Thursday, January 16, 2014

Who Am I?

Last week, Todd went to see one of our favorite people in the world, our therapist.  For anyone in the Tulsa area, I will now do a shameless plug and tell you that I would highly recommend you consider meeting Dr. Maribeth Blunt.  I know I’ve mentioned her before, but we really can’t tell you how awesome she’s been for us the last couple of years.  I actually had 2 things happen to me this weekend that both made me think, “Man, I have Maribeth to thank for helping me get there.”  (I’m going to go send her a thank you email.  J)

Anyway, as I was saying, Todd went to see her…by himself.  This was his first solo session, and I think it was a fabulous idea.  When we were sharing some of the items they discussed, it seemed a prominent one was how you can travel down the path of infertility without letting it define you.

This is something I’ve thought about a lot since his appointment, but I’m afraid I’m no closer to an answer.  Infertility is consuming.  It’s pretty much in my head all of the time.  I try to stay busy, but there is always my little Jiminy Cricket in the back of my head reminding me that we are still on this journey with no end in sight.  I’m pretty sure that if you asked any of my friends or family what the first word that came to mind when asked about me was, it would be “infertility.”  Yikes!  I’m becoming “that” girl.  The one saving grace in my opinion is that I don’t talk about it at work (even though it’s always on my mind), so there’s one group of people not constantly pitying me.  J
Honestly, though, I don’t know how to change this.  I feel like the more I talk about infertility, the more I heal.  I enjoy being asked about it, so I can vent a little to someone new.  It is a part of my life.  It is a part of who I am.  It is my main project at this time in my life.  It is the thing holding us back from obtaining a major dream in our life.

However, I don’t want to become the multilevel marketing friend of infertility.  You know the one I’m talking about.  She’s the girl that you start to ignore calls and texts from because you know she’s going to invite you to the next Avon or It Works or Tupperware party she’s having.  I was that girl (Arbonne and Nerium Recovering Salesperson), and I don’t want to be that girl with infertility.  I don’t want my friends to dread seeing me for fear that all we will talk about is IVF.

I know I have control of my thoughts, so that makes me think that if I tried really hard, I could stop allowing this to define me.  Is it that easy, though?  Is it all I talk about?  Is it defining me, though, or is it just defining this moment in my life?  How do you know when enough is enough (of smothering your friends with your problems)?  How do I make sure my friends and family don’t start to ignore me for fear that I will invite them to my next IVF-Pity-Party?  Todd and I will have to work through these things together, but I would love any insight from those reading.

I do know one thing.  I know that if I were to die today, how I would want to be remembered.  We had this conversation with the kids, and Kaleb said he doesn’t want to be remembered as the guy that was just obsessed with cars.  I think it’s great that he’s already thinking about that.  As of this point in my life, I know this:
·         I want to be remembered as the girl with the big heart for everyone.
·         I want to be remembered for my compassion.
·         I want to be remembered for my peacemaking and peacekeeping.
·         I want to be remembered for my happiness and laugh and smile and joy that I bring to a room.
·         I want to be remembered for being able to find a silver lining in any situation.
·         I want to be remembered for the love I have for my friends and family, but most of all, my husband.
I think that’s how God would want me to be remembered, too.  Therefore, I’ve decided to make this year, the year I work on my soul.  I have set 5 resolutions for this year and only 1 will not help me with that goal:
·         Learn to control my anxiety
·         Be a better stepmother
·         Build my faith
·         Build relationships with couple friends
·         Get organized - This one isn't for my soul, but it will help with my anxiety!!


  1. I think it is just a season of your life being defined by infertility. Just like spring, winter and fall, each season comes and goes and I believe this one will come and go, too! As long as you aren't selling anything, :-) I don't think you are the crazy lady everyone will try to hide from!

    One of my resolutions is to get organized too. So far I've tackled the master bath...with MUCH MORE work to do throughout the house.

    Take Care!

    1. I hope you're right, Chelsea! I hope I don't start to annoy everyone.

      I'll stay off the multi-level marketing bandwagon, though!! I've learned that I am NOT a salesperson. :)

      I started my closet/master bath, got distracted, and have a mess strewn between the two of them, now. Ha! Get on track, Laura!!

    2. That sounds like me! I have clothes just about everywhere you look!

    3. Well, good. Get yours organized, and then you can come do mine! ;-)

  2. When I read the line about "or is it just defining this moment in my life" I overwhelming thought YES!!! I think you and I are alike in that we are project people. I know I am. School projects, vacations, wedding, kitchen renovations, getting my physical body back together, yard/garden plans, house hunting, car shopping...these are all giant projects, and when I am in the midst of one, it seems like that's ALL I talk about too! (If only I could channel all of that energy into work all the time...) But yes, projects tend to consume me as well and I know I've made friends and co-workers sick talking about things like backsplash tile. I think that many many of us who are project people are like that. When I read the lines about defining moments in my life, it really resonated with me because I feel like many of those things I've done defined moments of my life too.

