Becoming Invisible.

So far, the tempo of my blog has been somewhat upbeat, and I have taken a comical swipe at some of the symptoms I seem to be experiencing all of a sudden as my perimenopausal years kick in. Not to worry, there are more up my sleeve and how I feel about them. (As a taster I will want to talk about last week and my first aura migraine!) But today it is not so much physical symptoms that I wanted to ponder about but emotional symptoms of loneliness or as I am calling it feeling ,“Invisible”. Is it linked to emotions we experience in the perimenopause or would we feel them regardless I wonder as the years tick by? Anyway, let me explain about this one that is bothering me so much lately, and one that frustrates me, when really, we are in our prime with so much to give and offer. I want to celebrate and embrace the perimenopausal years but then there is…Invisibility!

So many times, I have read that women over a certain age feel they are becoming invisible which until probably last year, I couldn’t understand. These women often seemed outgoing, friendly, part of a family, employed and well, in my eyes, far from invisible. And then as last year went on I began to understand. I think it`s a very individual thing in how we feel invisible. Maybe it`s in our relationships, maybe it`s in our opinions (what do we know after all in out forties and fifties ?? Well actually rather a lot as we all know 😉!), Maybe it`s in our looks or how we dress (that dreadful age of not wanting to look like mutton, nor wanting to look like an old fart either or the dreaded “beige”!), whichever way we feel it, it feels lonely.

For me it has been a shock to realise that to the outside world, as a woman who wants to work and has worked hard to get to where I am, studying to get a BA Degree whilst my youngest was growing up, I have become invisible. The world outside my safe cosy home changed, as did I, unwittingly to any employer to be, as those 7 years passed. Cover letter after cover letter and resume after resume has not seen me get one foot in the door anywhere to say “Look at me! Here I am! This is what I have to offer!” (Well that isn`t quite how bold I would be, but you get the idea!). Eighteen months has passed since my graduation and I have put it all to one side for a while as it is soul destroying. As one friend put it “You can keep applying, keep getting despondent until something comes along unexpectedly (Like when! ) and until then you can be the best damn, wife, mother , friend etc that you can be or you can sulk! “One of the best pieces of advice I had.

Don`t get me wrong I didn’t give up easily. I spoke to careers advisors at the Uni and they had to admit that without experience in my field and having been at home for some years my options were limited and if I hear “sell your life skills! “one more time I will scream. Employers aren`t interested in life skills. As one person quipped to me, they want a 25-year-old with 20 years’ experience. It`s tough out there in on-line application world. I have done some volunteering and also applied to all the supermarkets etc. Anything to get me out amongst others and back to work.

So here I find myself, 48 years old with a husband, three girls aged 27, 24 and 11 and at home, far more employable at 34 with no qualification ( like a degree) but lots of work experience. Take a break for a few years to have my youngest and most gorgeous daughter who I would never be without, and life passed me by and I have emerged the other side a little lost with not much direction and well, feeling just that topic I started with,invisible.

If I were to tell my friends and my family that I felt this way, I am sure they would laugh. I don`t look invisible. I am loud, chatty, dress up, go out, still to bars may I add! What a strumpet at 48 I hear you cry !!  I love a good time with friends and family, but I would also love to work, to be ME, not just a mum or a wife…just to be ME, outside on my own and showing off all those things I learned, whilst studying my backside off, alongside those bloody life skills!!

I know I am not alone, women my age are the most unemployable and most likely to be made redundant, I think the exact age range is 48-55 years old, but I guess in my own head I am not the woman that the world so readily stereotype. I am bubbly me who doesn`t want to be set aside as too old and inexperienced to have a go. Would I employ me though is another question I sometimes ask myself? Yes, if I met me but probably wouldn`t even make interview stage on paper.

Well what a moan that was. I hope it wasn`t too depressing and other readers can resonate. But I would like to end on a positive note for perimenopausal me. I read an article recently that I shall post a link to about how poorly work places are adapted to women during the perimenopause and menopause and how much it affects them. Enjoy, it`s a good link from Meg Mathews. She has a great blog on the menopause.

https://megsmenopause.com/2018/04/11/menopause-and-the-workplace/

So, to end, at least that is not a worry for me like so many others and I can enjoy my fourth hot flush of the day in peace 😊

PP xx

 

Hello Saggy Bits !!

