On breaking my own rules

When we were going through our last IVF with the girls after years of failures, I decided I was done playing by “the rules.” 

I was going to show our transferred embryos what our life was like — really and truly — and let them be the judge of whether or not they wanted to be part of it. 

In previous rounds, I was kind of doing things in “audition mode.” I ate only healthy food, barely moved off my couch for fear of disrupting them, focused on positive visualizations, etc. 

Illustration by Bessa

But this time, rather than following the recommended restrictions that made me miserable (and didn’t even result in a good outcome for 3+ years) I decided I was done chasing perfection.

So I took them to (“not recommended”) yoga — twists and all. I went to a concert. I had delicious meals (with… gasp…a glass of wine!) that made me feel full in belly and heart. I made an effort to get off my damn couch to see friends and family, and shared with them if I was feeling scared or upset. 

I wanted to show those little embryos who we *really* were once the guidelines were out the window and let them see if they wanted to be a part of it — flaws and all.

I’m thankful every day that they decided the good outweighed the rest and stuck around. 

These last few weeks waiting for “Cupcakes Everywhere!” to be published has felt so similar.

I’m observing myself trying to do ALL THE THINGS that I “should do” as somebody releasing their first book, and it’s putting a lot of pressure on myself.

I “should be” beefing up my social media presence.
I “should be” walking into every independent bookstore in the greater Chicagoland area to introduce them to “Cupcakes.”
I “should be” asking everyone I know for an online review… hey maybe even those extended relatives on ancestry.com. 😛

But I’ve seen where the “shoulds” get me in the past… and it’s nowhere good!

So I’m just trying to be my normal, vulnerable, authentic human self while operating at a sustainable pace throughout this process — and know that whatever that looks like, it has got to be enough.

The only good thing that comes from a trial by fire? Self-awareness about what NOT to do next time.

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