Well, Carolyn and I are back from our visit with Sandra and her family for the Holiday, and although our Christmas was a green one, it seems the snow and the cold (and the ice… wouldn’t wanna forget the ice… Brrrr!!) have finally found us here at home to finish out 2015 under a blanket of the frosty stuff. Naturally taking a couple days away from work meant that I’d be a busy, busy Catgirl for the first few days back home catching up on all my responsibilities. However…. I’ve missed my all my Gentle Visitors, and thought I might spend a quick post catching you all back up on things before 2015 slipped completely away from me. Even if my “inspiration” and “creativity” are still a bit dim these days….
So… ready or not… here goes!!
Ummmm…. yep… if ya wanna know what I’ve been up to these last few months that means ya gotta “Read On”, silly!! Some things never change… 😉
Hmmm? So what exactly have I been doing away from the Litterbox all this time? Well… mostly wrestling with my newly arrived Perimenopause symptoms and trying to get a handle on them. My gynecologist assures me that I’m in the early stages, but whew…. I can’t even image what they will be like once they really get going. Lucky lil’ me, it seems, is just super sensitive to any hormonal changes and so I’m noticing my reactions much more acutely than most. She gave me a checklist of what I could expect, and I’m only experiencing a few…. thank goodness… but those are just a hoot. For those of you interested…. here the whole kit and kaboodle of fun my doctor says I might expect to see “coming soon to a theater near me”.
- Irregular cycles, shorter intervals between cycles (every 24 to 26 days instead of every 28 days) Thankfully, not yet. I’m as regular as usual, although since Carolyn and I moved in together, my period has slowly shifted later in the month as hers crept earlier until now both of us are nearly in sync most months. Mine is actually shorter in duration than hers and I’ve always been far less crampy and miserable than she is usually. Lucky me! 😉
- Skipped menstrual cycles (cycles every two to three months, then bleeding for two full weeks, rather than a normal flow each month) Also nope!! Thank goodness… this one just sounds like a real pain….
- Hot flashes. Haven’t really noticed any yet… Keeping my fingers crossed!!
- Night sweats. Also nope.
- Trouble falling or staying asleep. Ahhhh… now we’re in familiar territory. Quite a lot actually. Since I have a history of Seasonal Insomnia, I never noticed this one as being unusual even though this time out it lasted lots longer than it normally does and has been messing with me big time. My doctor says my normal Insomnia is probably always been linked to the seasonally triggered hormonal shifts that everybody experiences… apparently goofy lil’ me just feels it so much more intensely than most other women.
- Mood swings and/or irritability. Ha! Oh hell, yeah…. Neko has been an emotional, cranky… errr… ummmm… “bitchy”…. lil’ lady at times over the last couple months. I just figured it was because of the lack of sleep… This is that symptom that most had me thinking I might be going crazy…. I owe Carolyn big time for putting up with me at my worst.
- Depression. Yep. Definitely got this one… I thought it was just my occasional melancholy self coupled with those mood swings and aggravated by the lack of sleep. Nope… more crazy hormones making me feel everything too intensely. Grrrr!!! At least it explains my sluggishness and lack of motivation stifling my creativity.
- Breast tenderness. Thankfully no… My little breasts are happily fine and irritation free. 😉
- Decreased libido (sex drive). Happy to say no problems in this area. For me, “Sexyfuntime” is still both sexy and fun and just as frequent as always. In fact my mercurial mood swings actually mean that… on occasion… I’m actually extra flirty and affectionate. This one Carolyn actually noticed before me… and says she has no trouble dealing with. The naughty minx… ❤
- Increased fatigue, which may cause difficulty concentrating or memory problems. Yep. Just thought I was tired. There are times I lack focus and feel “stuck in the mud”. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten simple things either… which given my earlier Depression seems to snowball into that whole cranky and irritable mood thing when that ball gets rolling.
- Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex. Nope. Not yet… so far all is good with the “Lady bits”…
- Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing. Eeeewwwhhh!! Thank goodness no… this one sounds super gross and embarrassing. If possible I’d like to pass on this one entirely. Heck… I’ll even be happy with the last one instead…
- Urinary urgency (a pressing need to urinate more frequently). Peeing all the time? Seriously? Annoying, but thankfully not yet an issue. Still…. my offer above still stands. If I get to choose, I’ll gladly accept more frequent visits from the “Tinkle Fairy” rather than that whole leaking thing….
So then. What have I been doing to combat all these annoying symptoms? My doctor suggested a few changes to my diet… less sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Wait a minute…. less caffeine? But…. but…. Neko just loves her steamy morning coffee!!! Unfortunately I have to cut back on my coffee…. apparently coffee makes me wired and bitchy now…. so it’s only one cup a day from now on. Waaaahhhh!!! 😥
I have to get more omega-3s to battle the depression… that means more fish and nuts… no big prob. Neko loves her fish. 😉 More beans and soy to enhance the ol’ estrogen receptors…. Sounds workable. Heck… sounds like I’ll be able to manage these pretty easy.
