Adventures in Perimenopause

Season-of-Life Messages

Who Cares?!

A lot of you don’t care about this and have no reason to.  There is an off chance that despite being under 40 years old you have a mild interest in biology whereas if you are over 60 this falls under “been there; done that” material along with “what to do when you have your first baby” let alone, “how to not panic because you’re sprouting pubic hair”.

Perimenopause is to menopause as adolescence is to adulthood

Women in this stage of life, are really heading in the direction of menopause.  From my brief survey’s of real women about this: it can be a brief period or can go on for some months or even years.  It ends when a woman’s body achieves the “done with reproduction” state of being.  This transition means neither more nor less than that.  “No more baby-making forthcoming”.

The effect of this truth is not necessarily less than the onset of menstruation and all the hormonal and size and shape changes that mean entirely and only, “Baby making is now a real possibility”.

Struggling with Change?

There are women, perhaps especially fit, married women, who may suffer from kinds of shock or dismay that this change-in-life actually changes what they are and are not interested in, including sex.

Studies have indicated that while adults past the menopause stage of life do often retain some interest in sexual activity but at least half the time, its more a matter of habituation to the pleasure of it than the same intense mating instinct “make babies” biological advice their hormones were screaming for 20 to 40 years.

Case Studies: My own Case

Every woman is different and the range of normal is fairly large.  It may well be a good idea to check in with a physician but my advice is to try to find ones who accept change-of-life rather than trying to treat you as if something is wrong with you when nothing is.

Recently, I chatted with 2 women about this.  One reported having only had a few months of perimenopause and then she was done.  I likened this to the girls who really turned physically into grown women over Summer Vacation one year between grades of school whereas some of the other girls took years to make the same transformation.

There are women who have hot flashes, and others who don’t.  I spoke with one woman who stopped menstruating but still has hot flashes which have slowly been diminishing over the years following her menopause.

In my own case, my sexual desires dropped by about 50% for way longer than the 2 months, twice a year that they had before and stayed much less for longer periods of time.  I can neither confirm nor deny that one element of this has been that over age 40 years more of the men my age are much less attractive than they were 10 and 20 years younger.  Men may suffer from feeling the same way about the women in the same group but also about the reality of themselves by comparison.

Along with that type of ‘barometric’ perception, my menstrual periods lightened up a great deal of the time, but not consistently.  Two years into it, I just didn’t menstruate for a few months in a row and then right after I thought, “My God I’m reaching menopause 9 years early but at least I know I’m not pregnant,” my periods resumed, but again, 8 or 9 months of the year they were only half as intense as they had been 10 years earlier.

How long does this goes on?

In truth, in my own experience, I have just entered Year 6 of perimenopause.  The general ambiance is nice, regular cycles in terms of the ebb and flow of hormones but totally unpredictable in that one month I menstruate nearly as much as I did when I was 40 but some other month I don’t even bother to menstruate….and there is no obvious rhyme or reason regarding what determines whether or not I only menstruate a tea spoon of blood across 7 days, or what feels and looks more like a cup every 2 hours for 3 days.  Often, during the past 3 years, the amount of m. blood is really the same amount in 7 days as what happened in 2 or 3 days 10 years earlier.

But then, just to keep the air of unpredictability, when I went so far as to expect that I might not have any periods during 3 months of the year after that happened 2 years in a row, I just did even though it was Year 3 of Perimenopause.

The bottom line:  Because of that, I’m not sure.

I do carry around menstrual products much of the time but know they might go unused.  Just to add to the subjective sense of the whole thing, I was always the kind of person who felt, within 5 days after my period ended that: It was like it never happened.  Like, if someone brought it up, I almost had no idea what they were even talking about.  I’m not totally insane, so I did remember, but it was like remembering rainy weather on a sunny day or vice versa.

Purpose of this?

Aside from going on about myself, I mainly just want to write enough about it so that if other ladies find this happening to them, they don’t worry.

I do also think if male entities are curious about women, they could learn about this without being disgusting just to find out…but if they don’t want to know, I don’t want to make them know about weird nasty women stuff.

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Truths about Work 2019

Work

There are multiple meanings to what work is.  It can be defined as effort, pure and simple.  In other cases, it doesn’t count unless one is paid wages for doing it.  In the vernacular, people may decide whether or not to call something work based on how well it pays, by how difficult it is, and whether or not one likes it.

Some say that whenever one loves one’s job; it isn’t work.  However, I would counter by saying that: try telling that to anyone who knows the difference between being broke and being paid for working and they’ll tell you the pay makes a difference whether one likes the work or not.

