Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Calling ‘Time out!’

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…in pace. After the year I’ve had, I’m taking a break from work and from blogging. It’s time I took my own advice and sort out my own ‘oxygen mask’ before helping anyone else with theirs. I’m worn out mentally and physically. I’m planning on not planning the days, except for the big three: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Those days require me to be on top of my cooking game, rustling up some kitchen magic in the form of food and drinks for the family and need military-grade plans to pull it off!

I will be concentrating on eating healthily, staying well hydrated, and moving more. My mojo has gone awol. The same cannot be said of the pounds gathering around my middle like an unwelcome spare tyre! With short days and freezing temperatures, I’m heading off my own excuses for not exercising by purchasing an exercise stand for my bicycle. I can hole up in the garage, free from frost and rain, listen to some music and pedal like fury to shift the Michelin middle before the holidays arrive.

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I’m reliably informed by our family doctor that getting more active and out of breath will greatly improve how I feel all round. In addition, it should stop my mind wandering too close to rabbit holes of doom. Never a good move. Improving my mood will have a positive knock on effect on the waistline. Hooray. A win-win situation.

As it’s been a while since I did the Ageless Goddess 14 day program, now seems like a good time to kick-start that as well. It doesn’t take a diary planner to do this either – although I could work it in somehow, to make some use of the otherwise-redundant year planner. In a pocket at the front there’s a letter to myself written at the beginning of the year, before life went bonkers. I can’t remember what advice I wrote so it will make interesting reading. given the twisted turns 2020 took.

Before I sign off, I wanted to thank each and every one of you for virtually holding my hand each step of the way this year, for your kind words when things were particularly tough, and for your humour when I needed to remember how to smile. I shall keep your energy tucked up safely in my heart while I recharge my batteries.

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I wish you all a safe and healthy Christmas, and see you in January for Linda G Hill’s legendary Jus-Jo-Jan challenge.

With love

Cath xx

Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

The mind is a funny old thing…

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… if you let it run out of control who knows which rabbit hole you can end up falling down. Will you end up in Wonderland or in one of Dante’s circles of hell. Knowing my luck, it would be the latter. That’s the thing with anxiety, the mind can be super-efficient at making epic mountains out of molehills. Mine is particularly gifted at this. It was more or less under control, up till COVID hit. Hands up all those whose first thought is COVID when they get a cough or the sniffles? Yup … me too.

Mum’s failing health and subsequent transition to her new life has not exactly helped matters. It seems the grieving process can turn up the volume of anxiety and its little weirdo friends, the physical symptoms. What a conundrum. How do I know whether that odd thing is a product of an anxious insomniac mind or a physical thing? The thing is, I don’t. I just don’t know. But what I do know is that almost without exception, they all dissipate when I finally chill out. They also disappear when I’m engrossed in a task, go for a walk, have a gin and tonic.

COVID lockdown 2.0 hasn’t helped. We must stay home as much as possible, staying away from other people. Socialising is just not a safe option just now. Our region hoped to be coming out of lockdown and into tier 2 – with some socialising allowed, but alas, we are too close to one of the UK’s major COVID hotspots so not much change come Wednesday. It will simply be Lockdown 2.1 until 16th Dec. Boo! Much as I love my family to bits, I miss giggling with my dance club members ,and weekend afternoons in the pub, with a drink by the fireside, tackling the weekend giant crossword while chatting to friends and neighbours (at a distance, of course).

I know how lucky I am to have my family around me. Dad is in Scotland with not so many restrictions, but he is now on his own. The clubs and groups that would be supporting him through this time are closed indefinitely. My sister is close by and they have ‘bubbled’ together for support, but neither of them is getting the support which really helps – in person contact.

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The healing power of a hug should not be underestimated. Last night I dreamed Mr D and I were with our dance club members and it was safe to hug again (this is my dream, so hugging is fine). One of the ladies, who’s famous for her epic carrot cake, gives the most amazing hugs and she packed a year’s worth of missed hugs into one mega-hug for me. It felt like she lifted so much sorrow and pain from me in that one hug. Gosh, how I wish that was real. I reckon the physical symptoms of grief would be much reduced by timely administration of healing hugs.

I truly hope that this time 2021, I’m writing about being safely hugged. For now, I send you all the safest thing I can – virtual hugs.

Stay safe and healthy my lovelies.

Cath xx (virus-free kisses)