Sunday, January 2, 2011

Goodbye 2010

I’m writing this post out in midair to San Diego. Very reluctantly, on New Year’s Eve, I packed up and left the comfortable cocoon that is my parents’ home. I’ve spent a wonderful month there, I spent the days rolling on the floor with my 2 dogs, playing with our newly acquired cat (pictures coming soon), having long conversations with my parents and brothers and getting ridiculously pampered. This past month has saved me, no doubts there. We all need support structures in trying periods and mine unfortunately is half a world away, but once I got to it, it was pretty darned wonderful.

I entered into 2010 a girl who had never experienced loss of any sort, as somebody starting out on this journey with stars in her eyes.  I’ve been pregnant almost half of this year, and all I have to show for it is 2 D&Cs, one yeast infection and 3 karyotyping results (my 2 babies and mine).  I could hate this year. Loathe it. Be angry and miserable when I remember it.  But I don’t feel that.   I actually don’t know how I’d describe 2010 one day in the future, but I’m waiting to find out.

 I’ve had numerous philosophical conversations with my mom . One theme we keep revisiting, is that as souls go through their various lifetimes, they can evolve (or devolve, if you think about somebody like Ted Bundy). Obviously, it is only suffering and challenges that evolve the soul, not the wonderful, easy times.  I don’t want to be one the evolved souls.  I wish I was a  slightly ditzy type got married to the love of  her life early on and plonked out 3 perfect kids and had a uneventful life.  I wish I had not an ounce of complexity and that my soul got through this lifetime with not one darned lesson learned.  But that’s not what was in store for me and since I’m being force-fed all this crap, then I might as well get something positive out of it.

The lessons 2010 has taught me:

Patience:  When such horrible things happen to you in a short period of time, you zoom in on the pain. You magnify it and you forget that it is only a moment in time. So much can change so quickly and there all these journeys and paths waiting for you, and you never know what will come in 6 months, one year or 5 years.  What I need to do now: wait for it, with equanimity. I’m doing this…after a fashion.  Diana Gabaldon (my all time fav author) has a line in her book which goes something like this: If Time is akin to god (in its ability to heal pain), then memory is the very devil. It is true. I have cried very little I found out Turbulence had died, mostly because my brain does not think much of that time, of her, or what she might have been. If I go there inadvertently, I back off like I’ve been scalded.  On the plane I was sitting surrounded by children. On the seat ahead of me was this adorable baby that kept playing peekaboo with me. I played with him for about 10 minutes then suddenly, I was sobbing helplessly, something I had not done in weeks.  Memories, they are the devil. 

Humility: I thought I could control my life.  I thought I could plan these all important things and they’d turn out the way I’d imagined.  2010 has ruthlessly demonstrated that I have no control.  I have none over my biology, over destiny, over anything really.  How do you deal with this sense of utter powerlessness?   The only recourse (available to me) is humility and say that I’ll do whatever I can to achieve my goals, but be ok with whatever results emerge, even if they are horribly cruddy ones.  It’s an exercise in faith actually, to say no matter what comes, I’ll be ok with it, that I’ll see it as a blessing.  Sometimes  I feel I’ve gone a little way towards this, and at other times I think of my worst case scenarios and my throat still closes up.  But still, I’ve come a long way from where I was at the start of this year.

So goodbye 2010.You were a pretty harsh teacher, I hope 2011 will be kinder.


  1. This is such a wonderful post Jay. I sometimes wonder what the hell I got up to in past lives to require so much educating in this one. I love your perspective that pain is only a moment in time. I will try to remember that as I go forward in this life.

    I can only imagine the terrible pain and loss you have suffered this year, and I am amazed by your resilience and strength. Keep on with this journey, it will lead you somewhere special.

    Kia kaha! xx

  2. Thank you for posting this. I hope you have a better 2011. You are a strong woman and these trials are only making your stronger.

  3. I was very excited to see you quote Gabaldon. I'm in the middle of the 6th outlander book. Adore her.

    As for humility, I think it is perhaps one of the most underrated things I can think of. How painful and frustrating I find ego deflation, but I know I do best and am happiest when I remember that I'm on the path that G-d or the Universe, or whatever, has set me on. When I try to see what I can contribute to the life I've been given instead of obsessing over my own plans and what I want, how much more content I feel. There's no question that humility can be a difficult practice, but I think that's exactly what it is for all of us, a practice. Something I have to keep working at every day. Thanks for reminding me of this.

    Happy new year to you. As always, best wishes and love.

  4. I don't want to be evolved or learn lessons either.

  5. Yes, 2010 was harsh.. I can't believe the challenges that we have to encounter simply to have a baby that we will love. 2010 is gone now and we can only be stronger from our experiences. We got through it, and things can only get better for us. I am praying that 2011 is kinder too!!!

  6. Memory is the devil...ain't that the truth. *sigh* May 2011 be a happier year for all of us!

  7. you are so right. i have no control either. its a hard lesson for some of us to learn. and humility, oh boy... don't even get me started :-) i'm glad you had such a nice long amount of time with your family and were able to find some comfort in them. treasure that and revel in it. you will find your way. here's to a successful 2011 for all of us.

  8. There is a Chinese proverb which states, "A diamond can not be polished without friction nor man's character." I always thought that proverb was profound....but reading your post recounting the difficulties you've endured, I have to say--the proverb sucks. You are right; sometimes you don't need any more lessons nor do you need any more character. I hope 2011 brings you only cause for joy and helps heal the wounds 2010 left in its wake.

  9. What an amazing post. I love your attitude!