A Year of Love Letters

I love a creative challenge. Although I try to make plenty of time to indulge in creativity on the reg, having a structured regimen really helps me to adhere to a project until it’s completed.

A few years ago I participated in the 100 Day Project for the FIRST time and attempted to write 100 poems. I came SO CLOSE but that pesky international move was a real interruption. You can check out the poems on Instagram under the hashtag #100HalitraxPoems.

Some were sweet.

here in my ocean_halitrax

And some were silly.

coffee love


Last year I took another run at the 100 days by writing 100 Beautiful Affirmations — and this time I FINISHED! YAY

I am a force for change

In 2019 I’m pursuing a year of small indulgences, including more time for the creativity that fills me up. Instead of waiting for the 100 day challenge, I’m starting now with a whole year of love letters — at least a few every month.

I’ll share some directly here on the blog and others will take the form of my other fave hobby: writing snail mail!

I hope you enjoy following this year of love letters.


A List of Public Places Where I’ve Cried this Year

A year in review is generally saved for celebrating accomplishments. Most take the opportunity acknowledge their hard work and achievements. Personally, when I look back on 2018, I recall a year filled with both victory and defeat.

Since I’m prone to weeping at either occasion, I figured “why not choose the latter to plot my own memorable benchmarks?”

Yes. I do cry all the time. Sometimes it’s joy. Sometimes it’s because of normal hard stuff that I’m experiencing personally. Sometimes it’s because I’m stressed and overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s empathy overload. Sometimes it’s frustration with politics, the environment, and the state of the world. You know, the usual.

Crying is normal. Crying in public, while nothing to be ashamed of, is less…normal. While I’m okay at hiding it — when I want to — I often don’t care enough to be subtle. I find a good wail really overpowers any sense of modesty and decorum (in the moment, at least). Maybe you’ve even been one of the unfortunate souls to witness my weeping. Or, even better, have you every joined me in a good cry?

I present to you, without any context, this highlight reel of some of the more indelible locations where I succumbed to my emotion burden in 2018.

Baltimore Women's March.JPG
Baltimore Women’s March 2018. An excellent opportunity for an angry cry.
  1. Airport (YQT)
  2. Neighbourhood Park
  3. Grocery Store
  4. Thrift Store
  5. Baltimore Women’s March
  6. A Bloggers Conference
  7. Pier 17 in the Seaport District
  8. Anthony Bourdain’s Memorial
  9. Camden Yards
  10. Charlottesville Historical Society
  11. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
  12. Antique Store
  13. Airport (YYZ)
  14. Airport (BWI)
  15. Airport (DFW)
  16. Another Bloggers Conference 
  17. Salem Witch Trials Memorial
  18. The CAT Ferry (Bonus points for crying on the open sea!)
  19. National Museum of African American History and Culture
  20. “Families Belong Together” March  (The whole time, but this moment in particular.)
  21. Brooklyn Flea
  22. Capital One Arena
  23. Airport (YQM)
  24. Baltimore Pride
  25. Avon River Heritage Museum

I’m okay with being vulnerable and I’m sure 2019 will hold many more opportunities to shed a few tears.

Happy New Year. May you stand strong in the face of your challenges — and feel free to get a little weepy now and again.


How to Protect Your ❤️ Heart ❤️ During IVF

IVF is soul sucking. It’s the absolute worst. Yes, EVEN IF you get a baby at the end, the emotional and physical toll is beyond exhausting. Despite keeping positive focus on the end goals, the journey to get there is a rocky, rocky road.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there’s a lot of things that are draining during this time and self care is as important as ever. Since most, if not all, of those drains are beyond our control, here’s a few small ways to fill yourself up and build a soft little cushion of protection around your heart.

Binge Watch Something Scary or Funny

Skip anything sad, or emotional, or even “feel good.” “Feel good” quickly becomes “feel bad” when it’s centered around a heartwarming family story. I don’t want to watch 5 seasons of a beautiful family. I want to watch someone being chased by a werewolf, cursed by a witch, or drained by a sexy vampire. Nothing with babies.

David Bowie Baby.PNG

Exceptions will be made for Labyrinth because the sex appeal of David Bowie vastly outweighs the appearance of that dumb baby. Jareth the Goblin King ALWAYS gets a pass.

Indulge in Your Favourite Snacks

Come on. We know that you didn’t come to IVF lightly and amongst the many, MANY things that you tried included all the “fertility diets.” So, after the gluten free, the keto, the low sugar, the high protein, and no alcohol, go ahead and indulge a little. This process is rough. Eat the cupcake. Drink the wine.

Enjoy the Company of Strangers

There is some great content online produced by folks who are living the IVF life along with you right now. I find it oddly satisfying to read or listen to their experiences, which often include the EXACT same complaints and frustrations that we all have. It’s true that misery loves company but it’s even MORE accurate to say that with commiserating comes clarity and comfort in knowing that we’re not alone in this struggle.

Matt and Doree

I particularly enjoy Matt & Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure and have been binge-listening for the last year. I love how open they are with describing the process and I find myself nodding along as they describe the annoyances, the low points, and how frustrating it all is.

Only Share What & When You Want

You don’t owe answers to anyone. Whether it’s good news or bad, you’re not obligated to provide updates to friends or acquaintances. Nobody needs to know that your hormones are out of control or that you literally want to punch the next pharmacy rep who phones to ask for a review of their service. By the same token, use your support network. Let them know if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed so they can take something off your plate. And let them know when you’re feeling optimistic and energized too – but only if that’s truly how you’re feeling.

Social Media Detox

It’s just not possible to effectively mute and unfollow every pregnant couple or every baby-related social media post. Instead of wishing away every baby picture in your feed or trying to filter through your network, just take a break.

Post a note on your networks so it doesn’t look like you vanished without a trace and then peace out for a few days.

Leave a comment with your other tips for self care during IVF!