Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kinda grumbly

It's been that kind of day...Starting with me getting up, doing all of my early-morning tasks (take the dog out, check fasting blood sugar, turn on phone, fill dog's food dish), going upstairs to change for yoga, and stepping on the scale. Good grief. I weighed in at almost 7 more pounds than I weighed a week and a half ago. SEVEN POUNDS?

I was all motivated to get on the scale, too - I think I want to run another full marathon in June (what on earth am I thinking?), and I would like to drop 8-10 pounds before I start training in February. Well, 8-10 pounds from the weight I thought I was.

So. That was depressing.

Not to use the oldest excuse in the book, but I'll just say there's probably some significant water retention going on there. I suppose I'll weigh myself every 2-3 days, just to see what the fluctuation is. Hopefully next week I'll lose some of that water weight and have a better idea of what my "normal" weight actually is.

I would love to eat less - but I have a very difficult time with that. With the whole diabetes thing, I am supposed to eat meals and snacks. So I typically eat breakfast, 3 hrs later eat a snack, 3 hrs later eat lunch, 3 hrs later, snack, and 3 hrs later, dinner. Followed by a small bedtime snack. And my fasting sugars are good. I just suspect that my snacks could be a bit smaller. As could my meals.

So. Trying to get back on track with that. I've bumped up the intensity of my workouts, and I am hoping that helps, as well.

Anyway, I got completely off track here. So I had my grumpy weigh in. Did my yoga DVD. Applied for a faculty job (yikes!). Ran in to campus to pick something up in the lab. Stopped and got chips on the way home. And then took the dog (ha, I just typed "god"...he really *does* rule this house!) to get his nails trimmed. My plan - to drop him off, run next door to BB&B to use two coupons and a gift card, then come back to get him and pick up his treats. I was thwarted by the surly groomer. Who said "No, just wait for him, it'll just be a minute." Me "Buh, buh...*sigh*" I mean, it's not the end of the world (dude, far from it) but I was grumpy.

Then I shoveled snow for 45 minutes. Heavy, wet snow. With slushy ice crap underneath.

And we didn't get any Christmas cards in the mail.

Okay, I'm done grumbling now. I think.

On the plus side:

I have eaten Julia's almost instant tomato soup for the past three non-breakfast meals. Oh. My. Goodness. It is SO good. Low-fat, no weird things, lots of flavor. Thank goodness my husband dislikes tomato soup. More for me!

I made my mother's gingerbread cake. This could go on the negative side, but I'm choosing to remember how yummy it is, and ignore the calories. My husband will be home tomorrow, and I'll make sure he eats most of it. :)

I was actually productive today.

Tomorrow we'll sleep in, since the gym doesn't open til 8. I'm thinking I'll be really indulgent and sleep until 6. Whoa.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I realized today that I need to work to make things a little less stressful for myself. Not that my life is high stress, really. Just that I don't react well when I try to do 10 million things at once, and surprise! Things don't go so well. Case in point - yesterday, trying to walk the dog, juggle the mail, enjoy the sunshine, and...well, you know how *that* went.

So today, I decided to stop and get the mail on the way home from a lovely lunch with a colleague. No packages - but some magazines, which are hard to carry while corralling a dog. Once I got home and enjoyed my greeting from the dog, we took a walk. And I tried to just enjoy the walk and the sunshine. And it was so much more enjoyable. Instead of stressing out about how long it was (it only takes a 1/2 hour, tops, and he enjoys it SO much), I enjoyed being in the sunshine and watching him shove his whole head into snow drifts (hilarious, btw). Being calmer seemed to make the dog calmer, too. He pulled less (or maybe I was pulling less...), he walked nicely, he didn't lunge (well, after his initial, yay, we're on a walk! lunge that he *always* does). It was so nice. So much less stressful.

Then we came home, I changed, and he played with his new toy and took a nap. And I got SO much done in the last 2.5 hours.

I mean, duh. Try to be calm and organized, and things tend to be calmer, and more organized. Who would have thought?

Monday, December 28, 2009


I have such big plans for this week - no scheduled meetings, plenty of time to sit in my yoga pants and work on the concept paper for the next grant...and now Monday is almost over and I feel like I haven't accomplished anything. I *know* I did, but I have a hard time believing that right now. I should probably just take a day off - I baked and cleaned on Christmas, and throughout this weekend. As I usually do. And I am running errands and meeting a colleague for lunch tomorrow, which is pretty typical for me. And I'm going to the gym, and taking the dog on walks, and making dinner, and...Yeah. I think I need a day off. A day to do nothing but sit on the couch, read, and enjoy my husband's company. Maybe we can swing that on Friday.

I've found that I get frustrated very easily when I don't have my husband to talk me down from the ledge. Today's case in point - getting frustrated coming back from our walk because I had a dog who was pulling on the leash, a big (unexpected) box and two magazines from the mail, and a poop bag. And it was slippery, and windy, and my hair was in my eyes. Oh, and it was cold. So I was NOT happy when the dog was pulling and then stopping right underfoot and then leaping off again, and then I dropped the mail and nearly dropped the box and should have dropped the poop bag instead, and then I yelled at myself when putting the dog in the house so I could get the trash can, and instead the dog thought I was yelling at him, so I felt even more terrible, so I swore at myself as I closed the door to go back outside and when I came back in he was cowering near the entry.  And that's not fair to him. So I spent 20 minutes snuggling with him, talking to my mom on the phone (another computer problem) and convincing him to eat his food. And then doing more work. And then more snuggling. And then more treats. And now we're snuggling on the couch again.

