Monday, March 22, 2010

Filling Up

As I looked back on the blog to grab the perfect moment sticker, I see a little pattern emerging: Bad, scary Friday full of anxiety and unknown can evolve into pleasant, calm, even renewing, weekend.

Is Friday now my hump day?

This last Friday afternoon, I was seriously dreading the entire expanse of the weekend that laid ahead of me. M. and I rarely have trouble keeping our acts together on the weekdays - there is simply too much to be done, too much routine that fills the empty spaces. But without those routines and regimens, sometimes free time can be scary. Because that is when you are able to stop and think what you would like to be doing with this time vs. what you are.

And that was my frame of mind on Friday.

And that is the beauty of blogging. By the time I laid down my words. In the process of writing down my words, I began to feel differently. And look. Just a few hours later, I had the bloom to share. Thank you for listening.

From that moment on, the weekend wasn't so scary. In fact, it was filled with some wonderful moments. I spent Saturday afternoon planting early greens on my balcony, trying hard not to sow the radish seeds too thick so I won't have to thin them later. M sat in his sweat pants doing a sudoku puzzle, trying to avoid my dirt (not easy if you see the size of our balcony). A dear friend stopped by for an impromptu visit and then M and I collapsed on the couch for the night (because by evening we were both going through a box of tissues and popping t*lenol cold tabs).

Sunday morning, I woke up with a sore throat, but still determined to drive down to see Lori, yes! the Lori from Weebles Wobblog while she was in the area, along with some other amazing ladies from the DC TOOTPU.

Did you ever walk into a room and think, "yes. this is exactly where I want to be right now?" That's how I felt seeing the smiling faces of Lindsay, Mel, Paz (who I met for the first time. d*mn is she gorgeous), Calliope and Lori (and knowing an omelet and an orangina soon would be mine).

Hours and hours later, when the lunch crowd started to come in, we finally said our goodbyes. But not before my heart was completely filled with laughter and love, ready for whatever the week might bring. Even the next scary Friday.

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. Go visit Lori from Weebles Wobblog, founder of Perfect Moment Mondays to read where she and others found their moments this week.

Friday, March 19, 2010

but even on the worst days

We can hope to find something to give us a little bit of hope, right?

Thank you, M. For finding this bud.

Thank you, J. for making it for us.

just sad

Somehow this weekend has snuck up on me and punched me in the face.

22 years cancer-free (and functional ovaries free)

3 years of TTC wih donor eggs and blogging about it
. Shots. Surgeries. Gels. Pills. Drugs. Hope.

1 year. This weekend should be our daughters' very first birthday party. The equinox should be theirs. But its not.

Instead it is just the longest. Fucking. Day.

I try very hard not to get into the "what would it be like if they were here..." frame of mind, but with babies popping all around and every one dusting off their strollers and smiles and taking them out into the sunshine, it is very, very hard.

I can't even go near M right because my sorrow has created an even deeper one in him. And his sorrow often worries me. I don't want to worry about anyone else other than myself right now. What a hateful thing to say. Its not. I am just not in the mood to pull someone out of despair while I'm down there too.

And I am just so, so tired of fighting the funk. And looking for a reason to Be.

I wish the sunshine and the promise of spring made me happy instead of unbearably sad.

I'm just sad.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's Like Killing a Unicorn, Man

Once upon a time, way back in the darkest days, M and I sat down one night to watch a movie. Defiantly so.

Oh, ok, everyone thinks this is the funniest movie ever. Well, we'll just see, won't we....

I should back up and inform you that even though our personal tastes in movies sometimes differ, M and I are united in the "if there's hype, we'll probably hate it," camp. Rational or not. That's just how it is.

So that is how we prepared ourselves to watch P*neapple Expr*ss. Overwhelmed by grief but all cried out. Sick of talking to each other but too exhausted to even attempt seeing other people. We sat down on the couch, grabbed a blanket, turned down the lights and prepared to scoff and snort and then call all our friends and tell them their new favorite movie sucked.

