Category Archives: Hormones

An immenses conversation

On the way back from the beach yesterday.  Two moms on the front seat, two teenage kids at the back.

Kids singing some random song, completely out of tune and loud.

Mom1:  Can you please tone it down a little?  Mom 2 and I are trying to have a conversation.

Kids’ ears flap.  Moms’ conversation, they are sure, would be something they can crib about later.  E.g. “moms don’t know how to have fun, you know?”. “Moms are so jealous of anyone who has fun, that they have to get on our case if we laugh ” . (Actual quotes we have overheard in the past few days).

Mom 2:  I haven’t gotten my periods in three months now. I wonder if I have menopaused.

Mom1:  Lucky you.   You can set the calendar by me.

Mom 2:  I wonder if I am really that lucky.  Maybe when it comes, it will finally kill me.

Mom 1: More likely.  At least, when you are dead, you won’t get periods anymore.

Mom 2:  I am not sure.  My ghost will probably get PMS.

Kid 1: May be we are better off singing.

Mom 2:  Don’t behave like you guys don’t know what we are talking about.  Especially considering how crabby you guys get before your period.

Mom 1:  You know how they throw parties and have celebrations for menarche*?  We must have a celebration for menopause you know..makes more sense.

Mom 2: What do you mean we must have a celebration for menopause?  We must have a kick-ass party.  You know, invite all menopausal/perimenopausal women, have a big feast, dancing, singing, new clothes, drinking..the works.

Mom 1:  And banners.  “Take that, uterus”.

Mom 2: “Die, ovaries”

Mom 1:  “Hormones to hell”

Mom 2:  “Vale, vaginal vagaries”

Mom 1:  “Cheerio Cramps”

Kid 2:  You know how moms think we are crazy?…

Mom 2:  And we can have a cake shaped like uterus.

Mom 1: With red icing

Mom 2:  And not cut it, but each of us gets a knife and stabs it

The kids are stunned to silence until we reach home.

Later in the night, mom 1 gets a message from mom2: “Got my P :(”

Mom 1:  What?  No party then?

Mom 2:  More time to plan.

What can I say?  We are glass-half-full people.

* In India, a girl’s menarche is traditionally celebrated on a grand scale – feasting and all.  It still is among many families.

Edited to add:  A dear cousin wrote back saying “why so much hatred for the uterus?  Without it, you two would not have had your kids”.  I feel partly combative, but also bad.  Thirty odd years of pain and PMS shebang (the other mom in this conversation faints every period with pain, and I go through dark mental periods every month) seems like a steep price to pay for reproduction, considering that the other half of the procreationist gets away scott free.  That said, I’d face any pain all over again, and again, and all my life, for my kid. If I have inadvertently hurt anyone by this post, I am sorry. I considered deleting this post, but realised that that would be escapist.  I own these thoughts. They may be wrong, but they are mine.

 

 

Surly Sunday

WordPress is getting on my nerves.  It keeps asking me if it can take up more space on my computer to install some database called calypso. I don’t want it to because the whole reason I am subscribing to all those charming wordpress blogs  is that they are in the net and do not hog my computer’s storage.  But by the time I have typed out these two sentences the annoying popup has irritated me thrice.  The solution is to clear my cache and saved history on my browser, but that would mean having to log into the many sites that I have running.  Besides, earlier, whenever this happened, and I cleared my cache, the annoying popup would not surface for at least  a week.  These days, a day is all the break I get before the popup appears and annoys the heck out of me. I am going to tag this post as “WordPress” so that if the wordpress designers is reading it, they would fix it for me (and possibly for others who are being driven nuts by the popup that just appeared for the seventh time already, good grief).  Wordpress, you are driving me crazy.

**

My blessed hormones are completely out of control. Not only are the dreams giving me a migraine when I wake up, every wakeful moment is like a tsunami inside. To dissipate all that energy, and to remove the mental clutter, I decluttered my kitchen today in a state of frenzy.  But what bothers me terribly is that no amount of cleaning is making any difference because the stuff I have – the utensils, containers, gadgets – are all old by at least a decade.  They look dull.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, my lack of self-compassion, which finds such lacklustre stuff domestic, homely and comforting in other people’s houses, looks ugly and depressing in mine.   And my inherently penny-pinching temperament (read: cheap) is preventing me from splurging on a new kitchen.

**

I attempted some retail therapy – not that I enjoy shopping one bit, if any, it gets me more flustered with all the choices and the inherent indecision in me.  We had accumulated quite a few reward points on the credit card over the past few years and an insider from the bank warned us to use up the points before they go with the wind.  Since the rest of the family couldn’t find anything useful to buy, I was left to clutter my home with stuff I don’t need, just because someone was giving it to us for free (read: cheap). So, I ordered bedspreads/pillow cases (the ones we are lying on now have seen much better days), a lunch box for the kid (after all, the academic year is drawing to a close and I would need fresh school supplies for the new year), a few utensils and storage containers(hoping to replace the dull old ones that depress me, but I doubt if they will – the dullness is inside me, not outside),  and with a few tens of points left over, a couple of dozen pens (after all, pens are so important for a family of writers, who don’t hand-write anymore).

