There is a special time in a girl’s life when the mysteries of her sex are revealed to her. It’s a magical time of change and growth. She becomes a woman.
Time passes. Hopes & dreams. Babies may come, then grow up & out. Highs & lows. Good & bad. Time passes.
Finally, a girl reaches another special time of life. It’s a magical time of change and growth. Womanhood spits her out.
If a girl becomes a woman when she starts menstruation, what does she turn into when she’s done with the process? A chipmunk? A coffee table? How about a menopausal crone?
I wore a stylish, new wool sweater to work the other day. A 30-year-old co-worker was in my office when the hot flash hit. I discreetly tried unbuttoning the topmost of the sweater’s delicate pearl buttons. A bit of breeze might help. My internal temperature built. Can’t get the little thing out of the hole. I tugged harder on the button, starting to sweat. What, are these buttons super glued on? I pushed up the sleeves. I don’t care if I rip the damn things off!
I knocked the chair over as I sprang to my feet, pulling the devil’s straightjacket of burning hellfire over my head in one violent move. I stood there in just a cami, sweating and panting as my co-worker backed slowly out of my office. She kept her eyes on me like you would if you had just discovered a strange pit bull in your backyard. Good riddance to her and her 30-year-old hormones.
My poor sister, Terry, has it much worse than I with the hot flashes from hell. Lately, life is…
On with the shirt, off with the shirt.
On with the blanket, off with the blanket.
“Open the window – I’m dying in here.” “Shut that window – what are you trying to do, freeze me to death?”
Her husband, Pat, suffers in silence. If he knows what’s good for him.
The sweater incident was unusual for me. Hormone supplements keep my internal temperature pretty much under control. My problem is that, thanks to “the change”, Morpheus and I are no longer friends.
I can’t sleep.
Falling asleep is no problem – it’s staying that way. After a couple of hours, I wake up. Toss and turn. Think about things. Doze for a few minutes. Toss and turn. Worry. Think and worry and think and ponder and worry and think. My sleep-deprived brain is going on and on about things I haven’t done. Things I have done. Things that I have no control over. Things like not being able to sleep.
I know that a lot of people have trouble sleeping. I shouldn’t complain. It’s just that I’ve been spoiled for all these years. I’m used to telling my body it’s sleepy time, and off we go, hand in hand. We’re down, instantly, and out until the alarm goes off in the morning and it’s time to struggle up through layers of lovely, restful REM sleep.
I could ask my Mom about this. She was going through “the change” for 15 years, as near as I could tell, so she’s an expert. On second thought, I’d better not. We don’t like to talk about The Dark Years.
Friends have given me lots of hints for coping with sleeplessness, and tonight I’m going to try them all. I’ll sip a nice mug of warm milk and listen to Brahms’s Lullaby. I’ll do gentle yoga movements in a dimly lit room. Then I’ll finish up by downing an economy-sized bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine.