My One Year Anniversary…

A reader recently asked me, “What has happened to your blog? I miss it.”

I appreciated the question, and her caring. And I was uncertain of the answer. What had happened?

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 22nd I will be one year without my period. That may be TMI for some of you, but those of you somewhere on the menopausal spectrum know what that date means. According to western medicine I am in MENOPAUSE, or more accurately, according to Wikipedia, I am postmenopausal.

I have high hopes for myself on Wednesday the 23rd. I have been promised, assured and convinced that menopause is a spiritual club that only women who have survived peri menopause get to join. I think there may even be a special hand shake that I will intuitively know upon waking Wednesday morning. I will greet my fellow PM’ers with a knowing nod. We will smile, confident we have made it to where our erratic, irritable, bleeding sisters wish they were.

By Wednesday afternoon I am counting on my hormones to play nice so I can make it through a day without weeping; that I will no longer be combustable so I can stop stripping off layers in the Apple store in front of a Genius; and that my mind will regain clarity so I can remember the password to my ATM card. (If any of you know differently please don’t burst my bubble. I need this illusion.)

The last 4 weeks, the final menstrual stretch, has left me feeling reclusive. All I want to do is get home, lock the front door, and close the curtains. Some days I can’t get out of the car and up the front steps fast enough. Turning that knob, clockwise, between me and the rest of the world, is a spiritual experience.

Which brings me back the question, “What happened to my blog?” I have had several ideas for interesting posts over the past month. I have written them down, dictated them into my phone and emailed them to myself, recited potential topics in the shower. It’s not  that I haven’t been feeling creative, I simply could not make myself type them out. I could not move them beyond my interior self.

I shared this with a friend, concerned that I might be depressed. She is a PM’er too so I knew she would know. She confidently assured me that I was not depressed. She said I was incubating.

Incubating. That fits. I like that image. I am incubating. images

I have decided to trust this process. Surrender to it and gracefully morph into my next version of me. I may need to stay under the grow light a little bit longer. I will be sure to let you know how I turn out.
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Mother Daughter Tattoos

Soon after her 18th birthday Jena called me announcing she wanted to get a tattoo. “Oh,” I responded, wondering where I had gone wrong, “Really?”

 

“Yeah” she said, “and I want you to get one with me.”

 

To understand the absurdity of this request you must understand just how much I HATE NEEDLES! I delivered both of my kids naturally, not as a political statement or as an “all natural earth mother,” but because the idea of a needle in my spine was worse to me than any labor pain I might endure.

 

“Mom, are you still there?”

 

“I’m here.” I eked out.

 

Jena went on to describe the tattoos she wanted branded into our flesh. When she was young I would tell her, “I love you to the moon and back.” A sweet nothing for just us. We continue to write, text and say it to each other still.

 

So what does this have to do with our tattoos? Everything.

 

Jena endearingly presented her idea, “Mom, I want us to get I love you to the moon and back. I will write it on you and you can write it on me. Then we have it forever in each others handwriting.”

 

She had me by the heart strings. How could I say no? What a very sweet request. So sweet it melted my fear. I agreed.

 

 

After we hung up I began my research on safe tattooing practices and the most painless part of the body to get inked. I discovered meaty body parts hurt the least. Inside of arms, ankles, tops of feet, or anywhere directly on bone is agony. So I asked myself, “Where am I the meatiest?” (Since beginning menopause I have many more meaty areas to choose from. This was the only time I have been thankful for that.) I also needed to combine meaty with private-this tattoo was not to be for others enjoyment or amusement. After much research and consideration I decided on my upper butt/hip. Right side.

 

The day of the appointment we arrived at the carefully chosen parlor. I was so obviously out of place in my summer skirt and top, panic in my eyes. I felt like Pollyanna in a biker bar. As we waited, sitting with heavily tatted repeat customers, the advise began, “Don’t get it too small, it will look shriveled in a few years. Don’t put it where you might stretch because it will distort. Don’t get red or pink ink because it fades (sounds good to me) and it can cause allergic reactions.”

 

I am headed for the door. “Really? Are they serious? How big is not too small- cuz I was thinking tiny. Where on my body might I not spread or sag in the next 10 years? And, okay, I won’t get red ink-as if that was on my color palette.” Jena calls me back and I sit down.

 

 

Our names are finally called. We head down a spiral staircase into what looks, feels and smells like someones damp basement. We are introduced to our artist, an early 20 something year old man/child. He shows us to his part of the basement. I go first.

 

He “invites” me to the “tattoo chair.” Because of where I want my “art” he directs me to get into the chair face first, resting my torso on the back of the chair, that he lowers, allowing my ass to rise into the air for easy access. Seriously. You get the picture. I threw Jena one of those you are in big trouble mom looks.

 

There I was, for what felt like forever, my ass in the air with a cute young man’s face dangerously close to my butt. What does one talk about in moments like these? I know how to make small talk with my manicurist, my hair stylist, even my gynecologist, but I was out of my comfort zone. Literally and figuratively. It hurt…a lot. I kept asking him what letter was he on.

 

So, in the end (no pun intended) Jena and I have our mother-daughter hand written body art axiom. It will be with us forever and ever. When I catch sight of mine in the bathroom mirror I always smile, feeling warm and loved. Unless I notice the O in love is a little wide. Then I I skip breakfast.