31 May 2013

30 Days - Day 31 - Because I Learned This Last Night.

You can't rush grief.

That's what this is. 

Grief. 

It takes what it takes to get through it. And it takes as long as it takes.

My frustration yesterday was from not knowing what it was fully and from rushing it.

My goodness, it's been 11+ years...the term 'rushing it' seems ridiculous. Personally, I don't feel like I've been ready to grieve until now.

And the other thing I realised yesterday, too, is that I'm grieving for more than one thing. Of course it's the loss of children and a broken dream - all that, but it's other things, too. I can't explain them all right now, but...fine, I'll try.

The loss of expectations. 

The loss of relationships. 

The loss of friendships.

The loss of future plans and future memories. 

The loss of my identity - school teacher, mother. 

The loss of time spent trying to make something happen that hasn't happened.

The loss of time in general.

The loss of control and anything to do with family planning.

The loss of parts of me and my personality that I miss. I'm different - I don't function like I used to. 

The infertility journey for me has brought about a lot of loss - I've grieved for it all and I still do. I'm trying to see things as they are - they're not a part of my life any more and I need to just let them go. It doesn't mean they don't mean anything to me, they do, but I can't hold onto the past, present and future all at the same time. I can't live three lives at one time - my past life, my present life and my future life.

Four - I've actually been living four - my life as a mother. I'd imagine children in the house, how I'd run things, what I'd feed them, what we'd do on weekends, where we'd store their school bags...all that stuff. 

When I first dreamt of children, I'd think about those things...like, it's normal, it's what everybody does. But years later it becomes almost like a fantasy life and one you can never reach. No wonder I push it away now.

I've tried to be a part of that world, but I'm not. 

I've tried to become a part of the club, but I've been refused admittance. 

It's been the cause of much grief and angst; no wonder I don't want to know about it anymore. No wonder I push it away.

And it's okay. Whether it is or not, it is to me. I'm telling myself it's okay to feel the way I do. 

I know myself; I won't be like this forever. I'll work through it, but I needed to say...this is what it's like today. This is what it's been like for the last months...years. 

It started with a big shock of, "We can't have kids" and then other things (listed above) started to go, too. The pain and grief has been added to over the years. With us, with me, it's gotten worse.

And that's why I want to get through it, let it all go and move on. I have to. 

It's time, but I know I still need time. I think I need time to grieve in private, actually...now that I know what's going on. 

Lucky for me it's Day 31.

Lucky for me the computer is in the shop (on phone now - hard to type).

Lucky I've got work to do to keep me busy and occupied. 

Lucky I've got God to show me these things when I can't sleep and to tell me what I need to do.

He did. 

Last night. 

In the lounge room. 

At midnight. 

At the eleventh hour. Right before the dawn of a new day...

(A new calendar day - His new day starts at sundown, but He went for the calendar day option this time)

At 11:45 pm I got up really agitated and upset and went straight for my Bible. I opened to a pre-marked Psalm and read it over and over until I calmed down. I'm guessing that took about 10 mins. 

For the next 20 mins I read from two other books and the light bulbs went on. God explained (through those books) what I was feeling (grief) and what I needed to do in the midst.

It's not lost on me that all this happened as one day flipped to the next. 

Is it not always darkest before the dawn? 

It wasn't the literal dawn, but it was the eleventh hour (God's favourite) on Day 30.

Ah, yes, in the last 15 mins He snuck some answers in. 

And I wasn't out there for answers; I just wanted peace.

I got that; as well as some answers.

You can't tell me He's not there. 

He is. 

You can't tell me He doesn't care.

He does.

You can't tell me He doesn't get it. 

He does. 

He's got it. 

You hear me?

He's got it. 

The question is, do you get that He's got it? 

Do you get that He's got it for you?

DO YOU GET THAT HE'S GOT IT FOR YOU?

Yes, He does. 

Yes, He does. 

Yes, He does.

You just need to get that. It may not change anything, but it'll change you. 

I guarantee it.

A :o) and a (hug) for you.

PS. I just wanted to say that in amongst the loss, God has added to our lives in other ways. Punch Art and crafting have been huge for me. Cody - huger. Other things too - some individual, some for both of us. He is good; that's all that matters. And He has plans for us.


30 May 2013

30 Days - Day 30 - I Wish the Fat Lady Would Just Sing...

Not feeling the LEAST BIT like writing today. Feel like spitting instead. Nice. Not.

Don't care about anything. Don't want to talk about anything. Don't want to hear about anything.

I just want to read, eat popcorn and crawl back into bed.

I'm annoyed. I'm tired. I'm over it.

I'm done.

Obviously this is not over.

But it's over for now.

I thought this would be all yah yah 30 Days and we'd reach some big conclusion - SOME conclusion, ANY conclusion - and it would all be birdies tweeting and sunshine. Well, there's no actual sun and that's making me mad quite frankly. The weather app just keeps saying rain, rain and showers and clouds and more rain. It's making me crazy. I need some SUNNNN!!!!!

I think I'm going to stop now. Me continuing to type is not going to benefit anyone.

The 30 Days is done - what next? All I know is that the computer has to go in for a service and I've got a craft show to prepare for.

That's it.

Update - 3:04 pm

Don't feel like spitting anymore, that's a plus. Sometimes things just happen all at once and I get mad because I can't think straight. It's life and sometimes it's just hard. I know you know what I mean. 

29 May 2013

30 Days - Day 29 - Nothing to Say on the Second Last Day

It's funny; I don't really feel like I have anything to say today.

It's the second last day for writing - you'd think I'd kinda have some big thing to wrap up, but I don't.

It is what it is, I guess - can't make it happen.

Night, night.

PS. Wpo09iioisuiidokmk - that's a woof woof from Cody. Yes, he typed that.

:o)

28 May 2013

30 Days - Day 28 - 80's Make up, Forgiveness and Free Stuff at the Markets.

I'm finding this fan a real distraction at the moment! Remember what I said about the computer needing a service and me trying to make it last the 30 days by blasting it with my 20 year old Breezemaster??

Yeah, weird to be sitting here at 6:57 am on a rainy day with a fan on. I've got the laptop pushed away from me and my old keyboard plugged in  - I can feel the breeze if I use the laptop keyboard, plus it's easier to type on this keyboard (I've been using it all month).  

I've blogged the last couple of days from my phone - that's interesting...and very small. Dumbo me used Google to fix a mistake I'd made in a post and it kept saying the page I was opening was an unsupported one and might do weird things. It was hours later I realised I should've used the Blogger app. Rats.  

Did you know dogs have eyelashes? I didn't until I got Cody. His are short, sandy-coloured and gorgeous. He also has toe feathers. They're long, sandy-coloured and gorgeous. 

So yeah, I was cleaning out yesterday. I actually wrote a blog post in my notebook and was going to type it later in the day (didn't want to turn the computer on and have it sit for hours in between jobs). 

Here's the post:

12:10 pm

Time to start clearing out. Might start with the bookshelf I did a couple of weeks ago and see if I can pare it down even more. After that I'm just going to start opening cupboards and doors all around the place and see what happens. Watch out you cluttery stuff, I'm on a mission!

I'm going to put the timer on for an hour. The timer helps me manage large jobs. I can't face huge things I know will take me hours, so I put a limit on it with the timer. I'll commit to an hour for this clearing out and see what happens. 

Okay...one hour...go. 

1:25 pm 

Right, I didn't clear out much, I cleaned! 

Did the bathroom vanities and toilets etc, but also my top drawer in the ensuite which gets in a mess. It houses my makeup and bits and catches all the hair. I cleaned all that out and ended up chucking some 20 year old makeup. I don't have a lot of make up, but some of what I did have was old and barely used. I had a blush (prob from the 80s) that was brand new, basically, ie. hard to throw out. 

Gosh, why did I keep it all that time?

Because it was new-looking.

Because it was expensive at the time. 

Because I could use it  - it wasn't a horrible shade, in fact I'm wearing it now :o)

Why did I chuck it in the end?

Because when I used it it crumbled - the consistency was off. Out it went. 

Clearing out is hard. 

"I could use this!"

"I might need this!"

"I want to use this!" 

(Use it then I tell myself)

"I can't use all this!" 

(I can't use all the scrapbooking paper I have and I really don't have a lot. I go through it often and don't buy much. I've definitely curtailed that.)

"But it's new!"

"But I paid good money for it!"

Makes me think about clearing out emotions...

"But I'm right!"

"But she hurt me!"

"I don't want to forgive. I won't."

"Gosh, she's got no idea!"

"I hate all this. People are so annoying sometimes."

"It's not fair!"

"This is stupid..."

"I'm really upset. I don't want to get over it."

Oh Lord, makes me sigh. We all know what it's like. We get hurt, we get upset, we grapple. 

Life hurts. We hurt. It's just the nature of it. 

I hurt others, too. I'm very aware of that. I don't intentionally, but it does happen. 

Forgiveness - it's hard to forgive sometimes, but I do. 

I do it for myself (so I'm not walking around mad all the time).

I do it for them (so someone's not walking around mad at them all the time).

I do it because it's the right thing to do. 

And I do it because I need others to do it for me when I mess up. 

We all mess up and need forgiveness. I remember that when someone does something to me. I've probably inflicted the same pain somewhere along the way, so I try to let it go and move on. 

I hope that's making sense. I forgive because I want forgiveness to be a part of my life. Sometimes it takes a while to get there, but I get there. 

And I'm not talking about BIG things here. Big things need forgiveness as well, but they're not what I'm talking about here; I'm talking about the small things. 

Careless words. 

Hurtful comments. 

A lack of understanding. 

A sharp tongue. 

A misinterpretation of intentions. 

You know, all those things...

They've been inflicted on me...

...and I've inflicted them. 

Hurts me to say that. I know how words hurt and I hate that I've done that. 

Sometimes my own feelings have gotten in the way and I've been mean. 

Sometimes I've been hurt and lashed back. 

Sometimes something's hit a nerve and I've gotten upset. 

Sometimes I've kept my calm and stated my case...and I've been shot down. 

Dealing with life's conflicts can be very hard. 

Not dealing with them is harder. 

I'm not talking about talking to all and sundry that have hurt you in an attempt to get them to say sorry, I'm not talking about that.  

Okay, I am talking about that if the situation warrants it. Sometimes we need to talk about things and work them through with the other person, but for whatever reason sometimes it's not possible.

If that's the case, we need to forgive and move on on our own

How do you know if you've forgiven someone?

I think Dr Phil once said that if you still want to put your hands around their throat and hurt them, well...you haven't forgiven them.

And I'm saying - If you still want to put your hands on their shoulders and shake them or if you imagine yourself standing in front of them blasting them for all your worth, well, you've not forgiven them. 

Yeah, that puts it in perspective, doesn't it? 

Oh Lord, I still want to blast them...I've got some work to do here. Know that feeling? Big sigh and a big nanna neigh...

It's hard. 

But in the end it's easy because there's nothing they said that the Lord didn't hear, He knows it hurts and I don't have to tell Him anything about it; He just knows. 

(That being said, I have told Him all about it because I've needed to talk about it!)

Basically whether someone's hurt us, or we've hurt someone (which we can be sorry for and there's no chance to say sorry), we need to work in out in us, so it's not a problem for us

If everyone took care of their own pain, it'd be so much easier, wouldn't it?

Hello, easier said than done. My word, that's a big one. 

Jesus took it all on the cross for us - He took all the pain for US, so we wouldn't have to. 

He took all the pain, so we wouldn't have to hold onto it and let it destroy us. 

He took all the pain of the past, the present and the future. 

The hurt that you're going to inflict tomorrow; He's already taken it. 

The hurt that was inflicted on you last Tuesday; He's already taken it. 

You don't have to carry it. I don't have to carry it. 

All the pain. 

All the hurt. 

All our stuff. 

He's taken it, dealt with it and we don't have to walk in it. 

BIG SIGH. 

BIG BREATH. 

Gosh, if that doesn't make you breath deeply, I don't know what will. 

HE'S TAKEN IT. 

HE'S TAKEN IT. 

HE'S TAKEN IT TIMES A BILLION, TRILLION, INFINITY AND FOREVER.

I hate carrying around clutter in me. Absolutely hate it. So why do I do it? 

Because I'm human. 

Because I forget. 

Because I know that He took all sin and death and disease, but all pain? Infertility pain? Why not, let's just throw it in there.

Life pain? From all those little things I mentioned before - careless words, hurtful comments - yep, chuck 'em in. 

It's like having a big wash cycle going and then chucking a tea towel in at the last minute - it's going, why not do it all? 

All pain. 

I'm walking around in amazement at that at the moment. I'm sitting down - fair enough - but in my mind I'm walking around in amazement at that!

The one thing I've found frustrating about physically clearing out is the whole end bit. The donating, selling bit. Donating is okay because usually it's a quick stop off at the donation bin or somewhere else, but the selling bit! My goodness, we pile the stuff up on the shelves in the garage and wait until market time. It can be months. I find more stuff and try to stick it on the shelves. I have to re-organise it to make it fit. 

Why am I storing this stuff?? I don't want it! 

(Because Andrew wants to take it to the markets)

Why am I going through this stuff again??? Because I found something else I don't want and I have to make it fit on here. I've already re-arranged these boxes once and I'm doing it again!!!

OOOOOH, IT'S SO ANNOYING AND ALL FOR STUFF THAT I GOT RID OF LONG AGO!!!!!!!

How I hate re-visiting stuff I've already sorted and gotten rid of. I've already spent the time on it and I don't want to do it again. I don't want to store it for months, lug it into the car, lug it out again, set it up on a table and flog it off to someone. 

And I know what I'm frustrated about - I know there's stuff downstairs that we've taken back and forth to the markets a few times. Some stuff you just can't chuck out, but gosh, it's a burden to bring it back home and store it again. I'd rather just go and set up a table and say, "Free." 

I'd rather just set up my life table and say, "Free" too. I've gone through my life and found stuff that's broken and damaged and gotten rid of it and now I'm free. 

And Jesus took it all. 

I can see myself with all my stuff set up at the markets and Him coming along and buying it all and me left with empty tables in front of me. 

Can you picture it? 

Can you feel the relief?? 

I mean, why do you go to the markets? To get rid of stuff. 

What did He do? He took it. 

HE TOOK IT. 

I was thinking before, Okay my extra scrapbooking stuff goes to the markets or gets donated or whatever, but where do my emotions go? What do I do with them??? 

I now know. He takes them. 

But I have to put them somewhere first. I have to be willing to go through them, identify them and sort them out. I have to lug them into submission and then put them out for Him to take.  

From now on I'm going to picture myself with tables in front of me at the markets. 

I'm going to picture me putting hurts, feelings, emotions on them when I need to and Jesus walking by and taking them. 

And can you picture a box of tissues? Good, because they're on the table. He's leaving them for me. 

:o) 

I love you, Lord, You're amazing. You're supreme. 

PS. With de-cluttering/clearing out comes cleaning, have you noticed?

Clear off the shelves, clean the shelves, put the kept stuff back on. 

Clear out the make up drawer, clean the drawer, clean the containers, put the kept stuff back in. 

De-cluttering/clearing out and cleaning = sparkly new. 

Someone pass me the Spray and Wipe, I'm cleaning my tables! 

27 May 2013

30 Days - Day 27 - Cleaning!

Done, done, done, done, done!

I've been sorting, cleaning, cleaning out and organising for the last five hours. What started as a three minute clean, turned into a big clean out!

I was going to organise and purge some stuff today, but not everything. 

The thing is (and this kinda gets me) you can't even tell I've done anything!!!!

All the rooms look the same...

All the spaces look the same (bookshelf, scrapping area, my craft room), but I know what's changed. 

I know what I've gotten rid of.

I know what I've cleared out. 

You'd know too if you could see the boxes of stuff. There's a lot there - some still very useful; just not needed by me anymore. 

It's amazing how much stuff gets caught in the cracks of our lives...

Like, I knew I had a few things I wanted to go through, but I had no idea how much stuff I was going to find. 

A lot, a real lot.

Again, huge correlations between emotional cleaning out and physical cleaning out. 

People may not be able to see on the outside what work I've been doing, but I know.

I know.

And I am pleased :o)


26 May 2013

30 Days - Day 26 Still - Seeds and Sunshine

I've been wondering lately about all this writing and if it's going to wrap everything in some big way.

Yes?

No?

I really don't know. 

I've mentioned things, gone down rabbit holes, left some things hanging (feels like it to me), said I was going to research something way back in the beginning (I did a bit, but I haven't come back to it) - a lot of it feels like it's out of my head, but not wrapped up.

Does it have to be? 

Well yes, in some way, doesn't it?

Everything is a learning process and everything takes time.

Time to develop...

Time to heal...

Time to grow...

I guess I see it as planting seeds and now they need time to grow.

My seeds of trust.

My seeds of faith. 

My seeds of hope. 

They're planted, and in a different way than ever before...

There will be a harvest. 

There has to be. 

There will be. 

And while I'm waiting, I'll be about my business doing those things that are hard to keep up with in planting season...

I've got a few household jobs to do - windows for one. 

And a few things to clear out - some craft stuff - but I feel like going through the house and just going through everything.

I'm just tired of having things around that I'm just not using...it's clutter when it comes down to it. It's hard to be ruthless with stuff when I could use it, but if I've a billion things I could use they turn into a gigantic to-do list = overwhelming. 

Again with the 'clear out' thing. It's obviously the season for it. Organising's my thing, so I'm up for it. Will see how I go.

Time for me to go now...go to bed. I'm determined not to go on a staying-up-late streak as I'm want to do sometimes. Besides, I can't miss the sunshine at this time of year...it's just so gorgeous. 

More sun, Lord, please...in all areas, thank you.

Amen.

30 Days - Day 26 - Why am I Writing at This Time of the Morning?

Not sure, but I'm here.

I've been waiting out a party and dealing with stuff in my room. I'm moving a few things out - just reducing some clutter. 

I guess after the emotional clean up comes the physical one. 

Creating new habits in one area helps in another? Seems to. 

It comes down to excess, staying in balance and keeping a check on things. 

Gotta say too, when the emotional stuff is more balanced, the physical stuff is easier to manage. 

All makes sense.

I feel like things are a changin' a bit...I could be wrong, but I'm not. Maybe I'm just feeling the changes that have already happened and they're sparking new ones...It's all good...most of the time. Too much at once can be too much. 

Anyway, time to go, bye now.

