It's the little things in life that make each day exciting & different. It's the little things in life that can put a smile on your face or in your heart... Maybe it's going outside to soak up some sunshine & fresh air, seeing a rainbow, or a rabbit hopping around in your yard... A hug from someone you love, laughing at a good joke, or hearing your favorite song on the radio. It could even be some kind gesture from a stranger... someone holding a door for you, another driver waving you on to cut in the lane ahead of them, someone paying you a compliment, smiling, or sincerely saying "Have a nice day." Whatever it is, it's the little things in life that should matter most and can alter your day. Even on my darkest days, I can usually find SOMETHING to smile about... but only if you truly allow yourself to see it and appreciate it.
Here's a quick challenge to you while reading this. Think about the last 24 hours and list just 3 things that you have in your life that you're thankful for or that made you smile. Maybe it's simply the fact that you were able to sleep in a warm or comfy bed last night. Maybe it's listing people in your life who love you unconditionally. Maybe someone said something nice to you. If you really look, I bet you'll be able to think of more things than you thought you could. Look at all that's are going right in your life, just at this moment! How does that make you feel? Hopefully more positive... even if it's just a bit. Progress is still progress, no matter how small.
Up until yesterday, I was having what I call a "Blah" week. Blah is my word when I just don't feel well or feel sad for some unknown reason that I just can't put my finger on. I think this week my Blah came from a few different sources: returning from vacations always depress me to an extent, I have been suffering from a post nasal drip/sore throat/raspy voice all week, Scott went back to work after spending 11 straight days with me, we start yet another month of not being pregnant, I'm starting to stress about summer flying by already, and I didn't really have any big fun events to look forward to this week (I know, I know, I shouldn't complain... to all you non-teachers, I truly apologize... but all my teacher friends understand how scary it is that our much needed rest goes by way too quickly and I need time to work on projects and stuff. It's not ALL rest and relaxation). Also, vacation junk food habits had me feeling depressed about how my clothes were starting to fit (or not fit in some cases), so I needed to get off my lazy butt and start moving again and stay away from the mound of candy in the kitchen.... So, needless to say, I have been feeling down in the dumps a little this week. It happens.
Yesterday started to get a little better because I decided to go out and get my nails done (ALWAYS a nice treat!) and brought Mom R along for a pre-birthday treat for her, too. :) We then stopped by a local Hallmark store that's going out of business and we had a coupon pass to get 50% off everything in the store- SCORE!! (It's 25% to general public unless you received the special coupon in the mail for being a loyal shopper *wink, wink*.... side note, I should have stock in Hallmark and Vera Bradley because of all the markup and how much I buy from these companies... Sheesh!). 50% off Vera Bradley bags, Yankee Candle accessories, stationery, cards, figurines, etc?!... WHAT?! I was ecstatic. It's sad for the store but it was a freakin' field day for us! So many fun things to stock up on... my mood was starting to perk up a bit. I came home and checked the mail to find a lovely note from an infertility sister on IG (Instagram), thanks Mary-Ellen!!, thanking me for support and kindness through the difficult emotional roller coaster that infertility can be. It came at the perfect time and definitely put a smile on my face. Things were looking up a bit more. This will probably sound dumb, but I sometimes doubt myself in different ways and lose my confidence very easily. So this unexpected note put the bounce back in my step because it showed my actions/attempts don't go unnoticed. It's always a nice feeling knowing others care or enjoy your efforts/company.
Sorry for all of the background info, but all of that lays the foundation for the real reason I am writing this post in the first place. All of those events led up to today... Scott brought the mail in and I was sifting through the pile (I love, love, LOVE getting mail!) and noticed a package, which was for me. Yay!! But wait a sec, why was it for me? Hmm... I hadn't ordered anything, so I wasn't expecting anything. I hadn't signed up for another IG care package swap. What could it be? I looked to see who it was from and I was honestly shocked to see that it was from an old friend, Linzy, who now lives in Texas. I had pretty much lost touch with her and we hadn't spoken in almost a year. *(Ironically, the last time we were in touch was in October because it was just after my birthday and she had sent a bday message but later on sent a random message to tell me she had a dream that I was pregnant and we were picking out baby things. She said it was too random to keep to herself so she had to share, and at the time I had hoped it was a good sign for us... At that time, we hadn't entered the deep dark world of Uncertainty and Depression, otherwise known as the dreaded world of INFERTILITY.)* I was so confused and surprised to receive anything from her, let alone a package. When I opened it, I was so blown away and filled with emotion at what I saw. *(Maybe you won't feel the same... I'm sure you won't feel the same. But TO ME, in that moment, I just fell apart.)
