Spar­ing Some Change

The Oakdale Leader - - NEWS - Teresa Hammond

That ti­tle may have mis­led a few of you. Be­fore go­ing any fur­ther you should know this is not about money, kind­ness or pay­ing it for­ward. This ... no, this is about a mid­dle age prob­lem. Spar­ing my chil­dren com­plete em­bar­rass­ment as Mom tries to re­late with some read­ers, we’re just go­ing to say it’s about “change.”

That spe­cial change which a se­lect group of us ex­pe­ri­ence at a cer­tain time in life.

Per­haps we re­call our own moth­ers on this jour­ney in our child­hood and the mis­ery or un­cer­tainty the fam­ily felt on any given day – yeah. I’m there.

Ac­knowl­edg­ing I am not the first, nor will I be the last to face this life hur­dle, it is not my in­ten­tion to use this space to whine but rather share some eye open­ing re­al­iza­tions.

Through my past ex­pe­ri­ence as a woman strug­gling with in­fer­til­ity I learned these are things that we don’t re­ally talk about, yet wel­come the open­ness all the same. Some peo­ple seem to take com­fort in the knowl­edge of know­ing they’re not alone in cer­tain life strug­gles.

Some can be as sim­ple as shar­ing with a friend mommy frus­tra­tions, as we work through at fine tun­ing our pa­tience dur­ing tough parenting mo­ments. Like the one time, I shared with a girl­friend I had to place my­self in a time out to pre­vent my­self from say­ing some­thing to my chil­dren I might later re­gret. She not only ap­pre­ci­ated the hon­esty, but shared how good it felt to not feel alone in her sim­i­lar frus­tra­tions.

This “change” how­ever, this pas­sage to a new phase of life has re­ally spun me side­ways on many fronts. The heat is a given. It’s been a hot sum­mer, but I can hon­estly say I’ve spon­ta­neously com­busted (from in­ter­nal heat) more than I care to re­call the past three months. It’s truly an odd sen­sa­tion and as a per­son who likes to make “sense” out of things it just seems non-sen­si­cal.

Oh sure, I’ve done my fair share of read­ing on the causes, ef­fects and ways to cur­tail the fun of “change,” yet I’m still far from mas­ter­ing it, this is for sure.

In the spirit of com­plete hon­esty, I must share that the mood swing por­tion re­cently got the best of me. Not one to be used to be­ing un­happy or neg­a­tive (most es­pe­cially on a whim), I found my­self on a phone call with my mother in tears about this very topic. No longer did I feel like my­self. The swings had caught up with me and re­sulted in a mini break­down of sorts.

As my mother talked me through it and heard my con­cerns of its ef­fect on me, as well as those who love me, a plan was put into place. I could and would get through this, just as she and ev­ery woman be­fore me has, but it’s go­ing to take pa­tience. Iron­i­cally, no dif­fer­ent than when we worked at be­com­ing a fam­ily. It took time, pa­tience, un­der­stand­ing and a lot of love. That’s where I am now.

From a con­trol stand­point, I made a visit to Oak­dale Nu­tri­tion Cen­ter and be­gan tak­ing sup­ple­ments to help level things out. I’ve also mod­i­fied my diet a bit and now have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing as to why so much bloat is hap­pen­ing in my mid­sec­tion. Fatigue has in­deed set in and that too is hard, as I en­joy be­ing out­side with my fam­ily and be­ing ac­tive. From an ex­er­cise stand­point the strug­gle is in­deed real, like never be­fore, how­ever; I rec­og­nize its ne­ces­sity now more than ever.

In short, I truly had no clue how tax­ing this would be on not just my body, but me over­all and as re­sult those who love me as well. Again, I re­call the “swings” my own mother ex­pe­ri­enced and they weren’t fun, but even­tu­ally she re­turned to us and yes, we sur­vived.

So therein lies the good news, I will sur­vive this and so too will my fam­ily. Our AC bill may hit record lev­els, but that is tem­po­rary as well, at least we have an op­tion. This midlife stuff is truly no joke.

So this one’s for my fel­low heat war­riors, those who have jour­neyed this un­com­fort­able state of na­ture, as well as those who have yet to cross the thresh­old. God­speed ladies, here’s to colder nights, smiles bright and a bloat-less fu­ture.

Teresa Hammond is a staff re­porter for The Oak­dale Leader, The River­bank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at tham­mond@oak­dale­ or by call­ing 847-3021.

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