Category Archives: Every Day Life

Time for The Change

What isn’t often relayed about aging women is that The Change can turn you into an emotional wreck.

Over the past two months I found myself questioning everything:  my life, my worth, my purpose, my abilities – and I had a very difficult time answering with anything that wasn’t pure emotional drivel.  That’s hard to deal with at any time, but something that my logical self found incomprehensible.  Where did this weepy, clingy, dingbat come from and why the hell is she living in my head space, and fucking up my life?

I honestly thought that my brains were turning to goo.  I had moments of pure hopelessness and was slowly accepting near-complete loss of self worth.

Thus began my journey to put myself back on track, to figure out how to reclaim my abilities, my logic and my sanity.

I started with self-organization tactics:  I employed a bullet journal both for home and for work.  This forces me to stop and think what needs done and what the priorities are.  I began checking items off of my to-do list.  Oh, the long-forgotten to-do list!  Years ago, I didn’t do anything without a list.  When there are kids in the house and activity schedules to keep, it all had to be tamed and contained and managed and the lists were what kept me on track.  I’d missed those lists.

Tackling my nearly forgotten maintenance items, one at a time, I felt slightly better just knowing that I was no longer sliding off into total neglect and disrepair.

So, as I waited for my vehicle tires to be replaced, I took advantage of the hour long wait.  I went on a shopping excursion – retail therapy, surely it can cure anything, right?  I landed at the local bookstore chain and wandered around, looking for the clouds to part and the sun to shine on just the perfect selection.  Isn’t that how everyone makes reading choices?

The adult coloring section caught my eyes first.  That’s an option – divert my attentions and get me to focus on something creative rather than solving my neuro-emotional grey matter mysteries.  I was enchanted, as I pulled one after another from the shelf, thinking of the hours of diversion these would grant.

Then, suddenly, logical me stepped out of the shadows and shut down my little rose-colored dream state.  Turn, slowly, walk away from the enchantment – and move toward the non-fiction self-help section.

I found myself surrounded by chicken soups and how-to sex manuals.  Oy!  About to leave, nearly giving up, it happened.  The clouds parted… okay, well – ya know – my eyes lit on the title that just made sense to me.  The book that might help me figure out how to explain this aging brain and help me nurture and retrain the logical side:  Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

You have to glimpse a bit into my SOP:  years spent in near-poverty, barely making it and scraping to get by, have left me with a lifetime habit of frugality.  I don’t buy NEW books.  There are libraries, and there are thrift shops.  I’ve never bought a book at a bookstore, unless it was a Used Book Store.

So, there I am, with THE book in my hands — but the darned thing is $16.99!!!  For a book!!!  And it’s not a hardback.

So, I put it back and shuffle around the non-fiction section, being ever so disappointed by the options.  The humor section nearly had me sold on the Calvin and Hobbs selections, but then my logical self reminded me of my purpose.  Back to the shelf, grab that book with resolve, reward myself with an adult coloring book – not the usual flowery variety, no, break some habits and grab something with some personality – Imagimorphia.  Oh, another $14.99!  Of course.  Now, to fill in the gaps with a new fiction author.  I’ve nearly worn out my favorite authors selections.

So – tossing aside frugality, employing a bit of logic, and feeding my need to cocoon and heal – I walk out of the bookstore with three NEW books.  That’s one for the record books folks!

That was June 28th.  I’m now a quarter of the way through the Kahneman book, and making some sense of what is being presented.  I have to put it on my list though – read a minimum of two pages, daily.  And often, lately, I’ve ignored it.  The color book was a nice diversion – and I’ve completed one page – and the fiction was consumed immediately, followed since by three additional Kindle books.  While these things have helped me stop the unchecked careening off the hill of sanity, I was still floundering.  Emotions, self-worth still tottering, not quite stable.  Edgy, with a chance of stormy – I might emote angrily with no advance warning.  Monotone emotions – checked, but no joy, and still those tears were backed up against my eyeballs, pressuring me to let loose as pride forced them to dam.

I hate this – this taking over of my body, this insidious self-deprecating, loathing, angry thing inside me that does not accept logic or reason or boundaries.

And so, fearing the worst, as I perceived it – knowing that I had pushed my superiors to their limits at my job – and feeling that I might be fired from my job, I sat down and researched the combination of depression and anger.

Boom!  Menopause.

  • Mood swings – CHECK!
  • Depression – CHECK!
  • Anxiety – CHECK!
  • Irritability – CHECK!

