Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

The Truth About The Myths Of Pregnancy

There is so much that your doctors don’t tell you about being pregnant, because they consider the information trivial and they just don’t have time in a busy clinic to go over little, normal stuff with you.

There are many things that your friends, family, and complete strangers WILL tell you.  A great deal of it is wrong.

The national hobby is scaring pregnant women.  As soon as someone finds out you are pregnant, they will immediately start telling you their worst horror stories, most of which are greatly exaggerated.  I find this strange, because if they found out you had, say, diabetes, they wouldn’t tell you horrible stories about having toes cut off, heart attacks, blindness, and arterial bypass grafts.  So why is it OK to say these things to pregnant women?  Actually it’s NOT.  But everyone will do it anyway.

People, usually other women, will tell you the stupidest, most ridiculous folktales about pregnancy.  You may, say, be reaching up to pull a book off a higher shelf, and a random person may walk up to you and say, “If you reach above your head, your baby will strangle.”  WTF?  That makes no sense at all.  And yet, I have gotten calls (usually at 3 AM) from sobbing mothers who have been convinced that getting soup out of the pantry has killed their baby.

If it sounds ridiculous, or impossible, it probably is.  Check with your doc if you’re concerned.  Just not at 3 AM, please.

They will also tell you that if you get in a swimming pool, the baby will drown.  Really?  Because that kid’s floating in a bag full of fluid right now.

They will tell you that if you eat pears, the baby will be affected somehow.

They will tell you if you have heartburn, the baby will have lots of hair.  How the hell can those be related?  Hint: they aren’t.

They will tell you that the heart rate can tell you the sex of the baby.  Bullshit.  The heart rate changes throughout the pregnancy.  Does that mean the sex of the baby keeps changing?  Uh, no.

They will tell you that whether you are “carrying the baby high or low ” determines the sex of the baby.  Not.

They will tell you about their horrible 72 hour labors.  They will tell you about how they felt everything in their C-section.  They will tell you about how they had surprise twins at the last minute.  They will tell you about a “dry birth”, whatever the hell that is.  Ignore these people.  They are not helping.  They are just trying to show off and make themselves look more important and special, that they survived these “horrific “situations.

Strangers will touch your belly.  Strangers will tell you they know the sex of the baby.  Strangers will tell you that you don’t look pregnant enough, that there is something wrong with the baby.  They will tell you that you look too big, and that you will have the baby early, or that there are secret twins in there.

News flash.  These people did not go to medical school.  They did not do a 4 year specialized residency.  They mostly just go to Walmart.  Apparently they bought their medical license there.

Do yourself a favor.  Do me a favor.  Ignore this crap.  Tell them to leave you alone.  They are NOT trying to help.  They are trying to scare you.  And it’s working.  Stop the madness.  Tell the back seat drivers to go bother someone else.  Or better yet, bother no one at all.

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Aquarium Dreams

When I was an infant, I had an aquarium.  It wasn’t exactly traditional, and probably today it would not be sold, and the PETA people would come after it, not to mention all the shrieking there would be about the risks of infant strangulation.  Plastic bags, and all that, you know.

My “aquarium” was a long, transparent bag, about 6 inches deep, and exactly long enough for its straps to tie across the rails of a crib.

I had a goldfish in my aquarium.  I don’t remember if he had a name, but I am this minute resolving to ask my mom if he did.

The bag was tied low enough (I wasn’t yet sitting or walking) that I could whap (this is a family word – I think it is a good one) on that bag with my hands, and watch that fish scoot around above me.

I kind of doubt the fish was happy, what with all the whapping and all.  However, apparently he did live for a good long time. Goldfish are pretty hardy, and easy to care for. 

His demise was brought about by my grandmother.  We apparently had to travel somewhere for some days, and she forgot to feed him.

I do not remember my fish.  I don’t think.  However, I am pretty sure my subconscious remembers my fish.

I dream a lot.  About fish. 

