Me, basically pretend-blogging. Actually wine-drinking.

Welcome to my blog!

There is also a list of previous AND upcoming blogs.

So you always have something to look forward to. You're welcome.

But first, enjoy this bit of ironic truth:

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The Most Personal of Essays: A True Story from & for the Truly, Involuntarily, Childless

 me, the week before the rio Olympics, 2016.   Beach. brasil .  boobs . (Where’s the booze?)

me, the week before the rio Olympics, 2016.

Beach. brasil. boobs. (Where’s the booze?)

Mourning the absence of something that was never there is a solitary kind of pain.

Sometimes it hits me from the smallest thing:

A little blonde kid at a grocery store, wanting some sugar cereal.

My friends’ kids, smiling at their parents.

Reading about some celebrity who’s having a baby at, like, 50.

Last night, it was when the takeout was arriving at our apartment, and I went to the kitchen to get the plates. Two plates. Not 3 or 4. Two. The space where more plates should go just sitting there empty, loud, lonely. Reminding me of what is absent. And, more, what will never be.

It’s why I sometimes can’t talk about your kids with you. I’ll change the subject or just half-listen, nodding along.

It’s why I will find myself almost glaring at people who have more than one kid, or at a glowing pregnant woman.  (When undergoing fertility treatments, I once got on the elevator to the doctor’s office with a woman with four kids, who was also pregnant. I had to close my eyes and count to ten. Not my proudest moment.)

It’s why I will NEVER ask another human being if they have kids of their own, and why I sometimes take a pause if you ask me if I do.

It’s why I brace myself, after telling you that I don’t have kids, for you asking why not, encouraging me to do so, telling me, “don’t give up,” or (my personal favorite in the “unsolicited & unwanted ‘advice’” category) encouraging us to adopt. Please, let’s call a moratorium on that. Some people, my dear friends, do end up truly, involuntarily, childless. And any opinions or seeming-encouragements are just daggers right to the heart.

It’s why I will have a hard time not telling you to f**k off when you complain about your kid. Sometimes I’ll blurt, “at least you have a kid,” then brace myself for the inevitable, “want mine?” Please, let’s call a moratorium on that “joke,” too. No, I don’t want yours.

I want my own.

It’s why I sometimes can’t look at photos of your kids on IG or FB (much less click “like”), and why I have to avoid going on social media on Easter, the first day of school, & Halloween. And why I’ll snooze or even unfollow you if you start posting sonogram photos of the happy baby inside you. My heart can’t take it.

Am I happy FOR you? Yes. But, WITH you? I’m still working on that.

Before you ask, I have done therapy, different kinds, over the years. I have tried meditation, prayer, group therapy, talking about it with select friends, then tried not talking about it at all. I’ve tried drugs, prescribed ones and semi-legal ones, at least in some states. I finally landed on white wine, which is where I am now. Healthy? Nope. Self-medication? You betcha.

When I look down the long barrel of my future, it shows my husband and me, but that’s it. Yes, we are happy. But when we grow old, there will be no one there with us. (And, I know that there are some people who have children and who still won’t have that. Not helpful, Captain Obvious.) But what to do with all of that alone-ness? I won’t know until it happens. Sometimes it all seems pretty dark.

Most of you people with children say right about now, “be grateful for having a life that is still your own,” or “having kids isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” Got it. Also not helpful. Most of the time I am very grateful for all that I have. This isn’t about that.

This is about grief.

Grief, plain and simple.  Just like following a death, it comes in waves, sometimes far apart, sometimes small, but nonetheless, there, under the surface, ready to pop out on a moment’s notice. Like at the grocery store.

This is usually the part of these “we-want-to-have-kids-so-bad” essays where you are told that, after years of trying, fertility treatments & then giving up, bam! We finally got pregnant! Nope, that’s not how this story ends.

For now, this story is about looking on the bright side, like that we’re taking the time and money we would have spend on kids and filling it with near-constant travel & fun & adventure. We’ve been to 2 Olympics overseas & plan to go to more. We eat out a lot. We laugh even more. We have a kitty cat who is the center of our lives (so, SO many cat pics sent back & forth betwixt us). I have great, fabulous, life-long friends, who will be with me until the end.

