The 5 Worst Things About Perimenopause So Far

As I've said before, I'm in the throes of perimenopause.  Still.

And I've been told that it will get worse before it gets better. I'm not sure which symptom I fear getting worse the most.

1. Sometimes, it's the sweaty hot flashes.

2. Other times, it's the insomnia.

3. But you can't forget the rage. I mean, you really, really, can't. Especially with the orange one in office. 

4. Unless you catch me when I'm sobbing uncontrollably over a commercial. 

5. And yet, that dark (red) horse that still shows up every month is also disturbing. I'm anemic now, no joke. 

Of course, I hear that urinary incontinence and migraines can also crop up in perimenopause so. . . I've probably just jinxed myself. 


Entitled Little Shits

I've had it with people blaming video games and mental illness for mass shootings.

First of all, literally every other first world country also has video games, high divorce rates and mental illness and yet they do not have even close to as many mass shootings.

Second of all, in the United States, young women also must cope with video games, mental illness and lack of prayer in schools. Yet how many of them are shooting up churches/historic districts/Walmarts/concerts and movie theaters? How many??????????

THREE since 1982. 

And while I believe in stricter background check laws and bringing back the assault weapons ban (it lowered casualty rates, at least), I would argue that the biggest reason for our mass shooting exceptionality is our entitled little shits problem.

And I don't mean people feeling entitled to be called by their preferred pronoun or to attend schools not named after Confederate, slave owning generals.

I mean people who feel entitled to other people's bodies. You know, those guys who assume that because a woman dresses a certain way or walks down a street alone, he is entitled to her body.

I mean people who feel entitled to get whatever they want, whenever they want without a thought for others. You know, those guys who lose their shit when they get turned down in any situation.

I mean people who feel entitled to kill children because they're suicidal.

It's not unique to America, but it's somehow uniquely American. It's an extremely pathological version of that same American entitlement that lets us travel the world and be appalled when not everyone speaks English or has air conditioning.

I think that sense of entitlement is also a key factor in developing the pathological hate needed to carry out a mass shooting. If you feel entitled to women's bodies, or the best job or whatnot and you're not getting them, you're going to need someone to blame. And if you grew up without empathy or accountability, you're not going to blame yourself. You're going to find some group to blame in some online group or in some politician's words, and then the hate will take over.

Growing up without empathy or accountability, growing up believing that your wants are more important that other people's needs or rights, that's the kind of entitlement I'm talking about. And if I thought for one second that the people blaming shootings on mental health were talking about prioritizing mental health services for children and families, and valuing parent education and early childhood education as the ways to raise children with accountability and empathy, I would be in total agreement.

But they're not.

They can't even stand up to the NRA and its rabid fans over background checks and assault weapons bans; there's no way in hell they're ever going to talk about pathological entitlement.

But the rest of us should.


Perfect Is The Enemy Of. . . .

Good, or so the quote goes.

But it's also the enemy of happiness, gratitude, progress, productivity and change.

As anyone who has ever met me or read this blog can tell you, I'm not a perfectionist. I don't believe in perfect . . . but I have a problem with perfecting. I have an unflinching belief that I can solve all problems just by trying harder and finding the perfect system.

I almost ordered this bag a few months ago. Not because I needed a new bag, but because I just thought if I found the perfect way to organize all my crap for literacy coaching job, I would solve the problem of hating the job.

(Ok, I also love bags. And that one is cute, right?)

Spoiler alert: I re-organized everything, found a great system. . .and still hated the job.

This is probably a lesson I should have remembered from my first husband; I turned myself into Suzy homemaker (while subbing every day and tutoring most nights) and he was still a raging, narcissistic asshole. You cannot perfect your way out of something inherently dysfunctional.

And it's probably inherently dysfunctional of me to think I have to perfect everything; some of which isn't even an actual problem. And that's what I mean about perfection being the enemy of happiness and progress. It's harder to enjoy your kids when you're worried about perfecting them; it's harder to enjoy a walk when you're obsessing over being in the optimal beats per minutes range.

And yet, by walking, you're doing a good thing for your body - whether it's in the optimal beats per minute range or not. So why can't we (me) celebrate that? Why can't I celebrate how awesome my kids are, instead of worrying that they're not at academic enrichment camps this summer?