**

The week begins tomorrow and my vegetable rack is stark naked.  Our local shopping centre is closed on Sundays, and I am in no mood to go shopping for vegetables today.  My creativity will be tested tomorrow for making breakfast and lunch with the mismatched items I have in my pantry.

Inefficiency, is thy name Gobblefunkist !

**

And let’s not even go into politics today.  The migraine from morning has just reduced to a dull headache.  We don’t want to pop a vein now.

 

 

 

2017, what are you?

Is 2017 a rerun of 2016?  Or should I not be attaching too much meaning to stuff that happen around me?

My neighbour’s mother, who, as I had mentioned earlier, was diagnosed with cancer, underwent surgery yesterday, and it seems once they cut her up, they found that the monster had left its trail all over her innards.  After eight hours of cutting from here, chopping from there and snipping from elsewhere, the doctors say “let’s see”.  My neighbour was not as distraught as she was the first time she told me about her mother’s illness, perhaps she has prepared herself for the worst.  Illness, especially life-threatening ones, is never easy on loved ones.  I hope things settle soon.

***

My uncle (the one from here) had a nervous breakdown today.  He has been in the throngs of dementia for a couple of years now – I would get multiple calls from him (the record was 24 calls in one hour) and he would say “oh, I meant to dial someone else”.  He would the ask after my dad and my mom (who has been dead for a few decades now) and I would tell him “all of them are fine” and he would hang up, to call back and ask the exact same thing.  At 4.30 AM this morning, he woke my aunt, and insisted that the cops are out to get him because someone (my cousin, in fact) had ratted on him.  This happened for many hours before my aunt called my father for help.  Between my father, my cousin and me, it was hard work to calm him enough to get tranquillisers into him. A messy day for our family.

This gets me a little worried.  If the streak of insanity is genetic, should I warn my family to tip toe around me?  Considering that my pms has been progressively intense over the years, am I going the way of my uncle?

Or am I being paranoid?  But isn’t paranoia a psychiatric disorder too?  Oh, stop it.

***

Phone bane

There is something true about the saying that when you start off on a bad foot, you would end in one too.  The week started off with a rant, and it seems to end with one too but this time I am not throwing an unreasonable tantrum.

I am a work-from-home woman.  I have been working from home for the past 18 years of my life.  Working from home comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.  The advantages are pretty obvious, the main disadvantage is that you need discipline in order to work from home, and while I do have bad days (like all of this week has been with respect to work discipline), I have developed a certain routine to follow.  All that’s fine and dandy.

A rather under-estimated disadvantage that people who have never worked from home are not aware of is the perception of other people about your nature of work.  While my immediate family and my birth family has always understood my WFH dynamics, it is never so with outsiders.  In the initial years of my WFH life, I struggled to make my extended family-by-marriage understand that week day mornings are MINE to work, and I don’t appreciate insurgence.  I don’t think they get it, and even now, some of my relatives don’t understand why I get cranky when I am  invited for a Mangali pondugal or I don’t know, to take vethalai paakku for some Tuesday or Friday, or get visited bang in the middle of a weekday morning.  It really bothers me because when people work at an office, their excuse of “I have to go to office” is accepted better than when I say it, because hell, I am home all the time…what could I possibly be doing?

I have somewhat come to terms with the fact that the oldies would not understand the concept of “WFH”.  And the oldies have come to understand the concept of although-we-have-no-idea-what-LG-does-she-is-a-cranky-bitch-during-the-week; I am really not, if you knew me in person (and not from the rants in my blog), you’d know I am a very pleasant (bordering meek) person.  In India, even a polite “no” is often taken as “HELL no”.

The reason for this rant is this:  I am busy trying to work this morning, and my phone rings continuously,  eight times.  The car mechanic who was supposed to pick up my car for servicing tomorrow,  calls me four times in a row, and a friend (?!)  calls me four times, all in a matter of two minutes.  WTH?  When someone does not pick the phone, isn’t it polite to just hold off and call back a little later?  While the car mechanic has nothing to do with me, and would probably not know how bitchy LG can be when disturbed from work, what bothers me is the friend.  This is not the first time she has called in the morning and not been answered.  I have even told her that mornings are when I work, and I prefer that she send me a message or email during the day.  Yet, she calls me every time – sometimes it is to ask me if I got the message she sent me.  Seriously.

