March 18, 2011

Redefinition Day: Celebrating Myself Beyond My Infertility

Today I celebrate myself. (Silly hats optional.)
I used to call this day D-Day, for Diagnosis Day. My friend Honeybee has called it my Redefinition Day as I look back at from where I've come in just two years. Two years ago, all I could see was infertility, my life permenently changed and colored by this crushing diagnosis. Last year, I decided to celebrate myself, to move beyond this definition.

I take the time to set aside a whole day to tell myself: "I am more than my infertility." Has it changed me? Yes. It has impacted the ways in which I view the world, myself, and my relationships with others. It has colored my previous notions of what I want to be when I grow up. Does it define me? No. It has nearly beaten me down but I've risen up from its blows as an advocate, a wounded healer, a Warrior Woman.

. . .

One of the things that attracted me to Judaism is the notion of marking time, of sanctifying both the ordinary and extraordinary moments in our lives. There are rituals for births, coming of age, weddings, funerals, but there even the daily ritual of waking up is made holy and sacred. The kashrut sanctifies the very food we put into our bellies, recognizing that even nourishment is a blessing. In Judaism, every moment of life is precious and sacred, and so we mark it accordingly. With the devastation in Japan, there's no greater reminder of just how important it is to cherish each moment of our lives. (Speaking of: want to help the relief effort in Japan? Donate to the Red Cross here.)

It might be easy to paint this now "official" ritual of taking the day off as a way of brooding on something I should move beyond. But when I think about it from a Jewish context, it's almost like a yartzheit. I lost something very dear to me, and so on its anniversary, I choose to remember, reflect, and redefine myself beyond what was lost.

. . .

Last year I took the day off: I got a massage, I did nice things for myself. This year, with all the busy-ness of the last few weeks, I realized I had taken the day off from work but hadn't planned anything in particular. I received a lot of great ideas both in the comments here and on my Facebook page about how I could celebrate myself today.
 
I'm spending the first half of the day getting my car inspected. The lease is up and we'll be turning it in this weekend for a brand new car... details (with pics!) on Monday, promise. Then I'll grab myself a nice lunch. I'm thinking crepes at Gulu Gulu Cafe.
 
Then I'm heading to a zero balancing and massage session. Zero balancing is kind of hard to describe; it's an intergrative approach to energy work and massage, but it basically levels you out. I've had it done once about 5 years ago and I think I'm about due for another session. It's good stuff; it's not just stress-relieving, but leaves me feeling balanced and whole again.
 
After my ZB/massage, I think I'll swing by Cinema Salem to catch a matinee of the Korean film Poetry. The trailer has me hooked, and apparently my local theatre is one of less than ten screens showing it in the country. And then I think I'll get dinner and some drinks with Larry downtown, maybe hit up the Chianti jazz club in Beverly.
 
It's going to be a fab today. I'm looking forward to just celebrating myself for a whole day, of leaving behind year another year from my diagnosis. I wash my hands of the negativity, the doubt, the fear, the stress and rub my washed hands together and say to myself: "What work will I do this year?"
 
. . .
 
That said, even thought I'm sure many of you are at work or have busy lives today, you can help me celebrate too by celebrating yourselves! Even if you have just 10 minutes today, I want you to do something totally for yourself, to celebrate, pamper, and cherish the awesome person you are. Paint your toenails, have a cookie with lunch, go for a walk in your neighborhood, buy yourself a cheap bouquet of flowers, wear your favorite shade of lipstick. Whatever it is, do it for you and tell yourself: "I am effing awesome and I deserve nice things, to be happy, and to take some time for myself today."
 
Leave a comment telling me what you did for yourself today. I want to come back later tonight and see tons of good things you've all done for yourselves!

11 comments:

Good Timing said...

Good for you - celebrate yourself today! It sounds like you have a lovely day planned and you deserve it. Today I am sitting at home recovering from my lap, so I will be resting, reading a book while sipping tea and being taken care of by my husband. Not exactly celebrating myself, but more taking care of myself.

Gwen said...

Today I am taking a mental health day off from work, and tonight my husband and I will go out to our favorite restaurant for dinner to celebrate our 9 years of marriage.

stef said...

good for you! it must be hard to make that mental transition, it's so easy to just feel sorry for yourself. i need to take a note from you.

crepes! yummy!

Sonja said...

I'm going fabric shopping as soon as my freakin endo pain lightens :-)

Kira said...

I love the way you descriptive Judaism. The recognition of tradition and ritual is what drew my to Eastern Orthodoxy, but I'm so glad you have found something to keep you grounded and centered. :)

For myself today... well it's my birthday! So I'm spending the first half of the day just chilling with a good friend, and am looking forward to seeing my hubby after he has been out of town for a week for work. But I think I'll give myself an at-home mani/pedi at some point too :) And I got these great aromatherapy pills for the shower that smell amazing, so a nice luxurious shower with candles is in order too.

So glad you are finding a way to celebrate your life and take care of yourself. That zero-balance massage sounds awesome!

Baby Steps said...

I heart you... this was an awesome post! Thanks and rock on Fertility Warrior!!

Egg Donor Bank Expert said...

That's such a great idea! In this challenge that we currently face finding ways to step aside and observe who WE are is so important. Thanks for sharing such a simple but brilliant idea that can probably help greatly in one's inner-self.

Sushigirl said...

Hope you had a fab day, your activities all sound fun.

I'm not doing anything today, but in a few days I'm off for a weekend adventure. I can't wait...

Lisa Marsh said...

Hi Keiko,
I hope that your day of celebrating yourself brought you all the expected, and some unexpected, insights and experiences. It's a great idea. I've never heard of zero-balancing, but I would love to know more. How did it go?

I also hope that you have heard of the safety of any relatives you may have in Japan. I have an Aunt in California who is from Japan, and she said she managed to reach her sister while her apartment building was still shaking. I can't imagine the devastation this has caused, but the dignity of the Japanese people in the face of this tragedy is awesome.

Lisa (ICLW #112)
P.S. I'm speaking about fertility support today at the Fertility Focus Telesummit, which is free. I would love you to listen in to my talk and the other 11 speakers this week, either live or to the recordings afterward. You can register through my blog: www.yourgreatlife.typepad.com. Please help spread the word to anyone who is infertile and trying to conceive, or make decisions about treatment.

cagrlasu said...

what an awesome iea! Enjoy your day. I need a day like that. Been feeling pretty down adn depressed lately due to another BFN this morning.

CS said...

I think I don't read your blog often enough, I am very sorry, but I am confused - Infertility is not a diagnosis, it is a symptom. Anyhoo, I am drinking a glass of red wine right now since I am on vaca (and catching up on IF blogs!)