Saturday, May 24, 2014

Chin Up, Buttercup

I decided I needed to write a more positive post. I've been feeling down for too long and need to pick myself back up. Part of it is because of the meds I was on- a lot of things were restricted for the last 2 weeks. A lot of things that are normal stress relievers, and I couldn't do any. Therefore, I felt pretty bummed, stressed, and semi depressed at times. I would get through the day at school, come home exhausted and feeling Blah, and just lay on the couch or sleep a lot. Not fun. It's not me. (Sorry, Scott). 
But now 2 weeks are up and I refuse to be a prisoner to negativity and feeling blah. 

Yes, we've been experiencing a roller coaster of emotions, but I need to stop being blah about it and keep moving forward. There is SOOO much to be thankful for and I need to focus on that. 
One fear I have in being totally open about our journey is that I will turn so many people away from us for being honest. I don't want my honesty to come across as me playing the victim and looking for sympathy or pity. Deciding to start the blog was initially my way of getting it all out there to sort out my emotions and deal with the confusing and complicated things we were experiencing. It also was a very easy way to update family and friends on what's going on (rather than sending mass emails out to people who might not care (you're choosing whether or not you want to read these). And also, if we can help just one other couple on their journey, then I would feel a sense of paying back to those who helped me by posting their experiences and journeys. 

Everyone's journey and story in life is different and we should never judge another without knowing what it's truly like to walk in their shoes. We ALL have struggles in life. They'll vary in how they look, but we all have some stress in our lives that we are dealing with. Ghosts from the past, financial problems, drug addiction, mental illness, relationship problems, work stress, friends/family stress, health problems, a rocky marriage, a combination of these, or something else entirely. Each and every one of us has at least 1 thing that is difficult to go through. Often I've heard some quote along the lines that if we were all in s giant circle and threw our problems out into the open to see what everyone secretly deals with, we'd all go scrambling to regain our own problems, rather than swapping with someone else. Everyone struggles. 

You thought this post wasn't supposed to be negative, right? I'm getting there. :) My point is, everyone struggles with something. Some struggle openly, some keep it private. Just because we are being open about our infertility struggles, it doesn't mean I'm undermining problems that others have. It also doesn't mean that is the only thing we struggle with. Don't judge others by what you see. Chances are, you're only seeing one small piece of the puzzle. So have a little compassion for others. 

I realize that, compared to others, our struggle may be small potatoes. This isn't a life or death health scare. It's not a financial issue (not yet at least!) of losing our house or possessions over. Neither of us are unemployed (Now that Scott got hired by a new company! Yay!!). So, yes, it's one big thing in our life right now and it consumes my mind for most of the day, I am fully aware that we are extremely lucky otherwise. This is in no way a bragging post, but I wanted to list some things I'm thankful for, so that maybe it helps us all realize the wonderful things we have present in our lives. Sometimes they are easily clouded by our struggles, but at the end of the day, there is always someone worse off than you. 

These are a few of my favorite things (or things to be thankful for), in no particular order...

*SCOTT MICHAEL RICCI.... This guy. He simply amazes me. He is the best, ever. Scott has a heart of gold and is one of the most caring people I know. He helps out the people he loves 10000000% and would do anything for them. He is a great listener (despite me accusing him otherwise at times), excellent advice giver, and is so sweet when it counts the most. He can cheer me up or make me feel better when I truly need it the most. He can make me laugh at the times I'm the most depressed, and always tries to get me to smile. He's seen me at my absolute worst (many times) and yet is there whole-heartedly to pick me back up. He's an amazing friend and husband, and I know without a doubt that he will be one of the best dads in the world some day. I'm so so so incredibly lucky to have married a truly wonderful guy. Love you!! <3 

*Amazingly supportive family & friends... Without you all, we wouldn't be where we are. We wouldn't be able to cope with any of this, probably wouldn't be posting anything publicly (in fear of people knowing), and just wouldn't be able to be so positive. Our immediate families have been a huge huge support factor in all of this, as well as our extended family, and of course our friends. Thank you all. Whether you ask us occasionally how things are going, or are too afraid to bring it up and ask, we know you all care for us. It's the everyday actions, the interactions, and overall picture that we look at. We know you care and we appreciate it so much. Thank you for not judging us for going public with this, thank you for not talking negatively about our journey, thank you for asking every once in a while how things are, thank you for checking in, thank you for showing you care in ways other than asking how things are (I know it's hard for some~ you don't know whether to bring it up or not, and that's fine. We know you care, actions speak louder than words). It's your choice and it's okay. We are comfortable with either because we know deep down who cares and who doesn't, so whether you ask or not how things are going, it's okay. I know you care. If you are afraid to ask, but are wondering, I promise it's ok to ask us. Sometimes we like to be asked because it lets us know you aren't sick of hearing about it and it's a safe place to talk openly about it. 

Ok, that part got confusing to word! Sorry! Moving on. :)

*Unsupportive friends people... Sounds weird, I know. But, I'm just as thankful for these people because they've shown us who and what is truly important in our life. They've shown us that they truly just don't care about us or our journey, so neither should we continue to try for them. They've shown me to stop wasting my time and to not care what people think. Thanks for freeing up space in my heart and mind, so I can focus on those who truly do care. You've shown me what's important in my life, and worrying about petty things is just not worth it when we're up against bigger struggles. Life is too short to be anything but happy in areas you can control. 

