A strong woman is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely. Her tears flow just as abundantly as her laughter…
A strong woman is both soft and powerful. She is both practical and spiritual…
A strong woman in her essence is a gift to the world…
This quote was sent to a kitten from her Dad. Now that’s cool. He sees these qualities in her and wanted her to know that she is that beautiful. As most of you know, my Dad died when I was 23. (Wear your sunscreen! Developing melanoma is like taking a rocket ship to the afterlife.) What this kitten doesn’t know is that she sent this quote to me as the anniversary of his death approaches (Friday), mere days after my wedding anniversary and the anniversary of the formal, final, really – I’m totally telling the truth now – implosion of my marriage.
She also doesn’t know, and probably doesn’t want to know, that she sent it to me on the day that I got my period for the first time in five months. It’s safe to assume two things: I was a mess, and I am officially part of the perimenopausal set.
How is that possible?
Funny thing about perimenopause – they call it a transition, but it can last years. That strikes me as more of a long, slow, slog. A transition is a passage from one state to another or a period of change. Passage, period…neither of those terms scream decade to me.
To ease this transition, my doctor prescribed birth control pills. How’s that for irony. I tried to take them, but I don’t do well with pharmaceuticals. I imagine them dissolving in my intestines and then building a situation room where they establish direct contact with ACME Pharmaceuticals and start plotting my complete and total undoing. As they make progress, reporting back to the salivating business development team, the stock price of ACME Pharma soars, and various symptoms begin to appear throughout my once healthy body.
I have a little theory, which will forever go untested because no post-graduate school in their right mind would take me on to prove it’s worth, but here goes: There is no way in hell we could have evolved fast enough as a species to be able to tolerate, integrate and not die from consuming chemicals.
I’d debate that with anyone.
This transition from birther to…one who can’t birth? is something that will unfold organically for me, save for a few herbs and a whole lot of exercise. No one can predict how arduous it will be, how long it will last, or if I will grow a second belly, become a human shower and verbally annihilate anyone who asks me if I’m hormonal.
I always did love a surprise.
What is agreed upon is that the transition to and through menopause happens slowly.
Transformations often unfold like the halftime show at the Super Bowl, comparatively. One minute it’s a football field and moments later it’s a stadium stage with sound gear, lights, fans, performers, and an exposed breast or something to get people talking. One minute he sounds like your son, and then a few voice cracks later and he’s John Wayne. One minute I’m married, and the next minute I’m blowing through my rollover minutes while listening to my husband and the Happy Dance Chick giggle their way to bed.
One minute I’m trotting through life feeling like I’m getting the whole picture, understanding the phases, the trials and tribulations, and the next I have not a clue. Together, we – you and me – have come to understand a lot over this past year about self-discovery, self-redemption, self-love and my varied and numerous
flaws areas for improvement. It’s been quite the transformation on many fronts, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.
I covered all the bases, right?
So don’t I get to enjoy the results of one transformation for a little while before the very next one begins? Especially one that feels so totally foreign to me?
Oh, Cleo. They all feel foreign. That’s why their transformations.
Okay. So maybe it doesn’t feel foreign, but abrupt. There was no transition to the transformation. A little segue would have been a warm shoulder on a cold night.
Instead I got frogs on Christmas day.
Hundreds of frogs serenaded us as we approached the door to The Pelican Inn in Muir Beach for our Christmas dinner. It took me a few weeks to get a nudge from the inside reminding me to look up the animal totem for frog, along with a suggestion that I make frogs legs for the boys. I haven’t done that yet, but when I do they are going to be pre-tty impressed, possibly grossed-out, and I’ll likely be eating for three that night.
The whole frog had much to share here:
The frog is the totem of metamorphosis. It symbolizes coming into your personal power. It reminds us not to become bogged down with day-to-day living.
It is the totem of water. Its voice calls forth the rains. Emotions are associated with water and a frog totem may be telling you to get in touch with your feelings.
People with frog medicine give support and energy where it is needed. They can cleanse the negativity from an environment.
Frog is the energy of transformation. He swims through tough transitions with ease. They came in abundance that day. And ever since then I’ve been feeling like I’m sucking out great moments before a wave of sadness rolls over me.
I’m officially subdued.
That’s really not the interpretation of ‘coming into your personal power’ that I envisioned. If this is the extent of my personal power I better get a backup generator, some solar panels and a wind turbine. Physically I feel strong, barely breaking a sweat on an 18-miler over Mt. Tam this past weekend. Mentally and emotionally I’m foggy. I don’t really have a good sense of where I am.
I’m upended because of that recent realization. Walking somewhere in between hurt and healed, where I need to be both soft and powerful. I feel deeply every shift in every day, and I love fiercely, just not romantically. The tears will come, so laughter must be served. The quote that opened the post reminds me that I am capable. That my mental and emotional body will locate its longitude and latitude so we can get this ship moving along at a clip again.
This transformation is taking me from tadpole to fully formed amphibian. Not a great look, but I’ll finally be able to breathe. Really, truly breathe. My energy won’t be so focused on growing legs and able to permeate my being once again, leaving me infused with desire. For now the desire is to cocoon.
All this mutation, I mean transformation has me wiped out. Must get prone so my tail can fall off.