25 May 2013

30 Days - Day 25 - TMI? I Don't Think So - We Girls Talk About This Stuff All the Time.

What's happening around here today?

Cody's bored and wants to go out with Andrew.

Andrew's got a cold and can't take the dog out because it's too breezy.

The computer's making me feel rushed because it needs to go in for a service. It's got something to do with the cooling system. I'm putting it off because I need to do my 30 days. It seems to be okay if I don't leave it on for too long (no going back and forth to it all day) and blast it with my 20 year old Breezemaster the whole time. Breezy outside, breezy inside :o). Andrew had to vacate the room because it was too breezy.

I've got a House & Garden magazine looking at me from across the table. I'm a sucker for a good home decorating magazine.

Andrew's just gone downstairs to do something on his car and Cody's run around the front to see if he can help.

My cross stitch is coming along slowly. I haven't done much over the last week. I've done all the floating-in-the-air bits now though (took lots of checking and re-checking to get them in the right spots), so the rest'll be easier.

I'm feeling chilly. I need another layer on. I've showered and changed, but I've still got my dressing gown on. It keeps my legs warm!

I wonder if we'll get to go out this weekend. I'm not really keen on taking Andrew out if it's breezy - but we might be able to go for a drive for a look-see around the place. Just a quick jaunt would suffice.

Warning - the following might be too much information for some.

I can feel my monthlys coming on. You know that sickly, bit unsettled, yucky feeling? Yeah, don't like it. I was really mad with my period a few months ago (the fact that I was still getting it and it had served me no purpose whatsoever!), but then someone told me that she used to bleed three weeks out of four and I quickly changed my tune. Three weeks out of four - my goodness, isn't that awful?

Later I reflected on my own cycle and all of a sudden I saw it for the miracle it really was. It's amazing how it comes regularly every month like clockwork, does what it's supposed to and then finishes. And it really does have a purpose. That full purpose hasn't been put to good use for me, but that doesn't mean it's not good. My body's doing what it's supposed to; how can I complain about that? I still don't like it - the sickly, yucky feeling and the pain - but it's soon over and all's well.

Yeah, I don't know. Too much information? I don't think so. It's been part of the journey for me.

It's easy to get mad at everything when you're grappling with things....

...but...

...it's amazing how a bit of perspective can sort things out, don't you think?

24 May 2013

30 Days - Day 24 - God Gave Me a Dog

It's gotta be some sort of record to be starting this late. It's 3:43 pm.

It's now fully raining. Did not expect that.

It was sunny this morning. Did expect that.

It was also breeezzzyyy. Did expect that.

Just got the dog in. It's raining; he needs some comfort, too. He's snuggled up on his bed having a good old snooze. For some reason he doesn't want to go into his dog shed at night - we're working on that. I've aired it out, fluffed the pillows (ha ha) and tried to make it nice for him, so we'll see what he does after that. He's slept in it for the last two winters, not sure why he's flicked it now.

I love that dog; he's been so good for me over the years. Today when we were walking I was chuckling at his ear hair (behind his head) and his tail as usual. And his gait from behind. He's just so entertaining.

I never wanted a dog.

We had two dogs growing up.

One was left on our door step by a friend after Mum and Dad specifically said they didn't want one. He was old and used to smell a bit. He used to 'skit the cats' if we told him to, but otherwise he'd just hang around. He was just a dog.

The second was a puppy called Peppy. He didn't last long - 3 months. He got hit by a car. Very sad. It happened on a Sunday afternoon. Poor fella.

We had cats. Well, one cat; the rest were my sister's. She's had a lot of cats over the years - I think she's got three now. The one family cat we had (that I considered my cat) was Chippy. He used to sleep on our beds and plant himself there for the night like concrete. I remember not being able to move my feet around because he was so heavy. He was a good cat.

That was the total of animals I had growing up. I think there was a turtle in there somewhere, but he wasn't mine. And chooks; we had chooks for the eggs. I used to hate taking the scraps up to them because they stunk (the scraps and the chooks).

All this is to say - I have a dog now. I'm a dog owner. Sometimes that still surprises me.

Andrew's always wanted a dog and I knew he'd be a good dog owner, but I just didn't want one. I few years ago though, I realised he needed a dog, so I said to him, "Babe, if you want a dog, get a dog, okay? I'm not standing in your way."

A few months later Andrew found an ad in the Trading Post and sent me the picture of the puppies. "I like the gold one," he said.

Honestly, my mind is a big vague on the details, but I'm pretty sure this is how it went.

He rang the guy that was selling the dogs and talked to him about them.

Andrew and I talked about it and if we really wanted to do it and all that. One of Andrew's big things was the cost.

"They're $18O," he said, "I don't want to pay that."

We surfed the net looking for other dogs and talked some more. None of the ones in the shelters seemed right and other dogs to buy were seven and eight hundred dollars. Expensive. All of a sudden $180 sounded doable to Andrew ha ha.

The thing's always been this though - we've never agreed on the type of dog to get. We've talked about dogs over the years, never agreed and chucked the idea out the window over and over.

Problems:

We couldn't agree on a type of dog.

There was never a good time to get a dog.

We were moving house and building again (a process that took over two years).

I didn't want one (I didn't want chooks either, but he just went ahead and got those).

Andrew loves Kelpies (hello, exercise me a thousand hours a day) and I've always liked Golden Retrievers (hello, I've got so much hair all you'll be doing is sweeping it up). Full breed dogs seemed to be so full on in one area - ie. not for us.

Solution?

God stepped in and made the dog for us.

Those little puppies in the picture Andrew sent me from the Trading Post were crosses. A Golden Retriever dad and a Kelpie mum (with some Cavalier). Hello?? Made for us!

The litter was unexpected. The owners kept the price cheap because they just wanted their costs to be covered in the end. The owner offered to send us pictures of the three dogs they had left - a bigger golden one, a black one and a little golden one. Andrew claimed the little one because he wanted a smaller dog.

Here he is at four weeks...



Awww...How could we not??

They were calling him Luke. We have a nephew named Luke, so we chose a different name. We tossed a few around and Andrew suggested Cody. Because I like to know what names mean; I googled it. 'Cushion' flashed up before me and I knew we'd picked the right one.

And get this - I just googled Cody now to find out the meaning and Cushion popped up again, as well as Helper/Helpful.

He's most definitely been a cushion. And brought a cushioning effect.

(What in heck is cushion all about for a name meaning anyway? I wonder if there are names that mean lamp, dishwasher or fan. It's weird; Cody = cushion, but it fits.)

As for Helper/Helpful - He's most definitely been both of those. Helpful to have around - a friend, a constant companion. He's brought us a lot of joy and we love romping through the woods with him. Last weekend we were out in a new place we found and I asked Andrew if there was any water around. "No, the creek's dry." Halfway through the jaunt - SPLASH! - and there he appeared all wet after his swim in the creek. If there's water around he'll sniff it out.

He'll also wake from a sound sleep at the sliiiiggght crinkle of the freshness bag inside a Jatz box.

He loves ducks.

He loves chasing ducks.

He loves swimming after ducks.

He hates being on the lead around ducks and doesn't get why he can't chase the ducks.

He loves the beach.

He loves mud.

He loves Andrew and watches him like a hawk on the weekends for any call to action to go out on a jaunt.

He knows the name "Andrew" a lot better than he knows "Deb".

He likes to wrestle with Andrew.

He knows a lot of words - maybe about 25? (Cody, Go, Up, Stop, Sit, Okay, Back with a hand signal, No, Ah ah - he just woke up when I said that very softly to see how to type it - Outside (I think), Wait, Andrew, Deb, Ball, Bone, Come, Good Boy, Good, Hi, Hello, Where's your? Round the front, Drop, Give, Stay and Beep Beep. I think that's about it. We've also got hand signals we use, too. If I want him to do something that we don't have a word for, I use the words he does know to get him to do what I want like, "Cody, get off the mat" becomes, "Up! I point to the direction I want him to go, Stop, Drop." You know, stuff like that. We make it work and it works most of the time. Well, it does with me...when there's company it's a different matter.)

He has a lot of untameable hair, but I love it. The ear crimping (from his part Cavalier mother) is quite funny. My niece asked me if I plaited it. I told her it was 'ah la natur-al'.

He's hairy, but he's easy to groom.

He's hairy and I sweep almost every day.

I'd rather sweep than pay for dog haircuts. My dog is not going to have more money spent on his hair than me.

He has hair feathers in between his toes. So gorgeous.

He's the perfect colour.

He's the perfect size.

He's perfect for us.

He's three and a half now and I still marvel at how perfect he is for us. God knew what He was doing when He made him for us. If I had all the dog parts in front of me, and I could make my own dog, I wouldn't have known what to choose frankly, and I wouldn't've been able to come up with Cody.

God did, though.

It's obvious that Cody's not just Andrew's dog; he's mine, too. We both love him and treasure him very much.

So, when you're going through hard stuff don't be surprised if God gives you something very different for you to help cushion your way through it.

He did for me; he gave me a dog.

I love you, Cody. You're a gift.

xx









23 May 2013

30 Days - Day 23 - Tissues on a Roller Coaster

Honestly, today I feel like if I put anymore of myself out there, I'm going to be sick. I can't take too much more of this heart-on-a-plate thing. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster and I hate roller coasters.