*Nieces & nephews... I put plural because I consider the kids of my really close friends to be my nieces and nephews, just as much as my brother's children.  My friends' little ones call me "Aunt" too, so why not. Family is not always just blood relation. It's who is closest in your heart. I'm so thankful for these little ones because they show you what pure happiness is. They're made happy by the simplest things in life and they're all just so much fun to be around!! (I wish some weren't a plane ride away but that's life... I'm just thankful to have them in my life). <3

*Getting paid to do what I love... I love my job. Sure there are aspects that drive me crazy at times, but that's any job. I love working with 5 & 6 year-olds every day. I love getting to act like a kid at times and not getting laughed at for it. I love teaching little ones to read and write. I love seeing the amazing ways a child can learn, grow, mature, and change from September to June. I love being a part of Kindergarten. I love teaching in the room I went to Kindergarten in. I love being creative. I love working Monday through Friday. I love having weekends, holidays, and summers off. I love teaching. I love my job. 

*My car... It gets me places. It's a pretty color. It stores a lot. It's a Honda. I just love it. :) 

*The beautiful area in which we live... The Hudson Valley area of New York (just about an hour north of NYC), is truly amazing. I was born and raised here, and it took me a long long time to truly appreciate it for its worth. I can't really describe it but it's just so scenic and beautiful. There are so many picturesque up and down the river that are gorgeous. There are so many mountains to hike, so many picnic spots by the river, so many pretty sunsets, so much to do, amazing AMAZING wineries, state parks, etc. It's just beautiful.... however, winters can be wicked here! 

*A roof over our heads... This is our 2nd home, and who knows where the next few years will take us, but I'm thankful that we are currently in a situation where we have a roof over our heads, a warm house, a comfy bed, running water, doors and windows that lock, etc. Going along with that are daily essentials, and things we all often take for granted: food, water, clothes, shoes on my feet, etc. I often am amazed at how it's possible that I sit here with all these things easily within reach while others around the world dream of having just 1 of these things. It really puts things into perspective real fast.

*4 seasons that are very different where we live. Each season is truly, 100% that season, here in NY. Winters are harsh, bitter, cold, and get TONS of snow. As much as I hate the winter, snowfall is so so pretty and curling up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate is just so fun. Spring here is usually pretty chilly, and wet, but it's my favorite. Everything starts to bloom, and even though the pollen here gets awful for a bit, it's so beautiful to see all the pretty colors blooming on trees and flowers. The sound of spring peepers and birds outside is so comforting and calming. A perfect spring day here is 70 and sunny, and it's one of the best things ever. Summers get pretty hot at times, but it's also a break from school and a time to recharge those teaching batteries. It's a time to relax, read new books, sleep in, vacation, and lay by a pool. Fall is depressing in some ways because it means summer is over and winter is coming, but it also means the leaves change color (another beautiful sight up here!), sweater weather arrives, and Starbucks comes out with their Pumpkin Spice latte!!! It's also my birthday, and it's just a fun time. 

*Sunshine... Sunshine makes me happy, end of story. I'm totally one of those people who is sad in the winter, or on rainy days. Sunshine equals happiness for me. :) 

*Rain.... Even though rainy days make me tired and gloomy, "No rain, no rainbows!!"

*Our struggles in life, no matter what they are. This may sound weird as well, because these are the things that try to rip you apart from the insides. These are the things that make you cry your eyes out at night, and consume your mind and fears. However, these are the things that make you stronger. These are the things that make you learn in life, make you a better person, make you believe in hope and that things will get better. These are the things that mold you into the person you are meant to be. These are the things that prepare you to deal with future struggles, because there are sure to be many more. 

*Chocolate... need I say more, really?

*Health. As far as we know, in the current moment, we are both fairly healthy. Yes we have things to work on, or things we have to deal with. But, overall, we are both in good health standing at the moment. It could be way worse and I'm glad we are currently okay. 

*Music... I find multiple meanings in songs, and I pull quotes from them often. I can't sing or play an instrument (or really dance) to save my life, but I LOVE listening to all kinds of music. Depending on my mood, I will listen to 20 different types of music. It pumps me up, lets me think, lets me cry, and just kind of makes my day go round. Different moods pull different styles of music, and different music pulls different moods. I'm thankful to pull a lot of life wisdom and advice from songs. I'm constantly writing down song lyrics as little life lessons, mood boosters, signs from above, etc. 

Some current favs...

The Good Life~ One Republic "When you're happy like a fool, let it take you over.. When everything is out, you gotta take it in. Ohh, this has gotta be the good life, good life, good life..."

Be Okay~ Oh Honey "Can't complain about much these days, I believe we'll be okay..."

On Top of the World~ Imagine Dragons 

*Zumba... By stumbling across a Zumba class 4 years ago, it introduced me to many wonderful people and opportunities. It boosted my confidence, gave me some rhythm, and got me in shape. It's become my favorite go-to exercise because it's exercise in disguise. I need to get back on the exercise wagon now that my 2 weeks are up, but it's really one of the best ways for me to lose a few pounds, stay in shape, relieve stress, boost my mood, and be social. 
I'm sure there are plenty of things I am forgetting. In fact, I know there are. But you get the point. No matter how we struggle in life, it's important to look on the bright side and count our blessings, because we all have so many. It's so easy to get caught up in the sadness, depression, and negativity that our challenges and struggles bring. But without looking for the silver linings, your challenges will consume you and defeat you. We all have so many things to be thankful for, on a daily basis. Even on your darkest days, there's something or someone to be thankful for. Instead of listing what's going wrong, or who is against you, think of what's going right, and who is on your side supporting you. It helps to put things in perspective every once in a while and helps boost your mood as well. You can't overcome obstacles if you're always in the darkness.... It'll suck you right in unless you try to walk towards the bright side. 

Although our journey to a baby is a crummy one and is taking way longer than we ever anticipated, and taking everything we've got.... it's part of our journey, I can't change it, and I have so many things I'm currently taking for granted that are going right in my life. I have to focus on that. We all have a lot to smile about. There's always, always, always something to be thankful for. 

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