Archive for March 2014

Channeling my anger

Thursday, March 27, 2014

There is a guy that I pass during my walk to work on most mornings.  He sweeps the sidewalk outside one of the buildings.  All of the trash that ends up there, all of the cigarette butts, and all of the dirt and dust, he sweeps it up.  I am sure that you are thinking, such a shitty job, right?  You would think that this guy was just hating on life because he sees people pass him every day wearing nice suits, carrying their $4 lattes, and hustling to get to their high-profile & high-paying jobs.  The crazy thing is that he isn't unhappy or at least he isn't letting on that he is unhappy.  With a bounce in his step, he sweeps up all of the garbage, and while he is doing this he is smiling and whistling.  The whistling, which is quite pleasant to hear, is magnified as it echos off of the tall buildings in the vicinity.  As you walk by, he'll tip his head to you as if to say good morning or buck-up, friend.  It is impossible to walk by him and not have your mood elevated...just a little.

This guy clearly has much less than me, at least in the physical sense, and yet he still has a smile on his face every day.  I am sure that I make several times more money than he does, live in a nicer house, drive a nicer car, eat better food, go on nicer vacations, and just generally have a much "cushier" existence.  Am I happier?  No.  I'm not.  In fact, I am 100% positive that I am much angrier, resentful, judgmental, hateful, anxious, and ungrateful for everything that I have than he is with what he has.

On my walk to work today, with angry tears in my eyes, I decided that this has to stop.  I cannot continue living my life with such a bad attitude.  I am ruining my relationship with my husband, with my family, with my friends, and with my co-workers.  The smallest little things send me into a tailspin of anger.  For example, yesterday was what I would consider a "very bad weather day".  There were extremely high winds, snow, and cold temperatures, which are no fun in general.

Me- Already in a bad mood just watching the weather forecast.  

Add on the fact that we have been having this type of weather for 4-5 months at this point.  Add the fact that I was up all night with a crying baby.  Add the fact that I had to get up at 4:40 AM.  Add the fact that I hate all of my clothes because they outline the fact that my stomach still looks like I have a small baby bump.  Add the fact that my train was delayed more than 30 minutes, leaving me to stand on the platform, freezing.  Add the fact that they still collected full fare on the late train even though it was packed so full and there were no seats.  Add the fact that when I got to SBUX to get my coffee, there was a long line because I was so late...

MeGet to work in an extremely bad mood which sets the tone for the rest of my day and how it would go.

Add on the fact that a co-worker decided to take it upon himself to have a conversation with my boss (on my behalf) because of a conversation we had where I had been flipping out about an email that she had sent and she was subsequently upset with me.  Add on the fact that when I got home I had to clean my house, which was a mess after being out of town the previous week and my husband had not so much as attempted to clean, because we were having a Realtor over.  Add the fact that I snapped at my husband about said lack of cleaning.  Add the fact that I was annoyed that I didn't have time to exercise.  Add the fact that I didn't get to eat dinner until 8:30 PM and didn't get to shower until 9 PM.  Add the fact that as soon as my head hit the pillow, an hour later than normal, the baby woke up screaming and only wanting mommy.

Me- Go to bed angry.     

You get where I am going with this, right?  Basically, everything that happened yesterday was one big fat ball of angry.  Nothing was good.  Everything sucked.  Wah, wah, wah.  Poor me.  This super-negative mentality has been feeding into every single part of my life lately.  As I was laying there trying to fall asleep last night, I was dwelling on the bad, the sad, and the ugly.  I didn't even think about any of the good that came out of yesterday:  Even though the train was standing room only, I ended up with a seat when someone got off at the next stop.  I finished a large task at work, presented it to my boss, and thoroughly impressed her.  I found out that a place right near my work has excellent coffee.  The baby fell asleep, peacefully, right at 6:45 PM.  The Realtor's first impressions of our house were extremely positive and she actually said that we had made a great investment.    

I am not sure if the key to creating a more positive outlook on life is to figure out what the cause of the anger is so that I can resolve it or if its is to forget about figuring out why (and therefore making excuses) and just focus on how you can improve your attitude.  I have thought about going back to a therapist because it was nice to have a sounding board for my problems.  The therapist was someone that had to listen to me bitch about my husband, my family, my job, my friends, my life, etc.  A captive audience.  The thing is, I know that I have a bad attitude and I don't necessarily want to indulge myself in hour long sessions of spilling my guts to a stranger about what I am annoyed with and/or angry about on any given day.  I am getting incredibly annoyed with myself (if that is even possible).

I want to start making a concerted effort to become more positive.  I want to be a positive force for my son.  I want to be a more positive presence for my husband.  I want to be more positive influence on my friends and family.  Even more important though, I want to be positive for myself.  I have one life.  This is it.  You know what?  It is a good one.  I am so lucky to have so much and to be so blessed.  So many people in this world would give anything to have my "problems" and sources of anger.  I have turned into a bitching, moaning, self-entitled, brat (for lack of a better word) and it has got to stop.  STOP.  RIGHT.  HERE.  RIGHT.  NOW.

