Yes I know Spain is hot, and yes I know it is summer… but really… so soon?
Is it me or is it hotter this year? A tad sweatier perhaps? Maybe my post-menopausal body is finding it harder to adapt and my ability to control my own temperature is abating (although why I expect to be able to control anything in 2020 is a joke).
I dutifully swim in the Olympic sized public pool three times a week emerging from the chlorinated water sanctified and self-congratulatory with aching muscles and a holier than thou strut from pool to shower (actually more of a stiff lope). Momentarily refreshed, and when I say momentarily I mean mere nanoseconds of refreshment, before the sweat returns.
My state of being since menopause jumped up and licked me all over my face with its liverish tongue has been characterized by dampness… and heat… heat that begins in the centre of the earth and emerges like a geyser from the top of my head emitting not only steam but rage and quick tears and the occasional foray into online shopping for Desigual bags and Lalique jewellery, none of which I can comfortably afford.
Due to financial constraints and the loss of my job, the online shopping has been relegated like an overpaid footballer to the nether regions of my life… a place full of bad choices and unfortunate clothing. However, the other symptoms of later womanhood stick around like an unwanted suitor (minus the flowers and bad sex) jumping out at me in moments of weakness. The unbound rage is a difficult one, especially when caused by nothing more than an odd-shaped egg or a not quite cold glass of Cava.
I have tried to be analytical about it to explore the reason behind the rage and the extreme reaction created (which due to my overriding politeness mostly consists of a range of facial contortions and hands clamped over my mouth) but then the “Who gives a flying…” symptom races in to save the day. Mostly the people around me tend not to notice (luckily or they would not be around me much longer) but then most post-menopausal women suffer from the least researched symptom, the sudden and dramatic invisibility that pops up and nestles in on your 50th birthday… so in fact, nobody notices anyway… job done.
At the height of my hot flushes, I would dash out of shops, my face a glowing beacon lighting up the surrounding area, muttering nonsensical phrases and trying bravely to mop up the sweat, along with my eyebrows, which I still find difficult to keep on my face. The search for waterproof makeup has reached the stage of alchemy worthy of the keenest Necromancer. My bathroom is like a Hogwarts potion lab and my face a shining Picasso with shades of Dali.
This heat serves to revive dormant symptoms. The menopause is like Pennywise the clown once destroyed, it continues to lurk inside the storm drain of the over 50 woman’s thickening but invisible body, like a middle-aged psychopath.
The self-portrait (see photo) frightened even me.