As I sit here….

….watching the today show cuddling with my puppies and drinking my Shakeology, I wanted to put words to the last few months of 2016 and my sentiments for 2017.

So many people consider 2016 a crappy or horrible year. I am definitely not in love with it, but I have a difficult time saying it was horrible. I am definitely glad it is over though. A good word to sum up 2016 would be lost.

I kept feeling like I was getting ahead of myself and my fears, but in reality all I was doing was taking two steps forward and four steps back.

Professionally 2016 started off rough but ended the best it ever has. I was definitely lost trying to find my place in the professional world – but I found it. You know that image you used to get when you thought about growing up and having a job/career that you would get? I finally found the job that fits that image and it is so refreshing, challenging, and enriching. It only took two years to get into this position with this exact company, but it is so worth it.

I see big things happening for 2017 with my career. I love my project management position in technology and I am encouraged to better myself. I will be getting a few certifications in the first quarter that will help me to advance in my career. When I think about going to work, I can’t wait to learn more and be the best I can be.

I have been very involved with our church and have taken a step back. With this and with other things, I made them so much of a duty that I felt I couldn’t have variation. I had to take a step back to take care of me and rediscover my love for our church. People have noticed our occasional absence and lack of extra-curricular participation. We aren’t leaving and aren’t lost in our faith. We are doing it our way with allowing for ourselves not to be perfect. Yes, I struggled with needing to be the perfect Christian and attend church every Sunday and be over-committed to show my dedication. This is not necessary and I’m taking steps to take care of me and my faith and my struggle with appearing perfect. I just want to be normal.

Emotionally 2016 has been a great struggle. I started 2016 off with new braces that affected my self-image, as well as with fatigue that just kept kicking my ass over and over again. We also had decided to become foster parents along with having our own children (both of these carried over from 2015).

Well……at the end of 2016, we decided to let our foster care license lapse as we are officially in the world of unexplained infertility. Testing has shown there is no medical reason why we have not been able to conceive. We were told so many times “it will happen when you bring the foster child into your home.” For some that may be true, but for us, we don’t feel that we want to bring a child who already may not feel wanted, into our home where we are struggling with having our own baby. We just feel that these kids deserve more than we have to offer right now. This decision isn’t a decision to never foster, it is a decision for not right now.

There are infertility treatment options, some not invasive, that we have been offered. We have not yet decided to try any method as the ovulation boosters increase estrogen which can increase the growth of endometriosis lesions. That is a difficult decision to make.

Throughout the infertility journey we have been told multiple things. Things that are helpful and things that are not. If I were to give you any advice for speaking to someone who is trying to have a baby I would say:

  • don’t ask every month if they are pregnant, even if they are just starting to try (that is a LOT of pressure and can make them feel like a failure every month they say no)
  • stop telling them that it just takes time to get the birth control out of the system – no, it doesn’t take as long as is commonly thought, especially not years
  • stop telling them “it will happen when you least expect it”
  • stop telling them that it just isn’t time
  • don’t tell them just to adopt – that isn’t for everyone and it definitely isn’t cheap
  • don’t act like it is faux pas to talk about and avoid the topic all together

I know there are so many lists of what to do and what not to do with couples struggling with infertility, and it actually changes depending on the couple. If you aren’t sure, just ask them.

Many women struggle with seeing or hearing pregnancy announcements when they are struggling with infertility. For me, I work really hard not to be one of the women who just can’t be told. I mean, I work REALLY hard. But no matter how hard I try, it seems to still bother me when I least expect it. And for anyone women who is in this struggle with me, the days before a period when our hormones are adjusting is the worst. That is when it is the most difficult for me each month. That is when I want to just hide and not come out until it passes. For instance, I have always wanted a boy and a girl. The other night, I came to a realization that I have a boy dog and a girl dog and maybe that is all I get. Yeah, that went through my mind. We all have thoughts that kick us when we least expect it. But we get back up and keep going. We haven’t given up on having our own children. I haven’t given up. Not yet.

Oh and the braces. I got comfortable with how I looked in them for most of the year, then they started adding space so I can get crowns on my front teeth and now I have gaps that I’ve never had and can’t properly pronounce my f’s and s’s. I know I chose to get braces and it will be worth it in the end, but when my emotions are already raw, it is difficult to be happy with my own smile. I’m just counting down the months until these things are off and I can get the crowns that will fix those gaps.

So yes, 2016 has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I’m praying and working hard for 2017 to be better.

But 2016 wasn’t all bad. Eddie and I are still happily married and we are still growing as a couple. Our home is still our home and we are provided for. We have family that loves us and have found friends that make up our own little family out here. 2016 brought growing friendships that are so dear to me, both here and far away. We are both advancing our careers and are happy with them.

2016 also brought both of us better health. We both work on our nutrition and workout. That is part of our life that may experience breaks, but will not be going away anytime soon.

On that note, yes, I am still a Beachbody Coach, but I am figuring out what that means for me. I know that I am still dedicated to helping others change their health and life the way mine has. I will not be quitting this anytime soon. This is one of those things that I’ve been re-evaluating over the past couple of months and will continue to change to fit my life as my life changes.

2017 will bring us some changes. We are going to buckle down and spend less while also working on keeping progress going on our home and our health. We do plan to camp a lot more this summer and explore our beautiful state and parks.

We are looking forward to 2017 and my motto will definitely be moving forward and growing. Also, not giving into fears.

So after a big, long ramble, I want to encourage you to take some time to reflect on 2016 and what you want out of 2017. Take care of you, mind, body, and spirit. You’ve got this!! I’ve got this! We can live our best lives and the fabulous lives that we’ve always envisioned. It just takes a little work and reflection.

Cheers to 2017!

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