SAD Spring Smells

It’s no secret that this “winter” has been one of the warmest on record for us in Western MA so it didn’t surprise me at all to hear birds chirping outside and to see buds on our Rhododendron bushes this week. I should be happy that we haven’t been hit by any significant snow since Halloween, thus lowering our heating and plowing bills, which I am, but it comes with the black cloud of global warming hanging above me and the world.

I have been a bear this week, not only in my (non-employed) isolation, but also in my mood. I don’t want to dwell on the negative, but suffice it to say that my waning hormones and waxing moon have wrought havoc on my psyche in the last few days. I’ve been short with my loved ones, barely tolerant of any shortcomings (yes, even more than usual), and would like it if everyone would just leave me alone to do what I do best, which right now is to just take things as they come.

I know it’s getting bad when my wife has to ask me(not in a sweet, but in more of an obligatory way) before we go to bed “would you like a goodnight kiss?” Normally, there’s never a question, but after living through 16 years of my mood swings coupled with her cycles as well, we’re lucky if there’s one good week a month between us! If I say “no,” then I’m going to piss her off, and if I say “OK,” and lean over to give her a kiss, I can’t help the running narrative in my head that’s saying “why is it that I always have to be the one who has to sit up and give her a kiss?!”  Yes, I know it’s petty, and at the same time, it flickers through my mind like it usually does when I’m in a pissy mood and don’t really want to kiss, dammit! Kissing really shouldn’t need that much processing!

It’s doubtful that many men are reading my blog, except possibly a few relatives who are probably not learning anything new about me, so if hearing about hormones and cycles is distasteful, you guys can sign off now. For us women, by the time we start our periods as girls, we’ve already experienced raging hormones for a while even if it’s gone unnamed. My wife and I joke all the time and have for a year now that our 10 year-old daughter is raging hormonally when she gets on a rampage. At least we can recognize it!

All of my life, the women in my family have been credited for having an extraordinary sense of smell. That’s right, and we got it from our mother and I have passed it to my kids. It’s a curse really, because unless it’s served us to protect from fire or explosion, most other smells need not be heightened. Yet, as I teeter closer and closer to full-on menopause, my sense of smell has gone up 5 notches from “super sniffer”  to the level of unbearable. I can smell  cigarette smoke coming from a driver in a car 5 cars ahead of me at a stop light! Imagine how I react at a friend’s house who owns a dog that never gets a bath, or nasty smelling soccer shin guards as my daughter changes her clothes on the way to basketball practice, burnt popcorn at a game, that chemically smelling bad men’s cologne. I’m one big sponge to those sickening smells and unfortunately it makes me react in a way that feels like I’m trapped in a locked room with biting rats if I can’t get away from the smell!

Today, I woke up knowing that after I made 5 lunches and  took my 12-year-old to school, that I’d come home to an empty house. Yippee! I love to have the day alone in my house! Yesterday, my wife didn’t work, so we shared the space for 6 hours, and she had the nerve to ask me questions and disrupt my routine. You see, I don’t like to have to explain where I’m going, what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, etc. Unfortunately, when she’s around there’s much more of that dialogue and it messes with my day.

So, after my work-out buddy cancelled, I decided to brave the colder than the “new” normal temperatures and exercise outside. It was bright sunny, cold but not too harsh, and very invigorating! After about a half-mile, I realized that I already felt better. I’ve unofficially diagnosed myself with Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD), so I purposefully don’t wear sunglasses if I don’t have to, exposing my pineal gland to as much light as I can. I’m sure that physiologically, it doesn’t happen instantly, but nevertheless, my mood brightened sharply! I was ready to take on the day, knew what I wanted to make for dinner, planned my shopping excursion, mentally jotted my to-do list, played a couple of rounds of WWF’s and outlined my blog post-all before I got to my first mile. I was so ready to be done with it and get home that I almost turned around with excitement and energy and a renewed outlook on life! But I didn’t. I stuck it out, observed the nature around me and a lone gummy worm discarded on the bike path, and made it home an hour later.

Soup’s made, shopping is done, and I’m ready to take on life, and Spring? If it’s going to come early, I sure hope everything’s died off from winter because I count on that cleansing of the earth process. It’s like taking a shower and starting all over again with sweetness and regeneration, and I really need to smell some swell smells!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Suz
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 21:20:24

    you aren’t the only one who is experiencing mood swings! maybe the full moon and the mayan calender combined are bringing out our (not so hibernating!) bear!!

    Like

    Reply

  2. Lorna Ulmer
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 19:00:25

    Understand the horror of homones. I’m crying at the drop of a hat. That added to my usual PTSD good thing I live alone.

    Like

    Reply

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