I’m sick and tired, and I’ve never been better. I flew home from Iowa on Tuesday and brought with me a cold. My head is stuffy, and I’m having to blow my nose every fifteen minutes. That was super annoying until I caught myself giggling at the boxes of tissues Dave left around my house the last time he was here. “A box in every room? Why is that necessary?” I see why now. You never know where you might be when you need a tissue. Thanks, Dave. Continue reading
My feeling out of sorts has now extended into my writing. It’s been two weeks since I wrote. It’s not that I haven’t had things to write about. I have. I could have written about my decision to skip the St. George 70.3, my recent visit with one of my sweet friends from Connecticut, my exceptional Easter weekend at home alone, my venture into open water swimming with Dave despite my fish issues, or my first experience at a rowing class. A great deal has happened in the last two weeks. I just haven’t had time to get into it. Better than that, I haven’t felt the need to write. Continue reading
I don’t love Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. I acknowledge them because I have parents who love me more than life, but for the past decade, I have felt a little bitterness towards these days largely for the same reason I hate Valentine’s Day. They are reminders of where I’ve failed.
I am not and, given my age, likely never will be a mother. I don’t need a day that goes out of its way to remind me of that disappointment each and every year.
Recently, I read an article by Anne Lamott that appeared in Salon that articulates much of what I feel. She writes:
I hate the way the holiday makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of dead or severely damaged children, feel the deepest kind of grief and failure.
I appreciate that she includes “non-mothers” in the discussion. We are an often overlooked bunch. Sometimes, I hear about Mother’s Day being tough for those who have lost children, either before or after they were born. Recently, a friend posted something on Facebook about being sensitive to the pain of people struggling with infertility, miscarriage and infant loss. I would include in that discussion the pain of those who have never given birth or had a child, not due to infertility or miscarriage, but because they don’t have a spouse or committed partner.
As my single friends approach their late thirties and forties, a number of them are visiting fertility specialists and making decisions to freeze eggs or have kids through donor sperm. I wholly support those efforts for others, but they aren’t for me. I have no interest in taking extraordinary measures to have a kid, not while I’m alone. That feels like forcing the issue. I don’t want to force a kid into my life. I think this is an area of my life where I have to trust the universe.
What if the universe knows that motherhood would not turn out well for me? What if my self-induced child has issues? What if I’m too selfish to be a mom? Maybe I’m not a mom because the universe knows who I am and what I need better than I do.
Do I want to be a mom? Yes, more than I care to admit. But I’ve wanted other things that proved wrong for me at the end of the day. I’ve wanted people who left me. I’ve wanted jobs that turned out to be incredibly poor choices for me. I’ve wanted experiences that ended up offering little more than hurt or expense. In every instance, I can look back and see all the ways the universe tried to warn me against pursuing what I wanted. Knowing that, how can I throw energy, money, time and heart into having a kid that I have to bring about on my own? I can’t. I don’t want to.
A lifelong commitment to another human being is not something I want to demand or create on my own in a lab. I trust the universe. I trust it to bring me a spouse or life partner if it identifies a good person who will love me and never leave me. I trust it to bring me a kid, my own or someone else’s, if I need to be a mom. And if those things don’t happen, I choose to keep trusting it.
I did spend a big part of my day with my family. I got fun time alone with Dad to start the afternoon and Mom to end the afternoon. But before I entered the Mother’s Day venture, I had a nice Non-Mother’s Day morning. I slept in. I flirted with Bread and Butter. I did a track workout of 800 repeats, the fastest of which I did at 4:14, which is big improvement from the 4:22 I did on the April 14 and the 4:35 I did on March 10. With only six weeks left to Ironman Coeur d’Alene, I’m excited about that. And tonight, I’m working on an essay for my writing class. For now, my training and writing are what I chose to put my energy, money, time and heart into.
Thank you, universe, for my pretty awesome Non-Mother’s Day and for the few hours in it that I still have left. After a hard race last week, I appreciate today’s little boost on the track very much.
Happy Mother’s and Non-Mother’s Day to you all.
- My Work: I woke up this morning to the sound of rain and, after a hectic couple of weeks at work and two big projects coming to a close yesterday, I felt in need of a day off, so I took one. I met a friend at the bakery near my house for breakfast. I had coffee with my mom. I went to my chiropractor for the first time in almost six months. I reviewed my tax paperwork. I went to a Toastmasters meeting. I had lunch with my favorite guys from my Toastmasters club. I made a quick trip to my accountant’s office. I went to the post office to mail my franchise tax report. I went to Whole Foods to buy some snacks for book club tonight. Then I decided to make a brief appearance at work. That was my day, and it was lovely. It could only happen because I work for myself and have for nearly two years now. As that change was happening two years ago, I struggled with it. I could not have known then that all would be so well.
- My Mom: When I realized I had time this morning, I called my mom to come to my house for some coffee. She did, and it was wonderful. There’s not a lot that I can give my mother because she is not into things, but she does value time, and she rarely declines an invitation to spend time with any of her kids. Mom and I don’t always see eye to eye on everything, but we do know that we love one another always. I’m incredibly lucky to have her.
- My Health: Since I got back from Barcelona, I’ve had a bit of a hip issue. Apparently, I tweaked something in my hip the first time I ran after the long flight home. I didn’t stretch well enough beforehand, and now I have a limp. I’ve been seeing a wonderful rehab doctor that my coach recommended, and today I went to the chiropractor to see if he could help me. He did. Tremendously. I used to see him once a week, but I’d gotten out of the habit of going since about October. I’m back on track now, as he reminded me today what a difference regular adjustments make for my body.
- My Friendships: This morning, I sat down for breakfast with a dear old friend. We have both been so busy that we hadn’t connected since around the holidays. But after the exchange of a few text messages, we found ourselves face-to-face in conversation, and that just felt right to me today. We picked up where we had left off. She gave me solid advice, as she always has. And I left her grateful that our paths crossed so many years ago and that she chose to move to my little town when she did.
- My Toastmasters Club: This morning, I saw an email from my club saying that two speakers had dropped out for today’s meeting, so I decided to see if I could give a semi-impromptu speech. I say “semi-impromptu” because I had actually written the speech back in March and had been mulling it over for a while, but I hadn’t practiced it the way I usually practice. Lately, I have shied away from Toastmasters meetings because it’s hard for me to stand up in front of a room full of people when my confidence is compromised. I’ve been rebuilding my confidence ever so slowly over the last few months. Normally, I would have waited until I felt at my best to reappear, but I made the decision to trust my club to receive me today as I am, and they didn’t let me down. My speech wasn’t perfect, but it was fun, and it gave me an opportunity to dive back into something I’ve loved for a long time.
I feel refreshed after my day. Thank you to everyone who played a part in making today so full of gratitude and joy. You did my heart good today.