Saturday, December 30, 2017


We know 
so perfectly 
how to give birth
to the monsters
inside us,
but for reasons 
I will never figure out
we have not the slightest clue
of what to do 
with all the 

~Christopher Poindexter

Grey has an interview a week from today. A select few have been told (and there are more that need to be told), but we're already preparing for his trip and talk. 

Already the nightmares have started for both of us. The fear created from daring to hope.

Herein lies the problem. The fact we are both so afraid of failure and being trapped in limbo that it is manifesting in negative ways. Both of us have had shorter tempers the past few days, quick to snap at one another and anyone who dares challenge our guarded moods. We both know it needs to stop.

My horoscope this week was the final sign, particularly this part: 

"You don’t have to be fearless or have an ironclad plan; all you have to be is brave. Things don’t have to go your way in order for them to be going exactly as they’re meant to go."

As tempting as it is to steel myself, trying to protect my family from any potential pain, I know it's time to shed the armor and believe that good things are coming.

Hence my resolution for 2018: to be brave. To acknowledge the fear, the hurt and the pain, but to stop walling myself off from the world. To remove the fearless mask I've been wearing for awhile now and put my trust that there is a path forward as we embrace this amazing mess of a world we live in. Attempting to perfect the art of wrapping monsters in love.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A broken vow

For the past 9 years, restaurant choices have been something I've fretted about. It all started while in the thick of fertility treatments, trying to navigate places to enjoy dinner without being triggered. I learned early on this wasn't a trivial task: the raw oyster bar was where one woman loudly announced her pregnancy for all to hear and then requesting that no one order any seafood; the fine-dining establishment where a young couple placed their newborn in a carseat in the corner; even the 11 pm beer at the bar wasn't safe due to the woman breastfeeding in the corner.

It was hard not to feel angry over these situations. I get where many are coming from with just wanting to enjoy a night out. But given the misery each of these separate situations caused not only for me but everyone else in those establishments, these situations ended with me vowing to never inflict such things on others. 

To date it has been fairly easy keep this vow. Since the Beats have arrived, eating out with them has been next to impossible. The few times we tried when they were younger usually resulted in us focusing solely on feeding the Beats or keeping them entertained, usually with the other party we are dining with witnessing the joys of twin parenting up close and personal. The default has been to invite people over, with us cooking dinner or order food in an effort to contain the chaos. Recently though dining out has become possible given they are both old enough to sit for longer periods, but Grey and I have made a point of being extremely selective on where we dine. Any establishment that doesn't have a play area, crayons and walls with high-gloss paint have never been on our radar. Hence I assumed I was doing well with my vow.

Today was the first fail.

Yesterday our landlord texted to let us know the electricians would be arriving at 7:45 am to take care of the wiring for the new furnace. This not only would mean having two strangers in our house, but also no heat. Grey and I decided it was better to get it over with, planning to take the Beats out for breakfast at a local diner we knew was kid-friendly. The one snag in the plan is that He-Beat woke up with the cold the rest of us have been fighting. Given the recent research revealing that males struggle more with viral illness, one can imagine what a wonderful mood he was in this morning.

At 7:45 am, we braved the 4 degree F weather and made our way to the diner. Walking in, I looked for a booth that wasn't located next to the door, ushering both Beats over so we could get them settled. It was then that I noticed a couple finishing their breakfast. Both of them clearly tensed and fixing their eyes on one another as the Beats climbed into the booth, causing a ruckus. 

"Fuck" was all I could think as I tried to quiet both kids.

Then He-Beat proceeded to meltdown.

As I scooped up this sobbing child, I caught the look of pain in the woman's face. Her partner signaling for the check as I muttered an apology before retreating with him to the bathroom to quiet him down. All the while hating myself and the pain I knew I had caused.

I know many will counter my feelings about the situation by pointing out that this couple should have known better. This diner is well-known in the town for being a family establishment, sporting awards for such visible on their walls. There's a prominent Kid's menu with crayons, board books and toys easily within reach. Even the bathrooms designed for small children. 

