This is how I feel....
ALL. THE. TIME.
I can't explain it.
Well, actually I can...and I'm going to whether you like it or not.
See....anger, sarcasm, not giving a shit.
Join me as we do a deep dive into the psyche of a middle aged women.
After a successful jaunt through the first 50 years of my life, I felt accomplished, ready to tackle the next 50.
I may have actually said, out loud, "Bring it!" And signed up for an Ironman.
Then Covid hit...just a few months before I turned 50. And everything went to hell.
The world shut down. The Ironman was cancelled...twice.
Then things really got interesting.
I won't bore you with everything, because if you are one of my 3 faithful followers, you know the story pretty well.
But this is what is going on now.
Last week, I was supposed to go to a sprint triathlon. I did not.
The weather was iffy, and my friend who was going race with me backed out, so I bailed too.
But even before that...I felt a disturbance in the force.
As I started this rant, I am angry...all the time! And I truly mean it.
It is extremely difficult to not throw a punch when my 12 year old (going on 16?) rolls his eyes and sighs when I ask him to do something, like get off the tablet and go get dressed. It is 2 in the afternoon you know!
I have moments of road rage that I suppress when a car goes flying by me at 90 miles an hour (when I am barely keeping up with traffic going 75).
And just for the record...left hand turn lanes on two lane roads, and highway onramps, are not considered passing lanes...EVER!!!
My 14 year old has developed, what I can only describe as a nervous throat clearing growl/flem removal tic, which occurs while he is reading, or just for no reason at all. I seriously want to karate chop him in the throat to "solve the problem."
I just about lose my shit, when I come home from working at a museum all day, hot and sweaty from no air conditioning in the historic building, AND having driven an hour, in the aforementioned Indianapolis 500, AND have someone ask, "What's for dinner?"
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
I love my family. I love my friends. I love my job.
If I get "mansplained" something one more time (and it isn't even a man doing it), I may just run away and not come back.
After I drive to the person's house and pummel them.
I'm sure it doesn't help that it has been 95 degrees and 95% humidity for the past couple of weeks.
The 2 small window units are running non-stop and barely keeping the house a "comfortable" 82 degrees.
If I want to watch a television show, I need to either turn off the AC so I can hear, or turn up the TV so the neighbors 4 doors down can enjoy it also.
Along with the anger, I am having my own non-stop personal summer, and that even when I sit naked in front of one of the window units, sweat continues to collect under my boobs, and runs down my back.
Yeah...we are in the thick of it.
This entire house, except for one person, is going through some major hormonal shit. And the other person...well, I think he is either oblivious, or in denial.
J is 14, has started "accidentally" swearing and is in the middle of puberty, and just stinks. Literally. At least he is using his cuss words appropriately, which honestly makes me a little proud.
B is going to be 13 in December, and I swear he is starting puberty too...but currently it is all attitude. I'm sure the hairs and stink will come soon enough.
Personally, I am enjoying peri-menopause: the years leading up to when my "Aunt Flo" stops visiting every month.
Yes...I said, YEARS!
Question to the Universe: Why did this have to happen in the midst of a pandemic? I'm already stressed out about people getting sick, the kids home and remote learning. Not to mention, you couldn't get a haircut for 6 months.
Yes, I know...first world problems.
Not only are we all hormonal...we are all "growing". Some of us are excited about the new body hair, voice changes and growth spurt.
Others of us (me), are certainly not.
But as I wrote a few weeks ago, I'm not going down without a fight. And so far...I'm down 10 pounds, and starting to feel better about my body...not because it is thinner, but because I am a little more accepting. And, my knees don't hurt as much when doing things, like running, going up and down stairs, sitting down, standing in place, sleeping.
As a result of the foray into "my later years," I've been reading up on this mid-life crisis for women, and as I have discovered...no one tells you about it.
Oh, and one more thing...note to AARP: 50 is not a senior citizen and most definitely not a retired person. If I can't get Social Security until 65...then don't send me a stupid card until then. Ok?
But, I digress.
There are books and videos and classes about puberty, sex, marriage, pregnancy, breastfeeding, divorce, coming out, cancer, death, etc., all different phases that can occur during a woman's life.
You'd think they could've done something about menopause.
In listening to my new favorite podcast, #IMomSoHard...they talk about some of the shit we go through...and joked that if a man was dealing with hot flashes, and irregular periods, a pill would've been developed years ago.
And I'm not talking about Midol and Xanax.
Fortunately, there are now books out there that talk about what is going on, and even better for me, about what his going on as you are trying to train for an endurance race, like a half marathon or triathlon. Or just work out.
It is so much more than eat less, and work out more.
Women are out there actually doing research on what happens to us, and how to stay strong and fit.
And, how to deal with our coaches and doctors who have no clue, or training I might add, in menopausal women.
It's crazy to think that with all the school that doctors go through, hardly any time is spent on this.
And I'm just talking about the 50 year old women on the street that is just going about her day, not the athlete that loves to go for 50 mile bike rides, or go backpacking with younger friends, or swim laps, or sign up for triathlons.
There is little training on either of them. And as Dr. Stacy Sims loves to tell everyone..."Women are not small men!"
It's changing, but for those of us that have gone through it, or are in the midst of it, finding a doctor that understands, and listens, and is willing to run labs or prescribe medication to deal with the symptoms is hard to find.
So, I'm going through this, and the one thing I am finding extremely rewarding is something that the author says women must do as they get older.
Lift Heavy Shit!
By this she doesn't mean go out to the nearest gym and start hanging out with the body builders and do what they do. She says that it is as simple as 5x5.
Stronglifts.com defines it as, "5×5 means you do five sets of five reps with the same weight. Squat 20kg five times, rack the weight, and rest 90 seconds. Then Squat 20kg for five reps again. Repeat until you’ve done five sets of five (5×5). Then move to the next exercise."
This program using squats,bench press and barbell rows as Workout A. Workout B is squats, o
verhead press and deadlifts.
Basically on Monday and Friday do Workout A. On Wednesday do Workout B. Switch the next week to Monday and Friday do B, and Wednesday do A. Every workout add a little more weight.
I haven't started this yet, I don't have a barbell. But, I'm thinking of getting one. And I want to start soon.
I really kinda tired of running. I still love swimming, and I have enjoyed going to the outdoor pool and swimming this summer. But the outdoor pool will be closing in a few weeks.
Oh, the end of summer blues.
At least I can still ride my bike.
The other thing I am learning, and I think I have said this before, is to give myself some "grace." To realize that I am not the first woman to go through this and have homicidal thoughts, nor will I be the last.
But to realize that it is me...I am the one that is having issues. It is not my family. They have their own stuff. My feelings are real, and I accept them. But they are not trying to piss me off purposely.
For example, my husband hasn't just started snoring to piss me off. He has snored for the past 30 years, and probably before. Yes, it has bothered me, but not to the point where I want to smother him with a pillow. Or cut his head off. That is something new.
Oh, and besides grace, the other thing I continue to remind myself is...don't act upon the impulses. That's an important one. Breathing helps.
So as we navigate this heat wave and hormonal roller coster, say a little prayer for us.
It will all work out in the end. We have a few years to go, but eventually we will return to sanity.
Unless there is another pandemic. Then all bets are off!