Today feels like catch-up day. I've done the ironing that was way overdue, so that's one big thing out of the way.

It's not about the physical things I have to do though, it's the emotional things. My emotions just need to catch up with everything else.

Can someone pass me a tissue or forty?

22 May 2013

30 Days - Day 22 - Moving, Planning and Choosing Not to Plan (aka Winging-It Like a Pro).

I still find it amazing that I come to sit here every day without knowing what I'm going to talk about. My teacher heart still finds that weird. Like I've said before, besides being a checkout chick at Uni, every job I've ever had has required pre-planning. It's kinda refreshing to wing-it.

Wing-it; I'm not really much of a wing-it person, but I'm becoming more so (quite a lot so) actually.

On Saturday we were helping family move and then going to a family party up the coast. Big day and we knew it.

On top of that - the family that was moving, and those that were helping them, were all going to the party, too. Wowsers.

It was always going to be tricky with timing. You know what moving days are like. You stack it all in and pull it all out at your destination; sometimes multiple times. These things take as long as they take and then you order pizza and lie comatose on the floor at 6 pm that night!

But we couldn't do that - we had to be somewhere else with our party on at 6 pm and it was going to take some planning to make it happen. And hey, we were happy to do it.

The party had a very wide arrival time (a few hours), but dinner was at 6 pm. We were aiming for 5 pm and needed to leave between 1 and 2 pm to make it on time.

So, we made our plan, started loading stuff and time ticked on. By the time 2 pm rolled around it was obvious things weren't going to go according to plan. Our car and trailer weren't unpacked yet and we still needed to drive across town, load furniture that was going with us to the party (they bought a dining suite and we were taking it up for them), get ready for the party and drive the hour and 15 mins up there.

Hmmm, I knew we weren't going to make it.

I also knew I couldn't work out a new plan because there were too many variables, so I just left it and thought, "We'll get there when we get there, it'll be fine."

When things don't go to plan you can do one of two things:

1. Make a new plan.

2. Wing-it.

On this day I chose to wing-it because I'd employed option three so many other times in my life that I decided I wouldn't do it anymore.

Option 3 - Get all worked up because things weren't going to plan.

Planners like me can organise schedules, timetables and problem solve things like this with their hands tied behind their backs and their eyes closed. Truly!

Make a plan?

No problem!

Make things go to plan?

Easy...

Organise things so they'll work out?

Sure, give me something I can't do.

Adjust the plan?

If I have to, but the first plan was a good one.

Throw the plan out the window?

Um, what? Why? It's a good plan!

You see things get thrown in the way of plans. Spanners if you will.

Life.

People.

Traffic.

The fact that I'm not God and I can't see everything.

God! He puts Himself in the way of plans...

Other unforeseen circumstances.

Stuff, just stuff.

So, what I've learned over the years is that it's good to have a plan. Yes, planning is good; it helps us get where we need to go and helps us stay on track.

But what I've also learned is that it's good to be able to change those plans or heck, just throw them out the window.

Plans can be changed. By nature they're changeable. They're never set in concrete. They're thoughts (changeable) or written on paper (changeable).

And they're supposed to be that way because they're plans. They're ideas; they're a let's-try-it-like-this-to-see-if-it-works type thing.

In teaching I wrote a lot of plans, but I had to change them all the time. Annoying! It's what you do though...again, they're plans and things don't go according to them just because they're written on a piece of paper.

Ever watch Grand Designs where people build houses without a plan?? Like, what are you people doing? Don't you know you need a plan? Of course they always end up with windows that are too high or ceilings that are too low, but they still get a house in the end; just not a perfect one. What house is perfect anyway?

Ever watch Grand Designs where people build houses off the plan and don't allow themselves to change anything because they think it'll cost too much money? (Actually I don't know if I have, but whatever, just go with me).

What we've got is the "Wing-it, I-have-no-plan" types (shudder) and the "I'll-stick-to-the-plan-no-matter-what" types (another shudder).

Neither is me.

I've known this for a long time. I'm a mix of the two - the teacher and the artist. The planner and the wing-it girl. The organiser and the "It'll work itself out" type.

Not one.

Not the other.

Both.

Both.

Makes me breathe in deeply, that does.

I think it's a good way to be...

Have a plan, but be willing to adjust it.

Holy Infertility, Batman, talk about adjusting plans!

And you know what?

I'm okay with it.

Now.

Truly.

It is what it is and I just need to get with the new plan. I don't know if the new plan will include bits of the old plan, but I know HIS PLANS ARE GOOD because He told me so here.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Notice it says to give me a future?

Remember how I said that infertility affects everything, particularly the future?

Well, God has promised to give me a hope and future. Something to look forward to. Something to fulfil. Something to live in, instead of living without.

So, I'll adjust.

I'll keep walking.

I'll keep showing up.

I just wanted to say, too, that a lot of what I've been saying over the last 22 days is not how I feel at this exact moment (or that exact moment). Some of the things are how I have felt, used to feel and are feelings I have had over the years. With all this typing it's hard to convey exactly what I mean and how I mean it every single time. And even if I did say exactly what I wanted to each time it'd be interpreted differently by everyone anyway. It's the way of it.

Like I said, this writing for me is based on a plan (write for 30 days) and winging-it when I sit down. Hello, both.

Wing-it. Who wings it on important stuff like this? I still find that hard to get my head around. Winging-it was such a no-no at Uni. Wing-it? You can't wing-it! Get those plans organised now!

Oh, I just realised that's another reason why I'm not in the classroom - because of the plans. Writing plans, following plans, sorting plans, organising plans. God didn't want me around plans! He didn't want me to have too much control either - I talked about that before way back on Day 3.

What it comes down to is my plans, His plans, my plans, His plans.

Adjust, adjust, adjust.

Wing-it, plan it, wing-it (it's good for ya), plan it, wing-it where it doesn't matter like in your crafting and if it doesn't work out, who cares?

Oh, that's why God gave me a love for crafting!! So I'd practise winging-it!! And winging-it in a safe place where the outcome didn't really matter. Ah ha, makes more sense now. I always knew I was learning about inspiration and creativity and just-going-with-it, but I didn't realise those tendencies would be used in relation to my whole life plans.

This is interesting, this is good. To make all these connections and have them written down in some sort of context is important for me.

I remember when I wrote my first Punch Art book. It came out when I'd been teaching Punch Art classes for about a year or so. It made the teaching process so much easier because all of a sudden we had something that everyone could refer to and copy from at the same time. And that they could buy, too. Was excellent all round.

I feel the same about all this writing. The face that it's written down and I can print it out - well, it's good. That Punch Art book is not perfect. In fact, I've got one copy that I've circled all the mistakes in.

This writing isn't perfect either, but it's down, I've tried my best and that's what counts. And it's out of my head...that's what I needed. That's what I needed with the Punch Art book too - I knew I needed to get all the ideas out of my head which in turn made room for new ones.

I remember that - Book 1 (the light blue one) was a compilation of all my ideas to date with some new ones thrown in. I went through everything I'd made and decided what to use in the book and what to make new. Number one is my favourite of all the books because I like the light blue colour best and it was the easiest to put together. The front cover was easy, too. A couple of adjustments and we were done.

When I wrote Book Two (green) I had to come up with a lot of new ideas. I wouldn't've been able to come up with those if I hadn't've written Book 1 first. Some new punches had come out by this time, too, and I had a lot of fun making new things and extending on previous ideas. I remember being excited about the way it was coming together and that it was going to be a cracker.

I'm not sure how long it took me to do the art for this book - a few months. I'd work from after dinner until 6 am in the morning. I'd sleep until 2 pm, go for a walk and then maybe relax a bit before dinner and start again. I remember eating two meals a day - dinner, and one during the night at about 2 o'clock in the morning. And all this was while living at my parents' house while we were building our second house.

Other things:
  • The front cover was really hard to put together. My graphic artist and I spent a long time getting that right. 
  • The cover cardstock is heavier than Book One's. 
  • Does it have more pages than Book One? I think it does. 
  • I was down for the count for two weeks when that book was done. I remember sitting in the chair watching TV all day because I couldn't do anything else. If I moved my head it hurt. I gave whatever I had to Dad and he moaned and groaned a lot. Sorry, Dad. 

With all of my previous ideas exhausted, Number Three required a lot of pre-planning. I spent months sketching ideas. We went away camping for Easter that year (2004) and I spent the whole time under the tarp sketching and planning. In hindsight I should've relaxed more, but I didn't. I'm like that - once I get a bee in my bonnet I just keep going.

  • It took me eleven weeks to do the artwork for this one. I don't know why I remember that so distinctly. 
  • I remember going to bed every morning feeling like I was behind. We had a schedule and the book needed to be done by a certain date. 
  • Even after I said I wouldn't, I did the same routine again and worked through the night (we were in our new house by this time). 
  • I tried working through the day (it worked somewhat), but I needed to pull long stints to meet the deadline. I don't know why, but my creative juices fire more at 2 am than they do at 2 pm. 
  • If I work through the night now (I still do occasionally; it's not good) I hit the wall at 5 am. Goodnight! I don't go to bed though because Andrew's a light sleeper at that time of day and I hate waking him up that early. 
  • The cover was hard to do...again. If I ever did another cover I'd approach it differently and design it like I designed each page. We did the covers at the end and pulled things from the book to make a collage of artwork. Worked the first time; was extremely difficult the second and third time. 
  • This book had two different graphic artists. Mine had to hand it over because she was close to having her fourth child by that point and couldn't sit for hours on end at the computer any more.   
  • I had a lot of issues with printing this time - it worked out (somewhat) in the end, but I remember all the hassles we had. 
  • I was down for the count for weeks after this book, too. Not a cold, but gastro type stuff. If I ate anything I'd be in a lot of pain until it digested - it made me cry. I could only eat plain food for about three weeks because it was the only thing my body could handle. 
Ah, the memories!