You know how there’s that one recurrent dream that everybody has, that they can’t explain why, and that they have various versions of it?

I dream about fish.  And aquariums.  Quite a bit.  Not every day, or week, or month, but I have dreamt about them a LOT.

I am very happy in my dream, because I have many aquariums, which contain a multitude of exotic (and implausible) fish.

I am happy but concerned, because I walk into a room full of tanks of fish, and someone has neglected or forgotten them, but I can see there are some live fish, and I set about cleaning them up and rescuing them.

I am VERY happy, because I am in a shop, and I am there to buy (some) fish.  These fish are WILDLY impossible creatures.  I remember once there was a miniature underwater giraffe.

Occasionally, I am horrified because I have many aquariums, and somehow I forget I have fish, and now they look miserable and sick, and it is all my fault, and I have to make amends, and clean them up, and make them better again.

In all my dreams, the fish make me VERY happy.  Except for the early on part where I find the forgotten ones, because they look sad.

In real life, I have owned goldfish, bettas, neon tetras, guppies, plecostomas (I may have spelled the name very wrong, but they are the little depressed looking bloopy ones who keep the tank clean), angelfish, fresh water sharks, and cichlids.

I love the goldfish the most.

Especially the fancy ones:  the Black Moors, the Lionhead Orandas, the Pearl Scales, and those black Telescope ones who have the bulging eyes.

I have had some of all of these goldfish.  I want to buy one right now.  Alas, we travel too much.

So what does this mean?  I have a feeling that I have a visual memory, or a stored feeling of happiness if I see a fish, from my infancy.  I’m pretty sure.

Is this true?  I don’t know, but I sure love fish.  I really love them.  And that makes me happy.  Very happy.

Shadowed: Weekly Photo Challenge

Disco Dock

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Shadowed.”

My daughter dances on a lighted dock in Stockholm, Sweden.

New: Weekly Photo Challenge

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge

New snow.

Narnia

Narnia

: “New.”

Sex Stuff Teens Should Know

I realized that my OB/Gyn self should make a post for the teens, since you are new at this stuff.

1. Yes, oral sex counts as sex.

2.  By law, your doctor can’t give any information about you to your parents, or anyone else, unless you sign a form saying it’s OK.

3. No, I will not be the one who tells your mom you’re pregnant.  You gotta tell her.  I don’t want to be around any flying bullets.

4.  Yes, you can get pregnant the first time.  And the second, and the third…

5. You can catch diseases having sex that can kill you.

6. There are some sexually transmitted diseases that can keep you from ever becoming a mom if they don’t get treated.

7. There is a safe vaccine that prevents cervical cancer and genital warts.  It’s almost 100% effective.  You can get it between ages 9-26.  Ask for it.  Ignore people who try to talk you out of it.

8. There is nothing shameful about giving up your baby for adoption.  If you are strong and smart enough to do it, you’re a hero.

9. Some states still require that we notify your parents if you are seeking an abortion.  Google your state laws. 

10. I don’t do abortions, but I won’t hate you, judge you, or stop seeing you if you have one.

11. Ask questions when you are talking to us.  We won’t think you’re silly, or slutty, or dumb.  We don’t judge and we will tell you the truth.

12.  If your friend told you something about sex that sounds crazy, it’s probably crazy.  Ask one of us.

13. Guys are dogs.  Especially guys your age.  They will screw anything that holds still long enough.  They will say anything to get laid.  Just sayin’.

14. If you are under 18, and the guy is over 18, they can be arrested for rape.  Even if you are OK with this, if your parents find out and call the cops, your guy will be arrested and will be a registered sex offender for life.  That is a life wrecker.

15. Do not lie about your age.

16. If you are in high school, any college-aged guy who wants to sleep with you is immature and shallow and will screw you over and dump you.  And if the guy is over thirty and he tries it, he is a FREAK.  And a pedophile.  He is not in love with you.  He might want to kill you and bury you in his basement.

