Scary Story: Becoming Crone

I seem to be growing a wart on the end of my nose just in time for Halloween.  It’s all part of my involuntary transformation from maiden  to crone.  The wart is meant to complement the hair on my chin, I suppose, just as the 20 extra pounds I’ve added over the last few years highlight legs that no longer tan.  For all I know, I’m also growing a tail.  Something does seem different back there.

There will come a day, maybe in 15 years or so, when I tell my beautiful teenaged granddaughter that I once looked like her.  She will smile indulgently, and say, “I know, Grammie.”, but she probably won’t believe that I ever could have been young.  That my legs were lean, muscled and tan and that I used them to run for miles.  That my body was willowy and responsive.  That my face was unlined and my hair a color other than white.

I expected to lose my looks when I turned forty.  I dreaded forty.  I really liked my thirties.  That was my  decade. But, as I entered my forty-first year,  I noticed something.  Nothing really changed.  I still had a youthful glow, still had  a nice figure, no gray hair….I thought to myself, “Well, damn, forty really  is the new thirty.   Thirty-sixish.”

I went on with my life, sometimes laughingly blaming things on aging. Things like forgetting where I put my keys (getting senile in my old age) or the 5 extra pounds gained on vacation (can’t eat like I used to), and the days I didn’t feel like doing much (I’m  slowing down).  But for the most part, I had put the fear of aging behind me.

Then one night near the end of my forties I woke up drenched in sweat, and that old witch, Menopause, introduced herself.

Hi Chicken! I’m Menopause.  I’m moving in.

Hello Menopause…

Menopause didn’t just move in.  She took over.  All I had known about menopause was the legend of hot flashes.  Since I’m so often cold, periodic blasts of heat didn’t seem like a bad thing to me.  Nobody said anything about burning at the stake.  And there were other things.  Things nobody saw fit to mention. Pervasive mild anxiety for no reason, a perpetual state of fogginess that makes concentration difficult to maintain, sleep disruptions that leave me staring into the dark, a lack of control over my mood as it shifts from placid to raging inferno in the course of seconds.

Which brings us back to the wart on the end of my nose just in time for Halloween.

Menopause isn’t just turning me into a crone, it’s breaking me down and rebuilding me from the inside out.  Without ego and entitlement, without expectations of how things should be, with a heightened appreciation for the moment, with a longing for peace, and with a more efficient operating system.  I may look like a witch this Halloween, but it’s just the packaging.

Look deeper.  I’m being reborn.

Chicken out

crones

Two of my Favorite Crones

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  14 comments for “Scary Story: Becoming Crone

  1. jenny_o
    October 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    I am finally past the stage of really giving a hoot about the changes in my once-familiar body (that stage lasted from age 8 to 48, give or take). But I really, really can’t forgive the fact that I still tend to have acne. I too have a wart on my nose just in time for Hallowe’en except it’s not a wart. Insert sad face with nose zit here.

    So I hear ya. And, oh yeah, welcome. I won’t say you’ll like it here, but you’ll see lots of people you know – sooner or later 🙂

    Like

    • October 25, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Hi Jenny-a friend of mine has the acne issue, too, and is equally insulted. I think what I don’t like is the untrustworthiness of my body. I was always athletic and use to my body reacting a certain way. I do this, my body does that….Nowadays, I do this, and my body says, “Girrrrrllll, what the HELL do you think you’re doing?”, and then stiffens up for three days. It’s maddening.

      Like

  2. thesmittenimage
    October 25, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I got so lucky with the hot flashes (unless they’re not done yet).. they were mild, short-lived, infrequent, over the course of about 8 years. BUT.. sleeplessness, weight gain, and something else.. oh yeah.. forgetfulness have all taunted me in its place. Menopause IS the witch.

    Like

    • October 25, 2014 at 11:38 am

      Hi Hilary-wow, eight years is a long time, but at least they weren’t frequent. Mine are now. A friend and I joke about not wearing any kind of sweater that isn’t a cardigan so that it can be ripped off as needed. I only got the night sweats a couple of times early on, though, so there’s something to be thankful for. Somedays, I forget my kids names. It’s terrible.

      Like

  3. October 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Too me, menopause is the scariest costume I can wear this year. Next year, I hope that one is gone and I can go back to being a princess with a herd of unicorns. Love this post-

    Like

  4. Doug in Oakland
    October 26, 2014 at 4:35 am

    Being reborn sounds painful.

    Like

  5. October 28, 2014 at 3:09 am

    Dear Chicken, I have only a caring observer’s understanding of what you’re going through. My wife is 63. She survived intact and is now watching me struggle with andropause, which is puberty in protracted reverse. It is not so abrupt as its female climacteric counterpart but has, over the past ten years, made me an imbecile. My nerves are shot. My endurance is minimal, but I still have my humor, my poetry and love, like you. I will take this opportunity to wish us both the best of things and retention of what is most important.

    Like

    • October 28, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Thank you, Geo. I did not know what the male version was called. I asked my husband, but he didn’t know, either. He’s deep in it, though, according to your description.

      Like

  6. October 28, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    I lucked out. Blew past that bitch in my early 40’s, got the t-shirt, and never looked back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 6, 2014 at 12:01 am

      blew past that bitch…haha. I have a mental image of menopause hitch hiking on rte 66 and you blowing past in your little red mustang, big dark sunglasses, silk scarf flying out behind you, one hand raised in the air, one middle finger standing tall…..yeah….

      Like

  7. Anonymous
    November 4, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I can take the hot flashes, the insomnia and chronic exhaustion, the extra pounds and the (sob!) thinning of a once luscious set of lips. What I CAN NOT STAND, however, is the constant sprouting of chin hairs that could bench press 40 pounds. WTF? Barbed wire growing from my face, I do NOT need. Thanks, menopause. You suck. But you, Chicken, do not suck. You’re the best. Warts and all. GG

    Like

    • November 4, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      Who knew those lips wouldn’t last forever, huh? Yes another thing no one tells you about. Apparently the star of menopause is Hot Flash and she doesn’t like to share the stage with the other equally annoying symptoms.

      Like

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