James fell asleep like this, in the middle of the afternoon. Chin resting on the car door. Snoring away.
I think he’s a little wiped
out from his first week of “new”.
New school. New teachers. New routine. James needs time adjusting to “new”.
And it turns out, so might I.
Whether it’s a new house, new job, new government, new relationship – there’s an adjustment time. A period of a few days, or weeks or maybe even months where you feel slightly out of sorts and possibly crunchy.
You are not yourself and you want to punch lots of people.
For example; I was in Publix the other day and the woman in my aisle couldn’t figure out if she wanted to be on the left side or the right side and kept swerving like she was drunk and every time I went left to pass her, she went left and so on and so on and all I wanted to do was ram my cart into her backside! (And yes, I am well aware that my current menopausal situation may be contributing to this hostel state of mind.)
What to do in those times? The only thing that I’ve found that works is to fall back on the things that make you feel good and grounded –
your favorite jeans, good friends, Netflix’s, donuts and prayer.
(Maybe not exactly in that order.) And of course – naps! James apparently understands the importance of naps.
The good news is… new becomes normal pretty quick, with just a little bit of acceptance.
All week we’ve been saying to James, “This is the new routine.” On the drive to school we ask, “James, where we are going?” He responds, “New School!”. And because he has a tendency to want to resist and sit in the parking lot, we then ask, “What do we do when we get there?” And he responds, “Walk.” “Yes James. New school. Walk.”
This is now my own mantra and maybe yours? Fill in the blank “New ________. Walk.”
It will be natural to want to resist and sit. But keep walking. And before you know it, new becomes normal and you might just like people again. Or at least not want to run them over with a grocery cart.
Our bodies may be different.
Our minds may work different.
But our souls are all the same.
I had so many people comment about the photos I posted of James & Caden, that I decided to do a short video about their story. Inclusion (special needs kids in the same classroom with typical peers) works!! Please feel free to forward to any special needs families who would appreciate knowing that their children will be loved beyond belief!
I told Caden’s mom recently, Charlene Cowart Turney, “Just so you know, James (and I) will be following Caden to college and buying the house next door to him after he is moved out or married and working, and you may just be taking care of me when I’m old!” #Grateful.
I went on a date.
Okay, perhaps I should back up a bit.
My life has changed.
In the last 18 months, I’ve gone through a divorce, a move, the discovery of a very present but stable brain aneurism and the death of my brother.
Because I write about what’s happening in my daily life, it’s only natural and necessary for me to fill you in on a few other changes that are taking place. I hope you will continue to read as I share stories of where I’m at– at the moment.
And right now, I am standing half-naked with my head in the freezer.
I’ve heard women talk about it. Even read a bit about it. But for some reason I NEVER ever thought IT would happen to me!
(And for the male readers – stick with me – your wives or girlfriends are gonna be here one day, and this might provide a little insight!)
In just a matter of days I have gone from the occasional cozy-warm flush feeling to daily hot flashes, night sweats, sleepless nights, crazy dreams and hours spent crying over animal videos on Facebook. It’s not pretty. In fact, it’s downright ugly, as I’m sure those of you who have gone through it will attest too. And, I sincerely apologize to the hundreds of women in my lifetime who said something to me about their menopausal state and I shrugged you off like it was all in your head. I’m lining this right up with back pain and contractions. If you’ve never had it, you can’t even begin to understand it. So, I am sorry if I didn’t give you the empathy you deserved. Because God knows I need empathy!
And speaking of God, what the hell was He thinking?
“For you woman, I’ve got the following rights of passages; menstruation, labor and let’s top it all off, late in life when you’re tired and flabby, with a nice dose of menopause!”
So, as I mentioned, I went on a date.
What do dating and menopause have in common you might ask?
Nor should they!
And yet, five minutes before I’m leaving on a date, I’m standing with my head in my freezer. The freezer is packed-full of James’ pancakes. Which I first think about eating, then I realize that they make great neck-coolers. I even contemplate stuffing a couple down my shirt for the drive.
Dating is a good learning tool for me right now. One of the first things I’ve
realized is that it feels good to get dressed up again. When you’re in a long-term marriage, or suffer from depression, it’s easy to not care so much about what you look like. Your sweats and yoga pants become your best friends and the ponytail is the way you ‘do your hair.’ The guy stops holding the door open for his wife and date night turns into popcorn and Netflix’s. (Which is not necessarily a bad date night, if you’re watching Bloodline and not still in your yoga pants.)
So, recently I was getting ready for a date. I’m standing in front of the mirror agonizing over two pair of earrings, trying to figure out which ones would make me look thinner, since I’m wearing clothes from the menopausal-chubby-bloated end of the closet. At that moment,
James comes downstairs. He stops and looks me up and down and up again. And then, in a long drawn out gravelly voice he utters, “Whoooooa!”
(Insert ten year’s worth of images of me sitting in my robe with no make-up on. Had he never seen me “done up”?) I imagined if he could speak, he might have continued, “You clean up good Bobby! I had no idea you had real clothes and real long blond hair.” I would have answered, “Yes James, mommy’s clothes are real.”
The date was lovely. He held open every door and took me for a great meal, which I could hardly eat because I was so nervous.
I spent the entire night talking about James. This may or may not have been a turn off? Or maybe it was my upper lip sweat? Hard to tell.
So much to learn! I ate a half-thawed pancake on my way home. He hasn’t called.