Quiet

BE QUIET!

That’s what my mind screamed this morning as my daughter chattered non stop.

I had risen early to write and craved quiet to settle myself and think. I needed quiet in body and mind after the crazy week I’d had.

She had risen early to prepare for work, but the roads were still icy and she couldn’t leave at 6:45 as planned.

And, so she talked. Non stop talked.  Fast. Furious. Asking me questions and not giving me time to answer.  Her mind was racing (usually is) and her mouth was doing its best to keep up.  Flitting from room to room (and bumping into me as she passed), she continued to talk even when the distance between us was too great for me to hear what she was saying.

My muscles tensed and my jaw clenched.  Frustration grew within me.  Tears stung my eyes.  The ONLY time I would have for quiet was slipping away. My mind, the one I’d hoped to settle and ground in quiet, became a roaring, conflicted mess of thoughts. I wanted to scream, “SILENCE!” and have everything fall still and silent.

Quiet.

Some people thrive in a whirl of activity where noise, within and without, feeds their innermost needs.

Others need quiet.

Quiet is more than a lack of audible noise.  Quiet is a stillness…calmness…peacefulness that allows the mind to recharge, regroup, focus – and it exists where intrusions do not interrupt and the mind is free to go about its business.

Silence was not what I needed this morning.  Quiet was.

And, quiet is what I’ve had for the past 20 minutes.  Daughter went out to sit in her car while the street thaws.  She sent a brief burst of texts in which she said she would return indoors before leaving.

And, when she does quiet will flee from the barrage of noise that will accompany her.

Where is she in her cycle? This is CD 4 for her.

Where am I in mine? Take a wild guess.

V-Day Worries?

Have plans for Valentine’s Day that didn’t include your period?

There’s no need to fear.

And, there’s no need to change Valentine’s Day plans that include a little V play!

Here’s a period wise option if you or your partner are a bit squeamish about red day play.

Use a SoftCup (Instead) of a tampon or pad!

 

No One Knew

A recent posting on Facebook by a young woman brought home the fact once again that girls are not only treated differently than boys, but their education is lacking in the basic skills needed to function independently.

Like – knowing to check fluid levels on the car.

This young woman, a senior in high school, posted: “I WANT MY CAR FIXED!!!!”

When asked what happened to her car, she posted:

Something with the transmission. No one knew that there was no transmission fluid and so on the way back from ***** the car just stopped changing gears. Luckily ***** and I were close to the house

No one knew.

Why did no one know? Because somewhere in her 12 years of public education someone dropped the ball.  And, in her 18 years no one thought it important to teach this girl about the upkeep of a machine that she would depend on to keep her safely mobile her entire life.

All too often the attitude is, “Girls don’t need to know such things. That’s what men are for.” Bah!  Where were the men in her life when the car broke down because no one knew there was no transmission fluid in it?  Where were the men in her life when she and her friend had to walk home?

NO! Raising girls to be and to become dependent on a man places them in a dangerous position – a potentially deadly one.

There are too few “princes” and far to many “princesses.”  Girls need to be empowered to become self-sufficient and not wait around hoping to become someone’s princess.

As a teen, I asked my dad if I could help him as he worked under the hood of his car.  His reply? “Babe, you won’t get a boyfriend with grease under your fingernails.”

I thought of the hands of the women I knew.  Never had I seen grease under their fingernails. In fact, they were always clean and neatly manicured.

“But, Daddy,” I replied, “I can always wear nail polish to hide the grease. And, what if I don’t get married? Don’t I need to know how to do things myself?”

Bless my Dad – he stopped what he was doing, wiped his greasy hands on a rag and walked me through basic car maintenance, showing me how to check things and how to change things. By the time he finished, my hands were greasy up to my elbows.

We’re letting our girls down. We are.  I’m not talking to men.  I’m talking to women.  WE are letting our girls down because WE aren’t teaching them.  Perhaps it’s because WE don’t know ourselves.  Or, maybe it’s because we think the men in their lives will teach them

Listen, Sister – what if the men in her life DON’T KNOW and don’t think to teach her. She’s not going to know to ask.

