The holidays bring on all kinds of emotions. Joy at seeing family. Giddiness at the sight of a beautifully decorated tree with colorfully wrapped presents underneath. Warmth from too much egg nog. Pain on the next morning from a hangover from the egg nog. More pain due to paper cuts from wrapping paper. Frustration at keeping cats out of boxes (mine are so in need of boxhab) and wrapping paper. Wonderment at whether family is really trying to drive me crazy.
I actually really do enjoy the holidays. I swear.
One holiday emotion I find very hard to handle, though is reflection. There is something so perfect about the holidays for reflecting, too. It’s the end of the year with the preceding 12 months in the rear view mirror, ripe for next-year quarterbacking and analysis. There are long stretches of sitting around and drinking that are particularly conducive to reflection, even more so if you are trying to avoid family. And, there is the general need to look back to see if you’ve made measurable and documentable progress on whatever goals you had at the start of the year. Put it all together and you’ve got a recipe for unnecessary angst because, inevitably, what is different is not what you want to be different and what is the same is not what you want to be the same.
I am an excellent example: in the ‘different’ column, I have added another miscarriage to my resume. In the ‘same’ column, still no baby (or even pregnancy). Ouch.
My inner optimist (who frankly, is like a 90 pound weakling compared to my inner pessimist), is piping up to tell me to look at what has changed for the better since last Christmas, again ignorning for a moment, all of the breathtakingly awful things that happened since last Christmas. I’m game for a try.
One very quantifiable and wonderful difference from last year is that we have G this year. Bless that dog, he is such a wonderful balm for whatever ails me. Never one to let me wallow, should he find me down, he just looks me in the face with those big, limpid brown eyes, and without a trace of malice or mischief, belches right in my face. And I laugh. How can I not, when a big Golden Retriever belches in my face?
And, I truly believe that I am more accepting of our infertility. By ‘accepting’, I mean that I am no longer as angry as I was about it and the little green monster makes less frequent visits. I feel like I have finally worked through most of my ‘why me’ phase and moved on to the ‘appreciate what you have’ phase, even if what we have is not all that we want.
I would be lying though, if I said that I was not thinking about what next Christmas will be like. Will it be like the last four Christmases of our reproductive journey? Or will there be a new ornament on the tree for a new member of the family? I’d like to think that I would be ok if the answer was that there was not a new family member joining us next Christmas. Although, the familiar tug in my stomach tells me that right now, that is not the case as it would mean that the next 12 months will be spent in futility. Perhaps I should just focus on this Christmas for now, huh?
To all of my friends inside of the computer, readers, commenters, lurkers alike, may the season bring all of its joy to you and yours and may we all get what we want, if not this Christmas, then soon.