Thursday, March 22, 2012

A lot - crammed into one post - that I am struggling to title

I wrote the most amazing post yesterday morning. It was poignant, thoughtful...I mean, bordering on brilliant.

I can say this because I wrote it in my head on my run and cannot recall a single sentence of it. So, nothing to prove otherwise.

It must have been brilliant.


I'm playing hooky right now. Taking advantage of about an hour that I have between pushing through some early morning deadlines (done!) and before I need to start getting ready in earnest to get in the car and go do a presentation this afternoon. I have about an hour drive between me and my destination and a car stereo that actually functions, unlike the past. I'm looking forward to the afternoon.

Right now, I made some tea. I just played a game of solitaire. I'm clearing my head. I feel decadent. Indulgent, even. I have a space of time to myself. And to spend with you.

So, how are you?

Today is the day we always thought our daughters would be born. Its not their due date. Its not the day they actually did arrive. This was the magical date that M and I always assumed they would come and be with us. A few weeks earlier than expected, but late enough that they would still thrive. The would come yawning and then squealing, marking the day M's sister was born (happy birthday, A!) as well as the birth date of their strong and resilient grandmother. An exclamation of the first 48 hours of spring. A punctuation on my decades of life living without cancer, but with its aftermath. Today would be the end of some stories and the beginning of others.

Today is a day you wouldn't know about if you didn't follow us here. Its not a date we announce, or commemorate or purposefully celebrate or mourn, although that has been known to happen. It is simply a day of remembering a date that's significant in this way only to us. March 22 is the day of our loves.


This day, this time around is colored brightly by hope. Oh friends, we have good news. A green light update, if you will. We met our gestational surrogate and her husband face to face for the first time last Friday....They rock. We think so. Our doc thinks so. Our shrink thinks so. People, all systems are go.

They were nervous, as were we. We promptly shuttled them from the airport through a major city (cue traffic, culture shock, trying to stay awake after a 4 am wake up to catch the plane, yowch). They were total troopers through it all. We had no idea they weren't on a direct flight, or else we would have insisted they stay the night. But tickets had been booked, there were return flights to catch. We spent most of our time in waiting rooms and in our tiny car, but that's where the most intimate conversations are supposed to occur, right? Didn't I hear a PSA about that once? Having trouble talking to your teen? Take a drive, talk it out.....

There were no uncomfortable silences, no awkward moments. Expectations were suitably subdued on both sides. I don't think any of us are looking for new best friends. We are looking for some folks with kind and generous hearts and open minds.

And I can only speak for myself, but I think we've found that.

We have contracts to finalize but our doc is already thinking through transfer dates. Which look like they could be as early as May.

May, people. May. As in 2012.

As in, soon.

I would love to tell you more but those are some conversations we still need to have together. Our family of two has just multiplied and pulled in another one to help us build ours. So if I'm skimping on details, I'm not being coy, simply respectful.

But what I can share is a feeling of optimism that seems to be completely taking over M and me. I'm feeling surrounded and overwhelmed by love, riding it like a sea swell, hanging on like mad.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Five Finger Exercise*

*and no, its nothing pervy, and is completely unrelated to a five-finger discount. It's 100% legal and maybe even good for you.


The alarm rings every weekday morning at 6:45 am, unless M. pops out of bed before that. My eyes open too, but just long enough to register that I have a few more minutes to sleep while M. hits the shower and gets dressed. He talks to me while I'm still buried in covers. Sometimes I remember what I say, often I don't. He leaves the room to grab a bite to eat. I catch a few more winks, then growl out of bed to meet him on the couch. If I'm blessed with a morning that doesn't include a 7:30 am meeting, I might even be cheeky enough to grab another 10 minutes of sleep there once he says goodbye and the door shuts.

M says he's never met anyone that tried to suck more sleep out of a night than me.

This is because as soon as my eyes open, I reach for my phone to tell me what awaits. And as soon as I register to anyone in the outside world that my eyes are open and I am semi-coherent, my day begins, and usually snowballs from there.

I bet this is the case for every one of you, too. The day begins = you're off and running. I just happen to have the luxury of being able to cling to my last moments of sleep to stall that process for just a little more. So I take it.

But I hope that won't always be the case. I hope there will be a time, some time in the near future, that drifting back to sleep won't be an option. Because there will be a mouth to feed, tiny needs to be attended to...

So I better come up with a new plan.

In fact, I need a new plan anyway. The one I have brings me dangerously close to being late - Often - for places I need to be. And task avoidance via sleep only gets you so far.

Luckily, when I attended a conference a few weeks ago, in addition to getting to spend some delicious quality time with my girl Dresden, I actually walked away with some very useful stuff. Including this little gem:
Ok, what is this? You ask. This is your little pocket guide to just a few seconds of peacefulness, mindfulness and meditation you can fit into your day, especially those days when slipping back into the covers are not an option. I got this in a session entitled, "Managing Activist Fatigue," and while it wasn't exactly what I had been hoping for, this was a pretty nice takeaway. Here's how it works:

Sit down. Get comfortable. Calm yourself. Close your eyes. Breathe in slow. Hold it. Breathe out slow.

Take your next breath and as you do, touch your thumb to your index finger. During the hold, think of a time when you were physically tired, like exhausted, but in a good way. Like after a long hike, good run, full day getting shit get the picture. Hold that image and feeling in your mind as you hold your breath. Breathe out.

In the next breath, touch your thumb to your middle finger and envision a moment when you felt unconditionally loved. With your partner, your dog, a friend, a sibling....just any moment where you felt surrounded by love. Hold it. Keep it. Breath out.

Next breath, thumb to ring finger, a time when you performed well - at work, at school, dealing with a situation at home....any time where you looked back on your own behavior and thought, dang, I done good. Hold it. Keep it. Breath out.

Lastly, thumb to pinkie, envision a beautiful place. A place that you've been to or seen that takes your breathe away with its loveliness or grandeur. Try to visualize as much of it as you can in that one breathe. Hold it. Keep it. Breath out.

Ok! Done! Open your eyes. And try to carry that feeling with you for as long as you can during the day. Stop and do it as often as you need it, strengthening the visuals you have or creating new ones each time.

And don't eye roll until you try it! I was mid-roll in the session and then we did it, and dang it if it didn't alleviate at least a little of the tension that had been building leading up to the weekend.

In fact, I did it this morning, right before I posted this post, to convince myself that yes, indeed, I did have a few minutes to blog before running forward in my crazy day.

Take this. Try it. And get on with your crazy days.