I don’t know why it took so long to figure that out?!  I’ve had the physical symptoms of peri-menopause for years now.  Night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, libido – I knew that I was approaching the shutdown of my hormones.  I thought myself educated.

What I forgot about, what doesn’t get near as much attention, is the emotional change associated with Menopause.  And my research sheds a bit of light on that.  You see, it seems that socio-economic factors greatly influence how the emotional changes will affect you – because we’re all so very different.

I’ve weathered the physical changes because they weren’t life-altering.  I didn’t seek any treatments for them, as they were so easy to adjust to and accept.  I thought I had this whole aging female thing whipped, tied, and filed in the ‘been there, done that’ cabinet.

No – not so fast.  The emotional side is saved for those of us who have weathered the storms of deprivation – those whose past is riddled with poverty, and dysfunction, and prior bouts of depression.  Oh joy that!  It definitely seems like an extra little kick in the pants, that.

So, guess where I’ve been after finding that link?  Did you guess correctly?  No?

Yeah?

That’s right.  I’ve been sifting through the past with a fine screen.  Because that’s what you REALLY need to do when you’re an emotional mess.  Pull up all of those past parts and pieces, dig them up and look them over, roll around in the shit for a little while to really get it on you and stink up the space.  Feel the old pains, live the old failures, dredge up the excuses and point those shakey old fingers a bit, and question decisions and wonder ‘what if’, and just plain fucking cry that shit out!

Yes.  That’s where I’ve been.

But I think I’m nearly done.  Because, you see, I also employed logic.  I told myself to stop making excuses.  I told myself to stop blaming others from the past.  I addressed what I could address from a physical standpoint.  I researched how I could address my hormonal shifts with food and activities.  And I started those changes immediately:

  • employ those essential oils stocked in the cabinet;
  • turn up the music and dance a bit;
  • eat more bright colored vegetables;
  • eat more nuts and seeds;
  • drink more green teas;
  • eat more salmon and tuna.

I know this routine, it has tamed my MS.  But now, I need to stick to it and tame this emotional beast.

It’s Time for the Change.

 

 

 

 

Old Phonograph

I recall the old hi-fi setup we had during my teens.  It was a favorite past-time when my books and drawings couldn’t fully express my emotions.

With a steady purpose in mind, I would pull the portable unit from the closet and set it upon the nearest flat surface.  Opening the latch to lift the lid and detach the small speakers, my thoughts drifting to which of the albums I would choose for the activity.

The best part was once the album began, I could lay on the floor with those detached speakers on either side of my head.  The sing-along would commence and in my hearing, I was matching those voices, key for key.

Such was not the case.  It felt, though, like my own private ‘show’.

Then the arm would lift, and the show would go on again.  Repeat.

That’s where I am now, the repeat stage.  Except this is not my show, and it’s not private this time.  Busy, crazy, tumultuous, emotional.  But life.

I’ll be back, but when?  Time to finish moving a house and prepping it to sell.  Time to enjoy a weekend with a granddaughter.  Time to let go of a loved yard and garden.  Time to build another, much smaller yard and garden.  Time to help with the build of yet another accounting system change.  Time to work with staff, but this time for their exit strategy.

Time.  There’s never enough.

Repeat.

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

I know it’s a common refrain – but my life has been BUSY!  Too busy to think.  And now, I’m being assaulted by the reminder that my subscription is nearly expired.

Time to make a decision – to continue blogging or not?

We’ll know in the next few days.  Until then, I just want to leave this thought:

It’s so easy to get distracted by this or that or the other, but the things that will provide the most inner satisfaction are the decisions you make to improve your outlook.  Breathe deep, focus on the important bits, and don’t let the fuckers of this world get you down.

Head games is all I see being played out on the media.  Think for yourselves peoples.  Emotional ploys are pitting everyone against each other.  See it for what it is.  Head games.

Peace out!

Trisha

Inheritance Week

There was a tiny visitor in our home for a week – an adorable replica of her Dada – a little 1 1/2 year old who has her Bubbe and Grandpa utterly smitten.

As her parents traveled the southeastern states for a wonderful road-trip week of re-connection, we traversed the roads back to parenthood with a sudden immersion into the world of the toddler.

The first lesson – do not disregard nap times!  We may be the adults and we may be in charge of the schedule, but passing over the nap was such a painful experience come bedtime, oh my!  Right back to the toddler schedule we went!

