Monday, 29 October 2012

Hot? You Bet I Am, Baby!

I haven't written for a long time.  I have barely had time to draw breath since we got back from Malaysia - I started a new job, which I hate and will soon leave, turned 49 and had a "I'm Not 50" party, but wanted to put some thoughts down and since I have a rare spare a few minutes today, here I am.

We had such a great time in Malaysia.  Kuala Lumpur and Borneo are incredible places. Throbbing with life, vibrant, colourful, totally, utterly, hilariously different to our sanitised lives here in Australia.  I have not felt quite so alert and alive for a long time.  Nor quite so fat and white. But I digress. One thing I didn’t have time for was any perimenopausal symptoms.  And I actually started wondering how Malaysian women know if they are perimenopausal given that it is so hot and humid all the time, how would you ever know if you are having a hot flush?  I am not trying to be funny, I really was curious.  If hot flushes are a definite sign of perimenopause, how do women who live in such hot and humid climates know they are experiencing them? Maybe they have more important things to worry about.

We crammed a lot into 16 days.  I snorkelled and got hideously burned, shopped til I dropped , ate  ostrich and deep-fried prawns whole (the prawns, not the ostrich), got pointed and laughed at for my pale skin and "yellow " hair, rode a scooter and got caught in a tropical downpour, forced to ride the last 15 km up a mountain with next to zero visibility, and generally found myself giving no thought whatsoever to my age and impending menopause.

I am trying to put my jumbled thoughts together and think what I am trying to get at is that before, I think I was paying too close attention to every little thing happening to me, wondering "is this it?",  watching for possible signs that the Big M is finally ready to embrace me and generally being all "first world problems" about it, and being on holidays in another country, not on the tourist trail, gave me some much-needed clarity.

And I think I have decided that I don't really care when menopause is coming.  It will come when it comes and whatever happens to me while it’s getting there is going to happen.  And I also started to wonder, is it just a little self-indulgent of me to have a blog devoted to my constant worry about this impending, entirely natural female transition period?  Just quietly, I think it might be.

That being said, I still intend to use the blog to write about physical and psychological changes that occur, even if only to reassure anyone reading that they are not the only ones going through it.  I might use it to write about some other things that interest me, or make me mad, or delight me.  Everyone else seems to use their blogs for more than one topic so I might as well too. 

At this stage I have not had a period for (I've lost count) months.  Maybe I will never have another one, and maybe that is no bad thing. 

I wonder if I will be lucky enough to ease on into menopause the same way I transitioned through puberty.  I never got terrible acne or mood swings, and apart from penning some godawful angst-ridden purple prose (hey, didn’t we all?),  It was a very easy transition for me.  I even checked with my mum and she confirmed it.  So maybe it will just be a case of my period stopped one day, never came back, I got a little bit hot and grumpy sometimes, and then…life went on.  Maybe I won't need HRT?  Maybe my vagina will never run dry?  (sounds like some ancient Chinese blessing: “May your vagina never run dry”).  I have no idea.  But I am going to stop focusing on it and start focusing on things that really do interest me, such as planning more travelling with my darling, helping my son as he transitions into his next phase, and deciding if that gorgeous Honda that is a perfect hybrid of a scooter and a motorbike could actually be the answer to my two-wheeled dreams.

I will leave you with a couple of photos of our holiday.  If you ever get the chance to go to Malaysia, do not miss going to Borneo if you can.  Get in there quick before it becomes “Bali-fied”.  You won't regret it.
The Batu Caves - Kuala Lumpur

Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, Sandakan, Borneo. So lucky to see mum & bub!

Stunning sunset on the Kinabatangan River, Sandakan, Borneo
Sapi Island, Kota Kinabalu, Borneo. Like a postcard.
OMG, I'm snorkelling! I am not a Person of the Water so this was epic for me.
There she goes! On my scooter, with a 110 km ride ahead and with a plane to catch!
Back in time to shower and wait for the taxi. Menopause? I don't have time for you!