{66} Birthday, mortality, and blood

Today (August 15th) is my actual birthday. There is much to remark about that but I’m held in suspension by the irony that I have officially entered the era of “peri-menopause”.

Menopause isn’t considered in progress until you’ve skipped your period for a full year (I dream of the day…). Until then my hormones flex and wane, making my menstruation a completely unknown variable. This could last for years.

My Mother never made it to menopause. Her peri-menopause started, like mine (or mine like hers, more accurately) in her late 40s. By 52, she was dead.

I am 48 today, which gives me fours years to plan on outliving my mother. I have now, officially, lived more years without her in my life than she spent in it — I was 24 when she died.

My period is very late, and unless I’ve been struck by immaculate conception, the bloody floodgates could open at…any…second…

My menstruation cycle has always functioned like clockwork, except for the few years I had an IUD. I never bothered tracking my cycle because, hey, I knew exactly the day it would hit, how long it would last, how heavy the “output” would be.

I think it’s a lovely irony that as I start taking some new directions in my life that something so intrinsic to me — my blood, my fertility, my mortality — should be so clearly defined as “unpredictable.”

I’m going on 50, maybe going on eternity. Who knows. It’s always a bloody mess, in the end, and it’s time for me to celebrate with what I’ve got.