Tonight I Ran Instead of Writing

Well, at least when I was done I had a big breakthrough on the rewrite of my novel, so I’m excited about that. The thing about running (or exercise in general) is that it’s necessary for inspiration and brain function, and yet tonight it used up my writing time. How does one find time to run *and* write?

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Let’s Talk About Anxiety and Ovulation

It’s been about a week since I posted in my “28 Days to Simplify Your Life a la Pinterest” series. I even had some of the posts pre-written and ready to publish! What happened was that last week on Tuesday, I was sick with some weird 12-hour bug. Pukey stomach, bad headache, and generally not feeling well. I felt better the next day but then on Thursday, I was struck down with crippling anxiety and near-panic attacks. It was terrible. I’m pretty sure this happens to me once a month, but it doesn’t happen every single month, and I haven’t been keeping track lately. Generally what it looks like is that I spend the day crying, as in the tears just roll out of my eyes and I can’t actually stop them. Sometimes that escalates into a panic attack, if I’m triggered by something (what might trigger me changes, but a sure bet seems to be something overwhelming, like scheduling problems). It sucks no matter what (obviously?), but it’s especially awkward when it’s my one day of the week to go in to the office and the thought of skipping work for the day just makes the anxiety worse. So then I stay at work but try to hide my emotional state all day, which I’m sure doesn’t really work.

The next day, magically, I’m always fine. A little emotionally hungover, but otherwise totally fine. It usually takes at least a couple of days to recover though, in that I have to rearrange my To Do list and get caught up on all the things I let slide that day.

Which is why I haven’t posted in a few days. Between the weird illness and the terrible emotional day, it’s taken me a few days to get back on track, and home and work life took precedent over the blog.

However, the incredibly anxious day on Thursday brought something interesting to my attention. Well really it was what happened on Friday morning that brought it to my attention: I had ovulation symptoms (the state of my cervical mucous, to be specific, though I don’t generally love using those words on my blog). I usually suspect my extreme emotions, when not tied to an obvious life event, are tied to my cycle. And I know this would not be the first time I’ve had a severe low that coincided with the egg dropping.

I’ll be tracking my cycle and moods for the next few weeks to confirm, but for now it seems like a strong theory.

Of course I Googled “ovulation anxiety” – and guess what? A ton of forum posts came up with women reporting a similar pattern. There was also a scholarly article entitled “The Complex Interrelationships of Menstrual Cyclicity and Anxiety Disorders” which is really interesting, and on which I would love to see some follow-up.

I find it shocking, and yet not, that this seems to be a relatively common thing and yet it’s virtually unheard of. Have you ever experienced severe anxiety or panic attacks that coincide with your ovulation? Have you seen your doctor about it? Did they offer you any advice or solutions?

I’ll be mentioning this to my doctor in January after I tracked things for a bit. I don’t have a lot of hope for Western medical solutions, but I’ll see him about it. I’m looking at a whole host of possible options, from diet, to herbs, to medication, to acupuncture. I’m also open to other ideas. One day a month isn’t too bad as far as a panic disorder goes (note: I have not been diagnosed with a panic disorder. I’m referring to what my symptoms seem to resemble.), but given how screwed up that one day is, it would be great to figure this out!

And now back to our regularly-scheduled blogging.

Mid-Month Dressember Slump

Ouch, pretty bad couple of days. Yesterday was really tough, as we had to bus to childcare and then I had to get from there to work, and then another bus adventure at the end of the day. At least that was the plan. I really wanted to wear a dress but, very long story with a lot of calculations short, I decided the easiest way to make the schedule work in the morning would be for me to run from where I was dropping Neko off, to my store. So…. I needed to wear something that I could run in, without any extra pieces to carry, warm enough for below freezing temperatures and layers so I could take off the inner, sweaty layers when I got to work and not stink all day.

I came up with tights, covered by tights, covered by yoga pants, with wool socks, a tank top with a built-in bra, a long-sleeved tee-shirt, and a light dress. And a light running jacket. Needless to say, I looked… interesting.

Dress: Joe // Shirt: Calvin Klein (Winners) // Pants: Karma // Shoes: Saucony

Yep, that’s right, there’s my entry for Running Dress.

It gets worse. I’ve been so tired this week, I haven’t put any effort into the outfits. I apologize to all you proper Dressemberists out there. I hope it’s just a mid-month slump, and that today I’ll be back on my game.

