Talk About Cheesecake

Musings, meanderings and meditation for my mind.


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Project Optimism: Those Hormone Wasps.

Wow – how about those hormones ladies!

Come on, admit it. I am not the only woman in the world to have been beaten down by the nasty hormone wasp. That evil little bug buzzes about, stinging you when you are not expecting it, so surreptitiously that you don’t even know you were infected until you start to come out the other side.

There are various points in our lives when we know hormones will take over, the buzzing will get so loud it will drown out the small voice of rationality in our heads.

Puberty, for example. Yes, that is universally recognised as a time when we will get emotional, dramatic and the world will turn against us. Teenagerdoom!

Pregnancy. Oh boy yes, that one does have a kick. Weepy, hysterical with laughter, angry, delirious . . . that little bundle of fun growing inside you has somehow grabbed hold of the control panel to your tear ducts and your brain and is pressing buttons at random to see what you will do next.

Menopause. While I haven’t personally been through this one myself yet, I do clearly recall coming home for the holidays from uni and after 24 hours telling my usually calm and capable mother that I would go and spend Christmas in my dorm alone if she didn’t go get some HRT. Insane does not describe it!

But what about the other times! You know, ladies, those times to which I refer. I don’t mean the predictable monthly cycle where we know we might get a little grumpy. When we might be slightly less amenable than usual and, dare I say it, even enjoy it a little. When the men about us like to be a little daring and risk a few jokes. ‘Oh, it it that time, darling?’

I mean the times when we just feel mired down, fed up, grumpy and depressed. Life is moving along as normal, nothing has necessarily gone wrong, the world has not blown up. But we just feel like there is a big fat wasp prodding us along. It’s more than PMT.

Over the last few weeks I have been attacked by the wasp. That little bugger has been driving me mad. Paranoia, anger, I had it all. For no reason. Nothing I could explain anyway. And finally, last weekend it went away. Life seemed rosy again.

But it was only after the weight of the world crumbled off my shoulders that I could recognise how down and fed up – how not me – I had been.

I did not like being me over those few weeks. I did not enjoy feeling angry at the world and not know why.

But I am not pregnant, I am not suffering from teenagerdoom and I certainly am not nearing menopause. It’s worse than PMT but there is no name for it. A fair few of my friends seem to be suffering from it right now too. It’s mid thirties, mothering tiredness perhaps. It’s the ‘having children under 10 and needing a little silence’ syndrome. Maybe it’s just New Year blues, after all, we can’t all blame it on the children.

Whatever it is, I just wanted to reassure you ladies. It does go!

And in the meantime, if you want to come and have a rant about it, I’m listening.

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Ok – this may not be overtly optimistic, but I assure you, it is! Look hard, the optimism is in there. 

If you want to be part of Project Optimism, find out more here and here.


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Do women secretly enjoy a bit of PMT?

I woke up this morning feeling a little grumpy – 2 small children crawling over you in the dark and asking for the remote before the alarm has snoozed more than once will have that effect. One long hot shower and I feel a little less grumpy – until I see the clock and realise my indulgence has made us late in the morning program of dress kids, feed them, shuttle to school. So – shout at the kids to get a move on, ignoring the small voice in the back of my head telling me that it is my fault for spending too long in the shower.

Walk into the living room, tread on a small metal car and seriously damage foot, note the complete bomb site of a room I clear up *every single day* (cue mental scream), feel overwhelmed with a sudden rush of tears. Briefly consider curling up into a small ball under the duvet for the day. Responsible parenting mode kicks in – get the kids to school.

Walk dogs with my sister-(soon-to-be)in-law and acknowledge over a naughty cigarette that I may be feeling a little PMT today. Because – it’s ok to admit it to other women. They know!

Now it’s just me and a small 2 year old with a poorly tummy. Lots of sitting on the sofa watching cartoons and occasionally clearing up the results of a toddler in nappies with a tummy bug. That’s ok, I can cope with that. Even keel of numbness follows.

School run to pick up daughter followed by a quick dash to Tesco’s to buy emergency black leggings for tomorrows school play. Why don’t Tesco think 5 year olds wear black – all sizes start at 7. Mentally ranting at all staff and all those ignorant shoppers deliberately walking slowly and stopping mid-aisle, leaving trolleys in a block formation, clearly just to wind me up (although how they knew to be there at that time is a mystery we will ignore as irrelevant).

Evening wanders in and finally the kids are sat down eating easy dinners in front of the TV – cheating is allowed today. And in walks my lovely fiancé who’s crime for the day was to be. Nothing specific. Just being is enough. Irritation mounts.

He says hello. I grunt. He says how was your day. Oh dear – this could go either way – short and monosyllabic or rant about how hard I work to keep this house clean and look after the kids with no appreciation or thanks. He mutters something about it being that time. Tch, he could never understand.

Then a brief discussion about the wedding – logically this may not be the best time to bring it up, but I feel that now is the right time to point out all the effort I am making to organise HIS big day and make it as special as possible FOR HIM, because I want to make HIM happy. How nice it would be if he just had an opinion or offered some ideas. Perhaps a few minutes of just listening and discussing with me without sideways glances at the telly.

My poor, defenceless man stops for a minutes and says ‘You enjoy this don’t you? You actually are enjoying this.’ I have to laugh, a little. Because he is right, actually. A little part of me is enjoying the chance to rant, to offload the stress and to be able to shout all those niggling little irritants that are small and meaningless but build up inside throughout the month. Thats not to say that I, like most women, am totally in control right now. These hormones are buggers for making our emotions go mental and taking the edge of our self-control. But, at the same time I do have to admit it does make a good excuse for a bit of irrationality.

And after all that and a bit of a giggle, I feel much better again. After all, that’s what the man is for.