Monday, August 27, 2012

Menopausal Blogoversary

     Today I'm celebrating my one year blogoversary. There have been a lot of changes around here since I stepped outside of my prehistoric bubble to learn how to turn on a computer.  I was once the clone of Donna Reed, the nurturing mother and wife catering to the needs of my family.  The laundry was always neatly folded into squares, meals were cooked from scratch, shelves were dust-free and the floors were spotless.  But deep inside, a small voice kept whispering, "Eat the cupcake, eat the---" no, not THAT voice!  It was the other voice that kept nagging at me about the unfinished book manuscript collecting fuzz balls under my bed.
     I continued to ignore the voice until I learned about blogging. I was equally fascinated and intimidated by the concept of exploiting my life in the blogosphere, where I could be either loved or ridiculed for my views.  But I figured, what the heck? What did I have to lose other than my dignity (that ship sailed LONG ago)!?
     With a glass of Chardonnay in one hand and my laptop in the other, I composed my first blog post, which was much easier to write after the third glass of vino (*see "First Menopausal Moment" 8/27/11).
     Starting a blog was one of the best decisions I have made, but not without some sacrifice.  My addiction to blogging has created setbacks in other areas of my Donna Reed lifestyle; changes that my family hasn't wholeheartedly embraced:

*  I seldom have time to run the vacuum cleaner these days---you could knit a sweater and matching scarf set with the amount of dog hair embedded in my carpets.

*  I discovered that the microwave is a mother's best friend.  I've learned to be creative when it comes to putting dinner together.  Each night it's a surprise smorgasbord of leftovers from the dark depths of my freezer, also known as No Man's Land.  Amazing what you can create with a lone hotdog, a sad-looking waffle and a bag of freezer burned peas.

*  A raging caffeine addiction.  Forget the coffee pot.  Just give me the whole damn bag of coffee and I'll chew on the grounds like it was granola.  My husband claims that caffeine overload has turned me into a whirling dervish (a.k.a. Tazmanian Devil).  It's all fun and games until I'm wide awake, sitting alone in the dark at 3:00 a.m. and wondering if I should join a nocturnal commune of bats.

*  Due to the aforementioned insomnia, my eyes are often puffy and ringed dark like my new cousin the raccoon.  If I keep this up much longer, the airlines are going to charge me double for the extra baggage I'm carrying under my eyes.  The pale pallor of my skin after a restless night doesn't help, either.  I'm thinking I should apply for a job as an extra on the set of The Walking Dead.

*  My husband thinks I have gone underground in the witness protection program because he never sees me.  The untouched stash of Butterfinger candy bars is evidence that I've been missing for a long time.

*  I stare at the computer screen so much now that I've upgraded my 1.5 readers to 2.5.  Just last week I enrolled my pet pug into a seeing eye dog class so he can navigate me from my refrigerator to my home office.  I just need to teach him how to post a blog with his front paws.

*  I'm always looking for new blog followers.  If my husband was more agreeable, I'd dress him up like a giant Cheeto and have him dance along Federal Highway with my website address plastered across his orange belly.

*  My nightmares have turned into blogmares, and they always have something to do with Teletubbies and Mothra.  Freud would have a field day with that one.

*  My family finally figured out that I haven't done laundry in months.  You can only get away with spritzing dirty clothes with Febreeze for so long.

*  Lack of exercise.  I used to power walk six miles a day.  Now I'd rather stay home, eat pancakes and become a blogger blob.

     Sacrifices?  Plenty.  The cost of a good blog post?  Priceless!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Menopausal Cuckoo

     I think I'm losing my mind. Seriously. I used to be a compulsive organizer and proud of it. The spices in my spice rack were placed in alphabetical order from anise to turmeric. My closet was color coordinated along with the contents in my under ware drawer. Shoes fit snugly in shoe trees according to heel length and seasonal use. And all of my photo albums were neatly labeled and shelved in chronological order. Freakish to some, but at least I wasn't cultivating a dust bunny farm.
     I was never late for a function, and I could easily juggle work with the kids' karate/cheerleading/    
gymnastics/choir/ballet classes effortlessly while entertaining company and serving up a homemade five course meal Martha Stewart style. Wonder Woman had nothing on me.
     And then something changed when I entered my menopausal years. It started with the keys. Took me thirty minutes one morning to find the refrigerator between the yogurt and an old bag of potatoes that were starting to grow roots. I kept forgetting to throw them out---something the pre-menopausal me never would have done. The keys? I swear I didn't leave them in the refrigerator. Surely someone was playing a prank on me---had to be my mischievous kids playing that "Lets-Drive-Mom-Crazy-Until-She -Is -Willing-To-Increase-Our-Allowance-And-Never-Make-Us -Clean-Our-Rooms-Again," game.
     My glasses disappeared the following week and I walked around like a blind mole bumping into furniture and eating what I thought was a brownie but turned out to be a charcoal briquet. How do you find glasses if you need your glasses to find them?
     It wasn't long before I was forgetting appointments with my hairdresser (which explains why my hair looked and felt like  worn out Brillo pad). It also explains  why the last time I showed up at the doctor's office to get my cavity filled for a tooth that ached, the nurse reminded me I was there for a colonoscopy and that yes, they were certainly going to fill a cavity while I was there.
     What the hell was happening to me? Did all the crazy, drunken weekends from my college years really destroy THAT many brain cells ( I knew that weekend in St. Louis with my sorority sisters was going to cause some long term damage some day)?
     It was karmic retribution for all of those times I poked fun at my husband for his Attention Deficit Disorder. I thought it was rather endearing to watch him struggle to remember what he walked into a room for (Your sunglasses? They're on your head), or when he stomped through the house and stubbed his toe while searching for his iPad (in the bathroom next to the toilet where you sat for an hour playing
raccoon relay races). I had to suppress a giggle each time he accused the kids of losing the TV remote  when all along it was nestled between his butt cheeks on the couch. His ADD also worked to my advantage when it came to arguing---all I had to do was throw around a few incidences and conversations from the past, which of course he could never remember, and I always came out on top.
     Now the tables have turned, and my mind has taken a seat on the crazy train somewhere between this birthday and my last.
     Cooking is one of my passions, but what good is it if I get distracted and add salt instead of sugar to a recipe, or bake a loaf of bread that turns into a lumpy pancake that even the dog turns away from: "Lady, I may be just a dog, but even I have some standards. You can't pass off this crap like it's manna from heaven!" If the dog is insulted, he pees on the furniture to exact his revenge---or maybe it's just because I've forgotten to walk him in awhile, which explains the cobwebs on the dog leash.
     Some days I forget to take my vitamins, especially the fiber pills. This can be dangerous for all the wrong reasons---something akin to a septic tank on the brink of failure.
     While it is a relief to learn that memory loss and menopause hold hands and skip gleefully down a path together toward their best friend dementia, it is equally disturbing to discover the alarming rate for which it is happening. Think of all the women out there who are forgetting to fold the laundry, cook dinner or pick up the kids after school while they're sitting in a Starbucks sucking down a Frappuccino. How about the ones who take the wrong exit ramp for work and end up in a nail salon or at a bingo hall in Arizona?
     My mother suggested that I start doing crossword puzzles to sharpen my mind. I tried this, but I think my brain is too far gone, because I couldn't remember the three letter word for donkey.
     So what am I going to do? Make myself a margarita (or three) to help myself forget what I can't remember.
     By the way, have you seen my glasses?


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