Thursday, June 20, 2013

The cycle of life

Dear my brother, and anyone else who doesn't want to read about "feminine issues" - consider yourself warned! ;)

I've recently become slightly fascinated with women's menstrual cycles.  (OK, that sound odd.  But it's not...just hear me out!) 

Maybe it comes with self-awareness, but I've started to realize just HOW different my personality can be at different times of the month.  Some days I can be the most peaceful, calm and loving person.  Other days I can be cuckoo-bingbong to the max, and my husband looks at me like "who the hell are you, crazy woman, and what have you done with my wife?"

For serious.

And then this week I stumbled upon this chart.  And oh how GREAT it would be to show you, with a little underline and a hyperlink on those words, the actual chart that I'm talking about.  Exxxxcept, I printed it out instead of saving the link.  And then cut and pasted it.  And then rested my coffee on it. So now it's not even worth scanning it to share it with you.

Anywho...back to my point.

The four phases of a women's cycle are so DRASTICALLY different, that it's not a wonder that many of us feel like we have multiple personality disorder sometimes.

Let me summarize my handy-dandy colour coded chart for you:

The pre-ovulatory phase, which lasts for 9 days - associated with the season of spring, the element of air, and brightening light.  Emotions are calm, dynamic, energetic, able to cope.  Libido is rising, feeling carefree.  A good time to start projects, clear out, catch up.  Relationships are easy going, trusting. A great time for new beginnings, exuberance, and self confidence.

The ovulatory phase, which lasts for around 5 days - associated with the season of Summer, a Motherly archetype, the element of earth, and full bright light..  Emotions are loving, nurturing, nourishing, sustaining, energized and connected.   Energy is full.  Libido is at its height.  A great tie to work hard, love well, birth creative projects.  In harmony with nature and other mothers.  Women in this phase are fertile, radiant, and caring.

The pre-menstrual phase, which lasts for around 9 days - associated with the season of Autumn, the element of fire.  Darkening light.  The Wild Woman/Enchantress archetype.  Energy is waning, destructive, and descending inwards.  Libido can come in peaks and troughs, can be very intense.  Immune system is lowered.  Towards the end we see bloating, tiredness, tender bodies, sugar and carb cravings, hostility, mood swings.  A good time to focus on assessment, inner directed projects, and taking action to deal with issues.  Need balance between dynamic interactions with others and focused creative time along. A magical, witchy, destructive, and intuitive time.

The menstrual phase, which lasts for around 5 days - associated with the season of WInter, the element of Water, the season of Winter, and the archetype of the Crone/ Wise Woman.  Absence of light. Energy is introspective, dreamy, sensitive, intuitive, spiritually connected.  Little desire for physical intimacy. Feeling crampy, tired, teary. A time to retreat and dream, do only what is essential.  Delay important or stressful decisions.  A desire to be alone or with other women.  A time to slow down and rest well.


I sit back and look at all that we go through in a month, and I want to give myself and ALL OF YOU a pat on the back for being alive, being mostly sane, being good parents, running households, businesses, whatever it is that you manage to do without entirely losing ALL OF YOUR SANITY.

Seriously - pat yourself on the back.

Now...take a moment to imagine how wonderful it would be if we actually had the time, or made the time to HONOUR those emotions, those physical and spiritual desires that come with each phase.  To rest when we should rest, to create when we should create.  Wow...what powerhouses we would all be!

But I have a sneaking suspicion that MAKING the time to honour these emotions is more than worth it.  It involves planning, to be sure, and it won't always work.  But I think of myself, and how some weeks I can stay up late nights and nights on end, and work until midnight, and on other weeks I'm in bed by 9:30 every night, dead to the world.  A little bit of planning, to be seriously productive on those key days would go a long way.  And what if we planned vacations for weeks that we should actually be resting...what a crazy idea.

Or not!

I bought an agenda today.  And tomorrow I'm going to mark these "phases" in my agenda for the next few months, and work on honoring them.  Create when I am at my most creative, dream when I am at my most introspective, rest when my body needs rest.  I've also shared my colour coded chart with my husband - hopefully it will help him to understand me more, and not look at me like I've totally gone off the deep end some days. 

It will be an interesting experiment, to be sure!

Stay tuned... ;)

Through the woods...

A five minute drive, and then through the woods on a five minute hike, to the most beautiful spot of spots.  Meet Lavender Falls.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Things are looking up.

So things have been ticking along here, mostly tickety boo these days.  We still have our moments of extremes, but as a whole, things have seemed to be taken a swing for the upside.

(It's always terrifying writing that, like you're going to jinx the whole thing, and it'll go back to Madhouse City tomorrow morning at 8am.)

A few weeks ago, we finally got connected through our Family Doctor, as well as through another local organization called New Paths. We've been seeing a family therapist, as well as been "evaluated for services" by New Path (same thing basically - family counseling but with more of a long term focus.) And around the same time (funny, I have discovered the power of the squeaky wheel!) Griffin was also officially seen by the OT at the school and evaluated.