Yet I can't help but feel guilty. I don't know what this couple's story is or the circumstances that brought them into that diner this morning. But their body language and the looks of pain brought all those memories back, leaving me not only wanting to apologize but somehow trying to rectify the pain that had been caused. I was left wanting to show we weren't like others who were insensitive to their plight; that the Beats were actually came after years of pain and loss. None of which we could do without somehow making the situation a whole lot more uncomfortable.

I guess that's what I struggling with most today. 5 years ago, we were in the thick of our final cycle with an uncertain future and the memory of all the pain, fear and grief is surprisingly still very real. I know logically that preventing everyone's pain is not possible and that a lot of the "I'll never"s I constructed while in the trenches are impossible to honor. But this one was one I thought I could honor, even if the deck was stacked against me from the moment I walked in the door.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

All is calm

This morning, after much negotiating and bargaining, I managed to dragged an exhausted Grey and two wound up Beats outdoors for a hike in the snow.

Outside of a couple of cross-country skiers and a pair of dogs, we had the run of the meadow. And run we did, encouraging both kids to use up as much energy as possible as we all raced around. The end result of our efforts came two hours later, with both Beats passed out and a tired Grey relaxing with a book following some much needed exercise.

I love snow. Snowfalls have always been magical to me, bringing a silence to the world is hard to replicate. Playing in snow is also a favorite activity, with some of my fondest memories involving skiing, sledding or simply hiking through snowy meadows. But one thing I love most about snow is the forced peace and calm it brings. Something I was reminded of yesterday during the snowstorm that forced many to stay indoors instead of traveling. And though many made their destinations later, the forced pause brought a sense of calm and peace that would be seen later as neighbors began shoveling one another out of their driveways.

The past few days have been calm ones, allowing Grey and I a chance to reset before the next sprint. Something we both sorely needed given what we're gearing up to face. For now, the snow has brought with it an amazing gift to help us prepare.

All is calm.

#MicroblogMondays: The morning after

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Yesterday morning, both Beats flew out of bed, paste their final ornament to the top of their Advent Calendar and raced downstairs. Neither stopped vibrating for the whole day. 

This morning, following all the chaos of yesterday, both Beats are currently sitting with their new toys and playing quietly. Watching them brings up memories from 5 years ago where this current scene and all from yesterday seemed like nothing more than a wish and a prayer. Though though I can trace all the events that lead us here, leading to this exact scene, there's still an awe that comes over me witnessing what I am.

Friday, December 22, 2017


I once heard someone say,
If you don't change you do not grow,
But I waved the thought away,
For who were they to think they know,
I'd always stay the same,
A heart that thrived within the cold,
And I had no desire to change,
At least that's what I had been told,
But deep within my mind,
A thought grew slowly, bit by bit,
Until I felt trapped within my skin,
For it no longer seemed to fit,
There's a whole world sitting out there,
Changing every single day,
That proves it's nothing to be scared of,
If you do it the right way,
For a day afraid to turn to night,
Will miss the silver moon,
And a flower that refuses to change,
Will never get to bloom,
I had thought I was a thorn bush,
Only good for snagging clothes,
But if you don't dare to change,
You'll never find out you're a rose.

~"Change" by Erin Hanson, thepoeticunderground

Thursday, December 21, 2017


"No good decision is based on fear. So you break your leg; you heal and you learn."
~Elyse Rogers, Executive VP, Artist Partner Group, Dance Hall Crashers

Yesterday the hiring manager for the editor position I interviewed for called to offer me the job. The pay was no where near great, but the flexibility as well as the chance to grow within the company made this position an appealing transition from academia. Instantly the hiring manager could tell something was wrong. When I told her about a potential relocation, the offer immediately vanished.

On the heels of this event, I made the mistake of checking my news feed. Faces of old, privileged men congratulating themselves on finding a legal way to milk the U.S. populous greeted me. How those elected to serve the populous have unknowingly found a way to completely break the system. And how they don't even understand what comes from that destruction.

