new year's resolutions

La La Land: Good Movie, Lousy New Year’s Resolution

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So last week we discussed how “This Year I Will…Get Pregnant” is maybe not a great New Year’s resolution. This is sort of a follow-up to that. (Suddenly I feel like my sister who calls two weeks later and starts the conversation with “As I was saying…” instead of “Hello”.)

I think one of the biggest problems with making New Year's resolutions is that we don't know ourselves at all. So we take our goals way overboard to La La Land. Like when we want to lose weight in the new year. Why can’t we just start by trading soda for water or not parking in the fire lane because the actual parking lot isn’t close enough, instead of vowing to go to the gym four times a week to replace our habit of going to the drive-thru four times a week? Is that really going to happen? So every week, we’ll start strong: Sunday- the gym. Monday- the gym. Tuesday- McDonald’s, then the gym. Wednesday-Wendy’s, then the gym. Thursday- the gym, then KFC as a reward. (At least we could attempt a valiant compromise: Make Sunday our Chick-Fil-A day since they're closed.)

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And, if we’re truthful, sometimes in trying to have a baby we take our goals to La La land too. And like I mentioned last post, I'm all for optimism and positive thinking... but not La La land. La La land is for those quiet moments when you're driving and hear Jake Gyllenhaal whisper into your ear how fabulous you look over there driving with no make-up, a ponytail you haven't taken out for two days and your husband's sweats, (Now back to our originally scheduled post.)

A few women whom I know through infertility circles have told me that their goal for 2019 is "have a baby". Great! Throw it onto your vision boards and into your visualizations, prayers, mirror exercises and whatever else you do. That's exactly where "have a baby" belongs. It's a goal, but sometimes I think women make the mistake of putting it on their "to do" list instead. And that's what has kept so many with this 2019 goal so stressed out for all of 2018 and maybe 2017 and 2016. Let "have a baby" be the prize you keep your eyes on and then be open to how all of the details unfold. I know. Infertility makes us feel like we have no control over anything—especially once we start treatments. (Geez, they tell you when you can ovulate, when you can touch your honey bun… I always particularly enjoyed peeing during IVF. Peeing was all up to me. And since they did the pregnancy test at the clinic, not only could I pee any time I wanted, I didn’t have to do it on a stick… or on my hand.)

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So let's say first on the "2019 "To-Do" list is: "Find an egg donor".  There you go: Homework. Now, you may get into your egg donor research and by January 26th decide it's not for you. But during those two weeks you may have talked to someone or gotten back a test result that sparked a new path. The stress and hormones turn us all into nut-jobs but trusting our guts will keep us from doing any of the following:

"My husband has lazy sperm. This year I'll get his half-brother drunk &.... I hope the slow sperm thing runs on his mother's side."

"My doctor told me I'm having trouble conceiving because of my age. I think I'll find a different doctor and tell him I'm 28. Or... I did see something on the Discovery Channel about a time machine. Oh wait. That was on the Big Bang Theory... or the Flintstones."

"I think my problem getting pregnant is that we're just too tired to have enough sex. This year we'll both quit our jobs, buy a convertible, buy a condo in Maui on the beach... wait... What were we talking about?"

"This year, I'm going to find resourceful ways to generate more income so we can finally afford IVF. Hey, I hear egg donors get paid well. Wait, that doesn't make sense. Or does it?"

The idea is to find those teeny steps- those real tasks to keep you from feeling helpless and without direction while remembering: Every infertility success story you've ever heard is different than the one before. No two women seem to get there in exactly the same way. So forget comparing yourself or your situation and let your own story unfold.

I like yoga. (You probably already assumed I did because of my serene blogging demeanor.) Like an instructor I had, I like to eat right and exercise and strive to live a very happy, peaceful, long life. But she does frequent cleanses, is a strict vegan, and never eats junk food which in her world, includes anything cooked. It works for her. But if I started to eat that way I would live a very happy, peaceful, cleansed, two weeks. Then I'd shoot myself. I know me.

***********Thanks for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please subscribe to this blog / check out my book: It’s my own infertility / IVF / FET story. It’s recommended by renowned infertility professionals (reviews in “Look Inside” at Amazon link below) and has been read by 1000s of people like you, who are looking for a way to de-stress from infertility. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ / http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

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New Year's Resolution: This Year I Will... Get Pregnant

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For the past couple of years, we’ve been going to a lovely New Year's celebration downtown. It’s the exact same every year. Everything occupies the precise spot as the year before. As this was my fourth year, I could probably be the organizer next year if they needed me to: The juggler goes right there. The band is on that corner. The singing trolley ride picks up over there. And smack dab in the middle of it all is that damned six foot high “This Year I Will…” chalkboard wall looming over the festivities, taunting us, just daring people to walk over and fill in its blanks.