Give your girl the gift of life – give her the gift of independence.  Teach her what she needs to know to move easily through the world she inhabits so she can own it when she is on her own.

And, teach her one more thing while you’re at it – teach her to be responsible.

“No one knew” should not be an acceptable excuse.  She should know – and if you can’t teach her, find someone who can.

Know Thyself

I am blown away of the number of women unfamiliar with their bodies and who have never been “hands on” apart from the minimal touch required to keep it clean.

Tell me, Ladies, how many males do you know who are NOT hands on with their genitalia? From infancy on up until the day they die, males are hands on.  And, it’s accepted as the norm.

So, what’s up with us?  Why are we any different?  Is it just because ours doesn’t hang out in front and wiggle?  Or, because we don’t need to wrangle it when urinating to keep from spraying the wall…floor….? Does that give us a reason not to know and understand and handle what we have?

Or, is it more?

Is it that most of us are born with a hymen and social taboos prohibit us from doing anything that would harm that precious piece of skin lest we be considered to be of less value simply because our hymen is torn, stretched, or missing?

Is it because of misinformation that says that girls who handle themselves and are aware down there will become promiscuous?  (Did you know that’s the very reason some moms give for not wanting their girls to use tampons?)

When’s the last time you were hands on, genitally speaking?  When’s the last time you encouraged your girl to be hands on?

Look, Ladies, much of what we have is internal and what is visible, isn’t to us unless we take a mirror and explore the wonderful world down-under.

It’s time we do so – explore that is.  It’s your body, I don’t care how young or how old you are.  You’re responsible for her.  Know her – every millimeter of her. Know what she feels like.  Learn how she responds.  Decide what she likes. Understand what she dislikes and know why.

Be hands on.

There are two rules to hands on exploration.  Be gentle. Have clean hands.

Here’s a little homework for you when you’re not on, period wise.

  • Get a mirror and find your urethra. (Simply put – that’s where your pee comes out.)
  • Slip your finger into your vagina and feel for your bladder.  (This is best done when your bladder is full.)
  • After you locate your bladder (and even if you don’t), feel for your rectum and lower bowel.  (You might find that the meal you ate two days ago has neared the end of its journey and is approaching the exit of your digestive system as a lumpy, bumpy mass.)
  • While your finger is within your vagina, Kegel (tighten the muscles used to prevent or regulate urine flow) and see how tight you can squeeze.
  • While you have the mirror handy, see if you can find your hymen, or the remnants of it.
  • And, check out your inner labia.  Do they match? Do you notice any spots, freckles…warts?
  • Oh!  And, while you are down there, if you’ve given birth and had an episiotomy, see if you can find your scar!

There’s so much more to learn and do – it’s your body. Get to know her.  Understand her.  Appreciate her  Love her.  She’s dependent on you to take good care of her. How can you if you don’t know who she is?

Want some links?  Look below. Be advised. (Some contain simple drawings while others, actual pictures.) Be body wise. Be period wise.

Vaginal Self-Examination

Vagina – what’s normal and what’s not

What does a “normal” woman look like down there?

Female Anatomy – your ultimate guide

Vulva

Female External genitalia: Vulva

Dancing with Dad

She was in the wedding.  Her favorite (and only) uncle was getting married and she was a junior bridesmaid.

Almost 7, she was, and full of life and eager to live it.

She was getting a new aunt.  There was going to be a party afterward.

Her excitement was contagious. Her antics were comical. Her desire to be a part of things, precious. Her older sister (by 2 years) was also a junior bridesmaid and took things a bit more seriously and with less zest.

As she took her place among the bridesmaids, she looked to them for affirmation and correction.  A nod of their heads was all she needed to feel secure in her place but soon forgot she was not the center of attention.

