Archives for posts with tag: after menopause then what?

I woke gently this morning. I woke slowly. My consciousness unfolded in a lovely way, without anxiety or stress, or residual negative emotions left over from unremembered nightmares. I woke feeling very little pain, minimal stiffness, and feeling comfortable in my body. I woke feeling beautiful, well, and pleasantly sensuous, enjoying the sensations of skin against sheets, blankets, pillows, and the softness of the morning air. No headache. Heart soaring. Feeling inspired and eager to face the blank canvas on my easel – and metaphorically, the blank canvas of my day, and my future. I woke loving, and feeling loved, in the quiet solitude of comfortable surroundings, content and aware that love does not require proximity outside my own self-imposed attachments.

I woke to a quiet household. I contentedly made my coffee, contemplating what things I might get done today, and feeling artistically inspired – today is a good day to paint, and I’ve got a number of concepts sketched out that I am ready to make come alive, even some new notions this morning that I am eager to sketch and get started on. It is, in nearly every respect, an ideal day to paint. Currently, there is simply no room to do so. The space set aside for me to work has filled with another project, which has stalled temporarily due to real life happening, in spite of plans. On some other day, this could result in a lot of suppressed resentment festering in the background, and find me feeling unimportant, lacking in value, not well-cared for, and not understood.  Today is different. Sure, it’s frustrating, and I earnestly want to live in an environment that truly supports me creatively, one in which ensuring I can paint when I am moved to paint, write when I am moved to write, listen to the music I love, sing, dance, and simply be this specific human that I am, is among the highest priorities of the household day-to-day.  As with so many things, there are verbs involved, choices to make, and I am my own cartographer on this journey.

I am working on getting into a live/work space that really meets the needs I have at this point in my life; choices are made, verbs are verb-ing in an appropriate order, and at a reasonable rate of progress. In the meantime, rather than blow a lovely day feeling creatively frustrated, I am feeling strong, feeling creative, and feeling joyful now, with what is.  It’s a lovely morning. My coffee is hot and tasty. I feel inspired – and I am not limited to canvas and brush; I have all these lovely words, and ideas, and broad blue skies, endless paths to walk beneath them. It is a lovely Sunday to rise from the wreckage of my chaos and damage, and practice the beautiful Art of Being.

The humble dandelion stands out in a crowd; her strength unmistakable, her beauty her own.

The humble dandelion stands out in a crowd; her strength obvious, her beauty her own; it is no concern of hers that some see her as ‘a weed’.

Today is a good day to bring order to small corners of chaos. Today is a good day for good practices, and good self-care. Today is a good day to treat me well, and enjoy who I already am. Today is a good day for sketching, and laundry, and photographing the very first roses in my garden. Today is a good day to be, and to become, and to celebrate personal rebirth. Today is a good day to practice the Art of Being.

I woke too early for a Sunday morning, and by that I mean, I’d have liked to sleep a bit longer, but I am awake. I woke with a sense of urgency, and a heart full of troubling emotions. The urgency turned out to be easily addressed by indoor plumbing; being human remains a very biological experience.

Have a flower

Living things, living.

The remaining emotions seem, even now, a hodge-podge of weirdness on the blue end of the emotional spectrum, and some anxiety thrown in there for added ‘fun’. When I faced the emotions head-on, with compassion for my experience, they mostly receded into the background. This is consistent with my experience of emotions that are not specifically tied to actual here-and-now events or experiences. So, I woke with linger emotions from dreams, perhaps, or simply with some built-in chemical cocktail coursing through my blood stream that my brain interprets as ’emotions’, but may not be. Last but certainly not most rare, I could be misinterpreting what I am feeling; anxiety and excitement have a lot of chemistry in common, and I am going on a date with my traveling partner today – very exciting, indeed. 🙂

Taking inventory of the experience I’m having right now, I feel rather breathless, as though it is actually difficult to take a deep breath; my diaphragm feels very tight and deep cleansing breaths require both focus and effort. I’m in pain, but less than has been so common recently, still, my back feels still and my muscles send me clear indications that the positions I took during the night may not have been ideal for later comfort; shoulder and neck pain in my muscles give that away. The snap and pop of joints that don’t hurt reminds me to be gentle with myself, to slow down, and to move with purpose; I’m still losing weight, and there’s some slack in joints, tendons, and connective tissue that puts me at risk of easy injury.

I’m still finding this breathless, rather anxious-feeling core, unmitigated by yoga or meditation. I take another deep breath and relax, feeling the ebb and flow of it. Although I did read “The Giver” before bed last night (perhaps not ideal nighttime reading for someone with sleep and nightmare challenges, honestly), my own dreams were not filled with it, they were filled with love and lust and sex and life…considering it in this now moment, the feeling of ‘anxiety’ and breathlessness suddenly spikes. Oh. I get it now. It’s the sex thing. lol. Damn it. Being 51, and post-menopause, has done not one thing to reduce my sex drive, or my interest in sex, or curb the maddening libido that is one of life’s gifts to me, if anything it seems more pronounced than ever – and now I needn’t worry about pregnancy. Younger me, back in the distance time of my 20s, would be so thrilled! lol. I mostly find the din of urgent sexual desire to be an impediment to contentment, because there really isn’t much chance at fulfilling the seething need; it’s too much to ask of another person, there are a lot of other things going on, and we all have so much to do… I love the feeling of being aroused, eager, excited, even yearning for sexual contact and satisfaction is largely a very positive and life-affirming experience…but I also have to take time out to work for living, get some things done around the house, take care of me… and my partner is  human, too, with his own needs, desires, limits, workload, time and lack of time, energy and lack of energy… in short; everyone at this party is human.  I have spent most of my adulthood feeling like my sexual needs are not needs that can actually be met in any sustained way, you’d think by now I’d be used to it. lol

A much younger me, a bubblebath, and possibly contemplating similar challenges at a different time in life.

A much younger me, a bubblebath, and possibly contemplating similar challenges at a different time in life.

51 is a funny time of life to be this horny, too. It seems unexpected to some people, as though there is some magic shut-off switch at 49, and sex tends to be a less comfortable subject once the conversation isn’t also about people 18-40-something. lol. That, however, is not my baggage. 😉  What is my baggage is learning to comfortably manage unmet needs; unaddressed these emotions potentially lurk in the background waiting to hijack my experience with some unexpected tantrum or moment of generalized pissed-off-ed-ness that can really mess up a lovely day. As ideal as it would be, sex itself is not always the solution available. This particular conundrum is still in the ‘more about questions than answers’ stage, too. So.

Autumn leaves, rainfall, green grass... there's got to be a metaphor here, somewhere.

Autumn leaves, rainfall, green grass… there’s got to be a metaphor here, somewhere.

Today is a beautiful day to be so fortunate as to feel excited to be alive. Today is a good day to be able to feel profoundly excited by my partner, such that just living alongside him day after day is this exciting. Today is a good day to be human, to be a being of emotion and sensation. Today is a good day to feel and to love. Today is a good day to practice willfully treating others well, regardless of my emotional state. Today is a good day to respect my own experience, with love and kindness, and recognize I am not alone. Today is a good day to be human; every piece of the puzzle rich with meaning, and potential for growth. Today is a good to enjoy the moment, and appreciate my great capacity to love. Today is a good day to change the world.