I've been thinking about breaking, mainly because I feel so broken at the moment. The high I was riding a couple of weeks ago has completely vanished in light of having to reset and plan for a potentially rapid transition. In moments of clarity, I see the need for this to happen. That for too long we have been limping along while trying to fit ourselves into what we were told was the best path forward. But the truth is, that fear of breaking has been keeping us at bay. The fear of it being so terrible that there will be no way to repair.

One major benefit of infertility is you learn that the fear of failure and breaking is always worse than it actually happening. Though each miscarriage and failed cycle left indelible scars, the fear was always far more crippling. Boston has taught us a similar lesson with job losses and living in poverty; learning to crawl our way out of crippling circumstances. At this point, I think Grey and I have both hit bottom so often that being there, though awful, has become familiar terrain that we're willing to sit with and explore.

Yesterday was the beginning of this next round of breaks. Grey is doing his part, confronting managers with truths that they are quietly acknowledging but also reaching out to those who are willing to work with him to grow. Sitting in a coffee shop this morning, I'm starting to do the same thing, shrugging off the warnings so many are quick to give us and focusing on the people and opportunities that are offering a path forward.

Because the option of playing it safe is actually one that will literally kill us. Frankly, I'd rather live.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


This past summer, Grey and I had a fight about buying a house in the near future. His rational was a simple one: paying rent for the long-term makes zero sense when we would be rooted in an area for careers. My response was one neither of us anticipated, which was an emotionally driven "hell no!" Unpacking it all later, part of it was due to having just sold our condo and being free from a money pit after 11 years. But when we dug deeper, it became clear that the true root was me having zero desire to put down roots in Boston. In my mind we are here for connections and skills, but this area is not home.

It's hard explaining to people why you don't feel a connection to an area you reside in, particularly when they do. I completely understand this given I've suffered at judgement from others almost my entire life when they learn about my midwest origins (many respond with jokes or comments about me having escaped). But the truth is, despite the hope at the beginning, Boston hasn't been kind to my family. Between multiple job changes, a terrible daycare experience and two separate rental dramas that really didn't need to happen, we've struggled. And both of us are at a breaking point with living in an environment that we greatly dislike.

Two weeks ago, Grey reached out to a contact looking to see if there were opportunities at a rapidly growing Next Generation Sequencing company located on the West Coast. Within hours, he had a phone appointment with a former collaborator who was now a director of one of their divisions, Gearing up for that appointment last week, Grey assumed that the conversation would be a challenging one. Instead, this collaborator informed him they had an unadvertised position that he thought Grey would be perfect for. An equally easy phone interview with the hiring manager yesterday left Grey with plans for an interview next month.

All of this has brought my job hunt to a screeching halt. Suddenly one position I interviewed for could be completely off the table while another one now has another level of negotiation. There's also been a rising panic about how all of this could impact the Beats. We finally got them into amazing preschools and I really am worried about uprooting them again.

But the flip is looking out the window at the brown, dying grass with streets in ill repair. Of seeing people drive through STOP signs without even pausing while lighting cigarettes. Of being cursed at this morning while on the bus because I dared to offer a visibly pregnant woman my seat (and the awkward after math when everyone, including the swearer realized what had happened). And suddenly the promise of seeing the mountains again, of filling my lungs with some of the sweetest air and being back in an area that stole my heart all those years ago makes this temporary hardship seem very worthwhile.

So we're doing a 180, with me resetting and beginning to reach out to my West Coast contacts. In addition, I get to have a very fun conversation with one of the potential employers I interviewed with last week. There's literally zero safety net at the moment and there's the potential for all of it to end badly. But Grey and I have also severely suffered for playing it safe and following listening to advice about what we "should" be doing. And there's the promise that this could work out, opening doors and roads for both of us.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

#MicroblogMondays: Driven to distraction

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

"Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere."
~ Glenn Turner

I'm officially in the "not thinking about it" stage of limbo. There's currently too many balls in the air and next to nothing I can do about it. Applying for jobs seems futile given I don't know what's happening with Grey's situation and I'm feeling extremely unmotivated to make future plans. 

So instead, I've been distracting myself, just as I did 6 years ago when all in the world was uncertain. Filling my time with teaching the Beats how to peel apples for pies, focusing on writing an advertisement for the course E and I will be running, preparing for a final learning lab  program and, most importantly, getting Jaxson a Christmas tree to sit under. 

