amongst books

amongst books

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Ottawa, Sunday, May 10, 2020 Breathing and Bleeding, Priorities, Kindreds


On Friday Charles and I went to the grocery store together. He said he would be my mask buddy, which is a great thing, and one of the reasons why I love him.

Since we both wear glasses, this is one of the challenges of the masks. I had experimented with wearing the mask high on my face while inside and it seemed to work fine.

In the elevator my breathing increased as the panic set in. I worked hard to slow it down, but it didn’t really do so. My heart was racing. We made it outside. It wasn’t long before our glasses started to fog up. The masks had slipped down a bit. I’ll try the soaping up the glasses trick the next time we go out to the grocery store, or we’ll sew in a bendable strip to each mask, which will stop the air from travelling up to the glasses.

It was cold on Friday but I already found the mask made me feel hot. As a woman in my 50s whose temperature is already hot thanks to hormonal changes, I do not do well with added heat. The mask I have is very light and was made by a friend.

In the store, I noticed that many of those without masks did not attempt to stay away from us and give us the necessary amount of distance. Some people even gawked at us. I felt as if we were doing something wrong. We managed to do our whole shop with the masks on.

Once we were outside, I couldn’t keep mine on any longer. I didn’t let my hands go anywhere near my face. I removed it from the loops on the ears behind my head and I refrained from touching my mouth until after I’d washed my hands at home. I have to say, it felt so good to breathe freely without obstruction. I took great big gulps of air.

We put our masks in the wash and have another pair of masks for our trip to the grocery store next Friday. I will keep trying to wear the mask and to make the necessary adjustments. It was difficult, but I do understand the importance of protecting others and I will work on overcoming my claustrophobia so that I can wear the mask. It is only a matter of time before all public spaces will require masks, I believe.

How are you feeling about this opening up of the economy already? I’m sad and annoyed by it. I don’t believe we are ready to do so. I am trying not to panic. But I think this is foolhardy.

In other news: after not having a period since last October, I had the pleasure (sarcastic) of seeing it return on Thursday. The last time this happened, I had a two-week long blood bath. This is not unusual in perimenopause. Despite the myths, many women stay in perimenopause for years and continue to have irregular periods. And after menopause many of the associated symptoms—breast tenderness, heightened emotions, fatigue, etc continue. I found myself in free-floating anxiety mode early Friday morning at about 3am, which is when I typically get anxious. I couldn’t remember my gynecologist’s name. (I looked her up later. )I imagined having such severe bleeding that I would need to go to the hospital. I would have to go alone because they aren’t allowing anyone but the patient at this time. And on it spins. The heightened anxiety is the most serious aspect of the hormonal changes I am experiencing.

I had a polyp removed in July. Before that I was having spotting. I haven’t had the spotting since. I will contact my gynecologist at some point if I keep having these periods, but right now isn’t the time. I am quite tired and slept a lot this weekend so far.

Weekends with Charles are always pleasurable and peaceful. He made us delicious breakfasts. I find comfort in breakfast. I love eggs. And we made paninis for lunch. And we made meals from our meal kit for dinner. I love cooking with Charles. We have fun. It’s our main social activity these days.

I responded to e-mails. I’m enjoying long correspondence conversations with a few friends via e-mail these days and it’s lovely. I will spend half an hour crafting an e-mail to someone. I will even edit it. And I’m learning so much about people through these e-mails.

I’m figuring out what matters to me, changing some of my priorities established before the pandemic. I want to be close to those dear to me, and I don’t want to spend time doing things out of obligation or expectation. I want to run Bywords.ca and AngelHousePress to provide meaningful and playful sources of engagement and to promote and support the work of those who create such. I want to continue to work on my own writing to do the above as well. To live a peaceful and fulfilling life with Charles. To indulge my libido and that of others when there’s a good and satisfying way to do so.

I am planning a more solitary life in future, less socializing in groups, which I really have never enjoyed much, more one-on-one time with those dear to me and those I haven’t met yet, but who I find out are kindreds.

What about you? Are you thinking about ways in which your life and priorities may need to change? I’d love to hear.

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