There Goes Peter Cottontail

I’ve been feeling sort of blah this weekend.  Tired, low-energy, quieter than usual.  It could be because today is CD1 (again–gotta love having a 23 day cycle), or it could be I’m in another holiday funk.  Hubby and I are not religious, and since most holidays are either religion- or family-based, it’s hard when days like today roll around.  It’s a day I feel like I should be doing something to celebrate, and yet, there isn’t anything in particular I want to celebrate.

The first year we were dating, Hubby and I did all the (major) holidays.  We lit candles for Hanukkah and exchanged gifts at Christmas before I went home to my family and he went to visit his.  He arranged and cooked a seder dinner, just for the two of us, at Passover.  I made him an Easter basket, and we colored eggs.  Since then, we’ve had the odd invitation to a seder, spent Thanksgiving or Christmas with my family (although we no longer buy gifts for each other), and even a Hanukkah with his, but we have no traditions just for us.

I keep thinking that when we have children it’ll be different.  That Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny will make their appearances and give some meaning and structure back to these days.  That we’ll have a new generation to whom we’ll pass the traditions of our families and cultures.  I want that to happen.  But in the meantime, I can’t spend each holiday feeling sorry for myself.

A decade ago, I would have gone to church today.  I would have prayed and sang and given thanks to a god whom I believed sacrificed something precious for me.  I no longer believe in those stories as anything more than metaphor.  I no longer have a community with whom I share a set of rituals, a language that bonds us to each other and the higher power we all believed in.

There are other communities to which I belong.  But our holidays have different names, are not culturally recognized or relatable.  This community, in particular, feels more like a secret society, one to which having a set of unlucky circumstances is the only password.  One to which all the members wish they didn’t belong.

So for days like today, it seems Hubby and I need to create our own community.  Our own traditions and rituals, separate from the ones with which we were raised, separate from the ones we will one day share with our children.  I don’t yet know what those are.  And I hope we won’t need them much longer.  Which is, perhaps, why they haven’t yet been created.


13 thoughts on “There Goes Peter Cottontail

  1. I feel the same way. In fact, I feel exactly the same way. Maybe its me all hopped up on hormones but this weekend has been a rough one.

    I know we share the secret society and the filthy password, but if I were there or you were here I’d like to think we’d like each other enough to go to brunch or have coffee. You really seem like someone I would be friends with.

    Keep writing, and keep hoping. You are in my thoughts, and I wish you good vibes, good health and all the things you are hoping for. (forgive me though because I freaking hate that term baby dust)

    • I’d love to have coffee or brunch with you, Jeanette! And we must be a lot alike, because I hate the term “baby dust” too. Good vibes to you, too, especially this weekend.

      • The first time I ever read your blog you said you hate the term “fur babies” and I thought “Thank goodness someone else hasn’t taken complete leave of their senses” I am not a fan of that one either. I love my pets, but no. They are not babies.

  2. This is a very moving post. When we were going through IF, the holidays didn’t feel right. They didn’t fit where we were and what we were feeling. It would be a great idea to maybe mold some holidays into a celebration more prone to the situation: aka an adult Easter brunch with fancy dishes and Bellinis. Darcy and I did that one year for Halloween: we hosted an adult-only party with special cocktails, scary movies playing on a loop and a fortune teller.

    • We used to do those adults-only parties for some holidays and even had a potluck Thanksgiving for the times we couldn’t travel to see my family, but it feels like we’ve become more and more introverted over time. (Well, that and the fact that a lot of our couple friends have moved away and/or had kids.) Our new-ish Thanksgiving tradition (which I love) is to sleep in, cook a big dinner and eat it in our pajamas while watching football on TV. It’s one of my new favorite holidays, and I think we need to have more traditions like that!

  3. That’s a really good way to put how holidays feel. I try to stay involved and do the same things I would have normally done before IF, but regardless, it doesn’t feel the same.

    • I was talking to one of my families about this today (minus the infertility part), and the mom was saying that she used to feel the same way before having kids. She put it as having outgrown some aspects of the holidays, and until she had kids, she didn’t really do anything either. It sort of made me feel better, knowing that it wasn’t just infertility doing this to me, as much as maybe being in-between the stages of life when holidays have the most meaning. Or something like that.

  4. I suspect you and your husband do have rituals and ceremonies — small, everyday ones. I know it’s not the same as holiday traditions, but just like how Shabbos is the most important holiday even though it comes every week, the daily rituals (who brings the coffee to the table every morning? how do you say goodbye when you leave for work? what’s the code only you can read that tells you when he’s getting upset/excited/bored/amused? what are the words you only use with each other?) can be so important in cementing your experience together. I know for me at least, I will take stupid nicknames and coffee in bed on Saturdays over elaborate celebrations any day. And I know it’s not the same, that it’s all tied up with the longing and the sadness and all the rest of the bullshit that goes along with this particular secret society, but it is something. I don’t mean at all to preach to you and I hope this comment doesn’t come off as Pollyannish “enjoy what you’ve got” crap. If it does I apologize and I retract it all. What I’m trying to say is, if not having the holiday celebrations is working for you right now, don’t beat yourself up about the fact that Santa doesn’t come to your house these days. Oh, I’m making it worse. I had better stop now…

    • I think you’re right. We have plenty of other rituals and secret codes between the two of us. I think it’s partly the commercialization of the holidays that so clearly points out to me what I don’t have that probably makes me sadder than anything. I just shouldn’t let it get to me, but it does.

      And don’t worry, you’re not making it worse. You’re pointing out the little things that I should be (and am) grateful for.

  5. We didn’t celebrate Easter at all this year but we had a nice long weekend working on getting the house more funtional. I think it’s okay to feel this way and if a child comes along we might create new traditions or pick up some from when we grew up. But right now, do what feels best for you at the time.

    • I think I would have felt a lot better if I would have had a project like that. I need projects sometimes, just to keep myself (and my mind) occupied. I wonder what my next project should be….?

  6. Oh, the holiday blues. They are so awful and weird, yet sometimes kind of nice. It sounds like you and your fella have made your own ways to appreciate Thanksgiving and now you can start to think of other fun ways to celebrate other holidays, ways that the kids that will come to be can join in on, yes? Either way, they are somehow not what I think they’re meant to be, most of the time.

    And, the 23 day cycles, I feel your pain. In my first year of trying I had 16 or 18 cycles (something like that). It was so depressing and I kept telling myself that the short cycles meant I was just getting more chances… but really it was just more negatives. Try to think of your body as REALLY efficient. 🙂

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