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.

I was having episodes where my heart was racing more times than not for two weeks before I finally headed to the ER. I was having them different times of the day but the ones that woke me up in the night scared me most because I was doing nothing but sleeping.

I was asked in the ER if I had ever had a panic attack, after the EKG and most everything else was turning up normal.

A panic attack? I don’t think so?

I have always been what you would call “high-strung”. I get nervous easily, freak out about simple things, have strong reactions to almost everything.

I was cast in the stage show Listen to Your Mother with a piece that I wrote about my “anxiety”.

It was funny and relatable but I wrote it because it was nothing more than a piece about funny mom moments.

I never really read the words I wrote.

Until recently.

I freak out more than not; I worry about, well, everything; I don’t handle change well; those close to me have to handle me at times with kid gloves.

To be clear, I am not a monster to live with. We have a pretty great life for the most part. I’m just not able to enjoy it on most days.

So after the ER visit, I started thinking and we know that is NEVER A GOOD THING.

Man, I hold a lot on the inside because I don’t want people on the outside to know how crazy I am. Until it builds to the point of overflow then I let it explode on those closest to me.

There is no middle ground with me; I am either really happy or really upset.

Then with menopause starting, it got worse. My husband said to me in December, “you are way more over the edge than normal” and it hurt my feelings at first because I didn’t know I was over the edge, to begin with.

Then on a car ride alone with Mike one day, I just started crying.

“Life is just too real sometimes,” I told him through sobs.


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.

I remember hearing All Night Long at a school dance when I was in junior high school. I remember wearing a green sweater with an Oxford cloth shirt underneath. Lionel takes me back to a time when life wasn’t so real.

It was just about boys, and wearing the right Nike’s, and music, and trying not to have zits.

There wasn’t a constant stream of news, media, deaths of famous people. There wasn’t online bullying, Twitter, Instagram, cell phones. No bills, adulting, deadlines or inconsiderate people. What am I saying? There were inconsiderate people in 7th grade too. But you get the idea.

Life was simpler and as I write this, I think of every generation before us saying the exact same thing. To which we would scoff and laugh and think “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.







I have always been riddled with anxious thoughts here and there; mostly here. I would push them down inside and tell myself to get a grip. But I was never able to really get that grip, you know?

There are days where I feel things too much, take rejection too hard, am unable to get over being hurt by someone. I hear other people say things like, “it will be okay” “you will be fine” “it’s all part of life” but in my mind, I don’t feel that way. I carry it with me every day.

I remember years ago telling my mom that I felt like menopause was the “beginning of the end” to which she laughed. She reacted much differently to menopause; happy to see her period go, possibly because she went through it later than I.

The beginning of the end.



A few weeks ago I took off my heart monitor for the first time in 32 days and it was a glorious feeling. Feeling tied down to cords and a computer is tough, man.

Funny how perspective changes everything. I haven’t had a cup of coffee in over 30 days and I am slowly realizing that as much as I don’t want to admit it, large amounts of caffeine are not good for me.

This is what is good for me though- venting; talking about fears instead of holding them inside. Crying is good, did you know that? A good cry sometimes helps more than a Xanax ever could.


I am slowly learning to breathe. To not care what anyone outside of my body thinks of choices I make to ensure I am okay. To enjoy life more, exercise as much as I can, watch what I eat, not beat myself up for choices or decisions I make to ensure I am in a good place. I have blocked a lot of people on Facebook; muted a ton of people on Twitter; said “no” more and not felt guilty. It is a process but it is one I need to make in order to be a good wife, mom, 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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