Year-End Reflections and Decisions

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I’ve know I’ve been very intermittent in posting to this blog in the last year. A good blogger would write more often, but I guess I’m not a good blogger, so  I just don’t.  There’s an apathy that comes with acceptance.  I mean, acceptance in the case of childlessness is a good thing, but then you sort of make a conscious effort to start separating yourself from things that make you remember/focus on the pain.  I think that is a good thing for the most part.

I’m not a crusader.  I don’t have agenda with my blog.  This has always been a place where I could think out-loud publicly about what it’s  like to be a childless woman.  I’m not looking for hits nor am I trying to build an online persona, so sometimes I question why I even write here.  Is it for purely selfish reasons, or am I trying to resonate with someone?  I think it’s a little of both.  I’ve always been a little uncomfortable with the me-me aspect of a blog because I’m not a person who likes to draw attention to herself,  and that’s not a good trait for a blogger…so I hear.  I’m also not a person who wants to ruffle anyone’s feathers, so sometimes I censure what I say…again, not a trait a blogger should have.  I guess my main worry is that someone would read my blog and consider me a negative person or that family would read something I say and it offend or hurt them even though other than my husband I don’t think any of my family members are aware I have this blog.

Also,  I’m definitely not an optimist by nature although if you met me in person I’m sure you would find me outgoing,  happy, and witty.   I worry that those qualities don’t  shine through here because of the subject matter.   Unplanned childlessness is a subject matter that doesn’t lend itself to much levity.  Other than God Himself being able to laugh  is what has gotten me through so many crappy times.   So, be assured I laugh, A LOT!

I had a longstanding friend comment on a FB post I made about the Duggar’s having photos made of their stillborn child.  I was defending their choice.  If that’s  what helps  someone find closure, grieve, and have memories of that child that is completely fine  although that’s not what I would chose to do in my own situation.  I also made a side note concerning the Duggars that  I’m not of their philosophy of eschewing all birth control and having as many as you can.  My friend is of a similar mindset of the Duggars, and we were having a friendly little debate on the subject.  I told him that the only time I tried to control my fertility was the first two years I was married (birth control) but really I tried to control my fertility the ensuing 10 years after that by being on fertility medication intermittently.  Since then I’ve employed neither birth control nor fertility medicine.  I went on to say how difficult it has been.  His comment was:

“I know childlessness has been a great struggle for you, but it’s hard to remember, because you always seem so content.”

To me that was a big assurance that I don’t walk around with a little black rain cloud over my head all of the time.   I’m the first to admit that unplanned childlessness has affected my life and my outlook on life to a great extent; however, I think I’ve for the most part coped well and have been able to project to others (even during times I have to fake it) that I am okay.

With all that in mind I’ve contemplated shutting down the blog several times this year, but yet something has kept me from hitting the delete button.  I think it’s mostly because I have had so many people tell me that they appreciate what I write and have been moved/helped in some way by what I write.  If not actually helped they at least feel like there is at least one person in the world that understands how they feel.  That’s what keeps me writing even if it’s just once every couple of months.

On the personal front…the last six months have been challenging to say the least, and there have been some big lessons learned from those experiences.  There have been some tough subjects to deal with in my marriage and family, but we are getting through.  Middle age with its inherent crises has hit both my husband and I like a sledgehammer this year, but I think we’re finding some sense of a new normal and acceptance of the challenges middle age brings.  I also have a scary, yet fortunately, very intermittent health issue which reared it’s ugly head this month.  When I was worked up before all tests were normal or inconclusive,  and the side effects of treating the condition symptomatically was determined to outweigh any gain, so I have left this condition to it’s own devices (whatever it is),  as I’m not too inclined to get all upset and start going through tests again, but it is very upsetting when symptoms occur.

The most significant thing that’s happened lately is I lost a friend recently to cancer.  She fought it bravely for three years.  I knew it was going to hurt, but I could not fathom  how much I would grieve until it actually happened.  I believe it’s a big part of the reason my mystery health problem came to the surface again.  This friend still has children at home (the youngest being 12) and it’s really hard to see any good that is going to come of her passing, but that’s God’s department and not mine.  I just have to accept his decision to heal her in Heaven instead of on earth.

I’m also doing some purging of relationships in my life.  For others’ privacy I will not go into any detail, but the time has come for toxic people to leave my life either voluntarily or by force.  They have taken up way too much of my energy for years, and in some ways have affected my life and attitude more than unplanned childlessness.  Sometimes you just have to let go of bad relationships.

I hope you, my readers, will also do some positive purging of  negative things/people in your lives that keep you for experiencing life to it’s fullest.  Losing a good friend to cancer at age 45 has all too clearly reminded me that life is too short not to be happy.

To a happy, prosperous, and healthy New Year!

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9 responses »

  1. I’ve posted here before, but let me quickly reiterate my own situation. My husband and I are childless by choice and have no understanding whatsoever of what it’s like to want a child and not be /able/ to have one. However, I /do/ understand the sense of exclusion when others around you have babies everywhere. Society has this tendency, intentional or not, to make a married, childless woman feel a bit like an oddball. I was lucky that I was already an oddball for other reasons, so I was used to that. Nonetheless, I have a smidgeon of empathy because of my own experiences even if they are different.