There are just some things that will occur with age no matter what you do, I have decided , and this year in particular. These things are “Saggy Bits”!! And there are more than a few coming at me and fast. Actually no, they creep up slowly, seemingly unnoticed, then bang ! What is all this skin ? And will it go ? So far , I doubt it, without the help of a surgeon, a knife and some sort of suction contraption! So I thought I might name and shame my two recent attributes. Bare in mind it is generally hot here and so hard to avoid on a daily basis.

  • Inside Upper Arms (aka Bingo Wings)
  • Upper Inner Thigh (aka Droopy Draws)

You get the picture. Shorts and singlets are taking on a whole new look ! Oh there are many more bits don’t worry including one little area that came to light (literally) after a one off brazilian 😱😱. As my friend who had done similar at the time , cried out ” Oh my god ! I’ve got a saggy fanny !! ” Give us a break really mother nature really. Anyway, a few weeks ago I went full throttle into every exercise on youtube to fix these two. And the result a month on ? Nothing . Absolutely sweet FA , apart from a few weeks of walking like John Wayne !!

I know the reason. We all do. Declining oestrogen levels in perimenopause and beyond. The skin goes dry, it sags and does so particularly more in fair skin over olive or dark. Yay me !! Married to an Indian man 5 years younger I don’t need a crystal ball on the outcome here ! Although he is going grey before me which is actually no great comfort as you know, men seem to mature into handsome debonaire gents or bloody silver foxes aren’t we led to believe ?? Anyway back to sagging. So today I took a good look in the mirror, jumped up and down a bit and decided to try and love my soft saggy bits and give myself a break. It may take me a while but that’s my ponderings today. Lets hope they stay that way because life is too short and whats a few saggy bits between friends anyway ? So acceptance is key ! Lets see if I ponder the same in a year when the list might be just a tad longer !

PPxx

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Sweaty Betty !!

My first night sweat was a somewhat memorable occurrence in that it wasn’t what I expected at all and that it had me laying there wide-eyed realising I was probably entering the ‘menopause”. I dismissed that the next morning and put it down to a high temperature (nothing like a night sweat but convinced myself anyway!) but who was I kidding really?? That was about 4 years ago, and I was 44. The perimenopause was just a “fad” then and so unfamiliar and I was far too young for the menopause wasn`t I?!Oh how much there was to learn and how much wiser I am now !This perimenopause stage and all its symptoms “having a party” had and was going to be around long before I hit menopause!

So, I am going to discuss sweating! Which I know sounds revolting but these night sweats are in a league of their own! And after all, we talk about periods as teens and some of us childbirth (which ends up discussing every orifice we have), so why not night sweats? Lets give them a hard time! They bloody well deserve it 😉,

When I hear the word “sweating “or say the word “sweating”, I think of my Nana. (and not in a Sweaty Betty way I should add). She was so English and really did make it her mission to make sure I spoke correctly. So, when I would exclaim, ” I am SWEATING!” She would correct me and say, “Now dear, you know what we say, horses sweat, men perspire and women glow “. Nana! You left out the part about the night sweats in our forties and fifties!!In all seriousness though, I would love the chance to ask her about her journey through the perimenopause to the menopause which would have been in the 1960s. I wonder how it was for her? If we are only really beginning to talk about it now, what was it like then?? I won’t get on a feminist rant …yet 😉

So, these night sweats! Where on earth does it all come from?? I anticipated a sweaty brow or sweaty armpits (nothing there!), but no! My whole face is like one big puddle and my décolletage (bit between boobs and above) is like a slow running waterfall! It isn’t like sweat at all, its like water swooshing about. Everywhere around there! So far, the rest of my body has been spared this but gosh, the boobs and above are drenched!

Another thing I have noticed is that now, aged 48 (and probably a good few years off the actual menopause, so they may increase in number) is that they are not consistent. Some nights I have a few then can go a while with none. Maybe it`s an individual thing?

And there is a difference between summer and winter night sweats. Who would have thought? Here in Australia the nights can be so hot so it isn`t such a drastic change in the body and I am hot anyway and prone to hopping in the shower to freshen up even at 3am. This could be because it is 1000% humidity for the 30th night in a row! In winter, I would never consider jumping into a shower but the night sweats(here is the gross part, but I did say it would be warts and all) can occur without me waking up and then the sweat which has then turned cold leaves me freezing so I snuggle up and then another night sweat pounces , which I do notice, and I am suffocating in horrible damp sheets! The change in the body is so dramatic. I mean you wake up in a cold room just flabbergasted that you can be in such a pool of sweat.

So what`s the reason we have night sweats ? I found this simple explanation 🙂

https://www.menopausecentre.com.au/information-centre/symptoms/night-sweats/

Oh and finally, one last gripe to you night sweats, what do you have to say about what you do to my hair by morning ??!!

