what we've got

I wrote half an entry yesterday before Amelia hit my power button. Then I realized I didn't really like what I was saying enough to say it again. The nausea no longer makes a graceful exit at two o'clock. It strikes any time of day, with a "good day" meaning that I felt a little better for about three hours of my waking time. Much of my life seems to revolve around food right now (trying to imagine what I could possibly get down), or the ever-elusive catching-up or killing time until I get to be asleep again.

And yesterday I started wishing my life was different, but it's still Lent. It took several hours and a couple phone calls to girlfriends to even realize I was doing it, so automatic it is. The thing is, it is plain futility to not choose what you've got in life. But choosing what we've got seems so counter-intuitive for human beings when what we've got doesn't feel like one big happy meal. Like when you find yourself in the midst of tragedy, or wronged deeply by someone, or like me--simply feel puny for weeks on end.

But what does resisting it really get you, except exhaustion with maybe a side of resentment and a self-pity topping? It just compounds the pain. During labor women are told that if they tense up during contractions they will hurt more, but if they can relax into it, surrendering their resistance, the pain will be substantially less--even non-existent for some women.

The woman in labor doesn't generally get to say when her labor will start or choose how it feels or how long it lasts. It happens to you like the rest of life--with some level of surprise and mystery. Life surprises us with things we didn't expect, didn't want, things that sometimes cause us profound pain. But to not choose it after the fact, to resist it or deny it, only makes it hurt worse.