Thought I’d start with a couple of random updates before I get to what’s really been on my mind as of late:

  • LG and I went to the acupuncture info meeting on Monday.  I found it very interesting, and I’m looking forward to adding it to the protocol for this cycle.   I do wish I’d started earlier as the instructor said they usually recommend two to three months before a cycle, but she said there can still be a benefit, so I’m more than willing to try.  I have my intake appointment tomorrow, so more to come.
  • 7 Days to my leave!  I’m really looking forward to getting some space from work – especially being front and center for the layoffs, salary freezes, restructurings, etc.  During the leave I plan to:
    • Take part in integrative therapies including acupuncture, yoga, and fertility-enhancing massage
    • Cook
    • Organize my recipe file
    • Visit the local zoo on a nearly daily basis to watch the white cheeked gibbons – my favorite animal
    • Try my hand at watercolors
    • Update my blog more frequently
    • Explore my Budding Life Plan…more on this below
    • Relax and grow great follicles which will hopefully turn into solid embryos which will hopefully turn into a healthy, happy baby.

Now – Part II of this post.

I’ve written before about how important my sister is in my life.  We became very close after she graduated from college (she’s 3.5 years younger than I am) and since then, she has been my rock.  The person who knows exactly what I need to hear in the moment, whether it’s a sympathetic ear, words of comfort or encouragement, or even a buck-up speech.   She knows the ins and outs of what we’re going through with the infertility and has gone above and beyond in being a great listener and really seems to understand the struggle.  As much as someone with 2 kids, one of whom she and her husband refer to as their “one-shot wonder,” can that is.

Lately, however, it feels like we’ve been really out of sync.  It started with some off-hand comments she’s made about my nephew, whom I’ll call Truck in honor of his one true love.   Truck is just shy of 3, a total charmer, and an inveterate trouble-maker who has been giving his mom fits as of late.  A few times we’ll be on the phone and he’ll be acting up in the background, and she’ll say something like “I’m going to send him up to you and LG for a week…see how badly you want kids after that!”  I’ve been trying to figure out why that gets to me as much as it does without really coming up with an answer.   I really believe she’s not making light of our situation – I think she’s reacting more to her own frustrations in the moment, but it still rankles.

To describe the next part of the out-of-sync puzzle, I have to take a step back.  As my small but beloved circle of readers know, I’ve been really struggling with my current career of HR.  The question I have been unable to answer up to this point is if not HR, then what.  To that question, I’ve been coming up bone dry, which has led to a premature mid-life crisis of sorts.

A number of possible career paths have flitted through my mind – some dwelling a little longer than others – but none have felt reason for one reason or another.  I’ve thought about going back to school to be a doctor but have disqualified that because not sure how I would do that at my age especially if we are blessed enough to have the children we so want.  Medical school at 38 followed by a residency – all with small children in the house – seems more than I want to take on.  Then, I’ve thought about nursing, but the type of nursing I think I want to do involves a significant amount of schooling and practical experience, so it would be a good 8 years or so before I was really working in the capacity I want to…and again, with IF treatments, (hopefully) small kids, etc it seems like more than I want to take on.

I’ve also considered psychology as I’m often told that I’m a good listener,  but if one thing HR has taught me is that I have very little patience with people who want to wallow in a situation of their own making and then not take steps to get themselves out of it.  I am by no means saying that this applies to the vast majority of  people who seek psychological counseling. When I say this, I’m thinking more of my own personal experience when I was in several years of therapy for an eating disorder and spent the better chunk of that time resisting every minute of it.  (Thankfully, thanks to the patience and skill of the wonderful LSW I was working with, I finally was able to breakthrough…so I know first hand the value but also how frustrating the process can be for all involved.)  On the whole, I think that seeking professional counseling is a very courageous act that people make when they know they need to make changes in their life.  It’s just that sometimes those changes are a long time in coming, and I don’t know if I have the patience to see people along on that journey and as a result, I think I’d either burn out quickly or be ineffective.  Then there are the offshoots of HR that I’ve considered – Learning & Development, freelancer creating e-learning curriculums, etc, but all of those seem like same thing, different wrapping.

Then, last week I stumbled onto an idea that is too hare brained, too fantasy laden at this stage to write about specifically, so I’ll just refer to it for now as my Budding Life Plan.  If it starts to take shape, I’ll definitely write more about it, but suffice it to say that for the first time in a long time, I’m really excited about an idea.  I’ve talked about it with LG, who is usually very practical and slow to accept things that (a) distract us from our primary priority of family building and (b) require significant change, but he gets how this idea addresses all the things I’ve said I want out of a career and is supportive.  I’ve talked with my mother (also a paragon of practicality – which this idea is not) and she thinks its a fabulous idea.  Then, I told my sister – my cheerleader, the person I go to to help me dream and dream bigger and…she laughed at me.  Completely mocked the very concept of the Budding Life Plan and then mocked me for what she termed yet another  “idea of the week.”

Maybe I caught her at a bad time.  (Truck was yelling in the back seat of a the car.)   Maybe in my excitement I didn’t articulate the idea and it sounded even more hare-brained than it is.  Maybe she’s growing weary of what I admit is increasingly a 2 track conversation with me…want a kid, hate my job.  It’s just that my expectations of her are so high because of what she’s always been to me – my soft place to land – that to find that soft place replaced by a mocking hard surface was jarring and hurt… a lot.

I know I need to talk with her about it and probably ease up on my expectations of her, because forcing her to teeter on a pedestal isn’t fair to her.   I have a sense it’s going to take us some time to get back in sync.


6 Responses

  1. I totally understand the HR burn out, I hope your leave totally refreshes you and gives you some time to think and put everything into persepective amongst the fertility stuff.

    I can’t wait to hear what your Budding Life Plan is.

  2. Enjoy the acupuncture. It has really helped my DH and I am starting tomorrow as well. Happy I found your blog, will be checking in on your journey. Happy ICLW!

  3. I hope you get around to yoga on your time off! I think it’s a life saver.

  4. I, also, am very much looking forward to hearing more about your Budding Life Plan. It sounds very intriguing.

    Regarding your sister…I have a younger sister who fell off a pedestal–we actually didn’t speak for over a year. Looking back I can see that I fell off MY pedestal for her a while before that–and that was just a case of my learning and growing and becoming who I am today. We have a good relationship today, but we also spent a lot of time growing while separate, so we are kind of on different paths right now. I don’t know if this is helpful, it’s just my story and I wanted to tell you that I understand about sisters and disappointment and pain. Things always get extra-complicated with family. I hope that things get to a much better place with the two of you really soon.

  5. I can’t wait to hear more about this Budding Life Plan! I went through two different master’s programs and the accompanying job changes before finding a career I love. It takes courage to make a change “late in the game” (i.e. after we’ve had a respectable career with solid income and beyond a certain age in life) but it can be oh-so rewarding!

  6. Hi Callie, Glad to see you’re back. Hope #3 goes great for you & LG.

    I can totally understand your sister woes, as I have been in a similar place. Unfortunately, we never addressed the issue and things have become very strained between my sis and I. (Since then other things have transpired that have cemented the rift, but they were post-drift.) I highly recommend talking it out. Just a strangers two cents on something that’s totally not my business, anyway 🙂

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