Two updates, coming right up. But first, Rule Number Two:
Some people believe there is real, magical power in extreme positive thinking, in living "as if", or at least repeating, mantra-style: I have the body of a supermodel, the bank account of Oprah Winfrey, and a healthy baby on the way. Life is fabulous. I don't mean to demean this practice (or supermodels, or Oprah, or babies, or fabulousness). I also don't mean to suggest that I believe there is no such magical power. Frankly, I don't know, and truthfully, it doesn't matter, because, magic or not, in many circumstances, I am convinced that visualizing success works.
One thing I do know: doing so forces a change of perspective. It is good to ask yourself, when feeling fat and poor and sad, whether your intention is to take your mind off of the pain (by consuming a pint of ice cream, a lottery ticket, and a good movie, for instance) or to make peace (with your flab, your childlessness, and your second-hand everything), or is your intention to make change? There is no correct answer. The important thing is simply to ask!
I like David Allen's line (I've quoted this before): "Whatever has your attention needs your intention engaged." In other words, in order to visualize success, you need to address the question: In this particular circumstance, for me, what DOES success look like?
It's a good question for me right now. So much is changing.
I'll give more details soon, but in a nutshell, two things:
1. Tomorrow, my stepson will move three hours north to complete the academic year, possibly all five remaining academic years before college, at a better school, living with his mother. My mixed feelings contain a double-shot of relief, and smaller jolts of worry, guilt, and sadness. For J~, of course, it is much more intense. He is alternately excited for his son, worried for him, and completely devastated. J~'s entire existence, for the past thirteen years, has been defined by and revolved around his role as parent. Through tears, sitting in his car in the office's parking lot at lunch hour today, he told me he feels the loss so deeply, it seems to exist at the cellular level.
2. We met with a reproductive endocrinologist this week. A good meeting, a thoughtful, down-to-earth, and knowledgeable doc with lots of good information. The upshot: lab orders for tests that we mostly don't expect to take, since they are invasive and seek out long shots, and frankly, we're just not desperate enough to go there. Since IVF has never felt like an option for me, it boils down to this: nothing to do but try again. Chances of another pregnancy being successful? Fifty-five to sixty percent. That's better odds than I imagined. But I don't much fantasize about having a child like I used to. Perhaps it's self-protective. Perhaps it's denial, but "visualize success" for me lately is more about a writing and art career than it is about babies.
However, if I've learned anything over the past few years, and the past few weeks, it's this: life is nothing if it isn't constant change.
Who knows what I'll be saying a month from now.