(And, my boobs are relatively perky for a girl my age.)

For now, this story is about me forgiving myself for not having a kid, for not giving our parents a grandchild, for longing for something I don’t have when I already have so much, for being snarky in this very essay, and for sometimes drinking too much Chardonnay.

For now, this story is about looking at the second half of my life with altered expectations and trying my absolute damndest to look forward to it.

But, truly, for now, I’ll settle for not feeling resentment when I spot you with the little tow-headed, blue-eyed kid in the cereal aisle of Kroger. And I’ll try my best not to buy him the Coco-puffs.

Try.

Your Intuition, Part One: You know it, you just don’t know you know it

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Welcome to Intuition Land!

This introductory post is basically two things, other than the first of many on this topic: 1) a summary of the lecture I used in my classes for YEARS on the topic of intuition (which saved more than one life, because of the book upon which it is based); and 2) a love letter to Gavin deBecker’s the Gift of Fear, which is where most of this information comes from (and when I mention chapters, that book is what I am referring to). This essay is also a great explanation on how to listen to your instincts. And while you’re at it, read this, listen to this, become a Murderino, & stop. being. polite.

First, let’s start with a definition. Intuition is, among other things, knowing something without knowing either how you know or why you know (or even that you know). It is a system in which our brains reach conclusions without immediately telling us that it’s reaching conclusions. And when the stakes are high, intuition becomes:

      A brilliant internal guardian standing ready to warn you of  hazards and guide you through risky situations. It also is neither logical nor emotional. It is a cognitive process, wherein your brain jumps from A to Z without stopping at any other letter along the way.

Let your intuition do the work, & listen when it speaks to you, in one of these many ways:  

Nagging feelings, Persistent thoughts, Humor, Wonder, *True* Anxiety (a post on false anxiety is coming soon.), Curiosity, Hunches, Gut feelings, Doubt, Hesitation, Suspicion, Apprehension, & True Fear (– From Chapter 4). There are several appearances by Mr. de Becker on TV shows, in which he explains in more detail why these things above are true.

What else do you need to know? The basics:

  • Your intuition always reacts in response to something.

  • It always has your best interest at heart.

  • When someone tries to talk you out of your intuition, get away from them now.

•   Behavior is predictable. We predict behavior all day, every day; the myth that we can’t do so is wrong and dangerous for us, as that mentality allows us to ignore what we KNOW to be true..

•  Stop judging. Judgment of another person or situation is the ‘great enemy’ of intuition.

•  Context is much more important than content. The Rule of Opposites can help with this.   “We recognize all things by the existence of their opposite….All types of behavioral predictions can be improved by applying the rule of opposites.”   (Ch 5). This is often how we know something is amiss, and out of context. Your intuition is always on the lookout for what is out of context, so you don’t have to. Ask yourself this: What kind of behavior would be normal or appropriate in this situation, and am I seeing that behavior now?

The bottom line is this: let your intuition (not bogged down by logic & emotion) guide you, including letting it guide you towards answers to all your relationship questions. If we think don’t know the answer, we need to make a “random” guess. It won’t be random. And we will usually be right.

Now, if you are anything like my students (and, oh, I hope you are.), you likely have questions and arguments that include the idea of “guardian angels.” Hey, I don’t dismiss angels*, but it also can live hand-in-hand with deBecker’s book. On the other side, if you’re one who doesn’t believe in angels, don’t dismiss the fact that intuition is also a cognitive process, just faster than your logical brain can possibly recognize. Other questions, please post below. I look forward to it!

That’s enough for an introduction. Please buy the book in the meantime. Upcoming posts will include the signs of manipulation or lying; breakups; how and why to avoid unnecessary worry (“What?! I have to worry! Worry is my jam! I can’t help but worry!”) A, no, you don’t. B, no, it’s not. C, yes, you can. Worry is a choice, one that gets in the way of your intuition. And D, your life will be so much better once you stop worrying and calm the eff down.

Until then, stay Veracious, my fellow Voyagers. Stay Veracious.

-VV

*There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - Hamlet