I was thinking about menopause today.
It all started at breakfast. I tried a new restaurant. Larry's off of SE King near SE 82nd. What a sweet cozy place! Great hangout with a book and blogging on my Kindle joint! Decent, inexpensive food and pleasant service. Plus the server offered fruit when I told her I was avoiding gluten!
I decided today would be my food celebration day. Life cannot be all about deprivation! And my family members have other plans this weekend, so no family Saturday breakfast. I am still counting calories. Still not eating after 8:00 p.m., and avoiding gluten though. AND I also made it to the gym after breakfast.
But back to menopause...
I noticed at the restaurant, that most of the patrons were elderly. I would say the average age was about 75.
I observed a sweet couple walking in the door to be seated. They were holding hands. I found myself wondering what they were like when they were younger. And I thought, that no matter how hard I work on myself, I will age. It is inevitable.
But I am not part of that group yet. Even though I am 55, I do not consider myself a "senior citizen". I felt a momentary pang of loneliness. They all seemed so happy. They had their community.
I , on the other hand do not. I am in a sort of limbo. My kids are grown, I have a grandbaby on the way. But I am single.
I pondered that a bit as I ate my breakfast. But then the thought faded as I headed up to the gym. I set the alarm on my clock this morning. In increments. I am still so tired and depressed in the morning. I am hoping I will break through, but in the meantime, I need all the help I can get!
I actually woke up feeling ok this morning about 6:30 a.m. But instead of actually getting up, I visited the restroom and drank some water. Then crawled back under the covers until the last possible moment.
Today was a light day. No church office. No private students. Just group classes at the music center. My plan was to take myself out to breakfast, go to the gym and then to the music center.
I also planned on giving myself a break from the food log. Even though I am continuing the no food after 8 p.m. rule.
But the day started to get ahead of me as I lingered. So I set my alarm clock with every important activity of my day. And it worked!
But my mood was a little low today. I felt like I should have gotten up earlier. The breakfast lifted my spirits. I would say my mood was between a 4 and 6 all day.
What raised me up were several random encounters with strangers. Mostly at bus stops. I had several lovely conversations. One with a gentleman who saw me knitting. Another with a 73 year-old man who has smoked marijuana for 42 years. "2 years legally". He believed in the healing power of the weed! He should be the poster child for legalizing pot! But most entertaining was he. He had the whole group of us laughing at the bus stop.
There was one weird encounter though. In broad daylight. I was walking from my bus to the music center. A man was walking towards me. About my age. He smiled and asked if I knew what time it was. I told him, I did. But he would have to walk quickly with me. I was in a hurry.
He said ok. He asked if I was going to work. I told him I was. Then he asked me where I worked. I told him I was not able to tell him that. I suddenly felt uncomfortable. And I usually talk to anyone.
He said, "I could probably find out where you work". Then he quickly added, "Because you are a very attractive woman."
I rolled my eyes at him. "Oh, brother", said I.
He laughed and walked off. But it left me feeling odd. I kept walking. I did not look behind me. There were a lot of people walking about. But I felt in my purse for my mace.
Luckily I did not need it. But his creepy energy lingered. Luckily I had my Starbucks at that time. And I had a my plan for a positive day with students.
I am proud to say that his creepiness is in the past. If only I could shrug off all negative encounters so easily!
On a more positive, note, I had a great day with my students!I knew in advance, I needed to stay upbeat. I have a few classes of very exhuberant young piano students on Fridays. Often, it is not so much piano instruction, but crowd control. I knew I was feeling a bit irritable and down, and I did not want to transfer this energy to my students. So I planned out activities for my classes as I walked and rode the bus.
I kept my tone of voice, light and pleasant. I took a deep breath before each class, and made me put myself into the moment, so I could focus only on my students. I told myself to be patient and find joy in each encounter.
And I did! I had a lovely day teaching.
Then after class, I decided to go out for dinner. I chose a little Chinese, family run place near the music center. I have been going there infrequently for many years. The owner is a lovely woman. She always comes over and visits.
While I was waiting for my order, I visited Facebook. A friend of mine, a lady I have know for many years, sent me a funny picture for Cinco de Mayo. (I purposely did not go out for Mexican food tonight. Was not feeling emotionally strong enough for crowds of happy, noisy people).
Anyway, the picture she sent me came from a Facebook page called "Women After 50". Curious, I went to the page. And I found a lot of posts about menopause. And most of them sounded like they were describing me! (Brain fog, depression, weight gain, mood swings).
The thing is, I stopped considering myself menopausal years ago. I went into menopause early, at age 40.
But I thought I'd research the connection between menopause and depression. I found a lot of information. So I feel another research project coming on! But one factor that came up, that I have pondered about my condition was adrenal fatigue. People that are under a lot of stress, which I have been most of my life, wear out their adrenal glands. Symptoms of adrenal failure include fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, depression and sleep disorders.
I need to do more research, but it is a start. Interestingly, the nutritional recommendations that I found were very similar to what the doctor on the Clyde Lewis show recommended for morning depression. (Avoid gluten, sugar, caffeine and fried foods. Focus on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein).
So, I am still on the right path.
Here is an article about the connecction between menopause and adrenal fatigue:
So much to ponder, so little time. But I do need to get my sleep.
Talk to you tomorrow.