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The Moon and The Menses – aka The Lunar Link

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Moons - Perigee and Apogee

A post in honor of the moon by writer Patti Winker:

The full moon is upon us.  And, not just any full moon, a supermoon.

The word ‘supermoon’ refers to a full moon at perigee, the point in the lunar orbit when the moon is closest to the earth. It’s a pretty cool full moon as it appears to be much larger than a regular full moon.

But, aside from the awesome spectacle of a supermoon, why is this important and what does it have to do with the subject of our menses?  Plenty.

There is the linguistic connection between the moon and the menses, of course.  The words come from the Latin mensis (month), which derives from the Greek meis/mens/men/mene (moon).

So, this we know; month-moon-menses, all related at the root.

But, it goes further than that, at least for me.

First, I have to admit to being ‘moonstruck.’

I was born and raised watching the moon rise over the river. It held a fascination for me. A huge orange Harvest Moon or giant white Snow Moon have always been, and always will be, thrilling to me.

I think that’s why I was keenly aware of one little bit of information that many of my girlfriends glossed over when we learned about menstruation.

It was suggested (by the menstruation authorities who gave us Very Personally Yours and Growing Up And Liking It) that our cycle would typically be 28 days.  Interesting.

I made the connection.  The phases of the moon are about 28 days, too.

Coincidence?  Maybe.

But, just in case, I made sure my ‘discreet calendar’ included the phases of the moon.

For decades, as recommended by the authorities, I kept my little calendar and counted the days, making my ‘X’s along the way.  However, the whole 28 day thing never really panned out.  So, I thought, “What do they know.”

Then I moved from Wisconsin to Florida.

As I merrily made my ‘X’s through the months, I noticed a very strange thing happening. My periods started getting closer and closer together.  Was this just a symptom of perimenopause?

After about six months, I noticed a pattern emerge… and stick. Another month.  Another month.  Another month.  It was undeniable.  I have the little ‘X’s to prove it.

My period started each month on the full moon.

It finally came true.  It took moving closer to the ocean for it to happen, but my body had finally synched with the moon.

Coincidence?  Science says there is no proof of lunar affect on humans.  I say science is wrong.

My girlfriends pooh-poohed the notion that somehow the cycle of our periods were connected to the phases of the moon.

Perhaps we just lived too far away from the pull of the tides.

Or maybe it just takes a lunatic such as myself to actually be affected, both body and soul, by the moon.

Either way, I’m going to enjoy basking in the glow of this month’s full moon – the supermoon.

Oh, and in case you think menopause puts a halt to all that moon cycle stuff, it doesn’t.  I still have the same crazy symptoms every full moon.

And, in the words of the great lyricist, pianist, and singer of songs, Billy Joel: “You may be right. I may be crazy. But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.”

Thank you, Barbara, for allowing me to share my craziness with your readers.  I hope you enjoyed it and get a chance to also enjoy the supermoon.

About the author :

Patti Winker writes about topics that she and others of “a certain age” are concerned about.  In her blog, RemarkableWrinklies.com, you’ll find thoughts and information on aging well, health and fitness, having a bit of fun, a few debates, and some nostalgia thrown in.  She likes spending time with her grandkids and family, cooking, biking, swimming, walking, and going to the beach. She enjoys nature, but also appreciates a big city.  Patti is a contributing writer in our Tangerine Tango collaboration, and you’ll often find her here commenting and guest posting from time to time. Click these links to read more:

Pushing Fifty Or Pushing Puberty

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Patti

About the image:

The comparison in sizes of a full moon at perigee (left) and at apogee (right) is an illustration based on Galileo spacecraft images.

Image Credit: NASA

Guest Post: Pushing Fifty or Pushing Puberty

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I am so pleased to have an opportunity to visit with my Pausin’ Sisters here.  Thank you so much for the invitation, Barb!

Over at my blog www.RemarkableWrinklies.com I explore a lot of areas of aging and living well during the “passage” years.  And what I’ve learned is, as I was thrust into peri-menopause, my life seemed to come full circle…

I was once again in puberty.

I was sleeping all day.  I wasn’t sleeping at all.  I was getting zits.  I was crying.  I was giddy.  I was angry.  I was touchy.  I was anxious.  Everybody hates me, nobody likes me, think I’ll eat some worms.

I was a teenager again for God’s sake!

For me, I was experiencing a return to many of the “joys” of puberty.  Periods I couldn’t count on.  Moods I couldn’t count on.  Sore boobs.  Skin that betrayed me.

There I was 50 years old, looking at myself in the mirror and seeing the 14 year old me looking back, all petulant.  And yes, I was ticked off because I was going on vacation and there was a big zit on my nose!  Really?  Here I was 50 years old putting zit cream on my face!  Slamming doors.  Stomping feet.  Pouting.  It was all back.

But, because I knew I WASN’T in puberty, I knew I had to be instead;

a) going mad,

b) having a heart attack,

c) getting mean,

d) on fire, and

e) seeing skin cancer.

It was a bit scary at times.  But, once I learned I was back in puberty with all the familiar hormonal ups and downs, I started to relax a little.  I had come full circle, much to my chagrin.  The feeling of; “Wasn’t I here before?” was disturbing at times, but I got through it.

So, would you like to know how it ends?

Now that I have ‘crossed over’ to menopause, I can look back with a certain amount of clarity via the gift of hindsight.  Those dozen or so years of peri-menopause may feel like a blip on my life’s radar screen, but I learned something.  When I first entered my “puberty re-enactment” or peri-menopause, I didn’t know what to expect.  Like Barb said in her post, Not Your Cookie Cutter Menopause, the menopause years are not punched out cookie-cutter style.

Even if hundreds of women chose my biscuit cutter to ‘cut out’ how their peri-menopause looks (coming full-circle back to puberty), there would be so many differences.  Menopause is definitely not cookie-cutter style, just like puberty is not cookie-cutter style, either.  The lists of symptoms and complaints are endless, and endlessly confusing.  None of us can be sure how our journey will go.  As my Mom said; “Aging is not for the timid.”  And, in the arms of our friends, we’ll find the strength to stay bold and strong, and just get through the whole thing… maybe even with a few laughs.

Thank you again, Barb, for inviting me to share my thoughts.  I sure enjoy coming here and reading what you and your community of friends have to say.  I’m sure I’ll see you around again soon!

Patti Winker believes that “women of a certain age” need to share their stories in order to stay connected and live well.  At www.RemarkableWrinklies.com, she writes about aging and health, but also likes to wax nostalgic once in a while and have a few laughs along the way.  It’s all a part of this great time in our lives.  When Patti’s not riding her bike, she’s in her kitchen, or traveling with her husband, or playing with her family, the grandkids, the cats, and the dogs.