Wait, Nella--you just wrote 3 obnoxious posts about your awesome attitude. How does mourning jive with that? Yeah. Well, that's how life is. Staying as positive as you can, counting your blessings, offering up your sufferings: none of those make the negative or difficult go away. But it all helps you deal. Ignoring the challenges of this situation wouldn't be a great idea. I have to wade right into the pit and wallow there for a bit so I can let those disappointments go and move on. Part of the reality of my Lymphoma diagnosis are the sacrifices and sufferings. Ignoring them is not part of a good attitude, particularly because the sacrifices and sufferings are opportunities for me to learn and grow. In this series I'm going to look some particular disappointments in the eye, be honest about why they upset me, and then let them go. At least that's the idea.
With my cancer diagnosis and this pregnancy, my life has obviously changed a great deal. Some of the biggest lifestyle choices I have obsessively researched and implemented in our lives since we became parents over 9 years ago are changing in part or are being entirely abandoned. It is a tremendous blow to my pride to see that it will be dismantled. It's so easy when you research things and incorporate them into your life to begin to believe that they are right. FULL STOP. You of course say: "It's right for us.". But when you have accumulated mountains of evidence in support of your choices and read blogs and articles and books that agree with your choices it's only human to begin, even subconsciously (but really pretty consciously) to believe that your choices are right. FULL STOP. My very "right" choices that are being modified or eradicated are as follows:
Those are three intimate, profound decisions that we are having to reverse entirely or in part and it is hard. Each of those things can be good. Each of those things is very good. In the right situation. But when you choose them, it is really easy to get pulled down the "right" rabbit hole. It's nice to have your decisions validated and to be able to tell yourself: "Well, of course this isn't for everyone, but THANK GOD it's for me." Each of these decisions, the decision to have a homebirth, to breastfeed, and to homeschool were decisions I had the luxury of making. I've enjoyed good health and economic privilege. I took things that are privileges and I gave them the aura of virtues, but the truth is I was blessed to be able to choose things that aren't available to everyone. Each of these things are ideal. But they are not right. There is so little in the world, especially in the developed world, that is genuinely right or wrong. But I took these things and elevated them way beyond where they belong. It shouldn't be so emotional to let these things go in light of my situation. Cognitively it all makes sense. It's embarrassingly obvious that the right thing is to abandon homebirth, breastfeeding, and homeschooling(in part).
From the serious to the mundane, I can make an idol out of anything that I can make mine, which is everything. We all can. ~Calah Alexander
It's my pride, and only my pride, that is standing in my way and tormenting me at this point. I want to keep these ideal choices because I believed they were right, but when you decide something is right you are also deciding the opposite of it is wrong. But in these cases it's not. It's just less than ideal. We first world Mama's are really good at elevating all kinds of things to right or wrong. We want to give our families the best of everything. But the brutal truth is you can't have the best of everything all the time, and more than that, the fact that it's not the best or the ideal doesn't mean it's not a blessing. There are mothers all over the world who would give a limb or their lives (and even have), to give their children my consolation prizes. How dare I continue to spend energy on lamenting giving them up? I have to make myself get over it. I have to get over myself.
The next 3 posts will be me mourning that these choices have been taken from me, but also a challenge to my pride, an acknowledgement of the idols I've constructed in my life. What a hoot, eh?