It's been a crazy month and a half!

We met with the OT today for the first time, after talking to her on the phone a number of times. She's lovely, and inspires a lot of confidence.

Griffin is on the top end of the chart for Sensory Processing  - all the lights, sounds, smells come at him, and he is unable to filter out the "unwanteds" from the "importants," and he's just constantly barraged with sensory input. He also has some fine motor issues, which though they aren't really a problem for him now, they could become an issue by the time he heads into Grade 3 (in one more year from now.) The good news is that also seems to have already developed a number of coping mechanisms on his own, and he's dealing really well with it.

He also seems to have some anxiety issues - he wrestles over decisions big or small, until he is paralyzed with fear - the fear of making the wrong decision. He has a lot of social anxiety too, but as always, he'll talk your ear off if you'll listen to him, especially the adults who take the time to hear his stories.

And his teachers just adore him!  He's wonderful at school, does his work, does what he's asked to do with no avoidance issues or fights.

We're meeting with the OT here at the house in a few weeks, and she is going to set us up with a program to do over the summer, which will be excellent. Griffin and I just had a long chat, and we're going to re-arrange his room on the weekend, make him a little reading corner, move his bed so he can get more fresh air, more light over his Lego table, and so on. The key over the summer is going to be routine, and finding coping mechanisms for when he IS overloaded and just needs to decompress.

We also meet (finally!) with the Developmental Pediatrician in a few weeks, who is the one who will give us a diagnosis, if there is one to be given.  I'm leaning further away from an Aspergers Diagnosis (in my professional, motherly opinion) and now thinking that we're dealing with a Sensory Processing Disorder, combined with some anxiety issues. But whatever - we're getting help now, and that's all that matters.

We ALSO concluded after Griffin's TWO emergency root canals, that maybe he had been suffering from some serious festering tooth pain...something that may have made him cranky and miserable and on edge for the past few weeks. Duh. Things have defenetly gotten better since the tooth repair. 

Coincidence?  There are none.

So that's where things are at.  They're better.  Way better.  I'm not bursting into tears on a regular basis anymore, and neither is he.  There are less fights, less battles.  There is still bickering and fighting and the occasional swing at someone, but on the whole, things are looking up.

Which is a good thing!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A different perspective

They say (whoever they are) that if you want to write good writing, that you have to read good writing.

And I got to thinking, maybe I haven't been writing, because I haven't been reading.

For reals.  I can't remember the last time I read a whole book from beginning to end.

I read school newsletters; I read mail, the newspaper, bills; I read snippits and short articles and short blog posts, and short Facebook links...but I never read anything longer than it takes for my kids to figure out that Mommy might actually be sitting STILL for five minutes, for heaven SAKE!

Of the many people who's writing I enjoy on a daily basis, many of them write about reading.  Nothing specific, but you can tell from what they write that reading is a very big part of their day. Maybe it can be successfully done between meal times and homework and karate and sleeping, but I haven't figured that out yet.

But now, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  It's dim, it flickers on and off every once in a while, but it's there.  My kids are out of the twos, well into the threes (and maybe someday I can say we're out of diapers, but it won't be this week.) They're becoming more independent little peoples, who one day will grow up to be functioning members of society (please, god, please) or at least go an hour or two without bumping or bleeding or needing or smacking or yelling or anything at all!! 

Someday again, I will be able to sit down and sink myself into a book, and ready two, three, TEN chapters at a time without someone needing me.  (I'll likely miss being needed like hell, but it sure might be nice to not have to get up off my arse for a few hours too!)

The point of all this was to say that I started reading a book last night which has inspired and enthralled me. It's got me thinking big thoughts, and that's fun again. It was given to me by a former co-worker, (who reads this blog I think...but she never comments, so I wouldn't know, hint hint) who thought I might really enjoy it.  And she was right, so thanks for that, M!

The book is along the lines of something that my friend Lisa got me thinking about in one of her recent posts -  

What if our kids, these kids who some people call disadvantaged, what if they wern't at a loss at all, what if the things that we took to be disabilities were actually GIFTS?

A small example - we've talked to Griffin a lot about what he wants to be when he grows up.  He struggles some times to find his place in his own six-year-old world.  He knows he's a sentitive guy, that he has "trouble" with loud noises, with high pitches. But if we say he has "excellent hearing" instead of he's "sensitive to sound," then all of a sudden another world opens up, a world of Sound Guys, and Auditory Specialists, or whatever. 

Isn't that fun - to think of it as a gift rather than a downfall?

I have to say that Griffin has been a lot more enjoyable in the past few days when I look at him through those eyes.  Sure, there are still times when I want to put him on the curb with a "Free To Good Home" sign on his neck, but most days I'm willing to hang onto him.  This new insight will likely even increase those odds.  I do love those little dudes.

And so I'm reading.  And apparently, according to this blog post, I'm writing too (well lookie me!) And I'm being inspired, and I'm liking my kids more, and not a single little bit of that is bad.

Perspective.  It's a biggie on that list of thing that matter, isn't it?