The Freedom of Post-Menopause Life

It takes a while to realize this, or at least it has for me, being post-menopausal is really kind of great.

I don’t have to worry about menstruating a quarter of my life away, and all the attendant nonsense with that.  I don’t have PMS, so I can trust what I think and feel from one minute to the next.

Menopause is over.  And as far as our culture goes, so am I.

No one talks about the joy of being post-menopausal.  I never expected this.  I don’t need to worry about eating soy or taking pregnant mare’s urine.  I no longer have the hot flashes that were an absolute terror to me.  It wasn’t just being hot, it was feeling like I was going to die from heat and not being able to breathe.  And to sit in meetings and try to act like that was not happening.  Oh, hell no, I am so glad that is O.V.E.R.

I finally let my hair go natural and I am thrilled to see the grey streaks in it.  I think they are pretty.  My hair is sort of a “sugar and nutmeg” color.  (yes, I did make that up.)  I cut it short, just like old women do.  It looks pretty and fresh, and I am thrilled with it.

I don’t lie about my age, never have.  I am 62.  I like being 62.  I would like it better if I were retired though I think.  I like that I am as good as I am going to get.  Yes, you may call that being on the decline, but I am good with that.  I’ve had a big life.

I am grateful to be as healthy as I am.  Grateful because I think in life this is largely a crap shoot.  I could of course try to take credit for that by saying I eat well and exercise, but so do lots of people.  I have some arthritis, that is life.  My eyesight and hearing are not what they were.  Again, that is life.

I am happy to be the way I am.  I have a belly, I have some wrinkles, I have some veins on my legs.  I am not so freaked out about the way I look.  I am not so invested in clothing or even shoes as I was just a few years ago.  I am not trying to look like I am in the market for a man, because I am not.  I frequently go without make-up.  What fun!

Why don’t women talk about what a great time this is?

I think I shall do that for a while.

And thank God he let me live this long.

Posted in Aging | 3 Comments

September Eleventh

Rose September 11

This is a beautiful rose that is in my garden this morning.  On a cold and dreary September morning.

I have been sick for 2 weeks.  I finally went to the doctor yesterday, who diagnosed a sinus infection.  I have never had one before so I had no idea it could make you this sick.  I am now on antibiotics, and I hope to be well again soon.

I have wanted to write about my peace with my age, so this is a reminder to me.  But right now I really need to go back to bed.

I hope all who visit here are well, and please know how very much I appreciate you all.

Posted in Health, Roses | 7 Comments

AA Coffee

I went to a meeting this morning and saw something that brought a quiet kind of joy to my heart.  Big, quiet joy.  

Several months ago on my way to the meeting, I noticed a woman with a terrible limp walking down the sidewalk.  She looked scraggly and unkempt.  She was walking rather fast for someone with a terrible limp.  About 20 minutes later, she walked into the AA meeting.  She walked over to the coffee bar and fixed herself a cup of coffee.  Then she walked over to the table in the middle of the meeting and grabbed a donut.  Then she made a beeline for the door.

I’ve seen her several times since, always the same routine.  

This morning was different.  She walked into the room when the meeting was about half way through.  She grabbed a cup off coffee and sat down.  There were no donuts today.  After the meeting, I saw people hugging her and calling her by name.  She was smiling!  I was one of the last people out of the room, she looked up at me from her chair and asked if the door was going to be closed.  I told her the Alanon meeting would be starting in a few moments.  Her face lit up, “Alanon!” she said, “do they have a meeting here every day?”  She got to stay in the room.  Who knows what will happen to her.  I love the thought that she will find sobriety there, if indeed, that is what she needs.  

When I drove down the road, I thought of my old friend Tim.  He always said it was the “AA coffee.”  He said if you drank enough AA coffee, eventually you would get sober.

I know it sounds silly, but I have seen it happen.  If you’re drinking AA coffee, you are usually sitting in an AA chair, listening to AA talk.  That stuff can worm into your brain if you are an alcoholic.  

I am also happy to see that we are still the way we were.  Kind to a probably homeless woman who only wants a free cup of coffee.  

I’m glad of that.  

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

I didn’t mean to leave…

IMG_8492There’s sweet kitty, sitting in the bedroom window.  She is such a good kitty.

I didn’t mean to leave.  I am sorry if I worried anyone.  I always think it is rude of others to leave without notice and cause others needless concern.  I didn’t mean to do that.  I just didn’t blog one day after another.  

My best friend who lives in England wrote me on my birthday, and we have been writing daily ever since.  She will one day vanish, because that is her pattern.  But for now, it is so good to be in touch with someone I know so well, and who knows me.  And having limited free time each day, that has pretty much taken my blogging time.  And I haven’t had much to say.  And, as you know, I am unmotivated to blog when there are no comments.  

I went back to my old new homegroup for my birthday, only because my sponsor and her husband wanted to go there.  It was so good to see so many people.  People I have loved over the years.  I have been going back there on Saturday mornings.  And then my homegroup on Sunday mornings.  Or some combination thereof.  It has been so nice to get reacquainted with old pals.  I have two groups, and that is good.  

But I seem to have two churches, and that is not good.  My parish is a lovely old church, that I think is a little haven in the midst of the modern world.  It is very traditional.  The music is beautiful, an organ and a cantor, the music sometimes latin, but always old.  We have a young pastor from So. America who is just amazing.  Such great homilies, so many insights, so many things I have never even considered.  He isn’t afraid to talk about hell, which I find very refreshing.  The church is 8.5 miles from home.  The congregation is mostly older, maybe 60% hispanic, 10% asian, and 30% white/non-hispanic.  They are not very friendly.  After going to several of their social events and finding myself standing alone feeling awkward, I don’t go to their social events anymore.  