After all, she was the center of her own world and surely that of her uncle. Her joy could not be contained and as an expression of what she felt inside, her body took on the stance of a ballerina. The gentle touch of the nearest bridesmaid’s hand prevented the intended pirouette.

To dance…that’s all she wanted.  Everything in her desired to act out what her heart felt.

Later, at the reception she would have opportunity to release her emotions and express her joy.  And, she did.  For three hours, she jumped and danced and wiggled and squealed.  Her partners ranged from her sister, to a group of teens, to the bride, and then to a bottle of bubbles….

The last dance was a slow dance.

Her dad offered his hand and she took it.  He lifted her from the stage from which she had danced solo, and after a quick peck on the cheek, placed her feet on the dance floor. He bent over, took her hand and led her in a slow dance around the floor. As the song reached midway, she raised her hands to him and he lifted her, cradling her against his chest.  She wrapped her legs around his torso, her arms around his neck, and placed her head on his shoulder.  Dad wrapped his arms around her and danced with her until the music was nearing its end.  He set her on the floor, spun her once and then dipped her gently and as he brought her up, kissed her forehead.

Dancing with Daddy taught her much.  Far more than she realized.  Daddy will influence her thoughts and views on boys and men for years to come.  And, she will expect them to mirror her dad’s treatment of her.

Good for her.

And, good for Dad.

Things will soon get interesting for this Dad of Daughters. I hope he will be up for whatever comes and the girls under his watchful care thrive and embrace the changes with grace and ease, knowing their dad loves them, accepts them, and is comfortable with all the changes that puberty brings.

Dads who are period wise raise daughters who are confident, secure, comfortable, and capable of fully embracing the changes that come as they move from girlhood into womanhood.

Scales Don’t Lie

As Summer slipped into Autumn, I noticed the number on the scale begin an upward creep.

A half pound is not much.

Weight vacillates.  Too much salt, weight goes up. Dehydrated, weight goes down. I’m accustomed to watching the scale relate my fluid level on a daily basis.

Cycle changes can instantly add an additional 10 pounds and then subtract it.

So, when my weight showed an inclination to rise, hold steady, and then rise again, I took immediate action.

I blamed it on hormones.  Then, I upped my caloric intake and reduced my activity.  I craved sugar, so, since the season of all things sweet was nearing, i began to celebrate with candy.

October, November, and December were sweet months…filled with tempting confections that I didn’t resist.

While active in the Summer, I was able to eat anything I wanted and still lose weight.  But, with the coming of the cooler, slower, less active months, my metabolism slowed.  I lost muscle mass and gained lazy fat.

And, here I am on the back side of New Year’s wondering what happened and how – and what to do about it.

Stop blaming hormones. Cut calories, kick sugar to the curb, eat natural, push myself physically….yes, I know what to do and I know how to do it.

It’s a matter of doing it.

Spring? Where are you?  Yet three months away…by the time of its arrival I will have packed on 10 more pounds.

Losing 10 pounds creates enough angst.  The thought of losing 20, well…let’s not go there.

Truly.  Let’s not.

So, no matter the weather – no matter the temp, I’m lacing up my shoes and heading out to build lean muscle and burn off this jiggle.

What took me 3 months to pack on will take me 6 to take off.

Memo to self:

Get period wise, woman! Work your cycle – don’t let it work you!  

Nuff said.  I’m up from here.

2015 – Let’s Shake It Up

A new year prompts reflection, regrets, and resolutions.

I could have….

If only I had….

I’m going to….

On this first day of the new year, let’s shake it up.

Each month of 2015, do something different, period wise.

Think –

  1. Every time my period starts I
  2. The menstrual products I always rely on are
  3. My attitude about my period is
  4. I share the fact that I’m menstrual with
  5. The clothes I wear during my period are
  6. Fears and concerns I have
  7. My period panties resemble
  8. When on my period, I have never
  9. It’s always the same when on my period, I
  10. The last time I tried a new product was
  11. Openness about my menstrual experience with girls within my influence is something I
  12. My favorite cycle day is ____ because

As you glanced through the 12 thoughts above, images, feelings probably flashed through your mind. I know they did mine.