But despite ourselves, we howled. Snorted, because we couldn't breathe we were laughing so hard. Looked at each other like, is this that funny or are we straight up over the edge delirious?

Even though I was ready to chalk it up to the latter, I would still be forever grateful for the respite, the break from the pain. It was the first time we had laughed since our loss.

As you know, this weekend didn't get off to the greatest start. Friday's post was followed by an up in the middle of the night I'm-not-done-talking-about-this conversation/argument that lasted until dawn. We had made peace by Saturday afternoon, but it was still tentative. And both of our shoulders were still a little tight from working and looking into some new job prospects all day. No only was Saturday rainy, but gusts of wind erased any thought of a run, a walk, or even a wander downtown to see who else was out. So, Saturday night rolled around and we weren't quite sure what to do with ourselves.

Well how about it, P*neapple Expr*ss was on the DVR.

I hesitatingly agreed to push play. I was convinced that it simply wouldn't be as funny as the first time we watched it. But I was tired of fighting, tired of staring at my computer, ready to relax, and forcing myself into close proximity to M. and reminding ourselves we actually do like each other and like spending time together seemed like a good idea.

J*mes Franco, S*th Rogan, D*nny McBride = comic genius. We laughed just as hard. Maybe even harder since we caught things this time we missed as we were wiping the tears from our eyes last time. We spent our Saturday night wrapped in a blanket, reclined on our couch, holding each other, laughing. And it felt good.

And that, my friends, is my Perfect Moment Monday.

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. Go visit Lori from Weebles Wobblog, founder of Perfect Moment Mondays to read where she and others found their moments this week.

Friday, March 12, 2010


We interrupt all these good vibes for just a little bit of real life. [and some early morning revisions. See strikethroughs]

Things are a little stressy here in the M/m household due to a minor tiff at happy hour followed by a major technical meltdown of all things related to M's work that were part of the reason for said tiff (working off the clock, stress over performance yet no recognition, all that shit...) Oh there's more but that's the relevant part. Everything else you've heard before.

So, I did what any good wifey would do: I tried to console "nag, goad, challenge, butt in" as he is hovered over his computer (at home and off the clock) and when that did no good, I went to the kitchen, made myself a drink and tried to throw something together for us to eat.

Because, as Rally Burger (or some midwestern chain) says, "Ya gotta eat."

Well, while he remains stressy and the food is warming, here are some (slightly tipsy) insights into me based on my mp3 player turned loud and on shuffle:

Once upon a time, me and my bff S. wrote Ween the most loving and sincere fan letter you have ever seen. We may or may not have been completely fucked up. It may or may not have been in crayon because that was the only writing implement we could find. To this day, neither of us can actually remember whether or not we actually mailed it. To this day, Ween's Pure Guava holds some of the sweetest space in the "I did what?!?" category nearest to my heart.

Dear Gene and/or Dean Ween, did you ever get our letter?

I hope you did.

I will never not love the Afghan Whigs. My husband teases me incessantly about this. He says they're overwrought. Ridiculous. Tortured. Clown shoes. All I know is once upon a time it made my heart hurt to hear Greg Dulli howl, and when I hear them now, I remember what it is like to be young and semi-innocent and to think I actually knew what heartache felt like.

Dear Kate Nash, you came fifteen years too late. The first time I heard your songs in my earphones I laughed out loud. More like a scoff and a snort. Because I so get it. Now. And I have trouble explaining to M. how/why your lyrics resonate so deeply with me. mean so much to me. Because no one wants to talk about a former lover, do they.

I think if I were as cool as I thought I was, it wouldn't have taken me until I was 30 to know the Modern Lovers.

Dear Duffy, dear cute, tiny, adorable little Duffy, if I hung out with you in real life, odds are I would totally hate you. Your vulnerability, your willingness to admit it. Blech. But dammit, you've got some pipes. And some catchy tunes. And Bernard Butler has your back. So, so do I.

