Friday, June 19, 2009

Trouble sticking a fork in it

Every once in a while I look at my little "About the Blog" blurb and think I should update it to clarify in that space that I am no longer TTC. True, I say so at the end of the insufferably long "About the Blogger" list. Longtime readers know it. But, well, targeted communication is my real-life business, and it bothers that side of me to see a blog description of mine that doesn't quite capture what's going on in the blog's present.

I do know what's really eating me: The thought of adding promises of child-free-living talk to my blog's theme makes me ill.

For one thing, I am childless, no thank you very much. "Child free" — to me — still carries the connotation of choice, a happy circumstance. I mean, come on, free is "because I decided so, on purpose, to suit my own needs and desires." Or. It's just plain GOOD. Without restrictions. At no cost.

Carefree, debt free, error free, cancer free, drug free, allergen free, worry free, wrinkle free, cling free; free admission, free food, free beer, free samples, free estimate, free concert, free puppies; free country, free speech, free time, free will, free spirit, free love; free on bail, buy one get one free, don't tread on free, free-for-all, free and clear, home free, set me free, free to be you and me, free at last, free at last . . . free, free, free, free, free, YIPPEE!

For another thing, I don't think I'll spend a lot of time blogging specifically about life without children. I am still processing/blogging about IF, loss, and stepping off the family-building path. "No kids" is part of that. But I feel like adding any sort of "life without" thingy to the blog description invites the assumption that someone might come here to read about day-to-day observations on life as a childless person. Granted, that's the situation. But it's not the accurate bent, if you will, of the blog.

Also, although I'm moving along and trying to evolve, I'm not all the way ready to COMPLETELY evolve the blog so that it no longer does what I created it to do for me: provide a safe haven for semiprivately discussing private hopes and fears on the way to whatever conclusion our TTC journey reached. One can and should argue that said conclusion made its appearance a while back. It's just that I'm still working on accepting it. Oh, I've committed to it. But the associated feelings are still raw sometimes, and my head can still spin when I realize not just how things turned out but that they did, in fact, turn out. Past tense.

As labels go, I think "infertile" still fits until I hit menopause. "Childless" is how I feel at present, but I don't like that as a descriptor for myself or anyone else (although, re me, "Area Childless Woman Wins the Lottery" wouldn't bother me too much). And "child free" just doesn't apply to me.

None of this is to say, you understand, that I go around throwing any of the terms into my everyday conversations.

Me: Hi, I'm Lisa.

Other Person: And what do you do, Lisa?

Me: I'm an Infertile. Have been for years. I love it!!

Me (alternate answer): I'm a childless writer. You?

Sorry for that digression. Anyone still with me?

I wasn't at all sure that I ended up making the point I had in mind when I logged on. Then I caught sight of the post's title, which pretty much says it all.


Alacrity said...

Makes complete sense to me!

Unknown said...

What you've written makes sense to me...

loribeth said...

And me too. : )

I too am ambivalent about the terminology. While childLESS does have a slightly pathetic ring to it, childFREE sounds like I am happy to be free of children (I'm not). There are plenty of people out there who are childFREE & very happy about it, & while I understand the desire to put a more positive spin on a sad situation, I think the use of the term in the IF community tends to add to non-IFers confusion. What to do??

Opus #6 said...

Nice to see you, Lisa. I don't know if there is an accurate one-word description of anybody.

Beautiful Mess said...

Makes sense to me, as well! Your blog is for you. Change what you want to change, don't change what you don't want to change. Do what will make you feel a bit better. That's what is important.

Evil Stepmonster said...

The thing about your blog that speaks most strongly to me is the name and sub-title. "Infertile Ground. On which I tread, and sometimes kneel" I think everyone in this community can relate to that statement no matter where they are in the journey.

Where your blog goes now is totally up to you, but I understand not wanting to get hemmed in by a label. Personally, I'm happy to read whatever you want to write about.

Polly Gamwich said...

I too just enjoying reading your stuff and "knowing" you as much as I do :-)

I was always fond of the phrase: "childless not by choice" ... and yes it's a mouthful, but I think I'd want to make the other person feel uncomfortable. I'm a bit of a victim, I know ... but I'm ok with it. If **I** have to suffer - then others have to suffer ... man, what a great Christian I am, huh?

I think the entire thing would be a process. I agree with the evil stepmother that the blog title is also very profound.

I'm hopeful that you keep writing and wrestling with what's now and where your feelings are at ... I know that I am really intersted and care a lot about what you have to say and what you're experiencing.

Big hugs,

Lorraine said...

I'm always so fascinated by how language itself can be embarrassed to make things clear. All the words related to infertility are bad - barren, childless, impotent, sterile. And I hate "childfree" - it's got such an air of distaste.

Lexicography is elastic - we could find a better word. But society is strangely rigid - why find a word for "we did everything we could to have a child" when so many people will still ask why you didn't "just adopt"?

Love your litany of "free" words - that kind of writing and processing is so powerful to read - something we all knew, but didn't know we knew until you showed us.

Tara said...

I am always happy to hear what you have to say. And, I totally get your post. Childfree, to me, definitely means by no...of which non of us in the communtiy have chosen.

I am so happy to "know" you and am always listening to anything you have to say.

Phoebe said...

Well, I'm just as flaggergasted as you. I never liked labels and avoid them when I can. Evolution is a nice concept. I wish it didn't take so damn long!!

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