Sunday, May 14, 2017


Enjoying the beach in Okinawa

My Dad was my high school soccer coach, which had some perks but also a great many downsides, mostly relating to accusations of favoritism and him being particularly hard on me (because he wanted me to be the best I could be, but still).  In any event, one of his favorite acronyms was P.M.A., for "positive mental attitude."  Having a positive outlook on life is not something I've had trouble with until the last few years.  And a few weeks ago, I made a decision to make a change.

As those of you who have been reading know, I've been feeling terrible about my body lady, I'm been having perimenopausal symptoms, and my mood has been all over the place.  I hate feeling this way, but I wasn't doing much to fix it and I realized I was being whiny and downtrodden and not appreciating what I have.

There was a triggering event for this wake up call that came out of nowhere.  I receive the GOOP newsletter, and while I normally delete it straight away, last week something caught my eye.  There was an article whose subtitle mentioned hormone imbalance and is on the GOOP site here.  Hormone imbalance!  That's me!  I immediately clicked through, read the article, downloaded the Dr. Sara Gottfried's book The Hormone Cure, and read it in one night.  It reminded me of when I read It Starts with the Egg a few years ago and immediately overhauled our house (no BPA, glass containers), my toiletries and cosmetics, and my supplement and vitamin protocol.  I just had this feeling like, "Hey! I want to feel better. I know I'm not doing everything in my power to feel better right now and how lame is that? Just do it."  When I wanted to improve egg quality, I did EVERYTHING I could.  And why am I not doing that now?

In any event, I ordered $350 of supplements and vitamins that will hopefully be waiting for me at the Westin in Tokyo next week before we fly to Amsterdam.  I've signed up for a marathon and started running regularly and using this app I love called SWORKIT (it has workouts that will make you sweat that require no equipment, including yoga and pilates), plus I created an Instagram account where I'm posting about my running, which helps me stay motivated (@rundarcyedenrun if you are interested).  We've been making a point of being in bed at 9:30 PM and lights out at 10:00 PM, which means I feel rested in the morning no matter what time B wakes up.  I'll resume regular acupuncture and massage once we are home (that's tough to do on the road).  I've started keeping a gratitude log in my Bullet Journal.  I've stopped drinking and am reducing carbs/gluten and treats/dessert. I find that on the road it is easy to see all of this travel as "vacation," which means have a drink at night! Have dessert!  Have a mid-afternoon ice cream! The trouble is, that vacation is many months long and not two weeks so it has taken its toll.

I'm two weeks in to making these changes and I feel so much better.  I had this realization that I have been singularly focused on trying to get pregnant, grieving Q, being pregnant and thus anxious, or dealing with a miscarriage for almost FIVE YEARS (it will be five years in October from when we first started trying to have babies).  FIVE YEARS.  I've lost myself in so many ways during this time and I'm ready to get myself back.  I feel like a better Mom, wife, and happier person and I'm so excited to keep this up.

Okay, so I think I sound a little crazy and possibly a little manic, but I really do just feel better.  P.M.A.!

I'll leave you with two things that happened in the last week.
Jizo Statues in Kyoto

First, I found my Jizo for Baby L / Q!  I read this NYT article "The Japanese Art of Grieving a Miscarriage" and knew that when we were in Japan, I wanted to find one of my own to have at home.  In Japan, these small figurines honor the souls of babies who were never born.  I'd been looking since we arrived, but hadn't seen any (I am positive I was just not looking in the right place).  Last week, we finished a lovely day of biking and rode by a shop with lots of figurines on display outside.  We pulled over on our bikes and there in front of the shop next to a fountain were all of these little Jizo statues.  I picked one out and have it carefully wrapped to bring home.

Second, I bought ovulation predictor tests.  This required a great deal of Googling, searching many drug stores, and ultimately showing photos of what I wanted to employees and asking for help.  I finally found them and actually purchasing them requires taking an empty box to the front of the store, someone going to a back room to get them, and then several layers of bags and packaging being wrapped around them (this is standard in Japan and not specific to the OPKs, but still amusing).  I haven't tried to use them yet, but hopefully I can interpret the lines on the tests (they don't have the smily faces like at home).  It was a funny thing to search for in a country where nothing is written in English.  I do very much miss the convenience and anonymity of Amazon Prime.


  1. I'm so glad you found a Jizo statue. And glad you're feeling more like yourself, though if I had to drastically cut carbs and desserts I would NOT feel better, so kudos to you!

    1. Me, too! I was beginning to think I'd end up ordering one on Amazon when we got home despite having been to Japan. Ha - I do miss those things sometimes, plus a beer here and there, but on the whole I feel much better.

  2. Nice to read an update. So wonderful that you found Q's jizo statue. I love those moments and symbols (and symbolic moments) that knit pieces of life together. We all need a mythology.

    Surprised to hear how hard it is to find OPKs! Is it that embarrassing to admit one is trying to get pregnant? Or that you might need help? Or that you are having sex? I have to wonder, especially considering Japans low birth rate. I wonder how infertility is seen culturally?

    Mind you, I usually buy opks at the same drugstore here and sometimes the same staff and I wonder if they remember what I buy. Do they notice that I buy opks every month but never pregnancy tests? I've never had a comment other than "wow, those are expensive," but I do wonder sometimes what conclusions people draw.

    Good to hear you are doing things that improve health and make you feel good. Extended vacation sounds like a great time to begin as there are less pressures and commitments in other areas!

    1. I was surprised, too. I think it has to do with modesty and being uncomfortable discussing such things? I'm not sure. I haven't seen anything about infertility there, but of course I couldn't read any of the newspapers there so perhaps I'm just missing it. I certainly saw plenty of pregnant women :)

      Isn't that funny? I wonder if they notice, too. I used to be so embarrassed to buy tampons, which is ridiculous. Somehow I suspect they don't really care or remember.

  3. I think it's probably natural that it took this long (while traveling) to get back into the mindset of how you were living at home. It's completely normal, I assume, to spend most of your focus on the traveling aspect, planning, booking, enjoying, communicating that there is little time to manage how you were accustomed to living at home.

    The Jizo statues are beautiful and what a meaningful and subtle piece to bring home. Wishing you safe travels to Amsterdam!

    1. Thanks for making me feel better. It was/is tough to navigate the vacation mindset vs. this is real life, we just aren't at home in terms of indulging, exercising, etc. I do long for the days when I don't have to spend so much time planning travel, even though I know I am fortunate to be on this adventure.

  4. I read that NYT article too, and I'm so glad you found a Jizo. And that you're making these changes to feel better, and probably be healthier. Infertility and loss can be so all-consuming.

    1. Yes, it absolutely can/is. I'm trying to change that for myself since that's all I can control - I certainly can't control the getting pregnant part.