The other church is 1.85 miles from home.  It is a modern church on a mountain, behind the altar is a window, with a view of the mountain and the bikers, hikers, and runners.  I have also seen deer while at mass there.  The pastor tells jokes from the pulpit, also from the altar.  The homilies are often given by deacons, who can say things so outrageous, I have to fight the urge to walk out the door.  The music is more fitting to a hootenanny than a sacrament.  The people are so friendly and welcoming.  I go there when I have one hour for mass, not two hours.  But I often feel very empty when I leave.  

In the last 2 weeks, both churches have asked me to do things.  The friendly church asked me to be a “greeter,” formerly known as usher.  They think I am friendly and outgoing and would be a great “first face” for people to see.  That has very little appeal to me.  I mean, seriously, I want to do something meaningful like feed the hungry, not smile, shake hands, and ask people who get to church on time to squish in so people who arrive late can have a seat.  

The traditional church has asked me to be a lector.  I told them I don’t really read out loud that well, but I would really like to get involved in some way.  My speech is not that great, it is somewhat slurred, always has been.  I talk slowly and almost lisp.  This is not something new though – when I was 16, a young man who did not like me called me a “female John Wayne” because of the way I talk.  The deacon said they would give me a try out.  I am happy with that.  I can trust that God will have his hand, and if I am not meant to be a lector, I will not.  If I am, I am more than happy to.  

See? This is why I like to blog.  I have answered my own question.  Thinking about it over and over again did not lead to an answer, but writing did.  

I’ll be back, and I will try to adjust my expectations about comments.

Buon Giorno.  

Ciao!

 

 

Posted in Faith, Mass, Roma | 11 Comments

Back to our regular programming

IMG_8366It’s been a whirlwind of activity around here.  The weekend just past was the first “normal” weekend in what feels like months.  It was nice.

The weekend before, my sponsor and her husband came and stayed with me.  They came for my 30th AA Anniversary.  I celebrated at 2 meetings, and it was wonderful.  I think it was the best birthday I ever had.  No big deals, just lots of loveliness.  One of my friends gave me her recently deceased mother’s 30 year chip, I got goosebumps and cried.  It was so special and deeply meaningful.  She is someone I have known since I got sober and I had spent a lot of time with she and her mother.  Sober women.  Sober family.

There were two people at the meeting at my homegroup that I know were at my 1st birthday.  I think there may be others too, but those two were speakers that night, so I mentioned them in my journal.

Yes, my journal.  I yanked it off the top shelf of my closet and read my entries from my 1st and 2nd birthdays.  Honestly, I forgot.  I forgot who I was.   I felt like I was reading something my daughter would write.  So much profanity!  So much drama!

Over the last couple of weeks, after returning from Montana, I have felt happiness and peacefulness that are not “baseline” for me.  I needed a vacation so badly, I had no idea.  It was also a great, great trip.  I feel rested and relaxed.  And dare I say, happy?

I had lunch with my former boss last week and she told me it was so good to see me so “happy.”  My sponsor’s thank you note said she was glad to see me “relaxed and happy.”

It’s almost scary to write that, but I will just thank God instead of doubting.  Even if it is only for today that I feel so serene, I will just thank God for it and not look for the cloud outside of the silver lining.

Thank you God.

 

Posted in Friends, Gratitude, History, Sobriety, Travel | 5 Comments

Be it Every So Humble…

IMG_8403IMG_8403
A waterfall just inside of the south entrance of Yellowstone National park. My daughter and I stayed there for a while. It was so beautiful.

There’s no place like home. I won’t have to go back to work until Friday. I am grateful to have the days off. I am exhausted.

It was so wonderful to spend time with my son and his family. It was wonderful to fly fish on the Bitterroot River. It was wonderful to swim in a mountain lake with my grandchildren. It was just wonderful all the way around.

Now I am home. Thursday will mark 30 years of sobriety. How can I even write that without it taking my breath away. My sponsor and her husband will be here on Friday. I will celebrate at my homegroup on Sunday morning.

The Grace of God is amazing. An amazement that never grows old.

Posted in Family, Gratitude, Travel | 10 Comments

1,000 miles north

IMG_8377I’ve now seen the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.  They were both breathtaking.  Definitely worth the trip.

But something happened yesterday that I am still processing.  I am traveling with the daughter whose daughters are in the custody of her father, my ex-husband.  They spend the summers in Montana.  We got a call when we were entering into Yellowstone.  My eldest granddaughter wanted to know if we were planning to drive through their town.  We were not.  We quickly changed our plans.

For the first time, my daughter was invited to the MT home of her father.  Since I was driving the car, I was invited too.  He and I, the parents, grandparents, and ex-spouses sat on his beautiful deck on watched the “girls” play.  One of the girls my 35 year old sober daughter, the others her daughters.   This is the man who wouldn’t come to my son’s wedding because I would be there.  Who won’t come to a grandkid’s birthday party if I am going to be there.  Etc.  And yet, there we were chatting.  I felt like crying.

So many years I spent with that man.  He is the father of my children.  It was awfully nice to talk with him.  I told him I liked his beautiful home and I was glad he has it.  I actually meant it too.

Now we are in the new town of my son and family.  We just had lunch with them.  My daughter and son have gone fishing, while I took a nap at the hotel.  I am exhausted after all this driving!  I have seen all four of my grandchildren over the last 24 hours and that is a wonderful feeling.  So many plans for the weekend.  I am very much looking forward to it.

I have just learned about the terrible things going on in the world.  Imagine me spending three days with no media.  Crazy.  But good.

 

Posted in Family, Travel | 6 Comments