimes I find a new voice through the blogrolls of others’. (Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve shopped around on people’s blog rolls, I forgot how fun that is!) But the more I’ve clicked through to new people, the more I’ve invited their posts into my reader, the more I realize that all roads seem to lead back to places where I don’t feel welcome, to worlds where bridges have been burned. I don’t want to be in these places in the blog-o-sphere. I don’t want to be reminded of the mistakes I’ve made, of the times I’ve maybe wronged others or of when others have maybe wronged me. I just don’t want those daily reminders.
And I’m not sure what to do.
I can’t avoid it all completely, or I’ll be a very isolated blogger indeed. And the whole point of writing “here” is for the community aspect. But when you don’t feel like you belong to what is becoming an every growing portion of the community, you can feel very stuck indeed. I have no idea how to reconcile all of this with my desire to write and be read, to read and comment, to support and be supported. I really am at a loss and I hate that this place has stopped being the sanctuary it once was for me. I feel less comfortable in some parts of the blogosphere than I do in real life. I never thought that could ever be the case, but increasingly it is so.
I’m officially in the TWW of this cycle. I ovulated on CD12 and even though we were BDing on the odd days, we hit my O date too because of my impressive, darker-than-the-control-OPK I got that morning. This month we hit the nail on the head, again, and got a positive OPK to boot. I’m 1.5 months into acupuncture and Chinese herbs, I’m two weeks into mindfulness meditation. I want to think that all of this means something, increases our chances, but the truth is, even if it does, we still only have a less than 20% chance. I think at the age we are now–approaching advanced maternal age–it’s closer to 15% (maybe even 10%?). That really isn’t much chance at all, when you think about it.
If we don’t get pregnant this month I’m going to struggle significantly. I just don’t know how many more BFNs I have in me. If we fail this cycle I’ll find out right before the holidays and I’ll spend Thanksgiving waiting for AF. Not the best way to spend the day, but at least I won’t be at work. The truth is I’m looking forward to this day of bounty, and I really don’t want it to be ruined. I guess we’ll see.
Today, during my guided meditation, the following lines really spoke to me:
If a painful sensation arises in the body, and you add to it a fearful anticipation of the future, or terrible self-judgement, then your painful physical sensation will change into great mental suffering… See the difference between experiencing the pain directly in this moment without adding the past… See the difference between experiencing it directly in this moment and adding a story. Can you open to the experience in the moment as it is, constantly changing?
Insight Meditation by Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein
I know I bring the past and the future and my own personal stories into every cycle, every charted temp, ever OPK, every hope it will happen, every certainty it will not. Experiencing these days, weeks and months for what they are and not what I fear they will be, what I morph them into, is exceedingly difficult for me. Hopefully my meditation will help me experience these days for what they are, if only sporadically.