And people say to me often, "Are you writing another book, Debra?" I smile and say, "No, no." Honestly, I've done it three times, I don't know if I could do it again :o) 

Actually a couple of years ago I was writing a Punch Art book in partnership with a new company, but we parted ways because of the money (there wasn't enough coming in my direction, basically). I know the work it takes and I wasn't prepared to do it for the tiny amount offered so, no book. Sad because I've made a lot of new things since 2004 and it'd be nice to have them in a book. 

Anyway - plans and control!

Me not being around them!

Me adjusting, adjusting, adjusting!

Me not wanting to, not wanting to!

Me having to, having to!

Story of the last 12 years.

Well, it's not going to be the story of the next 12 years, that's for sure. 

By the way - we did make it to the party on Saturday night at about 6:20 pm - they hadn't started dinner, so we were good. We had another hold up in the middle, too, because the birthday boy was in the emergency room at 4 pm that afternoon! You know what emergency room visits are like - they take forever, so I rang my sister to see if there actually was going to be a party and it took a while to get the a-okay because she couldn't get onto her husband because they were in the treatment room at the time, we think! (big breath after that sentence) At 4:30 at the end of my phone call to her I said, "Okay, we'll be leaving as soon as we can." She said, "That's fine, no rush." The truck we got stuck behind on the way up certainly wasn't in a rush. 

Moral of the story? We winged-it and we made it. 

And I didn't have a meltdown, this is important. 

We do try to avoid meltdowns, thus the plans! 

BUT I've realised that being too dependent on plans can lead me to meltdowns and winging-it can be my saving grace. 

What a revelation that is. 

Anyway, the birthday boy was fine after his emergency room visit, we ate food, we ate cake and my brother and I lost it a couple of times laughing because we were so tired. He's the one that moved house that day. 

He was helping me get the table and chairs out of our car and he burped...just like our dad. Like, in the exact same way. He said, "If that doesn't sound like Dad, I don't know what does." 

It was one of those slow burn jokes. I giggled...then laughed...then lost it.  

We took the chairs out, took them inside and came back for the table. It was wedged between the wheel shafts and we had to pull a bit to get it out (it was in the back of our 4WD ute). Dad came to help us and  started to suggest the best way to get it out. Pete kept pulling at the table and said, "Dad, I can't stop right now, I'm on a roll. If I see furniture I just have to move it." 

I lost it again. My brother always makes me laugh. Dad chuckled too, I'll bet, although I couldn't see him in the dark. Poor Pete, he'd been moving stuff into the new house for days (Saturday was just the last of it all and the big stuff) and he was so tired.  

So, I laughed. I commiserated and I gave him a big hug. 

Sometimes the best things happen when things don't go according to plan.  

:o)

21 May 2013

30 Days - Day 21 - Ten Things Including Videos

Ten Things

1. The dog and I went for a walk. Chilly and cloudy, but we saw a bit of sun.

2. I worked on my photos for about 30 mins. I do 'easy' scrapbooking and it still amazes me how long it takes.

3. I made the chicken soup I've wanting to make for a week. Dinner is sorted for days now. Yes.

4. I love this verse

Peace I leave with you
My peace I give you. 
I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27 (NIV)

5. I've got some new alphabet stickers from Jillibean Soup in front of me. Last year they came out with a small font (bottom of page) and this year they've used a bigger font (top). My favourites are the red and yellow. True red and true yellow. I got mine from Anna's Craft Cupboard in WA.

6. Andrew and I were watching Call the Midwife last night and the narrator said, "Faith cannot be questioned, it can only be lived."

7. I've been watching a few videos.

TED Talks - Sarah Kay

She's a spoken word poet - she's amazing. She does some spoken word poetry at the very beginning and then talks about how she got started in it, how she approaches it and how she teaches children/teenagers to express themselves through poetry.

I loved how she says she uses poetry to work through things she doesn't understand. She brings a backpack of all the things she knows and then dives into things she doesn't with poetry as her vehicle.

I totally get that. I write.

TED Talks - Brene Brown - Vulnerability

I've watched this so many times. It's where I'm at right now.

"Vulnerability is essential to wholehearted living."

"We're all worthy of love and belonging."

We all need to believe that for ourselves. I do, I always have. My parents and God taught me that.

TED Talks  - Brene Brown - Follow up to the above video.

"Vulnerability is the birth place of innovation, creativity and change."

Joyce Meyer - Pressing Past Painful Emotions Part 1

"I can feel totally wrong and still choose to do what's right."

"We may not be able to do something about how we feel, but we can do something about what we think,   what we say and how we act."

"You can make right choices while you're still hurting. It takes discipline."

I'll give myself a pass and a fail for that over the years. Got it right sometimes and not on other times.

"Three options -
1. Press past the pain now
2. Do it later and be miserable in the meantime
3. Keep the pain forever."

"I'm not going to stay in recovery all my life, I'm expecting something wonderful to happen in my life today."

Joyce Meyer - Pressing Past Painful Emotions Part 2

"It's not easy to walk away from something if you don't know what you're walking toward."

"God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6

"Waiting - Enjoy where you're at on the way to where you're going."

(This is all Joyce speaking)

"I want to know what price I'm going to have to pay. This all sounds good and you're like a great cheerleader up there tonight, but I want to know - how long's this going to take? What's it going to cost?

It's going to cost more than you thought you could pay, it's going to last longer than you think you can stand and it's going to hurt worse than you ever think you can endure.

BUT, in the end, it's going to be so worth it. And you're going to get a reward and you're going to be free! And you're going to bear good fruit. And you're going to be proud of yourself because you didn't give up. You pressed in and you pressed on.

Be willing to pay the price. Be willing to pay the price. Please.

There's a few times in the Bible where Paul says, "I beg of you." And that's coming up in my spirit tonight. I beg of you. I know what I'm talking about; I've done the journey.

Don't be like millions and millions of other people who live halfway between two places. You can't go back to where you came from, you've got too much of God to do that, but you won't pay the price to get enough of God so you can go ahead and live in victory.

We want everything to be easy, but God is not going to make everything easy for us. Actually, He does make hard things easy if we put our trust in Him."

Wowsers.

It's easy to say; "Sure, I'll pay the price" until you see what that price is for you. My price won't be your price. God knows what pushes our buttons and what buttons need to be pushed. It's really hard sometimes...but as Joyce says, "Worth it."

I am constantly amazed by what she has overcome in her life and as she says she didn't do it by wishing.

8. I need to go and get the eggs - from our chooks. Dolly's not laying. Dixie and Daisy are right on it. Thanks, girls.

9. Not looking forward to the rainy weather tomorrow.

10. We need milk. I've been drinking black tea. Weak black tea.

Hope you had a good day.

Bye now.

20 May 2013

30 Days - Day 20 - This is How it Feels and saying, "I Trust You" When it Was the Last Thing I Wanted to Say

Gosh, this is exhausting and I haven't even written anything yet.

Exhausting because I woke up today and knew I had to write like I have for the last 19 days.

Some days I've written one word and others I've written 3000, but every day I've shown up and written something. 

It's all I've had to do; it's all I committed to.

Everything I've written about, I've lived.

Everything I've written about, I've felt.

That includes feeling a lot of things this morning. I don't know, this emotional thing, it's hard to explain sometimes. It's just so overwhelming when it comes down to it. And when that happens for me it all comes spilling out, usually through tears.

It happened this morning when Andrew was here.

It happened after he left for work and I was by myself.

Tears.

Tissues.

Questions.

Brokenness.

Sobs, wrecking sobs.

Even as I cried I thought to myself, "What's this all about really?"

It's about the past, present and future.

The past - not being able to have children.

The present - living without children.

The future - not having children...or grandchildren. The line stops here.

Of course, that's not what it's all about - there's other stuff, too. Some of its just life, some is directly related to infertility, some is related to other things - not everything I'm grappling with is in relation to baby, baby, baby. It's not...but gosh, it feels like it sometimes.

Infertility affects everything.

Us and our daily lives.
Family relationships.
Social relationships.
My work life.
The future.
The past.
The present.

Hey, that's pretty much everything like I said.

I've tried not to let it! I've tried to be good and suck it up and deal with it. I've tried, I've tried, I've tried.

No one tells you how, though. No one ever says, "This is how you get over your feelings of being left out, not part of the club, glossed over, ignored, put on the shelf, pitied and forgotten."

Yep, that how infertility feels.

It horrid and it's heartbreaking.

Let's just throw all the breaking, broken and shattered words in there too because they're part of it.

I'm not saying that these feelings can't be dealt with and fixed and moved on from, but what I'm saying is THIS IS HOW IT FEELS.

I feel:

Left out

Not part of the club

Glossed over

Ignored

Put on the shelf

Pitied and

Forgotten.

Great, just great. Not.

