To AC or not to AC

That is the question.

It's not a matter of money (or lack thereof). Nor is it determined by the temperature of the air.

It's how this aging body of mine can't seem to make up it's mind. I'm either cold or breaking out into a hot get-me-out-of-this-sudden-sauna sweat. Every five minutes (not really, but it seems that way).

Still, I have to consider the people around me. Their personal thermostats are working just fine, so to turn on the AC one minute only to turn it off three minutes later in favor of the heater, and then once again complain about it being too hot … Yeah, why share the torture?

I have to remind myself that this is merely the natural progression of aging. It is what it is, and I will simply have to endure.

One thing I am grateful for is I'm not having the typical and severe mood-swings associated with menopause. I hope I never do, because I watched what it did to my mom, and by extension, those around her. It was rather hellish for everyone.

This is my own theory, so you're welcome to give it zero credence if you like, but I think the whole mood-swing thing is purposeful from a survival stand point. When we over-react to things, it's usually a sign of unresolved emotions or conflicts. Those mood swings force us to either face them or fight them, but they need to be resolved one way or another. They can no longer be ignored or suppressed.

Why during menopause, you wonder? Because our body, our mind and our heart simply can't handle the stress and distress we could when we were younger and more resilient.

For instance, I read one reason heart disease increases after menopause is largely due to no more monthly periods. Our bodies tend to hoard iron, because millennia ago, with diseases, infections, and injuries, humans tended to bleed a lot more. Our bodies are designed to hold onto iron so that it can create more blood cells quicker – hence increasing our chances of survival. At least in first-world countries, people live healthier, so they don't bleed as much. When a woman no longer bleeds once a month, iron builds up in the body and can lead to heart troubles.

Add stress to the equation, and our health is further compromised.

While I do have periods of stress in my life, I resolved my larger issues years ago. Because of that my mood-swings – at least so far – have been quite manageable. I can feel them coming on, but before they overwhelm me, I tell myself to stop and ask why I feel like punching someone, or bawl over a toy commercial. When no legitimate reason comes to mind, I know it's hormonal (or lack thereof), and it usually goes away.

I know it's easier said than done. Some of our oldest issues, hurts and scars are the most difficult, especially if they're caused by people who have passed, who want nothing to do with us, or we want nothing to do with them. There are no easy answers, so I can't provide them. I just hope that anyone going through the same thing will stop, consider, and try to at least find a solution.

Putting yourself and those around you through the hell that is menopause isn't worth not trying, and your life could very well depend on it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to turn on the air conditioner.

3 thoughts on “To AC or not to AC

  1. Andra: Thanks for the lesson on the lifetime evolution of a woman’s emotions. It helps me, as a man, to better understand women, who, for most men, are a mystery. But, as I see it, they (women) are God’s gift to man, so we (men) owe it to ourselves and the women in our lives to do all we can to better understand the women in our lives. Hopefully, your blog will also help the younger women, whom have yet to experience, or are in the middle of experiencing that which you have, understand why they are experiencing the change in emotions. Such insight by both sexes can only help us to live together, with the love for each other that God intended for all of our fellow man and woman!

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  2. I too believe that the mood swings have to do with unresolved issues. For me, I decided to start living the dream I had as a kid – Horse Ownership. I tend to put other’s needs and wants before my own. I have done this for 20+ years in my marriage. My husband never asked or even implied that I put his needs before my own. It just happened. He is thrilled that I am living my lifelong dream. It makes for a better me. I am happier and more confident. I have something all my own, and that’s a beautiful thing. So menopause has been a blessing. It brings up all those feelings I’ve kept buried. The hard part is putting a name and reason to those feelings. Journaling, praying and meditating helps get me there. BTW – Black Cohosh is a great help for hot-flashes!

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