17. I am totally not kidding about #16.

18. If it sounds like a bad idea, it probably is.

19. Parents are a pain in the butt sometimes, but they actually know about more than you think.  If they warn you about something, they are not trying to ruin your fun, they are trying to save your ass from horrible shit.  Same from us doctors.

20. 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.  That’s a LOT.  Be smart.  Don’t be one of them.  Watch your drug and alcohol intake around guys, especially ones you don’t know.

21. Never accept a drink from someone you don’t know, and never walk away from a drink without one of your friends watching it.  Date rape drugs are out there.  A lot.

22. Travel in packs.  Predators are more likely to go after you if you are alone.

23. IF YOU ARE RAPED, go to the hospital ER immediately.  Do not shower, bathe, wash your hands, clean your nails, douche, or change your clothes.  There is evidence against your attacker in all of those.

24. You can be raped by an acquaintance, a date, a friend, a boyfriend, or even a husband.  If you said no, and they made you, it’s rape.  The law supports you 100% on that.

25. Use condoms.  Carry them with you.  I know, blah blah blah, they’re no fun, guys don’t like them, whatever.  USE THEM.  They will protect you from getting pregnant, and from some really nasty diseases, some of which we can’t treat. 

26. A guy who brings his own condoms is a SMART, COOL, and CONFIDENT guy.

27. If we tell you not to have sex while we’re treating you, don’t.  You’ll catch whatever it is back again.  Make sure the guy got treated for the infection too.  Don’t have sex with him if he didn’t.

28. If you feel like you don’t trust the guy, you probably shouldn’t.

29. Don’t jump into having sex.  Once you start, it is very hard to stop.  Make sure your partner is someone you care for and trust if you’ve gotta do it.  If you start out having sex with someone you don’t care about, it will mess up your love life forever. 

30. Anyone who threatens to dump you if you won’t have sex sucks.  Dump them.

31. Sexting will screw up your life.  Once you send a naked picture out, it belongs to the whole world.  EVERYONE can find it and see it.  Like your parents.  Your minister.  Every guy in your school.  Once you put that pic out there, you can NEVER get it back.

32. I am totally also serious about #31.

33. Never EVER tell a stranger online your real life name or address, and no pictures.  His avatar may look like a hot high school guy, but if you don’t know him, he really might be some forty year-old guy with yellow teeth, or a baby raper who wants to tie you up in some building.

34. Never use sex to pay for drugs.  If you start that, you will totally be screwed, in more ways than one.  When you were a kid, did you really wanna grow up to be a crack ho?

35. Ask your doc about what to expect if this is your first visit.  Ask to see things and find out what we will do and why.

36. Using birth control does NOT mean you are a slut.  It means you’re smart as hell.

37. There are a million ways to get birth control that are free or very cheap.  Ask your doc; we really don’t want you to be pregnant at a young age and we will do ANYTHING to make sure you can afford and get birth control.

38. If you have unprotected sex and are worried about getting pregnant, call us within 72 hours of having sex and we can get you a pill to help keep you from getting pregnant.  And no, the medicine does NOT cause abortions.

39. Don’t be scared of your OB/Gyn.  We can help you with LOTS of stuff.  We’re not looking to bust you.  Believe it or not, we’re mostly pretty cool people.   You can tell because it doesn’t freak us out to talk about random sex stuff. We get paid to talk about it.

40. Telling ANYONE anything about you in our office is against the law unless you sign a form giving us permission.  They can fine us up to 10,000 dollars if we do tell anyone.  We really don’t want to throw away that kind of money.

41. Some sexually transmitted diseases must be reported to the health department, so they can find and treat your partners.  They do NOT call your parents.

42. Having sex with lots of people is a terrible idea.  Your chances of catching diseases, getting pregnant, and other bad things go way up.  You are considered high risk if you do.

43. If you are wondering if you might be gay, or you feel confused about that, we are happy to answer ANY questions you  have.  3% of the population is gay.  We take care of GLBT people all the time.  We don’t judge.  And we won’t try to “talk you out of it.”. If one of us does try to, find a new doctor.