(sigh)

When you FEEL these things, and feel them so deeply, it's hard not to believe them.

Lord, I don't want to believe them, but sometimes I do. 

And I don't just feel them, I live them every. single. day.

When people find out my situation, they don't know what to do with me.

Left out. 

When people find out I don't have kids, they can't relate.

Not part of the club. 

We don't get invited to things.

Glossed over and Ignored.

I'm 40 and I don't have kids.

Put on the shelf.

"When are you going to have kids?"

"We can't."

Pitied and Forgotten. 

Hey, I get it. I get that what we have to deal with isn't the biggest thing in the world, but it's the biggest thing to us.

Hey, I get it. I get that people will want to do things with other families and not us. It's just the way it is.

Hey, I get it. I get that you don't know what to do with me when you find out I don't have kids. I don't know what to do with myself either.

Hey, I get it. I get that you can't relate because I don't have kids, but I try to relate to you because you do have kids, so couldn't you do the same for me?

Hey, I get it.

I reeeaallly get it.

And what I need you to reeeaallllyy get is that it hurts, and it hurts bad.

That's it.

That's all you need to get.

That, and maybe that a word of encouragement for them wouldn't go astray.

Oh look, I don't know, I kinda feel like I'm talking for other infertile women who can't put their feelings into words. How does anyone know how to deal with an infertile person in their life if an infertile person doesn't say anything about how it feels to be an infertile person?!

It's not a one-size-fits-all solution either. Everyone's different and everyone needs different things.

For me, personally, the silence has been deafening.

Again, I get it. I said to Andrew recently that society dictates that infertility is a problem that needs to be dealt with internally - with just him and me. We can't go round talking to all and sundry about it every time we step out of the house...and neither would we want to. It's a downer of a subject, let's face it. It's too much for people and not exactly something you bring up in casual conversation.

So, it's the way it is - it's a one way street.

The thing is...it's our daily life...and we can't talk about it.

We can't talk about it.

We can't talk about it.

We hear chatter about everything else, but we can't talk about it.

We hear children chattering and our eyes sting, but we can't talk about it.

We hide, we mask...and we cry later.

It makes me feel distanced from people because they don't know what's going on inside my head and my heart, because I can't talk about it.

That's been one of the hardest things for me.

No wonder I've backed off from social things.

Note: I am very aware that maybe family and friends will read this one day. When you speak about your life, you obviously speak about the people in it. If you are one of those family members or friends and you feel a bit indignant about what I've said, then I ask you to read it again and see it for what it is. It's my story, my perception (not always right), my feelings and my experience. I've not had any particular situations in mind when writing. That being said, we have had support over the years. Our situation is what it is - everyone has their stuff. You just happen to be reading about mine.

Moving on.

Back to the wrecking sobs from this morning...oh man, can we just finish this up please?

A bit of background...

Over the first few days of this writing time it all poured out of me. It was all the surface stuff...excess stuff maybe, that was floating around in the forefront of my mind. It came out straight onto the computer and I thought, "Great, this is easy, I can do this." And I did, for seven or so days.

About five or six days ago, I think I ran out of excess stuff. I typed back then that I'd made room in my life for new and good things, and I thought I just had to wait for them, type about them and hunky dory, all would be well.

Um, no.

Not.

Didn't happen like that.

I've been soaking up a lot of stuff recently, but what I didn't realise was that I would be tested on stuff I've already typed again.

Like, is that it?

I mean I've heard that before...you say, "I believe this!" and then you get tested on it. Not for God's benefit, but for mine.

To build trust in myself?

To build trust with God? (yes)

To build experience with it myself?

That's what I'm feeling, I guess, I've been around this mountain so many times, why are we going around it again???? It just feels ridiculous.

I'm so over being stuck on the merry-go-round - I just want to get off. I hate the dizzy feeling, the whole-we're-not-going-anywhere thing and just the whole concept of going round and round in circles.

I'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE!

I'VE SEEN THAT BEFORE!

I'VE LIVED THIS BEFORE!

I'VE FELT THIS BEFORE!

Obviously, not enough.

Not enough.

Oh, Lord. When will it end?

So, this morning in the midst of the wrecking sobs...oh, by the way, they were MAD sobs, not sad ones.

Mad

Frustrated

Angry

Tired

and

Worn Out sobs...

Yeah, those.

In the midst of those...I said out loud and through gritted teeth...

"This is the laaaaasst thing I feel like saying, Lord....

but I love You,

(no more gritted teeth)

I trust You,

I know You have good things for me,

I know You are good,

I know You know,

I know You care."

Immediately I felt myself settle down by about 20%. A minute later it was more than that and a few minutes later I was no longer crying and carrying on.

It all sounds - "Oh, look at me, how spiritual am I?" but trust me, if you were in the bathroom with me you would've seen I wasn't being the least bit spiritual...

...until I said the words I did.

Kinda surprised myself really.

A few minutes before (while still in the midst) I did think about 'trust' and basically whether I was trusting Him or not.

I mean, I've said, "I love You and I trust You" while I've been sad, but not while I've been mad.

When sad, it's easier to trust.

When mad, it's not. And I found that out today.

You see, I'd been upset for oh, three hours when this happened.

A lot of things got on top of me and I was mad - all I could do was cry and try to figure it out. Like, what am I supposed to do after this 30 days of writing? What does it all mean? Do I want to keep writing? Do I want to do anything else? Gosh, I'd like a bit of rest, actually. A rest from all THIS STUFF. 

Then I remembered what I wrote recently about saying, "I trust You" in the midst of all the emotion, so I did it.

It was really hard; it was the last thing I wanted to do!

But as soon as the first few words came out of my mouth it got easier to say the rest.

So, that's what happened today.

Not fun, but a lesson learned in the end.

18 May 2013

30 Days - Day 18 - Finding Me and Sowing in Tears

I'm freezing! My hands are cold, my nose is running and my eyes are watering - not good! Oh, and there's a big yawn...

It's early - and I don't have much time. Today is one of those days where we're leaving the house early and not coming back until late. It was always going to be tricky for writing - I've tried to push it out of my mind and just wait until I got to this morning to see how I'd fit it in and what would happen.

I feel like I want to say something today. Don't know what it is, though, so that's useless.

(Think, think)

Infertility has been about me finding me, really. Is that stupid? Does that make sense? I'm asking myself those questions...

Finding me, how?

Finding out who I am...

...what I'm made of (and what I'm not).

...what makes me tick.

...what stuff means something to me and what doesn't.

...what makes me explode and implode.

...what I can handle; what I can't.

...how I problem solve and how I don't.

...what my expectations are of myself, others and God.

...what I need and what I don't.

...what I want and what I don't.

It's been a big learning curve about me.

It's been a big learning curve about us, too. Us as people; as a couple.

Infertility changes who you are and who you thought you'd be. Physically - not a dad, not a mum - and emotionally - just...changed.

That's it in a word, it changes everything, and sometimes it's a lot to handle.

Changes

Adjustments

More changes

More adjustments

I remember grieving that I wouldn't be a mother in my twenties...

...and I left my twenties ten years ago.

All of a sudden (actually not all of a sudden, I was conscious of every passing year)...I turned 40 this year. This I know, I won't be a mother in my thirties.

I won't be a mother in my thirties!

I'm not a mother and I'm 40!

Sometimes these things have been the only voice in my head...

You're not! You're not! You're not!

In God though, I know - I am! I am! I am!

Over the years I've listened to music very loud. Good music...but very loud. I've had to, so it was louder than everything else in my head. The whirling and swirling would only be quietened that way. Depending on what the music was, or how I felt, it would take about 15 mins for my mind to stop racing and for my emotions to quieten down. I'd be crying usually, but I was set back in the right direction...towards Him.

Makes me teary thinking about it. I've cried a lot over the years. I used to think that those who "sow in tears will reap with joy" meant that if you cry, you'll reap joy.

Not true!

Those who sow in tears will reap with joy.

What's sowing in tears? It's setting your heart in the right direction - towards God - and saying, while you're upset and crying, things along the lines of...

I trust You, God. 

I love You. 

I know you have good plans for me. 

They are seeds. They are showing God (and you) where your heart is and where your focus is. What you believe in (Him) and what you don't (your circumstances).

It doesn't change your immediate reality, but it changes your future.

Seeds are planted, so there has to be a harvest.

Let's just say I've sown much!

It's late now and I have to go.

Have a great day - see you tomorrow.

17 May 2013

30 Days - Day 17 - Bring On The Sunshine

I don't really have anything in particular to say today.

It's late - 4:38 pm - I've been procrastinating a bit, I guess, again because I've got nothing to say. Not because anything's too much, but just because I don't feel like talking. 

The dog and I had a great walk in the beautiful sunshine today. We walked and walked and walked. Didn't want to come home because it was just so good being out. My goodness, the good weather does a lot for my mood and my ability to handle things, that's for sure. You?

I guess, too, that I've so enjoyed the sun today, the music for hours in the car yesterday, the physical exercise over the last few days with the dog and helping some family move (that's tomorrow too), Joyce on the computer etc etc that I don't want to talk about my stuff, I just want to do other things and soak in some good. 

No denial, just a rest period probably!

It is what it is - will see what tomorrow brings. More sun, yay. 

