Monday, 22 August 2016

Thinking about blogging

When in doubt, on Microblog Mondays, I blog about blogging, so I'm going to report that I have been doing lots of thinking about blogging lately, about how much we should keep in mind the sensitivities or views of others who read our blogs, whether or not they are our target readers.

Beyond normal tact and good manners, should we write mainly for our target readers, or should we consider a wider readership when we write? And if we consider a wider readership, how wide should we go? Should we have to qualify our statements all the time, as some parenting after infertility bloggers feel they need to do, by warning of triggers or emphasising that they are grateful for their children, in an effort not to offend any readers who are not (yet or ever) doing so? Or should we own our blogs and our opinions and experiences, as other bloggers do, with talk about pregnancies and children and resulting photos of both, or with strong opinions about aspects of infertility? Where is the line between blogging about our lives or opinions, and becoming competitive or divisive, or is there a line at all?

These are questions I am considering at the moment, and some thoughts are developing, but I’m not quite there yet - so no posts yet, but now the Olympics are over, and my sleep patterns will return to normal, I promise you one or two that might spur some discussion. Though I can't promise any answers.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Making real human connections

I was browsing Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly again this morning over coffee, and found her simple statement that she had learned from her research that “nothing is as important as human connection.” I thought then of most people I know, and recognised that – excluding friendly but peripheral relationships we all have - family is at the core of their human connections. In fact, some, perhaps many, barely reach beyond family for their human connections.

Probably, I thought, that’s why there is such a focus on having children, being a family unit with a group of people they can focus on and rely on. After all, I think that many people do struggle to make human connections outside of family; connections where they feel that they belong, that they're heard, that they have a purpose.

Maybe that's why people both pity us, and fear being us, because they struggle to understand human connections outside of family, or to see those connections as real or meaningful?

Yet I wonder too, how many people actually have real, deep, meaningful and honest relationships, real connections where they are heard and feel heard and accepted and understood as they are, with their families - or even, outside their families?

This is one of the reasons why I like blogging – the quest to hear and be heard, to accept and be accepted, to understand and be understood, and to make true connections in a part of my life that few in my day-to-day life understand.

The end and the beginning

                                                                                                       - T.S Eliot

However our infertility journey ends - with a baby or without - it is also a beginning. What differs though, I think, is the transition phase. For those of us without children, our transition phase is one where it is easy to focus on the end, not the beginning. It is a time of mourning, of grief, of loss, when it is easy to focus on what we don't have, what we wanted and tried so hard to get. It is a time that is feared by those still going through infertility, a time that so many cannot see beyond, a time that so often can be mistaken as the final destination. 

But it is only a transition phase, and the mourning too comes to an end, allowing us to look ahead, to develop hope, to learn to appreciate the positives, to start anew. It's a beginning that is different to the one we had hoped for, but it is a beginning nonetheless, filled with promise and adventure and love and joy and new destinations. As hard as it is, we mustn't forget that.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Be fair to yourself

We are very good in the infertility world at beating ourselves up. But it wasn’t our fault, and none of us deserved this. We need to grieve; then we need to let ourselves be happy.

It’s easier when we are fair to ourselves. 

By recognising that we are not to blame, we can find it easier to stop blaming others. By accepting our emotions, recognising them for what they are, trying to understand them rather than banish them, we are better able to recognise others’ emotions too, forgive their actions, understanding that we don’t know how they feel. When we accept that we are not bad people for feeling grief at what we’ve lost, or for feeling happiness despite what we’ve lost, we can stop being so judgemental towards others, for what might otherwise have seemed to be selfish actions or self-indulgent emotions.

When you’re fair to yourself, it feels good to be fair to others.

Monday, 25 July 2016

In the doldrums

It’s not yet the end of July, and I’ve already written nine posts this month, after nine in June, - and that’s only on this blog. Phew, I think I need a rest!

If the truth be told, I’m feeling a bit bleurgh. After everything that has happened this year – I was finally ready, and physically more able, to get on and do some things that will get my life going in the right direction. But Murphy's Law has prevailed, and I’ve come down with a cold, and all I want (and need) to do is sleep.

Or maybe it’s the aftermath of writing and thinking so much the last week or so, and now it’s done, I can't immediately think where to turn, so I'm appealing for suggestions - anyone have any great ideas?

Whilst you’re coming up with those suggestions though, I think I’m going to go lie down on my couch on this sunny winter’s day, and read part two of Elena Ferrante’s Naples series. I couldn’t do that if I had kids.