We all have bad days and sometimes things don't go the way that we planned them out in our heads.  Such is life.  It is what we make of it.  We can choose to wake up each day with a scowl or a smile on our face.  We can focus on the negative or the positive.  It is up to us.

That whistling building maintenance man doesn't know it, but he very may well have have changed my life...for the better.

Today is sunny.  It isn't as cold and it isn't as windy.  My train was slightly delayed, but in the scheme of things, who cares?  I still got to work, safely.  Today is going to be a good day.

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One and done? Deciding if only one child is the right thing to do

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  Maybe it is because we are fast approaching little B's first birthday?  Maybe it is because there has been a gush of pregnancy announcements (most of them 2nd or 3rd) in the past few weeks?  Maybe it is because the farther away I get from my whole infertility, terrible pregnancy, unplanned c-section experience, the less bad it seems?

Regardless of the reasons, it's happening.  Baby fever?  Not exactly.  I am torn.  Completely undecided on the idea of having another child.  Every time I make a decision in my head and think that it is the one that makes the most sense, I think of something to refute that decision and I'm back to square one.  What gives?

My husband is just as much on the fence as me.  He went from not wanting any kids, to wanting one child, to wanting for children, and now he isn't sure if he wants any more.  He really likes CrossFit (did you know???), knows that it takes lots of his time, and knows it already makes me resentful sometimes.  Why would he want to introduce another needy individual into the mix when we already struggle to keep everything together right now?

Google, "Should I have a second child?" and the results that you get won't really surprise you.  There are articles to support both decisions, although it seemed that there were definitely more articles that I found that supported the idea of "one and done".  I think that if you are looking to be convinced on the side that you are leaning towards, you will find what you want.  If you are completely undecided, like me, then the articles won't really help.

Why shouldn't you have more than one child?  Well first off, you'll be more wealthy than if you had more than one child.  Your child will be able to go to good schools, will be able to go to expensive summer camps, and you'll be able to take that family trip to Europe.  You'll have a nicer car and a nicer house.    

Another reason to only have one child?  You'll be happier, apparently.  There are several articles that I found, such as this one, that suggest that mother's of only children are the happiest.  Maybe this is because they ultimately have more time to devote to themselves and don't have to give *everything* up.  I would assume that this would ring even more true for mothers, like myself, who work full-time, exercise regularly, and have some semblance of a social life.  Life is already hard enough balancing the needs and wants of one high-maintenance child, that juggling all that with two children seems downright impossible to me.

Oh and you'll sleep more, that's for sure (unless you have my child).  Once you have successfully sleep trained one child (they say this happens eventually, but I am not convinced) then along comes the second and poof you are at square one again.  This is especially true since you'll be living in a smaller house and your kids will be sharing a room so when one of them wakes up, they both wake up.  Hugs for everyone!!  Please put on another pot of coffee!

Internet searches aside, I have seen my friends go from one child to two and for most of them, it hasn't been an easy transition.  They have less than no time to do anything that they have to do let along time to do things they want to do.  One of the children is always sick and then once one of the recovers, the other one gets it.  Someone is always crying.  The house is always messy with kids toys everywhere.  They have no time or energy to exercise.  I have even had several friends confide in me that if they could go back and do it again, they would not have had a second child.  I am not sure if there are lots of parents out there that feel this way or if I am just randomly lucky enough to know a few of them.

You would think that this knowledge, alone, might be enough to scare me away from the idea of a second child.  Just when I am making sense to myself regarding the idea of one child, this thought hits my head, "What happens if my husband and I die?  He will be all alone in the world.  How sad."  Those thoughts are accompanied by thoughts of, "He'll be a spoiled brat" and "He'll have imaginary friends", along with "I'll have to entertain him until he is 10 years old."

I knew only children growing up, in fact, one of my best friends from high school was an only child.  She is a very smart and incredibly nice person, but she definitely had an only child "diva" side that I saw on more than one occasion (albeit many, many, years ago).

The truth is that I don't know a ton of only children, but I do know of the stereotype.  Bratty, spoiled, entitled, lonely, bored, and overprotected.  I have also heard that only children are usually smarter and have lots of friends (probably because they have to or they will get bored!), though so it obviously mus not be all bad.

What I do have a ton of experience with is multiple child households, since I came from one and most of my friends came from households with more than one child.  There was always someone to play with, but also always someone to fight with (haha).  Now that I am grown up, I appreciate my siblings a lot.  They, especially the my 3 next youngest sisters, are my best friends.  We share tons of memories and inside jokes.  We have built in support systems when we need it.  We always have someone who we can cry to and who understands the full story because we really, really, know each other.  