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It’s such a popular activity, I’m always hoping that a bunch of people will put: "This Year I Will... not selfishly hog the whole wall with my freakishly big handwriting."

Before committing to anything myself, as is my tradition, I checked out what others had written for inspiration and to be nosy. As per usual, the entries were pretty noble: "This year I will... be kinder." "... be a better daughter." "...volunteer more." "...be more patient." I wondered: Does this wall bring out the real decency inside all of us? Or just our socially acceptable side tailor-made for public consumption? It was 3 in the afternoon. Hmmm. I wonder what people would write in private… or under the cloak of darkness… or after they had imbibed a vat of New Year’s Eve self-esteem.

"This Year I Will... push my husband’s face into the living room window while he’s watching the neighbor mow the lawn in her bikini top."

"This Year I Will ... run down my neighbor for mowing her lawn in a bikini top.”

“This Year I Will… give my two weeks notice at work both verbally and with hand gestures."

"This year I Will... lose weight and keep it off at least until Valentine’s Day candy hits the shelves.."

So what about this: "This Year I Will... get pregnant"? Is that a valid resolution?

I don't think so. Not being negative here. Are you kidding? I believe in everything- universal energy, positive thoughts, visualization, the mind/body connection . Please: Put notes up everywhere: On your mirror, by your bed, in your wallet: "I'm pregnant!" and visualize every itty bitty detail of a positive pregnancy test over and over again and how you're going to tell your family and friends and everybody congratulating you. Looking at those notes over the next several weeks and months is the part we can control.

I think the mistake a lot of us make is to phrase it like a New Year's Resolution: "This Year I Will... get pregnant." So, what are you saying? Last year and the year before that you weren't really trying? All of the doctors and blood tests and ovulation kits, and temperature taking, and eating crap you would never eat, and the most unromantic romance you’ve ever had in your life was just practice? You’ve really been holding back on your efforts all of this time because you thought 2019 would look better on a birth certificate?

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“This Year I Will…get pregnant”? I don't know. Sounds kind of like a stressful, totally overwhelming resolution to me. Why can't we just set goals that are doable on a daily basis? Ones that actually have a simple action attached to it to get us going on the path?

"This Year I Will... try a new doctor. —Okay, so this afternoon I'll ask a friend I met on the support site if she likes her doctor or call that one in the next county and see how I feel talking to them on the phone."

"This Year I Will... start the adoption process.—Let me read up on it today and find out how to go about it.”

"This Year I Will... look into an egg donor.”

"This Year I Will... raise money for IVF."  

These are all things you can physically set out to accomplish. It just feels a lot more manageable than this mess:  "This Year I Will... get pregnant." Oh okay. Let’s go do that!

“But Lori, you don’t understand! We've been trying for three years. The names I picked out aren’t even in anymore. This has to be the year! We're the only couple in our group of friends who doesn't have a baby. My parents are the only ones who aren't grandparents! I just can't go to another baby shower for someone else. It's my turn to have the baby shower already! After all I’ve been through, I deserve it!"

Believe me, I know it's tempting to make: "This Year I Will... Get Pregnant!" a resolution. But if we make that as a resolution, we should also make another one: "This year I will... move into a mental institution." Whatever happens with the first resolution, we should definitely be able to keep the second one.

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I wish all of you a very happy, healthy, & productive new year! And if you’d like more laughs at infertility & IVF’s expense, come read about my personal story: The husband, the needles, the nurses, the waiting rooms, the nosy coworkers, the dumb advice, the money… This book is recommended by top fertility experts and has been read by 1000s like you who are looking to de-stress from all of the crappola. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/



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"This Year I Will... Get Pregnant"?

We went to a lovely New Year's Eve celebration downtown where they had a wall for everyone to fill in the blank: "This Year I Will..." My first thought was that a few people should have written: "This year I will... not selfishly hog the whole wall with my freakishly big handwriting."

