My whole life I have been known to have what is called, “a way with words”.
That is a nice way of saying “I have no tact at times when tact is very much needed”.
I would never have done well in olden times.
You know, when women were required to be quiet and discreet.
That is why I am perfectly suited to write a blog because I can edit and edit and edit several times before the final draft comes out.
It can go either way.
Feeling off, not quite Kari-like, it has come for some time now.
But I was telling myself that it’s too early, my mom told me, my friends told me, everyone told me.
I am only mid-forties, menopause is far, far away.
I joked about it in my Listen to Your Mother piece, never really thinking it was imminent, just a distant funny thing.
But come fall, it wasn’t as much funny as it was puzzling.
Why am I such an asshole?
I mean, I am usually a raging jerk one week every month since 1983 LIKE CLOCKWORK, but this was assholery like I had never experienced before.
Then came the melancholy.
I thought I needed a job.
Then I thought I needed a dog.
Then I thought I needed a job AND a dog.
Then came the migraines.
Then came the meds.
Then came the mood swings.
Then came the OMG I NEED TO HAVE ICE CREAM!
Then I thought I needed things like a new front door color.
I even wrote a post about needing to have a John Hughes Museum.
WHICH WE STILL TOTALLY NEED.
But I dropped the ball and didn’t “make a plan” or find a “starting point” even though my friend gave me a lead and everything.
Because of the foggy brain and busy painting a blue door and googling teddy bear dogs and eating ice cream for breakfast and being an asshole to my family.
I’VE BEEN BUSY PEOPLE, OKAY??
Meanwhile, I have children living at home while I am going through life changes.
Most women who are going through the change of life while having children, don’t usually have them in their home while going through it, so this has been hard on them and me, not gonna sugar coat it.
I literally said the other day to no one in particular, ” I QUIT! I AM PUTTING IN MY TWO WEEKS NOTICE! LOOK AT ME! I AM TAKING OFF MY NAME TAG! PUNCHING OUT AT THE TIME CLOCK! BYE BYE.”
I am not lying.
I said it to no one listening.
Because no one listens anymore.
Because of assholery.
So when I went in for a scheduled appointment with my gynecologist recently, I should mention the appointment my husband begged me to make because of the aforementioned assholery on my part,
She listened to my symptoms and she said, “well your numbers in the fall showed you were in the peri-menopause range so you are most like in it now”.
Apparently, you can still get your period while “in” menopause, ladies.
This I did not know.
2020 note- I wasn’t even “in” menopause at this point. I had no clue. I was in perimenopause and yes, you have your period this entire time. Having no period for an entire year means you finally reach what is called “menopause”. I know this now because I wrote a book. Hopefully in bookstores by this time next year.
I didn’t know ANYTHING. At all.
It takes us YEARS to jump off the proverbial hormone cliff, so yay us!
The joy will keep going on and on and on.
BEING A WOMAN IS SUCH A MIRACULOUS THING.
(Cue the Kimmy Schmidt theme song, FEMALES ARE STRONG AS HELL ….mmmm DAMMIT)
She did an ultrasound, found some “things”, and said, “yep looks like we are starting the perimenopause process”.
I might have said to her, “We???? There’s no “we” in menopause!!”
Because of assholery.
It’s okay, she gets it.
But then I had a moment of WAIT WHAT?!?!
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to get rid of the old hag, Flo.
I am not at all going to miss her but just, really? Is it already time??
She did say, “you are really young to be starting, when did your mom start menopause?”
My mom and grandma didn’t start young, I won’t divulge as they were ladies, unlike their daughter and granddaughter who shares everything with the world on a blog.
So then she asked about my dad’s mom and it hit me as I said, “I don’t know”.
Because she died very young before her history was to be played out.
I found out later, she died at age 41, so my genetic ties may be linked to hers and as I sat on the table with the crunchy paper gown over my legs, I felt very linked to a grandmother I never had the pleasure of meeting.
The day I found out I was in (peri)menopause, it was 70 degrees and sunny.
I drove home with the sunroof open and blasted Siouxie and The Banshees and cried loudly.
The day I found out I was in menopause, I registered my youngest daughter for second grade, made the best spaghetti of my life, and wrote a really hard email to her teacher.
The day I found out I was in menopause, I didn’t go to my oldest daughter’s soccer game because I was really upset at her, the first time in her life I have ever done that. Because of assholery.
And then I went to bed at 7:30, but I didn’t actually fall asleep until 9.
I have been quite a joy to live with this year.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I stayed off of social media for the most part because it was too much, honestly.
I have my mommy still thankfully and I called her first thing in the morning.
We had a great conversation, long distance of course, as she lives in Chattanooga and I hate that we have to do that, but thank God I still have her on this Earth.
We talked about the old days, how it’s been a good ten years since we have lived near each other on a Mother’s Day, and how we took those Mothers Days for granted.
I miss her every day but on these days, it stings that much more.
So this year, when it was 50 degrees, rainy and foggy, AND I was in menopause hell, it was a rough day.
Plus she wasn’t feeling well either, so I thought this day was going to be a bust.
But we both had a wonderful conversation and said that we felt lifted after we talked to each other.
Amazing what hearing a voice can do.
Then after I got off the phone, we made lemonade with the weather lemons and stayed inside and I got to introduce the movie, Pretty in Pink to Ellie, who, by the way, loves Duckie now.
I got to sit, legs intertwined with my 15-year-old on the couch while she asked me opinions about things like clothing and dating. We don’t get to do things like this as much anymore and that was a gift.
My husband made his famous chocolate chip cookies while the girls and I giggled in the family room and talked about how Ellie will “never have kids!” and then I listened to my girls who normally fight incessantly, actually get along?
THEY ARE GETTING ALONG!
Then right before dinner, a dinner I didn’t have to make or set the table for, Ellie said, “you know what, when we are grown up, I am bringing my kids over to your house for Mothers Day” and we all laughed because she got caught.
“You said you weren’t going to have kids, remember!”
And then she said, ” Oh yeah! Okay, I am not! I will just drag my husband to your house mom because I will always want to spend Mother’s Day with you!”
Then my teenager who never wants to show that she needs us said: “Well, I do want to have kids so I will always bring mine”.
I soaked all of it in.
I don’t care what Anne Lamott says, I love having my kids bring me flowers, I love that they love to love me on Mothers Day.
I needed this damn day.
And someday, it’s okay if they don’t and they have their own families.
I will go to them.
But this menopausal mommy needed the hell out of that foggy, cold, day in May.
I love you, my beautiful girls.
I am really sorry for this year.
Thank you for yesterday.
I will cherish it for the rest of my every days.