Like most real challenges in life, peri-menopause does not come with a guidebook. We’re just sort of flung into it — alone except for Google, margaritas and stretchy-waistband-pants.
Okay, not alone exactly. There are usually other ‘beings’ around. In my case it’s my kids, husband, friends. And too many animals. Along with their hair, drool, and general stinkiness (still talking about the animals — although I realize how you might have gotten confused there. I do too, sometimes).
Now, let’s face it — all of these humans and critters and things are nice to have around. Innocent bystanders to our hormonal chaos. Simply breathing, living, existing, shedding.
(Oh god, the sound of breathing is sometimes too much. Can anyone relate???)
Now, I’m not pretending that my experience is better or worse than anyone else’s. As a matter of fact, my friends of a certain age seem to relate to most of what I experience (or at least they say they do… has my middle-aged-craziness threatened them, too?).
Even with amazing people who tolerate me, empathize with me and relate to me, I’m still confused about these moments of intense desire to — for lack of a better word — stab someone.
(No need to call the police — if it hasn’t happened yet it isn’t going to).
Perplexed by the rapid and dramatic increase in my forever-present-but-definitely-well-hidden homocidal thoughts, I did what I always do when lost and struggling to find answers to deep life questions: I Googled.
“Why do I hate everybody (so much more) right now?”
“Why am I crying. Again. Whyyyyyyy?”
“Is it normal to cry, laugh and be anxious all at the same time?”
“How is it possible to gain weight while fasting?”
“When is stabbing legal?”
Most of the answers I received were general at best. ‘Reduce your anxiety’, ‘Speak to your doctor’, ‘Go for a walk’ ‘Try rubbing essential oils on your wrists’ and ‘Speak to a therapist.’ Sound advice. Honestly, I’ve probably tried all of those things.. and I still wanted to freaking stab someone.
Disappointingly, nothing really spoke to the depths of my age and hormone-fueled rage. Having said that, I was genuinely impressed by the savvy of some really smart marketers who had obviously tapped into the psyche of middle-aged-crazy-women, resulting in ads for ‘Bio-Identical Hormones’ as some of the top search results.
(Well played, Big Pharma. Well played.)
One day recently while sitting in a Mexican restaurant, crying over something completely mundane and laughing through my tears while sipping a deliciously strong margarita, I excitedly announced to the world:
“You know what? (not pausing for an answer) I’m gonna write a book.”
“Wanna know what it’ll be called? (still no pause) HOW NOT TO STAB SOMEONE.”
And thus my latest and greatest idea for a book was born… fueled by out-of-whack hormones, tears and a margarita.
In case you’re good-naturedly trying to keep track, I have several books on the go right now:
Baa Baa Black Sheep
The Girl with the Golden Butterflies
How Not to Stab Someone
And by ‘on the go’ I mean I’ve thought of the titles, general concepts, and the feeling of accomplishment I will have once they’re written.
Which since I haven’t started any of them, is likely to be never.
So in an effort to reduce the self-directed stabbiness I start to feel when I don’t apply myself to my goals, today I’m sharing my outline of the ‘ How Not to Stab Someone ‘ book for peri-menopausal women. Or menopausal women. Or simply women. Because I’m pretty sure I could have benefitted from a book of that title as early as my early 20's.
Here’s my rough outline so far:
Introduction: Yada yada yada… perimenopause… no ‘how to’ book… general stabbiness… floundering… what I wish I had known… can you relate?… message of hope (Haven’t quite decided what that message will be yet).
Chapter 1: Healthy Boundaries… they protect people from your stabbiness (and mostly help you not feel so terribly stabby in the first place). Say NO to stabbing. Also say no to people-pleasing. This chapter could be a whole book in itself.
Chapter 2: Finding Joy in chaos… and if you can’t find it, how to fake it til you make it… or simply ‘inhale gratitude, exhale stabbiness.’ I’m an expert in this.
Chapter 3: Self Love is not just a cheesy cliche… it’s about balancing lettuce AND margaritas… (Mine teeters a little more on the margarita side, but I’m working on balance. They’re both green though, so there’s that).
Chapter 4: Recognizing and owning our ‘stuff’… because it’s empowering and helps us not stab other people when they aren’t perfect either.
Chapter 5: Health matters… All of the health things. Mental, physical, emotional… Here’s where I’d get into all my natural remedies, random list of health concerns over the past 50 years, and my favorite self-care strategies. I love me some tapping, meditation, crystals, walking and Vitamin D to name just a few.
There could be many more chapters… I mean, it’s taken me 50 years to figure out how not to stab someone, and while I’m not a world expert or anything, I feel pretty confident that I know what I’m talking about.
But to boil down my whole book idea into a simple strategy, it would be this:
How Not To Stab Someone:
1. Feel the stabby feeling. Notice exactly where it is in your body. Hmmm. Interesting.
2. Take a deep breath, and release that breath to a count of at least 8. Do this 5 times.
3. Notice what has changed about the stabby feeling.
4. Repeat if you’d like.
5. If you don’t want to repeat (and even if you do), take a break. Walk around the block. Do 29 jumping jacks in your living room. Watch TikTok’s of cute puppies. Go have a delicious margarita.
6. Remember, stabby feelings come and go. You are the constant — decide who, what and how you want to be in your life. And then do that. (This is a pretty big step, and might be a whole book — hint, hint).
7. Enjoy being a (mostly) non-stabby person.
You now have the perfect recipe for NOT stabbing someone.
Really hope that today’s #tuesdaystale was as fun and interesting to read as it has been to share. It’s been almost a year since I put my fingers to the keyboard and this has felt fun and good — so I know it was the right thing to do.
As always, I love to read your feedback! Sign up for my email reminders each time a new #tuesdaystale hits the blog (which is pretty infrequently so you don’t have to worry about spam).
Yours in partially-rehabilitated stabbiness,