44. If anyone, even a doctor or a coach or a teacher or someone you babysit for, says things about sex that make you nervous, or asks questions about your sex life that are creepy and none of their business, stay away from them.  If they continue, tell a parent or some other adult you trust.

45. If someone in your life is hurting you, abusing you, or having sex with you against your will, your OB/Gyn office has phone numbers on little pieces of paper that you can hide in your clothes.  Call the number, and someone will come pick you up right away, no questions asked, and put you in a secret safe place.

46. If you are pregnant and hiding it from everyone, DON’T.  If you have the baby in secret, DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT KILLING OR HIDING THE BABY.  Almost every state has a law that you can drop a baby off at a hospital without being arrested.  Don’t be a baby killer.  They’ll catch you, arrest you, put your picture in the paper, and put you in jail.

47. If you are pregnant, the earlier you find out and make plans, the better.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to make any decisions.

48.  If you plan to stay pregnant, find an OB doctor right away.  Most pregnant teens can get health care.  We will make sure you and the baby are growing safely.  You or the baby are more likely to die or get sick if you aren’t seeing a doctor.

49. Be honest with your doctor about drugs you are taking, even if they are illegal.  We are not your parents.  We are not the cops.  We’re not going to bust you.  We just want to help you get off the drugs if you need help.  If you are pregnant, there are special things to do for you and the baby that will help keep you from dying because of the drugs.

50. We are here for you to use, for information, help, birth control, advice, and laws dealing with the things you are dealing with.  Use us!  We are like Google for female stuff. 

51. Ask your friends about an OB/Gyn that they like.  Your mom should almost certainly be seeing one of us.  Chances are, she would rather take you than let something bad happen to you.

Warmth: Weekly Photo Challenge

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Warmth.wpid-img_20140709_125953405.jpg

Nothing much warmer than a hothouse full of orchids.  One of my husband’s memories from his dad:  he inherited an orchid and that started our collection.  This bloom arrived in time for my daughter’s ninth birthday.

Hah Bumbug!

image

The Beadstork family is a bit eccentric. I will seamlessly offer proof in the form of a list of our Christmas Day activities:

1. My husband did actual billable computer work. On Christmas. He works EVERY DAY. And he fixed my Mom’s computer.

2. My father consumed an entire pound of homemade fudge between the hours of 9 AM and 7 PM.

3. My daughter’s favorite gift was a bow and arrow – a toy, but much better made and high tech. She spent the entire day shooting the suction cup arrow down the hall into the front door. By bedtime she had a blister.

4. We ran the dishwasher 3 times.

5. I gave my husband a sterling silver chain maille choker that I made, worth hundreds of dollars. He gave me a library book that he made my daughter wrap.

6. We spent a good part of midday creating multicolored polymer high bounce balls with a chemical reaction that occurred in our kitchen.

7. My father read me poetry out of his poetry book that he published.

8. We had an exhaustive conversation about social status and personal responsibility. Somehow it turned into a discussion about how longbows and crossbows had rendered body armor obsolete.

9. My mom Facebook messaged me from her computer upstairs to my phone downstairs : “So where are you spending Christmas this year? Ohio? North Dakota?” From downstairs I messaged back: “Um… at your house?”

10. An enormous Wile E Coyote wearing a Santa hat sat in one of the living room chairs the whole weekend.

11. My mom gave me this AWESOME “Happy Light” designed to treat seasonal depression that I can also use to make my jewelry. Bonus: she says she got it free with the purchase of a lightbulb that cost a fraction of the free lamp!

12. We drank 3 pitchers of Crystal Light lemonade.

13. My father spent the day reading my “gift” book from the library. He’s a quarter of the way through already.

14. My seventy-something mom showed us videos on her smartphone.

15. My husband spent the evening reading a book on beginning meditation. New obsession!

16. Mom turned the sound off for every TV commercial during The Grinch.

17. My daughter and my mom made the annual “granddaughter-grandmother” cheese ball from scratch – a tradition now spanning 4 generations.

