I have decided I am not a 9 to 5 person. There is nothing wrong with that, we are all different in our own way. This waking at all hours is only wicked if one has a regular job, and I don't. Or if one is up planning mischief, which I am not. Only society says that a decent woman is asleep at this hour, and I have, long ago, passed the stage where I would have been burned at the stake as in former times.
Back to reality. The cat window is open to the muggy night...I prefer the cooler ones, myself. But fall is on us. My teacher friends have all become incommunicado overnight. They disappear, like fairies into the mists of Scotland.
This menopause thing is not for the faint of heart; or as Bette Davis said, "Old age ain't for sissies." It's a whirlwind tour of every conceivable emotion, and some I didn't know existed. Add to that, the physical sensation that I have painted my head with honey, and stopped near a bee hive, and the description is complete.
Not that it isn't a challenge right there, but add some mental disorder to it and you have it all...ah well.
Max sleeps, but doesn't snore, and I peacefully await dawn, which is 4 hours away.
Today is an AA meeting and I feel good about that, too. Although I have been having drinking dreams, lately. My disease is frustrated that I will not comply with it's wishes; I won't buy booze. I hang onto my sobriety with all I have. Especially through all those Facebook posts that tell me how wonderful life is, to sip wine on the deck, and ride off into the sunset with friends. Be sure that everyone in the post probably took a shower that day, and ate something. They didn't have to slink into the local market to buy their booze, after freshening their breath and using the eye drops.
And, when it all comes down to it, I am sure that some of the friends who post do have my problem, but perhaps they are in denial. One can only hope.
So now it is time to contemplate the flowers of the Fall: Mums, mainly, for me. I love chrysanthemums, in all their glory...gold, yellow, orange, burgundy, white. They are the signature flower of the season, although they do bloom at other times. And there is something about having tea or coffee beside them and in sight of them that slows the moments down. I put the experience right up there with silvery grass, and my breath moving ahead of me in the air. With pine needles underfoot and horses that run in a field.
It was a lovely visit with friends, and I try not to analyze it to death. Am I sure they enjoyed it? Did I act too insecure? Too jealous? Too this or that? I find my time with them as less of a search for identity than a refinding of it. My relationships define me, and my actions in the past. This is something to hold onto. I make such poor choices for romantic relationships and such sterling ones for friends. And so, the death in menopause, of a biological urge is not much loss to me. It will be a character improvement, to be sure.
The field only thinks about the gilding of the grasses.
I know I will have to make some lifestyle changes in the near future to live past 50. No more binging, or smoking or eating anything I like. More exercise, and a honing of pleasant memories to bring to mind, instead of the eternal negative ones. And I am decided to become vegetarian. I can't give up cheeses, or honey, or yogurt, but I can give up meat. I can give up the guilt and shame of mistakes I have made in the past. I only have today. I only have mindfulness.
I continue to define myself, daily, in sobriety. I seek definition in the grasses of the field and the blooms of the chrysanthemum. I seek definition.
I am coffee, and a stormy 20 year old, and a lack of booze. I am a 3 cats and 1 dog, and a lifetime of purrs and meows and tending. I am Gloucester, and the Old House in Botetourt, too. I am the field and the forest, I am you. I am an ember in the dark, and the smoke, too. I rethink the food I eat, and the clothes I wear, and what place to put the burgundy mum. I look for the grass growing, and the sun shining, and the rain falling. I look for peace and harmony in this minefield of a body and mind.
I gather my thoughts, and the zinnia for planting next year. I gather my network and my things about me to weather the winter. I garner support and loving kindness toward any storm that comes. I wait for the dawn, and hope my head doesn't explode before I make it through menopause...