I have not written anything on this blog since May of last year. The last post touched on how one of my beloved cats recently died and I was learning how to make soap with the big idea of selling it because it would be so free of additives and amazing that people would be knocking down my door to buy it. Ok well, maybe not that, but I did want to sell it.
Problem with soap is, even when you get good at making it, it has a bit of a mind of its own, and if the oils you use are a little older, and you don’t know it when you make it, orange spots show up on it months later and ruin the whole batch. It didn’t take much to convince me that this was not going to be my lot in life…making soap for the masses.
I actually didn’t ever think I was going to quit my job making soap. I just really wanted to make available something that my blog readers might find useful and healthful. I am about to embark on another round using only olive oil. That would eliminate the wondering about which oil was old. When you make soap with four oils that you just bought, how do you know which one was sitting around on a shelf too long. Not all oils are dated. And we all know how much I love olive oil anyway…
So stayed tuned for the next soap event. 🙂
But now let’s get back to the not writing thing. Why haven’t I written? Well, I feel like I have less to say because once I reached conclusions and got myself under control I didn’t know what to write about anymore. But that’s not all of it.
There was a hurricane. Irma. I live in Miami and we were pretty beat up after Irma pushed through. I went through a rough time of it because I was still grieving the loss of my cat, and then the bayside park I ride my bike to on the weekends to meditate at was closed due to the destruction. I waited anxiously to get down there and even snuck in one day to see if the palm tree I visited and spoke to, yes I am that kind of tree hugging weirdo, survived, and was breathless with grief when I saw my old dear friend had vanished into the bay. So another loss to deal with along with getting electricity back and cell service and just driving through streets filled with piles of what used to be trees. We were out of school for almost two weeks so there was a lot of catching up to do there too.
In the midst of all this my best friend and fellow teacher of twenty years, a woman I carpooled with for the last ten of them, retired weeks after the storm. That was a lot to deal with emotionally.
Things were getting back to normal and I was feeling myself again when a beloved math teacher at my school was killed in a car accident January 2nd. We were still on winter break and the thought of going back to deal with the kids and yet another loss was a daunting one. But what are you going to do? Life has a way of handing you these things to deal with so you do.
It was February 14th and the Parkland shooting was the next event that really spun the world into a new and awful direction. My school is just an hour from Parkland and we had a little girl who knew a victim. But dealing with the emotional fall-out, the fear, the political rhetoric was a lot for everyone to navigate. We participated in the walk-outs, had seventeen minutes of heartbreaking silence, and had rallies where kids spoke from their hearts about their fears and their futures.
It was all a lot to handle.
Now don’t get me wrong. I know every single person has their own issues. Mine are not bigger or worse. They are just mine. But what these issues have done to my overall mental health is what I am going to be writing about in the next few weeks. But if you know me and have been a blog reader of mine, you know I’m not hear to tell you just what’s wrong. I’m going to tell you how I’ve gone about fixing it. And as a side note, let me just say, the fact that I’m sitting here writing this is proof that the changes I’ve made are starting to work already.
I thought I was just dealing with teacher burn-out for the last few years, but now I think it’s more complex than that. My burn-out coincided with my getting all the way through menopause, and although I feel really good on the whole, I can be unmotivated and feel stagnant often. I can be restless and fidgety and unfocused… all the things that prevent me from feeling as if I’m moving forward in life rather than standing still. And these are the things that keep me from the big important things like making art or keeping up with this blog, or the little things like vacuuming the darn floors.
It turns out there is a strong link between estrogen loss and the loss of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for motivation and happiness. I’ve started doing quite a bit of research on this and on neurotransmitters and want to write about it in the hope it will resonate with my readers and put some of you on a healthy path to feeling better because if you are anything like me, you might be feeling less than peppy!
I plan to discuss aromatherapy again, which I did previously, when it came to migraines, and I want to talk about exercise and why you should be doing it even if it makes you itch. I want to talk about fidgeting and focus and how to reign in some of the things we do, or don’t do, that keep us from getting a good night’s sleep.
In essence, I want to now start talking about the other things we can do besides eating right and focusing on lists of foods to improve our lives while adding the new connections I’ve learned about between menopause, histamine, and neurotransmitters.
Why, you ask, are you getting all up in my brain with this neuro stuff? Because listen to this…dopamine is in mast cells, so when your mast cells break open and spill histamine they also spill dopamine. Those damn mast cells are quite literally spilling your happiness all over the place! Interesting huh?
Stay tuned ladies!
Hey, don’t go away without commenting. Let me know if you want to know more or if you’ve missed me. I’ve sure missed you!