18. There were exotic chickens roaming through our yard. The peacocks were off duty today.

19. We temporarily lost the cat.

20. We found a picture of my friend’s dad on Facebook that had a mysterious glow between his legs, and three generations giggled about “Christmas balls”

21. I tantalized my daughter with tales of a tongue twister that results in horrible obscenities if said incorrectly.

22. We schemed to take up money to buy the neighbor a new muffler, since the poor man clearly can’t afford one.

23. My dad would have eaten all the mint brownies, so mom had to hide them.

24. We discussed the pros and cons of collecting copays up front in a doctor’s office.

25. I taught my daughter about super-nummerary nipples. She asked me if I have an extra boob, and when I said no, she said “Aww… I wanted a special mom!”. I told her that I am way too special already without one.

26. We discussed the importance of protecting book spines and dust covers.

27. I ranted about super-conservatives who equate using the word X-mas with satanism because ” you’re taking the Christ out of Christmas “. I worship Satan because I don’t write the word out longhand on every box I put back in the attic? Honestly, I told my husband, it’s not like we’re replacing the word Christ with a SKULL or anything, at which point my husband said, ” Bwa ha ha! Merry Skullmas!”, which became an instant family classic.

28. I got an email notifying me that I made Delta Diamond Medallion. It’s good to be the queen!

29. We argued over whether or not Will Wheaton was in Stand By Me (he was – ha!)

30. Mom read aloud an entire article about 18 little known facts about the movie A Christmas Story.

31. My daughter’s second favorite gift was a huge hardback set of the Lemony Snicket books. She lugged the box up and down the stairs all day.

32. My husband picked all the nuts out of his fudge.

33. I ate my husband’s ice cream, which made him avow eternal wrath.

34. My mom’s tuner croaked Christmas Eve, necessitating that we stream free Amazon Prime Christmas playlists off my phone via a little bullet speaker. We listened to Straight No Chaser nine hundred times.

35. I spent, like, a whole lot of time searching for sterling silver letters I bought to make a gift bracelet. I SWEAR I brought them. I KNOW I brought them.

36. I gave my dad a beaded bald eagle I made to add to his beaded bird collection – he has four now. I stayed up late Christmas Eve because I HAD to finish it.

37. My husband took four or five fists full of vitamins every few hours because he is attempting to purge mercury from his body.

38. Mom and I went through ALL of my daughter’s school pictures, only to discover that she has three sets that I don’t. What?

39. I caught my sweater on some blinds and knocked over a window-worth of Christmas decorations.

40. We discussed how the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors changed the Mayan social caste system.

41. Also, my husband texted me AS ME on my own phone demanding hot Christmas sex.

42. I ate something other than yogurt today.

43. My daughter made a Lego set containing police alligators with red and blue lights, moving tails and (SCORE) mouths that really open.

44. My husband gifted me an awesome fossil ammonite pendant from his trip to Slovenia.

45. I don’t think anyone ever got dressed.

Last flight home to the North Pole!  A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

The Cynic’s Stages Of Pregnancy

1)  Thinking About Having a Baby:  has no effect on whether or not you will actually have one.  The universe will pregger you pretty much as it chooses,  (or not) any time that it chooses.  A general rule of thumb:  your chances of conceiving a pregnancy are inversely proportionate to how much you want to be pregnant.

2)  Conceiving a Pregnancy:  Did you really think I was going to give you instructions here?  I will say, standing on your head may be helpful.  If you need to have conception explained to you, call your mom.  And then enjoy watching her freak out.  Especially if you are older than forty.  The internet is jam full of very interesting videos (OK, porn) which will offer you limitless ideas for different approaches to conception.  Or gonorrhea.  You’re more likely to get gonorrhea.  Fact:  pregnancy IS a sexually transmitted disease.

