I am feeling lighter this week. There's a spring in my step, and it's not due to the sunny weather we're having.
I trace the origins of this lightness to an announcement we made last week to my immediate family. The kind of announcement we felt it was time for us to make. Not at all what they were expecting, I'm sure.
"October marks the end of five years of trying to have our own family, without success".
I kept it brief.
"As people make positive announcements, ours is that we are starting phase two together as a childless couple. We have no idea what our future holds, but we can be excited about it again."
I chose to email our news with an article that describes our situation quite well (you can see it here: Approaching Life Without Children) urging them to read it when they had five minutes of quiet time. Discussing it over the phone was never an option for us; not only would we struggle to explain ourselves without resorting to people-pleasing words, but they would have difficulty listening. It's a taboo subject: childlessness. People everywhere have trouble merely acknowledging there is such a thing as a real life without children.
Any wonder we were having trouble accepting it ourselves.
So I simply put the words on the screen and hit 'Send'. Self-preservation was critical in this instance; email seemed the logical format. We simply wanted to have our say without interruption or a barrage of questions. And to share the article which is really worth a read. Even if you cannot relate to a situation like this, it is useful for insight into this less-travelled path in life. It helped us make sense of our lives.
"Grieving is letting go - letting go of unfulfilled dreams and replacing them with a comfortable reality."
Deciding to make an announcement was something I wanted to do in a similar fashion to creating our own new 'tradition' recently, with 'Husband's Day' in place of the traditional Father's Day. Announcing ourselves as a childless/free couple is just another unique experience we face together, and something I feel is right - for us.
Five years may seem insignificant, but to us it has felt like forever. So I think the lightness I am feeling is akin to outing a long-held secret. By telling those closest to me, regardless of their reactions, I am speaking up... I am saying: I accept this. There is no room for black and white perspectives here, only open-minds.
I may crumble again in a few months when Christmas fever hits, and then again I may not. Right now though... this is a real moment. It's a massive milestone after a tumultuous trek. It is self-acceptance.
I feel I have so much more to say on this.