Breathe In, Breathe Out And Let Go

When I was at work today I felt there was old emotions swimming around in my body that I needed to be let go of.  Old emotions from the past that I had stored in my body over the years.  I took a breathe in and as I released that breathe I pictured my shoulders opening and old, stagnant air coming out of my shoulders.  Normally I wouldn’t do this at work.  I would wait til I was at  home where it is quiet and I am alone, but I couldn’t.  The feelings keep pushing at my shoulders as if to tell me they needed to be released.

When I have this feeling and I’m at home, I lay on my back on my bed, close my eyes and ask what part of my body needs to let go of something.  I visualize that part of my body opening and whatever needs to come out comes out.  For example:  in the past I have visualized  thick chains and bowling balls coming out from around my heart and briefcases have come out of the top of my head.  I believe the chains are from past relationships and the bowling ball is from the bowling alley where my first love and I hung around at while we were dating.  I have no idea what the briefcases mean, but that’s ok.  I don’t worry about what comes out.  If it’s ready to come out then I am more than happy to let it out whatever it is.  I may remember the significance of the item later on in my daily activities.  I may not.

Today I felt old, stagnant air coming out of my shoulders.  This doesn’t surprise me.  The air coming out of my shoulders was probably the aftermath of remembering my past hurts.  Last week I was thinking about creating a menopause calendar and over the weekend I was working on a drawing for the month of February.   When I think of February I think of Valentine’s Day, love and hearts.  Usually I think of a big, red heart.  Not over the weekend.  Instead of drawing a happy heart, I wanted to put on paper what sad events happened in my life and how my damaged heart might look like at this point in my life.   My heart was bigger on one side than the other and it wasn’t perfect in shape.  Fat and skinny black lines made up the outer wall of my heart.  My heart had a jagged gap from the top left corner of my heart almost to the bottom of the other side from the death of my dad.  About half of the gap had grey duct tape holding it together.  A small section at the bottom of the gap had healed and was a light pink.  In the left hand corner there was a light, brownish mark with red dots poking through that was left from when my mom had breast cancer.  My mom’s cancer was caught early and she is fine, but it still left a stain on my heart.  The pink dots show that the stain is fading and parts of my heart are poking thru.  Part of my heart is gone on the bottom right side from when my first love broke up with me.  There’s a band aid in another area from all of the times I was bullied.  There’s five or six areas on my heart that are black x’s that look like stitches for all of the times I was hurt and didn’t fully recover.

I was thinking about a serious theme for the calendar.  The menopause calendars I have seen in the past were humorous.  I don’t want to create a humorous calendar.  I want it to be a thought provoking calendar that has a different theme every month.  I think one of the main themes of menopause is that makes us look at the places in our lives that are not working and that need healing.  We need to remember the events that happened in our lives that we may have forgotten about and heal these areas because we probably still carry around the pain.    I wanted to draw my heart to see what areas came up for me that need to be healed/dealt with.  The two areas were: being bullied as a kid and the death of my dad.  I have dealt with being bullied a little bit.  A couple of years ago my neice was being bullied and I cried as I shared my story with her.  I know I just hit the tip of the iceburg and there are still issues that I need to deal with.   I know I have self esteem issues that stem from being bullied that hinder certain areas of my life.  And my dad’s death.  That’s something I will deal with every day for the rest of my life.  It’s not a bad thing.  It just is. It doesn’t get easier.  I still cry.  I think I am used to my dad being gone.  Will I ever heal completely?  I doubt it.

I know to some people visualizing emotions/things coming out of my body may seem odd.   It was at first to me, too.  I do it because I believe my body knows when it needs to let something go and this is the only way I know how to let it go.  I want/have to keep moving forward and growing and in order to do this I need to let those feelings go.  I believe that we hold our past in both in material things outside of our bodies and emotionally on the inside of our bodies.  We store past memories, good and bad, in certain areas of our bodies.  Just as we need to purge our homes of things we no longer have room for or no longer need or want, we need to do the same for our emotional selves.  We need to release those old hurts and negative feelings so that we can move forward.   I think the more healed we are the more good things, people and experiences we are able to let in.

One of my goals for 2018 is to work on my self-esteem issues and let all of that old crap out of my body so I’m not dragging it out around anymore.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Let.

I think this should be one of my mantras for 2018 because a girl can’t be on fire if she’s dragging all of that stuff from the past around can she?

 

 

My Morning What??

