It's Black Friday y'all! Time to rush out and buy another flat screen and five new pairs of jeans at Macy's, right? Not for me. While I am a strong believer in a little retail therapy now and again, watching all the commercials for stuff has really made me realize what's important. The only place I would stand in a line for hours or push through crowds is a Black Friday sale at a fertility clinic. Buy one embryo get one free? Can you imagine?
Though living on IF Island has been rough, there have been some unintended consequences that I consider to be positives. I'm going to stay on the theme of gratitude and appreciation for as long as I have pumpkin pie in my belly, so this morning I'm going to share three positive unintended consequences of living the last three years with infertility. I'm not at all saying this has been a positive experience. I could write a book about the negative consequences, but trying to look for life lessons or growth helps train our mind to search for a little bit if light in an otherwise obvious oblivion of dark.
The first unintended consequence is that I no longer want stuff. I don't care about shopping or clothes or things. There is one thing in the world I want, and perhaps that has helped me straighten out my priorities and has led me to a much simpler lifestyle. Not that I was ever extravagant before, but now I really couldn't care less about things. We're on a bit of a tighter budget, which sucks on one hand, but also helps remind me what's important and what is frivolous. I think this is a good thing. I helps me not be wasteful or vain and prioritizes what's necessary. Love, food, and family.
The second unintended consequence is that Noah can talk about his feelings better, which has helped bring us closer. I married and emotional rock, not just in the sense that he is solid and strong, but also in the sense that there were times pre-IF when talking about feelings with Noah was like trying to milk a stone. Perhaps it was necessary at the time, because I've always been very....emotive and very comfortable sharing every single feeling I have every minute of the day. We joked that this imbalance in our personalities was why we worked together so well, but now that I've learned to rein it in a bit and he's learned to open up a bit, we've found a new balance that feels even better.
The third unintended consequence is that I've been able to be more mindful about my life and my thoughts and my body. I have a new relationship to the word "should" and the word "control." They've been replaced by the words "is" and "acceptance." When we tell ourselves we "should" be doing, thinking, or being something that we're not, were going to be unhappy. When we realize something just "is" we can better accept it and sit with the uncomfortable parts of whatever it is.
I know I "should" be a mom. I know that it isn't fair and I "shouldn't" have to go through all this. But I'm not yet a mom and this "is" what it is. I can lean into these hard moments with clarity and hope only when I can fully accept the situation I'm in.
While I don't think I needed IF to happen in order to learn some valuable life lessons, it happened, and is happening, so I may as well search for something positive to take away.