I’ve been wondering why I’m so happy and content after my negative result and I think it’s because I’ve finally taken control of my life and have stopped simply waiting for things to happen. Even if this round didn’t work, at least I’m trying.
For the last five years, I’ve been sitting passively, watching my fertile years slip away and my friends start and complete their families, waking up every single day absolutely terrified at the prospect that I will never become a mother.
Almost exactly this time last year, I started dating a man I really, really liked who ticked every single box but was blowing hot and cold and driving me completely insane. I was in total confusion and the fabulous moments with him were outweighed 300 per cent by really crappy moments of just not knowing what the hell was going on. I knocked that on the head last December for my own sanity. Even if things had worked out with that guy, we’d be together only a year now and it would probably still be too early to consider the lifelong commitment of having a baby together. Babies were probably a million miles from his mind anyway; we weren’t dating long enough to find this out.
This July, I set up my own business. Rather than waiting for a job I liked to come my way, I decided to make my own. I’ve earned in three months what I earned in a year in my last job and I have a greater sense of satisfaction with work than I’ve had for many years.
I received a letter in the post a couple of months ago written by − me. I attended a six-week course on mindfulness meditation in February/March and in one of the last sessions the teacher asked us to write a letter to ourselves, which she would post in six months’ time. This took us all by surprise and we hastily scribbled down our thoughts.
When the letter arrived on 21 September, I had just been invoiced for my donor sperm and was pretty much ready for my first IUI. Plus, I was in the middle of my first three-month contract as a freelancer. So, the timing couldn’t have been more apt. I’m guessing this was not meant to be shared but, for what it’s worth, here’s what I wrote to myself on 21 March 2012:
When you receive this in July-September, hopefully you will be settled in a job you like and that is nurturing and enjoyable. Perhaps you will even have made plans to have a baby – you might even be pregnant. Or you may have met someone who might eventually help that to happen.
Whatever your situation, I hope that you remember these are the moments you have to live. You’ve spent far too much time and energy in your life worrying about what may or may not happen, or what did happen or should(n’t) have happened.
Your life is now – you are healthy and surrounded by a good family; you have shelter and friends. Life is made of a series of individual moments – make each one count.
Appreciate the good in what is happening now. And if it is bad, use your breath as an anchor. You have the security blanket of mindfulness meditation for the rest of your life. Practise it.
Be kind to yourself – you are perfect as you are. Be kind to others and wish them well – wish them and yourself safety, health, happiness and ease of being.
You only have moments to live – live them well and mindfully.
Apart from being surprised at my fine hand-writing and the lack of spelling mistakes (we were put on the spot and had about 15 minutes to write our letters), I had to smile when reading it, as everything was pretty much spot on. The letter made me realise that, at heart, we all know what we want from life, even if acknowledging and acting on that sometimes entails scary decisions. If I needed a reminder that my life was on the right path, this was it.
Even if you think mindfulness is a load of new-age psychobabble codswallop stolen from Buddhism, I’m sure you’ll agree that life is short and we have a duty to live it as well as we can. At the age of 39, my biggest regrets are about things I haven’t done, not things I’ve done.
No one else will make the right choices for us. Sometimes we just have to make things happen ourselves.
For the first time in several years, I see a happy future full of possibility.
And I just had two cups of lovely coffee :-)