All while reminding myself in those moments where it all seems overwhelming that we've done all this before, surviving it best when the focus has been shifted from all that could go wrong to all that could come from it.

Besides, I've already worn out one rocking chair. Plus Grey reminds me it's hard to enjoyed mulled wine while engaging in nonsensical repetitive activities.

Friday, December 15, 2017


"Being scared is part of growing. You don’t get an inspiring hero’s story without the arc of overcoming some fear or another. You aren’t supposed to be perfect, and you aren’t meant to stay in one place. You’re a beautiful, messy work in progress. You’re a person with feels, and you make mistakes. Sometimes the mistake you make is in thinking that you’ve failed when you’re still in the development phase. Allow yourself to feel your feels without matching a negative narrative to them this week."

~Capricorn Horoscope: 12/13-12/19; The HoodWitch

The crash following the highs from earlier this week has set in. After all the interviews, one would think there would be cause of celebration. Instead, anxiety has been creeping in and it's been hard to keep it at bay. Wednesday seemed to go well for both Grey and me. But I was also informed the committee won't be making any decisions until the new year. Grey got even more depressing news when it became clear that even though everyone surrounding him thinks he's an exceptional candidate, he will likely not get the position due to prejudice behavior by the person he would be working most closely with.

My horoscope this week really isn't helping me feel any more confident.

So, once again, I'm in limbo and staring down the barrel of unemployment. To be honest, all of it sucks because though I'm told we are both doing everything right, the reality is I'm also being given a million stupid excuses for why we're in the situation we're in. The best I can do is to continue applying for jobs, making plans for the next stage. All while trying to refocus my attitude. Because right now it's not in a good place.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The other paths

This morning, I opened my campus email account to find messages from students who weren't offered early acceptance letters. Hastily written and doing all the things they tell you not to do, the requests came in for me to write letters of recommendation as they prepared themselves to contact the admissions office to plead their case.

Honestly, I feel for them. These are motivated kids who have spent years constructing applications for something they've been told will either make or break them. The tone of their emails suggested distress was running through their entire family and that the results were indications of failed life goals. It's a hard lesson to learn at age 18.

The timing of all of this hasn't been lost on me. Today both Grey and I have major interviews for potentially solid positions. This morning was spent ironing shirts, polishing shoes and driving each person to their respective locations. Currently I am sitting in a coffee shop, reviewing not only the job ad but also going back through all the course development I've done over the past 6 years. The truth is both Grey and I have a lot riding on today. These positions could advance not only us career wise but also help us stabilize our family in a manner we haven't been able to.

But if I'm also being honest with myself, not getting these positions wouldn't end our lives. Yes it would be tough. Yes, the disappointment would send shock waves through us. But after infertility, pregnancy loss, family loss and being on the verge of traveling down a less traveled path, I know all too well that it wouldn't be the end.

Last night I got a request for references for the editor position, with a note from the hiring manager my reviews have been outstanding. After sending off my reference list, all of that was been pushed to the back of my head so I can focus. But today, as I have a little down time, the truth that has emerged is this could be a really good opportunity. In addition, Grey has a phone conversation tomorrow with a higher-up at a rapidly growing NGS company. Nothing has been promised, but I also know that the potential there is one where it could not only provide us with an exit plan, but also a very interesting road forward. The final tidbit is admitting that neither of us have been happy in Boston. The promise of opportunity and growth has not happened and all the bullshit we've had to deal with really has soured things.

All of this has been swirling in my brain as I've begun drafting responses to these students. Acknowledging their disappointment while reminding them that it's not the end. Even as I deliver a final blow of informing them I'm also unable to write letters of reference to support their petitions. Because often the roads we break ourselves for aren't the ones that bring us fulfillment and happiness. It's the ones that challenge us but also foster us that do, helping us find adventures and moments we might not have imagined possible.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Mastering the art of holding one's breath

Life has gone from having an odd sequence of events to being even odder. None of it I have had time to process. Yesterday I had a final, in person interview for an editor position at a major publishing house. Which was odd and interesting for so many reasons. Tomorrow I have a final interview of an Assistant Director position. On top of this, we learned yesterday that Grey's interview for the permanent position starts tomorrow, spanning the course of 4 days (Wednesday-Friday, finishing next Monday).

