Wednesday, June 25, 2008


A. commented the other day on how parents will go to great lengths to spend time with their adult children. It's not that their children don't love them- just that they have busy lives and don't devote much to their parents. But it is sort of like unrequited love anyway- you can google a person, look at photographs of them, call them, but it is nothing in comparison to actually being with them. It must be so painful for the parents! My mom admitted that she calls me sometimes just to hear my voice on the answering machine. A's parents live thousands of miles away and only see him once or twice a year.
One good thing about not having children is that you won't have to go through this with your own adult children someday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The purpose of life

What is the purpose of life?

If you have children, then you do everything you can to give them a good life, and they become your purpose. But if you don't have children, what is your purpose? To work?

I would love to be the kind of person who can do things to help others, but I feel so useless! A useless liberal arts degree, no focus in life, no career, a hundred skills but nothing to tie them together.

I'm not really that bad off. I'm sure lots of people have jobs that don't use their intellect and don't challenge them. At least I get paid well! So what I should do is just resign myself to staying here for 20 years, until I retire, and not think about whether I enjoy it or not.

My short-term purpose is to get fit enough to make all the pregnant women jealous, but I'm not making much progress on that front.

Did it ever occur to you that having children might be a trap? Everyone encourages you to do it, but they (the people who encourage you) don't seem to enjoy it that much! Are they just encouraging others to make the same mistake that they made?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Blogging as Therapy

This morning I read an interesting post about why Life From Here started blogging about her infertility and miscarriage. What struck me was that she described herself as keeping the pain to herself, and how blogging helped her to connect with others.

She also links to two articles about blogging as group therapy and a second article about the positive effects of blogging.

I get even more out of reading other people's blogs than from writing my own, but the reason I used the word "secrets" in my blog title is because I do usually keep my feelings to myself. Even if I wanted to talk about my problems, I couldn't do it because I would become overly emotional. It is much easier to write instead. And the reader can always close the page so I know I'm not forcing my ideas on you.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I was listening yesterday to a radio show on Procrastination and realized that this is the reason I have made so little progress in my job search. Actually, it also describes why I often feel that I make so little progress in general. (I didn't listen to the whole show, only about 20 minutes of it while I drove downtown at lunchtime, looked in vain for parking, gave up and drove back to work, where I sat at my desk and surfed the internet for the rest of the hour.)

During the show, a caller phoned in who said that every time she sits down to work on her thesis, she feels the urgent need to clean the house. Whenever I get home from work, determined to apply to at least one job today, I always make it a priority to water the plants. (It's hot outside, I don't want them to suffer, you know?) By the end of the evening, I have practiced violin, run a load of laundry, taken out the trash, emptied the dishwasher and cooked dinner. But I haven't applied to any jobs.

I am procrastinating because I am afraid of failure. I have been at this job so long that I don't know what it is like to work for a different boss, in a different setting. If I "sell" myself and my skills well, I may end up in a job for which I am not qualified, and fail! But if I don't sell myself, I will end up in a job that bores me instead of challenging me.

Is list writing just another form of procrastination? I waste time writing the list, and I derive satisfaction from crossing items off the list, but I have never ever accomplished everything on the list. Instead, I transfer the unfinished items to a new list or sometimes just admit that certain things will never get done and I throw the list away. I even write "shave legs" on the list sometimes(!) but that usually gets done within a few days.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Good things come out of bad

For the last two years, I have been commuting to work by bike and train- riding to the station, taking my bike on the train, and then riding to work.

Last week, Cal.Tr.ain suddenly changed the type of train on my morning schedule. So now, instead of a train that holds 32+ bicycles, we have one that holds only 16. We bicyclists only learned of this when the train pulled up and the conductor said that none of us would be allowed on because the bike car was already full.

In February, they made the same change to the train that I take home, and at that time I started riding all the way home instead of taking the train.

I tried complaining to Ca.lTr.ain, as I have done before, but they always respond that they can't do anything about it. In reality, I think they want to discourage bikes because we take so long to load and unload that we delay the whole train.

However, since this change, I have begun riding to work, three days a week. Eight miles really isn't that far, and the ride is rather pleasant. Maybe I will finally lose some of the weight that I wanted to. Perhaps this will help decrease my stress too.


Yesterday I was reading the tragic story of Liz, who died one day after her baby was born. Life doesn't go as we plan, but we plug on anyway.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Follow up

Apparently I sounded really decided in my last posting. It isn’t really as simple as that.

Since we aren’t considering adoption, if we are no longer trying it means that we will NEVER have children. That means I need to throw away my baby names (I always feared that choosing names was bad luck, but I couldn’t stop myself), accept the fact that I won’t ever teach my child how to swim, we won’t ever have a bilingual household, and our nieces and nephews won’t have any cousins. I also need to stop wondering, when I pass teenagers on the street, if that is what my child will look like some day. I also have always had some misgivings about bringing a child into a world full of pollution, war, greed, bullies- at least I won’t have to worry about that anymore. Also on the plus side, I won’t have to change dirty diapers, listen to whining, discipline a teenager or pay for college.

Also, I need to start using birth control again. A waste of money because obviously I don’t need it! But as long I’m not actively preventing conception, I will continue to have a little bit of hope that it will someday happen, and that hope prevents me from moving on. I am sure A. is still hoping and part of the reason he agreed to “stop trying” (whatever that means to him) is because he knows that I am so tired of the process and because I am the one who has to do nearly all the work, so if I’m not willing to continue, then we shouldn’t.

P.S. Perhaps I need to clarify- hope is usually good. But getting your hopes dashed month after month is depressing. So what I need to do is to stop hoping to get pregnant and instead hope for something else- like happiness.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

To resume or not to resume

I had a dilemma. When we initially stopped medical intervention in October 2007, I begged for a six-month break, with the idea that we would resume or consider resuming in six months. I hoped that I could find a new job and get settled in during those six months, and that then I would feel positive enough to be willing to pursue treatment again. However, those six months have come and gone, and I still am at the same job, and I still don't want to pursue any more treatment.

A and I talked about the negatives of having children, and our reasons for wanting to have them, and we both agreed that having children isn't worth the steps that we will have to go through to get them. Although it is possible that we will change our minds in six months or a year, at this point it looks like we are finished.

Now I feel like I can finally (for the first time in three years) make plans that don't take into account medical treatment timing, costs or possible pregnancy. (In other words, I can go on vacation whenever I want, change my job without worrying about becoming pregnant right after I start, go scuba diving if I feel like it, and drink wine with dinner every night if I wish.) This has the potential to be wonderfully freeing, but it is hard to completely change my mind set after so long!