27 Comments
May 30Liked by Jen Zug

I know very little about perimenopause or menopause in general, so happy to learn and read from you!

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Great!

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May 30Liked by Jen Zug

Your r@w d*gging is excellent. I give you permission to publish more like that, not that you need it. 😉

I resonate with this so much “preparing for my future dementia era” - I love capturing memories I want to remember or be reminded of. I also think my capturing will be of interest to my kids, and future generations. I would love to pour over my great grandmas Facebook page. Or anyones really. I am so curious if in 100s or even 1000s of years will there be in interest in non-famous people’s lives. If there is I will be ready. 🤣

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I would totally be interested in non-famous people's lives!! When we were going through my mom's photos after she died, my favorite ones were the candid snapshots of her riding a bike, or sitting on the hood of a car with her friends. There weren't many candid shots like this available in the 50s, but they are definitely my favorites. I love analyzing the clothing and hair styles, especially when my mom and her friends were just out having fun.

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I'll very attentively read about perimenopause, as I'm a 43 year old person who is usually chill but sometimes very, very not chill. Tell me what I need to know!

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Great!

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Thanks for the “dementia era” and “professionally vulnerable” quotes. These resonate. The boot birdhouse is amazing. Perimenopause is in my rear view mirror but it deserves to be elevated as A Thing We Talk About. And I’m glad you wrote about the ice cream scoop!

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Yes, I've talked to so many friends who are just 10 years younger than me who only heard about the existence of perimenopause recently! Definitely needs to be talked about.

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Good stuff. You could write three words on the door to a bathroom stall and I’d read them and smile or cry or laugh. You’ve had a year. In context (because it can be helpful to hear such things), this time last year you were going through Brian’s cancer and writing about it (with amazing grace and clarity and wisdom) and doing everything to keep on top of stuff and be present for everyone. In experience, the body keeps score meaning even though you kept on going, it’s time to reset a bit and extend a whole lot of love and patience to yourself while it heals Do it.

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Wow, thank you Beth. You are right about the year we had, and this makes me feel seen. Shortly after writing this newsletter I realized I'd experienced high-stress events every April/May for the last four years, starting with COVID lockdown in 2024. It makes sense that my body feels the memory of this time of year.

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The body keeps score. I noticed this a few years in a row in September with stress of new school years. For a few years in a row I got ovarian cysts - really painful ones. I finally made the mind body connection to know I needed to make some changes the rest of the 9-10 mos a year to help alleviate this

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A man, talk about his experience with his wife’s menopause? Is this some kind of a diabolical trap? I’m not saying ANYTHING!

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Awwww.... not a trap! I promise!

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Awww, sorry to hear, Jen. Extreme anxiety is pretty awful. While I won't give you advice, I will give you encouragement. You will overcome it because of your attitude alone, which is evident in your post. I had terrible anxiety in my early 20's experiencing anxiety attacks. I distinctly remember thinking, "I"m going to live like this." And I set out to find someone or something that would help me. I never left room for the idea that I couldn't change. And I was successful over time. You are wise to follow your intuition and listen to your inner voice on how you WILL find your way out of the anxiety. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself, lots of TLC because our anxiety always comes from something very real. I'll be lighting a candle for you. 💛💛💛

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Thank you, Sue.

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I just see now that I left out the "not" in my quote. It was supposed to read, "I'm not going to live like this." haha

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In the thick of perimenopause myself and it’s been very discombobulating. I hear Miranda July’s new book is great and very validating for women going through this season of life

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You are the second person to mention July's new book! I'll have to check it out.

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“…this is the energy I have for you today, my friends.”

I’m happy to meet you where you’re at!

Panic attacks are brutal and I wouldn’t wish em on my worst enemy. Extra fun when cardiac issues run in one’s family. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with ‘em right now.

I promise this isn’t advice, but the best thing that ever happened was in the middle of the night in the ER where a very tired intern asked me, “can you feel your pulse?Yes? Then you’re not having a heart attack. Next time you think you are, just check.”

And it’s worked ever since.

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Thanks, Kevin. Great tip re the pulse!

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May 31Liked by Jen Zug

I've struggled with anxiety all my life and am disabled from it actually. I was declared disabled in a courtroom in 2006. Fun times. So I get it entirely. Today while I was sitting in a relaxing spot (my favorite spot in the world on my dad's balcony in sea isle city( a beautiful bird was singing to me. It went on for like a minute. Birds are lovely and such an overlooked animal I think. Bring back bird watching! It's a beautiful thing. ♥️😊 sending hugs, for I know the depths that anxiety can bring us to. But it's really unavoidable this day and age anymore, isn't it? Xoxo.

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Jun 16·edited Jun 16Author

Hmmmmmm.... I love the sound of water and birds! The other day I was sitting quietly on our back patio in the late evening when all the birds were active and singing. It was lovely and calming. I'm sorry to hear about your severe anxiety. My daughter struggles, too.

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We used to get nests every year in our Mayten tree. Bluejays, I think. But then our dog at the time killed one of the babies when it was on the ground and the birds never came back to nest. I tried to explain to them that the dog we have now is a different one, but they said to me: "Fool me once, shame on you. You fool me, can't get fooled again."

Regarding anxiety, I can so relate. Mine has been through the roof and it's making me nuts as it's not directly related to any life event. I'm sorry you had a panic attack. Those suck balls. The first time I had a really bad one I was in my 20s and lived alone and I made my neighbor drive me to the emergency room. While we waited, I started to calm down and guiltily asked her to take me home.

I heard that Maggie Rogers interview while walking dogs yesterday and was so impressed with her. I didn't really know much about her other than she was very popular and a critics' darling. I loved her thoughtful answers to the questions, and I really thought the guy (I didn't know his name) who filled in for Terry Gross was excellent.

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Yes, I've read your posts about anxiety and know you struggle. My daughter does as well, and it's been difficult (until now) for me to understand how anxiety attacks can be disconnected from any life event. I didn't dismiss it, I just didn't understand it. Learning about how estrogen levels (and other physical things) impact anxiety has been helpful.

I love the Fresh Air interviews, and Maggie was great.

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I'm sorry that you've been feeling so anxious! As a professional anxious person, the most helpful thing I've learned is to try and personify my anxiety and just acknowledge that she's here, trying to keep me safe. I try to imagine she's here for some sort of purpose besides fucking up my whole day.

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This is a great mindset shift - I'll give it a try. I was having an anxiety attack all afternoon and evening on Friday, and when I saw my friend and told her about it she was like, Why, what's going on? And I was like, No idea, it's just what I do now. LOL

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