Sunday, November 29, 2009

Are You On Speed?

"Are you on speed?" This is a question my husband asked me in the past week. Why? Because my antidepressants not only make me one of the happiest people on the face of the planet, they give me super energy and I constantly feel that any project that needs tackling must be tackled, dominated, and completed ASAP. I certainly wasn't this way before I was on these blessed happy pills.

Just to give you a couple examples, the other day I asked DH to please go up in the attic and bring down an empty bin I had just put up there a couple days before. Before he could respond I happily said, "Never mind. Its cool. I'll go get it," and was walking to the garage before he had a chance to register what I had said in the first place. Thus spurred the "speed" comment.

My second example is that ALL of my Christmas shopping was done one day before Thanksgiving. Yes, ALL of it. I have one thing left for the Munchkin coming in the mail and that's it. Then I wrapped every single present this weekend and got the packages that are being shipped to family in their boxes and ready to take to the post office this week. But the fun doesn't end there, on no. I wrote our first ever Family Christmas letter, stuffed them in envelopes with our first Family Christmas Card Picture, sealed them, stamped them, and addressed them. They are all ready to go in the mail with the family parcels first thing this week. Although, I figured I should wait until at least December 1st to post anything just so I don't seem too weird.

Did I mention yet that I cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner completely by myself? It even included desert and the use of fine china. It was no small meal either. And yes, my house is spic and span. Seriously, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm on speed too.

I told DH at dinner tonight if he didn't like the new deliriously happy me that he had only himself to blame. His response, "I'll take it over psycho B any day." And just in case your wondering, happy people do get "it" more. ;p

P.S. I typed this post in three minutes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The other day I was in my bathroom getting ready for work when my iP.od played a song that always takes me back to the days when I was undergoing infertility treatments. More specifically, it takes me back to the days when I would put my dog in the car, roll down the windows, and drive to Be.ll while singing this song at the top of my lungs to my dog. Every time I hear it, all of those old feelings come flooding back. The ones that were filled with hope and discouragement, aching for happiness, yet feeling despair. I held on tightly to the things in my life that made me happy to keep from sinking into darkness and depression. Those rides to the Bell were some of the happiest. My dog was at my side through each and every moment. When I had my surgery, she barely left my side until I was back on my feet. This song is still our song, and I think of her and those rides every time I hear it.

That got me to thinking about creating the video you see below. In it are random pictures from the two years in which I underwent infertility treatments. They were a painful two years, but ones that I look back on and am thankful for because they made me who I am today.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This is What Friendship is Truly About

This weekend I did something I always wanted to do: I went Christmas shopping with one of my best friends. The part I always wanted to do was shop with a friend who reciprocated my friendship and love for her. I can't even tell you how much I loved it. I was supposed to go shopping with one of my best friends, S, but her uncle died this past week and she had to go to his funeral. I had spent last weekend shopping with my other best friend, A, but asked her if she would come along with me this weekend because S had to back out. She gladly accepted, and was at my house first thing Saturday morning.

We then did another thing I have been wanting to do for a long time and haven't done but once since I moved here: we went to the mall. It was one of the best days ever. A and I have so much in common it is freaky sometimes. We think alike, like all of the same things, share the same mannerisms, etc. We were also in all of the same places at the same time throughout our whole lives, yet never met each other until we moved 1300 miles away from our homes here to Texas and then we met at work. What a very serendipitous start we got off to. Needless to say, we were instant friends the day we met and have been very close ever since.

When we started out shopping that morning, A told me up front she had no money, but came along to keep me company and help pick out my gifts. We ended up stopping at B&BW where she found the perfect gift for her sister. I, of course, offered to lend her the money to buy it, telling her she could even wait until after the holidays to pay me back. It reminded me of the day my old friend refused to loan me .26 cents to help pay for my lunch (.26 CENTS!). I loaned A $50 without batting an eyelash. Its money, and she means more to me than $50. I don't care if she never pays it back.

We spent four hours together on Saturday shopping, going out to lunch (which I happily paid for), and enjoying each other's company. She knows all about my old friend, and we even talked about her that day and I asked her if she thought I should write my old friend a letter, which I will get into in a later post. I told her so many times that day how much I appreciated her and the friendship we have. She feels the same way about me, which is so awesome to me. I didn't want the day to end.

When I am asked if I got anything out of the demise of my old friendship, I absolutely say yes. I learned to choose my closest friends more wisely, and I also gained an greater appreciation for the four (yes, FOUR!) best friends I currently have in my life. They really help make my world go round and I can't imagine life without them. My relationships with these wonderful women help me see what I was missing. I wouldn't trade them for all of the Bs in the world (my old friend's name started with a B [ironic, I know]). I thank God they are all in my life, and that the feelings I have for them are 100% mutual.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Its ICLW Time!

