Counting Down…

137 days left.

I have to get myself on some kind of plan, or I’m going to be quite disappointed when I reach age 50 in December. Right now, I weigh the most I have since right before my hysterectomy at age 38. Actually, if the scales are telling the truth (which, unfortunately, they usually are), I weigh more.

Ugh.

So, it’s time to get a game plan going here. I need an overhaul. A complete overhaul — mind, body, and spirit. That means, I’m going to have to get serious and focus, which is often hard to do because there are so many shiny, neat things out there to distract me from my purpose. And ice cream. And comfy couches. And exciting new projects.

This is going to be a challenge, and I’m going to need some support. And some ass-kicking. I’m going to have to make some decisions that require me to let go of some things I had wanted to take on as projects – it’s time to figure out which of those will best serve my goal… and which need to be packed away for another time.

I’m a bit unsettled about this but know it needs to be done. My life and my health in this next chapter of life depend on it.

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Besides, when December 10 rolls around, I want to be able to KICK… STRETCH…and KICK, just like Sally O’Malley. Hell, I might even buy myself an outfit and purse just like hers to wear that day.

She’s my heroine. I just love her so. 

 

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Making Friends with ET

Okay, not the ET that most of us remember. The one that strikes up a conversation and often causes us to take sides for or against it.

I’m talking Estrogen Therapy.

About two weeks ago, I went back to the doctor who performed my hysterectomy to start from scratch. After having gone to three different doctors, two of whom simply recommended I start on antidepressants and one who basically told me to “suck it up,” I made the appointment. It’s been eleven years since I last saw her. I deeply regret not having come back sooner.

After a lengthy conversation about my symptoms and desires not to take antidepressants, as well as having a complete exam, she recommended estrogen therapy. Of course, I was concerned about the cancer risks, and this is where she told me about the “estrogen window”.

While it’s too detailed to go into here, let me just say that I started my first low-dose transdermal patch a week ago. I am now going into my second week, and I can already begin to feel a slight change in my body and level of anxiety – a change for the better. Instead of “masking” the symptoms, we are going to what seems to be the root cause…

and I am ever hopeful.

If you are considering ET, you might want to consider reading this book. It’s extremely helpful.

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While this ET isn’t extraterrestrial, I’m certainly hoping it will make me feel out of this world soon!

 

Decisions…decisions…

It’s the eve of my 49th birthday, and I’m sitting at home. I won’t tell you exactly WHERE I’m sitting, but safe to say it’s a location that we menopausal types visit FREQUENTLY, usually in the middle of the night.

Yes, I do some of my best thinking and writing there. If your stomach can’t handle this image, then kindly stop reading. 🙂

It’s been a week full of ups and downs – tentative job offer, verbal acceptance, dog injures leg, discovery that job isn’t quite what it was made out to be, gut starts talking (loudly), up all night, dog’s leg not better so off to vet, make the decision to decline job offer, feeling relieved about that, eat Chinese for dinner because it’s easy, dog won’t calm down and yelps when he tweaks leg again, I’m feeling panic start to build. Dinner gives me gas.

So, here I am. Safe within the walls of my Fortress of Porcelain Solitude. And I begin thinking…and writing what I’m thinking about.

It’s the eve of my 49th birthday. Twenty years ago, I’d be out on the town, keeping a good pace to make it to midnight to ring in the special day.

Right now, I’m sitting here debating whether to go hear some music and have a beer…

or pluck my latest chin hairs.

 

I Could Learn a Lot from My Dog…

I could learn a lot from my dog… if I would only “sit” and “stay” in the moment.

After a year of trying to make it without anxiety issues, I found myself headed back to counseling this summer to try and get a handle on things. For those of you who struggle with it, you know that it can sometimes be debilitating — and for those of you who don’t, it can damn near ruin your whole day before it even gets started.

One of the many anxiety-related issues I discuss with the counselor is the one I have over our “new” dog, Sonny. He’s been with us for a little over six months now, and while there are some days where I’m very happy he’s here with us, there are others that are extremely difficult. In July 2013 – almost to the date — we lost our beloved Mick, a rescued corgi-husky mix, to lymphoma at the age of twelve. Watching him grow frail and worrying about his safety at every moment “amped” up my level of anxiety… until the night he looked me directly in the eyes and told me it was “time to go.”

For over a year after that night, we came home to a quiet house that had no furry carpets or dog kibble trailed through the kitchen but also found ourselves being able to pick up and go wherever we wanted to when we wanted to. My anxiety over worrying if I had done right by Mick lessened daily… until the day when my husband and the stepkids started talking about how much they wanted another dog.