My course I've been dreaming about is green-lighted and barreling ahead. I have two meetings today both to figure out logistics and recruit others to the cause, which has turned out to be a relatively easy thing to do when I no longer hunting for money. Meaning I may have to hire my replacement.

There are also the two informational interviews both Grey and I have. Grey's is most important as it could be bring about an exit plan we've been hoping for.

Add in being insanely sick for over 2 weeks with a mystery bug (flu tests have come back negative) that has made insomnia a reality for all of us and that I'm currently buried in job applications, filling out paperwork and trying to keep balls in the air in case none of the above pans out and yeah.

In the middle of all this craziness, I've been trying to be mindful about the road ahead. Something that is far from being a strength. Most moments, I'm able to distract myself from the reality of all this craziness combined with uncertainty by putting my head down and plowing through the to-do lists. But there are moments where it's become me reminding myself that somehow Grey and I will make all of this okay, realizing that I'm mentally holding my breath, wondering when I'll be given the opportunity to inhale again.

The thing is, some of the most interesting and thoughtful people I've known and worked with a masters at holding their breath during uncertain times. There's an art to putting your all into something, putting yourself out that but then letting go on faith that you've truly done all you could to impact the outcome. Part of it is they don't wait with baited breath for an opportunity to emerge from their hard work, but the other part is they have a solid sense of self that armors them from any failure or rejection that may come. What surprises many is that this usually comes from having lived through so much rejection combined with having some wins.

But I'm also learning a lot of it also is projecting what you want. Learning to believe that things will come out the way you need them to, even if the road wasn't the one that was desired or planned for.

Tomorrow is a big day for the Cristy/Grey household. Both of us are stressed and exhausted, fueled by pain killers and caffeine. But oddly enough, we're also not focusing on what we can not control, but what we can. Making sure we are putting ourselves out there in a manner that is true to who we are and what we want from the world.

May it pay off.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

And then it got odd

Where to even begin with this one? 

I could start with the fact that I went into yesterday day dreading the 4 separate meetings I had lined up; that I was utterly convinced it would be another day filled with fighting and disappointments.

And how none of that happened.

What happened was instead of E and me spending my first meeting trying to convince the director to run the course I was proposing next fall or spring, giving me time to develop it, he informed E and me we should run it, having the students help us with the building and development. That he's long been looking for something that marries genomics with engineering, giving the students real experience of what getting a research program off the ground looks like. Both E and I sat in stunned silence, looking at one another because this NEVER HAPPENS. The added cherry is that there's an internal grant for developing science education programs like mine that she and the director want me to apply for. Suddenly I have a course and a potential funding mechanism for gathering data for future grants. Pinch me.

Second meeting was a job interview. That I was 20 minutes late for because the person screening candidates failed to pass on the phone conference information. I figured I was doomed, with it now just being a formality. But what should have been a 20 minute interview with the managing editors for the publishing house the position is in turned into a 60 minute conversation. They informed me at the end that they would be setting up an final interview for next week (something I need to formally confirm today). Yeah . . . .

My third meeting was for a former student who is looking for a mentor. I wasn't jazzed about the proposal, but when I learned that her faculty mentor for the science club project her team was working on is basically flaking, I decided I could spend a few hours a week giving feedback and offering guidance and support. This stuff is second nature to me and can be a lot of fun. 

