What book or article changed your outlook on an issue or life?
Sadly, I can't think of one thing that I read that really changed my outlook on anything. I know reading blogs is always entertaining and it was comforting to know that other people were going through infertility issues. It can feel like a lonely time but when you read the words other people write that are similar to the thoughts in your head, it feels comforting.
How did you make space + peace for yourself in 2011?
Exercise. Exercise is me time. I love to block out the world (and the annoying people at the gym) and just lose myself in sweat and breathing. When my husband was working nights earlier this year, I started going to the gym at 3:30 a.m. and I really found myself enjoying that. It was more than just a time for me to exercise, it was to prove that I could do something worthwhile and push myself beyond my comfort zone. I didn't make excuses and just DID IT because not doing it didn't allow me that time I needed to connect with myself.
What event of 2011 affected you in an unexpected way?
The failure of IUI #4. I specifically remember not feeling horribly sad when I found out that it didn't work. You would think after 4 tries, 4 failures, the 4th negative test would be heartbreaking but at that point, it just felt like I was doing some weird trial and error with my body and that it wasn't supposed to work because the other three hadn't. I just felt like my body was playing a joke on me and I wanted to laugh after but it didn't feel shocking or body numbing like the others. I just had to pick up the pieces and move on and after the three previous failures, that was easy to do. Going into it, I thought "if this thing doesn't work, I'll be crushed." But that wasn't how I felt. Sure, I was disappointed. Sure, I wanted it to work but it didn't and there was not a damn thing I could do about it at that point. I expected heartbreak and what I got was a shoulder shrug.
Describe something that disappointed you in 2011 and how you persevered.
In an attempt to not be INFERTILITY all the damn time, I'm going to think of something else but just so you know, the fact that I'm not dealing with a newborn or ready to pop right now really pisses me off and at random times, makes me cry.
My weight. My weight disappointed me. I have the knowledge to not gain weight. I know what I have to do to maintain. Yet 2011 just sucked. Why didn't I just say NO? Why don't I place more importance on my health and my weight? And not just for the health aspect but damn, I hate when my clothes don't fit! But in terms of weight loss, tomorrow is another day and I can make the decision to say YES or say NO and do what I need to do. I can make small changes over time that lead me to a healthier goal. And no matter how cliche it is, the holidays are tough but the more I give myself positive self talk and come to terms what my real goals are, the more I will be inclined to succeed and get back to a place where I can wear my cute clothes and feel confident when I look at pictures of myself.
What did you discover (big or small) in 2011?
Mad Men. I discovered Mad Men on Netflix in August and we watched all 4 seasons (52 episodes) in 6 weeks. We got through the first season in one weekend. March can't come soon enough. I might have to rewatch the last few episodes of season 4 to remember exactly what happened. If you haven't watched Mad Men, I highly recommend it. It is the awesome.
What lesson or advice were you able to pass on to others this year? Why
was it important to share this information? (Or… what lesson would you
like to pass on to others that read this?)
As I get older, I realize how important it is to highlight what life is really all about. To me, it is about laughter, family, friends and moments. Letting go of the superficial. Stepping out of your comfort zone. Indulging in something amazing. The moments of this year that bring a smile to my face are those times when I did all of the above. And as we wrap up another year, a time when a lot of people get reflective about what they have accomplished, I can look back at pictures and see memories that I created with loved ones. I can visualize actions and hear voices. Those are what matter the most. I hope to make more of an effort to make an impact on other lives next year so my joy and memories can be cemented into the lives of others, connected through common bonds and shared happiness.