The truth is that I don’t even like talking on the phone unless it is for information or emergency.  When people ask me for my phone number, if I choose to give it to them, I always accompany it with “I don’t like talking on the phone…can you email/message me instead?”  I get it that people find it easier to talk on the phone, but I think it is enormous insurgence into my private time. I never talk to people without first ascertaining with them if it is a good time to talk – either in person or on phone.  I think I deserve the same treatment.  A phone ringing when you are busy trying to frame a sentence that describes a difficult concept can set you back by hours.  The irony was that this friend, after calling three times, disrupting my train of thought, sends me a message that “she has work to do now and will call me later”.  That’s when I lost it.  Yes, I could switch off the phone, or put it on silence, but I don’t like doing that because my immediate family is full of oldies and I am always expecting emergencies.

The train of thought has left the station and now I have to sprint behind it and catch up if I need to complete this difficult document today.

Daily Medley: 31-Oct-2016

Monday morning, 11.30 AM, I am writing my medley for the day instead of living.  This is the inertia that comes after a festival weekend.  The kid’s off to school and there are documents on my back burner that need fairly urgent attending to.  Plus a bunch of personal stuff to take care of, including a visit to the parlour for a much needed pedicure – the drop in temperature, associated with the dry weather, which is unusual for this season, brings with it, heel cracks, and no matter how much care I give it at home, it needs periodic anointment with holy goo by a professional.

The Diwali sweet-gorging compounded by the hormonal see-saw, makes me “feel fat” – the kurtha I bought recently to displace the old, worn out, faded, tearing one, which my family claimed made me look like a beggar, is a little smaller than my usual size, which is not helping the “feel fat” illusion (illusion?).  I am seriously thinking of going on a diet.  Nothing fancy with names such as Paleo and Atkins, but a bit on the calorie counting side.   I don’t take diets too well – I get very crabby when I am hungry, and diets leave me hungry all the time, which, my family swears, is psychosomatic.  They also assert that my need to sleep eight hours every day is psychosomatic.  Perhaps they are right, but is there a cure for psychosomatic maladies?

When my hormones go out of whack, my dreams get scary.  Last night, among other dreams was one of a relative dying, and I, not knowing what else to do, putting him in a coffin and attempting to bury him in my dining room.  Macabre. The superstition in this side of the world is that if you dream of someone dying, the person would be blessed with extra years of life.  I hope that is true. That and other dreams, which included one of my school classmates I used to be terrified of, getting married, left me groggier than usual when I awoke.

The North East Monsoon seems rather constipated.  While the temperature has fallen considerably (and by that, I mean we are not roasted like we were a couple of weeks back, but merely scrambled), and there were a few showers over the past nights, it is no where like the monsoon rains, the worst of which flooded our city last year.  I love monsoon in my city – it is messy, no doubt, and  creepy crawlies are flooded out of their subterranean abodes, but the weather is lovely, and the sound of lashing rains is strangely comforting.

On the philosophical side: My head is full of thoughts all the time.  I know it is not possible to live without thinking, and a wise man once told me that there are two types of thinking – functional thinking and reactive thinking – the former is ok, the latter not so much.  The more I think about it (would that be functional?), the more I realise that my reactive thinking is closely linked to my functional thinking – for example, thinking about what to cook, is functional, but that is almost always associated with “what the eff” kind of reactive thinking.  I need to delink one from the other before I go completely beserk.

Dang.  Half the day is gone.

 

Mind cleansing

I follow a meditation blogger, whom I find very useful to turn to when my mind runneth over with crap.  He does not write too often, but when he writes, I feel that he writes for  me.  I re-read many of his essays when disturbed and it helps me deal with my turbulence.  Occasionally, he would publish a post just on the day I need it most.  Like today.

Having been caught in an unusually strong attack of PMS,  and having scrubbed and dusted the house until I could not hold a duster any longer, I turned on my own body and could not find one thing nice about it – heaviness, cellulite, pain, and more importantly, no amount of scrubbing was making my skin clean enough – a sure sign of a kick-ass hormonal party.  Just when I was wondering how much longer I was going to have to put up with this before the blessed deliverance, I saw that my blogger had posted about cleaning up the world from the inside.  Reading it gave me the “aha” that usually accompanies reading any of his posts – that what is inside is all that shows outside.  My intense need to clean coincides with the time that my brain is filled with garbage of thoughts.  The more the garbage, the greater the urge to clean outside of me, while the way to go is to clean the inside of me.  My head.

I know how I should go about it – the breath, but will I be able to when struggling in the whirlpool of hormones that has me in its core?  It is so easy in this whirlpool to blame everything on anything outside of me – an aggravating relative, the weather, the body pain, my hormones – when all I need to do is to count, one breath at a time.

One.breath.at.a.time.