Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Out With the Old December 28, 2012

New year 2013 is comingThis will be the very last post of 2012. But don’t worry; come the New Year, we’ll be back with a brand new site.

Yes, the Great Life Without Baby Makeover is almost complete. For the past couple of months, some talented ladies (I’ll introduce them later) have been working their magic behind the scenes to get the new site ready. I’m beyond excited about the big reveal.

So, what does this mean to you?

1 – All will be quiet here on the blog next week. You’ll still be able to access all the posts, although you may not be able to add comments.

2 – On January 7th, look out for the first post of the New Year.

3 – We’ll be at a new address: LifeWithoutBaby.com, (although you’ll be redirected there if you use the old lifewithoutbaby.wordpress.com URL.) You’ll still find all the prior posts (almost three-years worth!) plus lots of new goodies. I’ll be offering a grand tour on opening day.

So, for now, I wish you a Happy New Year, and I’ll see you at LifeWithoutBaby.com next year!

 

Year-End Planning December 14, 2012

It’s December and I don’t know about you, but I can smell 2013 in the air!

I know we still have the holidays ahead, and I’m promising to get into the spirit this year, but I love the New Year and so I’m already starting to wrap up 2012 and get ready for a fresh start next month.

I tend not to hold grudges or to hold too tightly to the past. Lots of things happened this year that I wish had happened differently, but they’re over now and out of my control. I can’t change them, so I may as well pick myself up, dust myself off, and apply the valuable lessons I’ve learned from my mistakes to make sure they don’t happen again next year.

So far, my plans for 2013 include a couple of trips, some time to finish my book, some exciting projects for this site, and some deliberate “white space” on my calendar to recharge my batteries.

What about you? Are you thinking about the New Year yet? What’s on the horizon for you?

 

Around the Blogosphere November 30, 2012

I’ve been hanging around out in the blogosphere lately and decided to bring to you a few things I found this week.

Challenged with writing about a life-changing moment, IVF Male shared a poignant post about infertility’s long series of life-changing moments in “Staring Down the Infertility Train.”

Mali celebrated the two-year anniversary of her wonderful blog at No Kidding in NZ.

On The Road Less Travelled, Loribeth writes about a different kind of anniversary­—what would have been her daughter’s 14th birthday—and the milestones she won’t get to celebrate.

And Pamela, at Silent Sorority, stuck her tongue firmly in her cheek and provided the facts to back up a theory many of us have probably considered, that perhaps we’re just too evolved to reproduce.

And from me, I’m just wishing you a Happy Friday and a great weekend.

 

Not the Holidays October 19, 2012

I’m sure I don’t need to point this out to any of you, but the holidays are just around the corner. While many of you will be decking the halls and celebrating, it can also be a tough time of year if you’re still working your way through that delicate phase of trying to get to grips with a life without children, and figuring out how your particular kind of family fits in.

It took me several years to fall back in love with the holidays. I hid from trick or treaters for a number of years, and Mr. Fab and I spent a couple of Thanksgivings out of town, dodging family obligations. One particularly miserable year, we decided to stay at home and celebrate Christmas alone, but when the time rolled around, neither of us had it in us to make merry. With no tree and no big family dinner, it was the farthest I’ve ever drifted from my expectations of how the holidays should be.

This year, if the weather ever drops below 90 degrees here in Los Angeles, I plan to get into the holiday spirit and put out my few Halloween decorations. I’m at the point now where the steady stream of impossibly cute trick or treaters doesn’t upset me, so I’ll probably stay in and hand out candy (perhaps one for the trick or treaters, one for me.) Mr. Fab and I will celebrate Thanksgiving in a very non-traditional way by biking to the beach for a picnic, and I’ll be renting a living Christmas tree from my friend’s company come December.

But for now, I’m celebrating that it’s not yet the holidays. And if you’re celebrating too and need a little comic relief, please enjoy Christina Applegate’s opening monologue on the topic from last week’s Saturday Night Live.

If you are steeling yourself for the coming season and could use a little moral support, please consider hanging out with me on Monday, October 29th at 5:30pm PST. I’ll be hosting a live call-in session where I’ll share some suggestions for getting through the difficult holiday season and answering some of your most pressing questions. I’ll also be talking about an opportunity to get on-going support throughout the season this year.

If you’d like to join the call or catch the recording later, please register here and I’ll send out the call access details.

If you have a question or topic you’d like to hear covered, please post it in the comments and I’ll make sure it gets included.

 

Whiny Wednesday: Bad News October 17, 2012

My friend called this week with “bad news.” I braced myself because this has been a week of one piece of bad news after another. It seems that every time the phone rings or I get an email from a friend it bears news of major illness, death, or financial disaster.

Fortunately, my friend’s bad news was only that she had to stand me up for a concert date we’ve had planned for six months. Any other week, I would have been aggravated, possibly devastated (it was an Adam Ant concert, after all), but if there’s any good news come from this week, it’s that all the bad news has taught me perspective.

Thankfully, it’s Whiny Wednesday. What’s your whine this week?

 

It Got Me Thinking…About Wit August 28, 2012

This post was originally published on September 27, 2011.

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

This morning, still brooding over yesterday’s failings and anticipating today’s regrets, I felt the need for something stronger than my book of affirmations to get me going. So, as I lingered in bed, I reached under my nightstand and pulled out The Portable Dorothy Parker.

