Wednesday, December 24, 2008

63 - Redefining "aviation lifestyle"

So I promised myself when I started this blog that I would try my best to be authentic. Authenticity is one of my ultimate goals - embracing everything that I am...the good, the bad, and the ugly. Well, while previous posts have embraced the good side, here is one that embraces the bad and the ugly.

In the last post, I talked about how, for the first time in 10 years, I was embracing our aviation lifestyle. I defined "aviation lifestyle" as one filled with traveling - specifically around the holidays. A lot of pilots just don't get holidays off - any of them. With Alex being so new at Delta, it will probably be a good 10 years of so before he will spend a holiday at home (Thanksgiving and Christmas). I hate this part of the holidays - HATE it. We have worked so hard at overcoming this as couple - Lord knows we have had countless "discussions" about it as we work to bring children into this family. So, as I previously stated, I thought I had made big progress by embracing the idea that I will just travel with Alex on the holidays...and as soon as our kids got old enough, we would all travel with daddy on the holidays. It has taken so much work to get to this place of acceptance.

So, it's the holidays. Christmas Eve. And I'm not traveling.

Alex is sick. Head cold. We all know it is dangerous to fly with a head cold. He decided about 9 hours before we were about to leave on our Italian extravaganza that he is too sick to fly. Of course I'm not blaming him for being sick, but when he made this decision, something inside of me truly snapped - truly. I think it was the years and years of instability around the holidays - both in our marriage and before our marriage - coming to a head. I tore down all the Christmas decorations yesterday - all of them. Both trees, all the little stuff. I sat out the one lonely 7 inch tree (undecorated) I bought last minute last year as I rushed to the airport in an attempt to meet up with him somewhere. Now does the above picture make sense? I'm not celebrating this year.

This "snap" would have happened regardless of circumstance - Alex being sick, the plane breaking, canceled flight because of the weather - it wouldn't have mattered. So let me now redefine what I mean by "aviation lifestyle"...

The beauty of traveling is a part of it...but a small part. What really defines the aviation lifestyle is instability...never knowing if what you've planned and hoped for is actually going to work out. Sounds familiar, doesn't it (to all you IFs)? And I know this is life in general...but aviation adds a thick layer of instability to the normal chaos that already exists in life. Do I mind staying at home with my husband for the holidays? Absolutely not. So many times I have hoped for this and it hasn't worked out. So I tried the other side - find hope for a happy holiday traveling...get excited about traveling. I've tried so hard to try to find a way to be happy with this lifestyle around the holidays. Now I'm at a loss. I really think the key to finding happiness around the holidays in an aviation lifestyle is to remain hopeless. I really don't mean that in a depressed way - I mean it in a very logical way.

Anyone reading this blog a pilot's spouse? I would love your comments and/or suggestions.

What's interesting is that it is now the next morning after I've torn down the decorations, and I have no regrets. I guess it had to happen - the snap, that is. Boy, it was a long time coming.

So I'm not sure what we are going to do these next couple of days. Alex is truly sick. So, we'll hang low. I'll go to the grocery store and buy some food (we, of course, hadn't shopped because we were going to be gone for so long). I think I'll do a little retail therapy today while Alex naps. My birthday is the 26th - the big 34. Is it just me or do birthdays now represent one more year down the infertile road?

Happy f'in Holidays! :-)


DAVs said...

Well, I'll start by saying I love the Grinch picture :) I'm a HUGE Grinch fan myself.

So I have to know--when you say "tore" down the Christmas decorations, were you literally whirling through the house tearing things up? OK, I'm not being snarky, I just had this image...

I'm really really sorry that all your plans and adjustments and accommodations didn't end up working out. It sucks. Plain and simple. You were owed that! And thus you were owed that snap. For sure. I'm glad you're getting to be TOGETHER for the holidays, even in the "less than" circumstances. You're right--all of this smacks of IF. And you were due a little tiny break from all the crap.

Hang in there. Wish we lived in the same time zone, I'd come over with some sugar cookies, gingerbread, truffles, apple pie cheesecake (new recipe) and then we could all fall into a sugar coma together. :)

Big hugs.

retro girl said...

Ashley, to answer your question, while I did not actually destroy anything, the whole scene did have a little tasmanian devil twist to it :-).

Nothing sounds better than a sugar induced coma right now...especially with your baking!

Lost in Space said...

Ah, there is my grinch! Love him!! (-;

The instability and ever changing "just have to go with the flow" way to live for the holidays sounds so much like IF. Each hurdle, each marker where it all seems to be going to plan - not a plan you wanted, but one you are adjusting to - and then it comes crashing down.

I wish you had a break from it all, one to just get away. It is so very unfair.

That sugar induced coma sounds heavenly, but I would have trouble eating all those beautiful cookies, Ashley!!

I hope you are able to find a little bright spot in your unexpected plans. Sending smiles and hugs.

Sky said...

No, it's not just you - birthdays are particularly brutal when knee-deep in infertility nightmares. It's a celebration of one more year OLDer with absolutely no baby to show for it. It sucks, you don't deserve it, your husband doesn't deserve it. SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS!


Polly Gamwich said...

I didn't know you were a pilot's wife.

I can't imagine what that transient holiday lifestyle must be like. I would imagine a lot of people glamorize the life of a pilot and you just have to live with the reality of it.

I hope you were able to have a little time together in spite of his sickness.

And yes, each year that passes is just painful. Happy birthday.

newenglander2 said...

I'm sorry to read about your failed attempts-I, too, am going through IVF. Hang in there, allow yourself to mourn your loss, then set a date when you want to snap out of it, and then follow through. That's what I do.
Actually your blogs show a lot of hope: when you stimulate you get lots of eggs, great fertilization rate, excellent quality day 3 embryos. Each one of these embryos has a 35% chance of implantation for you. I wander why the good doc didn't transfer 3 embryos-the chance of triplets is like 1% for your age!
Each embryo has its own genetic makeup and many things have to work in its favor. IVF is such a stressful event for these little embies-think about the trauma that's involved and the unnatural process.
I think you have a lot of hope, really. My sister went through two ivf's (the doc was always conservative with two embryos), both failed. She ended up pregnant twice on her own (one ectopic).
IVF is awful, but it offers us a hope that otherwise we wouldn't have. Too many times RE's give us too much hope, when in reality it's a game of luck, of probabilities.
Have a wonderful New Year, and hopefully 2009 will bring you some resolve in your life.

natenang654 said...

Sorry this is late.....Happy belated Birthday ~ just catching up and wanted to check on how you're doing?? Yep, another b-day is another reminder of another year w/out a child here, too.... :(

And, I'm sorry your plans for a traveling holiday did not work out - you're right - just like IF. To have a plan, and have it go "as planned", just once, would be nice....((((HUGS))))

Hang in there, wishing you a new year filled with much hope and happiness!