Our neighbor has warned me over and over again, "Have your second (and third, and forth...) child before the other one is out of diapers because it will be hard in the beginning, but then much easier later on in life."  They have two girls that are about 20 months apart.  I feel like I can understand this logic.  You wouldn't want to wait too long in-between children because you want to be able to reuse your baby stuff and of course the art of diaper changing is easily forgotten!  ;-)

So what is the decision going to be?  I guess it just isn't as straight forward and will require more time.  Who knows, maybe we wouldn't even be able to have another child.  I guess that would solve the issue for us.  Or would it?  Would I become a jealous, second-baby-craving, mommy?  Would I revisit my RE and get put on meds again?  Would I become obsessed like last time?  Would I have more miscarriages?  Would I need more D&Cs?  What if I have another boy?  Would I want a girl instead?  After having two, would that be all or would I go for a third?  I am also heading into my mid-30s and we all know what happens to every woman's fertility at the age of 35.  Ahhhh sometimes I wish I could just shut off this side of my brain and let what will be, be.

 Happy 11 months to my baby boy!  The light of my life!  I can't believe that he will be a year old in just one month.  Where has the time gone, baby boy??

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Why I have been quiet

Friday, March 14, 2014

The past few weeks have been quite crazy for me.  You can always tell when my life gets hectic in that the frequency of my posts takes a complete nosedive.  Here is a little update as to why I have been more quite than normal lately.

A few weeks back I think I mentioned that one of my sisters found a lump in her breast and had to have a biopsy.  She also got back results from a PAP that pointed out potentially cancerous cells.  She had a biopsy on her breast lump and it turned out to be benign (YAY!).  She ended up having a LEEP done on her cervix and has to now go back for monitoring every 6 months.  That same sister, poor thing, has had such a rough go of it lately that you would think that the universe would give her a break.  Not so much.  WTF, universe?!

She called me early last week and mentioned that she was having some numbness under her right rib cage.  That had turned into her whole right leg going numb and a feeling of weakness when she walked around.  She was concerned so she went to the doctor and they given her an MRI of her spine.  She didn't have the results back yet, but she seemed really worried and told me to pray for her.

Last Friday she called me in a panic and told me that they had found a "growth" on her spine and needed her to go directly to the ER.  She was pretty scared.  They told her that they were not sure whether she had an infection, a virus, cancer, or worse, but that she needed steroids right away to reduce the inflammation of the "growth" so that she would not have permanent nerve damage and loss of feeling on her right side.

In somewhat of an organized panic, I made plans along with two of my other sisters to rescue our sister who was in serious need of some sisterly support.  What we found out when we got there was quite different than what we had imagined.  There was my younger sister, laid up in a hospital bed on the neurology floor with old ladies dying of complications from Alzheimer's and dementia. She just didn't seem to belong there because she was young and healthy.  It was sad and depressing.  She looked so bewildered, but also relieved to see us.

She explained to us that she had another MRI of her brain the previous night because they were trying to figure out what she had by ruling out what she didn't have.  Apparently the "growth" on her spine was actually a lesion and a condition called Transverse Myelitis.  They had also found two more lesions on her brain during the brain scan.  She calmly, but shakily explained to us that the most probable diagnosis was the auto-immune disease called Multiple Sclerosis and that this was probably an "MS" attack.

In that moment, my heart sunk to the floor.  Why her?  She had already been through quite a few other health related issues in the past few months.  How unfair.  She is young, eats healthy, and exercises.  She is getting married in a few months to a great guy who we all love like a brother, already.  She should be into serious wedding/honeymoon planning mode.  So incredibly awful.

In the day that my sisters and I were there, we got to hear from doctors and nurses regarding her condition.  Some were more pessimistic than optimistic and vice-versa.  Regardless of her diagnosis, it was determined that she would have to stay in the hospital for several days due to the IV steroids that she was receiving which, luckily, were helping to bring the feeling back to her leg.  She also had to have a lumbar puncture (or "spinal tap") to rule out all other possible diagnoses, but would not receive those results for at least a week.

I wish that I could have stayed with her longer, but I am glad that my husband was able to watch the baby so that I could go and give her some support when she really needed it.  So now we just wait for a more "official" diagnosis.  For now, my sister is feeling tired and frustrated, but at least she is home and continuing to recover from whatever she may have (or have had).

Me being the person that I am did some research on MS and I learned quite a few things about it.  I figured that it was a death sentence and a condition that, at the least, would lead a person to not be able to use their limbs, eventually.  What I found was that that is simply not true.  The National MS Society has a ton of great information and in my 15 minutes of reading on their site, I learned quite a bit.

I am still hopeful that maybe this was a one time thing and that the conclusive medical results will NOT point to MS.  If it turns out that it is, I am sure that my sister will be ok.  She is a very strong girl.  She may have to change a few things up, but she'll be fine.  I know it.

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