A friend’s question, “Where are you in your cycle?” was met, by me, with a blank stare and repeated blinks.
And, then I said, “I don’t know. Either I just ovulated or my period started…not sure which.
I brought both hands to my breasts and squeezed gently, then said, “must be my period…boobs aren’t sore at all, and my weight’s down.”
For someone (like me) who has put a lot of attention toward knowing my exact cycle day…when to expect ovulation and when menstruation will begin…this not knowing can be bothersome. And, frustrating.
Before my hysterectomy I knew where I was, where I was going, and how soon I would arrive.
After my hysterectomy, it took some doing, but I was able to chart my hormonal changes and know where I was in my cycle even without menstruation and cervical changes/discharge. This knowledge brought comfort to me and a sense of normalcy.
Enter peri-menopauseal changes. Skipped periods. Delayed ovulation. Non-ovulatory cycles. Hormonal imbalance. Hot flashes. Vaginal dryness. Without my uterus and cervix, I felt lost. I didn’t know where I was in my cycle…if I was cycling at all.
I soon came to see that I was cycling, just not my usual 28 to 30 day cycle as before. Some cycles were short (some very short) and others longer. By being aware of weight change, bloating, breast and vaginal changes, libido, appetite, I began to see a pattern and know (sometimes several days after the fact) when my period started or when I had ovulated. If I knew that I had ovulated, I could count forward about 14 days and expect my period to start.
I’ll admit, I felt really lost at first. Knowing my cycle day and the strengths that came with each CD was a big part of my identity. With the hormonal changes I was experiencing, I did not have that knowledge to lean on each morning when I rose, or each evening as I planned out my next day’s activities, or scheduled upcoming tasks to match my most productive days in my cycle.
But, you know what I learned? Each day has it’s own strengths and every day I am strong. Yes, knowing my CD helps me be my most productive, but not knowing helps me, too.
How? Well…I don’t have an excuse for putting off unpleasant tasks for a “better CD.” I assume any and every day is the right CD for that particular task, and I lean hard into making things happen. Oh, sure…sometimes I have days when I should have just stayed in bed because nothing I touch goes the way I wanted it to. And, sitting to write…I have no idea what days I’m going to be most productive.
So, I look at every day as an opportunity to be my most productive. Every day has become an opportunity to shine. I am strong in all ways every day now and not dependent upon my cycle day strengths.
Have you ever taken a good look at your cycle day strengths? One day soon I will share what I discovered about my own CD strengths. Perhaps it will help you while you still flow.
Peri-menopause has alerted me that menopause is just around the corner. My ovaries still function, just not as reliably as they once did. And, that’s okay. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
Change is good.
What CD is this for me?
This CD is today. I am post period and pre ovulation. It’s my favorite place to be since I stopped flowing. I can look back on hormonal changes that I just experienced and marvel at them. And, I can look forward to the changes ovulation brings, should I ovulate again.
And, if menopause calls a halt on all this peri-menopausal confusion, that’s okay. It will always be CD today for me. I live in the present – fully experiencing life as it comes, leaning hard into what is and looking forward to what’s next.
As you cycle, enjoy each and every CD change that comes your way and be sure to discover your own CD strengths. Lean hard into them and learn to love your cycle and what she offers you.
And, when peri-meno knocks at your door, just smile and welcome her in. She’s not the enemy. She just heralds change.
And, change is good. Whether it’s cycle day changes or change of life – it makes us stronger, more resilient, wiser.
It makes us period wise.