The final meeting involved me meeting with all the faculty and the teaching assistant who have been involved in the graduate-level course I've been co-teaching. Since it involved my co-instructor/course head who apologized for my performance, I figured it would be one where I would be sitting back, taking the brunt of humiliation about the course being a failure. What happened instead was the Nobel laureate who ran the first half of the course posed a very simple, but important question: are we training the next generation of scientists or are we training super technicians? As my course head sat in stunned silence, I jumped in and told the laureate I thought the course was designed to train scientists, but where the complaints were coming from was a mindset of super technicians who didn't understand that though the emerging methodology was amazing (and that's what industry is hiring for), it's the questions that advance the field. Somewhere in the middle of this, when my course head tried to end the discussion arguing there was nothing that could be done, he confessed that he had apologized to the students about disappointing them. The reaction from this Nobel laureate was utterly priceless: shock, horror wrapped up with some anger over enabling behavior he believes is hindering these students from growing. The meeting ended with some 12 year old Macallan scotch, with me having a moment where I realized how strange and surreal it was that I was sitting at that table. Just wow.

There are two final cherries for this day. The first being that there is a recently advertised position I'm pretty excited about at my current institution. But given all how my contract was ended, I haven't wanted to apply as I'm worried I'm seen as toxic. Both E and the science director told me I should contact the program director to ask for a meeting. The warning being that this high-powered individual who is well-known within the science education community likely wouldn't get back to me for awhile and to let them know if it was longer than a week for response.

I heard back within an hour of sending the email and have a meeting for Friday.

Oh, and Grey has a interview regarding a permanent position at his company while also getting an email from some higher-ups at an extremely well-known and advancing sequencing company about wanting to chat about him potentially working for them. &*(#@!

So . . . yesterday was odd. So odd that when I got home, I did all the bad things you're not suppose to do as a parent (allowing the kids access to the TV remote, pizza for dinner, extended playtime prior to bed instead of quiet reading) while also opening a beer (and handing one to Grey too after he walked through the door). I'm so use to rejection, bad news and fighting tooth-and-nail for any progress that yesterday just felt WAY too easy. Granted, nothing formal has been offered. There's work to be done. All of this could fall apart tomorrow.

Still, there actually may be a way forward and I may not be half as screwed as I believed myself to be. And I'm looking for that one word in the English language to summarize all the emotions and reactions to that possibility.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Counting down

The goal of this week, after talking the talk about needing to embrace the positive, has been working on actually doing it. At first glance, this should be an easy enough endeavor. Classes are over, which allows me to work on tackling other things that have been neglected for so long, workers are here today replacing our heating system (with a promise that I'll have heat by this evening . . .) and tomorrow is busy with secondary interviews and potential future projects.

But old habits die hard, especially when the gatekeepers have a role in enforcing those habits. My dreams of late have been manifestations of all the wrong that my brain predicts will happen, making it hard to fight back. 

To counter this, I've been taking an approach of one positive item daily, enlisting the Beats in helping me in this endeavor. The result has been this advent calendar, with a simple activity of making an ornament to paste on it, counting down the days till Christmas.

There's been other rituals I've slowly been adding: a scheduled walk with a cup of Earl Grey, scheduling time to visit friends or do other winter-themed activities. Making a point to celebrate the small victories.

The hardest, though, has been putting into practice the visualizations of the future we want. Of forcing myself once again to believe that things will not only work out, but will be better than if I had stayed put doing nothing.

So I'm counting down, making plans and forcing myself to prepare. Because at the end of the day, steeling doesn't make the pain of loss and failure any less; the joy that comes from envisioning a road forward does.

Monday, December 4, 2017

#MicroblogMondays: Alpas

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Friday was a weird day. Following a morning where the course professor took another public dig at me, I had an afternoon that basically displayed his incompetence to the administration. The short of it is we had a student miss her final presentation. While I followed up with admin to make sure nothing bad had happened, I got pushback and was told to leave it alone. Turns out this student was in crisis and is now getting help. But I'm paying for my decision to push as doing so could paint the person who told me to leave it alone in a negative light.

In addition, I *believe* I had a strong interview for a position I'm pretty excited about. I'll find out next week. And I learned Friday that a friend was offered a permanent position. So there was reason to celebrate.

All of this combined with being sick has resulted in me being beyond exhausted. The desire to sleep has been so high that doing basic tasks like cooking and cleaning have been extremely difficult. Never mind continuing to job hunt and prepare for another interview.

