Monday, May 21, 2018

Anticipatory Grief

Years ago, a friend of mine who was eight months pregnant commented that she hadn't set up her nursery yet, as she knew that it would upset her if she were so unlucky as to have a late complication and lose her baby.  Another friend, who was already a mother, gave her a piece of advice that has stuck with me to this day:

"If you lose your baby, you're going to be devastated whether you've set up the nursery or not.  All that you're accomplishing by trying to protect yourself from grief is preventing yourself from feeling joy right now."

I have been thinking about this a lot over the past ten days.  Ten days ago I met "the new girl", and in addition to blogging about her here, I've also been tweeting about her incessantly.  About how much we have in common.  About how easy it is to talk to her.  About how I kind of wanted to marry her after she told me that she has a plan to retire at 55.

I recognize that this is ridiculous.  We have known each other for only 10 days, and while there are many things that work, 10 days is way too soon to be making any sort of decisions about anything.  It is not impossible to think that we could end up in a wonderful forty-year-long relationship, but we could also be sick of each other by the end of the month.  We just don't know.

And honestly, I'm scared.  I'm scared that I am going to fuck something up, or she is going to fuck something up, or that things are just not going to align in the right way, and this lovely feeling I'm feeling is going to end.  So part of me thinks that I should stop tweeting and daydreaming and feeling all of the happy feels.

But then I remember the advice.  And I just go with it.


  1. I don't have any advice, but I wanted to send you positive vibes!

  2. Carpe diem! And some people have gotten married 10 days into knowing each other ;-) You just have to do the best you can in each moment and let that be enough.

  3. It's good advice. I should take it, too.

  4. Letting go of anticipation and enjoying each moment for what it has to offer is a great muscle to develop. It's hard, but worth it.

    1. As an anxious person, this is one of my weaknesses! But I'm trying hard to just let things be what they will be. And so far they are very good.

  5. I had exactly those thoughts when pregnant with JB and a friend pointed out the same thing.

    It's hard to learn how to be in the moment without leapfrogging to all the "ifs". I'm glad that you're working on trying to enjoy the present for what it is. And who's to say what's too soon? My therapist married his wife on their second date and were still happily married 30+ years later. PiC and I waited several years to marry. Others married within the same timespans and are or aren't happy. It all falls out the way it's going to, to some degree, but it all tends to feel the same in the beginning. Maybe that sameness fuels a bit of our anxieties (it STARTS happy but could go ANY way!)?

    I'm really happy for you as you're making these discoveries, they've all been so happy. <3