Monthly Archives: February 2016

Maybe she’s born with words… maybe it’s insanity.

According to, the old “definition of insanity” adage is “the most overused cliche of all time,” which makes me laugh, because I’m about to do it again.

I started by googling “crazy is doing the same thing” to find out who actually said it and quickly learned that it wasn’t crazy that I meant, but rather insanity. So I started over again… “insanity is doing the same thing” and found that in that respect, the Internet went wild re: attribution. As the Internet is wont to do. Maybe it was Einstein who said it. Maybe not. But as Salon suggests, lots and lots and lots of people have repeated it, myself included.


They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

They who? I don’t know. The all powerful, ever present “they,” I suppose.

But are they right? And should I discuss it with you? These are the questions on my mind at present.


I’ve told you my infertility story. Dramatically recounted it in excruciating (to you, I’m sure) detail. So as I sit here, at the cusp of doing it all again (where “it all” = IVF)… I’m left wondering what to do about the words.


A while ago, there was a Twitter campaign associated with the hashtag #WhyIWrite. My response:


To let the words out. Some people really liked my response. Liked it enough to reach out to me personally, and that was really cool.

Honestly, it didn’t seem that profound when I put it out there. It was just my truth, but I can see why it resonated with other writers. They must, like me, at times get so over-stuffed with words that the release of writing is the only way forward. I’m not sure that this was ever truer than when I went through IVF the last time. The wild swings and crazy ups and downs filled me to the brim and blogging through it was incredibly cathartic for me. The release was exactly what I needed, the words on the page helped me to shape the thoughts in my head and explore the feelings wrapped around my heart, and the support I had through all of it from you, my dear readers, was phenomenal. It was so important to me, so valuable, and I feel so fortunate that writing, sharing, connecting in this way is a part of my life.

BUT. The definition of insanity…

We have decided to do IVF again. Just one more time. As I mentioned previously, for reasons beyond the blog-o-sphere, our chances of success are… what’s the right word?… low doesn’t quite do it justice… unlikely seems too bouncy… dismal seems a bit over dramatic… I’m not sure what the perfect turn of phrase is here, so I’ll borrow from our mutual frenemy Effie Trinket — the odds are not in our favor. Not now and definitely not in the future, so if we’re to have any chance at all of doing the baby making thing in this way, this is our shot. And we’re taking it. One more time, and only one more time. Given the poor odds and our previous experience, however, I have to wonder whether this is truly me bordering on the brink of proverbial insanity. And as such, what right do I have to run wild and free through Internet land talking and whining and ruminating again on something that may be just as insane (stupid/silly/dumb/wasteful/pathetic) as my inner mean girl (and the maybe-Einstein quote) would have me believe?


So… by way of long and twisty explanation (always)… I’ve been really back and forth about whether or not I should write about any of this again. Lots of self-deprecating cons (e.g., this is insanity, right? do people really want to read more about any of this? how much more could I possibly have to say? won’t it get repetitive?), but then the single, most important pro came to mind and it changed my mean, mean, mean mind: infertility is a big part of my life and IVF is where my head and heart, and by extension my words, are going to be for the next couple of months. That’s where I will be, where I am, and where I am is the only place from which I can truly connect with people, with you. So that’s where my words need to come from.

Ultimately, the point of my writing, and therefore Under the Tapestry, is to connect. And connections is, as I recently identified, one of my three core values. One of the things that really drives me, gives me purpose.  Connection, grace, and humor. So, here we go again — pull the lever, Kronk!



But seriously — maybe you would hate to read even one more single infertility related word? If so, tell me now! Uterus? Did I lose you? Granted, I have a feeling that I’m going to be gushing about a certain marathon in the very near future too… so there’ll be other thingzzz. I just think I’m probably going to say some things about my uterus too. Cool?

I wear leggings as pants. And other confessions.

Confession #1: It started with yoga. All the other girls were wearing leggings and it seemed like they were a bit more comfortable than me.

So I bought some.

Sister to sister selfie -- do I look ok???
Sister to sister selfie — do I look ok???

And then it got real cold, so I wore them under my running pants too. Until it got a bit warmer. And I lost the top layer. Leggings for running too.

And then, little by little, leggings on a random snowy Wednesday. I told myself it’s because it’s so much easier to slip on my boots this way, but… but it’s not… it’s…

See? Right into the boots! Easy peasy!
See? Right into the boots! Easy peasy!


