Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hold On!

"Our waking hours form the text of our lives; our dreams, the commentary." -- Anonymous
Last night I dreamed I was driving a semi-truck and I couldn't control it. At one point, I tried to use the brakes, but they kept locking up on me as I tried to avoid hitting other cars while the truck swerved and swayed. When I discovered I had taken the wrong route, I searched for a place to turn the behemoth around. I found an area in an empty parking lot, but when I tried to do a U-turn, the truck almost turned over.

What commentary of the text of my life did this dream bring? I saw several key elements:

1) The behemoth semi-truck
2) Trying to control it
3) Trying to keep from hitting other cars
4) Wrong route
5) Fear of turning truck over

What an accurate metaphor for what I've been feeling in the last month or so. Why? I have always been successful at multi-tasking - the more things to do the better I juggled them. Pressure? Go on, add a little more - I did my best work under pressure.

But, I presume . . . (I'm tiptoeing here) . . . due to the onset of my age-that-will-remain-nameless, I have entered . . . that long-denied chapter of . . . (still tiptoeing) . . . the feared "M" word,


I'll admit, for years I denied it. Perhaps because I'd been fortunate enough to enter the dreadful stage later than many, I was even one of the ignorant who thought, "Maybe it is all in a woman's head after all." I practically gloated, proud of myself for my mental strength in warding off the symptoms:
  1. Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
  2. Irregular heart beat
  3. Irritability
  4. Mood swings, sudden tears
  5. Trouble sleeping through the night
  6. Crashing fatigue
  7. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
  8. Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
  9. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
  10. Disturbing memory lapses

These are but a few of the symptoms. If you'd like to see the rest of the other dastardly, pitiless, unjust, cruel, unfair list, see the Project Aware website.

So, lately I have been dealing with the realization that I was wrong about it being in a woman's head. And now, maybe I'm being punished for that incorrect assumption by feeling overwhelmed with many of the items above. The neon marquis for my dream might have flashed:

"This dream is being brought to you by Numbers 3, 9 and 10."

My life is no more overwhelming than the lives of most, and easier than the lives of many. Knowing this, I not only feel overwhelmed, I feel guilty.
But, the good thing is, I didn't crash the truck. I controlled it and eventually got it back on track. Here's a list of some minor changes which hopefully will also make me feel "back on track" and in control:

1) Meditate or do yoga regularly.
2) Exercise regularly.
3) Make lists.
4) Realize "this too shall pass."
5) Share with friends so I know it's "normal" and not in my head.

So . . . let's just see where that old semi-truck takes me.


  1. Giving thanks men don't have go through it, but why do they call it MENopause? It should be FEMMEopause. But, like you said, it's only temporary.

  2. What this blog entry brought home to me is that people who do an excellent imitation of someone who has it all together--sometimes haven't. For lots of reasons, not necessarily hormonal. For instance I've gotten annoyed with people who were not behaving as I would like, only to discover later they were struggling with much larger issues than keeping me happy. Issues like a ruptured budget, a straying mate, a refractory child, a hostile work environment. Maybe we should issue buttons to be worn on appropriate occasions, that say "I'm having a bad day. Don't push it." Alternatively, we could just cut people a little slack.

  3. @Oscar & ed_quixote - Wow! Who'd have thought two men would be the first to leave comments? Thank you, Oscar, for your recognition that men are lucky not to have "go through it." And ed_quixote, you're right. We all need to cut people a little slack, whether it's hormonal or not. :-)

  4. Love that idea of buttons!
    As for calling it MENopause, well I went through it young. Waaaay young. Young enough the physician I went to for help told me it wasn't possible. But my husband was certain. He called it MEANopause. In a loving way, but definitely holding tight to the "it's only temporarily." And, thank goodness, that it was.