How is it that you and I don’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone?
And, why is it we have difficulties seeing the whole of a thing while we are in the midst of it?
I have been on the outside of menstruation looking in for a while now. No longer caught up in my own flow, I am free to observe others and to engage others about their flow.
But, in the past few months, I’ve found myself NOT taking opportunities to do so. In fact, I found myself distancing myself from menstruation.
Before I knew it, I was on a menstruation vacation.
Unsure what was going on and why, I assumed at first, that I had backed away because I was still grieving my own loss of flow and, perhaps, in some way found it “painful” to talk of periods or participate in some way in the menstrual experience of another.
But, no…that wasn’t it.
Then, I wondered if I had pulled away from things period wise because I was questioning myself and my direction. Why am I’m doing what I’m doing, what’s the purpose of it all, and am I making a difference are all valid questions.
But, no…that wasn’t quite it either.
And, then, I knew.
I was simply enjoying a break from menstruation just like many other women do from time to time. Without my own flow to distract me, I was free to focus on things other than menstruation and all the crampy things it can bring to mind and to body.
Yeah…I did say “crampy things.”
I had developed a “so what?” attitude about all the good things menstruation brings to bear in a woman’s life and assured myself that there were many online who could/would step in and step up in my absence. A menstrual vacation called to me and I answered…gladly.
I felt I needed a break – maybe even deserved one.
The only menstrual breaks (physically and mentally) that I had ever taken since beginning to menstruate at age 15 were during the 24 months I was pregnant – and that had been many years ago. (Three pregnancies, not one!) Even after my hysterectomy, I immediately began tracking my cycles again and was very active in the menstrual experiences of others as a menstrual advocate and activist.
But…without my own flow to guide me and with my cycles at times erratic, I found it difficult to keep my direction true. I faltered, grew weary, and pulled back from that which I had embraced wholeheartedly, and desired above all else.
- to encourage and support others in their menstrual experiences
- be an advocate for change and the end of menstrual taboos
- to be a resource
- to provide not only information, but connection as well
I can look back on the past months and realize it was time for a vacation. Mentally and physically I needed one. And, so without receiving my permission, body and mind took one from menstruation.
Oh, I tweeted a little. And, I blogged off and on. But, my mind and heart were not on things period wise. And, I’ll admit that at times I did sit looking at a blank page here in my blog editor and wondered what Period Wise was all about and why – and if it was making a difference – and why I seemed to have nothing to say, period wise.
We all need a break from time to time. My break came of necessity. Change within and without forced me to take a step back and reevaluate things period wise.
And, not only reevaluate things period wise, but reevaluate myself and where I wish to go from this point forward.
During my vacation from menstruation, I found myself continually confronted with things…period wise.
- A friend had menstrual issues and needed to share with someone.
- Another had a hysterectomy which prompted many questions about things she was experiencing and concerns she had.
- My daughter freely shared of her own experiences – so freely that for the first time ever she removed her panty with pad attached and left it lying on the bathroom floor in clear view of all…panty blood stains, her unique sleep blood/flow pattern on her Infinity Overnight pad….
- Daily, I received emails from people I didn’t know, who requested information and advice (period wise) and I found myself answering them…all of them.
- Every time I went somewhere I detected menstruation (smell, sight, sound) and women at various points in their cycle.
- Women I knew well and saw often? I automatically tracked them cycle wise and watched for signs period wise.
Just because I had taken a menstruation vacation didn’t mean others could or did, or that their needs and concerns stopped period wise. And…as I found out, concerns, habits and desires of my own don’t stop when vacation starts.
When I was pregnant those 24 months and took a vacation from menstruation, I can’t say that I never thought about periods or wondered when my next would start and what it would be like. I did. Though I did not cycle during those pregnant months, my mind looked ahead to when I would.
This menstruation vacation has been similar – with each hormonal change my body and mind have gone through in the past few months, I’ve felt drawn to think of menstruation. Each time I’ve walked into a store, I’ve felt drawn to walk by the feminine hygiene aisle. With each login on my computer, I’ve felt drawn to check my email for things period wise. Each time I’ve seen someone I would tag as possibly cycling, I wondered…where is she in her cycle, and is she menstruating, and if so, is all well with her…is she happy and satisfied with her experience?
The thoughts I shared Friday appear to indicate that it’s nearing time for my menstruation vacation to end. And, now, with this entry following so closely on the heels of the other…yes…
…it’s time for me to get back into the flow of things.
Perhaps it’s time for Period Wise to see a change in flow that reflects where I am in my own cycle of life…more relaxed, more open, more focused, more sure of “what next” and more ready than ever to take on life…period wise.
Will you join me?
I’d love to hear your period wise thoughts and questions period wise. Feel free to email me or post comments here, on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. I look forward to hearing from you about all things period wise!