Something in the water

When I started this blog, I told myself I was doing something better than blogging: “blogging,” in my life thus far, had been me filling out memes and surveys, dropping cryptic hints to friends who I hoped would see them and get the intended messages, or whining about my ex (while we were together) because he wasn’t allowed access to my blog and so I felt safe there.  This time, I told myself, I would be doing something much more important, embarking on a real project, churning out quality writing that I could later make over into a book – no doubt a bestseller that would become a movie.

I publicized myself on facebook, so that everyone I’d ever gone to school with was being bombarded with my posts every day, and I printed up little cards that I intended to hand to potential readers as a form of networking.  I didn’t really know what tags or categories were for (still don’t), but that was okay, because I was so certain that people would just stumble across my blog randomly, read it, love it, and therefore do my very-grown-up-and-not-at-all-like-my-earlier-blogs project justice.

Well, people did stumble across my blog, but not entirely randomly.  Because of my subject matter, I soon found myself with a handful of readers – strangers – who had also suffered miscarriages, and/or were struggling with infertility.  One “hey, you’re not alone” comment turned into many comments; I subscribed to the blogs of some of my most dedicated commenters, and eventually I found myself really getting to know these women I had never met – most of us are now facebook friends, which, in this day and age, means our relationships are official.

Sometimes, I feel like the younger sister of this group, a kind of tag-along, because I’m the only one not trying to have a baby right now.  But then, I’m also the one who’s the furthest past her miscarriage – most of my friends have just passed, or are gearing up for, the would-be due dates of the babies they lost.  So in that respect, I’m like the older, wiser, been-there-and-survived sister.

When I started this project, I told myself that I wouldn’t become part of the blogging community, because what I was doing was better than blogging – and I remember turning down an award, offered to me by a blogger I’d known for only a few weeks, because I “wasn’t ready” to be part of the community yet.  But, like all best-laid plans (my life, for example), this project has shaped itself a little differently than I expected.  No one is banging down my door trying to get the publishing rights, for one.

It might be a coincidence, but it’s only since I opened myself up to “the community” that I’ve started to see real progress in myself.  Sure, writing itself is therapeutic, but being read and understood adds so much more value to the act.  And my “blog friends,” because they’ve had similar experiences to mine, are able to understand me in a way that even my closest real-life friends can’t.

But lately, in our little corner of the blogosphere, it seems like there’s something in the virtual water.  Suddenly, everyone’s unhappy, apathetic, overwhelmed, or in my case, experiencing classic anxiety/depression symptoms without actually feeling anxious/depressed.  One friend just found out her younger brother is going to be the one to make her parents into grandparents.  Another is starting to worry that her baby-crazy goals are affecting her marriage.  A third is thinking that running away to Seattle sounds like a pretty good idea.  (Which, for the record, it always does to me.)

I feel like we, collectively, need to be snapped out of this funk we’re all in, but I also feel like we, collectively, are out of ideas.  So now I’m turning to my real-life friends, who are (at least currently) emotionally sound, for help:

Without giving advice, per se, can you suggest things that might make us feel better?  Good examples would be chocolate milkshakes, fresh air and exercise, scheduled date nights, etc.  Bad examples would be running away to Seattle (we need no encouragement) or “having a healthy pregnancy already.”  Basically, what do you do on your blah days, to break up the storm clouds and cheer yourself up?

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32 Responses to Something in the water

  1. Julia says:

    I need to spend a certain portion of each day outside, even if that’s just my bike ride to work. It’s a beautiful time of year and sometimes a short walk is all it takes, although I love running and biking too.

    Also: hot tubs. Or hot baths. And hot toddies. Basically hot anything.

    • Marie says:

      Mmmmm. I love hot toddies. But I try to save them for when I’m sick. Like NyQuil – there has to be some upside to having a cold.

      I’m with you on the walking, though. I tend to forget about it until I do it, when really I should be out for 20 minutes every day.

  2. Mamapaesan says:

    Living on the opposite coast of you (not by choice Arizona is my Seattle :-))the winter weather gets me down so my getaway is a massage at least every other month and I do yoga and as a couple we getaway for an over night just us and we try to do that every couple of months …..seems to work even though I still do await my days of sunshine year round again

    • Marie says:

      I love the idea of overnights. We very rarely take vacations that don’t involve visiting people (and yes, the RI family is on the wish list) – but we should just hop over to the local Motel 6 every once in a while to have some us time 😉

  3. Elphaba says:

    We have been in a bit of a funk eh?

    No, I had good news for a day there and then it got quashed… as usual. I’m glad you decided to let us annoying bloggers in. I know I say it sometimes, but I just can’t express how much the support I get from this community means to me.

    I am honoured to have met you. I truly am.

    Julia, hot tubs are bad for fertility 😉 Hot toddies on the other hand… oh, wait I’m still not really drinking.

    Just can’t win eh?

  4. Elphaba says:

    I realize just wrote “eh” twice in one comment. Am I Canadian or what?

    • slcurwin says:

      You know you are Canadian when you dont even see the “eh”s when you are reading. I had to go back and re-read to see they were actually there.

