A Local Stroll

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The MOT was due on the Mini so I booked it in with the friendly local chaps, crossed my fingers, hoped for the best and set off to walk home on Tuesday afternoon. The sun was shining, it was warm and quite delightful so rather than stride out with a power walk or attempt to jog home I decided a mindful walk was what I needed to enjoy the Spring afternoon to the full. It is amazing to take in and appreciate the detail I drive past daily and see the beauty that surrounds us. The first flowers I found were right by the garage where I left the Mini.

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Despite walking passed several brave blooms that I wanted to photograph I felt scrabbling around in the front gardens of others was a little inappropriate so I waited until I was at The Lakes

The last of the snowdrops were just about hanging on- I do so love them, there is something very special about these delicate flowers.

Alongside these last valiant flowers were wood anemones and crocuses. Another name for this little flower is smell fox due to the musky smell of the leaves.wp-image-1228475441jpg.jpg

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The Lakes are always so peaceful to walk through and I feel blessed to live so close to this lovely spot.

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A Little Early Morning Walk

This morning we had a spot of car trouble so I couldn’t give my youngest daughter her usual lift to the station. I decided to keep her company on the walk and am so glad I did as it was a most enjoyable start to the day! The photos are from my return journey which I took at a more leisurely pace than the walk to the station- I was happy just to take in the early morning quiet and to appreciate my surroundings. I could feel my spirit lifting with every step.

Mission: Snowdrop

Today was a glorious day- sparkling blue sky, frosty ground glinting in the sunshine, the air crisp and chilly! Delicious! Perfect weather for walking and running- particularly for sweaty betty menopausal me! I decided to go  on a mission to find my first snowdrops of the year as in previous years I have already spotted some within the first week or so of the New Year.

This little fellow drinking at the edge of the lake was the first delightful spot of the afternoon- unfortunately brain fog caused me to forget to take the phone cover off so it’s blurry, but it is possible to just make him out. Sadly he ran off before I could get a better photo!

I had decided to stay local rather go to Knole as one of my daughters and I plan to run there tomorrow and the ducks and geese at the lake were not impressed when I proceeded to continue on my merry way without casting plentiful handfuls of naughty white bread! The lakes were partly frozen and the water had barely a ripple so formed a perfect mirror for the trees.

The homework run is not as much fun as when we are together as a group but the sun and blue skies certainly helped to encourage me to keep going!dsc_0009

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Haha! The photos are SO much clearer now I remembered to take the phone cover off! Overall I would say that the menopausal brain fog has improved just a tad since I embarked upon this back to fit journey, but obviously I am still having those ‘special’ moments!!

Finally on the last part of my run, just before the homeward bound cooldown I spotted some snowdrops!

Lovely! A successful mission for mind, body and soul as I felt my mood lift, felt the muscles respond to the exercise and fed my soul with the beauty of nature!  The bonus is I covered 3.74 miles and can now feel the happy hormones flowing through my veins: wonderful!

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Sometimes, when the bleak, black, all encompassing void swoops in for an unwelcome visit, it’s tricky to hold onto a realistic sense of perspective.

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I am aware I am unwell physically, but recovering nicely- albeit with a stupid and irritating cough so…. was it genuine reason or flakey, scaredy, anxious reason that stepped in to stop me from attending the first run of the year with the new SLJ season beginners? The void has claimed me somewhat, and bronchitis has supplied a welcome alibi for avoidant behaviour, which I am well aware is one of my markers for mental ill health.

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I wish to process it differently this time, to be kind, to be compassionate to self as I would so easily to others. I wish to be the change within the challenging times, as well as the rather more fun, positive ones. The change I have referred to previously is easy (or at least easier and more tangible) when the going is good, the mood is positive and inspirational intentions fuel my actions- the challenge is to find a path that maintains momentum whilst compassionately allowing for the missteps upon the way.

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Over the holiday season there have been good days, bad days and indifferent days and there has been a dramatic variation in levels of activity achieved- frankly sometimes it has been shite….yet within this period I have also managed my best day ever in terms of steps/active minutes/ h2o/ consistent activity through nine/twenty four hours.

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Tomorrow is FitBall Class and I love that class so much! So I missed a run yesterday? Yes, I am a little sad with myself, but in all honesty my chest is tight and my cough is troublesome, so a little self compassion allows that tomorrow is indeed another day and Wednesdays run is still waiting to embrace me.

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To Do…Or Not To Do List? Is There Point In Having A List I Will Forget To Look At?!!

This is one of my favourite photos, though sadly I am unable to provide any details as to the photographer, location etc. as the source is currently unknown to me. I love the joie de vivre, the style and incredible enjoyment of the two women in each other and the simple pleasure of taking tea together. I want this! This should definitely be on my To Do List!

