Monday, October 5, 2009

Estrogen (written on June 19, 2009)

Molly and I woke up at 1:30 this morning. I think we were both hot. She drank her dish dry. I refilled it in the darkness, and she drank and drank and drank some more. Even though Molly’s an old dog, the culprit for her was her fur. I was hot because I miss my estrogen. I never appreciated estrogen when I was young while it coursed through my veins and every cell. I believe I had an abundance: It started and stopped periods like a well maintained clock every month for decades. The thought of missing estrogen then seemed ludicrous. I associated it with the curse.

Since menopause I’ve done some research into estrogen and have made some interesting discoveries. There’s a lot more to estrogen than PMS and the cramps. It keeps skin tight and supple, creates the curves, and makes one look up from her book when her husband saunters by. It also does a bunch of other stuff for the heart and bones, among other things. But, I didn’t know back then.

I was thinking this morning that estrogen is like some people I know. They’re estrogen people because it’s just so easy to only focus on the thing about them that bugs me. That makes it really hard to recognize their good qualities. Years ago, I worked for a principal who once told me, “Debbie, you have to love the whole person, not just the parts you like.” I’ve always considered that one of the great truths bestowed to me. From that point, I regarded people differently. It’s a maxim I’ve tried to put into practice; but, I must admit, it’s often a matter of discipline, rather than desire.

Is there an estrogen person in your world today? You might have to study her more to find the good things about her—or him. But they’re there—things you haven’t yet discovered. Look deeper. Search harder—and remember the good when you think of her.

This morning, I finally just got up about 3:30 and wrote a grammar review sheet to email my honors students working on summer reading. I would rather have been sleeping. I can remember getting up and tending to a baby or child like I was sleepwalking, falling back into bed without disturbing one sleep pattern sequence. But that was years ago—back in the days when I had my estrogen.

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