I don’t have a morning routine.  The only things I do every day before I go to work, that may or may not be considered a routine, is take a shower, talk to my husband and eat.    The time I have between when I get up and when I go to work is up in the air.  I may do stuff.  I may not.  I don’t have an after work routine.  I don’t have a weekend routine.  Everything is up in the air.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t thought about it til now.

Since I wrote my last post I have been thinking that I want to be more productive in the morning instead of getting up and wondering aimlessly around the house wondering what I should do.  I know what I have to do and what I need to do, but sometimes that isn’t enough to entice me to do anything.  I was thinking that I should decide the night before what I want to write or what chores I want to accomplish the next day so I can get up and start on it/them.  Working ten hour days and sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night only leaves me three or four hours to get things done before work and two hours after work.

This is not a lot of time.

It’s not a lot of time, but if I am honest with myself I have to admit I don’t spend my time wisely because my house/life is so disorganized.  Basically my writing life.  I have my writing projects in the living room and in my office.  I need to go through the piles and get things organized.  It’s not just my writing life that is disorganized.  I have a pile of papers on the coffee table (next to my writing stuff) in the living room.  Mail that hasn’t been opened/dealt with, ripped out magazine articles, bank receipts, coupons, sale flyers, etc.  This is why I probably walk around aimlessly in the morning because I am overwhelmed by the clutter.  It’s not that bad.  It’s not like an episode of Hoarders by any means.  It would probably take an two or three hours to deal with it and get everything in order, but I keep putting it off.  Then I would have to keep everything cleaned up and put away or it will happen all over again, but hat’s a whole different post.

It may seem like I’m rambling in this post.  I suppose I could write about this in my journal, but if I write a post about it then I have to own it  Do something about it.  Be responsible.  In other words — I need to get my ass in gear and deal with it.  Bottom line.

As you know, I usually write a rough draft of a post before I type and publish it.  Well, a couple of days ago as I writing this post I started to go though the blog stack of papers.  I was amazed at how much non-blog stuff there was in the pile.  Credit card receipts, coupons, etc.  I took 30 minutes, but I muddled through the pile and filed stuff.  The only thing I have left to do is separate the written blog posts that I have typed up from the started posts (which I need to finish) and file them.  Since my file folder of done written blog posts is getting packed, I think I’m going to buy a decorative box (a box that will look nice on my bookshelf) and put everything in the box.  It will be easier for me because all I have to do is type up my post, write done on it and date it and put it in the box.  I don’t know why I am saving my posts.  I just do.

I felt good about getting that much done and organized.  My pile is a quarter of the size it was.  It also feels good to have my desk cleaned off so I can put the writing project I want to work on next beside my keyboard.  In the morning I can walk into the office, turn on my computer and start writing.

I want my morning routine to be as follows:  wake up.  lay in bed while i think about how I want my day to go and what I want to accomplish.  Repeat some positive affirmations.  Deep breathe.  Start my day focused and on a positive note.  Write. Shower. Eat. Call Steve. Go to work.

I now have a morning routine.  Yeah me!

I actually typed this post yesterday morning and I was going to put the finishing touches on it last night, but I forgot about it until about an hour before I was suppose to go to work today.  Whoops.  So I am publishing it tonight — a day late.

 

LOVE….

Love is good

Love is kind

Love is patient

Love is healing

Love is energy

Love is motion

Love is fun

Love is laughter            .

Love is freedom

Love is tender

Love is sweet

Love is freeing

Love is trust

Love is great

Love opens doors

Love allows you to be who you are

Love allows your true self to come to the surface

Love is balance

Love is happiness

Love allows you to gain yourself

Love is always there for me

Love is open communication

Love is telling you about me

Love accepts faults

Love is excitement

Love works

Love is self-acceptance

Love lasts

Love is strong.

Love never ends

 

I thought this list was pretty cool.  I wrote it a long time ago.  The date on the white loose leaf page reads 10-19-1992.  I wanted to share it with you because with all of the bad things happening in the world we need to remember and focus on what love can do.

 

Love can change hearts

 

 

Grabbing Bits Of Time

I always thought that I needed hours to write something worthwhile.  A block of four to eight hours of uninterrupted time that I could sit at my desk and just write.   I could work on my essays, or blog posts or my novel and get a lot accomplished and feel good about it.

Since I started seriously writing my blog I’ve been shooting for writing an hour a day.  I usually try to write in the morning when I get up, but for the last couple of weeks I haven’t been successful.  Life has been getting in the way and I have lost touch of my goal.  I haven’t been writing as much as I would like and was bummed out about it.  I was wondering what I could do differently.  I read in someone’s blog (I apologize to whoever’s blog I read — please let me know and I will give you the credit you deserve) and I don’t remember that whole story (again I am sorry) where this guy wrote for a certain amount of time in his car after work every day.  No matter what.  Guess what?  He wrote a novel.

