Saturday, September 6, 2008

The power of connection

Yesterday, had the most wonderful and surprising lunch, and continued to learn about the power of community and conversation. 

Let me start at the beginning. A few months ago, my husband and I were struggling to execute some of the ideas we had for our business...a bit of tension, a lot of conversation about work stuff and a realization that there were so many things in my mind that I wanted to give voice to or see come to fruition. Some stuff was personal ( hence this blog ) and some stuff was more creative, a desire to be inspired, to collect to capture so many of the wonderful people, places and things that I came across every day...In any event, I am not particularly good at sharing once in my mind. Coming from a family and a childhood that had more of a grin and bear it philosophy, I made my way through life with a smile on my face, a competitive spirit in my head and the ability to make the best of any the end, it has generally served me well. However, I have come to realize the power of feeling, conversation and community. 
There is no need to do everything myself, or to hold onto a mixture of feelings with out conversation..

Hence the start of my blogs. A bit of a late bloomer, or I might say someone how adapts things at their own speed, my husband and a few friends had been talking about some of their favorite blogs and how they would often go to read some of their favorites. For me, it was less about creating something for others to read, but more about giving voice to what was in my mind and connecting with all of the amazing  inspiring and creative folks that are out in the world.
In the last few months, I have been overwhelmed by what I have found. 

So earlier today, a woman that I had initially met in the Spring, and we had been talking with about our business, reached out to me for lunch. Not knowing the reason for her request, I looked forward to the lunch, as I enjoyed spending time with her, and talking about the retail industry..A few minutes after we ordered, she mentioned that she had read my ( this ) blog. 
Wow. Sort of my biggest fear....Didn't know people actually read it. Certainly did not want to blur the lines between some of my professional relationships and this journey into motherhood, fertility treatments, challenges in co-parenting and with an ex wife, stories from my get the drift.
She had seen my link to my other blog on Linked in...and a few clicks away. Subconsciously, I know I want to live a totally connected life. Consciously, it scares the hell out of me. 
And then yesterday.

 Ironically, just the day before I had separated the links, so only my design site would come up. 
After yesterday's lunch, a desire to out the link back...

We had a real conversation. Who we were, how we had gotten there, heartbreak and learnings from the past years, our fears around getting pregnant and a conversation about life lessons and where they took us now.  
Understanding more of who she really was, and knowing that the power of honest conversation 
helps us all to learn, heal and develop.  I am so grateful for her courage to share and reach out, and most of all for better understanding every day that life is truly a journey and we are all in it is how we choose to love, connect and support that makes it all meaningful. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Have not been writing much, though there is so much that is going through my mind...the end of summer, the beginning of the new school year, our IVF cycle, Stephanie and Christian's recovery, the power of love...Where to begin. 

I have been thinking so much about Stephanie and Christian..Their children, healing, family, the power of community. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Love

So I remember watching the Olympics when I was a kid-amazing memories, knowing in advance that the next year would be the Olympic year (when the Winter and Summer Olympics were in fact held in the same year ). Sitting in the family room with my Dad for sure, and perhaps my mom as well...sometimes my brother ( in the summer, when not at boarding school ) and  cousins and mostly the memories of the athletes themselves and the story of how they got to where they were. The memories are as much about a family process as they are the Olympics themselves. The fanfare, the celebration, the heartbreak. ( remember, these were the glory years as well of Wide World of Sports )

Somehow, over the years, it changed a bit...Maybe it started when the Winter and Summer Olympics were split up, and the Olympics were technically held every two years. Maybe it was when the medal count and the race for who was more of a super power in every arena was less of a focus ( Russia Vs. USA ) Maybe it was when the networks edited the hell out of the events, and you watched what stories they wanted you to see...Whatever it was, it began to become less of an event in the years to come. 

Here we are today. Now, as the step mother of 3, it is the first time we are together for the Summer Olympics. For some reason, this year, as life seems to, the Olympics have a different meaning. How is it that the world truly is different through a child's eyes and with children in your life? Is it knowing that you they are seeing things in a way that is pure, unedited and true? 
Is it an attempt to recreate the best of your own childhood, and recreate things that were less then you had hoped? Is it the ability to truly experience a family process, with all of us piled on the couch and the floor? 

Whatever it is, I want to experience it all with them, as a family. In wanting that, I must tell them, and let those thoughts and hopes be known.
 I want us all to watch, to cry, to experience the joy of the victory and the agony of defeat.
 To know that you can be anything you want to be and to follow your dreams..I want them to know the world around them and all of the young people around the world that have worked to hard to get here. To see family and coaches and who put themselves out there for something other then themselves. 
I want to stop time, and turn off the nightly Disney shows in the playroom and gather round..I want everyone to know this is special, this only happens every four years and that this is a small window into the emotions and experience of life. 

