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When Will You Have a Baby?

Lifehacker recently had an article on how to answer the “when will you have a baby?” question when you’re infertile.  It’s an interesting read, and I’ll give you a second to go through their advice if you’ll come back to discuss.  Are you back?  Good.

Part of the problem is that this article assumes the question is being asked in a straightforward manner.  Someone pleasantly looks at you and says over their drink, “Say, Melissa!  When will you have a baby?”  And then I can politely answer back with one of their stock answers.  Conversation tied up with a bow and… scene.

But that’s not how it goes.

More often than not, the question is not actually asked as a question.  It’s made as a comment.  Or it’s part of a joke.  People don’t ask the question insomuch as they poke you with their words, as if they’re trying to dislodge the answer by virtually shaking you, much as one does a snack item stuck in a vending machine.

I’ve never had someone thoughtfully pose the question in the same way that they asked me where I was applying for college, looking for a house, or applying for a job.  Once I entered the land of marriage and baby, people came at the topic sideways.  Assumptions were made about the timing and inevitability of the lifecycle event, and then jokes or remarks followed.  The intention of the jokes or remarks was to get the information the listener wanted, indirectly.

I guess I wondered what everyone else has experienced.  Has the topic arrived in an intrusive but direct question, or have people broached the topic of babies through implication, comment, and unsolicited advice?

August 9, 2017   12 Comments

Backwards Myers-Briggs

I am positive that I once took a Myers-Briggs Personality Test because I remember talking to my parents about the results, but I have zero clue right now which personality type I fit and only a modicum of interest in re-answering all the questions in order to get the result.

But I was thinking about this because I read a humour piece on what everyone wishes I would stop doing based on my Myers-Briggs personality type.  I thought that maybe I was an INFP (“Acting like your dark, brooding thoughts make you superior to other people because you’re deeper and more complex than they are.”) except that I really fit the annoying qualities of an ISFJ as well as an ISFP.

Rather than take the test, which would directly reveal my personality type, I decided to check this chart and figure it out by the description.

I know that I’m definitely an I and not an E, so that eliminates 8 possibilities.

I think I’m more S than N.  Maybe.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m more N.

I think I’m more T than F.  Like I make quick decisions and move on.  That sounds more T than F, right?

And I know I’m definitely a J and not a P.  I am the least flexible and spontaneous person that I know.

Which makes me an ISTJ.  Or an INTJ.  (Or maybe an ISFJ or an INFJ).

So I think I’m an INTJ.  Maybe.  I should probably just take the test, right?  What are you?

And if I am an INTJ, that means my most annoying quality is “Talking to everyone like you’re a wise sage from the future, sent back in time to lecture them on the foolishness of their actions and thoughts.”

Yep.

August 8, 2017   7 Comments

#MicroblogMondays 154: Look at Linus

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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Carolyn Hax recently took a vacation and turned over her column to readers giving each other advice.  One of the ones that cracked me up came from someone annoyed at having to look at her co-worker’s baby pictures (without any reciprocation).  The person writes:

I worked with a lady who would bring pictures of her daughter to work every day, and she would show them to me. I understood her feelings for her child and was really willing to look at them.

One day, after I was looking the pictures of her daughter, I asked her if she’d like to see a picture of my cat. She gave me the nastiest look and said, “Why would I want to see a picture of your cat?” My response was, “For the same reason I’d want to see a picture of your daughter.”

No more daughter pictures showed up after that.

Um… I do turn my phone around and show people pictures of my guinea pig.  Wouldn’t you if you had a pig that looked like this?

Linus Aquinas

I would look at her cat, too.

What do you think of the person’s advice?  Good or bad?

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Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored post.

1. Mali (No Kidding in NZ) 9. Failing at Haiku 17. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal)
2. Mali (A Separate Life) 10. Circle of Daydreams 18. Amber
3. Cathy at Still Waters 11. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 19. Lori@ Laughing IS Conceivable
4. Traci York, Writer 12. Isabelle 20. A Focused Journey: 52 Small Changes Challenge
5. Journeywoman 13. Jewish IVF 21. Laughing IS Conceivable
6. Empty Arms, Broken Heart 14. Good Familes Do 22. deathstar
7. Inexplicably Missing 15. Chandra Lynn (Pics and Posts)
8. Daryl 16. Turia

August 7, 2017   24 Comments

Visiting Brakebills

There have been few books that have meant as much to me as the Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman.  A bunch of people have told me that they couldn’t stand the characters and stopped reading after the first book because they found them annoying.  But I loved every last character, every plot twist and turn (even the ones that made me sob because I was filled with regret FOR the character), every square inch of Fillory.