Hello friendly bloggers! I can't believe it is already ICLW time. I didn't notice when I signed up for it this month that it would take place over the Thanksgiving holiday. Total Bummer. I will do my best to keep up before and after the holiday though.

I absolutely love ICLW because I feel like it brings our ALI community closer together, even if only for a few days. We get to meet and reach out to new people, find new blogs, and share in new lives. It is such a wonderful experience.

For a bit of my back story, click the link above. In short, I started this blog when I realized and embraced the fact that I had PPD along with some PTSD from years of infertility. It became my therapy as I tried to heal my wounds and get my life back to where I wanted it to be.

I am glad I chose the road I did to help with my PPD. It has been an eye opening ride, but a good one. I can't even tell you what a difference it made. My PPD was bad enough it was affecting my job performance, and it caused my project manager to say things that shocked me and made me fear for losing my job. It wasn't until that monthly review that my eyes were really opened to just how bad off I was. That review, coupled with a few other events, caused me to finally seek the help I needed. Within a month everyone could see a huge difference. In my next review, my project manager told me he was finally seeing the woman he had hired a year and a half before. It took a little intervention from the people I loved and a little resolution on my part, but I am happy to say, my life is back on track and where it should be.

My husband and I want to have more children, but we're currently on a TTC break. If we had our way, there wouldn't have been much of a break because we wanted lots of children. However, my body has other plans, as I have extensive endometriosis and PCOS (a double wammy). Knowing this, we are happy with any and all children we are able to have, realizing our family won't be as large as we had hoped. We feel so fortunate and blessed that we were able to have one, and if that is all we ever get, we will be just as happy as if we had four or five. Our daughter is the light of our life. Having her after years of painful infertility treatments has brought us so much closer together than we were the day we got married.

I can honestly say, while the road was bumpy and sometimes threatened to throw us off completely, it was well worth hanging on. I have definitely managed to make my life the way I always saw it being. Now I continue this blog in an attempt to help others who struggle with infertility, depression, or anything else they need help getting through.

So that's my blog purpose in a nutshell. Welcome to my blog and my story. I look forward to meeting all of you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The One That Got Away

Do you ever have those days where either you just feel nostalgic or you find something from your past that brings up old memories? Do you ever have those weeks or months were you savor the things from your past? The good old days with your friends, your first car, your old boyfriends, your old high school job, high school.

Let me tell you, I opened a time capsule this past weekend. It is amazing to me just how much stuff I have kept from my past. Old writing assignments, old letters from friends, some as far back as middle school, old journals, trinkets from trips and friends. All of this got me to thinking about all of the boys from my past. Yes, I want to call them boys because most of them were. There was, however, one man that my mind wanders off to every now and then. I wonder what he is up to. Wonder what my life would be like had things worked out between us.

Now come on ladies, I know all of you, even though married, have that old fling from your past that you think about from time to time. Let's be honest with ourselves here. I am sure even our husbands have that one woman. Its okay to think about it, to wonder, as long as you don't regret what you have now.

I wonder, do you have dreams about your old boyfriends? I do. Sometimes the dreams are great, and those are the ones where the old boyfriend comes back into my life (or I go back in time), and things end up just the way they are now, with me married to my wonderful husband. Sometimes in the dream I haven't yet met my husband, but I know that the boyfriend from the past isn't The One, and that we have to go our separate ways.

These dreams always get me to thinking about the old boyfriend and how his life has turned out. Is he as happy as I am? If things had worked out between us, where would we be now? How would my life be different?

But at the end of the thought process, I always come back to the same conclusion: I am so happy and content with the way my life is right now that I wouldn't change a single thing. I love my husband more than anything, and I love my daughter just as much. If I wasn't with my husband, my daughter wouldn't be here. How could I ever want that to be different? I couldn't. While it is fun to be nostalgic sometimes, it is more fun to remember how happy I am with my real life.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things That Make You Go, "Yes!"

Finally, with the help of a generous backer (aka, interest-free loan from a loved one), I was able to get my car painted!

Thanks to the Texas heat and the proximity of my location to the equator, the sun was not kind to the stock paint and clear coat job of my car. Over the past year+, I have slowly watched my first brand new car go from something lovely, to something ugly.

Imagine this all over the roof and driver's side of the car.

Not only was she self-conscious, but I was self-conscious for her. I hated driving a car that looked like a clunker when I knew it wasn't. Maybe it is just me, but I felt judged. Especially because the city I live in is very affluent. Everyone around here drives cars that cost upwards of $45K+, and here I am, in my car that looks like a beater. It was hard on our self esteem.

