The “to do” list

I was discussing my approach to things with my therapist last week–about how I am completely incapable of sitting down to a big task, unless all the little things are done first. And if there are too many small tasks, I’m absolutely paralyzed. I cannot get anything done. Before I cook dinner, I have to clean the kitchen. Before I can sit down to knit, I have to clear off the coffee table. Before I can go to bed, I have to clear off the dresser, tidy the living room, clear the dining room table and make the bed. Before I can do anything at work, I have to clear out my email, update my calendar, file my papers, plan dinner. Sometimes it takes so long to get the little things done, I can’t get the big things done. Some think this is procrastination. Maybe it is. But really, I cannot work if I don’t do these things first. I get very anxious and distracted if I haven’t completed my check list before starting a project. Once I get started on the real project, I’m efficient and finish it quickly. It just takes me a very long time to get started.

She asked if I felt that affected my TTC life as well. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I definitely believe it was a part of our FET in September. After IVF failed, we jumped right into FET. I hadn’t made a plan, I didn’t know what to do, so we just kept going. I didn’t take time to think about anything, and I wasn’t happy. I hadn’t exercised in months. I had gained almost 10 lbs. I was in negotiations for a job that would be starting about the same time that we would be due if IVF worked. I was trying to schedule the transfer for the two weeks between a trip to Washington, DC and Thanksgiving. Nothing felt right.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those who believes if you just relax you will get pregnant. I think that only applies to people who are able to get pregnant in the usual one year time frame, and then it is not so much the relaxation that gets them pregnant, but the well timed sex. I definitely believe things could have been better with our FET though, and while I have no idea if my anxiety had any bearing on our outcome, I know that is one thing I can change for next time.

So I have decided I should have a “to do” list pre-FET–get all those little things done with, so I’m ready and calm heading into our next FET. This was A’s reasoning for wanting to wait until April before moving forward, it just took me a few months to get on board with the plan. I have two months to get things done and it’s good to feel motivated again. Here’s the plan:

1. start exercising . I’m going to pass on the half marathon for now, but I’m planning on running the St. Patrick’s Day Dash in March (~4 miles). I’m doing some short runs during the week, and our Saturday running/brunch group is going again. I’m also going to the gym with A a few times a week, trying to get my muscle tone and abs back. It’s actually fun.

2. lose my IF weight. I’m back to using My Fitness Pal. I’m watching what I eat (for the most part). I’ve discovered skinnytaste.com. The weight is not as important as the exercise and feeling healthy part, so I think I will be successful with this one regardless of how much I weight in April.

3. get my mind in the game. I’m doing some easy “fertility” yoga. My friend has some meditation CDs she is going to let me borrow after her IVF cycle this month. I need to find ways to let my mind believe this *will* happen.

4. organize the house. I get very stressed out when things are cluttered, which is funny because I’m not a very tidy person. But I need to find some way to keep things organized without causing me stress. A regular cleaning schedule? A way to organize the mail? Declutter the shelves? This will be the hardest one, but I think it will be a good thing for life in general.

5. prepare for my new job, which I have accepted and I’m very much looking forward to. This one doesn’t really need to be done before FET, but I’m in a much better place job-wise now than I was in September. There’s a lot to get ready though. My plan is to work on this during our two weeks at the cabin on Flathead Lake. But this is the one I’m really excited about, and I think a list should have at least 5 items on it. 🙂

So that’s where I am–finding ways to deal with my little neuroses and making sure I’m in the best place I can be for FET #2. Killing time in a productive manner.

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