    The reason I reiterate this is that you have at least one reader who has not experienced what you have. Why do I read your blog, then? Why do I want it to continue?

    I cannot speak to why you blog. That’s something only you can know. I can say that I enjoy reading your blog because you write well, you write about your feelings, and even if you censor some things to avoid hurting people, the thoughts you portray are yours, and I get a glimpse into someone else’s mind. I also appreciate that I have a sort of relationship in this glimpse, without having to guard against my own feelings getting hurt. Your end of the “relationship” is that you write about yourself. My end of things is that I listen without prejudice and without taking anything personally. It works well for me.

    I have a blog, too. I don’t blog as often as I once did because my life is too awesome and too busy for me to blog about. I’ve found that I NEED to convey my displeasure with life, but contentment is something that draws a blank for my nimble little fingers. My happiness has totally ruined the raw truth in my writing, in fact, because I have no understanding of how to get “happy” across to people using words. Anger and Depression are easy. Happy, not so easy.

    Why do I feel a need to write about negative things? I’ve pondered this. My thoughts: Few people in life truly listen to others. We’re probably all guilty of it. It’s easy to want to interject one’s own thoughts, opinions, and feelings into the conversation. We’re selfish by nature – it’s human. For someone who goes through life trying to find someone to identify with, someone who cares, someone who understands, this is a nightmare. Nobody listens, nobody understands, and nobody wants to really know /us/. They want us to be who they want us to be. Blogging, for me, is a way to lash out at anyone who won’t listen to what I have to say, even if they never read it. It’s a way for me to speak without having someone interrupt me. If someone ignores me, I don’t get hurt because I don’t expect anyone to read it in the first place… I just want it said.

    What surprised me at times is that people LIKED my writing, they identified with what I had to say, and they appreciated the raw truth. It’s different but real. When I realized that I really wasn’t alone in the world, I began blogging for an additional reason: To connect with others, share my life with others, so that they can see they are not the only people who struggle. What was once an outlet to catch spillover emotions became an outlet to perhaps one day have a positive influence on one or more fellow human beings.

    Your blog demonstrates that none of us is perfect, we all feel, we all have our motivations, and we all have a story to tell. I can identify with all of that. It’s a huge bonus that it’s easy reading, and engaging as well.

    So… I have only one request of you. If you do decide to stop blogging, please keep your thoughts somewhere and make a book out of them some day so those of us who really do appreciate your style and who want to have this glimpse into another human being, can do so.

    Now, as for the rest of the post… I’m glad there have been positives in your life recently, as well as the challenges. Without the challenges, there could not be positives… but when those positives happen, they’re pretty darned nice, huh? I am sad for your loss of a friend, however, and I wish you well in your endeavour to do a little “purging.” Totally agree with you, there. It’s hard, but worth it.

    • Hi Whitney,

      Wow…very profound. I’m actually quite surprised that you read my blog, but yet honored. You expressed my motivations for blogging so beautifully. Actually, reading your thoughts made me understand more clearly why I blog and assuaged some of my guilt for posting what I feel even if it’s only the negative. Just like you I rarely blog during happy times unless it’s about the adventures I occasionally get to take (such as my trip to L.A. last June). I also blog because I love to write. I’m a transcriptionist by trade although my career is much broader now. While I enjoy transcription I find it much more enjoyable to write my own words instead of someone else’s. Thanks for taking the time to comment. You are always welcome here even if our journey is quite a bit different. Blessings!

  2. I second Whitney’s comments, Vicki — I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog, because you write very well & thoughtfully, I hope you keep writing, because I would miss your voice — even if you don’t write often, when you do, it’s always worth reading. Happy new year!

  3. Vicki,
    I just wanted to tell you that I am so glad we are friends. You are such a beautiful person inside and out, and so many things you write here and on Facebook make me laugh, make me think, and keep me grounded.
    I hope the next year is just on the up and up for you!!! Because you deserve it!!!

  4. I appreciate your perspective on childlessness. While there are other blogs out there, your viewpoint is unique to you, and I look forward to reading what you have to say.

  5. Hi Vicki,

    I came here from Lisa Manterfield’s “Life Without Baby” blog, and found your voice to be honest and relatable. My own blog has its ups and downs. I used to be a “good” blogger, in the way you describe, until my infertility and miscarriages drained the happy-go-lucky out of me. Now I write mostly for release, for contemplation, and reflection. I don’t post half of what I actually write, and in 2011, I didn’t post much, for a handful of reasons.

    You are right when you say life is too short not to be happy. And part of what makes me happy is finding people like you. 🙂

  6. I just felt I had to start a blog this year. I actually cannot cope with everyone thinking I am together all the time when in fact I am in pieces. Its rubbish, I don’t ask anyone to read it, but I need it. What I need more is blogs like this one. I too came here from lifewithoutbaby and whether it is an occasional post here and there or a blog a day it will still helps me and others get through those days, those days when I can’t bear to hear, you’re young it could still happen, miracles happen, just adopt, you are a mother to every kid who knows you….

    Whitney is so right sometimes you just want to be listened to and if you do we are right here X

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