I took her to a body shop and got an estimate. Over the next month and a half, I scraped money together the best I could, but other expenses kept coming up. Finally, a loved one stepped in and offered to loan me the money to take care of my car. I was grateful beyond words. It took me a few days, but I finally accepted.

Last week I dropped my car off on Monday evening, and she was ready to go by Wednesday morning. When I woke up Thursday morning, this is the sight that greeted my eager eyes.

She didn't look this good when she was new! The body shop sanded her down to the metal and then applied three coats of paint and three coats of clear coat. She had one coat of each off the assembly line.

Needless to say, I was stoked. I sent my loved one a picture with a very heart felt thank you, followed up later with a phone call.

I still can't believe how good she looks. I even still have a hard time remembering she doesn't look like a clunker anymore, and so I don't need to shrink down in my seat when I see people I know, or try to sneak into my car after work so no one knows I drive the junky looking car. Both of our self esteems have been returned to where they were the day our relationship began all those many years ago.

I plan on keeping this car for a long time yet. Who knows, it may be my daughter's first car. :D

Monday, November 9, 2009

Some of us are Gollums

A bit of my last post has gotten me to thinking the past couple days. In it I said that there is value in everyone. I still stand firm in that thought. When I say there is value, however, I don't necessarily mean that it is positive. Having said that, I do believe there is a positive to take away from all situations in life. It is all a matter of perspective and desire.

While I was contemplating the worth of people who do evil deeds, a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, Lord of the Rings, came to mind. It is at a point where Frodo Baggins and Gandalf are in the Mines of Moria, watching as Gollum scuttles over rocks in search of his "Precious," or the ring that Frodo is carrying around his neck on a journey to destroy it. Frodo looks on at Gollum with a look of disgust and says to Gandlaf, "It is a pitty Bilbo did not kill him when he had the chance." He refers to his uncle Bilbo Baggins who also had encounters with Gollum, yet stayed his hand when it came to killing the creature. Gandalf's reply was simple, "It was pitty that stayed Bilbo's hand.... [Gollum] may serve a purpose yet."

While Gollum was a sad, pathetic little creature who seemingly only lived to fulfill his own wants a needs, Gandalf had the wisdom to know that his life would serve a purpose. In the end, it did. Gollum clutched the ill-fated ring in his hands as he fell into the fires of Isendard, destroying both the ring, and himself. He had served a purpose, and in the end, it was for the greater good.

Add to that, Gollum had obvious split personalities at times. There was the evil side of him who served only to benefit himself, and there was the good side of him that was once kind and giving, who wanted to trust and be of use to others. These personalities went to battle with each other often.

I recently read a story about an Ivy League student who was strangled and shoved in a wall just days before her wedding day. They eventually found her killer, but could find no other motive for his crime other than workplace violence. Most people would jump to calling him a horrible man right out of the gate. Burn him at the stake. I can't say I disagree. What he did was wrong, and he knew it. Hence his hiding his crime in a wall, hoping to never be found out. The latter shows that he is not purely evil. If he was, he would have proudly shown the world what he had done, as serial killers do. No, he had a moment of weakness. His family had come out and said they were shocked with what he had done. His girlfriend asked that people not judge her for being with him. He must have had some good in him.

The bible tells us that without sorrow, we cannot have joy. Sadly, and very unfortunately, that sorrow is sometimes brought on by the evil deeds of our fellow man. However, it is a necessary evil so that we might know the joy when we have it in our lives. While some people may truly be nothing but pure evil, they serve a purpose.

The fact is that in this world, some of us are Gollums who serve us by reminding us that there is good to be had, a positive to be found in all things.

Friday, November 6, 2009

He Didn't Take Any of it With Him

My last post was a segway into this post. I first wanted to get the point across about what a wonderful man I have for a father. I felt it would make this post more meaningful to my readers.

Last week I called my dad in tears, wondering how I was going to keep it all together. It felt like every time I would take one step forward in my life, I would be knocked back two. I never lost sight of what is most important to me, but the line between what was a priority and what wasn't had become too gray for my sanity. We have talked more frequently since my daughter was born and I started dealing with PPD. He has been there for me every step of the way, helping me find my way back, helping me put everything back into perspective.

During our conversation, I remembered what I had temporarily forgotten. This life is not about money, it isn't about clean houses, it isn't about job titles, or possessions. It isn't about looks, weight, or wrinkles. It is about family, friends, love, gratitude, and everything immaterial. All of the stupid things I was worrying or crying about when I called him would be a non-issue weeks, months, or years from that moment. They meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. They were just... things.

