Thursday, June 11, 2009

On thinking positively

So, a charming anonymous commenter pointed out yesterday that I must be reading some sort of self-help book on affirmations and positive thinking, because here I am talking about how to deal with babies I don't even have yet. I mean, that's shocking! What the hell is wrong with me? Don't I know that maybe I won't EVER have a baby? And even if I do, WHO KNOWS WHEN?

Lovely and upbeat as that perspective is, I have to say that I'm not too concerned about not knowing what the future holds. I don't think it will come as a shock to anybody on this blog that I am a Planner. I like to think about what I want out of my life, and then I like planning thoughtfully and making good decisions in order to make those things happen.

And you know what? In the past, this has worked pretty well for me. I'm living in a house that I love in a city that I love with a husband that I love and a dog that I love. I have a job that I love and I have a working from home situation that I love. I picked the college that I wanted to go to when I was 11 years old--and I went there. I wanted to study abroad, and I did--twice. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

I'm not bragging here, and I'm also not saying that I can take credit for all the good things that have happened to me. I understand that many of these things have occurred due to circumstances out of my control, or due to the inherent privilege of having been born into a life position that allowed me a lot of opportunities. I do recognize this.

But I also think that it's reasonable to say that I had a hand in making a lot of this stuff happen. I am tenacious (some might say stubborn), and if I want something, I do everything it takes to make it happen. If the original plan of action doesn't work out, I find another one, and if that doesn't work out I find a third one. I am not the type of person to consider my options exhausted, pretty much ever. I will keep going until I get it done, if I truly believe that it is a worthwhile thing.

Moving to Denver is a good example of this. Torsten and I had been wanting to move out of DC for about two years before it actually happened. We had picked Denver about six months before we actually moved. The economy sucked, the job market sucked, we had no idea that we'd be able to keep our jobs when we moved, we knew nobody in town, we had never even been to Colorado--but we knew that's what we wanted, and so we went after it. The mindset was, we WILL move to Denver. And many job applications and spreadsheets and Plans B and C and D later, here we are.

So, I have to say that I apply the same thinking to having a child. We WILL have a child. We want a child, I think we'd be decently good at raising a child, we bought a house that's designed for children. There's more than one way to have a child, and while I would certainly never turn into one of those crazy people who kidnaps a child or attempts to steal one out of another woman's pregnant belly in sheer desperation for a baby of their own--my tenacity has SOME limits--I believe and know that someday we WILL have a child, whether or not I give birth to it. Whether we adopt it privately, domestically, internationally, or from the U.S. foster care system. Some how, some way, someday we WILL have a child. And I don't think there's anything wrong with planning ahead for that.

But just in case all this babble about how happy and great my life is hasn't set you gagging yet, let me leave you with a photo of the gorgeous double rainbow we saw yesterday. Because apparently sunshine and rainbows is how I roll.

33 comments:

  1. You're thinking too positively? Wait, I thought you thought too NEGATIVELY. Your anonymous commenters need to get their stories straight.

    And really? Doesn't everyone think about the child they may or may not have prior to the child actually being conceived? Or does the moment of conception begin the thinking? Sheesh.

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  2. I love this. I remember you getting comments a few months back about being a Debbie Downer. People just can't decide what they want, can they? ;)

    As for all you have accomplished - it's totally on you. It says in the bible that we should "speak of that which is not as though it is, and it shall be." (Something along those lines). There is truth to positive affirmation, and I think that your life is great evidence of that.

    Rock on with the rainbows!

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  3. Yeaa I didn't understand that comment yesterday. Anyway I totally agree with you about all you wrote here and it reminded me of a quote I heard once: Everything you want, wants you too, but you have to take action to get it. Or something like that. Good on ya!

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  4. Haha I love it! I'm the same way in that if I set my mind on something, I will get it/it will happen. Not a bad thing!

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  5. I'm a Planner, too. While I think there's a lot the universe has in store for us that's beyond our control, I fully and completely believe we create our own destinies.

    Yeah, so who's been reading the self-help books NOW? :)

    (Me! I have! I have no shame. But for the record, I hated all of Eckhart Tolle's books!)

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  6. I love this post, it made me happy.

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  7. haha, that reminds of the comment dooce got recently that's become quasi-famous in its own right, the one all "i can't believe you're even talking about this drivel because don't you know WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE ONE DAY." which.. i mean... granted. it's true. but lawdsakes :-)

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  8. Ha ha love it!! That's how you roll!

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  9. Love. This. Post.

    It makes me feel all satisfied and empowered. Sunshine and rainbows, baby.

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  10. hahaha! The rainbow just cracked me up. You are too funny. lol

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  11. As a fellow planner and stubborn go-getter, I quite like the way you think.

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  12. Heh.

    I am also a Planner who thinks there is no such thing as "running out of options." (Unless we are talking about places to put the baby to sleep.) But I am also someone whose life looks NOTHING like I expected to at age 18 and THANK GOD FOR THAT. So I plan, but I try to leave room for Life To Happen. Optimistic sunshine-and-rainbows thinking? I can't possibly begin to understand why someone might object to THAT.

