Eternal Optimist

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I have had this comic on our refrigerator door for as long as I can remember. In the midst of cartoon hell, complete with little devils with pitchforks and a whole population of frowny-faced people, there is one person whose head is a yellow smiley face. The caption: Eternal Optimist.

That's me in a nutshell!

I feel like this is a blessing and more often that not, one of the things that keeps me going. Of course there are days when I am down about waiting (ahem, beginning of a new cycle...), but most often even on cycle day two, I can (usually) convince myself to recognize the new opportunities that the new cycle holds. Sometimes though, being an eternal optimist makes me feel silly and oblivious and naive, especially when it comes to trying to conceive. Two questions whose answer I am constantly search for are: How can I reconcile my optimism with the pain and hurt and rejection that I feel due to our lack of children? and How do I identify with others on this road without seeming like I've lost my mind because I am always looking on the bright side? I think each of these questions could sustain their own post!

I had an acquaintance who was also going through infertility who was fairly bitter about her situation. Here comes me, skipping down the "hope for this and hope for that" and "maybe this is our month" lane every.single.cycle. Eventually, she just began to plain ol' ignore my optimism! I knew she wasn't so optimistic, but can't I be anyway? I think she was trying to save me from myself! No matter what her motives, ignoring my sentiments (no matter how crazy hopeful) kind of hurt my feelings (do I sound like I'm in middle school or what?!). However sophomoric (do I get an award for using good vocab?) it may seem, I thought it was fairly judgmental of her to decide for herself that my hope wasn't valid since she had none left.

As I have said several times, last cycle was rough. And true to form, I was so optimistic and hopeful...I thought God could not possibly ask me to continue to carry my cross by bringing CD1 on Easter, and therefore, since the alternative was a + HPT, I was preparing myself to see "Pregnant" on my digital test. Mr. A is really supportive of my hopefulness, but he is sad for me when it all comes crashing down. When we were talking about it after this current cycle had started, he gave me some great advice. "Hoping and being optimistic is fine, but you can't convince yourself it is the reality, because then when it's not reality, you're devastated." I am so thankful for his insight!! Even though it might seem normally logical, when I get in my optimistic mode, there are logic-blinders involved. Just because of my nature, I am easily led to hoping, and it is easy for me to be tempted into convincing myself that whatever I'm hoping for just has to be actually happening. Mr. A's words are among the things I have been trying to focus on this two week wait. I can hope and be optimistic all I want as long as I don't convince myself that it's reality. (Until I take a HPT on Mother's Day morning and it's blaringly positive and I can go get the onesie I have stashed in my closet to surprise Mr. A when he gets up for church....oops, er...haha....there I go with the letting my daydreams run away with myself again!!)

Don't get me wrong...some days I am surprised that I still have hope left in me. Some days being an optimist is really hard. Just had to add that, lest you think that my whole struggle with infertiliy has been all peaches and cream!!

But I'd like to think that God sprinkled in a few eternal optimists to those of us whom He has chosen for infertility's path in order to help anyone who is struggling get back on their feet. I will encourage and build up anyone I know who needs a boost, even if I'm having a tough time, because doing so gives me a boost back in the right direction, too! I think humans feed off each other, and since I'm feasting on an endless bowl of optimism ice cream, I might as well invite others to the party!


Hillary said...

It sounds like your optimism is, for the most part, a gift from God! Your DH"s advice sounds spot-on, and I hope this cycle is full of hope and optimism set in reality. As I wrote that I was struck by what is our reality -- and it is so darn hopeful and optimistic!! Our hope and reality is in our relationship with our Savior and eternity with Him!! Duh, I know, but that was a neat little revelation for me right now. :)

allyouwhohope said...

Okay, I am an eternal pessimist!! Although I actually consider myself a realist (or a pessimist in denial!). I wish I had an ounce of optimism in me, because I guess it would make this journey a little easier. I'm the one who thought when I was younger that I'd be infertile, just because that'd be my luck. Haha!