Spring is springing

Spring unfolds itself, gently and tentatively here. The gardens are full of wonderful spring flowers and the air is sometimes heavy with pollen. (Never good for those of us with hayfever but still….). This time of the year is all about renewal, as we shrug off the winter months and move forward, out of our cocoons of heavy winter clothing and into the lighter clothing….

I love this time of the year, but a little part of me, alright the large menopausal part of me is going – hang on – Summer is just around the corner, how am I going to cope with hot flushes and night sweats on those blistering days?

I reflect on how the women of ages past must have coped. How hard it would have been to have been in an tent, on a hot day, having one of those “glorious” moments. I realise how lucky we are now to be able to turn a fan on, go to the fridge for some cold water, or any of the other little things I do to alleviate the symptoms….and I realise I should be grateful for having the opportunity. Without gratitude for what we have, we can so easily fall into a more selfish and self serving mindset.

poem- falling

spicejac:

It’s been a long time since I put some poetry out there – so here’s Shawn L. Bird and the Poem – Falling for you to read and reflect upon. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Shawn L. Bird:

So many questions

falling like leaves

that I can not ask.

View original

Changing

Well I’ve been quiet for a long time – I’ve been quite sick with a bad case (is there ever a good case?) of bronchitis. Anyway that’s not what this post is about.

It’s about adapting to change.

Our family is going through another one of those upheavals, and we’re all going to go through a big change by the end of the year. How we handle any change displays how resilient we are. This change is a location change, but it will still require careful handling with regard to our young child. It’ll be hardest for him to farewell his school and friends.

For me, I’m a rolling stone, I gather no moss, but friends along the way, and for once, we’re actually moving because of my partner’s career, and not my own. So I have to take a deep breath and go with the flow, and realise that for once my career aspirations need to take a back seat, while my partner gets time in the sun to shine.

For my partner, it will mean leaving all that is important, his guitar students, concert band, the schools he has taught at and most importantly the student’s who’s lives he has touched.

So we’ll all be taking deep breaths, and as we pack and unpack, realising that that most important thing for us all, is that we’re doing it together, as the little family that could.

Going on

So the past week I’ve been down with a cold, which means I slow right down……and it gives me a lot of time at night to ponder on the big issues, while I can’t sleep. (Colds and Menopause – who knew this is like chronic sleep deprivation for the non HRT me?).

I thought a lot about how I coped in the aftermath of the losses I’ve experienced so far. Of how I shut down at first by the first waves of grief, of how getting out of bed, eating right or even exercising seemed things too far away to cope with. Of sheltering in the grief as it pounded away at me.

Then there comes a day when you can get out bed, with your box of tissues, and though it’s not easy, you get through a day. It’s no longer getting through that initial hour by hour loss, but it’s a day. Slowly you learn to live in this new world that has been created for you by the loss, and your feelings of loss. You adapt, because you have to. If you don’t you stay mired at the point of loss, and forever swim in that tragic grief.

It’s not easy – the first year, all those firsts you have to weather. And our western society expects us to put on a brave face and get through them, even when all you want to do is crawl backwards into bed. For me it’s justifiable, that’s how I grieve, I wail, I gnash, I sob, and I want to do that by myself, in the safety of my own room. (Door closed, tissue boxes lined up). It’s not fair that we’re expected to hide this part of who we are now. But it’s part of what society expects. (A cruel expectation especially in that first year).

So you weather that first year, and you’re faced with the second, the third years, and I will say for me, they did get a little easier to deal with. But that’s because I allowed myself to grieve at my own pace and in my own fashion. I was kind and gentle to myself, and not taking on the stiff upper lip attitude when my heart had been broken and it felt like the world as I knew it had ended. (Even when it was obvious the rest of the world kept going, oblivious to the gaping hole now in my life).

So I’m now at sixteen years passed the death of my beloved mother. I can now think back on what we had, on what we shared, and also on her flaws. She’s no longer a saint, but a human being, that I loved dearly, even though we did argue, bicker and disagree on major issues. I can for the most part (last week excepted) talk about her, and share her with my own family now.

But it took a long time for me to get through looking at friend’s sharing moments with their own mothers without tearing up and crying. For the loss of what might have been, could have been, had been.

During these sixteen years, I’ve lost my Dad, friends, relations, and each loss has changed again my world subtly at times, or in the case of my Dad, forced me again to re evaluate what I wanted, what I needed to do with the remaining years of my own life.

So for me, going on after a loss of any kind, is a simple fact of just getting through the grief, to feel it wash over you, acknowledge it, and then be kind and gentle until you’re ready to start living the new life, the one that was formed in the temple of your grief. It’s hard, it’s bitter, it’s full of anger and rage at times, but it’s a process that we have to go through, to get to the new phase.

Grief

So here I am on the phone in an interview for a survey on my reproductive health – I know, but I love surveys and helping out surveyors from Universities seems the least I can do if it helps my sisters gain better access to medical treatment and support.

Anyway we’re discussing the influences on my own decisions, and bang, I’m overwhelmed at the thought of the influence my own mum had my decisions. I start crying. Now my Mum died when I was 28 – a lifetime for me ago now. I’ve been so good, being able to talk about her now, and really embracing her life and all that she contributed.

But right there on the phone, I was hanging there, overwhelmed and shaky of voice for what I had lost, and for what she had given me – the power to choose my own reproductive health. She had empowered me – even though we disagreed on a lot of issues, but she had given me the gift that I now embrace.

So I choked on my grief, felt that burn that comes with a wave of my own grief, for what I have lost, what has been lost by her death. I feel for everyone who is experiencing the raw grief now, and those of us who have moved past that and into the grief that comes out of nowhere and catches us out. But it’s a sign of how deeply an impression that person has had on our lives, that makes this grief appear.

I finished the interview, and the interviewer was so very kind to me, as I blubbered quietly, and drank my glass of water to get me back on track. I’d mentioned to her that grief is another one of those issues that isn’t spoken about, just like a woman’s right to choose her own reproductive choices. It’s a taboo, and so when it does appear, we all scurry away from it – all of those who aren’t embracing it, and accepting it as part of who they are.

Life churns on

So here I am again, working on the assignment – and yes I know, am I really working on an assignment when I’m writing this?

Well yes I am – because I’m allowing my old sub conscious to churn away, I’m trying to get my word count down, which I think is harder than writing it, as I’ve lovingly crafted each and every word, and now I have to cut them down, without losing the complete picture I’ve drawn…..

 

Gloomy winter day

So I’m back working on that assignment – and yes I’m now hitting the coconut oil. Yep the coconut oil.

I’d been reading a lot of hype about it in Sarah Wilson’s I quit Sugar book and then lo and behold what did I turn on while folding the washing but this from Doctor Oz.

Strange as this might sound, for me it’s working. Cravings for sweet stuff while I write – have gone….and I’m feeling more satisfied with what I eat (lots of veggies and protein) that I’m no longer craving.

We’ll see how long this lasts and whether I see any improvement in my battle with my menopausal symptoms too!

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