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  13. This is awesome. Such a great response to a rude anonymous commenter.

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  14. Hello, I love you. But you already knew that.

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  15. I like that you have such a positive outlook.

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  16. Some people just can't stand it when other people are goal oriented. That and you're pretty young which means that people are going to try to derail your confidence/plans even more-I found this out when I was planning on going to law school in my early 20s. It was something akin to a crime against humanity to be confident about academic success or improving one's life or something. Basically what it boils down to is that there are a group of people that just get on with life-they make plans, some come true, some fail but they get up and try again or reassess or just move on. And then there are other people who expend the better part of their energy figuring out every excuse in the book as to why they are incapable of doing X. These groups frequently annoy each other.

    Good luck with all your plans!

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  17. I saw that comment yesterday and I was like WTF?

    I think having a positive attitude is GREAT. Living in Denver doesn't hurt. :-)

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  18. There are always naysayers to rain on the parade, aren't there? Good for you for thinking positively! (Of course there are babies in your future!)

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  19. That's just what I love about this blog, you are either too positive or too negative, oy! LMAO! There is nothing wrong with being a planner. Planner's make the world go round!

    Thanks for the Goodwill suggestion, that thought never occurred to me! I wonder if I get Caleb to go with me? This thought has me laughing out loud, can you see an almost 16 year old shopping with his mom at Goodwill? It would be good fun watching him suffer!

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  20. Well said. :)

    Now I have to go read that comment...

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  21. Back to passports: good point about the baby smuggling, I never thought of that. (sounds silly: baby smuggling)...but yeah, I guess it would be pretty dumb to let a baby out of the country without a passport, or at least something proving that it's YOUR baby. You know, so that when you steal an infant right out of another pregnant woman's womb, you won't be able to go hide in Germany with it. Heh.

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  22. PS: I wouldn't get too mad at anon from yesterday. Most likely she is overly-sensitive to the idea of having a baby because it's been difficult for her to get pregnant, or someone she knows, or maybe she can't get pregnant, and she reacted emotionally by making an incorrect assumption about you. Whatever it is, people are usually externalising their own insecurities when they make comments like that, and it's not constructive to get offended or defensive (which you didn't, but some other commenters did). The desire versus ability to have children is obviously a very emotional subject, and very fundamental to some women; if you're having problems in that area, I'm sure it can feel like no one understands how you're feeling.

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  23. Just de-lurking to say that I saw (and snapped a picture of) that same double rainbow, I think. I couldn't believe how vibrant and un-wimpy the lower one looked. I tried to show the pictures to my husband and he was pretty much in the "uh, yeah, so?" camp... your picture is much better, maybe I'll show him that.

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  24. I just re-discovered your blog & this post is a prime example of why I love it. I'm really big into self determination too (and am also a planner). You have accomplished a ton- especially over the past year with the work situation & the moving & puppy, and I'm sure that most of it was, you know, thought out. What's the problem? lol

    If you weren't thinking about babies before having one, I would be worried. Anonymous people are so odd! Are we meant to not think about and focus on the things we want, so they just materialize? I'll pass thanks!

    Re: yesterday's post, having worked in kid's entertainment and 'babes in arms' tickets are something that people will leg wrestle for- I can imagine that in any travel industry there is equally crushing demand for. You can always just buy an extra seat if you like =)

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  25. jess, i LOVE the way you roll. you rock!

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  26. LOL. I wish I was rolling that way lately!

    There is nothing wrong with being a planner. My husband and I are the same way ;)

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  27. So we're not supposed to start planning for things that haven't happened yet? I shouldn't think about where a good place to raise children would be if I'm not pregnant at that moment? I shouldn't consider the job market in a particular city if I'm still in college and not employed?

    Dude, anonymous would HATE me. They have no idea how many scenarios I have considered should my husband get the job we're hoping for.

    Don't change a thing.

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  28. Thinking positively and planning and making things happen have worked well for you so far; I don't see any reason to quit now!

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  29. Yay for sunshine and rainbows, I say. And anyway, life isn't about circumstance or talent so much as the choices you make. You chose to be where you are, how you are - and that's why you're there.

    Simple but true. The way you roll is just dandy.

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  30. Oh my dear Target, first you complain too much and now you're too positive?

    I think that even if you NEVER WILL have a child, but PLAN to have a child under all normal circumstances, it's okay to talk about it without tacking a long disclaimer onto it every time you mention it. Geeziss, imagine how boring that would be if after EVERY SINGLE THING WE SAID we had to say "That is, if things work out the way I hope, which I hope they will, but I realize they don't ALWAYS in EVERY case work out for EVERYONE and that I should allow for the possibility that what I plan WON'T come to fruition."

    And I wonder, is it okay for us to say "When I die," or do we have to follow that with a disclaimer too?

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  31. Sorry I didn't to comment on this before, but I was in Littleton this day and got to see the double rainbow too. It was awesome!!

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  32. Delurking to say: Good for you!

    and Thanks for the reminder that sometimes you just need to say what you want!

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