Getting My Mojo Back

Something must be in retrograde. Or returning, or going into some bonkers zodiological sign, or...hey is there a comet in the sky? Something with a portentous red tail? Because I am in some kind of wild metamorphosis mode. Truly. I can actually SEE myself changing. And it's not ALL for the worse, either!

At least 3 major life transformations are happening to me right now.

1. Empty nest   2. Menopause  3. My mojo is returning.

I haven't had this kind of confluence of personal events since my child was born. Even adolescence wasn't this insane, abrupt, disruptive, and, counter-intuitively -  POSITIVE. 

For even though what's happening to me physically is confusing, distressing, and completely ANNOYING, it is also a good thing, I feel it in my bones. I feel like it's burning off the baggage. The crap I've been carrying around for decades, back in my mind, in my guts - the kind of stuff that takes a fever to get rid of. And that is what peri-menopause is like - like a flickering, raging fever that banks itself up every so often, roaring through your pores with no warning, making your entire body break out in droplets of sweat - face, neck, chest, arms, knees, even the tops of your feet! Your clothes stick to you, your makeup runs down your face, and your hair stands on end and starts to frizz. Then, with no warning, the fire damps itself back down, leaving you wet and cold. 

This happens about ten times a night, and many times throughout the day. It's truly surreal - you lose complete control over your body, which is a pretty unwelcome feeling. After 50 years of learning how to control my body, how to structure my day, honing my sleeping skills, etc - that game is over. Completely upended, overnight. One day I'm a tired 40-something parent just doing what I gotta' do, the next day I have become a damp alien being, prone to migraines and insomnia. 

But you know what - I don't actually mind that much. I am so excited to get on with things!!! I feel a little like Rip Van Winkle - waking up 20 years later to find the world has changed. Parenting is an incredible, life-consuming, (and life-giving even for the parent) experience. Especially for the mother who breast-feeds and stays home with their child. You are your child, and they are you. And for a long time. And it is a BEAUTIFUL partnership, a sublime one. I only had one child, but it was the love affair of my life. When Cora was little I was helplessly besotted by her. Every day I took photos (before cell phones - actual photos, in photo albums), drew her picture, wrote down every single thing she did, kept many journals documenting the entire was heaven. A hardworking heaven, to be sure, but it just felt so right, and was so much fun. Gosh they are so funny and sweet when they are little! Just hilarious and pure. I miss that a lot. 

wanted my baby to transform me. At 31 years old I was ready to grow up, ready to stop partying, and to be the best mom to Cora I could be. And I got a whole new kind of mojo from it. She gave me the "permission" to have a rigorously structured lifestyle, which I always wanted deep down. She gave me permission to go to bed early, which I also always wanted to do, but could never manage, being in a band. She gave me a reason to read children's books again, to go places I hadn't been since I was a child - pumpkin patches, birthday parties, kids movies, etc - and she gave me the opportunity to heal a lot of pain from my own childhood. And she was so lucky compared to just about everyone I know - Cora had and still has married parents who were deeply in love, she had a stable home and only moved once in her life with us. She was never abused, neglected, or fed fast food. She didn't have a cell phone until she was almost 12, and had very limited screen time until 13 years old, when the virtual walls caved and the internet came crashing in to stay. From age 3 I took her horseback riding in the Oregon countryside, and taught her how to muck out stalls and groom the horses. Taught her to love and respect animals, and not to be afraid to get dirty. She was a wonderful child, my little side kick. Once when she was five years old I told her she was my sweet little side kick, and she said very seriously back to me, "Mama, I'm not your side kick, I'm your colleague." So - I loved that life, very very much. 

But all things pass, and it did. A hard struggle through the teen age years left me wondering what was next for me. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like when there were no more kids in the house. When it happened, it took a while to process and see what it really meant for us, what our new lifestyle was, exactly. It's six months now since our nest emptied, and about three months since the hot flashes and insomnia began, and I'm still figuring it all out - but let me just say, i feel my real mojo coming back.

And by "real" I mean the old Diane that used to be so creative and adventurous, and the new Diane who has three more decades of life experience to add depth to all that energy. Perspective, wisdom, call it what you will - IT ROCKS. Now that I've successfully navigated the mine field of middle life - marriage, kids, in-laws, work, etc - I am ready to put the polish on it. I'm ready to get back to that exciting, creative lifestyle - without the angst, and without the insecurity of my 20's. I have nothing to prove now, and everything to enjoy. 

So, I may be up all night, drenched in sweat one minute, shivering the next - and feeling like an amphibious freak half the time, but it's empowering me. And let me tell, or remind you if I've told you already, especially the guys - menopause is NOT FOR SISSIES. Men could not handle this sh**. It is fire/warrior/goddess kind of stuff. And as my body burns off its past I'm proud of what it has been through. I've given birth, raised a beautiful girl, and now I'm crossing into another realm. From Gandalf the grey to Gandalf the White. 

My goals this year aren't simple, and they aren't quiet. They are brash and loud and full of joy. I can' wait to get started. In fact, I'm going to sign off and get busy. It may only be 2:33 am, but I've been up for two hours, had my coffee and I'm ready to roll. xoxox 


Stephilius said…
Yes! You get to hit RESET! Beautiful. : )