I don't think I'm a natural optimist - but since the days when I was a moody teenager, I've worked very hard at accentuating the positive. I've been pretty successful, and I still think of my petrol tank as 'only one sixteenth full' rather than 'nearly empty'. Fortunately, that's never actually led me to run out of fuel...
But does accentuating the positive sometimes mean denying the negative altogether, or denying my feelings about it, until it gets too much for me and I explode? Or does the suppression of the negative increase the stress in my life, because I secretly know it's there but am trying to pretend to myself that it's not?
My last two posts have basically been whinges about my DH's behaviour. (Incidentally, I really appreciated all your comments. I actually mentioned to him this morning that the three huge glasses of wine hadn't really sat very well with his assumption of responsibility, and he said, "But she only half-filled the glass each time, so it wasn't really three glasses." I pointed out that the glasses were the size of small buckets, and he seemed genuinely surprised and claimed not to have noticed that they were larger than your average wine glass!)
In my first coaching session, I filled in a thing called the Circle of Life, in which I scored various areas of my life out of 10 according to how they were going at the moment. The scores I gave were almost all between 7 and 9, and I gave my relationship with DH 9/10.
In the second session, the coach asked if I wanted to revisit any of the scores in the light of the week's events, and I didn't really - except that I increased the score for my career, because although it's at a bit of an impasse at the moment, I'm not too unhappy about it.
She suggested that I was kidding myself - basically indicating that my life was pretty close to perfect and especially giving our relationship such a high score when I was clearly very angry at DH at that particular time.
I keep coming back to this thought and wondering if I should be less contented with my life at the moment. I know that over the last few months I've begun to focus more on all the things in my life that I enjoy and that would be more difficult or at least very different if we had children. And that's me - I'd rather look at what I do have than what I don't. And I'd rather feel happy than dwell on the things that make me unhappy.
The trouble is that the things that make me unhappy are still there, lurking beneath the surface. And every so often something happens to make me realise how present they still are, and how much they do still bother me.
I know that in order to get what I really want, I need to examine all those things that I've shoved to the back of my mind and stop pretending to myself that the status quo is absolutely fine. And I know that this is the process I went through with the coach I saw before, who helped me to take the plunge and make some big changes in my life.
The difference is that this time, the end result of all this is not within my power. It's not as simple as "if I don't get that job, another one will come up soon and I just need to tweak my CV a bit and brush up on my interview technique" or "if I look long enough and hard enough, I'll eventually find the perfect house in the right area".
With IF, I can do everything 'right', remind myself exactly how much I want to be a mother, throw a harsh light on all the areas of my life that are not perfect right now, but nothing I can do will guarantee me a baby at the end of it. I might end up stirring up all the areas of discontent, bringing my unhappiness to the fore and then being left with nothing but discontent and unhappiness at the end of it all.
And that's why I'm terrified of admitting, even to myself, that any area of my life is much less than perfect at the moment. But I think it's also something I really need to allow myself to do. (Mind you, I'm still not ready to suggest that my relationship with DH is any less than 90% perfect - it's just that I've been bringing the 10% to the fore recently...)
In retrospect, I wonder if the title of this post should have been 'The dark side'...