I often wonder if it is just women of my age that feel like this or whether women in general do. How do I feel? Well, if I had to be specific I would be unable to say with any degree of certainty exactly how it is that I feel. Generally, I feel out of sorts, under par and running on empty for most of the time which is why each day I affirm that today is the day when I will begin again. I’m a morning person and feel at my best in the mornings which is probably why I make all my affirmations upon rising unless of course I forget and then remember later. By women of my age I mean women who are of a certain age in life having reached that stage where everything changes for better or worse depending on how you perceive such things. I am of course referring to the ‘M’ word. Here I am talking of the menopause and not menstruation or motherhood yet on reflection all these ‘M’ words have played havoc with my hormones and at times hell for those who live with me. In truth the ‘M’ word or menopause from here on in has not yet happened. I am still having periods, although this last few months they have been irregular and unpredictable. It seems I am at the peri menopausal stage; at least I am if I am to believe everything that I read, and if what I read is true then Wow!! Lucky me! Not only can I look forward to irregular periods, the absence of which can mean I have reached the menopause or worse still I could be pregnant; I can also expect hot flushes, night sweats, memory loss, weight gain and facial hair not to mention mood swings, tears and flooding, and I do not mean wetting my knickers, although that too may be likely at some stage. On the issue of flooding please do not ask, just think about it for a moment there, and you will get the idea. Of course I could be one of those who do not get any of these, and sail through it with calm composure and smug serenity. Yeah sure…and pigs might fly, as the saying goes. I have never been one of those women who do anything by halves so why should I start now? I am most definitely one of the in for a penny in for a pound brigade.
I shall have another cup of coffee now, making it my third and most likely my final coffee of the day. There are occasional days when I do down more than my stated maximum of three but those tend to be few and far between nowadays as if I go over the limit I develop terrible uncontrollable tremors with shaking hands, and an intense stare or maybe glare, and I start gritting my teeth. My usual ritual is three. Sometimes I stop at one or even two, and it has been known on the rare occasion for me to abstain altogether but today is not one of those days. I am sure if I was out working in the general population that I would do things differently. I have not always been an ardent coffee drinker, that came later and with practice. I use to be a tea drinker in the mornings. I did not have my first cup of coffee until I was 19, not for any other reason other than I chose not to before this time or at least I think I chose not to or maybe my parents had made that choice for me, and I just went along with it because I did not know anything different. Anyway, it is not really important why I drink coffee, I just do now but once I start it is hard to stop. I wish I could stop drinking coffee altogether as these days it makes me go wee all the time. I catch myself pausing yet again at the prospect of another day spent procrastinating on how to change my life.
Life is so strangely cyclical. At least it is for me. I am sitting here in my semi detached cage, where I have been held captive by my own self imposed limitations for the last six years and a bit. I chose to move back here some years back now, I was not forced to; it was my choice, albeit not solely my decision. The strangely cyclical thing is that I now live almost directly opposite to the house that I grew up in, and here I am some 26 years later living right back where I started. I always thought that going back would be a tonic, somewhere to heal and gather strength. Turns out that it is not such a great idea to go back in time. Of course it’s good to reminisce and remember but trying to recreate, recapture and rekindle moments from our youth can be hugely destructive for some or all even.
© Liola Lee 2010
‘Today is the day’ …was a collection of musings I wrote during the Peri menopause years. It’s spoken in the first person, and was based largely on my journal entries written around that time. Journalling is a wonderful way to express this, that and whatever else needs to be said whether aloud or silently…