Liz Phair - get out of my head. Because you know me so well you seriously freak me out a little bit. Sometimes M says he's glad I never really discovered "Exile in Guyville" until after we met. "Because JFC you would be totally unbearable," says he. Possibly. All I know is that this is one CD I can go back to over and over and over and over again. In any mood. At any time. Liz and Galaxie 500, you are my go tos, you know that, right?

The Beastie Boys, sure they're goofy, but really, are they not awesome? Truly? Can you say that you have never ever rocked out to any Beastie album? They each have their own charm. Tonight I was loving some Pauls Boutique. And no. I'm no hipster. I'm way too old for that.

And lastly, before I go check in on the tortured one, Arctic Monkeys. you are drunk and irreverant. And smart. And smart asses. And ridiculously epic. And everything I wish my London years were. You are older beyond your years, which gives me a free pass to crush just a little bit on your Gen Y selves....

My drink is empty. It's way too quiet over there in M's office. I am sure there are one or more things burning.

I'm off to assess.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Love > sadness

Yesterday I had lunch with someone I love. After lunch we drove to see the Trees.

I explained to the this person that this is my destination when I drag myself out to run. It is the reason I don't stop and walk along the way. It is my reward for sweat and toil and perseverance. (I'm thinking I need a t-shirt - I went through labor and all I got were these trees.)

This person whom I love went on to say how its good to have a place to have conversations with "the girls" and I cringed because "the girls" is also how she refers to two (now dead) obese pomeranians (that I loathed). But I said nothing. She then went on to tell me that she talks to the girls everyday. In her mind, they are two little bumblebee-like creatures flying in the air, with little wings, perched on big flowers, laughing a giggling and having a fine time.

And my first thought was: that is seriously the most fucked up bullshit I have heard in a very long time.

And this time last year I would have said, "that is seriously the most fucked up bullshit I have heard in a very long time." And feelings would have been hurt (legitimately so) and tears would have fallen and two people would have gotten into a car sad and upset and feeling terribly misunderstood and alone and punished for sharing how they actually felt.

This time, I just stayed silent. And let her think her thoughts. Because, shit, whatever gets you through, right?

And the more I sat, the more I wondered to myself. Well, hell, would it hurt to envision your daughters as happy? Would it be a bad thing to think of them in a joyful way?

I'm thinking no.

And this is actually something I've been thinking about for a while now. There have been two instances now where I have had some energy readings or therapies and each time the person guiding me has sensed strong, protective, decidedly female power. The first time, I wracked my brain wondering why my grandmother's presence would be so well, present, when sure, I loved her, but my gi-gi (my grandfather) is the person whose absence I still mourn. It wasn't until the therapist said she felt two, equally strong vibrations that I realized,

Holy fuck. They are my daughters. My daughters are here with me.

I wept. She wept. And just like that it was over.

Just recently a similar situation occured in which a positive and strong aura was felt near me. Once again, I never even thought about it coming from my daughters. Even though I was purposefully in the room with their remains, their boxes, our only remnants of their short lives with us. The idea of them spiritually near me never crossed my mind.

Shame on me.

Shame that I need to constantly remind myself -
My daughters are NOT the tragedy.
My daughters are NOT my grief.

My daughters can be my light and my joy, even if they are not physically present. I can honor their memory and still live at the same time. There is no need for a hairshirt. No need to self-flagellate while saying their names out loud.



Those are beautiful, beautiful names, don't you think?

I think I need to say them out loud more often. Enunciated by more love than sadness.

Monday, March 8, 2010

and I ra-a-an...

Encouraged by the fact that I didn't keel over on Saturday, even after M. said, hey, "let's go for a walk" and that walk ended up being a 6K+ stroll on top of my morning run, I decided to run again on Sunday. And I ran in the opposite direction.

Now, hang on. That's kind of a big deal.

But why? You say. Runners have a number of routes, a handful of favorite courses and plenty of variations to keep things interesting. You ran in the opposite direction on the same route you run every. single. time? Um, so what?

