With Infertility, What Do We Hold Onto and What Do We Get Rid Of?
Infertility - Holding On and Letting Go
Spring cleaning almost always brings to mind what we want to get rid of; what is ready to be thrown away. That makes sense, doesn’t it? We need to clear out space for new things. In a garden, we need to trim away and cut down and even dig out the old for new growth to have space to evolve into.
With infertility, there are all these old feelings that come up. Not each one for every one of us. This is not a universal truth. Still, it’s typical and common for feelings of frustration, sadness, hopelessness, disappointment, fear and more to show their faces and stay a lot longer than we would like.
Going into the garden and digging, pruning, clearing out is a natural for me. And I have done some major damage that way for the simple reason that not every plant in my garden needs to be dug or pruned at the same time. Or at all. Some plants need to grow on last year or the last decade’s growth. It doesn’t grow anew every year. The perennials need to be removed if they weren’t all ready in the fall. They will not grow back. Careful where you dig, for the bulbs that you can’t see from the surface, they are there; resting comfortably, knowing it’s not quite their turn yet.
Spring cleaning isn’t only about getting rid of things, or even cleaning them up. Spring cleaning is also about recognizing what is valuable; what you want to keep. Perhaps it’s peace of mind. Or perhaps it’s something else that is very difficult to hold onto. Something very elusive.
There are fine and beautiful things in my garden and my home that I cherish and want to have remain in my life. Things in my garden that I cultivate, things in my home that I move out of the reach of my cats, (is there such a place?) so that they can survive unbroken.
It’s tempting to think that spring cleaning is a purge. Out with the old, in with new! Get rid of it all.
While I don’t like the feeling of being attached to material items, I have to confess that there are items that have a lot of meaning for me. In the case of a house fire? My animals are what I want out of the house, no further discussion needed. If I had time to rescue a few more things though, these are the things on the short list:
- My photographs
- My wedding rings if they weren’t already on my finger
- A plate with some very special handprints on it
- A drawing that a dear friend of mine gave me
Wow. I’m amazed at how difficult that list was to create because when I carefully consider what I want out there on the lawn if I were watching the house burn down; there just really aren’t things that I feel that attached to anymore. The objects in my house, while I’m very fond of, are not irreplaceable or inherently essential to me. The intangibles, now there are a few of those that I would want to hold onto. Here are just a few that have become more significant to me of late:
- Peace of mind
- A sense of calm, that ability to pause before acting or saying something
- My feeling of delight by the smallest of moments.
Getting back to spring cleaning. What do you want to hold on to as you toss out the stuff that you feel so done with? You may be as surprised as I was to realize what was on which list.
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About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.