Monday, August 29, 2011

Let me be clear...

I am only having one child. 

This is not a fleeting thought. It's not the mad ramblings of someone who hasn't yet "recovered" from baby #1. It's not something I'll "get over", "move beyond" or otherwise change my mind about. 

This is a considered decision, jointly, by me and my husband, as a team, around what we want from life, the lifestyle we want to lead, where our priorities lie, what we feel we are capable of and what kind of parents we want to be. It has nothing to do with me being an only child and I have not strong-armed him into making this decision with me. We made our decision about only having one child much the same way we made our decision to have a child at all: with much thought and planning.  

It's also not something I will change by "accident". I am not a teenager with uncontrollable urges who thinks she can "get away with it".  Included in our plan is a pretty fail-safe method to ensure no accidents, thankyouverymuch.

This is not to say that I think that having an only child is the way to go for everyone. It's our personal decision much the same way that you having more than one child or none at all, is for you.  

There is nothing wrong with having multiple children, as many as you want and can provide for. It's probably fantastic to have siblings. I don't personally have any but I'm sure that I would have been equally as happy in my life if I had. If you have siblings, I'm also sure that you would have been just as happy as an only child. Seriously, I know this is hard to grasp because you love your brothers and sisters and cannot imagine life without them - as it should be. But you can't miss or mourn what you never had.

As an only child, my daughter will not be lonely or unsociable. But thanks for your concern. When I was a child, my house was always full of children; my friends, who loved to come over and hang out at my house. As an adult I consider myself to be sociable, outgoing, and no more selfish than the average person, so I think it's safe to say that being an only didn't turn me into a social pariah. Incidentally, I know plenty of selfish, unsocial folks with siblings: just sayin' 

There is also nothing wrong with having no children by choice. It's not selfish to recognize that parenthood is not for you. In fact, if you did have that realization and decided not to have children, I applaud you. Society begs you to be otherwise at every turn but having a child just because it's what everyone else does is a piss-poor reason, IMHO. 

In short, no matter your parental (or non-parental) status, whether you have brothers or sisters or are an only child, I do not judge you nor ask you to defend your decision. I may not understand your reality but that doesn't mean I don't respect your choice. I don't ask you "if you're sure" when you decide to have baby number 3, nor espouse the many joys of parenthood you're missing out on, if you've decided to have none. We all make decisions that are right for us and this one is right for our family. 

This post is directed at nobody in particular, by the way. I know a recent exchange occurred on Facebook on this topic but I am not mad at anyone or about anybody's comments. But the comments did spur me to write this post because they are part of an ongoing conversation that my husband and I continue to have with people in general, about our decision. 

As there becomes an increasing number of only children in the population I hope the attitude toward only children and their parents changes. There has been a stigma associated with this lifestyle choice for a long time and it is without empirical merit - read this if you're interested in learning more.

Comments on this post are disabled because this is not a subject up for discussion. Thanks for understanding.

Friday, August 19, 2011


One of the very many reasons I love my friends and love meeting new people is because they bring perspective to my life.

I'm the sort of person who is never happy with where I'm at in life, I'm always wanting to strive for the next new thing, create the next goal, the next project; change this, move that. This doesn't mean I am "never happy" just that I am always trying to get to "anywhere but here", both geographically and in terms of this moment in time.

My "anywhere but here" issue of late is my day job. You know, the one that pays all those pesky bills. I don't hate it but I don't love it. It's certainly not my passion. However, it has a lot of perks: I work from home, I don't have anyone breathing down my neck (most days), I control my own schedule, and I get a lot of input into how the company is run. Am I sick-and-tired to the hilt of being "coached", "assessed", and "moulded"? Absofrickinlutely! But would I want to work anywhere else? You know, in one of those cubicle farms with a supervisor and all that? Ughh... no. (I firmly believe myself to be unsupervisable.)

Today I met with another local photographer and now, I hope, friend, and we chatted about business stuff. She does this full time, lucky gal, and she is looking at making some changes in her business. As a result, she's going through a lot of the same stuff I am right now: pricing, web content, branding, direction...

What I realized in that chat is that, as much as the golden-handcuffs are 8 hours of my day where I am not pursuing my passion, they provide me with some financial freedom to take chances and fail; risks that are much more nail-biting when photography is your main income, your livelihood. The stakes are higher, the ramifications greater if you don't make the right decision.

So, while I still dream of a life where I have a regular stream of business and income from photography, and where I can cut those chains to my corporate life, right now I am given the luxury of experimenting with my business on my own time, in my own way, and without the fear of failure.

Like I said, perspective.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Neck, shoulders, hip, back, and knee

Yeah, it's been that kind of week (or so).

The past week or two I had been dealing with muscle spasms in my shoulders. This is a recurring thing that happens to me when I am under a lot of stress. It happens once or twice a year maybe and passes in a couple of weeks. I have some good PT exercises to speed-up the recovery and a great massage therapist to push the timeline further.

Last Saturday, as I was heading up to Lake Tahoe with Mum and Daisy, I finally felt my shoulders release with a deep exhale. Driving long distances is very therapeutic to me and just the thought of the long drive ahead allowed me to let everything go.

Ahhhhhhhhhh. Sweet relief!


I picked Daisy up in a hurry as we were leaving the beach and strained my lower back and left I.T. band (a tendon that runs from your butt down the outside of your thigh and connects to your knee.) Ouch. Again, not a new thing for me. Back to some old PT exercises to release it.

It just started getting better a couple of days ago and then, hey presto, my right knee started getting shooting pains whenever I lunged forward to kneel down or (now) walk up or down stairs.

I mean, can I get a break PLEASE!?

Knee pain is new for me, sadly. Fortunately, at least right now, it is only hurting in those certain planes of motion I mentioned and there is no obvious swelling. Performing some Google research suggests that I probably have patellar tendinitis (also known as Jumper's Knee), likely a result of the increased number of plyometric workouts I have been doing to get back in shape. (So much for that.)

I have an appointment with my doctor next week for a regular cracky-cracky and we'll see what he says.

All I can say for certain is this: I AM NOT GETTING KNEE SURGERY. I am so done with surgeries. I just hope this doesn't result in months and months of physical therapy again, because I'm kinda done with PT too. I don't have time for this (or the money!)

Groan. I hate to be a moaner but nothing puts me in a worse mood than physical limitations.
edited to add:

Shortly after writing this post I got excrutiating nerve pain in my lower back and hips; pain I have not had in a long, long time. I literally had to ice it until my ass was a popsicle, medicate with NSAIDS and do yoga breathing until I fell asleep sitting up. The side effect? Pain in my knee appears to be all but gone.

The ever-so-delicate phrase WHAT THE F***!? springs to mind.
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