Ahhhhh… and exercise!! Gotta stay active… Yep. Gotta get the blood flowing and make all that endorphin and serotonin bubble around and keep the ol’ brain happy. That led to Carolyn finally getting her wish… those kickboxing classes she’s always wanted us to try. 😉
Warrior Princess Neko was ready for the challenge… but alas, although it certainly was a workout, after a few weeks of classes we discovered it was something I’d never really enjoy. I liked the exercise… even the whole “working the bag” thing, but practice sparring was far to stressful and intimidating for me. Even against Carolyn. I’m far too timid and hesitant to make any real progress. Fighting a total stranger makes me nervous and shaky and I’m too worried about actually hurting someone (or being hurt either…). And…. actually kicking my sweet Carolyn in the head? Even slow and careful? Nope… just can’t do it. Even if she coaxes me and tells me it’s OK to try. Even though I know we’ve both got gloves and pads and whatnot… I just struggle through the practices and it leaves me shaky, sore, and miserable by the time we’re done. Not really what we’re shooting for. Ahh, well…. at least I got a sweet lil’ pair of purple silk Thai kickboxing workout shorts out of the experience. Carolyn enjoyed the sport though…. and it bums me out that she decided not to continue the classes without me. She says she wouldn’t have fun without me there, but I still feel bad about disappointing her.
But exercise I sorely need, so instead of Kickboxing, we lucked out and got invited to join a Volleyball team the beginning of the month made up of some women from Carolyn’s college colleagues. Now… that I could enjoy! I’m tiny, compared to everybody else on the squad, but surprisingly… I’m actually pretty darn good at this! Tai Chi has helped me get really fit, trim, and flexible and that’s translated over to this sport really well. The play can be fairly aggressive at times, but never intimidating or scary for me at all. Had I known how much fun this was I’d have been doing it years ago. Finally… a “beach” activity I actually enjoy!! We play now, twice a week, on the off-nights from our Tai Chi classes right up at the gym on campus. 🙂
That has meant less evenings at home, of course, but worry not o’ Gentle Visitors… I haven’t completely given up “Movie Nite”. We usually squeeze in a movie or two each week, so don’t expect my reviews to come to a halt with all this new “extracurricular activity”. In fact… with luck I ought to get another one up by Friday. But, no promises…. 😉
Ummmm? Christmas you say? Hahahahha!! Don’t worry… I’m getting to it.
With Christmas falling on a Friday this year, both of us got to take more than enough time to make a good long visit with Sandra and family a real possibility. The weather was kooky, and when we left on Thursday it was in the mid 60’s with the warmest breeze blowing making it feel more like late fall than winter. We didn’t see a speck of snow the entire weekend until Sunday afternoon, when the weather turned suddenly and we were forced to head home early to beat a threatened blizzard and ice storm coming up from the south.
Sandra and the clan were happy to see us as always, and we were happy to see that she’s up and about and fully recovered from her nasty accident just like it never happened. She and the kids are back to normal and everybody was excited to see us again. With the lack of snow, most of our wintry wonderland outdoor activities were on hold this time out but we found ways to fill our time nicely. We even managed to slip in a family “Movie Nite” with a few DVD’s from my “to watch” pile that Carolyn selected before we left. Maddy and Adam always get a kick out of seeing some of the quirky foreign movie “gems’ that their Aunt Miyuki collects and we didn’t disappoint them this time out. Expect a review based on a couple in the next few days… 😉
There was a new face to see too. Maddy has a new boyfriend…. and he got to visit Christmas day. My goodness. I can’t believe how quickly they’ve grown up. Maddy will be starting college next year… she’s almost a woman now (and becoming the eerily spitting image of her mom in the process, but with Alan’s dark hair…). Sandra says this one is pretty serious too… Maddy made a big point of wanting him to meet Carolyn and I, her favorite Aunts. It was so sweet the obvious way she wanted our unspoken opinion on him. Daniel seemed really nice too and it’s nice to see Maddy find someone special to learn all the things a young girl needs to learn about first romance. I just hope this one turns out the way she deserves… Fingers crossed!
All in all, it was an excellent visit and both of us were feeling really happy and refreshed by the time Sunday rolled around and the weather forecast made it sound prudent to head back to stay ahead of the final arrival of Old Man Winter hereabouts. The storm turned out to less impressive than it was talked up to be, but better safe than sorry, eh? We definitely learned something from Sandra’s accident….
Well… that leaves us here in the last week of December 2015… and a new year looms ahead. Hopefully it’ll be a good one, but either way your Favorite Catgirl plans to try to make it the best she can, and hopes that all you will do the same. So, until next time “Happy Holidays and meow, meow for now!!”