I looked over the entries. They were all so noble. "This year I will... be kinder." "... be a better daughter." "...volunteer more." "...be more patient." I wondered. Did this wall bring out the real decency inside all of us? Or the politically correct us for public consumption? It was 3 in the afternoon. Would people write very different things after dark?: "This year I will... try not to kill my husband every time he watches the neighbor mow the lawn in her tank top." "This year I will... give my two weeks notice at work both verbally and with hand gestures." "This year I will... lose weight even if it means lopping off a limb."

Do we not put goals with deep personal meaning on a wall like that because we're not ready to face our goals up there, big as life? Does that mean, there's no turning back? Or do we just not want to share our innermost goals with anyone-- even anonymously?

So what about this: "This year I will... get pregnant"? Is that an actual, valid goal?

I don't think so. Not being negative here. Are you kidding? I believe in everything. By all means, put notes up everywhere: On your mirror, by your bed, in your wallet: "I will be pregnant in 2017!" Or: "I'm pregnant!" and visualize all the details of a positive pregnancy test over and over again and how you're going to tell your family and friends and everybody congratulating you. Looking at those notes over the next several weeks and months is the part we can control. The rest, leave to the Universe, God, your subconscious or whatever else you believe in to work out the specifics for you.

I think the mistake a lot of us make is to make it a New Year's Resolution: "This year I will... get pregnant." So, what are you saying? Last year you weren't really trying? You just thought 2017 would look nicer on a birth certificate so you didn't give this conception thing your all in 2016? I don't know. Sounds kind of like a stressful, totally overwhelming goal to me. Why can't we just set goals that are more doable on a daily basis? Ones that actually have a simple action attached to it? "This year I will... try a new doctor. (Okay, so this afternoon I'll ask a friend I met on the support site if she likes her doctor or call one in my area and see how I feel talking to them on the phone.") "This year I will... start the adoption process." (Let me read up on it.) "This year I will... look into an egg donor. "This year I will... raise money for IVF."  These are all things you can physically set out to accomplish. It just feels a lot more manageable than this mess:  "This year I will... get pregnant." What? How?

"We've been trying for three years. This has to be the year! We're the only couple in our group of friends who doesn't have a baby. My parents are the only ones who aren't grandparents! I just can't go to another baby shower for someone else. It's my turn to have the baby shower already! The names I picked out aren't even in style anymore. I've said them over and over in my head so many times, even I don't like them anymore!"

Believe me, I know it's tempting to make: "This Year I Will... Get Pregnant!" as a resolution. But if we make that as a resolution, we should also make another one: "This year I will... move into a mental institution." Whatever happens with the first resolution, we should achieve that second one by March, April at the latest.

(Happy New Year and Thanks for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please consider subscribing to my newsletter and/or looking at my little eBook above. It's been downloaded by thousands of infertility sufferers and professionals and has an average 4.5 stars from 63 reviews. What happened to that last 1/2 star, I couldn't tell ya. http://laughingisconceivable.com)

Part II: In 2011, I'll Quit Cursing, Watching Football, etc etc yeah yeah we know (Thursday)

(Start with "Tuesday" if you can. Take your time. If you start doing work too early in the day on January 6th, the higher-ups will expect you to be conscientious and hard-working for the rest of the year.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right: Making physical exercise part of your New Year's resolutions and the benefits of said resolution for the infertile. We were discussing how to and not to join a gym... One last note on that... before joining any gym: Take a good, hard, look at the people who go there.

And I'm not talking about the poor fashion choices people make at the gym. You probably don't want to look too hard at those:  The guy with the tight spandex bike shorts who's watching himself lift weights in the mirror; the woman running full speed uphill on the treadmill without benefit of a sports bra or any other bra for that matter; or the guy sweating profusely because he's running around the track in jeans for no apparent reason.

Groucho Marx is famous for saying:  "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member." When it comes to gyms, I feel the same way. If you're out of shape and serious about getting in shape, don't go to a place where not one person going there looks in shape.

Sure there might be some who are big and used to be a lot bigger. But not one person looks like they're physically fit? Something's up with that. It may be the kind of place that markets themselves to people who they expect will quit in a hurry. Cheap and easy to join. Cheap and easy to leave. 

Make sure the place looks like it's well-maintained: Clean and not a lot of broken machines that stay broken. They may be more interested in getting new people to join than keeping the ones they have. If they're best piece of exercise equipment is a revolving door, you may want to use it.      