Let these drive you to shake it up period wise in 2015!

Farewell 2014

2014 will soon be little more than a bundle of memories captured in words and pictures, thoughts and things.

2015 will provide new opportunities to narrow focus and lean hard into what’s important.

What’s important?

Why, all things period wise, of course!

Take a moment and think back over your year, period wise.

  • What changes should you make going forward into 2015?
  • How would you like your experience to be different?
  • Who, within your influence, could benefit from your insight?

Ready or not, here it comes!  Five, four, three, two, one…Happy New Year!

Myth? Mystery? Meaningful? What are You Teaching the Girls in Your Life?

A recent tweet invoked my ire.

@ProvedByScience: If a girl wears regular underwear with yoga pants, she’s a virgin. This is science.

 

 

 

 

 

My reply was simple.

@PeriodWise @ProvedByScience define “girl”

144 characters limited what I could say and there was NO WAY I could say all I wanted to in one tweet. So, I began small and hoped to engage in conversation.

This morning when I searched for the original @ProvedByScience tweet I found only my reply and one RT to which was added “Guess I’m a virgin then lol”

LOL?  Seriously?

Are we so accustomed to this type thing that we find it funny? Or, feel we should laugh it off and go along with the joke. If so, then the joke’s on us.

It’s not funny.  It’s demeaning.  It makes girls nothing but an object to be labeled, manipulated, and used (need I say abused?).

And girls who grow up labeled, manipulated and used / abused become woman who accept such treatment and propagate it, often without even realizing it.

Girls are easily impressed by things heard & seen.  And, girls are often eager to be what they think is expected of them.

Take a look at the verbal cues your girls receive on a daily, moment by moment basis (in school, church, at home, from friends, the TV, in songs, from guys). If you’re not alarmed, you should be.

From an early age, girls are told what their place in society is. And, they are told what’s expected of them, how they should think about themselves, how they should dress, act…who they should be.

Myths, lies, misinformation – these and more create a mystery-laden-quagmire for girls that leads them to misunderstand themselves and their place and position in the world.

Confused and misinformed girls become – that’s right – confused and misinformed women.

Women, it’s time to arise, name and claim who we are, what we are, and stand against anything that defames, degrades, or denigrates girls / women.

Girls / women…the term seems interchangeable, doesn’t it?  But, it’s not.  Girls are not yet women.  And, women are no longer girls.  We women need to protect girls from those who would teach them to be other than and less than they are and can be.

Stand up for the girls within your reach and realm of influence.

Be a voice that dispels myths, decodes mysteries, and opens the door to honest/open discussion.

Small Business is Big – Where to Buy

The Black Friday ad appeared on my desk mysteriously in my absence yesterday.  Black Friday sales do not move me. 

The thought of spurning stores that force their employees to work on Thanksgiving and taking my business to stores that honor the same values I do is growing on me.

I shouldn’t allow someone who doesn’t know me or care about me to tell me what I want, need, can’t live without.  Why would I even want to spend MY money in THEIR store?

Let’s get period wise for a moment.  Menstruation is personal – each cycle is unique.  Who do you trust your menstrual needs to and why?  Do they truly care about YOU?  Hey! What’s in their product? How safe is it (long and short term)?  Are they willing to work with you to tailor the product, or your use of it, to your individual menstrual needs and experience?

Small businesses, privately owned and personally operated, offer an amazing variety of menstrual products that can often be tailored to your particular menstrual needs.  Their customer service is terrific – why? Because they care, really care.

Instead of listing the names and contact information of small businesses devoted to providing quality menstrual products, I encourage you to share your business, or one you frequent in the comment section below.  Be sure to share contact information and what menstrual product(s) you specialize in.

Happy Thanksgiving, All!