Or is it Menopause?
It was a relief to discover that my red-eyed appearance was not an emotional symptom, but rather simply a case of dry eyes that I ignored to the point where my tissues were constantly inflamed. Menopause symptom, likely, and easily addressed by adding Omega 3 and using re-wetting or artificial tear drops as needed. As needed being more often than I remember to administer – but I’ll get there. Thankfully, my constant red eyelids are now just an unpleasant memory.
Granted, I’ve been more likely to reach a silent overwhelm of emotion these days, particularly when I’m in the presence of my children. It makes no sense to me, as these are some of the people with whom I draw the most comfort.
I am rendered nearly speechless, unable to converse comfortably, or sensibly. Some of it is attributed to tinnitus – there are only so many tones that I can focus on without losing part of what’s being heard. Partly, it’s that I don’t want to miss a thing, so I nearly miss everything as I try to focus on every conversation at once. Not as easy a fix – but I’ll be working to find my perfect hearing range so that I can focus to give full-on attention to the conversant in that range.
The part that I can’t change is that I’m full to the brim with love for these people, and am faced with a change in status, for which I have no practice.
Change is a constant in life, and I’ve done a damn fine job of handling change in the past (meaning that I didn’t go on a rampage, and I didn’t have a total meltdown). Change during my earlier years was like drinking water. I gulped it down and on to the next task I went.
About five years ago I noticed a shift, a grating of tectonic plates sort of shift. Suddenly, I found myself irritable with too much change or too many compounded changes. Sure, I could still function well, I could still move on to the next task, but my comfort zone had been impacted, and it unsettled me, irritated me.
Still in the irritable stage, change has been fairly constant, the compounded sort, but I’m functional.
A change in position not aptly prepared for – that sort of change is like a chasm that has opened up beneath me. I’m not prepared for it, but accept that I must either embrace and learn to roll with it, or tumble along grasping recklessly at strongholds along the way.
Mother-in-law, Step-mother-in-law, Grandma, Step-Grandma – these titles, these changes to my position, have caught me off-guard in comparison with my own head-in-the-clouds, prior-concocted expectations.
Let me broadcast with great joy: I have the absolute best of the pick when it comes to family. Our sons were extremely easy to raise, and they chose very well when they chose their mates. I have daughters-in-law whom I love dearly, and they are the perfect complement to our family. Our grandchildren are a pure delight, and their parents are doing a great job raising these youngsters.
My job should be easy, but I’m a perfectionist in the most annoying ways – obsessive about where my everyday use items are situated, persnickety about what I ingest, and particularly overly particular in creating my own expectations.
I want to match expectations that I set long ago. I want to take bits and pieces from others I’ve observed in these positions and meld them into some fantasy figure, based on very little reality. Who could possibly have factored in where I or my family would be in our lives when this particular stage of life arrived?
So I emote silly things based on my silly notions, and get myself all tizzy-frazzled for things that no one else can control.
Compound that with the fact that my mother-in-law died during my second year of marriage, creating a void where I could have learned a great deal. My mentor is absent, that’s my excuse…
So I’m forging ahead in uncharted territory, with great hope that I won’t injure any relationships, step on anyone’s feelings, or cause any great distress; yet keep in mind my own emotional health and well-being.
Oh, and did I mention I’m menopausal? 😉