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Saturday, December 31, 2011

out with the old, in with the new


yes, this is your classic reflective New Years post

Resolutions will be in another post altogether, when I decide what they are. :)

I don't want this to be like my Christmas newsletter, just highlighting the cheery braggy stuff that probably makes everyone want to barf. Maybe a little of that, but with some sincere honesty thrown in.
2011 has been interesting to say the least. Some of the things I am most proud of and excited about are of course some personal growth matters.

Firstly, you probably know by now that I'm pregnant. Yay. And due soon. Feb 11th to be exact. But to be honest, about this time last year I was getting very and wholly frustrated at not being pregnant. We had been unofficially trying, gradually transitioning into "officially trying" over the course of a year and a half to 2 years. We assumed it would just happen (with the right course of action) because we are both healthy, we are intelligent adults, and come on, look at me, I am curvy... probably made for child-birth. What was the hold up?   For some people (especially that I now work with), this has never been an issue...having 5 babies by 5 different "significant others". really? they can have kids and I can't? It was infuriating. And I was FINALLY getting to a point where I could verbally tell people that I wanted to be pregnant and was mad that I wasn't. This is a huge deal for me, since I tend to be reserved about my "wants" cause its just easier to keep my defeats to myself.

Body image has been an issue for most of my life. Its been my biggest fear when it came to possible having kids. In my head,  I'd get "fat", would never be able to lose the weight, my husband would not love me as much anymore and my life would fall apart. Pretty healthy thinking, eh. However I am really surprised at how comfortable I have become with myself, how and who I am, including looks and am really embracing my growing body, slowly, but surely.  Its not about me, but about something much greater than myself. Its normal, its natural and its really a miracle. And Bill's support has been really helpful in this regard.

So then it happens. And the timing for me is interesting. I find out the Wed. before Father's Day, which for me personally, is my least favorite day of the year. Firstly, I never had the ideal "dad" situation and secondly its the day my mom died 2 years ago. So when I found out, I decided I would do my best to not make that day suck anymore (rather than wallow in my own self-pity). So Sunday morning I made Bill an awesome breakfast of pancakes and eggs and gave him a Father's Day card...thus breaking the news to him. He was excited and surprised. I can't begin to tell you how awesome of a dad he is going to be.

And there has been changes unrelated to babies...

I also grew in some of my ability to let go of grudges. And let me tell you, this is miraculous in itself as I am a master grudge-holder. During a visit early in the year to some rather estranged family members, I decided I despised this one person much less. It felt pretty freeing and have found myself able to transfer this to some other relationships. Its not so much about letting people who hurt me off the hook, but just getting the weight of that off of my shoulders. Realizing people have their own hurt, crap and baggage that they put on others. Its their issue, not mine, and are hurt and broken too, not just mean. No more letting people rent space for free in my head.

And one last one that comes to mind. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have left my social services management job. While it was a great learning experience for me, it was just not my cup of tea. Being micromanaged, being forced to micromanage others, sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, learning and relearning daily changes to state protocols, field everyones complaints and never knowing when my bosses were going to freak out about stupid little crap and just not doing what I went to school for. i think it was slowly killing me. I was miserable. Then i was able to use the "pregnancy" excuse to leave. Well, lets be honest, I knew what I was doing...when I told my boss I was pregnant, I stated that I wanted to work part time when the baby came. They pretty much said that was not an option. So...I took that cue. And coincidentally at the same time, some part time direct counseling opportunities came together and I am sooooo happy I have taken those (also both knew about the pregnancy and also knew about my counseling skills and were happy to have me). I love my work and the variety and the almost stress-free environments with flexibility. It so suits my persona and can continue to work a little bit part time after baby. Serving 2 important and fulfilling roles to me.

And for me, these are some pretty awesome personal feats/accomplishments that I'm pretty proud of.

I'm hoping you have some as well and can look upon each year with pride in your own personal growth.

Bring on 2012.
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Countdown thoughts

I realized today that we have just a little over 2 months to go until we welcome Baby Burris into the world. I do find it frighteningly and beautifully amazing.

My mind is clogged right now with thoughts I want to communicate about this.

Its always something I thought about as a "someday" happening. Someday, we'll have kids. Someday I'll be a parent. Someday is now imminent and it is so weird. So many aspects of it are somewhat unbelievable. I mean, I feel like I just graduated high school a few years ago, but no, I'm in my 30's. Additionally, there has been an amount of time that has passed where I assumed we would just "get pregnant", that it would be easy for us. It took some time, and its now kind of unreal that it is actually real.

I'm going to be honest and tell you that I personally have not yet purchased one baby-related item. (rocking chair the exception). Why? I'm not sure I can tell you precisely. I do have a registry in progress. I know other preggos right now who started purchasing things the minute that they found out. I do find the whole baby-stuff realm overwhelming. I really don't know what I need, and what kind of what I actually need. And I definitely want to weed out those hype items that are unnecessary. I am spending time researching and asking opinions. Also, there are no babies in my family (Bill's family excluded). I just don't really even know where to start with one.

I also recognize that I'm a little abnormal about the whole pregnancy thing. Some people just love talking about it and showing it off. The attention that comes with a baby bump is kind of off-putting for me. People act like you're fragile or sick. Or want to touch you. Or ask you 20 thousand questions and have some very extreme thoughts about things, and I find myself hesitant to talk about pregnancy cause everyone wants to complain about symptoms. While I have symptoms, I overall feel good, and am just happy to be pregnant and wonder how much anyone really wants to know about bladder control or weight gain. Additionally, weight gain is a struggle for me mentally and am really working have healthy thoughts and habits, rather than old self-destructive ones. And when it comes to talking to others, I want to be able to have conversations about lots of things besides just pregnancy and childbirth. (of course, I realize this is slightly hypocritical as almost all of these posts have been about this life transition). I just want to be normal.

On the other hand, it has been interesting and fun to see how much joy and emotion it has brought out in some of my elderly clients as they relive their own pregnancies and children.

 Its not that I'm not excited (which to some it may seem this is the case). On the contrary I am very excited. I actually think that I will be a good parent and that this kid is going to be a game-changer in the world. Bill is going to kill it (not literally) as a father. I mean, he's going to be good, real good. I do believe that its not going to be easy, but I never expect anything to be easy. People have been raising kids for thousands of years. I tend to be cautiously optimistic. I try not to get my hopes up too high, because, truth is, tragedy happens.  Its like I always have to mentally prepare myself, and then be pleasantly surprised and then immensely grateful.

And just for this opportunity, I am immensely grateful. To be entrusted with a human being. its bigger than having the right "stuff" on your registry, bigger than experience, bigger than money or status or anything. its a hell of a responsibility. But I'm in. Sooner than I realize.