- I try very hard to self-censure before I blab out some moronic, dumb, insensitive utterance that will very likely hurt someone's feelings or make me look like an asshole. For example, I was in a class at work yesterday and a woman walked by wearing, I kid you not, a white, furry, long-haired vest. She looked like half a lama. I caught myself turning to my neighbor to snort derisively at this woman's fashion choice and then stopped. And said nothing. The woman did indeed look like an alpaca, but I had no business verbalizing it to a stranger or near stranger. (Caveat: If my husband had been sitting next to me, I would not have been able to stop myself.) In a way, I'm looking at this as karma-reversal. How many times have I heard things like "when are you having children and how old are you anyway?" and "I've heard relaxation and avoidance of stress helps". I'm sure these are paybacks for the times I did make the lama remarks.
LESSON: One should not dress as a domesticated South American hoofed mammal. No, no, no, I mean: THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.
- A close corollary to bullet #1, I'm learning that even if I believe in my heart of hearts that someone is doing or about to do something that is completely moronic or stupid, I don't need to share the full extent of that belief (unless it involves bodily harm or excessive weight gain, particularly mine). Even if pressed for my "honest opinion." Even if someone flatters me excessively, tells me I'm funny, that my reproductive organs are those of a 16 year old, that they will die, just die, if they don't have my brutal, honest opinion. Nope, not getting it. You know why? Nine times out of ten, people just need to be heard. And you just need to listen. And gently, ask questions and reassure that person that you support them. Even if they're making what you perceive to be a huge mistake. I know this because I remember every single conversation I've had about this journey where I was allowed to cry and talk and cry and be heard. For me, I'm saving my brutal, honest opinions for that 1/10 person...my husband.
LESSON: Listening is a gift greater than words.
I realize that I've only written about two lessons I've learned from infertility that have made me less shrill, but I think they're biggies. (Notice how I didn't get defensive or say something mean like, "well you tell me what the hell you've learned in the last five months of any significance other than how not to wear goat.") Next month I will be posting from a yurt in Tibet on inner peace and the oneness of all human beings.
*According to People Magazine, J-Lo said about her pregnancy: "It was natural. We didn't do in vitro, which I know was reported. Everybody assumed that because we had twins. I wanted to have a baby, but I've always said exactly what I said all those years they (reporters) asked us since we've been married: 'Well, when are you guys gonna have some kids?' 'When it happens naturally, I guess!' And that's when it happened. It was a surprise to us."