2008: The Year of No Expectations

When I was younger, I relished the idea of a new year. What would it bring? Some years, the major events would already be set, like a graduation (1994, 1998, 2002) or in one memorable year, a wedding (2003). The sheer anticipation of those events made the new year that much more sparkling. Also, there was always the assumption that nothing truly awful would happen that year and it would be pretty much a repeat of the others. Work, Birthday, work, vacation, anniversary, work, Sweetie birthday, work, holidays, work, repeat. With some very notable pre-infertility exceptions (Sweetie emergency and surgery, sudden move to new state) this has held true.

However, as the years have flown and the major plan-able milestones have been reached, the new year doesn’t bring as much anticipation. And with infertility, frankly the last thing you want is anticipation. It is so tempting to think, “this will be my year. I can feel it.” For those infertiles who had this thought last year and start this year with still no baby, it can be incredibly disillusioning and depressing. I don’t remember if I had this thought at the beginning of 2007. I really doubt it since I found out a few days in that I was benched for the first time due to cysts from my previous cycle.

Rather than make resolutions or pronouncements, I choose The Year of No Expectations. A friend of mine defined the life philosophy of no expectations as this: if you have no expectations, you can’t be disappointed. When I first heard it, part of me kind of thought it was a cop out. After all, aren’t we supposed to have goals and expectations of ourselves? By having no expectations, aren’t we just living an unmeaningful existence? I came to realize that his philosophy applies to expectations that we have of things that are beyond our control, such as other people’s behavior, and events that we cannot manipulate. Viewed this way, it becomes clear that it is a sophisticated method of self-preservation with a touch of freedom thrown in.

So, 2008 will be the year of no expectations. I won’t expect to be expecting. I won’t expect that my other friends won’t suddenly get knocked up or worse, get knocked up with number 2. I won’t expect that my parents will be more supportive. I won’t expect that I will feel better about 2007. I hope I will be content with my life as it is and try to make it a little better – however that might come about. Otherwise, I suspect I’ll go crazy by June.

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