Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Odds & ends and midweek meltdowns

  • Another week, another funeral. :(  Between my recent cold, two funerals in two weeks (one week apart), getting ready to head off to dh's cousin's cottage, and then to go home, plus all the usual household stuff (cleaning, laundry, etc.)... I am exhausted.
    • Dh & I had a spat en route to the funeral this morning, which resulted in a mini-meltdown from me.  :(  Lately he's just been wearing a cloth mask -- which is better than nothing, of course, but nowhere near as effective as an N-95, or even a medical/surgical mask -- even though we are well stocked with several different models of N-95s & equivalents. He claims he can't breathe in them. (eyeroll) There were a lot more people at this visitation/funeral than the one last week -- the air purifier in the visitation room at the funeral home did not seem to be running, nor the air conditioning, and unlike last week, we were the ONLY ONES wearing masks this time around. I don't care that I'm the odd one out, but I DO care that the odds of me getting sick, even when I've had four shots to date and am wearing a good mask and using hand sanitizer liberally and doing my best to do all the right things, are increased because so many other people aren't willing to do the same. 
    • I feel like I am SO CLOSE -- tantalizingly close!! -- to getting home to see my parents, 10 months -- almost ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR after our last visit (last Christmas) (and after a crappy summer full of heat and humidity and surgeries and staying home to avoid covid) -- and I'm so afraid that one of us is going to get sick, or something is else going to happen to prevent me from getting there. :(   
    • Reinforcing that fear: every time I open my Facebook feed or my blog reader lately, another person is sick with covid -- and quite often someone who has managed to dodge it so far until now -- three today alone. :(   (I wish I was exaggerating.) 
    • Adding to my stress this week:  the federal government announced that it's rescinding all travel and border-related covid measures, including mask mandates on planes and trains. Effective October 1st (Friday). Just BEFORE we are about to fly, of course...! 
    • Then I told my mother (over the phone) that we are planning to fly with just carry-ons this time around, in an attempt not to lose our luggage in the chaos that has been Toronto Pearson Airport recently... we even made a special trip to the mall to buy new ones (our first visit there in more than a year, and only our second since the advent of covid). And she tells me she's cleaning closets, and I need to bring an extra suitcase with me so that I can bring back more of my stuff. (Like I have room for it here in my 874-square-foot condo anyway??)  I'm glad she (finally??) seems to be getting serious about cleaning out the house more -- but even if I brought an extra suitcase (which I'm not, not this time around), there is only so much I can bring back anyway. 
    • (Serenity now...!!) 
  • The bad news just keeps on coming lately.  One of my best friends from childhood lost her husband this week. Cancer. He was just 64. :(   I knew he'd been sick, but I didn't realize he was THAT sick.  :(  
  • From The Globe & Mail:  "We need to talk about the big lies behind freezing your eggs," a refreshingly honest essay by Alison Motluk. Sample passage: 
I’m here to tell you that it’s okay not to freeze your eggs. 

Decades from now, we will look back on this as one of the biggest boondoggles of our generation. We will talk about how we duped our young women, took their money in return for false hope, channelled them toward ruinous choices and left many not just in debt, but childless. All the while, we failed to resolve the real issues behind why many women who want children don’t feel they’re able to have them.

    • As usual, beware the comments...! 
    • Motluk has a Substack newsletter (as I've said, Substack is the new blog...!), HeyReprotech. This article appears to be taken from there (albeit it's behind a subscriber paywall). The archives go back to July 2018!   
  • Thanks to Pamela for flagging this article from The Hill for me on the same topic: "Success of egg freezing depends on these two factors, new study finds:  Patients who froze their eggs before they turned 38 or froze more eggs had about a 50 percent birth rate." 
  • From The Atlantic:  "Why Quitting Is Underrated" by Annie Duke, a former poker player (!), based on her forthcoming book, "Quit:  The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away." Infertility is not mentioned, but it's certainly relevant...! 
  • Those of us who wind up childless not by choice often feel like we have to "compensate" in some way by doing something big and bold and spectacular with our lives. That's why I loved this recent article from the New York Times by Sarah Wildman:  "I Don’t Need My Life to Be Remarkable."  (Content warning: the story involves a child with cancer.) Sample passage: 
Many years ago, before we had children, an old family friend who was a therapist offered a gentle bit of advice to my partner, Ian, who was wrestling with his future after leaving the Peace Corps early: Don’t look for every moment to be a 10, she told him. Sometimes you have to celebrate the fours, fives and sixes.

When Ian repeated it to me, we laughed. It felt like settling, if not an outright failure, not to seek something better. Up to that point we had always looked beyond where we stood to other, brighter moments. It would become a bit of a family joke between us: If something went awry we’d say, “Can you celebrate a one or a two?”

I’m no longer laughing. I’ve come to see the wisdom in not just seeking but finding joy in the mundane, in the unremarkable, even in the frankly boring, particularly in this era of global — and personal — illness. I realize I am far from unique in my efforts to appreciate the moment. It is the essence of mindfulness, the stuff of my (often failed) efforts to meditate. But it has allowed me to stand still when I might otherwise never stop moving.


  1. Thank you for sharing these articles. You are so good at finding good articles! I am sorry to hear about the not-fun stuff (funerals, spat, covid news). It's been a hard time and it's still a hard time. Abiding with you <3

  2. If he really can't breathe in them (or it's uncomfortable), then the 3M N95 VFlex 9105 is super breathable, especially if he has a larger face (@masknerd finds it very breathable in his tests too... I think it's the pressure drop measure, but I can't remember). Getting a comfortable well-fitting mask makes a huge difference.

  3. I read this last week but didn't have a chance to comment with other things going on. IP said it - you're so good at pointing us to articles. I'm so glad that someone finally was honest about egg freezing.

    It's so hard when we're happy to keep wearing masks, but others aren't. We wore masks at the show we went to last week, but maybe 1 % of people wore them - and I'm perhaps being generous, because of course I couldn't really see in a crowd of 3000 people! The same at the movies - we put on a mask (once we'd finished our ice-creams!) but only saw one other person doing it. Sigh. Masks are gone-burger, it seems!