But I really need to make better decisions in these situations...I could have left the damn box in the mail box (it's locked) and gotten it tomorrow. I could have tucked something under my arm differently. I could have stopped, gotten organized, and then finished the walk. I could have made several *better* decisions than I made. And it's times like this that I think it's probably a good thing that we can't have kids - and that we're not going to pursue the technology necessary for us to even have a chance. Because if I can't take a deep breath and get over a walk with the dog??? I'm pretty sure I'm not cut out to be a parent.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We had a very quiet Christmas here. My husband came home on Wednesday, instead of Thursday, which was a nice treat. We stayed put Thursday and Friday, in part because of the absolutely disgusting rained! in the Midwest! on Christmas Eve! I mean, really. Bleah. It switched over to snow by 9 on Christmas morning, though, and since then we have gotten 6-8 inches of fluffy, powdery snow. Which made up, sort of, for the icky rain.

It was just the three of us on Christmas - we chose not to go to my in-laws', as we had just been there a few weeks ago when my brother in law and his wife were in town. I wasn't up for another trip up there, and the potentially sketchy roads made the decision rather easy.

We slept in, ate snacky food (my favorite thing about the holidays, to be honest), and enjoyed each others' company. We played with the dog - who got the most presents of anyone - and talked to our families. We shoveled and snow blowed and took a few slippery walks around the neighborhood.

It was a lovely holiday weekend, and I'm already looking forward to another one in just four short days. We always go to sleep before midnight on New Year's Eve - part of our traditions now, I suppose. But on New Year's Day we eat more snacky food, watch HGTV, and try not to work. (Although, since both of us worked for 6-7 hours on Christmas Eve, that might not be possible this year...)

And then - in the midst of my enjoying-my-solitude-for-a-few-days, about-to-get-a-glass-of-wine haze, an old friend called. She's pregnant. By IUI. Donor sperm. It's twins. She's due in the summer, and will probably have to move, as she's not sure how she can continue at her current job with two babies. Oh, right - she's not married. I have no problems at *all* with women choosing to have children on their own. It just seems like unnecessary roughness on the part of the universe for some reason. I'm just now starting to come to terms with this whole child-free life thing. I'm just now starting to realize that we won't have to save for college, or worry about a vaccination schedule, or all of those other things that parents do. And instead - the universe throws *this* at me?

Time for that wine. Since, you know, I'm not pregnant.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Onward and upward

It's college basketball season, my favorite time of the year! Oh, and it's the holidays, too. But I really love BB on almost every's still many months til the Final Four, and anything can happen. It makes me happy on cold winter nights.

Speaking of cold winter nights, my husband started a new job in a city 200 miles away last week. Which means that he spends 4 nights a week there, and 3 nights a week here. I really can't fuss, though - this job is a significant move up for him in terms of compensation, responsibility...everything. We hope it will position him for executive level positions when he decides that this job is not where he wants to be anymore. So, it provides the opportunity for him to move up - significantly.

Of course, the potential drawback is that this is a new company. And new companies fail ALL the time. That was actually the thing that made me most nervous about him accepting this position. What if? [I'm great at the what-ifs...] So we have decided that since he is making more money, and we were squeaking by just fine before, that we would save a LOT more money just in case. It's also a bit easier because my earning potential should increase significantly in the late summer, when I take a faculty position.

His taking this position has generated some interesting responses from people we know here in town. At my place of work - where they are quite open about wanting me to stay as a faculty member - several people have expressed concern, and have asked whether I need to move to the city now that N is there most of the time. I guess because we have done the long-distance thing many times in many different iterations, I find this surprising. It's not like he's being deployed for 18 months. It's not like he's flying to India every week. He gets in his car and drives 3 or so hours, and then he stays at an apartment, works like a demon, and comes home to us on Thursday afternoons. Which, quite honestly? Gives me LOTS of time to get work done. And then we can enjoy each other's company Fridays through Sundays. I mean, don't get me wrong - it's an adjustment (particularly for someone who is not really fond of being alone in the house...thank goodness for the dog...) but it's not like our lives are falling apart.

And this has also opened up worlds of opportunity for me. Waaay back in 2008 (ha!) when we were figuring out where we wanted to move when I finished my degree, we chose this area because we could both have long-term jobs in a small town with good schools. Now that we have decided not to pursue IVF, well, to be honest? The good schools are more a painful reminder of what we *don't* have, rather than something we will need in the near future. N was fine staying in his job - dead ends and all - if it meant stability, relatively good income, and health insurance. But again - not having kids means that we don't really need to focus on those things. I mean, sure the health insurance is good, and it's nice to have a stable income. But he didn't need to tie himself here to get those things. He was able to move on and up and into a new job opportunity that provides him with a lot of opportunity for growth. I have also decided to open up my job search - so that I now have 5 potential universities instead of just the one where I am currently. Even nicer? Two of those other universities are interested in interviewing me. So we are both positioning ourselves to move onward and upward in our chosen fields - something that might not have been possible (at least to this degree) if we had chosen another path last spring, when we were told that our only option was IVF, and even that wasn't a certainty.