Hello 2 am !!

In my early forties, I began to wake in the night for the first time. Often for a few hours. At first it was attributed to stress or worry but none of that was really a factor in my life. My partner was astonished ! Here was a woman who never moved let alone woke up in all the years they had been together, yet suddenly here she was, switching on lights, flushing loos, getting drinks of water and even standing in the shower in the middle of the night ! So why was it happening?

It was about that time that the term “perimenopause” was beginning to emerge. Some seemed to think it was a bit of a “fad” but I found myself taking note and researching some symptoms. I mean , how can we just launch into menopause? There has to be a transition phase right? And there is! The perimenopause, a now familiar term where symptoms are having a party !

Why sleep deprivation is so common seems to be a grey area. It could be worry or anxiety when those thoughts in the middle of the night seem gargantuan, yet simmer down a little by morning. It could be night sweats waking us up or needing the loo and an inability to get back to sleep. Or it could be a viscous cycle of sleeplessness leading to worry and anxiety and so the pattern repeats.

So what can we do to help this intrusion into our slumber? I have read up on this so many times and can really only find the usual suspects. You know, herbal tea, a cool quiet room (hmm, might be but not once a hot flush strikes, even in Antartica!), regular sleep routine, no stimulants, no alcohol, no caffeine, and so on. There is nothing ground breaking out there so I would love to know of any tips and tricks if you have them.

Here is mine. I used to stress and try so hard to sleep, tossing, turning, humphing around but now see it as me time. No one wants me, no one is calling , I am resting and it`s dark and quiet. I also started a little meditation of my own. I lie on my back, pop my hands on my chest (crossed) flop my feet to the sides and breathe in through my nose for five and out through my mouth for five. After about ten minutes, I get a “floaty feeling” , pop myself into my favourite sleeping position and drift off. If it doesn`t work, I try again.

Now after a few years instead of causing me instant angst, 2am wake ups cause me to sigh with relief as I know I have a while til morning. It`s a 4am one that fills me with dread! If I do get back to sleep, I shall be in the deepest slumber when the alarm goes off. Insomnia is so far my most hated part of the perimenopause as a good nights sleep is irreplaceable and something I really miss.

PPxx

Why Perimenopausal Ponderings

I woke up one Sunday a few weeks ago, after months lost in ideas of what to do with my (mid)life, and announced triumphantly to the family that I was going to start “blogging” !! I spent the day perusing various blogging sites, weighing up the pros and cons and reading the blurb ( aka whether I could master doing it! ) Weeks later the empty blog sat looking pretty as I procrastinated and kept getting on top of things so I was ready to write my blog. Yet still there was nothing. Until today, when I decided to stop procrastinating and bloody well write! And do you know what? It feels good. Sometimes you just have to write as they say and no matter what comes out , you are doing it!

So why did I want to start blogging ? Well, to save my sanity (and that of my nearest and dearest) as I do like to talk, rather a lot I am told ! Am I mad, I sometimes wonder having all these conversations with myself or the dog or the wall ? But the reality is, my life isn`t how I expected it to be in my late forties.  Unexpectedly , I have  become a long term stay at home mum, who loves to be with people, who loves a chat (god help the postie, the assistant in the supermarket or anyone I meet on my daily rounds as they are getting a chat whether they want one or not !) and the nest is beginning to empty. I miss ME ! Being someone other than a mother, a wife, a daughter (which I adore and do with gusto ) but having the identity I had when I worked and the connection I had with others. So why not create my own little identity and journal along the way and connect with others in a similar situation.

So why Perimenopausal Me ? I am proudly perimenopausal and shall have fun blogging about those experiences (although I am not sure fun is the correct word to describe me at 2 am in a lather of sweat!) and find the best ways to deal with them. I strongly believe that the perimenopause and menopause needs to be talked about more, it is not a time in life to be ashamed of.  The stigma needs to go and knowledge about it grow. I think of phrases like “Is it hot in here or is it me?” I am guilty of that one ! When I want to shout “I am having a hot flush everyone!!” With an English Rose complexion , it is blindingly obvious might I add that I am having one and it isn`t hot at all….anywhere!

So I have finally bloody done it ! Does that mean I can call myself a “Blogger”? Perhaps not quite yet but lets hope I procrastinate no more and have fun along the way letting all those perimenopausal ponderings, tumble out from my chatty head onto the page so I can make sense of them all with some help. Lets face it I, I am not alone !

Until Then

PP xx