Dress: No label, Value Village // Shirt: Suzy Shier // Jeans: Lucky

Dressember Day #11

Visited a heritage breed show today. Neko and I loved the petting zoo and spent a lot of time cuddling ducks, hens, kids and bunnies. A little Polish hen made friends and snuggled me for about 20 minutes.

Here is today’s ensemble (comfy and warm for traveling), with a miniature donkey.

Dress: 725 (clothing swap) // Sweater: clothing swap (no label) // Tights: left at my house after a Rubik’s Cube party (yes, really) // Shoes: El Naturalista

Dressember Day #7: Whirling Wednesday

Today I wore another one of a few work-safe dresses I had to pinpoint for the month. Some of my dresses either aren’t dressy enough, aren’t conducive to demonstrating baby carriers, or are just plain too short or too low cut, so I had to choose my work-day dresses first.

This, incidentally, is one of my favourites.

Dress: Bellissima Petite // Shoes: Mantles // Both via clothing swaps

The nice people of the Dressember Facebook page tell me that today is Whirling Wednesday, so that explains the above photo. And yes, I do always make that face when I whirl.

Dressember Day #6: A Woolen Tragedy

Today I wore one of my favourite dresses; a cute taupe wool piece that I bought myself at Portabello Arts Market for my 28th birthday. It’s by a Vancouver designer, Cici, and is great for work in the winter.

Well, you may remember from my first post regarding Dressember that I store my dresses hanging from a pipe in the basement. As it turns out (and I had never really noticed this before), the duct that runs adjacent to the pipe is a heat duct, and it gets quite hot. Apparently, my lovely little wool dress was up against this duct for a period of time. The result?

Yep, major heat damage. I’m going to attempt to dye the whole thing, but that’s not happening this month, so I wore it today anyway and recycled yesterday’s emerald shrug. I was cooking at work! Oops, I mean, I don’t work in a kitchen – I was really warm. And, consequently, dopey.

Dress: Cici (Vancouver) // Shrug: Gilmore // Tights: Army and Navy. I don’t recommend buying your tights at Army and Navy; these are crap. // Boots: a reappearance of the Paris cheapies

Dressember Day #5

Dress: Vintage handmade // Shrug: Gilmour (clothing swap) // Shoes: American Eagle (thrifted) // Brooch: origin unknown but the missing stones add character

Not much to post today other than the dress. Neko came to work with me for a couple hours; we went tobogganing, talked about base-ten numbers and trans-gendered folk, and read some stories. This blog will turn more unschooly soon, I promise!

Dressember Day #4: The Ugly Dress

I’ve had this dress for years. It’s actually my favourite. It’s also incredibly odd and people either a) make fun of me or b) refuse to be seen in public with me when I wear it.

First of all, it’s grey and a very fine corduroy. It had a dropped waist with pleats. It ties in the back. It’s knee length. It has about 30 tiny buttons up the front, an odd collar, and puffy, elbow length, cuffed sleeves.

So, I wore it to volunteer at a homeless shelter. Because I knew the people there would be nice to me and not judge me and guess what? They were. Five different people complimented me. It was lovely.

Dressember Day #3: 3 Parties in 1 Day

What a way to kick off the month of December: three parties in one day! Justan’s union had a kids’ Christmas party, then Neko had a birthday party to go to, then we had my friend Ulrike’s annual potluck Christmas party. Luckily, the timing worked out so we could make it to all three.

Here is what I chose:

Dress: Chado (yeah… ridiculously short) via a clothing swap // Sweater: American Eagle via a clothing swap // Tights: Two pairs, Joe Fresh

There’s Neko with me, in her “Christmas dress.” She got it as a hand-me-down and has been dying to wear it – it’s supposed to be her dress for Christmas day, but given that we have three parties today, we figured she could wear it today, also.

There was a snowstorm tonight, and I have my long wool underwear in tow in case I break down on the side of the road (safety!).

On a short unschooling note, the theme of the day seemed to be motor skills – gross and fine. Party #1 was at a play centre with arcade and carnival type games, things like skee ball, whack-a-mole, that sort of thing, so Neko got lots of practice with motor skills there. Then bowling at the birthday party. Then, at the second Christmas party, we played a German board game (old favourite!) called Spitz Pass Auf, where most of the players hold coloured pieces on strings, then the main person rolls a dice with colours on it, and if one of two colours is rolled, the roller brings a cup down on the pieces, while everyone else tries to pull their pieces out first. It’s tense and fast-paced. Neko played as a puller and did really well.

As an embarrassing addition…

This is the most ridiculous photo ever. Neko LOVES Ulrike’s westie, Snoopy, obviously. And how drunk do I look? Ouch.