Monday, August 11, 2008

For four plus years I have been having this conversation. With myself, my husband and my therapist. The only difference is, I am the not the ex. 

From the first time we met, there was the same chilly stare, ignoring me completely. The next stage were the insults and the request for a bio, and the implication of any kind of wrong doing possible. Through out these stages, I tried to be myself, kind, simple and making the best of a situation none of us had living through the separation of their family, adults living through hurt and failed marriages, divorce, the loss of the extended family members, and incredible pain and sadness. 
In my mind, I never imagined the end of my own marriage, truly falling and being in love in my late 30s, step parenting and an ex wife that wanted nothing to do with healing and moving on. 
I thought to myself, that at some point, we would all have a shared view of what life was like as adults who were not meant to spend a life time together, that knew deep down that they were their better selves with a different life partner. That the love for three amazing kids would allow them to come together and put everything else aside. 

I thought about writing this post, I thought about writing to her. 
Now, what comes to mind, and I hope comes to mind many more times in the future is as follows

I forgive. I forgive for the hurt we are all feeling, for the love that I know you must have inside of you and for the pain you must feel. I forgive as we are all human, and I know my own need for recognition and kindness is not the most important need. 
In forgiving, I want to be the person who loves, is compassionate and acts with grace. 
I want to experience the love story we have found, every day. 

Photo courtesy of Sam

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Expanding our Family

I was talking to someone today, and she was asking if we wanted to have "our own kids"
I came up with an answer later in the day when talking out the conversation. Realizing that I so infrequently give voice to my real desires thinking that if I don't put words to them, and act on making them happen, perhaps it will be less painful if they don't materialize.

Sitting back, and talking openly, she helped me find the words that have been inside for so long. Yes, we really want to expand our family. 

All my love to our three wonderful children, and may my wishes come true for more. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I was reading a post about why someone blogs and I could not help but agree with her thoughts..In a nutshell, because you can totally say what you think. 
Her goes. 

I am struggling with my parents coming out for a visit. Originally, they had planned to come out in July and spend about 10 days with us and then a few days with my step sister who recently moved to Palo Alto and is more recently going through a divorce. Suffice to say, I was surprised when I called to chat one week, and my step mother mentioned that they would not be able to come out..They had wanted to go to Tanglewood with friends and also come out to spend time with all of us in SF. Since the prices of everything had gone up so much, Tanglewood was the only thing they could afford to do. This was the same call in which I learned that my step sister was now getting a divorce ( there had been no sign of this coming ) 
I was a bit surprised, and I realize a moment later, a bit hurt. Thankful that my stepmother said what she was really thinking, but sort of struck by the choice. 
In the past, my quick response would have been to suggest paying-for the ticket, hotel whatever. Instead, answering honestly as well, I let her know that unfortunately, due to starting our business and our fertility treatments we too were a bit strapped. 

At the same time, I so wanted them to come out. Last year, spending time before and during our weeding week was really meaningful and I long to have us all spend more time together. Knowing the past and creating more of a connection as a family. 
My suggestion, was to figure out how to perhaps use miles for the trip, and that I would look into this over the next week or so. Thinking more about the dates, I was honest about when it would make the most sense for us to have them come..Scott and I talked and thought more about what we wanted the week to really look like. So here we are now. 

I have not made any calls to the airlines. I have thought countless times about the week and what it could look like...I have felt the pain of them not, for once, just getting on a plane and choosing to come out instead of something else. Why is this, and why has it been a pattern for so long. 

So now, I get ready to call..To see if there is a way that I can move us closer to what I believe we want and what none of us seems to have the courage to do. Acknowledge the love that I feel and the hopes that I have. To act from the heart. To talk about what is there. 

To them, not just to you. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Getting an Education

What an education. The cost of fertility drugs and one cycle of treatment is the same as a year of college. Scary. Researching a variety of options to get drugs for a bit less ( first, the list of online suppliers-all legit and then the fertility clinic advises that you let them know your insurance does not cover IVF) Trust me, I appreciate the advice, but it is amazing to think about how many people have the opportunity to help you along the way.

Part of you thinks, at whatever cost, we will have a baby. Part of you thinks, oh my gosh, maybe we will get pregnant this month. The challenge I think is to pause. To focus on what matters, and not worry about all the other stuff. Sometimes, easier said then done.