It’s a bit weird writing about this topic on this blog but I can’t deny it that this is something that is part of my life now – and for many women – and I may as well accept it even though it doesn’t sit well with me.
Yes, the dreaded menopause.
Every time I look in the mirror, I see more gray hairs and some random chin hair.
Every time I look down at my stomach, there seems to be an additional roll of abdominal fat.
Every time I look at my reflection, I see a rounder, pudgier and softer version of myself – my ‘angularity’ is gone. (To be fair, it’s been gone for some years now).
Every time my husband cracks a joke, I get annoyed, yell at him one moment, and laugh at it the next.
Every time I go to bed in the evenings, I wonder if I will get a full nights sleep.
Every time I open the pantry, the kilos magically waft through the air and settle on my middle.
Every time I put on a pair of pants, they seem tighter on me.
Every time someone corrects me or mansplains, I have to keep my mouth shut because they may hear the long ear piercing scream that is going on in my head.
Most of all, I seem to be running hot and cold; irritated, frustrated and bloody ANGRY one moment and then anxious, sad, lethargic and just.could.not.be.bothered.with.the.world the next.
(Luckily, I seem to have been spared the hot flushes although I do remember a time in my late 40s where I was sweating all the time and had no idea why. I put it down to being in warm corporate offices with the heating turned up high; and wearing crappy cheap polyester shirts from Zara. I remembered thinking “why the hell are you buying polyester shirts Helen?” as I was slathering underarm deodorant in the ladies toilets in-between meetings. I had no idea that this could have been part of the “change”. I put it down to the perils of wearing polyester and people in the office giving me the shits).
You might think it’s really weird coming from someone who’s been so open with her learning new things on social media. I look so carefree and playful but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that these have been getting harder every year for me.
Learning new things openly on the social networks has been a reason to keep my mind occupied on things OTHER than this period in my life. To prevent myself from feeling sorry for myself. To keep me going on when my brain and my being is saying, “STUFF IT! Let it go. You don’t need to be doing this anymore. What are you proving? Why are you doing this? Let the younger ones do it from now on. Your time is over.”
On the one hand, I know that in order for me to learn new things, I need to be accountable and responsible for them. Working and learning out loud gives me an opportunity to do this because it keeps me honest. Also, it’s a great motivator to just keep going and ignore the negative voices in my head.
On the other hand, it’s seriously bloody hard. It’s a slog. At times I think, being the age I’m at, it’s time to relax, let it go, it’s not important to me anymore. However, I have to be careful that what I’m going through doesn’t become an excuse to do nothing at all.
Yesterday, as I took a mouthful of Easter biscuits, cakes and chocolate, the self loathing was too great. It’s time to face facts and once and for all, change my lifestyle and cut out the shitty food (well, actually it’s nice food like chocolate, cakes, cheese, crackers, champagne, cab sav, crisps, carbohydrates – anything that starts with “c” except carrots) that makes me feel miserable.
Cut the carbs, the sugars, the alcohol and put into my body, more healthy nutrients that would sustain it.
After all, with my meditation and qigong practice, I owe it to myself to now turn my attention to what I put into my body.
So yesterday, I started.
A new eating regime, a new mindset. Let’s hope I can shift those 5-10 kilos and get back some semblance of ME back again.
Growing old is a bugger.