I think this is normal for the last weeks of pregnancy, but I have never heard it associated with menopause...then again, I haven't read much of anything about menopause, because I'm "not that into it," as the saying goes. But I'm in the midst of it, so I wonder.
Anyway, it started with the stock market going south. I thought, I may want to earn some money, one of these days. But I don't want to get a job outside of my home, so I started thinking about ways to contribute to our income...and the idea of "saving" came to mind. I'm not a great big saver, but once I have money, I like to save it, because I feel that it's easier to save it than it is to set it aside in the first place. From there, it was but a small step to the idea: spend less. Hmm, where would I begin?
Around this same time, SissyBen over at Veritably Bare mentioned FlyLady on her blog. I had no idea what she was talking about, but being the curious sort, I found the website: http://www.flylady.net/, and BANG! The bells and whistles were going off in my head. I can save money by cleaning my own house. Then the fear factor began: this place is too big; I won't be able to keep it up; I am not that organized; I don't know what to clean first; I don't like cleaning. Well, none of those things is true, and the free, online coaching at FlyLady.net is helping me to stay on track. So I am cleaning our house myself, going through years of paper clutter and shredding it, re-organizing our filing, and saving money in the process. And it's kind of fun...I feel a real sense of happiness in the quality of my work, and pleasure in providing a pleasant, warm, inviting home environment to my family.
I have also started cooking more, perusing recipes, making a grocery list based upon those recipes, shopping for less-expensive food and using our crock pot. I have started baking again, even though I have a voracious sweet tooth, and don't like to have many fresh-baked sweets around the house, because of it. However, my guys like good cookies and such, and that makes it worth enduring the temptation. I just wish that Katie was here to enjoy the benefits of my renewed focus on the home.
I'm also helping in the yard. I pruned our hydrangeas and rugosa roses, and enjoyed the exercise; I've done some weeding. I'd rather get fit doing work that needs to be done around here, than pay to exercise indoors in a gym, breathing the sweat of a bunch of strangers.
You may wonder why this is such a big deal to me; I will write about that another time. For now, suffice it to say that I do not come from a very "domestic" family. The women in my family had "help:" some had daily help, some bi-weekly, some had LIVE-IN help. Some never drove a car, cooked, cleaned, shopped for groceries, diapered their own babies, washed their own hair, or manicured their own fingernails. Those of us who did work outside of the home felt that having cleaning help was "necessary," and worth the investment (including me). I just never stopped having that help, once I quit working outside of the home; I got used to it. Yet I have always admired the domestic arts of sewing, baking, making a beautiful home and nurturing a family. I am so happy to have the freedom to learn and to grow in these arts now. Even cleaning is surprisingly rewarding.
I miss taking care of Katie. Her need for help in the last year of her life took precedence over my activities of being a (somewhat pampered) housewife and community volunteer. I quit everything else in order to be with Katie and take care of her, and while it wasn't easy, it was the most rewarding and deeply satisfying work I have ever done in my life. Now that her need for my help is finished, I want to keep using those skills and qualities. The next natural step is to use them here, while I write my way through these days, so I am nesting.