3)  Finding Out:  First, you have to deal with the baffling intricacies of the pregnancy test.  Most people choose to pee on an average of at least 6 sticks before they accept the verdict.  The home pregnancy tests available over the counter are exactly as accurate as the much more expensive Doctor Ones.  I’d do them at home unless you are having problems.  You may get the dreaded “kinda pregnant” result with the little faint pale fuzzy line.  Just repeat in a week.  If still fuzzy, call your doc to get sorted out.

4)  The Response:  divides more or less into three camps, although they may intersect somewhat.  You will either be Team Ohhhhh Noooo, or you will be Team Yessssss, with Team Ambivalent hovering in between.

5) Telling Everyone:  may be as follows: The OMG So Excited Twitter FB LinkedIn Email Text Phone Call Billboard strategy, also affectionately known as The Drama Approach, b) telling your partner, your family and your close friends, also known as the Moderate Approach or c) telling only your partner until you hit 12 weeks and your risk of miscarriage is pretty much gone – which is a very smart approach.  Up to 1 in 3 early pregnancies may end in miscarriage – if something happens, do you really want to face the painful questions and watch your friends fumble to think of the right thing to say?  This is the Cautious Approach, and as an OB, I must say I recommend it.
6) Early Pregnancy: you will look like you are getting fat and letting yourself go instead of looking pregnant. It is possible that you may barf up your toenails your entire first trimester. Maybe longer. Your boobs will hurt really bad and you will want to assassinate your partner for merely dragging the bed sheet across your chest. Your refrigerator and your trash will smell so bad you will vomit, because your sense of smell becomes so acute.
7) Your OB: by now, you’ve probably found one. Your first visit will be interminable, you will be asked all sorts of embarrassing questions, and they will remove approximately half of your blood from your body for labs. The ultrasound is really cool, though.
8) Second trimester: you will actually start to show, and get a baby bump, thank goodness. Your raging hormones will chill out a little. You may actually feel almost normal. I will warn you, the “glow of pregnancy” is actually grease.
This is when strangers will start to touch your belly and ask questions. Because the national pastime is scaring pregnant women to death, they will give you wrong and scary advice, tell you horrible stories, and you will call your OB in tears multiple times. One major plus: you get to feel the baby moving. Sometimes your partner can’t feel it yet and gets really jealous. Another bonus: you get to find out the sex of the baby. Or you may argue vigorously with your partner about whether you are going to find out the sex of the baby.
9) Planning For Delivery: you will be terrified of the impending delivery until you are so uncomfortable near your due date that you no longer care – you just want that baby OUT. If you are gung-ho, you will most likely have read at least 8 books about pregnancy and delivery, all of which made you more terrified than you already were. If you are really intrepid, you may have created a birth plan, or you may have gotten a doula or a midwife to attend your delivery. This is all OK with us, but OBs have a cynical expression:  “Birth plan + doula = C-section.”. This is not because we want you to have one; we want you to be happy with your birth, but it seems that the universe always conspires to make those who really want a natural birth need a C-section, which sucks for us and for you.
10) Delivery: I won’t delve into this much because everyone’s experience is different. This is a good time to give yourself a pep talk about control. As in, you don’t have any. We happily try to accommodate you, but what we need to do in labor is completely dictated by the baby’s well-being and by what your body does, and you can’t control either. This will help you to accept that you will have no control over most of your parenting either, because kids are little people and they often have other ideas about how any given day may proceed. Also, during your delivery, your partner may or may not pass out.
11) Bringing baby home: a properly installed car seat is a must. Then there is that moment where you pull up your driveway with a whole new person and you look at each other and think, ” Holy crap, what did we just do?!? “. And so it begins…

Twinkle: The Daily Post

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Twinkle.”

Disco Dock

My daughter dancing on lighted steps at a dock in Stockholm,  Sweden

All Or Nothing?

The question was posed:  is it more dangerous to want everything or nothing?

