I am going to do my very best to post something on this blog every day for 2012. I am becoming increasingly concerned with my inability to remember my life, so hopefully this will help.

Today was Sunday. I worked from noon to 9. Nothing interesting happened. Apparently New Year’s (Years’? Years?) Day is a very slow day for Carrabba’s.

My favorite parts of today: 1. Flirting with my husband at work. 2. Coming home to see that Amanda had posted new pictures on Facebook from Thursday when she and Katie and I hung out at Katie’s drinking wine and dancing to 90s music. I thought I looked pretty in most of the pictures.

This year I plan to

blog/remember my life

get in shape/eat better (how original of me). Hopefully this will lead to me getting back  to my 120-125ish weight, but I’ll be happy a little heavier if I’m in better shape.

call my mom, dad, and Grandma more. Skype/email with Alex more.

get financially stable. Pay off debt and save money.


Fallopian Tube Severing!

As I sat down in the exam room in a new gynecologist’s office, I prepared to have my blood pressure taken and to answer a few simple questions: When was my last period, how often do I drink alcohol, when was my past pap? Instead, the nurse looked at me incredulously and said, “You’re here for a tubal consult? Really?! …She’s not going to do it, you know.”

I bit back my irritation , gave the nurse a big smile, and calmly replied, “I’d prefer to let the doctor make that decision. Do you need me to take my hoodie off to take my blood pressure?” I’d expected a bit of a struggle during this appointment, but it surprised me that it came so early, and from the nurse. However, her remark was not completely off-base. Here I was, ready to talk to a doctor about getting a tubal ligation, at 23 and with no children. Many doctors will not even consider doing a tubal on a woman unless she is over 30 and/or already has children; they worry that she will one day change her mind. Yet my husband and I had known for months that this was what we wanted.

I wrote a post on a website site last fall about my struggles with bipolar disorder and the realization that though I had thought I wanted to have one biological child before adopting children, that it was not in my or my family’s best interest (http://offbeatmama.com/2010/10/losing-a-child-who-never-existed). Since then, I have more than come to terms with that decision. In fact, turning my attention to a future of adopted children truly feels like coming home. Growing up and into womanhood, I always felt strongly about adopting children–I knew that it was important to me to give homes to children already in this world, rather than creating new ones. Making the decision once and for all to not have biological children simply feels right, feels perfect to me. I am actually happy that I went through that trying time last year, because it forced me to get back to my core values.

After making this decision once and for all, my husband and I talked extensively about our birth control options. We knew I needed to get off hormonal birth control, since my bipolar meds reduce their effectiveness (and can seriously harm a fetus if I do get pregnant, which I covered in my other post). I thought about getting an IUD and for a host of reasons decided against it. So we were down to surgical sterilization. We determined I should be the one to have the procedure done, primarily because I have better insurance than he does and it would be fully covered. We decided to sit with this decision for several months to make sure it continued to feel right.

Fast forward to present day, with little old me sitting in that doctor’s exam room, waiting to fight for what I wanted. The discussion with the gynecologist went mostly as I expected–we talked about all my options, she asked me why I wanted the procedure, she tried to direct me to other options. Then the discussion took a turn I didn’t expect. I was happily chatting away about why it was important to me to adopt and she interrupts me, saying, “You know those kids in foster care aren’t your responsibility, don’t you?”

I could only stare at her blankly; I was so surprised at what she had just said. She continued, “Do you know any families who have adopted? I wish I could introduce you to my friends. They adopted three children from Russia and it tore their family apart. I wouldn’t recommend adoption to ANYONE after seeing what it did to them.” After some deep cleansing breaths I simply told her that yes, it IS my responsibility to give permanent homes to children in foster care, that I knew I wouldn’t change my mind about the surgery. I then asked if she would do the procedure or if I needed to find someone else. She said she would do it.

I left without saying much else to her, but this is what I wanted to say: My children are out there somewhere right now. They are about to be born, or they are babies, or they are small children. I can feel them in my soul and I can honestly say I want them and love them already. What does the decision to have a tubal ligation mean to me? It is a promise to those children that I will choose them over any biological urge I might feel to procreate. It is a promise that they will have a forever home with people who love them, that the spot they are to occupy in my family won’t be taken by a biological child, that they won’t grow up neglected or abused or unwanted. I know this choice may seem extreme and a lot of people–like my doctor–won’t completely understand it. For most people, it seems counterintuitive to get a tubal done as a family planning measure BEFORE having children. For me, though, putting this plan into action has made me feel more like an expectant mother than I’ve ever felt before. And really, once the children are here, who will care about how my husband and I got them, or the choices we made along the way to ensure things went according to plan? All anyone will see is a family, just as beautiful and loving as anyone else’s.

So… I haz a new blog.

You know, I don’t remember a lot of my life. My brilliant, psychologist mother told me that in order to make memories, you have to think about your experiences. Actively thinking about things that happen to you moves your thoughts from short-term to long-term memories. I think this is where I go wrong.

I’ve always been the kind of person who is focused on the future. As a child, I always wanted to be grown-up. As a teenager, I was always planning the Next Best Thing. As I’ve grown older and settled into myself (and, let’s not forget, since I’ve been diagnosed with and medicated for having bipolar), I think I’ve gotten better about actively thinking about the present, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement! And honestly… Five, ten, fifty years from now, I want to have something to look back on and be able to say, “Wow. How interesting that that’s what I was thinking about, or that’s what I was doing when I was 23.” I’d love to have a written record of my life. For when, you know, I need to publish an autobiography or a memoir. MEMOIRS–I never understood how some people could remember their whole lives well enough to publish a freaking book accounting their lives (even though we all know memoirs involve some element of exaggeration or fiction).

So right now, at this moment, what is important to me? I’ll go through a bit of a list to set the stage for what I’ll undoubtedly be writing about over the next while.

My marriage is of course the most important thing in my life right now, and for all time (until children come along and become equally important. More on that later.). I am amazed every single day of my life how lucky I am to have found my best friend and to spend every day and night knowing that he loves me unconditionally. I honestly never could have imagined what it would be like to feel this way about another human being, and to know that he feels the same way for me. Yeah, we have struggles–every marriage does–but I truly believe that we have perfect trust and beautiful love. I’m a year and a half into the rest of my life with him and not a day goes by that I don’t cherish what we have and marvel in its imperfect perfection, its sincerity, its tenderness. I have learned so much from him, and look forward to every day with him. Ugh, I can’t even say any more words about it right now. That Man Is My Everything. In capital letters.

I’m thinking a lot about my garden. This is probably my most important hobby. I have peas, spinach, onions, arugula, beets, and lettuce planted at the moment. The peas and lettuce are coming up nicely so far. Haha, this seems like a very mundane thing to talk about after the sappiness of the last paragraph, but it’s very emotionally fulfilling. I had great success with my garden last year, and it really made me feel good about myself to feed my family. And to be impressive. I do like to be impressive (will probably cover this in another post).

I like my job at Carrabba’s, and I feel like they value me. It’s good to have a job you like, that makes you good money.

Right now I’m looking forward to going to Bonnaroo music festival in June. It will be a fun time seeing bands and reconnecting with an old high school friend. Hurrah!

And… That’s really the basics of all I think about these days. Exciting life!