Menopause, mean teachers and cats who won’t shut up

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I didn’t really have anything to write about today so I thought I’d just put up some sketchbook drawings. (#noncommittaldailysajdrawings for those of you following along on instagram).

This year has been a really big year for me. So many changes!

The biggest change I’m experiencing is menopause. I now have my own personal cloud of humidity that I carry around with me on a daily basis. Have you ever experienced this? It sucks donkey balls. (Sorry dad. I know I should use another word but this is the most accurate.) I’ll be outside in the nice cool air, I might even have a sweater on, and then KABAMO! I’m sweating like I have a fever. It lasts a few minutes and then it floats off as if it never happened and I’m back to wearing a sweater and appreciating the nice cool air. So confusing! It was bothering me so much I actually went out and bought a small thermometer/barometer to keep at my desk so I could compare my whacky internal thermostat with reality. It’s bonkers.

I want to say I hate hot flashes but part of me is wondering if they are helping me burn calories. I’ve been losing weight lately and I’m not sure if these flashes are it or one of the other twelve things I’ve been doing differently lately.  I’m sure if hot flashes do burn calories it’s only 2 calories a hit but hey! it sure helps to imagine that is what is going on when you in the thick of a sweaty cloud and hating life.  I bet people would actually sign up for these stupid mini-fevers if they knew they were burning calories.

So back to weight loss: I seem to be losing weight after years and years of struggling and not losing any weight at all. Is it my diet that is much more plant-based than it ever used to be? Ask my kids.  I am a nut these days. I’ll rattle on about greens and fiber and water for days. Everyone is sick of me.

It could also be that I work out with weights regularly now (only two days a week so my ripped up muscles can repair themselves) and I walk the dogs all over the planet.  Cody has even lost 7 pounds which is good because he was putting on weight like only a golden retriever with a love language for food can.

Is it the particular blend of medication and vitamins I am on? I can’t really go into detail on this because it’s still private (I know, it seems like I share everything but I actually don’t) but it is a variable that could figure into the equation.

Anyway, it all adds up to a lot of healthy changes and outside of the hot flashes I am really happy about them. I finally feel like all those balls I’m always juggling are staying up in the air for a change and not dropping around me like rotten apples.

What else? Payam got a new job. The kids started school… All good!

We are so happy with Payam’s job. It’s super awesome and he’s happy. A happy employed boyfriend = happy life! Just kidding. Payam always has a positive attitude no matter what challenge he’s facing but I don’t. Having him in a secure job has significantly helped me with my anxiety. He always tells me that everything will work out but I have to admit I’m not always so sure. I tend to worry, doubt and fret. That’s my M.O.

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So yeah! Things are good! Kids are back in school. Bug has a scary teacher. I talked about that already.

We went to the nail salon as a family the other day. It was fun. Joon is into wearing black, what else is new?

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Ah yes, Kady. That blasted meow-ing cat. She meows all day long until I go and pet her and then lay down with her and pet her some more. Let’s just say I’ve finally become a napping person. I have never liked naps before. I hate naps! Until now. Maybe it’s a side effect of an anxiety disorder and menopause and not sleeping all that well on a regular basis. But thankfully I have Kady, my therapy cat. She is taking care of me in the most annoying way. I love her.

Middle School Anxiety Day 1

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Middle School is off to a roaring good start and by roaring I mean the very loud gut-wrenching vocalizations of an angst-ridden tween who is losing her mind. I’m not so sure Bug would appreciate me making fun of her here on my blog but she is always telling me to write a graphic novel so we’ll just put these sketches here and say that they may not be the whole story. I’ll give her a chance to make fun of me too. SHE has plenty of material to do so with.

I really was that horribly embarrassing parent on orientation day. Me being me, I decided to walk the dogs before orientation which was at 10am. I left at eight-ish.  Plenty of time right? My walk usually takes 45 minutes and then I take a shower (because I am the walking sweat machine). Then we’d walk to school her and I. No big thing.

Well…one thing lead to another and five minutes from getting home from walking the dogs I get a frantic call from Bug. “WHERE ARE YOU MOM?! I’M GOING TO BE LATE! I NEED YOU TO DO MY HAIR!!” fret fret fret, freak-out, freak-out, freak-out. So I rushed home, jumped in the shower, barely dried my new hairstyle of a hair cut and quickly braided her hair. We walked as fast as we could to school and then stood in line for an hour.

My wet hair was dripping all down my back and I was sweating because it’s been hotter than dog’s breath lately and it’s terribly HUMID. All the water was cumulating in the swell of my back where my butt sticks out. I can’t help it. I have a bubble butt. Bug was beyond embarrassed. If she has more acne than usual on her forehead it’s because of all the face palms. I tried my best to ride the wave of embarrassment by pretending that nothing was wrong. I greeted all her friends and their parents and we had the usual parenting social hour which you know is the worst torture ever for budding young middle-schoolers.

We survived orientation and we were both pretty excited about middle school. We went back-to-school shopping and bought about a thousand surf-related t-shirts. She got a new back pack. All was going well.

But I sensed it wasn’t so smooth-sailing when she called me twice from her Dad’s to make sure I would be there Thursday morning to do her hair if her dad dropped her off early. Poor kid. She was fretting over everything. She made a special notebook with folders and her schedule clipped prominently inside. She made sure she went to bed early two nights before so she would be in the habit of getting up early and then called me in a panic because her dad was NOT getting up early on her practice going-to-school-days. I told her not to worry. Her dad would indeed get up in time on the day he actually needed to get up early.

This is what it’s like when you have anxiety.

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Today she showed up extra early. Almost an hour before school started. We took pictures with her dad and then went inside to do her hair. I went over her list of things she’d need for the day. Did she have her notebook? Did she have her lunch? Did she have her schedule and ID card? Wait What?!! OH NO SHE DID NOT! She forgot everything at her dad’s house and there was no time to go all the way to his house to get them!

Oh crap.

Much weeping and wailing went down while we packed another lunch, printed out her schedule from online and sat down to practice her new combination lock she would need for her locker. Oh my goodness, you’d think figuring out a combination lock was something out of National Treasure with secret compartments and dead sea scrolls. Turn the lock three times to the right, then two times to the left, then one time to the right…

Mom, stop screwing me up! I don’t think in pictures like you do!”

Albeit, I was trying to explain how the levers worked inside the lock with hand movements. I guess imagining the internal mechanisms of a lock don’t help everyone like they do me.  In the end I just let her muddle through it and somehow on the seventh or eighth try (after two freak-out melt-downs) she figured it out.

Hell-LAY-lujah.

Kids, man. They just don’t want to be helped. But if you don’t help them YOU ARE THE WORST.

She did want me to walk her to school though which surprised me because I’ve been preparing for the parental rejection years since kindergarten. I know I’m embarrassing for her. I embarrass myself!  Surely she doesn’t want me walking her to school. But she was nervous. The whole lack of a schedule and an ID card was nerve-wracking. So I walked half way and then her friend showed up. Her friend is the exact opposite of her. Cool as a cucumber and not one bit worried about anything under the sun. She shrugged off Bug’s worries as if they were mere dandelion seeds flying in the wind. No schedule, no ID card, no problem! It’s the first day of school nobody expects you to know what you’re doing. Today is a free day!

I love her friend. I’m super sad she’s moving to New York in two days. I think we both need her.