Sometimes It’s a Pain To Be Me by Nancy Brophy

I sang my high school fight song to someone the other day. Not only did I know all the words but I didn’t even have to think about it. And not that it mattered, but the person on the receiving end of my off-key lyrics, didn’t really want to hear them. But I continued for several verses because I was so thrilled I could recall something from that long ago.

Ask me what I had for breakfast. I have no idea. My memory operates like the staircases at Hogwarts. It shifts. You are probably thinking – this is old age welcome to it. But I don’t blame this on old age. This is from menopause.

Why is it that we have not developed a pill for the “Change of life”?

I used to be nice (well, nicer). Now I don’t care. I used to be able to sneeze and not pee at the same time. I used to be able to have an alcoholic drink without flushing. Now I get so red, Santa wants me to fly his sleigh (apparently he doesn’t know about the designated driver rule).

Several years ago my husband and I watched a program on perimenopausal symptoms. I turned to my husband and said. “I’ve got all those symptoms, but mood swings.”

As carefully as I have ever heard my husband speak, he asked. “Why do you think you don’t have mood swings?”

BECAUSE I DON’T. DAMMIT.

Now here is the awful thing for anybody reading this who is young and thinking. “OMG. How old is she?”

I don’t remember. Well, I do, but I don’t feel that age. I feel the same as when I was young. Not twenty – but thirty-five, sure. Forty. Somewhere in there. And then I look in the mirror and scream, “Who is this stranger?”

And the thing is, I got here by closing my eyes one day and woke up old. Life goes by so quickly. Someone sped up the merry go-round. I want a do-over, but like everybody else that wants to go back in time I want to take all the knowledge I’ve acquired with me.

We write romance to alter our reality – to remember a glorious life-changing event. Not the loss of virginity or the excitement of an early crush, but the first time we truly fell in love.

I used to ask, “how does one know this is the real thing?” And judging by the number of divorces maybe more people need to ask that same question.

Love doesn’t guarantee fidelity nor does it promise a good marriage, but love makes us want to take the chance. Because without love all we are doing is observing life not living it.

While I might not be able to tell you what happened yesterday, I can perfectly recall the upheaval, uncertainty and excitement love caused in me and I try to the best of my ability to convey that in my stories.

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Posted on December 2, 2011, in Nancy Brophy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Agree 100%. Though I don’t have the “glow” (hot flashes). Having done the instant menopause thing at age 21, it’s long gone now. But the forgetfulness part? Yes, some of it can be hormonal. But for me, I think it is trying to do too much at once. When I have too many balls in the air I don’t concentrate on the daily life things (where are my keys? did I eat breakfast? did I take my vitamins? is today Monday or Saturday?) because I’m always looking ahead to the one million other things I need to get done.

    Always love your posts, Nance. Oh, and the age I always think I am when I wake up? 28! I have no clue why, because that means I’ve been 28 for thirty years. I keep thinking I’ll get older in my head but it hasn’t happened yet.

  2. You do a wonderful job Nancy. Your post is so true. When I’m not looking in the mirror, and if I’m caught off guard, I think I’m thirty-eight, maybe forty-two. I’ve been married forty years (I love saying that) next year, and I can’t believe how fast it’s gone. Not all the years easy, of course, but I wouldn’t trade a single day except…okay, I can’t think of anything without thinking really hard, so forget it. Mostly I remember how good it is now, and how much in love with the Mr. I am today. That’s why I write romance. I can’t imagine life without it :)

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