I struggle when I hit the wall. Whereas others have an ability to go with it, dropping everything else so that they can recover and heal, I find myself overcome with guilt. I blame myself for our current predicament, both with job instability and with missing that the Beats were so unhappy with their previous school (because we have a LOT of evidence that they are thriving now).

But I'm also struggling with anger over having hit a wall and feeling like help won't come. If I'm being honest, this was the root of the issue with me blowing up at my FIL. It's a hard period and the idea of emotionally managing him and the fallout from a visit is just too much. Something that my in laws are unlikely to see, even when explained.

Sadly, I don't know a way around this. This afternoon needs to be spent moving our stuff out of the basement so the heating system can be replaced this week. The uncle asked us to avoid purchasing storage as our landlord apparently cannot afford to pay for it (but she can afford her summer home). In addition, we need to decide whether it's possible to live here while the heat is being replaced. This on top of everything else.

Hence my exhaustion gets to wait. Even though I know that with a bit of recovery, I could manage everyone else a lot better.

Friday, December 1, 2017


Sunday marks the beginning of Advent. Having been raised Catholic, I remember this period every year of waiting and preparation. The Sunday Mass services with the wreath and 4 candles, usually with purple bows tied around them to symbolize the darkness prior to the celebration. We had our own advent wreath at home with said 4 candles that were light every night at dinner. A reminder that we were waiting.

This time of year is also historically important for me as it when I did my first and last round of IVF. The first round resulting in a retrieval date of December 14th followed by a first transfer on December 19th. It would be 3 days after Christmas that I would see my first ever positive pregnancy test. And it would be New Year's day that I would learn I was miscarrying. A year later, it would be a repeat with me being much more seasoned and trying to find a way to resolve despite the potential outcome. The fact that this happened, allowing Grey and me to find a path forward and create our version of happy, doesn't change the memories from this time of year. Memories of waiting in the darkness.

All of this has been resurfacing given that I'm once again in a waiting period. I'm still haven't heard about the results from my first interview (I job that I cannot afford to take) and have been dealing with the sting from rejection from a second interview. This was topped with hearing that a company cannot even consider my application given a conflict of interest with the educational program I'm currently contracted for and also getting some rather negative feedback about how I'm not trying correctly with my job hunt. But all of this was contradicted by my interview on Wednesday that did go well and my now having a second interview arranged for next week (writing assignment too). And I have an interview today for a position I actually think I'm a very good fit for. The final cherry is that the reviews from the programs I've been running have been unexpectedly good, leading the founder to want to ramp up my time and the frequency of programming.

In addition to job transition waiting, next week the heating system in our rental is being ripped out and replaced (furnace, water heater, the works). I'll leave the details of that one to your imagination.

The summary statement of all of this is waiting is something I'm still mastering. As I've confessed many times before, I'm not a naturally patient person and anything that is prolonged tends to be anxiety inducing. It was the waiting that was the hardest part of infertility and pregnancy. While others talk about enjoying certain moments, I found myself wanting to get to the point where I either knew a cycle had worked or that we had hit a "safe" point. I think part of this has to do with my Catholic upbringing and this period. An odd irony that it's traditionally been this time of year when I'm back in this mode.

The question is how to tackle this. If I'm being completely truthful, I really haven't made this a priority. Sure there's been the meditation and mantras combined with the positive thinking. But actually making a concerted effort to address this need to get out of the discomfort of waiting instead of sitting with it, observing all that comes with it: well, that's something that's long overdue for being addressed.

So in the spirit of Advent and knowing that I'm overdue for tackling this vice, the Beats and I have started an advent calendar. A Christmas tree shaped 25 day calendar where each day we'll construct a paper ornament to add to it. The goal for them is a simple one: they learn about waiting and preparing. But upon further reflection, the goal for me needs to be the same. Because while I'm use to sitting in the dread that comes with anticipation, the truth is I've been so focused on getting out of it and heading towards the light that I've failed to see the purpose behind it. That this habit of sprinting to the end is actually the root of a lot of problems.

Sunday marks the beginning of Advent. But today, I'm marking the beginning of my preparation and waiting. Of reflecting on all that has happened and learning to grow again from it.
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