Pay

Women and men still tend to have somewhat different experiences about this.  History is sometimes painful as well.  So, we have learned that working for only overhead especially minimalistic overhead, is essentially slavery.  For the lucky ones, its life in a gilded cage.  For others, its really just misery.

Women still deal with ‘women’s work’ in more than one way.  Sometimes women’s work means that she worked without pay for a family of which she was supposedly a member in good standing and she was not considered to be working.  She may have tried to do something to get money.  If she got it from her family often it was still not considered to have been work, but if the pay came from anywhere else it was.

People are unique and so someone may read this and find that it just isn’t true.  They may have been repeatedly hired by their own relatives and grew into running the family business along with other members of the family.  Anyone who married in, may have done so to get a job.

I have a vague but accurate memory from 20 to 30 years ago when a typical wife level of contribution to ‘domestic labor’ if calculated according to reasonable rates of pay is often the value of at least a middle class income job worth of labor.  This only adds to the sense of pained injustice for all “broke housewives” who’s husbands don’t share the money well.  Meanwhile, young women and “men’s rights activists” may protest that this is unfair: after all, he never gets paid for doing such things as it takes to run a household so why should she?  Round and round we go with this; some couples and families sharing money wonderfully and others don’t.

Just last year in 2018 I read in Womankind magazine about some events in Turkey within the past 5 years.  Included were women who got paid and were shunned.  In many cases, the rest of the community came around to seeing her point of view after a while….but other women would do the same kind of work but insist they were not working and not trying to get paid for doing it, but were just doing a spot of volunteer work to help out in the community.

Men & Women

Many years ago now, I attended a conference called Men & Women Working Together for a Change.  It does help when we cooperate with each other for good.  There are ways of interpreting some situations.

Work

My personal belief continues to be that both men and women humans are humans with different twists.  If it were journalism, it would be that genders are like different slants on the same story.

What we do for work, and how we deal with it may have some variation.  Each gender has both assets and limitations for helping make the work place better: effective, getting great results and yet also being environments in which people have a chance of actually liking the experience without sacrificing the qualities related to pure effectiveness and getting the needed results.  That said, keep in mind that for some a work environment is also best when highly moral and does need to be whereas there are also people out there who feel that morality is as much as impediment to getting the job done as ‘women might be in a male oriented work atmosphere’.

Simple Conclusion

My hope for each of us, is that we get the right job fit.  In religious language this is ‘to fulfill our life’s calling; and our personal divinely dictated destinies’.  In educational psychological language, I hope for each of us to get work that fulfills all levels of our legitimate human needs as in “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”.

 

 

 

Another Day Another Blog Post

 

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First I pondered

The fact is, there has been a long gap since the last time that I blogged.  I had a burst of blogging that lasted for a few weeks and then it petered out and for a while I didn’t feel that I had as much to say so I just stopped.

Over time, I watched the stats to see what happened and pondered this whole matter.

Why do I do it?

The reality is that my blogging is “holistic” which is another way of saying ‘hodge podge’ and off-base.  My blogging often fails to perform like the purely professional blog of an author.  It also fails to be purely personal.  In some respects this is healthier but for professional purposes it doesn’t seem to help.

Let’s face it, some days I just want people to buy my novels or short fiction stories instead of not.  I am so sick of people not spending to buy and read my fiction and non-fiction.  I don’t have a gigantic advertising budget and am not harsh enough to make you all buy.  My purse and bank accounts would appreciate it if I or personal henchmen of mine would make you all buy my published fiction and non-fiction that is for sale so I can get *&^% paid for working!

Other days, I blog because I just want to connect with other real people.  I’d rather do so in person, but either due to spending issues or laziness or loving being at home, I try blogging to do it.  This is also OK but is an entirely different motive.

There are also many times when I have blogged hoping that it would actually help others, with a secondary motive that someone might hear of me and some day it might lead to landing a job or selling copies of my novels, or making friends or all of the above.

 

 

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Blog History

I think it’s true that someone hired me to ghostwrite at their real estate blog as a pro. prior to my ever writing a blog of my own.  That was way back in the previous decade…and here are near the end of the next one.

Aside from that, I mainly remember that just as I started to get into structured blogging and advanced zhan Zhuang qi gong, I somehow suffered from a setback which made it so that I haven’t made any definite progress in those directions since.

I blogged for years; then began to get more professional and more structured about it; then had a setback; then did less, and then resumed some kind of undisciplined, wild blogging.

Today

Today, I suppose I picked ‘interactive’ motivation in that I didn’t know what to blog.  So, I read a couple of other peoples’ posts.  After that I just wrote this.

Value / Lesson

Maybe this will reach someone.  I guess the best result for any readers would be that whole “motive awareness” aspect of it….but I can’t guarantee that it won’t be the amazing photo of the solar eclipse.

