Menopausal Leave?

Back to work tomorrow! My plan for today was to pick out outfits for each day, iron them and choose matching shoes and accessories.

Before you think ‘what a saddo’ – the reason is that being menopausal over the Christmas holidays is one thing (lying in bed til noon with Netflix and a never ending supply of Baileys and After 8s then enjoying shopping and lunching with friends will ease even the worst menopausal symptoms). But being menopausal and having to work is quite another. And one of my resolutions is to get rid of the morning ‘before work’ stress and get each day off to as good a start as possible. I also went into work one day last year with odd shoes on so want to avoid that if I can.

I do think menopausal leave should be debated in parliament. There is maternity leave, carers leave, parental leave and god knows what kind of leave so why not menopausal leave? This would be done on a case by case basis – so all the feckers that declare they ‘sailed through’ their menopause and ‘barely noticed til it was over’ get no leave at all – it gets added to people like me who are finding it somewhat more of a challenge. And in fact those who do ‘sail through’ should be made to work twice as many hours and clean nightclub toilets at the weekends and maybe pick up dog poo for people out walking their dogs til the smug look drops from their bloody faces..

Anyway – I digress – back to New Year New Me! I was also going to start healthy eating today – with a breakfast of oats and fresh fruit and then later make up a delicious packed lunch for work with flax seeds, berries and nuts and many things that are recommended to assist you to cope with the menopause.

However, things did not really go to plan. I had maybe one or nine glasses of wine too many last night and many friends stayed over. So this morning I had to have two bacon rolls with quite a bit of butter and tomato sauce as it isn’t really fair to impose my healthy eating habits onto other people.

I then decided it would be just as well to open and finish off the last box of Thorntons as if they were in the house they would just cause temptation when I start ‘for real’ tomorrow.

I did try and pick outfits for work but this ended up in a lot of cursing and swearing as it would appear pretty much all my work clothes have shrunk while I have been off. A clamber into the attic then ensued to find my bag of ‘fattest ever clothes’ which also proved a tad tight and smelt a bit funny so had to wash all of them and stretch them while drying so I can go to work tomorrow in something other than my pajamas (which are still fitting great). I was always against elasticated waists in all but pajamas but my expanding girth is putting in repeated requests for such a feature.

I was then sweaty and thirsty and fed up up and the thought of wearing leggings and smocks til my arse and belly shrink a bit is a trifle depressing. So I’m afraid to admit that I have fallen at the first fence of ‘Dry January’ with a lovely bottle of white which is going down well with the left-over Doritos and cheese and chive dip from last night. The books say alcohol is not good for the menopause and maybe it isn’t but I can say with complete certainty that it helps you give less of a fuck about it.

One of my lovely friends who ‘found the menopause so liberating and a time of great energy’ told me that she found a sense of spirituality and connectedness as she went through her ‘journey’ (it’s not the bloody X factor I felt like saying but I didn’t as I can’t risk losing any more friends due to menopausal grumpiness). I have been a bit adrift over the last few months though – and wondering about things like mindfulness courses or maybe retraining to be a dog groomer or packing everything in to travel round Greece for a year or maybe setting up a social enterprise cafe. I have started a number of things that never ever get finished despite initial flushes of enthusiasm.

So I decided to listen to Pope Francis’ message to us all in an attempt to try and find some ‘meaning’ to my life and a direction for 2018.

Apparently we must banish the ‘banality of consumerism’. Really? It is clear the Pope has not yet been to the Joules or White Stuff sale this year or he may have reworded that part! (Paperchase is worth a look too – much better than last year). And he says we must also stop the ‘overpowering waves of empty chatter’. I for one beg to differ! I think we can guarantee the Pope did not consult with menopausal women on this message.- waves of empty chatter along with a bit of retail therapy is what keeps us (well me anyway) going. Maybe next year we could have an address from a Menopausal Woman. Maybe Helen Mirren would be up for it. I would happily write it.

I think I’ve just found my direction and purpose for 2018!! And right after I’ve finished my chocolates, wine and Doritos and watched all the Christmas Telly I missed on Catch up – I will get going on it.

Happy New Year to Everyone. Even those who ‘sailed through’ and ‘barely noticed’ their menopause – as I am feeling magnanimous due to the lovely wine!


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