I found it pretty hard to come up with three positive things to write in my journal every single day this week.
Technically, of course, it should have been easy. It is, for many people, the happiest time of year after all, but although we had good results from last Saturday’s blood test, I’ve found it hard to shake off the conviction that something’s about to go terribly wrong, or to deal with the fact that, over a month after my ectopic pregnancy diagnosis, I’m STILL not back to “normal”, and am still dealing with blood tests, and hospital visits, and all of the fears and sadness that come with this kind of situation. Also, I think the contrast between what I should be feeling/what other people are feeling right now (i.e. getting excited over Christmas, planning for the holidays etc) and how I’m actually feeling has been pretty stark, and has made me feel a bit like I’m on the outside of life, looking in: like that one kid whose parents won’t let her out to play in the snow, so who’s forced to just sit inside pressing her nose against the window and wishing things were different, instead.
It could be worse: I know that, obviously, so, in the spirit of recognising that it could be worse, and that there’s still a whole lot to be thankful for, I have continued to dutifully come up with three positive things, which I’ve written in my journal every single day. For these posts, though, I’ve decided just to share three overall – partly for privacy, but, let’s face it, mostly because of length. I mean, look how long this post is with just THREE positive things? Can you even IMAGINE what it would be like I’ve I tried to share them ALL?
So, here are three good things that happened this week…
01 – A gift from friends
A couple of months ago, Terry and I were out having dinner, and I couldn’t help but overhear some of the conversation the couple at the next table were having. OK, I was listening, I admit it: I am a terrible person. But then again, if I hadn’t been listening, then YOU wouldn’t be reading this awesome story right now, so every cloud, huh? Anyway…
The man was telling his date (or what I assumed was his date) about a very awful, horribly traumatic thing that had happened to him several years ago, and which obviously still deeply affected him. It… wasn’t really great “date” material, to be honest, but it WAS a really awful story, and at the end of it, the man paused for a second to reflect. “You know what the worst thing was, afterwards, though?” he asked his date, who clearly didn’t have a clue how to respond to this, so simply shook her head mutely. “It was the way people kept telling me that ‘these things happen for a reason'”, the man told her. He paused again. “I mean, I know they meant well,” he continued. “But it was just… I just wanted to… you know… punch them in the face every time they said it. I wanted to say, ‘Oh yeah? And what reason could POSSIBLY be good enough for me to have to go through that, then? What reason could there be?'”
Neither I nor the date had an answer to that: because the fact is, there IS no reason for some of the terrible things that happen to people – or I don’t think so, either. My restaurant neighbour obviously didn’t either. “The thing is,” he concluded, “I actually believe in God, too. But it really tested my faith, and I just didn’t get why people kept on trying to pretend there was some ‘reason’ it happened. It made me feel like it must have been my fault or something.”
At this point, I had to stop myself getting up and giving the poor guy a hug, because I could not have agreed more with him. I’m NOT a believer, as many of you know, so while I do understand that people are trying their best to comfort me when they say this, and that, in itself, is of some comfort, I literally laughed out loud when I opened this card from my friends Lindsay and Steven, and their little girl Sienna last week. Er, I know this point started off not sounding even remotely like a “good thing”, but not only were the thoughtful card, and the gift which accompanied it very good things indeed, the knowledge that I have friends who totally GET me, and who know how I feel about stuff like this was even better.
(Oh, and once that traumatic story was out of the way, I’m happy to report that the date seemed to go well, and I saw them leave the restaurant laughing and holding hands. I was quite relieved, I must admit…)
02. Christmas, Part 1
As I mentioned in this post, we celebrated Christmas a week early with Terry’s family, who we aren’t going to be able to see on the day itself. I’ve already written a bit about this in my previous post, so I don’t have much more to add, but it was definitely the highlight of the week: so much so, in fact, that I’m thinking we should make it an annual tradition, and have two Christmas days EVERY year. (And yes, I know that sounds pretty rich coming from the original Christmas grinch over here, but like I’ve said before, it’s not Christmas itself I don’t like – it’s just the run-up to it, and the way it becomes such an obsession for everyone for such a long time. If we could cut out all of that, but still have Christmas day – or two of them, even – I’d be totally down with that.)
03. Joanie Clothing to the rescue
Finally, earlier this week I received an early Christmas gift from Joanie Clothing, which is a new-ish UK-based retro brand. Now, I WAS going to try to pass this dress off as “festive”, purely because it’s green, with a touch of red in it, but I think you all know me well enough by now to know that it doesn’t have to be Christmas for me to want to wear a green dress, does it? No, it does not. Instead, then, I’m just going to go ahead and admit that I’m wearing this dress just because I love it: it has one of those fabulous full skirts that doesn’t require a petticoat, and … well, it’s a green, 50s-inspired dress: do I really need to go on, here?
Anyway, by the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to the hospital, for another round of blood tests, (the fact that my stomach flipped over with nerves just from typing that sentence will tell you exactly how I feel about THAT…), and I very much doubt I’ll be looking anything like the photo above, so I’ll save the rest of the items in my Joanie Clothing package for another post, hopefully tomorrow. Fingers crossed….