(image courtesy of http://thegraphicsfairy.com )
Dream: I’m at some kind of gathering…it’s outdoors. A woman a few years older than me has a tent with several raptors. She has an owl perching on her left hand. She asks if I want to meet the owl. Of course I do. I hold up my left hand, and Owl steps onto it. She’s very lightweight. We touch foreheads, and she (Owl) stays with me for the rest of the dream (which I don’t remember).
I woke up smiling this morning. Owls are a mature woman’s totem, a symbol of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and arts. Could it be that I am finally nearing the end of the ride on the menopausal crazy train? Will my wise flow soon be stored inside? I hope this is a sign of that. I hope that the touch of our foreheads imparted the wisdom of the ages to me, and that when the time comes, I can share it as needed and appropriate.
In the broader world at this time of year, the conversational call of the barn owls punctuate late afternoon walks with Oakley at the forest preserve. They have been kind enough to acknowledge my calls and response, perhaps taken a bit aback by my efforts.
The elongated who-o-o-s are not just a request for identification, but a question to contemplate as the northern world descends into the short days between Halloween and winter Solstice: who am I, really?
More importantly, who do I want to become in this about-to-be written chapter?
At this stage of the game, all I can do is get out of my own way and let myself evolve.
Not too long ago, a link to an article about expressions in languages other than English with no direct translation popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. The closest translation to one of the German ones: grief bacon, the term used for weight gain related to stress or sorrow.
In the last few years, I’ve accumulated quite a bit around my hips and belly along with a muffin top. The death of a beloved companion/fur-bearing child and the unnecessarily protracted illness and drawn-out passage of a family member plus menopause will do that to a woman. I’ve tried a few other times to release it, but for whatever reason, it didn’t leave. I had problems staying on any kind of food plan except the one that I know works best for me: eating low-glycemic/somewhat higher protein.
No, this is not like the Atkins or Paleo food plans. Well, a little in that the emphasis is on non-starchy veggies, fruits that are high in fiber and lower in sugar such as berries, nuts and peanuts, fish, meat and poultry, healthy fats such as real butter and avocados, and other items that register five net carbs or less. In other words, put the white carbs down and back away from the table.
I reread parts of The Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup, MD. That’s what she told patients going through the menopausal metamorphosis to do. She also recommends not eating anything per snack or meal more than you can hold in your two cupped hands. Yes, it’s doable. Yes, I can have chocolate here and there. Yes, I can rendezvous with objects of desire such as potatoes and pasta once or twice a week.
Just not every day, and in moderation.
T-24:30 and counting.
This level of fatigue and brain fog is unacceptable. So are the mood swings, the sleeplessness, the heavy periods.
T-24:25 and counting.
I’m not thrilled with the weight gain, either. Part of it my own doing, granted, from stress eating when my mother in law went through her last year on this side, trapped in the revolving door of what passes for health care for the elderly in the US. Part of it stems from attempting to comfort myself after Orion crossed the Rainbow Bridge. A lot of it has to do with this last act in the monthly dance of the hormones.
So tomorrow, I give something different a shot. Inspired by the quick and positive results that Oakley had with his herbs, I made an appointment at the local acupuncture practice. Many of my friends who live in town have had good results. It is worth a shot.
I want to stay as far from synthetic hormones and more commonplace medicine as I can. At the time of her death, my mom was on high-estrogen birth control pills. She smoked. She had little relief from them. The heart attack that claimed her life happened when she was 51, just a few months older than I am now.
That is totally unacceptable.
I have too much to do right now. I have an e-mag; letters and emails to write concerning the environment for the generations to come; crossposting and reposting to do for animal rescues on Facebook; and a dog to care for. I don’t have time for fatigue, for draining periods, or to slip the veil of tears.
I’ve done my research, so I have a rough idea of how tomorrow’s appointment will go. Curiosity has overridden fear. What changes will be suggested otherwise, I don’t know. I will let curiosity lead the way.