It’s been several years since I’ve shared the company of the legendary wit who gave us “Brevity is the soul of lingerie” and “Men seldom make passes/At girls who wear glasses”…and I’ve missed her. As I skimmed some of her poems, I started to smile. Soon I was giggling. I laughed out loud when I landed on the quip that reminded me, “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”

So often I wake up steeled to take life so very seriously. I have roles and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled. I have bills to pay, decisions to make, dogs to feed, and schedules to plan. Sometimes the way I cheat and deprive myself in the daily quest to respond to all the “shoulds” gets so overwhelmingly depressing that I end up doing next to nothing and feeling like a worthless slug.

Ms. Parker had a few thoughts about this in her poem “Observation:”

If I don’t drive around the park,

I’m pretty sure to make my mark.

If I’m in bed each night by ten,

I may get back my looks again.

If I sustain from fun and such,

I’ll probably amount to much;

But I shall stay the way I am,

Because I do not give a damn.

That was just the inspiration I needed. I threw off the bed covers and marched purposely toward a refreshingly hot shower, vowing to ditch some of the day’s shoulds and go in search of more giggles. I hope to end the day with a better awareness of the absurdities of life, with a new perspective that will help me reorder the priorities on my to do list. It’s likely I won’t get everything done that needs to be done, but just for today, I choose to not give a damn.

Like Ms. Parker, Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a childfree freelance writer. 

 

Laughter: The Best Medicine August 6, 2012

This post was originally published on September 26, 2011

When was the last time you laughed? I mean really laughed. I’m talking deep, belly rumbling, side aching, snorting, laughter. Odds are, it’s been a while.

Last weekend I laughed longer and harder than I’ve laughed in a long, long time, and it felt SO GOOD!

The first bout came as my husband was telling our friends a funny and embarrassing story about his 21st birthday. I’ll spare the details, but think boys, bar, beer, waitress – use your imagination and you’ll be close. I’d heard the story before, but forgot the punch line, and for some reason it hit me right on the funny bone this time. I laughed so hard I had to excuse myself from the room to avoid snorting my adult beverage down my nose.

The second time happened when I rode a rollercoaster – something I haven’t done in absolutely YEARS! I certainly didn’t do anything so wild and outrageous during my TTC years (just in case, you know) and the opportunity hasn’t presented itself since. So, last weekend I rode The Roller Coaster at the New York-New York Hotel in Las Vegas.

Let me tell you, I laughed! I whooped down the first drop, howled through the corkscrew, screamed in delight around the spiral and laughed so hard my legs shook. And do you know what? I felt great!

Something loosened up when I laughed like that. Some lump of built up tension released in me, and the weight that’s been dragging me down for so long lifted. Maybe it’s only a temporary reprieve, but I’ll take it. Laughter really is an excellent medicine.

So, if you could use a laugh, here’s a good article about the health benefits of laughter, including some tips for adding laughter to your life. (I’m adding “ride a rollercoaster to the list.)

I know that when life doesn’t go as planned it’s hard to find any humor at all, and when you’re healing from loss and dealing with grief, nothing’s funny. I know. But finding something to smile about, even just a giggle, can do you a world of good, and when the time is right, a great big belly laugh can help put your whole life back into perspective.

So, my challenge to you this week: Find something to laugh about. If nothing’s funny, just force yourself to smile until it turns into a giggle, and then let the laughter follow. I promise you, you’ll feel so much better.

 

Chero: Nancy Wake, The White Mouse August 3, 2012

Courtesy: New York Times, Australia War Memorial, via European Pressphoto Agency

This post was originally published on December 2, 2011.

The world recently lost an inspiring chero…and a force to be reckoned with.

Nancy Wake was a freespirit who enjoyed the odd drink and a good laugh. After working with the French Resistance to help shelter airmen and prisoners of war, she was recruited by the British Special Operations agent. Although it’s rumored that she requested face cream and silk stocking be air-dropped in along with grenades and Sten guns, and that her flirtatious nature and alluring good looks aided her in eluding the Gestapo, Nancy Wake was not to be trifled with.

In the weeks prior to D-Day, she parachuted into southern France blew up the Gestapo headquarters, bicycled over 300 miles to find a radio operator, and reportedly killed a German sentry with her bare hands. Not surprisingly, she became the Gestapo’s most wanted person. Her ability to avoid capture earned her the nickname “White Mouse” and her courage earned her honors from five nations, making her the most decorated female spy of World War II.

She once told an interviewer, “I don’t see why we women should just wave our men a proud goodbye and then knit them balaclavas.”

Nancy Wake certainly didn’t do that. She passed away earlier this year at the ripe old age of 98.

 

A Creative Sabbatical and Reruns July 27, 2012

Summer is in full swing and I am heading off for a vacation. Hurray! Mr. Fab and I will be in England next month, celebrating my mum’s 80th birthday. I’ll be sure to post some pictures of the birthday lady.

I’m also checking myself out on a month-long sabbatical. In my mind, this means unplugging from technology and work responsibilities, and taking the entire month of August to do nothing but creative writing, including working on the novel I’ve been chipping away at for years.

In reality, I’m not going to be able to completely go underground, but in the spirit of trying, I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the next few weeks.

So as not to leave completely dead air, I’ll be posting reruns of some of the favorite posts from the past two years. For those of you who are new to the site, it will be a chance to snoop into the archives, and for those of you who’ve been with me for the duration, it might be a chance to reminisce and see how far we’ve all come.

So for now, it’s adieu, and I’ll look forward to being back in September, refreshed, revived, and ready for a new season.