One of the last times I saw my grandmother before she died, she gave me some of her prized possessions. She knew that in a short matter of time, they would stay here, and she would depart this mortal coil. It was in that moment that I realized everything is just stuff. We can't take it with us. None of it.

I was relating this to my dad when he told me about how during the days after his father passed, he was standing in front of his dad's closet. My grandma came in and asked what he was doing. My dad replied, "Just looking at all of dad's things. He didn't take any of it with him."

Sure, things can bring us joy and pleasure during our existence on this earth, but they are not the end-all-be-all. They are certainly not anything to fret over. In the end, they mean nothing. Our relationships and who we learn to be during our time here is what matters.

Maybe there isn't anything after this life, and maybe there is. If there isn't, doesn't that making enjoying this life even more important? Why waste it lamenting what isn't? Why not enjoy the things we do have, but most importantly, our relationships with others.

I find myself being kind to everyone. There is worth in everyone. Sometimes it is hidden under the layers of of the person's experiences in life. Sometimes, and is rarely the case, the worth can be very minute, but it is still there. But in general, people are good. We're all here to be happy, to find joy. I find more often than not, people get joy most by bringing joy to others, myself included. Isn't that what it is all about?

If I could teach my daughter just one thing in this life, it would be to find the joy in life, not in possessions. To never let the line between them become gray. Because that is where true happiness lies.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Rock

In all of the craziness that has been going on in my life of late, I always know that there is one constant.

My rock.

My father.

My dad and I have always been very close. He always knows exactly what to say to make a bad situation tolerable. He knows how to talk me down from a ledge. He loves me unconditionally, and the feeling is fully mutual. We have a bond that I don't share with any other person in my life, including my husband. My husband is great, but he doesn't think like my dad does, and he doesn't understand me the way my dad does. I don't think he really tries. That isn't a diss on my sweetie. I love him very much too, but our emotional relationship is completely different from the one I have with my dad.

When things go wrong, or when I feel like I just can't carry the weight of the world on my shoulders any longer, I call my dad because I know he will help me make sense of it all. He will help carry the load. He will pick me up off my knees, enclose me in his arms, and let me shed my tears on his shoulder.

I learn a lot from my dad. I try to be like him in all things. I try to think like him, treat people the way he would, look at everything in this world the way he does. My mind is open, my heart is accepting, just like my dad's.

I know I am blessed to have such a close relationship with my father. I know he doesn't share this same relationship with any of my other siblings. That is not to say I think he loves me more, but he does love us all differently. I am honored and blessed to be his daughter. He is the most wonderful, caring, generous man I have ever known. I have yet to introduce him to anyone in my life that doesn't instantly love or respect my dad.

He is a great man.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh My

I wish that I could say things got a lot better after my last post. They kind of did, but they also kind of got worse. It became apparent Sunday evening that I had caught my first cold in years. By Monday morning I was sporting a sore throat and had to call in sick to work. I also called the daycare and let them know my daughter wouldn't be there that day. Luckily, thanks to the help of my best friend who left work early to help me out, I got my car to the body shop yesterday afternoon. The guy at the shop honored his price from 6 weeks ago, which is a killer deal. He knocked almost $400 off his first estimate just to help me out. His price not only included the paint and clear coat, but he is going to take out all the dents and door dings. He told me he would put her back to showroom quality. I feel very blessed to say the least.

My poor car just has not been feeling good lately, and she has let me know it. In the last 5 weeks I have replaced both coolant hoses, my thermostat, all four tires, new front brakes, a new water pump, an alignment, a new stereo, and now a new paint job. Luckily I got some good deals from everyone involved in these updates, including the stereo. Someone knocked money off of service everywhere I've gone. Again, I feel very blessed.

My car and I have had some serious talks the last few weeks, and I made her promise to give my wallet a break for a while.

A few people have told me I should just get a new car already. I laugh and tell them after all of this, she is practically new. I have totally got my fingers crossed we are good for a while, especially where we have a 9-hour drive one way ahead of us for Thanksgiving. I can't have my car acting up on that trip.

I had to call in sick to work again this morning, and I don't think the outlook for tomorrow is that great either. I don't mind staying home when I don't feel good. I am glad that no one at work wants me there while I am contagious because then I don't feel obligated to be there when I feel like crap. I swear everyone at work carries around wooden stakes and strands of garlic to ward off those who are ill. They practically run you out of there with pitch forks and torches if you dare come in. Yay for me. I'd rather convalesce at home.

Anyhow, that is my update for now. I'm going to go sneeze and cough somewhere else now. Thank heaven for anti-viral tissues, cough drops, and Lysol!