Winston had his black dog. I have my red queen. Melodramatic I know. But Kim, you hit the nail on the head yesterday when you commented on hormones. Part of me truly hates to say this … I feel as if I am playing into every patronising, patriarchal notion of the hysteria of women … but, before the tangible arrival of the red queen each month, she sneaks up on me with poisoned sceptre and my spirits plunge from really cheerful and energetic to horribly glum and slothful. And, as I age, I’ve noticed the pitch becoming ever more obvious.
When I feel the sadness descend, at first, it feels as if life is grinding to a halt. Everything around me seems difficult, I become so focussed on what’s inside my head rather than the everyday loveliness and normality of what’s around me. Then I remember to remind myself, no. This is just my period about to arrive. This feeling will last a day or two (hopefully not three), and then I will bounce back and everything will be perfectly doable again. And it is.
I’ve even come to the realisation that I have to share with Julian and Abby. They are so sweet – they smile sympathetically, nod knowingly. It’s a secure feeling, knowing that they know. And I don’t just fall down into a heap. Instead, I plough on with everyday things. Waiting for it to pass. So that’s what I’ve been doing the last few days. I’ve MADE myself cook dinner. MADE myself make the bed. MADE myself vacuum. These things don’t banish the red queen, but they give me a small feeling of competence and control.
Yesterday morning, I started at Ceres – and it was sooooo good. I spent a lovely morning in the autumn sun, harvesting the last of the little tomatoes, making up plumply fragrant bunches of basil for the market, pulling out the spent cucumber plants and chopping up the remaining, battered cucumbers for the chickens. It was very therapeutic with so much to learn, the people lovely, and I’m looking forward to next week.
When I could feel myself becoming VERY frazzled, yesterday afternoon, I slipped out into our back garden with some handquilting. Letting the needle slide in and out, and in and out. Feeling the lovely cool breeze of the much longed for change wash over me.
Listening to the increasingly crunchy leaves rustle. Noticing our little feathered girls regaining some of their confidence and feathers, as they chatter and bustle about, delighted with their succulent, seedy cucumbers.
Last night, I finished one book – Sally Vicker’s new novel “The Cleaner of Chartres” which I loved – Agnes is such an endearing character and the setting is beautiful. And had a long, warm, sweetly scented bath with a new book – Beth Gutcheon’s “More Than You Know” – utterly different time and place and story, but certainly intriguing thus far.
Do you find your hormones wreaking havoc on your emotional state? What does it feel like for you? What helps you move through these times? Do you hate admitting it!?