I think desiring everything can be an indication of ambition, if what you want is intangible.  Failure to narrow down these aspirations make one the proverbial “Jack of all Trades,  and Master of None.”  Those of us with this issue of course refer to ourselves as “Renaissance” persons.  It sounds better.

I had no goals in high school.  Except to survive.

Desire for things is a  symptom of the commercialization fed to us every day; we are bombarded:  ads on TV, ads online, the lure of a glistening store.

The sellers know, the more we are dissatisfied with ourselves, the more we are likely to buy a product.  “If I just bought this wrinkle cream, I would look younger and more desirable.”  “If I bought this treadmill, I would lose weight and be sexy.”  It is human nature to desire to improve, fit in, and of course, find a “better” mate.  And society has persuaded us, tragically, that this results from conspicuous consumption, not from internal change.

Desiring many things can also indicate greediness, addiction, hoarding issues, and narcissicism,  where people may spend more than they can afford, landing themselves in debt and jeopardizing their family’s finances.

I confess, I do want everything. Things.  In my case, I want to improve my looks, and to fit in with my peer groups, and I have definite packrat tendencies.  I love to shop, and sometimes I engage in retail therapy.  I shop when I feel bad, I shop when I feel good, I shop because I love to bring home piles of lovely things to add to my treasure troves of clothing, art and jewelry supplies, books, stationery, eclectic decorating items.  My interests are wide.  And since high school, I have harbored the conviction that the more “cool” things I have, the safer from criticism and ostracism I will be.

Wanting no material things; that’s good.  We could use more asceticism in life.  A simple life is examined and confident.

But wanting nothing; that can be scarier still.  I realized one day, a few years back, that despite hoarding my precious supplies of material things, that I have no goals left.

I had a goal to go to college; I finished with a whopper GPA .  Check.  Next goal: have fun.  Did that in spades.  Overdid that.  Next stop, medical school.  Made straight A’s my first two years, and nearly that the second two.  Check.  Next stop, residency.  Chose a specialty and spend a grueling 4 years training, being hazed, overworked and psychologically abused.  Survived it, and I never let them see me cry.  Check, check, check, check.

I bought the car of my dreams, a Porsche Carrera, after graduating.   Goal met.  I wanted to get married.  Finally met and married my husband at the ripe old age of 35.  Goal met.  We wanted children, and I produced a daughter with frightening speed.

And one day, I woke up and I realized there was nothing left.  All those life goals, done.  What else is there?   What do I want now?  What life achievement is out there?

I’ve given this a fair bit of thought.

Many aspire for grandchildren, which would be nice, but it is not a goal for me.

I want to make more friends.  I guess that’s sort of a goal.

I’d like to simplify my life by divesting myself of these possessions.  But I don’t really want to.

I want to improve my jewelry techniques and make selling my work more of a career and less of a hobby.  It’s a dream I cannot realize, since the loss of income would be unacceptable. That would be a goal, but it is inconveniently imaginary.

I want to get in better shape, but do I really?  I abhor gyms; they bore me, and I don’t go.  Must not be much of a goal, if I’m not doing anything about it..

I would like to write a book.  It may or may not happen.  I know I do have one in me.  It’s probably the only true goal I have left.

What I really want is to quit my job.  Scarcely a positive move.

Not wanting anything is an abyss you stare into.  There is nothing at the bottom of it, at the end of it.  In essence, life is over.  I feel I should just cede what’s left to the next generation.

Not wanting is the end of the road.  It brings on an unsurmountable depression.  I am reminded always of Peggy Lee’s song “Is That All There Is?”  I learned it as a kid, but didn’t realize the sadness and truth in it until I was older.

If you want material things, at least you are alive in a small way.  You are moving toward something, persuading yourself that amassing collections is a vital “hobby”.

I’ve always felt I want too many tangible things, but that never gave me this sinking feeling that there is nothing left to achieve.  That is a special kind of hell.  A bottomless pit.  And when hope is gone, that is a very, very dangerous thing.  A person with nothing to lose is a disaster waiting to happen.

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