Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflecting on 2014, Family-building, and Possibilities

With the new year on the horizon, I've been in a little bit of a panic. I am no stranger to anxiety and panic attacks, and while this hasn't risen anywhere near to the level of panic attack (with work over the years, those appear to have mostly been dealt with), the anxiety is nevertheless present. I just cannot believe 2014 is over! Where did it go? I've been feeling like I must not have done anything with it because it barely seems to have existed! 2013 was by far one of the worst years of my life - I lost a baby and my dad, among others. I remember being at the end of 2013 and thanking God for both the blessings 2013 had brought (my sweet, silly kitty, for one), and that it was OVER. But this new year's eve, I feel so desperate for MORE of 2014! 
Then someone reminded me of some of the great pictures I'd posted through the year, and I decided to go back through them and make a collage for myself of a handful of amazing moments and memories from the year. I am SO glad I did!
Of course this year wasn't perfect. I lost a grandfather. And amazing experiences don't just fall into your lap (98% of the time). You have to work for them, persist, and be ready for the unexpected. That's exactly what I did. At the beginning of the year, I had several goals: Become a life coach by taking and finishing the UC Davis program (done), incorporate my business (done), become a public speaker (not yet), finish a first draft of my first novel (not yet), put our house on the market so we can by our dream home (done), pick an adoption agency (done), finish our adoption agency application (not yet), plan and take a 3-4 week trip overseas (done), visit my husband's side of the family (done), work on a few close friendships (ongoing), and lose 15 more pounds or 1 more clothing size (LOL).
You can see that some goals were met while others weren't. To be fair, though, it was a bit ambitious. Probably unrealistic. But OMG, what an amazing year it led to! I made incredible friends in my coaching class, and got to see things out in the world that so overwhelmed me, I was overcome with tears of joy while in their presence. No wonder I want MORE of 2014!
On the one hand, my list, as a set of goals, was unrealistic and overwhelming. People ask me why I haven't made more progress on the adoption paperwork - why I seem to be putting it off. Some of it might be that I'm procrastinating from a fear of failure, but honestly, it's because when it comes to building my family, well, I have more control over the outcome of other things. Admittedly, we need a better support community for us to move forward through the adoption process, so that's something I'll be looking for in 2015.
But if, instead of viewing my overwhelming, unrealistic list as one of goals, we view it as a list of possibilities, then WOWZERS! Anything can happen!
People are different, and while some do well with goals, some of us, including myself, thrive under a looser construct. We need space for creativity and bounce back faster from the unexpected when we aren't constricted by what we see as boundaries and rules that our Gremlins tell us we should be following and make us feel bad if we don't.
My resolution for 2015 is this: Instead of goals, I will have possibilities. Because that's really what they are anyway.
Are you more motivated by goals or possibilities? How did you do with them last year? How do you think this applies to building your family or coping with infertility?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wave of Light 2014

I am the mother of 4 children who will never have a birthday.

Every year on this day, people like me who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss, and others who support us, light candles in acknowledgement of our losses and to help spread awareness. I learned of this and began my participation after my first two miscarriages, in 2010. That was the year I discovered an amazing community of bloggers and tweeps who shared my struggles. I hope if you have this in common with us and haven't reached out, that you will. We are here for you. 

Here is my Wave of Light for 2014. This year is a little different - we have an overly curious kitten, so no open flame this year.  Nevertheless, here's to my babies in heaven, Athanasios, Barbara, Cecilia, and Diomedes. My prayers are always with you, and I hope you're surrounded by the love of your grandpas, too.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Hello my loyal and lovely readers! In case you hadn't noticed, I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus. A lot has happened in the last year, since my last post. The last time I blogged I talked about things happening in my life and feeling like clay being shaped by unseen forces. Since then, my dad died, a kitten showed up at our house and adopted us, I traveled to three other countries, I started a new business, another friend died, and we are moving forward with choosing an adoption agency!
But, none of that is what this post is about. Because you see, Thursday is the start of BlogHer 2014! It's being held in San Jose, where I partially grew up, and driving distance from where I now live. That fact has inspired me to reboot this blog, and start a couple of others to support my brand new website going live any day now! I hope you will all do me the honor of reading what I have to say over there as well, when those blogs are up and running.
One of the primary hotels conference attendees are staying at is the Fairmont in San Jose. I just stayed at the Fairmont for my 20-year high school reunion this weekend. And yes, I will be back on Wednesday for BlogHer. But after my stay I have a few tips to share! 1) Join the President's Club to get free WiFi. 2) The in-room minibar is very thorough, and of course also very expensive, and very sensitive! If you move anything you will be charged for it as well as a room service fee. 3) The Fairmont hotel parking is valet only. 4) If your car is a hybrid, you pay half for overnight guest parking. 5) At least some of the valet parking is out in the sun. When I got my car back it had clearly been sitting in the sun all morning. My plan on Wednesday is to tip a valet a few extra dollars when he takes the car, show him the sun visor and ask him to put it in the windshield when he parks the car. 6)The valet/bell hop system is poorly managed and understaffed. My experience this weekend was that when a conference is checking out on Sunday, they do not have bell hops available to come to your room and get your luggage at check out time. The wait to have your car retrieved gets very backed up. Maybe it's better if you check out earlier on Sunday, but I would give yourself plenty of extra time if you are on a schedule on Sunday and need to get a car out of the Fairmont's hotel parking.
Also, regarding transportation: if you are driving around the Bay Area, make sure to carry cash for bridge and road tolls. The lowest I know of is $5. And, if you are planning on using public transit, please research it first. Ours is not as convenient or thorough as many back east.
Let me know if you have any other questions about the Fairmont or anything related to San Jose. I will do my best to answer them!