|My gift from Linzy <3 A picture frame with perfect quotes. <3|
These are the other, perfectly fitting, quotes she included:
"Your journey has molded you for the greater good. It was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think you've wasted time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now, and the now is right on time." ....This is SOO fitting for me because, as I quickly approach 30 in a few months, I am often saddened and regretful for not starting to try for a baby sooner. We've been together 14 years, married 6, and just started officially a year and a half ago. So I often feel behind, but this quote was perfect for reminding me to not rush things and that life doesn't work as I may have it planned out in my silly little head.
"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it." ...What doesn't kill you sure as hell makes you STRONGER. ;)
"HOPE is an everyday choice." ...Written in small letters in the middle of the frame is the word "HOPE". So fitting. Hope is an everyday choice. You can choose to have it, or ignore it. I choose to have it, hold onto it, chase it, and never let it go. As they say, hope is an anchor to the soul.
I'm still amazed, hours after opening it, that this arrived today. Of course, I sent Linzy a message to thank her for her kindness and also to ask why because I was genuinely curious. She had obviously known we were still trying, and having difficulty, so I assumed she had come across the blog link (that part is public on IG even though my pictures are not) and/or had spoken to Manny, who is a mutual (and great!) friend of ours. Turns out it was both Manny and the blog. Linzy said she had seen a pair of Vera Bradley baby booties and wanted to send them to me, Manny had mentioned our struggles, and she happened to come across my blog. While reading it, she couldn't help but want to be there for me in any way possible because she knew how much starting a family meant to us. So she googled infertility gifts, had seen the IG care package posts, knows I love pics and quotes (because she does too!), and VOILA, best of both worlds! *An afterthought occurred to me that her frame was genius and I should have thought about creating something like that as gifts for fam/friends because it's crafty and right up my alley! I complained to Scott how I keep missing the boat on crafty ideas to take hold of and create, and here was another one. But when I asked Linzy, she said this was her first, so I now have a plan for us to start making these as gifts and selling if others are interested. Customized quote frames... how fun, right?! I'm serious, we will be starting this soon, so don't get any ideas unless you live far away and don't know the same people that I do. And sorry for the spoiler alert, you know probably know what your next birthday or holiday gift from me is going to be. ;)
So when my mood totally flipped around today and the Blah had vanished (FiNaLlY!!), I was instantly grateful for the chain of events in which things happened here. It's nice to know people are actually reading my blog and becoming aware of infertility, little by little. I think that many people assume baby making is a simple formula and they just genuinely don't realize that that's sadly just not true for many of us. They are unaware of the millions of couples who struggle to just get pregnant, let alone carry through a healthy pregnancy. It's not their fault, they shouldn't have to know. I admit, I had no idea about all of this before it affected us. I knew generally what IVF was, but that's about it. As much as infertility is a hard road to walk down, it really has given Scott and I SOO much strength as a couple and also so many opportunities that we wouldn't otherwise have. For one, I have met some amazing girls on IG (as mentioned many times, but I really am forever changed by them all, thank you to any of you reading this!!! <3 <3). Second, it's made me closer with one of my very good friends who, ironically, is also battling infertility. And third, it's now reunited me with my old pal, Linzy, who I spent hours on and off texting back and forth catching up on things. If it weren't for all things being in line, we might not be in touch any more, or have a significant reason to make that happen.
Yes, Cinderella, you are one smart cookie (hehe); Even miracles do take time. Everything has to fall into place before it can all come together. Well, I have hope that it will all come together for us when the time is right. I don't know when or how, but it will happen some day. I TRULY believe that all things happen for a reason, and in due time. Just like the first quote in her note, "...it took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now...".
See how just ONE simple act of kindness can change so much? This is why I am forever grateful for the little things... <3