Picking up where I left off in my last post … what better way to start off June than a new look and feel. I’m showing off my new blog header, designed and created by Calliope. She is a delight to collaborate with so anyone thinking of a new look should drop her a note.
As I mentioned recently to Mel, if there’s any silver lining at all to be found in having slogged my way through infertility, it’s been the fellowship, understanding and friendship I’ve found from those who have walked in my shoes.
This new blog heading is meant to communicate a few ideas — many of which came from your comments. The artwork is to remind me and my readers that we can rise from the flames that so painfully turned our dreams to ashes and see beauty in life once again.
What lessons have you learned as a result of infertility?
June 1, 2008 12:23 pm
It’s beautiful! My favourite part is the small dots that change colour in the background.
Lessons learned are all about not allowing others to feel alone. Because feeling alone in all of this sucks.
June 1, 2008 1:17 pm
I found your last post very heartening. It’s such a long road that you are taking, but you are doing it so bravely and wisely.
I like your new header with the release of the phoenix signaling new life.
June 1, 2008 1:19 pm
Wow PJ and Calliope –
That is gorgeous!
June 1, 2008 2:26 pm
What I learned? That it isn’t so much what happens to you, but what you do with it. The events themselves are usually short lived, the ramifications you have to live with can last forever.
Lovely header – Calliope does nice work. Once I figure out what I want, she’s doing mine!
June 1, 2008 3:24 pm
Beautiful in so many ways. Kudos to you and Calliope.
I learned that I am much stronger than I thought.
June 1, 2008 3:32 pm
That is a gorgeous header, and seems to be just right for where you are.
What lessons have I learned? I think you mentioned the biggest in one of your recent posts — that I don’t have to “fit in” with any group — parents, etc. — in order to be who I was meant to be. I can be healthy, whole, and happy, proud of my life and my accomplishments, without having procreated.
June 1, 2008 3:58 pm
Wow, it looks very very cool. Nicely done.
On the lesson – that I can drink a LOT of wine and never tire of more:-)
June 1, 2008 5:02 pm
So, so beautiful. Perfect for your blog, PJ-and great work, Cali (as always!)
I love what the Phoenix represents!
I couldn’t agree more about the friends and fellowship I have found through this journey…
June 1, 2008 5:17 pm
Love the new header. Seems like we have a similar theme going on 😉
June 1, 2008 5:26 pm
The header is absolutely gorgeous! You & Cali did a fantabulous job!
My lessons from infertility?
– Grumps & I are stronger than I thought
– Many, MANY things I can’t control, and that’s ok (still working on this one, tho)
– Sharing this roller coaster has brought so many wonderful friendships into my world, both IRL and in the computer.
June 1, 2008 6:27 pm
Oh, I forgot to add what lessons I have learned. These are only a few.
I’ve learned to be compassionate towards women going through all aspects of reproduction (not just infertility).
I’ve learned that pregnancy is not all bliss and euphoria.
I’ve learned that there’s something to “too much of a good thing”.
I’ve learned not to be so judgmental.
I’ve learned how to spell judgmental and lots of other words through IF blogging, LOL!!
June 1, 2008 6:58 pm
New header: Love it!!
Some lessons learned from IF:
* Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. (John Lennon)
* You can’t always get what you want. (But if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.)(Mick & Keith.)
* You can’t rely on other people (including children) to make you happy & bring meaning to your life. Only YOU can ultimately do that!
June 1, 2008 7:09 pm
LOVE it! excellent work, both of you! I love the power colors and imagery, the phoenix, the freedom, the subhead, and especially the message conveyed.
ah, lessons. first, compassion and community are important in the midst of crisis; even when I feel alone, I’m not, when I’m understood. and two, you can plan for the future but still have to take it one day at a time.
June 1, 2008 7:12 pm
I love the new header!
I have learned: that silence is the enemy: that ignorance isn’t bliss, it is unacceptable and hurtful: that sometimes someone you have never me who lives thousands of miles away can bring you the most comfort because she knows what it feels like. Recently I have learned that two lines doesn’t take the pain away and it doesn’t change who I am. Even though I am eternally grateful.
June 1, 2008 8:45 pm
I love the Phoenix glowing the most. It’s beautiful.
Lessons I’ve learned: 1) it’s my responsibility & my choice to be happy and 2) it’s important to never forget those still struggling because they still need your support (something my IRL resolved-IF friends didn’t do for me).
June 1, 2008 9:18 pm
Great colors! Love the Phoenix imagery too.
I think my biggest lessons have been:
1/ Fertility/Infertility is different for everyone; there are no one-size-fits all answers, solutions and most importantly, feelings.
2/ I will never ask certain questions without thinking first. Some questions I just won’t ask.
3/ The world, for the most part, does not are that you couldn’t have children of your own – for the most part.
4/ Fertility Clinics are to be regarded with a careful eye.
5/ The laws in this country regarding fertility, especially healthcare coverage, are insane.
6/ I am not alone, and that is comforting.
June 1, 2008 10:03 pm
I love your new header, especially the Barren But Beautiful part.
June 1, 2008 10:42 pm
Ooooo! I loves it! The side pic of the phoenix and the woman. She isn’t just rising from that ashes – she is embracing a new day. It is so powerful.
Some things IF has taught me:
*I have a huge capacity for living in “poor me” moments, but I can and sometimes even do choose not to go down that path
*It can often be hardest to deal with earlier on in the journey – before some of those coping skills are developed. It kind of puts the “pain olympics” on its head.
*I always thought my husband and I could survive anything together. Now I know it.
*The right therapist can make a world of difference.
*Infertility brings instant connection, but it is a connection that can dissolve instantly when one or both people move on and there isn’t anything else in the relationship to build on (It has only happened to me a few times, but I am still surprised when it does).
