Life, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood



After the holidays, I started listening to my Lionel Richie Pandora channel because something about winter and Lionel Richie connects with me.

I have a point with this but if you know me, there is a tangent involved.

Here is the tangent: Lionel Richie is underrated.

Maybe it’s a shit ton of 80’s celebrities dying last year at a young age that got me to thinking about it but it is how I feel.

The man can SING.

And he is helping me get through the winter of 2017.

He is helping me to


Recently, I told you about having to wear an event monitor.

For two weeks, I had frequent occurrences of my heart racing before finally going to the ER. I was getting them at various times of the day, but the ones that woke me up in the middle of the night worried me the most because I was doing nothing but sleeping.

After the EKG and most other tests came back normal, I was asked in the ER if I had ever experienced a panic attack.

I’ve always been described as “high-strung.” I am easily agitated, panic out over little matters, and have strong reactions to practically everything.

I got cast in the theatrical production, Listen to Your Mother with an essay I wrote on my “anxiety.” It was humorous and relevant, but I wrote it because it was nothing more than an essay about funny mom experiences.

I never truly read what I wrote. Until recently, that is.

I panic more often than not; I worry about, well, everything; I don’t handle change well; and people closest to me must sometimes handle me with child gloves. For the most part, we live a good life. I just can’t appreciate it.

I keep a lot of things to myself because I don’t want people on the outside to realize how insane I am. I let it build up to the point of overflow before letting it erupt on people closest to me. With me, there is no in-between; I am either extremely joyful or extremely sad.

Then, as perimenopause set in, it grew worse. “You are way more over the edge than normal,” my husband stated to me in December, and it hurt my feelings at first since I didn’t realize I was over the line to begin with.

Then, one day, while driving alone with Mike, I simply started bawling.

“Life is just too real sometimes,” I sobbed to him.


I don’t know what it is about winter, but I always think about how life moves too fast. I think more than ever about my grandma who I miss so much; about my childhood which I also miss so much, which brings me back to Lionel.

Sweet sweet Lionel.

When I was in junior high school, I recall hearing Lionel Richie’s All Night Long during a school dance. I recall wearing a green sweater over an Oxford cotton shirt.

I heard Lionel Richie the other day, and it transported me back to a simpler period. It was all about icky boys, wearing the correct Nikes, producing mixed tapes in my room, and not getting zits.

There wasn’t a steady stream of news, media, and celebrity deaths. There was no internet bullying, no Twitter, no Instagram, and no cell phones. 

Life simply felt easier, and as I write this, I imagine every generation before us feeling the same thing. We’d sneer and laugh, thinking, “geezers……”

But seriously, The Limited is closing. My God, what is happening to my childhood?

*That’s like Forever 21 closing for you youngsters today.



There are days when I feel things too strongly, take rejection too personally, and can’t seem to get over being wounded by someone. I hear others say things like, “it’ll be okay,” “you’ll be OK,” and “it’s all part of life,” but I don’t feel that way. I keep it with me at all times.

Years ago, I told my mother that I thought menopause was the “beginning of the end,” and she laughed. She reacted to menopause quite differently than I did; she was relieved to see her period end, probably because she went through it later than I did.


I took off my cardiac monitor for the first time since the ER visit 32 days ago a few weeks ago, and it was a lovely sensation.

It’s amazing how a shift of viewpoint can alter everything. I haven’t had a cup of coffee in over 30 days, and I’m slowly understanding that, as much as I don’t want to acknowledge it, excessive caffeine use is bad for me.

But this is what is helpful for me: venting and sharing about my anxieties instead of keeping them to myself. Did you know that crying is beneficial? A good weep can sometimes be more effective than a Xanax.

I’m trying to learn not to worry what others outside of my body think about the decisions I make to make sure I’m okay. To enjoy life more, to exercise as much as possible, to monitor what I eat, and to not punish myself for choices or mistakes I make in order to be in a good position. I’ve blocked a lot of people on Facebook, muted a lot of people on Twitter, and said “no” a lot more times without feeling terrible. It’s a process, but it’s one I must go through in order to be a decent wife, mother, and friend.