Alongside the awful absence of my energy, motivation and memory is the dearth of desire to socialise and yet I know logically, emotionally, intuitively that I would so enjoy laughing and drinking tea with a friend, my offspring, my mother-in-law whilst wearing red lipstick, lovely lingerie and a dress that insists on making me feel feminine. So why am I so flaky when it comes to putting this into practise? Why am I so avoidant? So reclusive? Why is it so hard to put myself on the To Do List?

Why have I allowed myself to become a stranger to myself, let alone my nearest and dearest? A hard question which demands a short, sharp shock of self awareness in order to attempt an answer, but also in fairness to self I also must allocate some responsibility to those jokers The Seven Dwarves Of Menopause

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Suzanne Somers in her book, The Sexy Years

Itchy is heckling you because your entire body is losing moisture, not only in your skin, but also in your eyes and even your vagina.

Bitchy makes your mood shift all over the spectrum, often causing you to overreact to minor irritants and seem a little crazy.

Leaky latches himself onto gravity and your aging process, making it very easy leak pee at inopportune moments, like when you laugh, cough or sneeze. This can also lead to urinary tract infections.

Sweaty brings hot flashes and night sweats. You might wake up in the morning feeling like you’ve just left the gym after a high-intensity cardio workout.

Sleepy makes his presence known when you’re unable to sleep through the night, sometimes because you’re feeling overheated.

Weepy causes you to cry hysterically for no good reason, simply because your hormones are out of whack and your emotions are all over the place.

Forgetful comes in the form of a foggy brain

Sleepy loves to go AWOL at night and sit on my shoulder by day, Sweaty and Forgetful are entwined with my very core with Bitchy as a mean little sidekick and the saying misery loves company? Well that would be Weepy and Itchy sitting on side making sure this experience is a menopausal mission. My vocabulary has shrunk and my brain is rather like the foggy image below:

 

So given the all encompassing forgetfulness is there really any point in having a To Do List when in all probability I shall indeed forget to look at it? This does happen regularly when I shop, optimistically prepared with my comprehensive list….only to utterly omit to refer even once to it, overspend on delightful things that significantly do not include the bread or milk or looroll needed at home!! So if a simple shopping list fails to achieve its purpose can I really believe I can make a change with a To Do and a Not To Do? The answer I feel lies in keeping it light, making it achievable…. what is technically known as making “SMARTgoals

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Realistic

Timely

To Do

  1. Be the change, make the change
  2. Walk, walk some more
  3. Smile, laugh, sing- nothing wrong with a little fake it til you make it

Not To Do

  1. Allow “The Change” to dictate who I am
  2. Go to bed during the day
  3. Read my kindle all night!

Am I Going To Do This? I Think…Maybe, Just Maybe, Yes Maybe I Am Going To Do This!

This is a start- not a promise or uber commitment….just a start: optimistic- maybe, truthful- definitely, consistent- hopefully, flaky- probably (make that a definitely if we are really being self aware here!)

It’s a start…but of what? A blog, a journal, a diary, a “note-to-self” of this menopausal mess trying to carpe diem a bit of life that surely still exists within this mire of hot flushes, depression, beached whaleness, self doubt, anxiety, IBS, general exhaustion and lack of self in every possible way to experience a lack of self. It appears to be a sad fact that some of us sail through the menopause with little or no disruption to our days, our energy, our mood and motivation and somehow that translates to a lack of understanding or empathy for those of us who struggle with this transition to the next phase Mother Nature has in store as we move from Mother to Crone.

Mental health issues and a variety of diagnosis have been a part of my life for some years now, but I honestly expected menopause to be something to take in my stride, to embrace and just work through. I advised my girls in a similar way to the way my mother advised me as they passed from Child to Maiden with the advent of puberty- it’s life, it’s your womanity, yes it’s kinda a pain at times but accept, embrace and hug a hottie wottle bottle as necessary and always live your life. I wasn’t really expecting menopause to chuck a big fat curve ball at me!!

Oh my stars and whiskers! Mental health plummets, body weight soars, body image and self confidence crashes to an all time low, energy and motivation go absolutely AWOL, hair falls out, joints hurt, sleep eludes me like a will-o-the-wisp and quite frankly it all sucks a bit more than I anticipated!! There is more but it makes me miserable to have the list go on and on. Life changing barely even covers this transition- mentally I feel the loss of identity, physically I see the addition of double who I was and am comfortable being. My daughters are at the beginning of all that being a woman encompasses and I am sad that I am passing into a separate place. I don’t want more babies (four offspring is plenty for any single mamma)  but I mourn the loss of the potential  and I am shocked at how its impacting my sense of Me.tea n a book