    I suspect that the challenge of infertility is that as opposed to this project takiing 1-6 months, it takes years. And thus, that moment it defines starts to become so long that it starts to feel like your whole life, not just the moment. I think that's probably why it's harder than other projects - it drags on and on and there isn't always a clear sign that it's time to move on. (God, I can't imagine how paralyzing that would be to me. I need roadmaps and milestones!) And unfortunately it's not something you can rush or control the timing of. There's no "let's pick a tile and be done with it." So I think the challenge becomes trying to wrestle it to make it not the major project in life, but a project in the background, when it's such a strong desire in your heart that consumes your thoughts.

    I don't think you need to worry about friends constantly pitying you - at least not me. Focus on what YOUR focus is, not what other people think about what you talk about. But if you can find another project to occupy your mind, maybe it will be easier for you AND give you something different to talk about? Maybe there's something you and Todd can undertake together? Even if it's just reading a good fiction book! Or meal planning. A project (cheap one) around the house? Or something crafy? Pick up some food blogs? Something to help redirect your energy. I don't struggle with the same anxiety challenges, though, although if my perspective on life hadn't changed the year of Dad's cancer, I could easily imagine myself still being a super crazy Type A anxienty ball. Are you planning to talk to Maribeth about it too? (BTW, I think an interesting book if you haven't read it is Siddartha by Herman Hesse. I read it in Asian Philosophy at OSU the semester Dad's cancer was found, and that class REALLY REALLY REALLY helped me change my approach to life. I keep meaning to send Dr. Heitz a thank you email...)

  3. And seriously...your list of how you want to be remembered. I will always and forever think of you as these things. And honestly, one thing that I really really appreciate in particular (cause I strive to do the same) is finding silver linings. As I read through them, I can think of them as reading, for now:

    ·I want to be remembered as the girl with the big heart for everyone, even when the desire of her own heard seemed out of reach.

    ·I want to be remembered for my compassion for others, even when compassion was what I was needing most.

    ·I want to be remembered for my peacemaking and peacekeeping, even in times of personal struggle.

    ·I want to be remembered for my happiness and laugh and smile and joy that I brought to a room, despite the pain I might be feeling at times.

    ·I want to be remembered for being able to find a silver lining in any situation. (This one is complete on its own.)

    ·I want to be remembered for the love I have for my friends and family, but most of all, my husband, and using both joy and sorrow as an opportuity to bring us closer together.

    To me, you know you are more than just a friend struggling with infertility. You are a friend who I happened to become close to during this infertility project, but that doesn't define you, but actually I think enhances some of your best characteristics, like the above. In the darkness, the lights are even more vibrant.

    1. You made my heart happy when I read this.

      Yes, we are very much alike in that we are project people. I think you’re absolutely right when you say that this just consumes me for now. It is starting to drag on, though, so it’s starting to feel like it consumes me always…like it always will. It’s very frustrating sometimes because I love the support I get through this, but I want others to think of things besides me being the IVF friend when they think of me. I think I’ll get passed being that friend someday, though. I just need to let it run its course.

      You hit the nail on the head, though, by suggesting I just find another project to foreshadow our infertility project. Right now, infertility isn’t taking up much time, so I definitely have time for other things. I kind of already decided on a few things I would do and hopefully not overwhelm myself with additions/changes to my life/schedule. I’m going to start that Bible study with my mom and sisters. I think we found a small group we like for church, so we’ll just go to that when they have it every other week. Next week, I’m going to start boot camp, again, although, I don’t know that I’ll go 5 days a week like I used to. Last, I want to start organizing our house. My closet/bathroom/dressers have gotten out of control. Plus, I have a several box pile of things upstairs and in the garage. I want to go through those things and get them put away or tossed. I just need to start biting it off in small chunks. Plus, I need to figure out how to get myself to actually work on them when I get a free evening/weekend. Todd and I are such bad influences on each other. We get home in the evenings he’s here or weekends and make great plans to get this or that done. Then, we get home and end up talking each other into curling up on the couch and watching TV. Really?! It is romantic-al, though! :) Anyway, I think your idea to have other projects is a great one.

      I love how you added to my list. That was really sweet of you to say all of that. And yes, I agree that a silver lining is of utmost importance to find! It’s not always easy, and I have to be careful when doing it with others. Sometimes, it could come across that I’m minimizing their struggle. However, in my own situations, I can do it whenever I want! :)

      “In the darkness, the lights are even more vibrant.” I LOVE that!!!!!

      This comment absolutely made my day! Thank you for that. It’s beautiful!

      Love you so very much!!