Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekend Wisdom

This weekend I've decided to participate in Hot Coco's Weekend Wisdom Blog Hop. Participants are to answer one of three questions.  I am choosing:

What did you learn this week that made a difference in your life, and could make a difference in someone else's?

I have to admit I’ve been a having a difficult time lately. I wake up at odd hours like 4:00 a.m. and am unable to fall back to sleep. I'm irritable. I wrote about losing my cool here. Then this week I got uncharacteristically upset when management announced a new training program based on the book Who Moved My Cheese? Unable to control my emotion, I expressed what a colossal waste of time and money this would be. Even my boss who usually backs me up couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let this one go. I find myself unable to control how my brain works. On Friday, I had two difficult meetings along with an important project due. By the end of the day I was asking questions that didn’t make sense, began addressing co-workers by the wrong names and even told a salesman a co-worker was absent when she was clearly sitting at her desk.*

When my husband (who can tell my mood by looking into my eyes) asked what is wrong and that I seem so edgy lately, I realized I've had enough. Similar to the smoker who wakes up one morning and realizes they’ve had enough and its time to quit, I realized I no longer want to be like this. I am tired of being angry all the time. I let little annoyances fester into obsessions; the girl at the gym who never stops talking and invades my space, the manager who discounts all ideas that are not his or the one who boasts about how smart he is. Plus, I'm not feeling up to all the cooking and cleaning that comes with hosting Thanksgiving.

I told a friend my New Year’s resolution was going to be working on not getting so upset over trivial things. In 2012 I turn 50. I don’t want to be this angry middle-aged woman. Surprisingly she answered with:
That is so weird. I just told another friend that my New Year’s resolution is to relax and not get worked up about things that don’t really matter. Mellow out and take things slower. Stop killing myself for my ungrateful kids and start doing more for myself. I want more out of life. We were talking about all the ailments we have as we get older and I told her what your doctor told you that time “embrace the new you”. I still think that is sadly hilarious and true.**
Then it hit me, I along with my friends are experiencing the symptoms of menopause. During this crazy time, when I can’t control what is going on with my body I am going to need the support of friends or possibly a good therapist more than ever. I have always taken great pride in my ability to control my emotions and was able to work uninterrupted for many hours. A healthy diet and exercise program is not going to be enough. Perhaps recognizing that I have a problem and committing to change will make a difference.

* The appearance of fine lines on my face along with my perpetually chapped lips is not helping my mood.

**This was my doctor’s response when I asked her what I could do about my belly fat.

If you would like to learn more about my thoughts on business books see my post Can reading a book transform you or your business from good to great?


  1. Yep, it's unanimous. i was wondering about your age by the end of the first paragraph. Tne mush-brain is particularly typical.

    Sadly, those are classic symptoms of menopause - you just don't have the hot flashes... yet. I know HRT is no longer the immediate treatment of choice, but it sure did help me. Or, look into OTC treatments like Black Cohash.

    Please have a discussion with your gynocologist. And do a lot of reading about it. There are things you can do to lessen the symptoms. Good luck!

  2. Anonymous5:22 PM

    Menopause is a pain, but this too shall pass. I'm over it, and I agree with Heidi. You, too, will find life's better, forget the small stuff and find your stride!

  3. Hot Coco,
    Thanks for the comment. I think sleep deprivation makes everything so much worse. When someone adds one more thing to my plate or throws me some sort of obstacle I lose it. I was talking to another friend also around my age who said you think you can handle menopause on your own but you can’t. She felt my husband did me a favor suggesting I may need outside help

    That day can’t come soon enough for me. I really struggled to get through Thanksgiving. Not a good year to host.

    I could to without the mush-brain. I always struggled to think quickly on my feet. Now I can’t think at all. I also mentioned to my friend your suggestion to see my gynecologist. It was unanimous everyone at the table (I was actually with a group of women) agreed. All of them had needed a little help. Another suggestion was to not try anything like Black Cohash on my own. It could make things worse. I need to wait and see what my doctor says. I am calling Monday.

    Now my decision is whether or not to attend a 2nd Thanksgiving tomorrow. After all the work hosting and an almost sleepless night Friday, I really think I should stay home Sunday and rest. I have another crazy week next week – budget deadline and end of the month. My mom will be so disappointed; the guilt. What do you think should I stay home or go?

    I am so ready!!!

  4. I went through "the change" at 37, and speaking from the other side, I can tell you that it actually is kind of nice. Giving a sh** actually turns out to be hormone related; once you flush all that extra estrogen, you become more sure of yourself; less emotional; more clear headed. Plus, no tampons. It's the bomb. I started running using Jeff Galloway's 5K program on the iPod and it's the best $2.99 I've ever spent. You run and walk intervals. I've lost 15 pounds. Cardio helps a lot with hot flashes and sleeplessness. Don't give up on it.

  5. Thanks Heidi. My mom didn't actually complete the change until 54, so I am nervous I'm going to have 5 years of this. Your running program sounds great, plus actually working out outside is supposed to help. I try to work out three times a week; last week I only made it to the gym twice and had two bad nights of sleep. I'll try harder this week.