I love the books as much as (and maybe even moreso?) than Harry Potter.  I know.  Your mouth is probably hanging open at this point because Harry Potter is my life.  I’ve worn my Ravenclaw robes to the carpool line at school.  But, yeah, the Magicians trilogy is a comparable love.

The Guardian recently had an article about visiting the real life inspirations for Pemberley or Thornfield Hall.  Not included on the list was the inspiration for Brakebills: a combination of Bannerman’s Castle and Olana in New York.

We’ve been trying to plan a trip to the area, but the ferry (we don’t want to do the kayaks) to Pollepel Island only runs on the weekend, and we can only hit the area on a weekday.  We’re not sure if you can see the ruins from the shore, or if it’s a waste of time to go to the area if we can’t get out to the actual island.  I love the idea of being in the space that inspired Brakebills.

If I can’t get to an actual wizarding college, it’s the next best thing, right?

Does anyone know the area?  Can you see the castle without going on the island?

Moreover, which fictional building would you want to visit?

August 6, 2017   2 Comments

657th Friday Blog Roundup

I really love posts about productivity, even though I rarely put any ideas into actions. My bullet journal works for me, so I’m sticking to it. But I recently read a paragraph that defined everything for me:

Productivity is about understanding what you really want to do, then building systems to make it work for you. The goal isn’t Inbox Zero. (Who gives a shit?) Your goal is to enable yourself to perform at your very best, every day, and over the course of weeks and months and years.

Forget the fact that I give a shit about Inbox Zero, that is the best summary of productivity I’ve ever heard.  And it’s black-and-white.  Do you have a system that works?  Then you have the potential to be productive.  If you can’t explain your system or it’s too convoluted to use consistently or you don’t have one at all or you can’t even define what needs to get done?  Then you have a lot working against you in the productivity department.

Like the author of that blog post, I have systems to cover the fundamentals.  Okay, I’m a little hazy on the psychology section.  I have a terrible time saying no, I’m not positive, and I would never describe myself as resilient.  I’m sort of like a walking Russian novel.  But wait!  I’ve got the detail triangle all sewn up with my bullet journal.  So I have that going for me.

If you’re not feeling productive, maybe that post will trigger a new system for you.

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Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

  • None… sniff.

Okay, now my choices this week.

Inexplicably Missing has a post about being in one of those limbo spaces; needing to make decisions but not really having information to go on.  Thus is the life with unexplained infertility.  She writes, “I thought I was getting good with just not knowing. But then maybe I’m kidding myself to say that, because honestly, this whole infertility thing has got me feeling far less tolerant of uncertainty.”  Go over and read the whole post.

The Empress and the Fool is emerging from the newborn fog, seeing patterns begin to come back into her life.  She explains, “The girls napped at the same time today, and that precious window gave me a little time to write, to reclaim something of my own from my old life so I can better savor the blessings of my new one.”  I love that mental image of two sections of your life bridged by a common action.  Maybe I especially like that the action, in this case, is writing.

Anabegins has a post about tracking… everything.  This post resonated with me because I get very anxious when I track.  I need to write down everything (and it needs to follow capitalization and punctuation rules), and then it becomes one. more. thing. to. do. instead of a tool to help me live better.  I want to get started with My Fitness Pal again, but I don’t know how to track in a way that doesn’t drive me mad.  Posts like this give me hope, or at least let me know that I’m not alone.

Lastly, Empty Arms and Broken Heart has a post that may make you think the next time you see a kid melting down in a public space.  Instead of feeling irritated, it drives home the point that we all have hidden stories; things that inform our behaviour.

The roundup to the Roundup: How to be productive.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between July 28th and August 4th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

August 4, 2017   4 Comments

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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