I’m one of those people. Leggings as pants people. Do you hate me?


Confession #2: I flew down to Florida the day after my birthday from Central Wisconsin to Ft. Lauderdale via Detroit. That wasn’t the original plan, but a delay resulted in a rebooking and a re-routing and I had a couple hours to kill in Detroit. I hung out at the far end of the A terminal for a couple hours, reading and texting and Facebooking, like I do, until 30 minutes before my flight when I super responsibly got up to use the restroom one final time before boarding. As I walked in the door of the restroom I suddenly noticed the “men” sign on the door and quickly backed out — that was almost awkward! — and I ducked in the next. Crisis averted.

It was an odd restroom though. I needed a wastebasket in the stall (you know), but there wasn’t one. Ugh. Antiquated. No matter though, there was one near the sinks. So I washed my hands and ducked around the corner for a paper towel… at which point, a big long row of urinals came into view. My heart stopped, I whirled around, and in walked a man who looked just as confused as I felt.

Turns out… there are TWO doors to the men’s room. I backed out of the first only to walk right into the second.


Confession #3: I’m not a graceful person and falling while I run is kind of my thing. So stupid. And after something like my third fall in the last couple months, I have two seeeeriously bruised and skinned knees. I’m a 32 year old woman who is walking around Wisconsin in February with two skinned knees. For shame.

And it’s not even the ice, really. It’s tripping. Tripping over wonky sidewalks and the like. Even my pretty aqua green shoes are all nicked up at the toe. I want to be PERFECT at the marathon (since lord knows I won’t be fast), and these nicked up shoes and knocked up knees (at least my knees can get knocked up! ha!) are not going to do it for me.


And a million other confessable moments: I recently bullied (like, maybe she should tell someone about me…) a 50-year-old woman into reading the entire Harry Potter series and I don’t regret it. I fed my dog handfuls of butter after she swallowed a burr because it seemed like it might make it slide down her throat. I’ve spent way more hours than any adult should reading in the bathtub over the last couple weeks. With bubble bath. When I finally vacuumed my house last weekend, I recovered enough dog hair to make Curly a super personalized sweater and she doesn’t really even shed — that’s how long it had been. But worst of all: I let myself slip back into a dark place.


And that dark place, my darlings, is where I’ve been. I’m not sure exactly how it happened. It started the week before I traveled, I think… I got kind of busy and stopped doing the daily mindfulness practice I’d been cultivating. And then when I fell the last time, I stopped going to yoga because it really, really hurt my knees. The dark thoughts started creeping in, piling up, and I latched onto those again. I stopped writing, because I didn’t want to be a downer anymore. I spent an evening, and another, and another, even one particularly ugly weekday morning, sobbing about how much I hated myself. And I meant it.

Danger zone.


The truth is, I’m in a bad place. A place much worse than a men’s bathroom. (Granted, it really wasn’t a terrible place to be until I realized where exactly I was.) And I’m going to have to work really stupid hard to get back out again.

Confession #4: I feel really, really tired and I’m not entirely sure that it’s worth it.

I suspect that’s the depression talking, but it feels pretty true to me right now.


Interestingly, I know for a fact that there isn’t all that much “worth it” about running a marathon. And yet, I’m absolutely desperate to do that — willing to put in mountains worth of work to get there.

marathon training

So maybe I just need to print out some sort of anti-depression training plan and assume that it will be equivalently worth it. Fake it til I make it. Mile after mile.


So if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got five miles to go this evening yet — Curls spent last night puking, and I cleaning it up, so when 5:30 am rolled around this morning, I was in desperate need of a bit more sleep. But the treadmill calls and I have faith that crossing the finish line in DC in a couple of weeks will be worth it to me. Faith as well that putting in the work to climb out of the oubliette,* let the light in, and work to not be in such a dark place, will be worth it too.



*I use Audible to listen to books while I run. I’ve never read any Neil Gaiman before, but I couldn’t really ignore the legions of people I super respect who love him anymore and when I saw that American Gods was nearly 20 hours long (woo hoo! all that bang for the buck!), I jumped on it. Within the first 5 miles (I measure books now in miles rather than chapters), the main character mentions an oubliette. YES.