time to change the thinking

I’m tired of fiscal cliffs and mental health issues and gun control laws and emergency managers.

There are days that finding the joy is just too hard to do, even though I know I am one of the luckiest people in the world and do, in fact, have just about everything I need.

Tell me a happy story, you commenters out there.

I need some Christmas cheer.

7 Responses to “time to change the thinking”

  1. December 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Nothing happy that I’ve seen lately – sorry. Food is always a cheer-up option though

    • December 21, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Yeah, that helps. It was really nice of Grandpa to be willing to put himself on the naughty list to get grandson off of it. “Lord help us is right!” 😀 Keep ’em coming!

  2. December 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    You’re going to think I’m telling you a sad tale, but sometimes the sweetest parts of a story are those borne from sadness.

    I had my daughter, her conception a miracle in my eyes, twelve and a half years ago. Her father was deemed medically infertile, and later, having given up hope of having a child together, he went ahead with plans to become she. While my partner was on testosterone blockers and female hormones, I conceived our daughter. After her birth, though, things got rocky between her father and I, and it was a struggle for many years to get by and be a good mom, but we managed.

    Five years ago, after being with a new partner for a year, I’d become pregnant (somewhat expected), but then miscarried on New Year’s day. Later in the year, I became pregnant again, but couldn’t keep the child, and made some reproductive health decisions that turned out disastrous for my body. I spent the years since with horrible side effects from a week’s worth of choices — health issues I was beginning to think would lead to me never having another child, as I had wished.

    This April, my mother, still quite young in her mid-50’s, died unexpectedly after a sudden shift in her health. She was gone within a week of the severity of her symptoms coming to light. It might have been prevented a month earlier, but no one realized just how bad things were going to get, including her. When I got on a plane to Germany, I thought I was heading out to help her recover from her hospital stay, but she passed away when I was on a train to the hospital, the last hour of an 18-hour trip. I’d left my daughter with a friend because I knew I wouldn’t be able to give her the care she needed and help my step-dad with my mother. Though her potential death was known to me, I just couldn’t believe it could be happening so soon.

    Those first few months after were incredibly hard. My daughter took the blow far worse than I’d expected, and I’d known how close she and her grandmother were (always talking by phone and email), but still, it started to make me think I might be losing my little girl entirely considering how terrible was her grief. Despite my own, I pushed on, keeping up with all the obligations I’d intended, because there were so many things my mother would have wanted me to do. My partner and daughter have the same birthday, and I honored their previous wishes for their respective parties, doing my best to make them spectacular.

    Around that time, I also did what I’d been afraid to do — I asked a friend to drum for me, and went into a shamanic journey-styled meditation. I don’t know why I didn’t expect to see my mother, but I came out of the experience crying and had forgotten half of what she’d told me, until later.

    In August, after the birthday celebrations were over, I found out I was pregnant again. I was excited but worried about a repeat of my tragedies in 2007. Then I remembered my journey and my mother handing me a swaddled infant in my meditation. Since the news, my daughter and I have grown closer than we ever had been before, she’s been a constant companion helping me and reading bed time stories to her little brother. My father’s family who had originally treated me poorly for becoming pregnant with my daughter is embracing this new little life entering our collective, and even my partner, who’d been reluctant to have more children of his own, has become ever more loving and considerate to me, and more paternal and attentive to my daughter.

    It’s Solstice morning, and all I have but one song running through my mind: “Feeling Good” as covered by Nina Simone.

    Our son is due in April, the due date just a week before the anniversary of my mother’s death. It’s a bittersweet story, but I couldn’t be more thankful for this little gift. In some ways, it feels like she had a hand in bringing it to me.

    • December 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      And if that’s still too sad, here’s a picture of one of my “kittens” who thinks she’s a stocking stuffer:

    • December 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      “sometimes the sweetest parts of a story are those borne from sadness.. . ”
      I think usually the sweetest parts are those borne from sadness.
      I walked through a very dark period of life myself, although nothing like this. I look back on it now and realize that we never really know how any of it’s going to turn out. I read once that as long as you’re alive you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. I think that helps get through some dark days.

      I’m glad for your current happiness. It seems you are treasuring it, as well, and that’s really all that matters.

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