Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Don't Go Down That Road of Counting Chickens
After reading this comment, I immediately took a big sigh of relief. It's totally simple, right? ( I also like how their blog name and their comment are totally in line with each other. That's hardcore non-counting of unhatched poultry.) I am a person who is perpetually thinking beyond to the next thing. While I'm a fairly flexible person and can be spontaneous, I like to have a plan. Not an etched in stone kind of plan, but at least a vague idea that I have my shit together. (or at least the illusion of having my shit together?) For this, I blame my mother. I should be hearing from her any day now about plans for Christmas and what's on the menu.
This whole idea that I'm going to make this baby all by myself is kind of terrifying. I mean, I won't be REALLY by myself -- I have great group of friends, a totally supportive family, the lovely people of the internets, and the most selfless giving friend/roommate/bff on the planet (who is actually kind of afraid of children, but will let me continue to live here with a kid.) It just won't be the way I always thought it would be. I'm single, I'm broke, and the list goes on.
It's sad to me to think that if it does all finally come together and I can (and by some miracle DO) get pregnant, that there won't be anyone else to share it with. No one to say funny things to my belly, no one to rub my feet, no one excited to hear the heartbeat, or discuss hospital vs. home birth, vax vs. no vax, or circumcision, or which breast pump to buy. Every decision will be made exclusively by me. Parenthood is a humongous responsibility, SINGLE parenthood is even more so. It seems almost irresponsible to choose this. This poor child, my child, will face so many odds. It seems cruel. I find myself wondering if it is selfish.
This is where I go wrong. I'm not pregnant. It could be YEARS before it happens and it may never happen. While 2 years from now seems not all that far off, it is also an eternity. I have no idea what my life will be like by then. Shit, I could be dead. And here I'll have wasted all this good living time thinking about things that may or may not happen.
When we had reached the point, during my dad's battle with cancer, where we knew no conventional treatments were working, my family adopted the phrase "Don't go down that road". Sometimes it was a warning, other times it became a mantra. Most often, my dad would say it when we would have our talks on the way to Dana Farber. He expected that I would be fine if he died. Not that I wouldn't be sad, but that I would be able to move forward and not be crippled by my grief. He said it matter of factly. We had these amazing conversations in the car. We knew why we were having them, but most of the time we didn't acknowledge it. So, when he said these things to me, if I started to REALLY think about them and get what he was saying, he'd hit me with "Don't go down that road". He demanded in me a strength that I never thought I would find. He expected that I would hold my mother and my sister up. Largely I did, much to the detriment of my own grieving. When he did die, I never cried; I spent the entire year that followed in an angry, bitter, battle with depression. For a long time, I couldn't acknowledge the grief. I knew if i acknowledged it, I would never be able to get back on top of it. "Don't go down that road", I'd say to myself.
I would take pieces of my grief out, from time to time, and play with them. I would sort them, label them, and refile them. Never too many pieces at a time, just the ones I could immediately deal with. The anger though, I was a real trooper at handling the anger. I really had no limits in that regard, there were no filters, no patience, and often no warning.
What the hell was my point?
This baby thing needs to be addressed in the same manner. Most things require that you deal with them one step at a time. A marathon, a death, a new job, whatever. Thinking about how I will deal with things that aren't even remotely in the cards is a waste of energy. Trying to figure out how I will pay for child care at this point is a waste of time. I have wasted countless hours thinking about this. From what I can tell, daycare has the potential to suck up my entire salary. I don't even want to put my baby in daycare. I always hoped to be a stay at home mom. On the other hand, I've also had 3 different people offer to take the baby for a day a week. Three down two to go, right? By the time it matters, I may have a new job. Who knows!
I need to focus on the one or two things in the immediate future. Thinking beyond any given month is pointless until I find my long lost Aunt Flo. I need to focus on getting my lard ass up and moving. I need to be conscious of the things that I'm putting in my mouth. I need to remember not to go down the road of counting chickens before they hatch. Instead of trying to deal with everything all at once, I shall tackle what is manageable and practical.