Facing a brand new year without children

I’m going to the hospital for a “procedure” this morning. They’ll knock me out, send a camera down into my innards and hopefully find out what’s been bugging me for months. It’s probably nothing, but we have to make sure, right? Lacking family in the area, my friend Pat will be my driver and companion for the day. And that’s just fine with me.

Do I wish I had children today? Honestly, no. If they were young, I’d be worried about who would take care of them while I was incapacitated. If they were grown, I’d hate to have them hovering, worrying and telling me what to do. No, Pat is good. We understand each other, we have been through some hard stuff together, and she doesn’t drive me crazy. So when the time comes, I’ll hand her my purse, let the drugs send me away and know she’ll be in the recovery room when I wake up.

Too often, we drive ourselves crazy with the “what ifs.” What if I never have children? What if my partner leaves me or dies? What if I decide 10 years down the road that I regret the decisions I made? What if this pain in my gut is cancer? Oops, I said the C word. I’m getting carried away with my own what ifs. Most likely, the worst they will find is an ulcer that has already begun to heal or nothing but a reaction to stress. But meanwhile, there’s life to be lived, and we should be living it.

Let’s make 2016 the year we don’t waste a minute with what ifs, the year we live each precious moment consciously and with gratitude for the gifts we have right now, whether it be a person, a pet, a job, a home, or a donut. (I am so hungry! I can’t eat until my surgery is over.)

I’m excited about a new year. I hope you are, too. I ask two things of you all in 2016. First, if you have been dithering for years about the whole baby-partner thing, resolve it this coming year. Talk about it, pray about, think about it, make a decision and move on. Might you change your mind later? Of course. But for now, stop torturing yourself. Either accept your situation or make the leap to a new one.

Second, tell us what happened. We get so many comments here from people who are in crisis, who don’t know what to do, who are considering leaving their partners, who feel like they can’t bear their grief, but we rarely hear the rest of the story. Please, if you have commented before, send us a follow-up. We want to know how things turned out. If you would like, I can offer you the whole blog space to tell your story.

And yes, I will tell you what the doctor found.

I have another piece of news. An essay of mine appears in a new book that just came out. It’s titled Biting the Bullet: Essays on the Courage of Women. Click here for information.

I wish you all a wonderful new year. Thank you for coming here and being my friends.