Reflections on my 31st Year

Tomorrow is my 31st birthday.

My life as I turn 31 is nothing like I had planned. If I had gotten pregnant when I wanted to, at 27, I would probably be the mother to two children by now – I never wanted an only child, and my Husband likes the idea of two. I had planned, when we first started to try to get pregnant, to be some variation of a stay at home Mum – maybe looking after my nieces and nephews, the children of my friends, in order to stay at home and raise my children. I had just finished my degree and entered the workforce, but I wasn’t making enough money to rationalize paying for daycare over getting to raise my own kids. My Husband and I had long conversations about how we would balance responsibilities of parenting and our household budget.

The simple reality is that the life I had planned, the family we had anticipated, doesn’t exist. And today I mourn it, because tomorrow I want to look forward to another year.

There are benefits to being childless: Financial freedom, for one – once you ignore the semi-crippling student debt and soon to be mortgage burden. I can take a weekend off whenever I want and go see my brother, or flit off to Seattle or San Francisco, or Vegas, or wherever with a girlfriend just for fun, and without any worry about childcare – just making sure my Husband will be home to look after the furballs. I can work 12 hour days and get up at 4 am to go rowing without worrying that I am being selfish or taking time away from growing minds that need me. I can put money into my RRSP or buy an adorable pair of shoes just because I want to have them. I can put my career and education first – I certainly wouldn’t be halfway through a masters degree and building a reputation for myself if I had become a stay at home Mum. In short, I can prioritize myself in a way, and as a luxury, that those around me with children cannot.

I try to remind myself of the freedoms afforded me every day – and I do enjoy them – because I need to remember that there is never just one path, and one place to find value.

But today I will let myself grieve the life I thought I would have. And tomorrow I start another year, and I will look forward to what it will bring.



Weirdly Accurate Pregnancy Predictions

My birthday is in a couple of days. As I continue on into my 30s, more and more of my friends who do plan to have children are announcing their pregnancies. What is mildly interesting is the accuracy with which I am able to predict their announcement. In the last two years I have looked up and told my Husband that a friend was pregnant, and that they would be announcing it within the next two months, and been right every time. I’ve done it three times that I was sure, each time without actually seeing the friend in question in person. I am assuming that my own obsession over pregnancy has simply lent itself to seeing subtle changes in body language in pictures and tone of voice/text. Still, I do find it amusing, and I am totally going to see how accurate this predictive ability continues to be.

In other news, a friend just announced her pregnancy. I love her, she and her husband are going to be amazing parents, and she was very thoughtful in how she told me, which I also appreciate, because she is one of my friends who knows very well how upset I am about my own inability to conceive. Actually, she is the only friend who’s shoulder I have literally cried on – everyone else only gets the me who is composed and can acknowledge the pain and frustration, but never breaks or gets upset.

I don’t really know why I don’t like to show anyone how much this is affecting me. I suspect part of me feels like it would be showing weakness or vulnerability, and I don’t like to do that. I think there is also a degree of not thinking that anyone really wants to know or would understand. I still find the absence of procreation to be a sensitive and awkward subject to discuss – and honestly i’m not sure where the line between my own discomfort and that of the people around me starts and ends… so I choose just to live in my own.

However much I love my friend, I still feel a huge wave of “Why not me?” every time another announcement is made. And I hate that. So I appreciate it when they tell me privately, and not face to face, because it allows me to say all the right things and be happy for them while bawling my eyes out in private and snuggling with my furballs. So thats my plan for today – I am listening to Bach Cello Suites played on a stand up base (amazing, I highly recommend them) and cleaning my house while intermittently curling up on the couch with my beautiful furbabies and hiding from the world.




So Many Things…

It’s been an interesting few months dealing with the tenant who lives below us. It turns out that the boyfriend she moves in has been giving me the heebie-jeebies for good reason. Over the last two months they have been escalating their disruptive behaviour, and had in fact been evicted – sadly, the two month notice that the landlord was obligated to give them basically meant that the worst consequence had happened, so there was no reason for them to be anything other than ass holes to deal with. The deadline for them to leave was Halloween – which has come and gone, and they remain.

Last week I had my fifth conversation with the police in our area, and I asked straight up if the boyfriend, or Tweedledumb, as I choose to refer to him, was “known to the police” for violent crimes. The simple answer was yes. I generally can’t help myself when it comes to knowing as much as I can, so I did some basic internet research and asked a few people who would know, and the more I found out, the less safe I felt in our home, especially when my Husband has to be away overnight for work. Basically, Tweedledumb has a pretty long rap sheet as a drug dealer (think Meth, etc.), user, burgaler, vandal, gangbanger, and for using enforcers to intimidate and hurt people who get on his bad side. He is also rumoured to abuse children, which fits with why child services won’t let the girl’s child stay with her as long as she chooses to be with him (I call her Tweedledee). Unfortunately, all that separates our space from theirs are two flimsy hollow core doors and knob locks, so I don’t feel terribly secure.

Yesterday I woke up and headed out to rowing, and the whole lower level of the house smelled like something flammable – I wasn’t sure what. I notified the landlord, she called the firemen, and they found that Tweedledumb had apparently tried to light something on fire in the firepit out back (in the middle of the night, in a west coast rainstorm), got gas on his clothing whilst trying to burn whatever it was he wanted to get rid of, and decided that the gas soaked clothing should be brought inside. The story Tweedledumb told my husband was different though – he told my Husband that he was using the gas to clean his hands, like paint thinner, and used a towel to wipe himself off, which was where the smell came from. Given his penchant for moulding the truth, who knows what actually happened, but regardless, who is stupid enough to bring a gas soaked anything into the house? Tweedledumb, that’s who.

Because my Husband has had to be away for the past two days, a very good friend of mine offered to go and fetch my cat while I was at work, the dog is away with my Husband, and the cat and I have been staying with my friend while the landlord gets the court injunction needed to complete the eviction process and have both Tweedledee and Tweedledumb removed from the premises. I had to go home and get some stuff – clothing, etc. today, and as I left the landlord was calling the police and arguing with the little neener heads. I wanted no part of it, the past several months of their bullshit has been constantly exhausting. I don’t feel safe in my own home, I haven’t been able to sleep because of their base pumping death metal and paper thin walls, and it’s making it hard to concentrate on my school, work, and life in general. It’s taken a huge tole on my overall health: My nerves are frayed, my skin has gone to hell, and last week I had blood show up in my poop for five days, which is massively disturbing in and of itself. Although I did get a very funny story out of that – Of course I had to get a rectal exam done at the clinic, and the Doctor on duty was possibly the best looking man I have ever seen in my life…

Basically I am just feeling done. I don’t know what the upshot of things will be at my home this evening, and I just want a decent nights sleep.

Whine Whine Whine, I’m done now, I just needed to write all that out.