Why can’t this work for me, too?  Not the writing after work part, but the grabbing time part.  So the last couple of weeks I’ve been grabbing bits of time to write.  Seven minutes while I’m waiting in the drive thru at Walgreen’s to pick up my husband’s prescriptions.  Fifteen minutes while I’m waiting for the doctor’s nurse to call my name.

My favorite bit of time to steal is my last ten minute break at 8 p.m. at work.  I use this break to write about whatever is swimming around in my head.  I take notes while I’m working so I don’t forgot (easily done at my age) what I want to write about at my last break.  For some reason work is the place where I have the most ideas swimming around in my head and the least time to deal with them.  I think it’s probably because I shouldn’t be writing at work…..I should be working.

I grab time in other ways.  Two weeks ago while I was driving to the campground a ton of ideas came to me so I took twenty minutes before I went inside the store to shop and wrote notes for the essay I was working on and wrote part of a blog post and wrote a sentence or two on a couple of pages.  I keep a notebook in my truck just for these occasions.  Last Friday I spent twenty minutes in the parking lot after my acupuncture appointment writing two scenes for my novel that I thought of while I was laying down.  Usually I take a nap, but not last Friday.  I even thought ringing the buzzer so I could cut my appointment short so I could write.  I didn’t, but I thought about it.

When I first started grabbing bits of time I didn’t think it would matter.   I didn’t think that ten minutes or a half hour would be productive, but how wrong I was.   I write a lot more than I thought I would.  I even started a notebook to keep track of things I am working on.

I would like to think I am more organized although I’m still working on this.  When I write partial blog posts I put my notes in a folder and when I’m ready to write the full post I grab my notes and I’m good to go.  When I write notes for an essay I usually try to revise my essay that same day so I don’t lost my thought process.  When I’m done I have a revised essay and feel good about it.

I feel I’m writing more and getting more accomplished.  I feel I’m writing better because (even if it’s only ten or fifteen minutes) I’m giving myself time to do what I love.  I feel I’m more in tune with myself and my writing.  Ideas flow more freely because they now have an outlet.

I’ve learned that I don’t need a block of time to make my writing dreams happen.  That’s just not realistic in my life.

And besides…..a lot can happen in fifteen minutes.

 

I Am Not The Same Woman

I am a little sad today because I realized — full blown — that I am not the same woman I was before menopause.  Did I think I would be?  Yeah…a little.  I read about the changes, but for some reason I didn’t think it would happen to me.  Or, maybe, I hoped it wouldn’t happen to me.

My husband’s sisters were at the campground.  They are a loud and opinionated group.  I was a different person this time.  I didn’t keep my mouth shut.  I stated my opinion and why I felt the way I did.  I think all four sisters saw a side of me they never have.  By the end of the day I was tired, pissy and had had enough.

As I have said before, I try to keep my menopausal symptoms to myself and under wraps. I try not to be angry or pissy or let my patience run out, but sometimes I can’t do it.  Last night was one of those nights.  I was pissy and short tempered — a person I am usually not.

Before perimenopause I was always happy.  Nothing really bothered me.  It took me a long time to get mad at people.  I didn’t have a temper. I helped people whenever I could.  It didn’t matter if they did anything for me in return because I was happy to help.   I liked to be needed.  Sometimes I let people take advantage of my generosity.   I was quiet.  I didn’t voice my opinion for fear of making people mad.  I didn’t like conflict.   I didn’t want to be in the spotlight or let my light shine.  I basically stayed in the corner.

After perimenopause and into menopause I am very opinionated.  I have a voice and I share freely how I feel.  I don’t care if I voice my opinion and make people mad.  My temper is set off by someone breathing wrong.  It’s not funny, but sometimes it’s true.  If I’m pissed at you you will know.  I am not quiet.  I refuse to stand in the corner and be quiet.  I need to let my light shine.  I need to tell my story.  I’m not afraid to ask for what I want.   I’ve let go of friendships that I haven given and given and given to and didn’t get anything I return.  I refuse to come last in someone’s life.  My relationships need to have give and take in them — not just take.  I deserve to have good people and good things in my life.   I really don’t care if people like me or not.