Visiting Authors December 2013

The following is a new edit of a post originally drafted back in 2013.  It shows some of what I went through as I attempted to develop a ‘strong online presence’ that included a good blog.  Part of what happened was that I began to get a higher level of structure for my blogging, only to have the proverbial rug pulled out from under me and my ideas for my blog.

Blog Schedule

Saturday nights are becoming ‘guest blog’ evenings here.  As I am new at it, I am not sure how smoothly it will go.  Sometimes authors will reply to real interview questions with me, but in other situations I may do, what I am doing this first time.  Below is a link to an author of 10+ science fiction novels with Baen books.

Interview of MZWilliamson

Personal Experience

I have actually met Mike enough times in person that I think he might willingly acknowledge that he knows me as long as I don’t embarrass him in front of his wife or a TV reporter.  In person he is so approachable as to seem close enough to normal to not be intimidating but also has enough flare to stand out as an individual.

Next week I will hopefully be able to post a real interview with Jesi Lea Ryan about her and her novels.

Hypergrid Business

Tech Magazines

One of the many types of magazines around nowadays are tech magazines.  Some of these are off line and on, some only on.  To my pleasant astonishment, a few years ago now, I discovered that a woman from my math class our Senior year of high school was managing editor of an online tech magazine called Hypergrid Business.  As I was seeking more professional writing work, I reached out to her.

She let me try a few articles.  As some of you know “writing” is a very general category.  This was tech article journalism rather than creating website content for small businesses, or ghostwriting parts of or entire drafts of nonfiction books, or novel writing, all of which I have tried my hand at.

Despite our limited success working together, I am posting links to some of these.  I learned more about Second Life and other online methods for having group meetings and exploring visual environments ….by writing for Hypergrid Business.

Startled Cat: Story Immersion

Virtual Avatars & Real Life

Was that you or the editor?

For those of you who are not professional writers, I want to disclose to you that although I am the real author of both of these articles, Maria Korolov was the editor of them both.  The changes that she made, did cause me to have a strong reaction.  My first emotion was “Wow, this is so changed I feel confused about whether or not I am even the author of this article.”  That emotion is commonplace amongst inexperienced professional journalists, novelists, and all kinds of writers.

Much ghostwriting creates emotions more like what editors sometimes experience: I wrote so much of this, and yet, my name is not likely to be mentioned in association with it.  Sometimes I would be hired by a business start up to write them website content.  They would give me the word #, the topic of the article, the theme and all of that.  Then I would do all of the writing of the piece.  In some cases, the business would then have an editor make whatever other changes…I have seen works I wrote that were barely changed by the editor and other pieces that left me feeling like….Well, if it were making a pie here’s the story:

I put together the crust and the filling and baked it and my friend checked it and gouged out most of the filling and re-baked the thing.  Somehow she managed to not burn my crust….In the end all that I felt was “my work” was the pie crust, but my friend told me not to worry and still gave me the full credit for the pie.

Ghostwriting: using the same analogy.  I was hired by someone who told me what type of pie they wanted and when.  I agreed to take care of it by a deadline for a preset fee.  They left me alone and I made the pie and they checked it over.  They paid me.  The rest was out of my hands.

Author

I told me what to write and I did.  Then I went and edited the thing a lot, quite possibly more than once.  Then I went around trying to sell it.

To this day in 2019 I still get weirded out about how different it is to make a work, and go around trying to sell it compared to being hired to write something and told what to write…then doing that and not having all kinds of weirdness about being paid for my work.

Pleading forgiveness

I ask that you, random readers, forgive me if you need to, for how I have casually rambled on about the over arching picture for professional authors, writers, copywriting, journalism instead of just neatly posting the tech articles and not writing anything else.

Time Since Then

In truth, my main published items since back then have been review articles and entire novels of my own, which I am still trying to earn money for having written.

During the past few months as well as blogging, I have bid on some contracts to do freelance and applied for some staff writing jobs; some from home and others that would involve going to an office and including work colleagues.

Strange is the world of professional writers.

Valentine’s Day

Exclusivity in Love

Despite all the talk against the sanctity of exclusive marriages between only one man and only one woman…St. Valentine continued to encourage this type of Christian behavior in the 200 A.D. amongst the Romans.

Imagine: how it must be or must have been when it really was having to buck the system if you love someone and actually want to be able to have only one another….and for it to be considered an act of rebellion, not religiously, but socially.

Wow, even will all of my own tendencies and issues and liberality, even I see the sense of one-man with one-woman marriages; the safety for child rearing etc…but also thanks to at least remembering pure loves….people who really don’t want “a bunch of lovers” but just a real love, a real spouse, just one.

