Tuesday, May 10, 2011

keeping it real

In an effort to keep it real, I have to admit that I had a few hellish weeks. All segments of my life were in a state of severe disarray, and I let the tides sweep me away. I became all of the things that I most dislike. I was irritable, short, unmotivated, awful to be around, and unproductive. Mostly I was sad - for no apparent reason. Nothing had changed in any big way. I could blame this on a lot of different things, people, circumstances...you get the picture. The truth is I was not present to what was happening in my life - my almost-fifty-getting-fat-gray-haired-wrinkled-too-committed life.

And then I got present. I am menopausing. This is not an illness. I am not sick. I have no "symptoms." I am simply growing older. While I do view this as a natural and blessed cronish moment, I also realize that there are ways to ease the transition instead of fighting it and the bad behavior. My answer was at the health food store. After a few trips up and down the supplement aisle, I purchased one little bottle of black cohash, St. John's Wort, and a pineapple fruit twist for Scout.

I fully expected results, but not nearly as quickly as they showed themselves. By the following morning, I felt the monster inside of me shrinking. My patience was returning. I did not dread the day ahead. But mostly, I wasn't sad. Miracle? I think not.

While I do credit my menopause cocktail for relief, I also know that the arrival of warmer temperatures and the fact that I didn't have to drive to work and spend the day fighting copy contributed to my rebounded sense of well-being. More than anything though, I think that the simple fact that I got present and acted instead of reacted made the most difference. Instead of being swept away by my emotions and the events of the day, I made a decision to change things and take back control.

I talk a lot about being present. My menopausal awakening is a testament to the power of presence. Now, I'm not about to give up the black cohash, but I will remember when I get that edgy urge to growl, that I have to get real and find myself in the moment. From that place, I have power. I like it there.

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