A field of swans

For those of you who sailed through menopause without even noticing, I envy you. For those of you who have been through the horrors but never warned me what it might be like, I’m mad at you. For those of you currently mired in menopausal madness, I’m with you.

Menopause is something that’s impossible to explain, which, come to think of it, makes being mad at those of you who’ve weathered the storm and not shared the details quite silly. My bad.

How can anyone explain the ebb and flow of self-confidence?

One minute capable of ruling the world and the next incapable of deciding what to wear.

The second-, third-, nay, fourth-guessing that goes one because your intellect, once sharp and decisive, has turned to mush.

Pivoting in the space of seconds from happiness to hysteria. From tears of laughter to tears of frustration. From rationality and reason to the edge of losing it completely.

How could anyone have explained to me that stuff I’d usually take in my stride would be unmanageable?

It’s been four years now. Not relentless by any means but attacking in waves with the reprieves and time off for good behaviour getting shorter and shorter. It feels like a prison sentence. Without parole.

All this and COVID? Someone’s having a laugh.

To all you start-ups and investors out there, this is a $600 billion market that is virtually untapped. Where are ya’ll?

Where are the cooling linens and nightwear that will help combat night sweats? Where is that magic material for t-shirts and tops and socks that will help cool the hot flushes? Where is the HRT that doesn’t make you choose between the lesser of two evils? Where is that power drink that will bring me back from the edge? (And no, alcohol isn’t it.)

You think I jest? Nah, I’ve forgotten how.

Just today, I was over in a neighbouring village chasing some seat cushions that had been advertised for 500ft apiece. I went to check them because they looked like machine-embroidered linen. When I showed up, of course, the price doubled. They said it was some issue with FB that wouldn’t let them put the right price in but I knew that it was because I was a foreigner.  I’m used to it but it still pisses me off.

Once we got over the fact that talking to me in German wouldn’t work, we reverted to Hungarian. I said I was interested in embroidery. Another piece was brought out and offered at another inflated price. I’m no expert but I know enough. I came away with three cushions for 2000ft because I had no change and didn’t have it in me to argue anyway.

Why didn’t I just walk away?

Were I to move house, I’d leave them behind me but that didn’t stop me feeling that I had to buy because I’d expressed an interest and had made the journey. I lost my power to reason in the moment. What self-confidence I had vanished taking my self-assuredness with it. On the way home, I worked myself up into such a state of frustrated anxiety that I had to pull over.

I drove up a farm road and parked the car. I was a miserable mess.

It was blustery but warm enough to walk without a coat so I took off. I spotted a field of swans. I’d heard tell of this but had never seen it for myself.

I watched in awe as they partied and partook of whatever the farmer had planted in the field. I willed them to take flight in the hope that they might take my mood with them.

And then they did.

It was incredible to see. I couldn’t hear them over the wind but to see them take off and fly and then come to rest further on was quite something.

I walked some more finding solace in the colours and the shapes of nature at its best. Gradually, the monster left. The tension dissipated. The anxiety calmed itself and all was well. I was fit enough to drive.








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7 Responses

  1. Another adventure that ended on a ‘high’ note. That’s something I look forward to every day with your writing. Hope, Joy, Peace, Love.

  2. It’s the little (maybe not so little, but usually taken for granted) things, l find that bring me real cheer these days, not some flagged ‘extraordinary’ event or media-shared ‘big experience’ … and then those extraordinary moments, like your swan epiphany make our spirits take flight, and soar, just when we felt they never would again.

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