I don't mean that we aren't still mourning the fact that we will be a family of two...or that our lives will be very different from what we had planned two short years ago. But there are some positives in this. Maybe I'm trying to be Pollyanna - maybe it's the season for that - but I'm going to try to find the good in this situation. Otherwise the negatives weigh me down, and that gets exhausting after a while.

We're going to have a quiet Christmas at home. We're not even doing gifts for each other - he gave me a heart rate monitor, and I gave him a Bluetooth earpiece for his BB when we were at his parents' the other weekend. We have some gifts for the dog - and I have a card for him. But we're just going to hole up here, enjoy each other's company, and try not to do work for a day. That's going to be the hardest part. ;)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Conveniently forgetting

I have a tendency to conveniently forget those things that make me uncomfortable or sad, if possible. I guess I'm more of a conflict-avoider than I knew... Funny how life helps you learn more things about yourself, even when you think you know it all.

Anyway, I wrote about how my college roommate flaked on me and went out of town when I was *in* her town, with a primary purpose of seeing her and another friend. She (the college roommate, not the other friend) had baby #2 in late August, and I was so looking forward to seeing her for the first time in over a year, meeting baby #2, and seeing how kiddo #1 (because he really is not a baby) had grown. I set up my visit as far in advance as possible - knowing that I might not have another visit to their area for a while. I looked back (because I am that way) and found that I had emailed her the information for my visit in July. As in, dates. And she was still pregnant. And she told me she put it on the calendar.

Fast forward a few months to a week or so before my planned visit, when I emailed her and my other friends to finalize plans. And she emailed back that she hoped I meant that I was coming that weekend, not the *next*, as they had made plans to go see her grandmother in two weeks, since she hadn't yet met the baby. I was floored. No, I wrote back, I was traveling in two weeks, not one, and I wasn't able to change my plans since, you know, I'd made plane reservations three *months* before. Could they possibly leave a little later on their planned departure day (my planed arrival day) so I could see them for a few hours?

Oh, she wrote back. Well, they couldn't change their plans. Too bad.

I didn't even write back. I couldn't find the words. I knew she was juggling two kids, and maternity leave from work, and whoknowswhatelse. But still. We've been as close as sisters for 16 years now, and she finks out on seeing me for the only time all *year*?

I went on the trip, and I saw other friends. I played with their kids, caught up with them, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. But I was so sad, knowing that I was within an hour of my roommate's house for the first time in so long, and knowing that I wouldn't be seeing her.

And then I didn't call her for over two months. She never called me - balancing home and work and a new nanny and a household is likely enough to keep anyone busy. And I was still hurting.

I finally caved earlier this week. It's the Christmas season, I figured. I should call and set things right, even if I just called to talk about normal things. So I gathered up my courage and hit the right number on my phone. And got...not her voice mail. Definitely not her voice mail. Hip hop music and a message in Spanish? Definitely not.

This sent me into another spiral. Did she change her number and not tell me? Did something awful happen and no one tell me? It's amazing, I'll say, where the mind goes when it doesn't have enough information to draw a reasonable conclusion. I talk to my patient, loving husband, who suggests that I send her an email. Maybe I can get in touch with her that way.

I sent the email, and waited. Not long, as it turned out. Hi!, she wrote. We discontinued my personal cell phone since I have one for work, and I have too many devices as it is.

She called while I was on the phone with a prospective employer. I called her back and we talked about everyday things. My husband's new job. How big her baby is getting. How the nanny is working out. No mention of the fact that we hadn't talked for two months. No discussion of what had transpired during those two months. So I don't know what to think. I've decided that I have too many other things to think about right now, to devote any time to figuring out the nuances of this relationship. I'm glad to be talking to her again. I'm ignoring the fact that this relationship may have changed irreparably in the last few months. And yet, I think (don't we all?) that maybe *she* thinks that our child-free life is so different from hers, that my life trajectory has deviated so much from the traditional path, that maybe we cannot continue to be such good friends as we were.

One of the unexpected pieces of living a child-free life, not by choice, is how often the *issues* pop up in my everyday life. A day does not go by that I don't realize the impact of these choices on every aspect of my life. Someone makes a comment....I talk to a friend after a long silence....a phone message from another friend makes me think that her attempts to get pregnant with donor sperm (she is single, without a partner) have finally been successful....friends who had a baby in November post pictures of their adorable newborn on FB. It just....slaps me in the face nearly every day. And yet, on the surface, I am moving through my life - my husband and I, together. He has taken his new job. I am talking to people about jobs for next year, exploring all my options and not just those with good school districts. But underneath, I am the woman who can't have a child and who is not willing to risk her emotional and physical health to pursue all interventions necessary to correct that fact.