For the Ladies

Warning fellas, this one is for the women readers. Mind you, if you have a 40-something-50ish woman in your life, maybe this would be an enlightening read…

“Good times, this perimenopausal phase of life”, said no woman, ever.

Thank you to all the genetic contributors who have blessed me with early onset. I’m all good with that. Let’s get this over with.

I’m less good with the hot-flash phase in my life falling during a time when we have chosen to live in a warmer climate. I really think Canada was perfectly designed for this phase of life. God bless Canada. Oh how I miss Canada right now.

Maybe it was the heat here that has kicked this “geriatric phase” into gear. Something within me sent a signal to say “we’re never going to cool down properly until we shut down this human-making system.” Ironically, I can’t even tell if I’m having a hot-flash because I’m warm here All.The.Damn.Time. I’m essentially living a perpetual hot flash.

With all the sweating, one might think this could be a good weight-loss opportunity. Unfortunately no, the slowing metabolism that comes with this phase ensures that I’m sweating myself into a bigger form.

Do you remember that Cosby-show episode when Claire was going through menopause? There was a hilarious scene when they played up the irrationality when she couldn’t remember what ketchup was called. The irrationality is real, let me tell you. I’m aware of it. But while I’m aware of it, that doesn’t mean I’m above it.

The other day I was fully aware that the rage I was feeling over discovering that someone had eaten all of the rice cakes was super irrational.

Allow me to defend my love of rice cakes for a moment because I can hear you rolling your eyes from here. The Swiss have chocolate covered rice cakes which are essentially the most perfect snack ever, they are strangely delicious. Its the delight of a chocolate treat with the guilt-free, sanctimonious feeling of eating rice cakes. You can get them in milk, white or dark chocolate. The dark chocolate ones are heaven, especially when topped with peanut butter. Truly the perfect snack. Even better is the fact that no one in my family prefers dark chocolate so that package is essentially all mine. And herein lies the trouble. The word MINE.

When I believe something is mine, that’s the opening for the irrationality to move in and take over. Couple that with the fact that my family refuses to throw away empty packages. So, when one looks in the cupboard, it appears that the snacking selection is good. However, when one goes to have a snack, the discovery of empty packages can be a little disheartening. A trigger as therapists would call it. Especially in my “delicate” state when I think about snacks more than is normal. When I look forward to a snack more than some look forward to a vacation.

The discovery of the tragic, empty package happened on a Sunday when even Manolo was rendered helpless to fix the problem. He saw the frenzied look on my face, he knew we had lost rational thought. He would have dashed to the grocery store in a heart beat if he knew he could fix it. But not on a Sunday; not in Switzerland.

In my mind, as I stalked through the house, hunting the culprit, I knew I had lost rational thought. I knew I was making this a far bigger deal than it needed to be. Did I back down? Hell no. I simply looked for more arrows.

No one admitted guilt. They all looked guilty. And more than slightly afraid. And rightly so. I was on a war-path.

Once the rage had been expressed and the threat was over, I did my best to salvage the day, and my sanity. My family is becoming adept at not poking the bear. Similar to the wise advice in the article How to Approach A Rage-Cleaning Mother,  the same tactics should be followed.

The madness passed. We regrouped the day with a lovely hike in the mountains. Or perhaps they conspired together to find a public and wide open space to seek safety and witnesses should another moment of irrationality strike. Regardless, I do enjoy my moments of sanity, especially when paired with a cool breeze.

I’m doing my best to contain my irrational outbursts to just my family. Aren’t they lucky.

I am aware now, more than ever, that we truly need good friends in our life. This is a very risky time to find oneself without true, solid friendships. After-all, who will be the one to tell me that I’ve started to grow a beard? Lord knows my family aren’t going to risk saying anything nearly that stupid.

I feel like this image sums up my state of mind. Just a young girl, looking back on life, perplexed and bewildered, wondering where the heck her youth went.  
Contemplating moving my office here.
Some reprieve with a day in the mountains.
Do they look happy? Or ready to run…
Cute hobbit holes along the trail. (We prefer to see them as hobit holes rather than as bunkers. Much more story-book that way.)
Moments after a nasty stinging nettle incident. Poor Helena. It’s vicious stuff. Especially when your mom has never dealt with it before and does everything wrong. Sorry Babe. Will be so ready next time. 
Pretty field of butter-cups above a Swiss mountain village.
Such a quintessential Swiss mountain house.
And another. Check out that wood pile. An OCD dream.
Window boxes are everything.
So great to live close to the mountains here too.
We borrowed a car for this excursion. Turns out they haven’t forgotten how to decompress in the car after a hike. 



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