One of the interesting things I observed that week is the propensity for this little one to gravitate toward little girls things.

As a mom to boys, I have a good stock of toys that boys enjoy:  cars, trucks, planes, boats, ninja turtles and the like.  We’ve stocked plenty of girl things as the years have passed, to appease the nieces who visit.

So I set out an assemblage of age appropriate things – and her little self was smitten with the baby dolls and stuffed animals, and the purse!

Not that any of this matters.  I just found it interesting, in a Bubbe sort of way.

Now that the time has passed, and work has resumed, and gardens have taken all of my home attentions, I look back on the week and smile.

That was the most amazing week of my life.

I’m glad her precious little self has her very precious Mama and Dada back within reach, and I just hope that this was the beginning of a family tradition.

 

Finding Harmony

How often in life do you find someone who hits all the notes?

Seriously.  I’m not talking about ringing your orgasmic bell in multiple positions, I’m talking about what makes up your whole being, the tune, the tremor, the composition, the key.  A human being whose orchestration is identical to your own.

There seems to be a lengthy pause.  A recollecting of the individual nuances and rhythms, the high notes and low notes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not one person is an absolutely perfect match.

There is going to be, somewhere, at some point in the melody, a disharmony.  A chord that doesn’t blend, a flat where there should be a sharp, an overlap of keys.

It’s no wonder that the cultural expectation of true love, the fairy-tale fed expectation of happily-ever-after, is an elusive composition most often ending in a separation.

As a finely tuned human, you are going to have your own melodies, your own rhythms.

You likely know that a Bach type will likely not mesh well with a Joan Jett type.  Similarly, the Celtic Bagpipes camp is going to be at odds with the Lil Wayne camp.

agony

Accordingly, you make your choice for companions, be it in friendship or partnering, by matching your ‘music’ as best you can.  Perhaps even finding someone who fits a two or three-part harmony on occasion.

Then, because life is simply not simple, there will be an unexpected change in tempo at some point, for you or the other party/parties, which changes the balance so much that the chords compete drastically with each other.

How do you handle that? 

It’s certainly not the same for every person, but I can tell you how My Love and I handled such a change:  by communicating.  Sure, that involved a few loud discussions.  It certainly involved a few tears.  I hate to admit this, but on one occasion, there were also flying objects.

heart felt trio

 

All of those communications created their own composition.  One separate from the rest, but one that told a story of us.  A story of understanding both sides of the tune, recognizing that the changed tempo actually got our attention and knocked the figurative stuck needle off the track and allowed us each to find new songs for ourselves.

Thankfully, it turns out those songs were in harmony.

Reflections

publish beauty

We celebrated this little beauty’s first year recently.  An astonishing fact, considering how quickly this time has lapsed.

It’s been a blurry year.  One of those mind-numbing, day-in and day-out, so many similarities that they all blend together sort of years.  The drudgery, the sameness, mostly blending so completely that before you know, the moments for opportunity are past – passed, slipped on by to become lost time; sometimes regret, sometimes survival.  Mostly, just a blur.

Emergency ailments, celebrations, discord and distress, good health, economic woes, family time, work, great friends – all combined to create another assemblage of time.  Moments and milestones, smiles and scares.

I’ve worked way too much, and the job project has hit the manic phase – a major program changeover that will wrap in ten weeks, with the primary module going live in three.  I’m worn near the frack out.  I was not cut out for 80 hour work weeks.  They’re an attack to the peace of the home front, and emotional health in general.  But the light at the end of the tunnel is now much less dim.

Time to start preparing for the next stage.

Hubby and I are scheduled to host our youngest grandbabe this next spring, spending a full week with her sweetness.  In the interim, we think we need to arrange more visits to get to know her better – so we won’t be such strangers when she makes her special visit to our home.

Shortly after that visit, we hope to attain some serious financial freedom – an opportunity to make remodeling plans for this ol’ home of ours.  Providing that there are no surprises between now and then, the first on my list will be a new main floor bathroom.  Dreams sometimes become reality, right?

Then fall plans include a meet-up with a dear friend, one of my Torah community members, to celebrate a Holy day and travel time visiting places and spaces where I’ve never been.

In the meantime, life is moving along at the full-steam sameness.  Yet, as much as that feels like reality, it’s really not is it?

The world is changing every moment, little bits and pieces bouncing around, pinging off each other, creating actions and reactions that not a single one of us can accurately predict.

We live, we die.

In the in-between, lies reality.