I mean, I could celebrate these things. I could. If I just had a system for how to let go of perfecting things. . . .


Webinar Poisoning

So I just sat through a webinar and I learned something really important.

I fucking hate webinars.

Luckily it was a free webinar because paying for it would have been as bad as that time I paid for a dinner that gave me food poisoning.

Reasons I Fucking Hate Webinars, An Annotated List

  • You can't pause them. I like to control my experience. It's why I like road trips more than flying. You can't pause a flight, either. 
  • The learning never surpasses the bullshit. There's always some kind of sales BS and there's always more of that than helpful information. 
  • You can't use it as a reference. I mean, I know I can use my notes. I know that I survived college and grad school with live webinars (aka 'classes') only. But those classes had textbooks. 
  • Funny people don't make webinars. This was going to say "Nobody is interesting after 30 minutes straight" but that's not true. Great stand-up comics and actors are. But they don't making fucking webinars. 
  • I hate knowing something is a sales tactic before it even starts. And you know there is no other reason to do a webinar besides sales. It's 2019, for fuck's sake. 
Right now you might be questioning why in the hell I sat through the damn webinar and honestly I don't have a good answer. There was a promise of a free workbook at the end. Also, I did want to learn about the topic and I was under the impression that the dude was an expert in it. 

This impression was wrong, by the way. Pretty sure the guy's expertise is in sales. In fact, I started taking notes on sales tactics about halfway through - when I wasn't checking my email, looking at Facebook and doing research. 

Apparently I should have been researching how not to get suckered in by free webinars. 

I was thinking about signing up for an online course or two but now I'm afraid it'll just be a webinar that I can pause. 

God, I miss learning from regular books. #cronethoughts


I Secretly Love Having Teenagers

Okay, I've only had 2 teenagers for 4 months.

And I've only had any teenagers at all for 19 months. (Though Ironflower started acting like a teenager when she was like 10, so I think I deserve some credit for those years)

But I feel super comfortable saying that I do love having teenagers in a way that I did not love having preschoolers - even though I actually love preschoolers. (In small doses. When I'm well-rested.) In fact, until fairly recently, I would have told you that I love children 0-11 way more than I love teenagers.

I would have been lying about the toddlers, though. Toddlers are assholes. Adorable assholes. 

I would have told you that I was dreading having teenagers and that I wished all my kids could stay kids forever. Even though Lois Duncan wrote a captivating book about why that's a bad idea. I must have reread that book 10 times when I was 13 or so. Because 13 is the worst.

But since I remember that feeling so vividly - in a way I do not remember being 2 and feeling like I would die if I couldn't wear my blue dress - it's so much easier for me to empathize with my teenagers than it ever was with my toddlers/preschoolers/elementary schoolers.

I mean, I always tried to lead with empathy and talk about feelings but. . .I had 3 kids in 4 years and not one of those kids could have ever been described as mellow or easygoing. Sometimes survival took on a great importance than empathy. Now that someone isn't always in danger of running into traffic and/or throwing a tantrum, it's a lot easier to be empathetic.

But as much as I would love to attribute enjoying my teens so much to my greater empathy and subsequent closeness, that's not the bulk of it.

The bulk is that my teenagers share my sense of humor. My really inappropriate, snarky and filled with fucks sense of humor. I'm sure it will get them into trouble some day if it hasn't already, but I'm genuinely okay with that. I love it when they make me laugh and I also love the fact that I no longer have to censor myself around them. That's what I secretly love about having teenagers.

The fact that I can leave them home alone, or make them run into the store for me or reach things out of the tall cabinets are just bonuses, I swear.


Racism Is a Choice

(Reminder: You can't be for Trump but against his racism.)

This line from the awesome Dave Pell hit me like a ton of bricks today. Not that I've ever been for Trump, but I genuinely like some people who are. 

And yet. 

Racism is a choice. It's a choice that Trump continually makes. And by supporting him, these people I like are making that choice too. 

This is not like accepting your cousin's love of country music, or a friend's weird taste in shoes. This is accepting that the purported leader of the free world doesn't think brown people are real Americans. This is accepting that his extensive history of racism is ok

This is changing the definition of racist to mean that hiring someone of color for the occasional job absolves of you of all racism. (Just a little FYI, it does not. Check the Jim Crow era South for more info.

