Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Menopausal Mornings and Such

Sometimes I just sit down and start writing whatever’s in my head and hit *Publish* without even thinking.  Other times, I actually open a Word document and sit contemplating ACTUALLY writing.  You know, with correct punctuation, less liberal use of the word “totally”, and a real topic, possibly even a meaningful one.  I often have topics I’d like to write about or stories to tell, which aren’t necessarily, um…family friendly, so I do struggle sometimes with the idea of switching to an anonymous blog, and who knows? Someday I may.  For now, though, I will confine myself to those stories which I can share with not only the whole world, but also basically all of my family and friends. 

Which brings me to, yes, menopause.  I think.  I know I’m the right age, and I would hasten to add that I won’t subject you to a bunch of weirdness, but I woke up last night feeling like WHY IS IT 150 DEGREES IN THIS BEDROOM RIGHT NOW and—bam—there it was.  My answer was the dreaded word: Menopause.  I don’t even like that word; it’s kind of unattractive all by itself.  I’m going to think of a new name for it, like maybe “Freedom from childbirth (and associated other random female issues which shall remain nameless but you know who you are)” or the “Fashion rules do not apply to me anymore” time of life. 
Yes please.

Let’s recap, shall we?

Hot flashes.  I’m pretty lucky so far, since all I’ve experienced in the last year and a half have been fairly minor hot(ish) flashes.  More of a general sudden heating-up of my internal self, where I ask everyone “Are you warm? Is it warm in here, or is it me?” 

*stares at that last sentence*   Oh my gosh—I’m turning into my mother-in-law.

I started taking several herbal supplements that have almost completely eliminated the hot-flash sensation, although they immediately heat back up whenever I forget to take the supplements.  Hence, the overheating last night. 

Insomnia.  I get that anyway, and always have (like last night—I slept in bursts of 45 minutes at a time, I think.  All night.  Awesome).  So I’ll leave that for another time (like here, and here, and here)

Mood swings.  HAHAHAHAHAHA.  *weeps*

The herbs are helping here, too, in a huge way.  But, oh my GOSH you guys.  When I forget to take them?  HAHAHAHAHAHAAAA   *weeps and throws things* 

Yeah.  Not cool.  I can tell when I’ve forgotten the supplements.  Let me walk you through a normal morning when I forget them.  Usually I can tell because there is a feeling, which, at its most vague, feels like an out-of-control, crazy feeling inside, like I might suddenly start crying and throwing things because my phone froze up for 10 extra seconds.

L:et me know if you can relate:

I see the blue sky and longer days of spring, and I feel an exhilarating joyous hopefulness because the sun is out and it’s spring again, and a long and dark winter is again behind us.  It was harder than I will tell you, and I'm SO glad it's over.  Then I tear up, because my yard is a disaster.

And I’m not getting any younger.  Every day that goes by sometimes feels like I missed a chance to change the world or be...more.  Or something.  Like a silent ticktockticktockTICK. TOCK.

I’m filled with a deep grateful yearning to see the vegetables that will sustain our family, growing in the garden again, and then I’m crying because…I don’t even know why I’m crying.  Possibly because my living room is still all reds and browns and the latest issue of Better Homes has all these pretty pastel green and white kitchens that aren’t mine and new perfect furniture that doesn’t have cat hair and claw damage to every inch of it. 

Then I brighten up and think, someday we’ll replace all the furniture, but we want to get a dog first, and everyone knows puppies are hard on stuff, so we better wait to get new furniture until after the new puppy.  But I can’t afford the English Mastiff puppy I want until I get a car (long story, but we’re renting one), and I don’t see that happening anytime soon, so back to the torn-up furniture, and maybe I should just cancel my subscription to BH&G and those perfectly coordinated living rooms that make me cry.

I find myself loving my new washer and dryer set (which my amazing mother surprise-gifted to us for an anniversary gift, out of the blue, right exactly when my old set died and I was hang-drying our clothes by the fire two weeks ago).  Then I find myself crying because, “Is this all I do every day? Laundry and floors and dishes??”  

I am thrilled that our kids are so beautiful and well-adjusted and happy in their schools and their lives, and then I’m stupidly putting birthday cards back at the store because I don’t want to be crying, right there in the aisle, reading something simple like, “Happy birthday to a beautiful daughter."  Just put the card in the cart and walk away, lady.

I am deeply saddened by the news that an old friend from high school just lost her husband suddenly and is left a young widow with two small children, and then I feel fiercely grateful for my husband, who I love with every fiber of my being.  Then I’m disappointed in myself for every night that we don’t spend reminding ourselves how much we matter to each other, or I’m crying because of the sheer bittersweet depth of that emotion.

I might or might not be tearing up, just writing that.

I feel empowered by the fact that I have applied my brain and my tongue to studying and learning French, every single day since last June.  I am accomplishing something, and it’s hard.  Then I’m weepy, because…I may never even meet a French person, let alone travel to France.  Which is OK—the world seems to be on fire right now anyway.  It's alright to just learn stuff. Right? *dries tears again* 

I am exultant because my daughter and I have made a new commitment to go the gym every day after school, and we have done it for the last about 40 days.  We have completely changed the food we buy and the way we eat, and that’s awesome.  Then I get on the scale and want to literally tear my hair and beat myself because the number has NOT EFFING CHANGED.  I can’t do any more than what I’m already doing.  I will keep going to the gym, and I will keep living on non-processed, raw, whole foods, either way.  But really?  You’d THINK it would at least reward me with a few pounds, right??  How is that asking too much??  Digressing. 

I am conversely and rebelliously feeling kind of bad-ass, though, because part of me wants to flip off the entire youthful-appearance-seeking world and all those who write “What not to wear after 30 (or 40, or 50)” articles and shout, “I will wear whatever I feel like because it’s MY LIFE and I LIKE MY CLOTHES.  I am not changing them because I had a birthday, and there is nothing you can do about it!”  

It’s nice to realize that I am secure enough in myself to absolutely NOT CARE what anyone, anywhere, thinks of what I’m wearing, or not wearing.

And if my body doesn’t reward my efforts by going back to my 10-years-ago weight, then maybe I will adjust myself to realize that, if I’m healthy and getting exercise and eating right, and the number on the scale’s not budging (and it’s not, people), then maybe I need to get used to the fact that this is the body I have.  It has gotten me through many years, and it is healthy and beautiful and strong, and I should forgive it and be more grateful for what it IS. (But I still do hate it, a little, because I know those size 4 Calvin Kleins are still lurking in my closet, taunting my fat butt to go ahead and try to fit back into them.)

Combine all of these, and then put them in the space of…this morning, and you have some idea what the “change of life” feels like for me.  

I have to go now.  I have seeds to plant, a workout, a French lesson, and some laundry to do.  

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