:o)

16 May 2013

30 Days - Day 16 - Early Mornings, Multi-Tasking (Not) and Going Back to Bed

Well, I've been up for ages and I've given the dog a really good pat and scratch, cleared out the email inbox and had a chat with Andrew. Written nothing though, let's see if I can change that.

What do I want to say today?

That I'm finding going through this (feeling everything, dealing with everything) and writing about it at the same time quite challenging.

That I'm only halfway through the 30 days and it seems like a long way to go yet.

That I'm wanting to face things head on and retreat and face nothing all at the same time.

That feeling the pendulum of emotions swing back and forth is nothing new really.

That the life of an infertile couple can be a roller coaster of emotions on the best of days, let alone the worst of days.

That I wish I could go back to bed because my eyes are watery and stinging.

That I want a string of sunshiney days in a row because I can't take much more of the gloomy weather.

That yesterday was a sunshiney day and it was the best thing ever.

That I love it when I don't have to fight the weather to get my washing dry. Wash it, hang it up, get it in a few hours later - done...and dry.

Did I mention I want to go back to sleep?

I want to finish the book I'm reading. And finish the photos I'm doing. And the cross stitch I'm working on. I only did 12 stitches in an hour last night because even after checking and re-checking where to put them, I got them wrong, and had to pull them out and re-do them. Rats.

And I want to iron. I hate ironing, but not when I'm actually doing it, unless it's some big doona cover or tablecloth so huge it won't fit on the board. Otherwise I don't mind it - when I get to it. I like hanging the clothes up on the rack nice and pressed. I like looking after Andrew by ironing his shirts for him. I like the quiet and the therapeutic sway of the iron as it goes across the fabric. Sometimes I listen to something while I do it. Sometimes I stand in the laundry, in the quiet and just iron. Do you ever stand in the quiet and do just one thing?

It's very easy for us girls to think that multi-tasking is the way to go with everything. It is with some things, but it's not with others for me. I know I get more done, and more quickly, if I just concentrate on one thing sometimes.

I've been working on my photos before and I've been so distracted by the TV I've had to turn it off. Other times I've enjoyed having the TV on as I've worked and it's added to the fun of it all.

It's dependent on what I'm doing, really.

Journalling - thinking about it, writing it down = no distractions allowed (unless I'm writing a really small amount).

Organising - thinking about it and making decisions = no distractions allowed. Can't think with all the noise of the TV and can't hear it over all the boxes banging anyway.

Planning - no distractions allowed. Can't think.

I'm talking about these things in relation to scrapbooking and crafting, but they apply to all areas of my life. If I'm re-organising the kitchen cupboards I'm not going to have the TV on. I'd actually have music on in that situation. If it's motivating me, that is. If it's frustrating me, goodbye.

I hate noise pollution. Even my own noise is pollution sometimes, so I turn it off.

Why am I talking about noise, distractions and multi-tasking?

Because I can't handle them right now. I need to concentrate on one thing and one thing only.

I can't do much else other than do this writing every day. Sure, I've got washing and ironing to do and soup to make, but other than that not much else. And that's on purpose. Two reasons - can't, don't want to.

That being said I've got two very full days coming up and I don't know how I'm going to do them and this at the same time. I really don't.

Physically how am I going to get my writing done?

And emotionally? Well everything takes its toll right now. It's the way it is. It doesn't mean I end up in a big heaping crying mess...it just means I know when I've hit the wall and it happens a lot more quickly at the moment.

Actually, that's not true. It happens as quickly as it has for a while, it's just that at the moment I feel tired more than anything. Before I used to feel frustrated, annoyed and ready to get back home after only being at the shops for an hour or so.

So, I'm up early this morning - to type before I leave for the day. I'm typing - but I don't think what I'm saying is particularly earth shattering. My promise was to show up for 30 days in row, not to be earth shattering. It's because my earth has shattered that I'm here.

Infertility can be earth shattering.

Earth shattering.

Ground moving.

Shifting sand.

No footing.

Grasping for straws.

Not fun.

Do you think all of this is woe is me?

It's not.

It's fact; it's the way it is.

It's something that needs to be dealt with because it's devastating.

It's my reality and I need to deal with it.

Nobody talks about it (not even Andrew), but I NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT. And even if I got pregnant tomorrow, I'd still need to talk about it. And even if I adopted a baby tomorrow, I'd still need to talk about it.

Adoption cures childlessness, it doesn't cure infertility. A friend told me that and I know what she's saying. There's still pain involved with being infertile even if children come into your life...

So, like I said, I need to talk about this. If it's too much for you, then it's obviously not for you. Hey, it's too much for me, and I have to live it, and write about it, while I'm still living it.

Whatever.

I'm going back to bed.

15 May 2013

30 Days - Day 15 - How Do You Cross a River?

I'm in a new place.

Don't know what it is exactly, or what it means.

I think the space I've made in my soul and heart over the last 14 days has created space for older emotions to come up and be expressed. This journey's been a long one and it's no wonder there are things, long ago things that are still a part of me.

I guess this whole thing will always be a part of me - I just want the memories, though, not the emotions. Not the grief.

I read a book once that mentioned 'the river of grief'.

I feel like I've been here before - I've seen those flowing waters and I've baulked not knowing what to do.

I think back to the pioneers who went west in the early days of American settlement. If they arrived at a swollen river, they camped alongside it until it went down. They lived and waited. They washed, ate and kept themselves busy...and waited. Of course the time drew near when it started to go down and invariably someone tried to cross it before it was safe. Lives and possessions were washed away - sometimes never to return.

Other ways to cross a river?

Build a bridge over it.

Build a raft.

Swim across if you can.

Drop a log across it.

The solutions are all options, but they don't fit every river crossing. The rivers are different, the people are different - not all solutions fit all.

I think I'm at that river of grief again.

I don't know what particular emotions I'm feeling right now, I just know I'm feeling deep things. Ones that have been there for a while.

I think it's good, but it's not what I was expecting.

I thought the room I'd made in my life basically would be filled with new things - good things - I didn't realise it'd be filled with a whole heap of other feelings/emotions etc etc. I hope I'm explaining that properly. It's hard to explain to myself and then Andrew, let alone type it on here and explain it as well.  I'm doing my best.

All I can say is, I'm dealing with stuff. I don't know what it's about, I can't figure it out (don't want to, don't care, can't - it's exhausting and I won't do it right now) and that's all I can say.

I watched both sessions of this - Trusting God When You Don't Understand - from Joyce today and as she says, no questions but...

I trust You
You're good
I believe You love me
All things work together for good for those who are called according to Your purpose

I don't have a lot of questions for God about what we've been through. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt in my cupboard. I know it's fruitless and realised that years ago. My faith in God is based on who He is, not what He can do for me. I trust Him (maybe not enough, maybe not fully, I don't know), I love Him and I know He has the best for me.

I think I'm just going through the process of grief. Maybe again, maybe on a different level, who knows? It's a process, that's what I think, and I've just gotta go through it. I don't even know what that entails, either. Whatever.

I'll just get up every morning, do what I have to and go to bed every night. I'll cry when I need to, sob when I have to and keep walking in between. I don't care what it's about, I'll just go through the process of feeling it, so it can work itself out.

That's it.

That's all I know.

That, and that I'm in His hands. Better be, because I've got nothing in mine.

14 May 2013

13 May 2013

30 Days - Day 13 - Making space with SPACE

The blank page feels daunting at the moment.

Sometimes I'm excited about the potential of filling it up; sometimes I'm not. Today I'm not.

I was feeling good this morning, but now I'm frustrated and annoyed at myself because I talked myself into a corner even after Joyce said not to.

I listened to her talk about "The Hope of Change" this morning. It's the same video I linked to the other day where I mentioned hope was expecting something good to happen.

I honestly feel like two people sometimes.

The one who's mature, deals with things and moves on.

And the one who's...well...not.

Sometimes I don't want to be mature, I just don't.

I'm finding it really hard to do this today and put it my feelings on the table. I'm feeling extremely vulnerable - it's hard to put your faults on the table and have everyone judge them.

I'm trying to work things out, but to do that in front of others?

It's hard.

It's hard any way you do it, even in front of a computer screen.

As I was listening to Joyce's message this morning I thought, I need to hear this a few more times.

I print out things and put them in front of my face until they sink in.

I read them out loud when I see them sometimes.

If they're no longer relevant I take them down.

I think sometimes the messages are about the actual words, and sometimes they're about the spirit of it.

Sometimes we eat a certain item of food because we want that particular thing and nothing else.

Sometimes we eat a meal (without being too concerned about what it is in particular) because it's good for us, good to eat and good for our bodies.

Joyce's Hope of Change message was both of those. Particular good food and general good food.

I want to listen to it again - and others too - and just soak them in.

So much I do nowadays needs to be intentional - and this is one thing I'm going to focus my intentions on for a while. That, and my photos. Looking inward at my life - what it contains, what I want to keep, what I'm grateful for, what I want to remember, what makes me happy, what I love and what I look forward to in the future.

As I work with my photos and listen to Joyce I know I'll be soaking things in, new things, to replace a lot of the old things I've typed out. I've made room in my life (I can feel it) for new things to come in and I'm waiting for them to come. Good things...things from Him - they're the only ones I want.

My words for the day are:

Hope
Change
Thinking differently
Doing differently
Emoting differently
Soaking in

ORGANISING

Organising is hard work.

