January 5, 2021 – Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

Hope is a funny thing. It can come rushing towards you, lift you up and carry you around as if you were weightless (kind of like what happens during a football game when a player scores a winning touchdown with only 2 seconds left on the clock and his teammates lift him up onto their shoulders and carry him around the field afterward). It can also slowly escape, like air from a leaky balloon, until all that’s left is a misshapen form lying upon the ground (or nothing at all). Yesterday I was on top of the world! Hope and I were walking hand-in-hand, nothing was going to stop us. Today? I don’t know if it snuck out the front door when I had my back turned or if it climbed out one of the windows, but it has managed to escape somehow. And it didn’t even stick around very long. It was here so briefly, which seems so unfair. Like a big tease! I was feeling so good. And what is really peculiar is that somehow when Hope escaped, Doubt snuck in! Damn Doubt! I told it not to come around here anymore. I’m tired of it showing up all of the time. And unlike Hope, Doubt can stay for days, weeks even. It stays until I finally muster up the strength to force it out.

I probably shouldn’t have put all of my eggs in one basket. I felt really confident that I would have heard back by now from someone at the company I applied at. It all felt so perfect. But I haven’t heard anything but crickets (and the dog snoring on occasion). I know, it’s still early. There’s still a chance they’ll reach out. The thing is, now I’m coming up with excuses as to why I couldn’t possibly ‘do the job’ if someone were to call. I don’t have the stamina. What was I thinking applying for a full-time job? After only being up for three hours, I’m ready for a nap. How could I possibly last more than a week or two? And it says I have to travel 25% of the time. Travel where? Just within the state I live in or elsewhere? And how do I get from A to B? I cannot fly because of my weakened immune system. Does that mean I’d have to drive everywhere? The company headquarters are on the other side of a mountain pass that is currently covered in a lot of snow. I don’t like driving in snow.

I’m about as comfortable driving in snow as I am skiing. If you read ‘Skiing isn’t for everyone’, you would know I’m NOT comfortable skiing at all. Skiing terrifies me, as does driving over a very slippery pass in the middle of winter. Oh, hey! Did you guys notice Doubt? Sorry, I forgot to introduce you. Yep, it’s actually sitting in the dining room at the head of the table and it has just about finished off the cheese platter. Looks like it’s planning on staying for a while. I only just realized that but I should have caught on when I saw it wheel in an enormous suitcase earlier today and put it directly in the guest room. Great. It already started screwing with my head about the plans I had for the money I was going to earn at ‘my new job’. The wage advertised was far more than I’ve ever earned and it came with full benefits and bonuses. Oh my gosh, I could do so much with that money! I could pay off my house early and eventually get a newer vehicle. The one I have is 11 years old but it’s still got plenty of life in it. I could build up my savings. I could share with my kids!

Doubt just sidled up next to me and reminded me I probably won’t get the job. It used the term ‘wishful thinking’. Low blow! I guess it’s pointless to think about what I could do with money from a job that I haven’t even heard back about yet, let alone started. I got caught up in ‘counting my chickens before they hatched’ which is never a good idea. And since I’m talking about eggs and chickens, I should tell you a really quick story about eggs. And it is sort-of related to what I’ve been talking about because it’s about a ‘job’ that I had looked into in order to earn some extra money. It was probably around 25 years ago, after I’d had all of my children and was content with never having another. The interesting thing about women’s bodies is that women are born with all of their eggs. In a lifetime, a woman gets so many eggs and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Finito. Well, once I had my three kiddos, I realized I still had ‘plenty of eggs’ left in ‘my basket’. A few ladies I knew had mentioned that a way to earn some ‘easy money’ was through egg donation.

Easy money? All I had to do was ‘donate’ my eggs? How much could I get for my eggs? $5,000? Wait. Did you just say 5,000, as in 5 x 1,000?! You did? YES!!! Cha-ching! It sounded so much better than selling my plasma for $25 a pop or working as a substitute teacher’s assistant for $6.25 an hour in the ‘special needs’ classroom. I can tell you, when I heard what I could earn for giving some eggs away that I had no interest in using, I was ALL OVER IT!! Where do I sign up? I was even willing to throw in a couple of ‘bonus’ prizes for the lucky ‘winner’. You want to pay me for giving you some of my eggs? Heck, for that kind of money, the least I can do is give you a couple of my signed, original acrylic paintings! Hold on, hold on. Not so fast! I have a tendency to get ahead of myself, as you might have noticed by now. I should let you know that at this point in my story, all of the information that I’d heard thus far about egg donation was from ‘friends’. I hadn’t actually read anything or done any further research to see what it actually entailed.

Turns out, egg donation isn’t so easy. And (a big AND I might add) you have to get through the screening first! Screening? Have you seen my kids?! They’re a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e and smart! What else do you need? Family and medical history? Not a problem. Genetic testing? How come? In order to rule out any hereditary diseases (such as cancer, heart disease, mental illness, etc.) or genetic abnormalities? Ok. I see. Oh, crap! Did you just mention mental illness? Why do I suddenly look so concerned? Oh, no reason. No, no, no. Not to worry! We’re all good! But just to be clear, is ‘depression’ considered ‘mental illness’? Oh, no! I’m not talking about ‘me’. It’s a hypothetical question, for a friend. I have a friend that’s thinking about egg donation and she wanted me to ask. And while I’m on the subject, what if her father was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia? No? Not a chance?! Why not? It could get passed on? Hey! What are you trying to say? Who wouldn’t love an adorable baby that could potentially develop paranoid schizophrenia?!

I don’t know. If you ask me, those folks at the clinic were being just a little bit picky and judgmental. They realized pretty quickly that I was actually referring to myself, not my ‘friend’ when I brought up the hypothetical questions. I argued with them, “Think of all of the great artists, the writers and painters and comedians and musicians, that have suffered from depression and/or mental illness. There are so many! Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keefe, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Chris Cornell, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, even Charles Schulz! It can be a really great ‘fuel’ for creativity. Seriously! Have any of you people actually seen the Sistine Chapel? What? You just want some dull, good-looking, smart kids?” Yes, apparently, that’s what they want. They didn’t want my eggs, that’s for sure! Apparently they were ‘sullied’. I was so disappointed. I had my shopping list all ready to go! I had been at it for weeks ‘counting my chickens’ but they hadn’t hatched and they were never going to. “It’s their loss,” I told myself.

Those people at the donation clinic missed out on some great eggs. But what do you do? My kids could have had some half-siblings with depression and anxiety running around that they could possibly reunite with someday, but no! Those ‘potential’ half siblings ended up literally going down the tubes and into oblivion. Oh, well. That’s the way it goes. I tried. I did look into other things in/on my body that I could sell but apparently there’s no market for the two things I was willing to give up. Who wouldn’t want a pinky toe?! They are SO cute (but totally worthless). Thank you so much for stopping by. For the folks that are ‘following’ me, I am grateful for you and the continued interest you have in reading about the variety of things I talk about each day. I’m no poet laureate or anyone with significant credentials to speak of but I do enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. I love to write and I try to infuse humor into everything I do, especially when I write. And I hope I was able to make you smile, especially if you had a really crappy day. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.

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