There is no Trump without the (old-fashioned definition of) racism. There is no fired up base without blaming people for applying for asylum (which is totally legal, by the way) for all the problems in our country. 

"Love the sinner, hate the sin!" is a common refrain I hear from some Trump supporters. (More FYI, they do not say this about Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez or any other sinners they disagree with.

First of all, loving the sinner doesn't meant excusing or denying everything s/he does. Second of all, which sin do you hate? Is the sin you're referring to the womanizing? Or the tax cheating? Or the cheating on the wives? Or the lying? Or the praising dictators who had American citizens killed? 

Because I don't hear these Trump supporters hating the racism like Lindsey Graham once did. Maybe they're not the ones excusing putting children of color in cages because their families sought asylum. Maybe they're not the ones complaining about a black Ariel and talking about how embarrassed they were by a black president. 

Maybe they're just the ones who aren't saying anything. 
  1. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. (Desmond Tutu)
  2. Silence in the face of injustice is complicity with the oppressor (Ginette Sagan)


Take Them All Down

No, #MAGADude347*, I really don't care if prosecuting Jeffrey Epstein means that Bill Clinton could go down. I don't fucking care if prosecuting Epstein brings my beloved Jon Stewart down.

I want Epstein and everyone who "partied" with him to go to jail.


I really don't care whether they agree with me politically or not. I don't want child molesters going free. Why do you?

That question was rhetorical, #MAGADude347. That means I don't expect you to sputter out an answer that blames the teenage girls for getting raped by creepy old men or whatever twisted logic that allows you to condemn Bill Clinton for hanging out with Epstein but to excuse Trump doing the same thing.

I expect it's the same kind of logic that allows you to cheer when male athletes exalt in their greatness but causes you to say nasty things when female athletes do.

It's the kind of logic that proves you're a raving misogynist, not that anyone needed more proof. 

And honestly? Anyone who continues to excuse this kind of behavior from the guys on "their"side, whatever side that is, is just as much of a misogynist as you are, #MAGADude347. Really.

*#MAGADude347 is my new name for a particular kind of Trump supporter,  the type who respond to every comment on Trump's gross behaviors (like hanging out with Epstein, forcing kisses, walking in on naked teenage beauty contestants,, etc.) with claims that some Democrat did it too. Usually that Democrat is Bill Clinton, who hasn't held office in nearly 20 years. Sometimes it's Al Franken, who also doesn't hold office anymore. Once it was JFK, which, I mean. . .talk about a stretch. 


Seven Drafts Worth of Crazy

I have 7 draft posts in my posts folder right now.

( In the spirit of authenticity, I should confess that there are 7 draft posts at the TOP of my folder right now and I actually don't know how many there are all together. But that seemed wordy for an opening sentence.)

That's how many posts I've attempted to write since January, when I had every intention of going back to blogging (again).

I've been blogging since 2007 and I'm not sure when it transitioned from something that helped my depression/anxiety/general weirdness to something that I avoided when I was feel especially anxious and/or depressed, but transition it did.

I also stopped feeling comfortable telling my kids' stories, which made me question which stories of my own I could tell. There were a lot of stories that I didn't feel I could tell here, for various reasons. Like I sort of wanted to write about my job, but I knew if I deeply examined my feelings about the job - the job I bragged about on Facebook and that would have been my dream job in 2007 - I would get even worse at it.

To be clear, I sucked so much at that job that they're not renewing my contract next year. And after digesting the massive blow to my self-esteem and my wallet, I realized that I did not, in fact, love what was supposed to be my dream job. I am tempted now to list exactly why I wasn't considered good at it, and why that's not entirely my fault and how their version of good isn't necessarily right but. . .

that's just my ego talking.

My ego is a loud bitch and she feels like we not only screwed up the job this year, but that we also screwed up a volunteer position that was dear to our heart. . . .

(You're noticing the weirdness thing now, aren't you?)

and she would like to populate this post with excuses. She would also like me to stop talking about her because, you know, . . . .


Anyway, the 7 drafts. Most of them are some version of this post - disorganized brain dumps that I'm not sure should ever be published. But clearly, until I publish a poorly organized, not clearly written brain dump I'm not going to be able to go back to actual blogging.

And I really do want to go back to actual blogging.