I've organised many craft rooms using the SPACE method by Julie Morgenstern.

S = Sort 

Sort stuff into like piles. When organising the craft room, I do this in the lounge room close by. A lot of work yes, but I can't organise mess in the actual space it lives.

No wonder I can't organise all my thoughts/emotions/hurts/frustrations about everything in my head - I have to do it outta there. Like, out loud. Or on here. God knew what He was doing when He told me to do this.

Sorting my emotions is taking inventory of what's really there and being brutally honest about it. The sorting part can be okay, it's the brutally honest (with yourself) part that can be hard.

So, like piles - all the adhesives that might've been in three places in the craft room go into one pile in the lounge room.

All paper and card - one pile.

All dies - one pile.

Etcetera!

P = Purge

I love to chuck obvious rubbish as I go. I put laaarrrggeee boxes in the craft room, lounge room and in between, for easy slam dunking! Having somewhere to put my rubbish is key. I don't want it, and I'm certainly not going to deal with it more than once if I have to, so into the bin it goes.

What do I use as an emotional rubbish bin?? Do I have one? Some? What are they?

Forgetting it doesn't help. Talking about it doesn't help after a point either.

Like, what is it? Choosing to let it go?

How do you do that anyway?

Yes, you make a choice, but for me it takes a while for my feelings to catch up with that choice.

I have to shut the lid on it, that's what it is.

The bin in our kitchen sits at the end of the kitchen bench. It has a lid that slides across the top. I keep the lid open when I'm working in the kitchen and shut when I'm not. I've walked passed it before when it's been left open and crinkled my nose at the rubbish in there. I don't want to see all the used tea bags, eggshells and dog hair every time I walk through. They're rubbish; they've been dealt with, so I close the lid and move on.

That's what I need to do with my emotional stuff, close the lid and move on...

Purge - part 2

I go through all the piles I've made in the lounge room and purge.

The 'don't want' stuff is either rubbish, stuff to sell or stuff to donate. All that stuff goes into the bin or new piles on the floor.

A = Assign

Right, I've got what I want to keep, so where do I put it?

I assign homes for everything.

Hold on...I move the furniture first if I want to get that fresh, this-is-a-better-arrangement feeling, then I assign homes in the new space for everything.

Sometimes the homes are the same as they were before, sometimes they're different.

Sometimes the fact that I have twice as much adhesive as I thought I did requires me to find a different place for it.

I guess it's like assigning homes for our story. Our emotions, our memories, our thoughts and feelings - they all need homes in our emotional lives. 

If they're not organised we can't access them when we need them because they're all over the place.

And if they're not organised we certainly can't use them.

I saw a before and after of a scrap room makeover on You Tube this morning. She was very brave to show her before footage - the room was a disaster. It made my eyes blink and my heart race a bit, I mean, how could you do anything in there? She spent three weeks re-doing the room. Unlike me, she kept all her stuff in the room as she was sorting and purging it. Obviously it worked for her because she got the job done, but I hate trying to sort out one thing when everything around me's a mess. Don't. like. that.

At some point everything got taken out of the room because she re-did the floors and walls, then all the 'kept' stuff and new stuff came in. I really liked her new furniture actually. They had huge shallow drawers with dividers - perfect for paper crafting.

What I'm interested in is how people organise their spaces and if they're organised according to who they are and how they work.  

~ Neat is not accessible.
~ Identifying workflow is paramount.
~ Speed bumps and roadblocks are a huge part of crafting and they need to be addressed to keep the flow going.
~ Containers do not equal organisation.
~ Just because my friend likes to see all her stuff doesn't mean I want to see mine.
~ Just because that container's pretty doesn't mean it's going to work for me.

I don't know what mental process this lady went through to organise her stuff, but when I was looking at it, I knew it wouldn't work for me. That's okay, it's obviously not meant to, but I wasn't sure it'd work for her either.

What I always find with scrapbookers and their makeovers, is there always seems to be sections of junk in their neatly organised rooms! Look at my new room! Now let me take you around and show you everything. Oh, that's stuff I don't use much anymore. I'm thinking of selling that. I don't do this anymore, but I'm keeping that tool. I've got things up here in all these boxes that I don't use much. That's just some extra bits and pieces I don't know what to do with.

I think that's what drives me nuts -

The inaccessibility of things

and

those bits of junk that get taken back in and stored again!

I hate those things in my own room.

I hate when I can't get to stuff because it's either stored wrong or it's stored in the wrong thing.

And I hate all those extra bits and pieces that I gather and don't know what to do with.

Some I have to keep, so I put them all in a big box and put 'em on the shelf. They're still accessible, but a lot less annoying because they're together, sorted and outta my sight.

I also have a give-away drawer. It gives me a place to put things, so they're not cluttering up the cupboard (that I'm in all the time) or the rest of the space. Ah, breathe easy.

Same with my emotions/thoughts/feelings etc - I assign places for them. If they're parts of me I have to keep, I try to store them outta sight. I know where they are, I'm not in denial about them, but they're not in my way every day annoying me!

I don't know if that makes sense, but it makes sense to me. I stand by this SPACE method, so maybe it's a way for me to think about sorting and organising my emotional life.

Food for thought.

Anyway, I assign. Bin, keep, store etc.

C = Containerise

This is the time where you put things in containers and put them away. It's also the time where you shop for fun containers if you need them.

A lot of people say "I'm going to get organised" and then go and buy containers. How do you know what you need to buy if you don't even know what you have to store?

That being said, I've bought containers FIRST in other instances and it's all worked out in the end. Not everything is step by step all the time, is it? Hello, inspiration and doing things from the heart = (I believe) it'll all work out in the end.

Anyway, container time and put-everything-away-time. I think it's my favourite part.

I remember when I did my room last time that I got really anxious at this part. At the time I didn't know why, but later I realised it was because I was putting too much pressure on myself to find the right storage solutions the first time.

Would my papers work best here or here? What's the right decision? Multiply that by 100 and I found the whole process overwhelming. Like I said, I've done SPACE many times previously and all of a sudden this pressure was at a roadblock I'd never encountered in myself before.

In the end I just made decisions about what I thought would work (what else do to you do?) and left it. Later I found myself moving a couple of things around and that's when it all twigged.

Oh, so I don't have to get it right the first time? What a revelation that was.

I just re-organised my scrap cabinet like I said. I spent some time thinking about it at the time, moved things to where they made sense and moved on.

I am going to view the organising (managing?) of my emotions in the same way.

Make decisions, move on.

Keep that, chuck that.

That was stupid, forget that.

Sort this.

Store that.

Store this with those.

Move them.

Bin that.

Make quick decisions...

...and don't double-handle things!

I know this all sounds a little airy fairy, but it makes sense to me. I hope it's resonating with some of you, too. I'm still trying to make sense of it all, so it makes sense anyway!

E = Equalise

I refer to equalising as putting stuff away.

Obviously when I use things I have to put them away, and if I'm not putting them away it's because my system's not supporting how I work.

Some scrapbookers file their paper scraps. Like file them in a filing cabinet. Some would rather walk the plank than do that, so they chuck 'em in a basket. I actually do a bit of both - I file them by chucking them into three shallow containers - small, medium and large. I have the sizes separated because it drives me nuts having them mixed. When I want a bit of yellow I can't stand digging through all my scraps to find some.

Interestingly enough, I used to separate my scraps by colour in different bags. That worked beautifully for me for years because it supported how I scrapped back then. I do things differently now, so I store things differently.

I store things (all things, not just scrap stuff) according to how I go looking for them. You know that thing you want to keep, but you don't know where to put so you'll find it again? I always ask myself, "Where will I go looking for this in the future?" and I put it there even if it's in a ridiculous place. It's all about me finding it, not just storing it.

Equalising my emotions?

Sorting them, purging them, assigning them, containerising them...and equalising them. After all the work's been done to sort them out and organise them, equalising emotions is keeping a check on them to see that they're in balance, they're in line with the system (God, basically, and what He says) and tweaked when necessary.

Sounds good.

Okay, I'm going to click over to Julie Morgenstern's page to see what she had listed under SPACE - I didn't read it properly when I linked it earlier because I wanted to draw on my own experiences with her system and not on her words.

I'm reading her words with physical organisation in mind, but also emotional organisation...

Main points from her:

  • Do all the steps
  • Do them in order
  • I sort differently (out of the room), but that's fine I know it works for me. If I have a smaller amount of organising to do in a space I'll do it in the room. It depends on the situation. 
  • Yes, purging can be tough because what if I need this in the future and I chuck it out now? Some people have a halfway house for things in their space. They go in there for a while and if they've not been retrieved after a year, goodbye. 
  • "A simple maintenance program" - that's how she describes the Equalise step. Like it. 
  • "Annual 'tune-ups' will ensure your system keeps pace with your changing needs, possessions and priorities." Again, part of the Equalise step. Like it.

But what I like the most is the sub-heading at the top!

Taming the Chaos So You Can Make Your Unique Contribution

Ah yes, that's what it's all about.  

Do this...

S = Sort my emotions
P = Purge my emotions
A = Assign my emotions
C = Containerise my emotions
E = Equalise my emotions

...to tame the chaos so I can make my unique contribution to the world. 

Like it. 

Worth it. 

Doing it. 

Do the SPACE to make some space, so new things can come into the space! New things, good things. Yip, yip.

:o)