Sonny Boy (named after Sonny Boy Williamson — we’re huge old school blues fans) came into our lives the week before Christmas 2014. Some friends of ours found him wandering through a local park. When no one claimed him, it was decided (by democratic vote… and I lost) that he would come live with us.

And so began my anxiety over whether I’d be able to take care of another four-legger… and over the inevitable moment when it would again be “time to go.”

Walking Down Haw River One of the things the counselor suggested was that I get out and walk or at least do some kind of exercise to relieve my general anxiety. This summer, the kids are at their grandparents’, so responsibility for the morning walks falls on me. At first, I was terrified — wondering if we’d encounter a coyote or a snake or perhaps another dog who wasn’t very friendly. Or maybe he’d eat something that was poison. The walks weren’t relaxing at all. My chest was tight, I felt like my throat was closing up, and often, I wanted to cry.

But eventually, something began to change. I felt myself actually enjoying our morning time together — before the sun was fully over the treeline, watching him with nose to the ground, sniffing for the best spot to, ahem, well, you know. He was in the moment, and nothing could distract him.

The more I realized it, this damn dog GETS IT. He knows how to practice mindfulness.
I could learn a lot from him.

So, as I work through my inability to stop worrying about the future and stay in the moment, I leave you with these wise words of wisdom from my “other counselor.”

Ball at Window
Always greet the morning, ready to “play ball.”

Different Perspective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes you have to look at things from a different perspective.

Sonny on My Arm
It’s okay to sit and take it easy.

Stare Down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stare down your fears. Eventually, they’ll scamper into the woods.

Hangout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every now and then… let it ALL hang out.

Porch Gazing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soak in a good sunset on your front porch… sit, stay… and appreciate the moment.

A Brief New Year’s Vent, Please…

I have been a horrible blogger… dropped off the face of the Internet for a while now, but  I had what I felt were valid reasons — two stepkids (12 and 15, Goddess help me) who have been increasingly, erm, “challenging,” shall we say?

I vowed to start the new year off on a positive direction, seeing only the good in things, and it was working for a while… until someone rear-ended our CR-V last night. Keep in mind this is also the same CR-V that had an unfortunate encounter with a jaywalking 5-pointer on Interstate 40 at about 1:30am a month or so ago.  The body shop’s gonna luuuurve us. Okay, the positive?  No human was harmed in these collisions.

I understand that tomorrow is supposed to be the coldest day so far for the winter — dropping down to about ten degrees.  The boy (15) has been asked SEVERAL times if the heavy-duty winter coat (that he refuses to wear because “it won’t fit in his locker at school”) still fits him.  Mumbles that it does each time, or at least I think that’s how the incoherent sounds translate.  So, tonight, when we do a trial run to see if he even knows how to put the damn thing on… behold… his arms are sticking out of the sleeves an extra two to three inches.

If I had a pair of Hello Kitty mittens, I’d make him wear them, just for spite. Oh, he’s gonna wear that thing, and it’s gonna fit in that locker like a charm…

I have lots of things I want to write about  — my trip today to a new (and willing to actually talk to me about menopause!) doctor, the shamanic journey I had done the other day, and a few things I’m hoping to accomplish this year.

But right now, I either need a really strong drink or a full scholarship to a bootcamp for fifteen-year-olds…far, far away.

Oh, the horror

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On Approaching Forty-Eight

Forty eight.

Age sixteen… for the third time.

The seventeenth anniversary of being 21.

 

Four dozen years, all packaged up in stretch denim,

Over-sized sweater, and warm fuzzy socks.

The day’s sensible shoes, taking rest in the corner.

At this point, comfort over fashion is key.

At least it is in her world.

 

Sitting at the keyboard,

Remembering her past,

Dreaming of her future.

Interrupted by the present…

Reality, asking if she’s going to do the laundry.

 

The spin cycle begins.

What have I accomplished?

Have I made the right decisions?

Will I ever be able to retire?

Should I throw in the towel?

Who the hell am I, and what do I want?

 

Stop.

Take a deep breath.

Remember what the chiropractor said.

And the counselors – all three of them.

Time to strengthen. Time to heal.

 

Forty-eight years.

Age is nothing but a number.

Time to start living your life.

Lots of questions to be answered,

So put on those stretchy pants and get to it.

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Edna, the Menopausal “Gangsta”

Edna and Her Herbs Photo