Peri-menopause + Menopause
It’s sort of a cruel joke that just as I begin to experience a little bit of space from the intense lack of bodily autonomy that is mothering young children, I am now facing peri-menopause. Age 43 and all. I’m in complete denial and am still of the thinking that “this” won’t happen to me. But, of course it will because it’s a normal and an obviously unavoidable part of being a person in a body with ovaries.
Oh, middle age. Oh, New Year’s.
I really really really really want to fix my entire life right now. And like everyone else I know, I am tempted to use the upcoming drop into 2024 as way to “buckle down” or “take control” or “fight fight fight” for some sort of official refresh. This year I find myself especially wanting to stop aging in its tracks and somehow declare victory over what appears to be an upcoming hormonal hell, aka perimenopause and menopause.
I’m confused about this. I feel like I haven’t even gained bodily autonomy back ...
I did a thing this past week which I don’t recommend, but also highly recommend: I read through old journals from my teens and twenties, after a proper junk purge of my house. I was stunned, first, by how much clarity I had at age 16. I was also stunned at how my journaling entirely stopped at age 25. I mean, after that age there were a few journals, but all of these contained a similar scene of trying to retrieve myself. I would write a few entries at the start of the journal, all of them beginning with neat handwriting and a “hello again” message. And then nothing after that. Just an empty journal. Blank pages.
Achy Breaky (Back)
This post is dedicated to the physical pain we all tuck away in the back seat of our lives every single day in order to keep on keeping on. For most of us, that pain resides in our backs - Maybe our low back. Maybe one side. Maybe that extends down our leg. Maybe our upper back. Maybe all the places. But it lives there and it asks us for help and we say, maybe tomorrow. I would guess we also say mean things to ourselves, as if back pain measures us as less fit, less strong, less healthy, less agile, and certainly way too old ...
Healing our Bellies
I jumped over my existence as a postpartum person after Wyatt. I don’t know why I did it, but I did. No, wait, I do know why. There wasn’t room for it. There wasn’t room for cozy pjs or slow healing or fourth trimester. There wasn’t room for struggles or pain.
Beginning again (again)
Have you ever traded parts of yourself in exchange for safety? I did exactly this back in 2019, after my second marriage fell apart just weeks after Wyatt was born. And then the pandemic hit. It’s been a sort of survival mode since then that I don’t think has a defined clinical language yet for any of us. I knew I had to keep going, which also meant I had to jump over so many deficits and broken bits inside of my body and myself. That trade happened with a shaky smile and nod, a secret handshake made between sweaty palms. I’ll surrender my needs, if you give me a shell.
Did you grow up in a poop-friendly environment? Probably not. Did you learn about your gut microbiome before you became middle aged, only to then discover that was goes in does not always come out … as expected? Nope and oh yes. Do you most often keep all things from this end of the body locked away in a giant secret safe of “if it’s not working, then I am broken and obviously it’s my fault and most definitely I need to figure it out alone?” Obviously.
Oh hello there. This post will be extra short today because … summer. I’m writing this in my home office as I watch my toddler enjoy hour #2 of Wild Kratts. I’m not sure she’s had breakfast, but she has had a popsicle and an ice cream sandwich. For those of you with structured summer plans, please don’t panic for me. I will eventually get us out of the house, to do something somewhere at some point.
Why Me? Embarrassing stories and more
I don’t have much to say this month except that there’s only so much to say because my brain is mush. At least the internet understands the torture that is the month of May now. I’ve seen about a gazillion memes and videos on “Maycember” and the like. So now we all know and instead of attempting to be deep, I am just going to high five you from my whirring computer and say, let’s just be idle for a hot minute.
I don’t know if you’ve ever done the extremely dumb thing that I did recently: Read my journals from when I was 16, 17, and 18. I was assuming I’d find old thoughts and ideas that had evolved in my adult life into fully formed thoughts and ideas, or at the least that I’d not recognize “that girl then”.