June 1, 2008 11:48 pm
I love your new header!
Struggling with infertility has made me a more patient and compassionate person. It has also brought me and my hubby closer.
June 2, 2008 2:01 am
Your header is just gorgeous.
I always feel like a bit of a fraud saying anything about IF, but I will say that my experience with loss has opened my eyes to the fact that the world is full of people who are in pain and made me acutely aware of the unfairness of the universe — not so much with reference to my own situation — but thinking of the paths others are walking.
June 2, 2008 3:58 am
I love love LOVE the new blog header and theme. Just beautiful,
June 2, 2008 4:18 am
That life is full of bullshit and you can’t plan nothin. Oh and nothing can ever be easy.
June 2, 2008 7:52 am
Love the new header!
I can’t add much to the lessons above. Some great thoughts there already.
June 2, 2008 12:53 pm
Love the new header! Very cool.
As much as I hate admitting it, dealing with infertility, loss, the endless waiting, disappointments, etc, has kinda forced me to get serious about taking care of my mental health — like REALLY doing the work in therapy, learning the skill of being kind to myself, trying to work through this belief that I am “less then”, a victim, etc. It’s been hard, but I can see how this will help me with the rest of my life, whether or not that includes parenthood.
I am also grateful for the connections I’ve made through infertility (which sounds weird, but is true). As a grown-up, I’ve found it hard to make really good new friends, establish meaningful relationships with women. But somehow this experience has opened the doors to some of the best connections I’ve enjoyed in years, especially with women I might’ve been too intimidated by in the past — assumed they were too cool, thin, successful, etc, etc, to relate to me.
June 2, 2008 5:04 pm
I learned the true meaning of compassion can be found through suffering. It can also be used to deepen the appreciation of what you have and what you can do for others.
June 2, 2008 5:25 pm
First of all… I am loving on your new digs…
As for what I have learned from infertility…
* I am stronger than I thought I was
* I can be happy and content even when things are not turning out as I always planned (ok, there were TIMES that I felt this way, but not constantly).
* There are a lot of cool things to do with one’s life when you don’t have kids
* I REALLY want kids.
June 2, 2008 6:46 pm
I really like the new heading. It is great. (I never saw the old one though since I am here for show and tell.) I have learned that even though this journey is difficult, there are unexpected joys at every turn and there are always things to be thankful for despite all. I have also realized what wonderful people out there can be a network of support and friendship for those in hard times. They share small celebrations with you and cry with you when you need that. These people are wonderful and I have looked but have been yet to find some of the same characteristics in real life family and friends.
June 2, 2008 7:28 pm
I love, love, love the woman and the phoenix. The new header is fabulous!
I’ve learned many things from infertility but one of the most important is that life may not be fair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find happiness. It’s a lesson I’m continually re-learning.
June 3, 2008 1:44 am
Wow, the new header is really nice!!
What lessons have I learned…so many…patience, gratitude for all that I do have, living in the moment and enjoying it, empathy, remembering to look beyond the surface and realize that everyone has a “hidden” story…and more…because the journey isn’t over yet, so the learning isn’t either. 🙂
June 3, 2008 3:43 am
Glad I’m commenting on this one late, so I can read all of the joint wisdom acquired.
I’ve leaned that
> Fertile people just don’t understand.
> People close to me look down on me because of my infertility.
> Not everyone values authenticity. But I feel much more in synch with those who do.
> Nobody knows what’s best for you but you.
> It’s satisfying to follow your heart, your instincts, even if following them doesn’t lead you to success.
> It really is better to try than not. (My therapist would add “to a point.” But — I’ve learned that it’s up to us to decide that point!)
> It is truly a primal instinct for a woman to have a child.
> Even if that primal instinct doesn’t kick in in your 20s, it doesn’t mean it won’t ever kick in. It can kick in HARD.
> Women with endless to-do’s are driven to take time out to lend a shoulder-to- cry-on to other women they don’t even know, because they can’t help but feel the need to ease their pain.
June 3, 2008 6:32 pm
I LOVE the new look! The phoenix – poetically perfect.
My infertility taught me more about empathy and viewing the world through others eyes than I ever thought I could have learned. It’s taught me to try to find and take pleasure in the little things that many people take for granted, because sometimes, you can find yourself in a place where the little things become the ones that are the most important.
June 8, 2008 5:29 pm
P.S. You’ve been tagged! Details are in the June 8th post on my blog. Please don’t hate me ‘cuz I think you’re fabulous. 🙂
June 10, 2008 4:40 pm
*that I cannot and will not give all of my energy to my grief-I have too much to be grateful for.
*that society does not care that I can’t have children.
*that just because society doesn’t care, doesn’t mean people don’t love me.
*that looking forward to travel and to working on my own projects (such as running marathons) is COOL
*that I am strong.
*that in the end, God’s grace sustains.
June 10, 2008 7:56 pm
Pamela, I think the new header is gorgeous, but I want to suggest a minor change, see what you think. The tag says ‘barren BUT beautiful’. How about ‘barren AND beautiful’ – I think the former sounds a little defensive, while the second embraces it – after all, why shouldn’t a barren woman be beautiful?
Not sure how you’ll feel about that, but hope you don’t mind me sharing my reaction.
June 11, 2008 11:11 pm
Good point, Thalia. Calli and I have made an adjustment (see the modified banner above).
June 17, 2010 7:14 pm
I’ve been thinking of having a phoenix tattoo for a while now…
but mostly because i thought we would succeed, and therefore finally rise from our ashes…….
instead, i’m stuck with the other two: a vine around my ankle (see the hidden meaning?: “no flowers”) and a mermaid (as i always say “well, i might as well be half a fish…”)