  5. Joanna says:

    I have to say what really cuts down on the stress is a Sunrise Yoga class that I take on Wednesday mornings… the instructor really pushes you but you can also just feel his compassion (so it matters who your instructor is!). He reads us a poem every time as we come of of nap time (er, Savasana)…

  6. Nicole says:

    On my days I do only things for myself…. I paint my nails, go to lunch with a friend, if it is sunny lay by the pool, and sometimes I notice myself taking walks and just enjoying the scenery of the beautiful day. Kind of sounds like a bunch of malarkey but sometimes doing things just for yourself is what a person needs, whatever it may be. Number one thing though is going to the zoo….. and hitting the Prado’s happy hour after…the best time!!! I smell date time with you and me…….

  7. Dawn says:

    Ice cream! No, not really….because that creates a whole different reaction after! Ha!

    When I had the time: yoga, hip hop dance class, a pedicure, a nap, a good book, scrapbooking, a night out dancing with friends, cocktails with friends…..

    For now, the only one of these that works regularly for my lifestyle is the good book. I can snuggle up for about an hour after the kids are in bed and Joe’s still at school.

    Are you coming tonight for Grey’s?

  8. slcurwin says:

    I’m glad you joined the community and that I met you though here. And I’m sorry for starting the web wide funk of our buddies, really I didn’t mean to. lol. Maybe it’s the season. I dont know about you guys, but Elphaba and I are friggin’ cold and snowed in up here.
    I think maybe we need to force ourselves into physical and social action to try and remove the funk that is us. (and now I’m going to go curl up by myslef and get back to my book, lol).

    • Marie says:

      I’m at least trying to read helpful, inspirational books. Just started Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott. I love her. No death or vampires, though.

      And sorry to say, but I am neither cold nor snowed in. If you dig yourself out, come on down to the sun.

  9. mommyodyssey says:

    You’re awesome. That’s all I have to say. 🙂

  10. Pingback: How I Spent My Due Date Vacation « mommyodyssey

  11. Katie says:

    Hi Marie,

    I saw a blog post on facebook one day and clicked–and have been reading somewhat regularly since. I don’t make it to all your entries because I don’t read every day, but I’ve really enjoyed what I have read. I even saved one, my favorite so far.

    So the publishers aren’t beating down doors right now. keep truckin’ and maybe they will be.

    We’re not exactly friends in real life (in case you can’t figure out who I am–we were in choir together), but I thought this would be a good moment to introduce myself as another reader.

    and to address the prompt:

    Green tea (not the kind in your normal store–the kind imported from Japan), fresh-pressed juice (a juice press is worth it–just worth it), baking cookies, bicycling, music, wearing the most comfortable clothing in the closet. And there is the sauna! In Germany every gym has one, and so I go on a pretty regular basis, especially if I’m feeling stressed or tense. If I have a day just for myself, I will also often go to lunch at a restaurant I like and bring a book, and just stay there for a long time. If I feel that I need it, I also write, but that’s clearly already something you do.

    and there are some things that, as daily or even twice-weekly habits, reduce the number of blah days. For me they include:
    making music, keeping a list (in my head or not) of the little things I appreciate about the relationship I’m in, being curious and exploring, and reading the news. these all help me maintain perspective. also, this one is kind of random–in college my voice teacher subscribed me to a magazine just out of the blue, as a gift. It was the magazine Shambala Sun. I had never read any Buddhist literature before, but this magazine REALLY helped me to think about my life in a way that was productive and positive, remembering all the things that truly are important.

    all right. I hope some of these seem give you ideas. Thanks for keeping this blog; I really enjoy it.

    Katie

    • Marie says:

      Hi Katie,

      Thanks for the feedback, and all the suggestions! I do need to go get real green tea – when I was living in France, my roommates and I used to get it from the Chinese market, but over here it’s too easy to just get the cheap stuff from the store…

      (And yes, I know who you are, even though we don’t know each other very well.)

  12. Kira says:

    I look forward to the day when I have some real solid friendships through blogging 🙂

    As far as things to help get me out of an IF funk I do the following:

    -Take a luxurious shower (I’m not a fan of baths) with candles and aromatherapy and music I enjoy.
    -Spend time in prayer at my church. I find great solace in my faith and in spending time in that building. I realize for people with a different theology this may not be very applicable.
    -Getting my favorite chocolates.
    -Walking my dogs, they are just so happy I can’t stay in a funk.
    -Singing along with fun upbeat songs.
    -Trying a new recipe, baking is very soothing for me.
    -Hanging out with my friends.
    -Planning a date night with my hubby, even if we just make a nice dinner and rent a movie and stay home. We try to make an intentional night.
    -Get some new makeup. I don’t wear makeup every day, but taking the time to wear it makes me feel pretty and girly, and getting a new something (lipgloss, eyeliner etc) isn’t too much money but a nice thing to do for ME.
    -Grab my book or Nook and read in the park (when it’s a nice warm day) the fresh air and nature is refreshing.

    Hope some of that you find helpful and useful. *HUGS!*

  13. Sara says:

    Disneyland
    Cuddling with Karma
    watching bad reality tv (Kardashians, almost anything on TLC, a lot of stuff on E, America’s next top model, etc)

  14. Christina says:

    Kira has some great ideas!

    My suggestions are self-spoilers: mani/pedi, massage, or facial. Preferably all 3 if one can swing it financially, but if not, than just one of the above.

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