Whether you go to a gym or start any exercise routine:  I know a lot of people think it's oh so much better to have a partner to exercise with. Except for "marital gymnastics" I don't agree.

They're a crutch. You're holding each other up. If your friend quits or moves to Topeka, what happens to your exercise program? They serve not only as a crutch but a good excuse: "Oh, I was going to walk today, but Nancy's getting waxed."

What type of exercise you do doesn't really matter as long as you like it and can truly see yourself doing it often. Anything that keeps your body moving and will get your heart rate up for twenty minutes at least three times a week. Power walk, play volleyball, shop lift... anything.

Listen, I gotta go. My husband and I are in the midst of planning a big night out tomorrow. We have a lot to choose from here. On the first Friday of the month, everything stays open until nine. Woo-hoo.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow when I'll discuss more about the benefits of all this to the infertile...at least I think I will...depends which voice in my head is feeling chatty.

Part II: In 2011, I'll Quit Cursing, Watching Football, etc etc, yeah, yeah we know (Wednesday)

(Start with "Tuesday" if you can. After a holiday weekend, everybody knows nobody does any real work until at least Thursday anyway.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How to make a successful New Year's Resolution. Well, last week I went on and on about the ills of fast-food, most of which I probably wrote while waiting in line at a drive-thru. (You know the old saying: "Do as I say, not as I stuff my esophagus.") 

What it's all about for me with those who have infertility is controlling what we can control in the totally out of control world of infertility. And exercise to me is a big part of that. (Hey, where'd everybody go?) Wait! Come back! New Year's resolutions to exercise are among the funniest... I promise.

I had a friend whose New Year's Resolution one year was to run a marathon. Okay, if he'd been a runner this would have made sense. If he'd been a jogger, even, it would have made some sense. But the fact that he was a guy who kept a bucket next to the bed so he wouldn't have to get up and walk ten feet to the bathroom to pee... this resolution made no sense.

Who was he kidding? Needless to say, I heard the only marathon he partook in that year was held at a bar.

Most people make resolutions to exercise. And most people make ridiculous resolutions to exercise. Exercising is a great goal--especially if you're dealing with infertility.

1) You'll have something else to exercise besides your obsessive thinking muscles: "Is this treatment working? Is this doctor working? Are my ovaries working? Is this bag and these shoes working with the hospital gown?"

2) Oh, those endorphins... those lovely little protein molecules that we give ourselves when we exercise. Finally something in our system to beat the hell out of our depression and whatever other chemical imbalances may be brought on by the stresses of infertility... not to mention all of the hormones we keep dumping into our bloodstreams.

Lots of people decide they'll take the gym route. My main meaningless advice on this one would be: "Fine. Just don't be an idiot."

1) If you've never gone to a gym before more than as a guest, don't spend $2000 to join one. If you do, you may as well add to your resolutions list: "Be a dumbass". So at least if you plunk down that kind of money and then quit after a month, you'll at least have one resolution to check off your list. 

My sister goes to some Mickey Mouse operation that has "free pizza" days and "bagel breakfasts", so I'm thinkin' this gym doesn't promote low carb diets. But it's ten dollars a month with no contract and all you can eat. Can't beat that. Not many gyms come with a buffet.

So, yeah, if you're a serious gym-goer, you ain't going to waste your time on it, but if you want to get a feel for whether or not you'd stick to a routine and be comfortable in a gym environment, it's a cheap no-obligation way to do it.

2) Before you join anything: Figure out when you're going to go to the gym. No, really... If you hit the snooze alarm three times in the morning, forget about "before work". No triple snoozer is ever going to do step class at 5 am.

Know when you're at your peak mentally and when physically. I can write in the morning or night. (I'm writing this at night. Does it make any sense at all?) I can't put four words together in the afternoon...But I'm good to run in the afternoon. Don't try to talk yourself into something that's against your natural grain. Like me:

"I'll run at night." No I won't. That's when I'm tired. That's when American Idol will be on."

3) Once you've decided what time of day and what days are good for you: Pick a gym that makes sense for that time. Why are you joining a place near your job if you won't be going there before or after work? Oh right. You're going to go to a gym that's a forty minute drive from your home on the weekends. No you won't. Who does that? No, I'm telling you, you won't. But if you did, you'd get to check off that "dumbass" resolution a second time.  

Listen, I gotta go. I've had this head cold for a month and it's time to give it an Advil snack. I could probably take something stronger to clear my head but I don't want to lose my creative edge.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.