I just need to


20 thoughts on “BREATHE”

  1. You are not alone! It seems several of my favorite people are going through something similar right now. I struggle with some of the same things, too. Oh, the thinking about time. Longing for simpler ones. I think part of it is our age and part is the scary state of our country–the likes of which people our age have never experienced. I’m glad you’re still writing here. I’m glad you’re not giving up. Sending you love.


  2. Breathe might as well be my middle name. I even have a rustic BREATHE sign by my coffee. I have it written everywhere on post its. You know I have panic disorder and it is hell. So, I’m hearing ya and I sure do sympathize with you. I’ve cut my coffee way back and then water down the cups I do have. It does make it worse. Just so you know…you are not alone! xoxoxo


  3. I love you!! I get you and the 80’s and Lionel Richie!!! Vent away. Want a new FB friend? I’m back on FB. My son and I were JUST talking about anxiety today. It’s a drag, but we are determined to live free of its clutches. The Limited is closing! Memories…. I love your mom. She has the best perspective. How does she do it??


  4. Sending you hugs and worry free days (and nights) and calm breaths. Anxiety is scary. I’ve had a panic attack it feels like you are dying. Take Care xoxo

    P.S. I love Lionel Richie “Penny Lover” was on constant replay one teenaged summer at my house. 😉


  5. Been there sweetie!Menopause + chronic illnesses+severe chronic pain+ a ton of mess.Then saying “F” the meds.Due to sicknesses was a 10 year blur with 4 of them being bedridden!?.So when I stopped meds post another surgery in full boar menopause mode…?Wow!Needed to BREATHE!Are not alone.Got thru it,still no meds.Take each day as a new day,just go with what my body allows.At 55,am doing far better than at 45!Drop me an email anytime!Been thru THE worst,and survived?Big hugs!!


    1. I am so happy to hear you are doing better now and you give me hope for my future. 🙂
      Sending you even bigger hugs. It’s so good to know I am not alone. 🙂


  6. What you just did here is really good. You vented and I’m sure you felt much better. If you can do that on your blog it might help to relieve stress. Sometimes people also get out of sorts in the winter because they don’t get enough Vitamin D. Do you live in a location like that?

    As for the menopause, I started years ago and have come out alive on the other side. My family told me they didn’t recognize me. I think it also helps that you are aware of what is happening to you. I was so bewildered. Hang in there Kari, and just keep on writing, let it out.


    1. Well, January here was rough. No sun at times for two solid weeks but February is being a doll. SUN ALMOST EVERY DAY. I do need to take Vitamin D and always forget to, so that is on the grocery list for next week. 🙂

      This is what I am hearing about menopause and that gives me so much hope! Thank you for listening and commenting. I appreciate you so much.


  7. I don’t know if my comment will go through, but I will try! You know I can relate to this – we somewhat discussed our anxiety. I have my annual physical tomorrow and I am going to talk to the dr about my anxiety – it is getting worse – but I really don’t want to be on meds. I’ll have a lot to think about.



    1. So your comments are going to spam! Hopefully I just remedied that and now I can see them!
      Sending you love.
      Let’s go to Trader Joe’s and release some anxiety.


  8. Girl, I also lean heavily on 80s media to ease my dumb anxiety. I get you! Let’s just say I watch a lot of 21 Jumpstreet and listen to a decent amount of 80s era soundtracks. We may have also just bought an 80s era condo that’s totally frozen in time. I’m not obsessed, I just have great taste.

    And Lionel Richie is so great – he’s my husbands go-to for karaoke. He queues up Hello and the ladies swoon 🙂


    1. First, please forgive my very first comment on your blog.
      Second, the 80’s will get us through tough times.
      Third, I am jealous of your condo.
      And of your husband’s karaoke skills.


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