After writing an email to a friend today about some problems in my life, I stumbled upon something that should have been obvious to me. Obvious, that is, if I weren’t a 51-year-old woman entering menopause. (This might not be very interesting to the men reading this, but believe me, the women will relate.)
I’m very lucky because my perimenopausal symptoms over the last couple of years have been relatively minor: A bit of insomnia here and there and a few hot flashes once in a while. Most of the time I don’t even think about the fact that I’m almost menopausal (wow, that word makes me feel old).
But when I talked about my difficulties trying to concentrate long enough to write thoughtful and meaningful articles, it suddenly dawned on me that this was another symptom of menopause. I’m not losing my mind after all!! Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way thrilled about not being able to concentrate. It sucks. But at least it’s (probably) not Alzheimer’s.
And now that I’ve realized this, I wonder if “the M word” is behind my general inability to be organized in recent years too. If you’d met the Kim from ten years ago, you’d think I was her idiot twin sister. She was so organized that her friends teased her for it. She was the one that always reminded family members of birthdays. She planned every vacation down to the last detail, complete with multiple checklists and backup itineraries. Her house was organized and neat.
The Kim of today struggles just to pick a date for a weekend getaway. She can’t decide which hotel to book, especially if there’s not much difference between them. Small things become major decisions. Her house is always a mess because she keeps everything out on tables so she won’t forget about it. She feels like she doesn’t even know herself anymore, and wonders if this is how it’ll be for the rest of her confused life. Poor old girl.
But thank goodness I did a bit of reading to remind my poor befuddled brain that there’s help out there for this problem. And what’s funny is that I already knew this. And forgot it. In fact, that’s why I started getting soy milk in my chai tea at Starbucks a few years ago. (Because soy is thought to have benefits similar to estrogen.)
I’m so relieved right now! I really thought I was starting to lose my mind. I can tolerate the messy house and procrastinating on decisions. But for someone who has devoured books her entire life, the struggle just to finish any book lately is extremely disconcerting. And here’s some irony for you: To figure out why I can’t read a book requires lots of reading about possible remedies….ha ha.
Now I’m starting to see why there are so many humor books written about this time of a woman’s life. If you don’t laugh about it you’ll end up crying in a corner.
Now where did I put those darn edamame beans?