Mondays: Let go. Begin again.
I missed the Super Flower Blood Moon last night, because I was sitting on my couch alternating between starting this post, writing an evaluation report for work, and watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix. All of that is lame, and I know it. What I know is that the moon was Super because it was 225,015 miles from Earth, which would be like driving from Des Moines to Tybee Island, Georgia, and then back 94 times. And it was Flower because it's May. And it was Bloody because of the reflection and refraction of sunlight through atmosphere.
Russ was here last night, sitting on the back deck, properly in awe of Earth's wonder. I stepped outside to say good night, and he pointed out the moon. I'd forgotten. I wasn't wearing my glasses, it looked like a fuzzy orange thumbprint in the sky. I could have gone back inside, put on my glasses, returned, joined in the wonder. But I didn't have enough juice left for wonderment.
What I also know is that there simply is not time for everything in life. Does this include wonder? Unfortunately, last night, yes. Is that a horrible way to live? Probably. I'll revisit the question in June when the school year has ended, and all of my work is done.
Back to the moon. And menopause.
A quick consultation with google says the research is mixed about the connections between menstruation and lunar cycles. Some data say every woman will link up with the moon at some point simply out of coincidence. Moon cycles and menstrual cycles last around the same length of time. Other data say totally nope. And still more say: Maybe there used to be a more direct link, but now we've stadium-lighted our way to disconnection -- just like migrating birds who can't find a clear path without hitting a street light. That is to say: too much artificial lighting has confused us all.
I used to go to sound baths that coincided with new moons and full moons -- large group meditations with live gongs. One was about letting go the old; the other was about beginning something new. But both are required at any point. Let go. Begin again.
Sometimes I think it's nice that I went through menopause early. I'm too busy to irrationally believe my life is over. There is still so much to do that my eyes stay forward most of the time out of necessity.
A pause is okay, though.
From Dr. Gunter I learned that our bones are in a constant state of reabsorption and reproduction, so much so that the entire skeleton is replaced about every 10 years. I turn 48 tomorrow. That means I'm almost through with my fourth skeleton. I wonder what my fifth one will be like. Weaker and more brittle, I'm told.
I learned that loss of muscle mass occurs with age for everyone; but it speeds up during menopause (and then levels out again later). Loss of muscle = slower metabolism, weaker bones, less balance and mobility, and insulin resistance. So, that's cool. And it's likely why my body feels I've put on a costume, a padded one. More on all of this next time.
I also learned that women whose final menstrual period occurs between ages 40-45, have greater risks of heart disease, osteoporosis, and dementia. Mine ended at 43. I wrote "Oh Shit" in the margin of the page and ordered a wellness journal online. My goals are no longer about fitting into smaller pants, but about getting rid of visceral fat to prevent heart disease, building muscle mass so that my bones don't crumble, and eating leafy greens so that my brain doesn't crumble, either.
I worry about the health aspects of menopause. But writing about the entire process itself, here, publicly, has helped me embrace the idea of it as a transition -- life, still fertile in other ways, as long as you're willing to let go and begin again.