Goals & Intentions & Dreams

~ morning walks on the Venice Canals are good exercise & great morning meditations

A new year is coming up, so it is a time to make resolutions.  While I am resolute every, single day, I am a fan of these, as I think re-setting expectations for the year to come is a good use of one’s energy.  It is a re-commitment to one’s dreams; a promise to one’s self; an opportunity for a start-over on a path that may not be working.

In fact, I choose to take a new calendar year, a new age, and the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah as opportunities to re-state my expectations, which means at minimum three times a year I set goals.  Heck, sometimes even after a bad morning, I re-commit the afternoon to being better. I strongly believe in do-overs and to looking forward, and so will embrace the opportunity to do that with a clean slate, starting next week on the new calendar year.

As we enter ’13, I have the cliché goals:  I would like to go to the gym more and I would like to reduce my love affair with sugar.  Read: I would like to lose weight.

Frankly, though, I fear that I am not being reasonable with my goals thereby increasing a chance of disappointment on myself, and dear G-d, I do not need to suffer any more self-criticism than I already experience every – single – day.  People who have experienced the pain I have endured know what I am referring to:  It is the natural order for a mother to protect her child from harm, and the natural order for a woman to get pregnant.   I already failed Finley, my first son, since I was not able to protect him. I know intellectually that there was nothing more to do than what I did, and have made significant progress emotionally with believing that.  But it doesn’t change the math: I had a baby and he died, and as his mother, that is a load of guilt that as someone born half Catholic and half Jewish – I represent way too well.  And as a woman who has suffered deep sadness and angst because of my desire to be a mother and my failure to produce that result – I feel an extraordinary amount of pressure every – single – day.

Every day that I see a mother holding a baby; every day that I go back to the doctor to repeat the same action (or a derivative approach), and hope for a different result; every day that I am not able to honor my son and bring his brother or sister into this world – YET – I criticize myself, and I will not impose any more possibility for disappointment onto myself. The burden is too big; I can only do so much; even Atlas would shrug.

Once I am pregnant, which ostensibly starts after my next embryo transfer, I will not be able to go to the gym – as I will be high risk.  High risk, for anyone who doesn’t know, is the phrase that refers to the level of danger of pregnancy for a woman over a certain age, and a woman who has already been diagnosed with an incompetent cervix, like me.  Likely I will go to a high risk specialist in Santa Monica at around 8 or 9 weeks of pregnancy, one who comes highly recommended by people I know, and he will put me on some sort of modified or strict bed-rest, provide a handicap placard so that my physical exertion is minimal, eventually place me on disability, and so forth.

Funny – someone reading this might think of this as a sentence of sorts, whereas I look forward with GREAT excitement at the prospect of being 8 or 9 weeks pregnant and having an occasion to see this notable doctor.

I am definitely not pregnant now, though we will try naturally this month as our little frozen embryos wait for the right time to be placed inside of my gorgeous and accepting and warm and nurturing uterus (I like to imagine it like Jeanie’s home in the bottle in “I Dream of Jeannie”, only designed for babies), but I am in pre production, so there literally is not enough time in the day to go to the gym and do everything I have to stay ahead of the insane chaos that is my job to manage.  (An exciting job, I might add, the compensation for which – combined with Craig’s – allows us to continue chasing our dream of becoming parents, with costs mounting high enough for me to equate them to a down payment on a home in Los Angeles, though we currently reside in a 1-bedroom rented apartment since we put that potential down payment towards our future child’s or children’s chance at conception.)

Normal people with normal jobs are used to working 8 – 9 hours, maybe commuting for 1 – 2, and then going to the gym or a class of some sorts. But I don’t have a normal job, so since I can’t go to the gym with a sense of commitment and regularity, I refine my goal to at least walk to the end of the Venice pier or around the Venice canals a few times a week (at least we rent in a beautiful neighborhood!), as any form of exercise is better than none, and to just go to the gym and my hikes when I can.

Sober for almost 7 years, having quit cigarettes almost 6 years ago, drinking caffeine only during spurts of time that I know I am not pregnant and that I am not preparing for pregnancy, and having quit drinking my beloved decaf, no sugar added, vanilla latte with soy milk last year, since my acupuncturist said it was like drinking a shake for breakfast, I have kicked all of my bad habits except for candy and fried foods.  The fried foods I am not too worried about; while I hate when the waitress asks that riddle, “hash browns or fruit” and “fries or salad”, I suspect I can make the right decision more often than I have, without ruining every meal. The love affair I have with sugar is a bit more complicated.

Sometimes after a very rough day, having a piece of chocolate and watching a sitcom is my escape.  Sometimes it feels like the only moment that nobody is asking for anything from me.  Sometimes it acts like a sedative.  Or a reward for doing all that I do.  Or it’s a consolation prize for not that but for WHO I don’t have.

But sometimes it’s more than ‘a piece of’ chocolate; sometimes it’s 1/3 of a Lindt candy bar.  But it is my only unhealthy vice, and I hold onto it like a warm hug from someone I love. I would be setting myself up for failure if I go into ’13 stating that I will quit sugar, so perhaps I can refine that goal to something that is progress, but not one of my ridiculous attempts at a perfection that I can not achieve. I shall eat less sugar.  I will put pressure on myself eventually to eat even less sugar than what I start out eating starting next week; maybe I’ll even work on breaking the love affair I have with it.

Even more important than goals going into a new year, I believe, are one’s intentions.  I, for instance, intend to be pregnant in ’13; I will be pregnant this year, as Craig and I have a plan in action that will bring us our dream.  But I will go about getting pregnant differently than I have in these past three years:  I will embrace the knowledge that our baby or babies will come when they are ready, and in order to accept that and to really allow for that, I have to give up all of my delusions of power.

I will still do everything that I can do: I will take the medication at the exact time and in the exact dosage.  I will pray to those two little frozen embryos about which I recently dreamt, that are sitting in a freezer in Tarzana.  I will maintain my schedule that anticipates when my next period will come, after I finish shooting a commercial in New York in January, to determine when the next doctor’s appointment will be, at which we’ll decide if we go straight into more stimulation to create more embryos or work with the ones that are already waiting for us.

I will continue to do all of these things. But I will release the outcome to the universe.  I will know that when I listen to the universe, the universe talks to me.  I will accept that after every thing that I do as prescribed, there is a bit of magical fairy dust that needs to wash over our lives.  I can commit to recognizing when my ability to control has reached its limit.  I shall commit to being still in the knowledge that our dreams will come true.

While I am metaphorically chasing my butterflies with every ounce of my very core, I recognize that sometimes when you sit with your arms outstretched and your palms wide open, butterflies will land.

To a great new year, and to dreams coming true.

6 thoughts on “Goals & Intentions & Dreams

  1. I join in your prayer that those two little embryos will be in your arms soon! The baby or babies you and Craig welcome will be well loved and appreciated, indeed. Happy New Year, my friend! xo

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