My husband jokes around and tells people he fears for his life when he is home.  Maybe sometimes he is serious — depending on my mood.  He makes me laugh.  He’s the reason I have made it through this menopause stuff this far.  I feel very lucky that I can talk to him about my symptoms, how I feel and what I need to do.   He does stupid stuff and makes me laugh when I am crabby.  He makes me feel better.

Later on last night when we were alone I told him why I was pissy.  We talked about it.  I voiced my opinion and he voiced his.  We are on track and think the same way about a lot of things and this is one of them.  He listens to me and I feel loved.

I was sad this morning because I think my relationship with people may change or have changed because I am not the same person I was and I can’t go back to being that person.  This is who I am right now and people are just going to have to deal with it.  Call me a bitch or whatever you will, but I can’t go back.  I don’t want to go back.  I like this new me.  It’s almost like I am free.  I broke out of the chains and I can live the way I want to.  I feel this is the person I am meant to be.

 

I think on some level I am sad to let the old me go.  I was that person for over 45 years.  It was safe and I felt safe.  Some days I don’t know how to navigate these waters of menopause.  Some days I feel like a fish out of water and other days I feel I am swimming upstream barely making any progress.  I have been swimming in this river for the last two years and it hasn’t been fun.

It occurred to me today how much I have changed in the last two years.  I think camping this weekend in his family’s dynamic is the reason my sadness came to the surface.  It’s not a bad thing.  It just is.  I don’t feel I fit into the same places that I used to and it makes me question my place in the world.

This is what menopause does.  It turns your life upside down and you have to pick up the pieces and put it back together.

I am a different women and I like who I am becoming.  If other people don’t like the new me so be it.  That’s the way it is.  I’m not going back.

Happy Wife Happy Life

I hate this phrase.

To me this means that the husband should be doing whatever his wife wants, when she wants, to make her happy.  She barks.  He jumps.  She’s happy.

This is bullshit.

What about him?  Is he happy?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Does she care?  Probably not.

I don’t know why, but that phrase pisses me off.  It irks me because there are two people in a relationship and both people deserve to be happy.  Not one.

Both people should have the chance to be happy, to have separate friends, to go after their dreams, to pursue their hobbies, have a relationship with their families, to have their voices heard and their opinions matter. When I was married 8 years ago (it was our anniversary on Aug. 29 🙂 ) I don’t remember Roger, our pastor, telling us during our vows that my husband should treat me better than I treat him.  I remember Roger telling us that we should love and cherish each other and our relationship.  Marriage is two people.  Not one.

Happy Wife Happy Life.

This phrase doesn’t fly in my house because I don’t feel I’m the only one who deserves to be happy.  My husband deserves to be happy, too.  We both do things that make each other happy.  My husband and I do things together that help us reach our goals as a couple.   My husband and I give each other the time to pursue our individual dreams and help each other whenever we can with whatever resources we have.

I don’t want to be that happy wife.  I wouldn’t feel right if I got my way all of the time.  It would be nice for awhile, but I wouldn’t want this.  Marriage is about compromise and helping each other.  Neither of us get our way all of the time.  I want to see my husband happy so if I have to compromise once in awhile that’s ok.  I like to see my husband happy.

I feel my husband and I have a unique relationship.  He drives over the road so he’s gone during the week.  What makes our relationship strong is that I talk to him on the phone for an hour every day.  We talk.  We talk about what needs to be done, family, and what we would like to do among other things. We talk about what is important to each of us and why.  We talk.

I don’t bark orders — he wouldn’t listen anyway.  I’m used to doing things by myself because he’s on the road all week.  When he does come home he has a limited window of time that he has to get what he needs to get done.  I never give him a “honey do” list because by the time he comes home he has his own list of what he wants to get done that weekend.  If I need his help I will ask “Hey honey can you help me with this please?”

Our relationship doesn’t have score cards.  We don’t say “I did this for you. Now you have to do this for me.”  Some weeks I do more than he does.  Some weeks he does more than I do.  It all evens out.  We do things together.  I gather the trash and put it in the truck and he takes it to the dump.  We prune our bushes together — he prunes and I rake. He cuts the grass with the rider and I rake it up – if there is a lot he helps rake.  We run errands together.   He makes breakfast.  I make supper.  It all works.

Honestly, I admit I am bossier since menopause.  If I sense that I have been too bossy I will back off and/or do something special for him.   If I am too bossy and I don’t sense it he’ll give me a look and I will give him the reasons why I think the way I do.  We talk about it.  Sometimes I get my way.  Sometimes I don’t.

Happy wife.  Happy husband.  That’s the way we roll.