At the start of 2017, I texted one my very good friends and said “2017 is going to be year of birth for me. I’m either going to birth a baby, or I’m going to write a book and… ‘birth’ that.”
Spoiler alert: neither of those things happened.
And I felt like a tremendous failure. But then I stopped and thought about it.
- I spent more time putting pen to paper and am further along in a first draft (12 chapters in and counting!) than I ever have been before.
- I’m in a place in life where I’m able to start looking into the medical reasons behind why Baby Hunt is perhaps being prevented.
- My husband, uncle, and I ‘birthed’ a small business. It’s still very small and weak and fragile, but right now it’s our baby. I feel very Mama Bear protective of it and I am excited to see it grow and develop.
- I quit my first real world, grown-up job. And I started a new one. And that whole process took a lot out of me. It was terrifying and anxiety-inducing. But I really have been able to turn over a whole forest’s worth of new leaves. The change has proven beneficial in every facet of my life and I’m really grateful for that.
- I’ve dedicated time and energy to pursuing hobbies and interests that got tossed by the wayside. I’m starting to feel like I have a LIFE outside of work and I have passions and interests and dreams outside of my classroom. And that is incredibly freeing.
So that verbiage of ‘birth’ didn’t happen at all in the way that I intended it to. But it still happened.
I jumped on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon like NONE OTHER this year. In previous years I’ve had vague ideas of things that I could potentially improve on, but I never devoted much time or mental energy into making plans. Just… meh.
But it hit me hard this year, for a multitude of reasons.
First, Dean came to this realization first when the song ‘100 Years’ by 5 for Fighting came on the radio: but we’re both turning 25 this year. That’s a quarter of a century. That’s 1/3-1/4 of our life (KNOCK ON WOOD), over. And yes, it’s all perspective and that’s nothing to a great percentage of the population. But still, it’s a milestone.
Next, having time off from work for 2 weeks at Christmas time to just sit and reflect and realize that I have 2 full non-work weeks to do whatever I want… it gave me a lot of time to think about those things I enjoy when work ISN’T my priority. I have hobbies! I’ve found them in the last 6 months! And I really enjoy them and would like to be a little more well-balanced in my time so that I can enjoy them further.
And lastly–but this really is the main one I think: The number one thing I realized is that birth/baby/pregnancy CANNOT be my number one goal for this year. It simply can’t. Because I can’t control that. My ovaries getting their act together and my uterus being on-board with this plan–it’s not something I can consciously force to happen. And I refuse to let my emotions and the value I place on myself be dictated on something outside of my own control. I will do everything in my power to set my body up for success, but… ultimately it’s not in my control.
So with all of those factors combining, I had a lot of uninterrupted time and a burst of motivation to really get my life together. I had tried to get into bullet journaling over the summer and I really got back into it over Christmas break. I poured over Facebook groups and Pinterest boards for ideas to journal about to get my life together. To prioritize more.
To be more intentional.
And I stumbled across an idea of people making bucket lists (for lack of a better phrase) of things that they want to do before they hit a certain milestone.
In my case: 25 things before age 25.
I’m not going to share all of them (because some are personal and embarrassing) but for accountability’s sake:
- Finish the first draft of this book that I have really always wanted to write (which really is terrifying even to admit outloud but here we go)
- Finish my Montessori Lower Elementary teaching credential
- Visit the Grand Canyon
- Read 25 books
- Walk 25 miles 25x (which is 625 miles, if you’re playing along at home)
- Try 25 newrecipes
- Watch 25 classic movies
- Watch 25 documentaries
- Create 25 new blog posts
- Complete 25 hours of community service
- Attend the temple every month and be 100% in visiting teaching
- Go through the Personal Progress program again
I didn’t want to write about this and post it January 1, only to lose all motivation and not be following up on any of these things by January 10. But hey, it’s January 15 (halfway through the month!) and I’m doing fairly decently.
I’ve read 3 books: “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexander Dumas, “Shakespeare’s Secret” by Elise Broach, and then today I just finished “Xenocide” by Orson Scott Card.
I’ve completed 6 hours of community service.
I’ve gotten a couple of experiences done in Personal Progress.
I’ve also gotten some mileage in towards that 25 miles 25x goal. Honestly speaking, this will be the one that will kill me. Another one of my goals on this list is to run a 5K and actually run the whole thing (I’ve done 3 before, walking/jogging). I’m optimistic!
Plus, once this is posted I’ll be one post closer to that goal of 25 by August 😉
Right now, my whole plan to maintain my sanity is to focus on what I can control. I can control how many books I read (and how often I read!) and I can control kicking myself out of the house to go for a nice long walk. So my downtime is all about maximizing my efforts in those capacities.
How arrogant do I have to be to feel like the only way for me to progress right now is to become a mother? I am a deeply flawed human being and have no shortage of things to improve on. I have so, so many weaknesses. There are so many ways to occupy my time that will allow me to grow and progress and develop as an individual. And that’s what I’m trying to do.
I’ve felt SO much peace since about mid-November when I first called and made that first initial ‘hey we’ve been trying for a while but…nothing’s happening’ appointment with my OBGYN. So much peace and comfort knowing that I really am doing what I need to be doing to move that along. It has been a slooow process (today’s appointment: ‘hey, yeah those tests look good, come back in 3 weeks for another test. That’ll be $75 thanks!’). Today I backslid HARD into the hopelessness and the ‘woe is me’. I just cried it out for… a while.
And then, I made myself sit down and open the book I’m reading. And focusing on the plight of the aliens trying not to be killed by the other aliens, really helped me get out of my martyrdom rut. I got to hit the ‘Finished Reading’ button on Goodreads and, it’s silly, but I felt accomplished. I’ve been trying to finish ‘Xenocide’ off and on for a little under 2 years now. I needed that motivation to stop feeling sorry for myself and do something with my day.
If this is the year of Baby Hunt, that baby will be received with so much love and gratitude.
But if not, that’s ok.
Because I have stuff to do, goals to accomplish, and progress to achieve.
So, if you have:
- tips about the Grand Canyon
- book recommendation
- recommendations about books on Audible (listening to ‘Sense and Sensibility’ while I walk and I’m almost done!)
- community service ideas in Las Vegas
- date ideas
- recipe ideas
- documentary recommendations
- blogpost recommendations
- or just “get your life together” recomendations
…let me know 😉