Well, here's the what. It's true, when I do drag myself out for a run, my route is fixed. Out my door, along the river, to the trees we planted for our daughters. Turn around. Back home. It is exactly 5K and I know every crack in the path between here and there. Despite the occasional gaggle of geese, fishermen by the dam or a galloping retriever off the leash, I know what to expect. I don't have to think that hard and I can focus on getting myself from one point to the next. If that seems to be working itself out, I can let my mind wander to things like writing blog posts in my head or remembering completely and totally bizarre dreams.

Yesterday, I was feeling a little, oh I don't know, adventurous. So I stepped out of my door and turned RIGHT instead of left. I turned right and stayed on the top path, the one with more foot traffic, the one facing the busy street, the one that's a little more exposed.

The one that I was running when I broke my leg last year.

Last year, when I thought I could run right out of my pain. When I thought three weeks after giving birth was plenty of time for my body to normalize. When I still believed there was a beginning and an end to the emotions that we ball up and label as Grief.

I know better now.

The last time I ran this route I was doing this funky stop/start, walk then run then walk again kind of thing. And I honestly think all that jarring is what did my poor tibia in. Pretending I could sprint one moment, then gasping and clutching my sides and just trying to get one foot in front of the other the next.

This time, one year later, I know I'm not the fastest chic on the block (and thank you, lithe 6-ft tall athlete man for flying by me yesterday to confirm that). But my pace is steady. I know my limits and I know when I can push them a little. I know what a good ache feels like and one that signals I'm stepping strangely and need to readjust.

I know there is no end to grieving, but there are days when the path is easier than others. There are even days when you are willing to try new paths to get to your destination. That's my revelation.

And this, my friends, is my Perfect Moment Monday.

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. Go visit Lori from Weebles Wobblog, founder of Perfect Moment Mondays to read where she and others found their moments this week.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

dear sunshine

Dear, dear sunshine, thank you for being out today. You feel wonderful. Especially as you beam into my face as I run and sweat and pant for the first time in over a month.

Your reflections off the water are almost blinding. I love it.

Your rays seem to be pointing down right on to Isa and Jovi's trees. I can see the dark brown-red nubs sprouting on all the limbs. Maybe this is the year they will flower. Maybe this is the year....

Dear sunshine, you're making me sweat. And the sweat is bringing up scents of this week's beer and karaoke and hot wings celebration after our dodgeball victory. I forgot I wore these pants right into the bar. I laugh as I see my run as penance for my bacchanalia. I can't help it. Old doctrines die hard.

The wind on the run back home is a bit harsh. But I'm propelled forward. I coerce myself. "If I make it back to my starting point without stopping, we shall win the dodgeball season!" "If I make it back in less time than the run to the trees, M and I will have a great week." "If I run every day this week, everything will be ok and everything will work out this time and..."


And then I tell myself to cool it and hows about I take things one step at a time. Just keep moving forward and into the sun and get back home to where my love (and a nice shower, and new non-smelly pants) await.

Monday, March 1, 2010

mind dump

I spent 3 days last week at a pretty intense class for a certification exam I am hoping to take later this year. One of the test tips they shared with us is the concept of a "mind dump," where you walk into an exam setting and immediately throw down on scrap paper all of the things and concepts you studied that you are afraid you are going to forget. Once that's all down on paper, you've addressed your anxieties and can actually focus on the exam and questions in front of you.

Brilliant. That's brilliant, right? So simple. Such a "I paid xx for that?" kind of common sensical approach to something a little overwhelming. But it is common sense if you never thought of it before? If I retain nothing else from the week, it is that tip (and M2M, V2V, SPIE and a ton of other mnemonics I hope I connect with the things they are supposed to help me remember).

Not that blogging is a test, but its been a while, I don't have time to write right now, but I'm tired of having the waaaah waaaah posts at the top of my screen. Rather than try to keep all of these "gotta write abouts" floating in my brain, I'm dumping here. I need space for other things.

In no particular order:

elevators, irresponsibility, sustainability, parallels, TH*N, purposeful vagaries, positive energies, separating love from tragedy, and jukeboxes.

More later.