Playing Against Type

Playing Against Type

Have you noticed the way infertile women are routinely portrayed as one-dimensional, downright pitiful creatures in TV and film? It doesn’t matter what era the story takes place in. Swap out the costumes and look beyond the hair and makeup and the character is always the same distraught, hapless woman. Take a recent episode of Boardwalk Empire — a series set in the 1920s. It included a cameo appearance of Agent Nelson’s wife begging for a operation that might help her get pregnant (can you imagine the quality of fertility…

You’re the Star of Your Own Life

You’re the Star of Your Own Life

What do you do with years of expectation about roles and identity? How do you turn off the tape in your head about what was supposed to be the rest of your life? Where do you find a new sense of purpose and meaning? Those are some of the big, huge, enormous questions that have been accumulating in my in-box the past few weeks. Pour a drink. Pass the Magic 8 Ball. In fact, I think a good-old fashioned sleepover might be needed. Join me as I mull over the…

Reader Mail Around the Globe: Discovery, Validation, Comfort

Reader Mail Around the Globe: Discovery, Validation, Comfort

I’m a bit jet lagged after flying across the United States. The travel part was easy. Now the challenge lies in what to say in my acceptance speech at the RESOLVE Night of Hope event on Tuesday evening. I’m allowed one minute and thirty seconds. That’s not much time to thank the international community of women who feel as close to me as sisters. You can be sure I’ll be thinking about each and everyone one of you as I nervously make my way to the podium. Meanwhile, I want…

Joseph Campbell Meets Anne of Green Gables

Joseph Campbell Meets Anne of Green Gables

Some weeks are routine and barely rate a mention. The people look the same. Conversations cover the usual territory. No insights … And then this week. It’s been positively trippy with insights and validations of our ‘truth.’ I’ve had a steady stream of conversations and emails — from Finland to Rhode Island to Southern California — prompting one revelation after another. I also had the pleasure of another face-to-face meeting with one of our sorority last night — all of which led me on a kaleidoscopic memory trip of my…

Getting Ready for Prime Time

Getting Ready for Prime Time

A raw set of ideas preoccupied me as my oatmeal grew cold. I focused all my attention on the computer screen hoping the blinking cursor would magically lead me to the right metaphors or punchy soundbytes. I’ve been sleeping fitfully lately while my subconscious busily searches for a set of ideas that can be shaped and packaged for mainstream consumption. Most are discarded. They can’t be too abstract, too trite or too heavy.  And by all means, they can’t seem in any way preachy, snarky, bitter or shrill. The angle…

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again…

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again…

It was mid-afternoon in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when the email arrived. Three loads of laundry had been folded and tucked back into their rightful place. The kitchen floor glistened, still fresh from a serious mopping with Murphy’s Oil Soap. Digital images stored in my computer held joy and wonder from a long holiday weekend of Fourth of July fireworks, mini golf and lake fun. The junior croquet set bought for our nieces and nephews was stored in the garage. The marshmallows, carefully toasted over the Weber grill the night…

On Moving to the Next Stage

On Moving to the Next Stage

The latest contributor to our Tapestry of Voices is Lisa Manterfield, a Southern California-based writer. After making the decision to live child-free, she founded the online community, Life Without Baby, for women who do not have children, whether by chance, choice or circumstance.  Her piece, below, first ran last month in the Los Angeles Times. I was five years into trying to conceive when I received the diagnosis that stopped my quest: premature ovarian failure. The only option for pregnancy would be donor eggs, and that was beyond our financial means and our…

We Have to Believe It to See It

We Have to Believe It to See It

Editor’s Note: In the days following The New York Times profile about my experience “Facing a Life Without Children When it Isn’t by Choice,” I heard from women and men from around the world. Among those who reached out to me was Dr. Wendy Rogers who, it turned out, lived just a few miles away. We arranged to meet for lunch — the first of many. She’s since become a mentor, a big sister who has helped me to understand and appreciate how to turn a struggle into a source of…

Seriously? I’m Trying to be Entertained Here!

Seriously? I’m Trying to be Entertained Here!

“Just when I thought I was out … they pull me back in.” This past weekend I was clearly channeling Michael Corleone from The GodFather: Part II. Hey, I love a good flick or TV show as much as the next girl or guy but I usually know what I’m getting. Some days I’m in the mood for a drama with an Indie edge, other times it’s a light comedy, and sometimes I crave a meaty historical film that draws me into another time and place. I usually know what…

Getting It Together Old School

Getting It Together Old School

Elizabeth Gilbert I am not. Envy about her best-seller status aside, there are other reasons to dwell on her this morning just as the sun is about to rise. Let’s start there. The sun is about to rise and I’m *not* consumed with angst. Breakfast with angst, for far too long, was part of my  regular routine … and I’m guessing for most of the women who have walked in my shoes … just as crying in the shower and laying awake at night consumed by what ifs and second guessing…