Really Radical?!

Believe it or not, St. Valentine was a real person, a man who lived as a Priest of the Christian church in the 200s when the Roman Empire was still going.  In truth, all he did was perform marriage ceremonies for young soldiers, and he would marry people into exclusive couplings despite the Roman Imperial Government being against both at the time when he did it.

Take a breathe and enjoy how internationally common place: one man with one woman marriages really are nowadays in early 2019.

From this perspective it really almost seems crazy that St. Valentine ran into trouble for marrying people like that, but in fact he ran into such severe difficulty that he ended up being martyred: he was politically assassinated for marrying people that way.

Freaky, or what?!

I don’t know about you, but from my perspective that is freaky.  He should not have been killed for such a small gesture of religious freedom and sanctity.

Evolution of a Holiday

Well, like so much in the Protestant realms, the Catholics have ‘slipped us another Catholic Saint Day’ as a cultural holiday.  The holiday has evolved into a day to honor and revere love.

Many people focus on the romantic or sexual aspect of love at the Holy Day, but like so many millions of others, even though I just turned 51 years old I still also really like all the other kinds of love, and enjoy celebrating the holiday regardless of whether or not I get to celebrate with a hubby.

Personally

My personal height of heights for Valentine’s Day is that I received my first accepted wedding proposal on Valentine’s Day in 1991.  I said yes and we wed the first day of Spring, both of which are gloriously romantic.  What punctures this balloon of joy is that the man who I married has barely spoken to me in years and we were divorced just as our marriage was getting started in 1993 after some of the worst first 2 years imaginable but not because he was a deployed soldier in the American or ancient Roman military.  I strongly feel it would be way more romantic if we were looking forward to our 28th wedding anniversary this year.

Despite that, both my mother and my son often get Valentine’s from me, as have a number of others…Some profoundly sexual and romantic in nature, others as most definitely not as the pets or other same gendered children in an elementary school class.

Yours

Here’s to hoping that you have some kind of wondrous and blessed Valentine’s Day; may you all experience God’s love in both the distinctively personal and in the abstract today.

artistic blossom bright clouds

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About Blogging

Today

Today’s inspiration is a Christian Mihai post.  He’s turned up in my stream of awareness in part due to his frequent blogging and having also authored some books as have I.

I just read one of his blog posts about blogging.  It gave a brief synopsis of his own history with this.

Blogging and I

Me and blogging

The first time I wrote a blog post was back in 2012 or even earlier.  Because of how old I am, that does not seem like that long ago, but really it was.

The first time I became aware of professional blogging might have been 2013.  It is so vague to me at the moment that I feel it could have been as long ago as 2004 …because I landed a gig doing real estate blog posts that once included researching Buckhead, an upscale neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia which later became the surname of the villain in my novel The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead.

It wasn’t until years after I dealt with that, that I tried blogging my own blog.  The first time I tried this very location for blogging was in 2013 if not 2012.

There was a time, for some reason I recall it more clearly, in 2014 when I was just about to create more structure for the weekly cycle of posting at my blog when I somehow experienced some kind of setback….I don’t recall what exactly the actual cause was, but only that…rather than successfully moving forward with setting up and maintaining a more highly structured weekly posting schedule nothing happened for a long time and then eventually I resumed trying to just sort of post on whatever.

Awkward Truths

I think it had something to do with how I have had a good 30 to 40 fellow authors in my Fb friends list, and news feed but then, when I started to ask them about doing guest posts or being guests on my blog, everything fell apart and doubts developed about the quality of my relationships with fellow authors.

General Background Realities

2003 through 2011 I steadily earned more money each year writing professionally, but as a painfully low paid freelancer most of the time.

The first time I was paid for publication was in 1994 when I was still an undergraduate due to being on & off with respect to working full time and working only part time as a work-study or going without working for pay while studying.

In 1999 I moved from England back to the USA but for the first time to Indianapolis and my son was fortunately brought over to me with his father (who is a German I met in intimate association with attending graduate school at Middlesex University in London, England).  That was already 4 years after having started a correspondence ‘trade school’ type of professional creative writing course with the Writer’s Bureau which is also English rather than American.

My son turned 4 years old that year.

In 2010 we moved from Indianapolis, Indiana to a village South of the city of Bremen, in Northwestern Germany.  This had to do with what I studied in graduate school and why and to do with how that had enabled a German man my age to market himself to me (romantically speaking).

My son turned 18 years old in 2013.

If you check the archives for this blog, you can find posts going back at least that far.

Some years I have put more into the blog than other years.  I’m not sure how to describe the results aside from ‘other than as expected’.