Apparently my note last month about timekeeping struck a chord with a few people. My hubby and one of the lovely editorial contributors had a conversation about whether it was aimed at either (or both) of them. Several other people emailed to say “I’m with you on this one”.
So with that in mind, here’s something else that may resonate – as I get older I find that I have lost the ability to be tactful. Or perhaps it’s not the inability to be tactful but the need to be more direct. As a Libran this is an enormously difficult thing to do – I can’t abide imbalance or challenging people – it’s an anathema. But keeping the peace/balance requires a huge amount of effort – shuttling between people, taking on board opinions, processing information and trying to see it from their point of view. But truth be told, whilst it’s great to keep things on an even keel, it does stop me from saying how I really feel.
For example, I recently visited my GP to discuss the results of a 24 hour blood pressure monitor I had been wearing. I had noted my readings and so knew that they were worryingly higher than they should be and obviously had concerns about the situation. The GP however appeared relatively untroubled and, showing me a graph of its skyward ascent, pointed to my weight as being the reason for my blood pressure increase. In true Libran style I processed the information –
- increased weight does contribute to high blood pressure – check
- why am I overweight?
- slovenliness – check
- given up smoking – check
- out of control thyroid – check
- lady of a ‘certain age’ – check
So I pointed out these contributory factors to weight gain but the GP dismissed them; as far as he was concerned the weight was there and needed to go in order to tackle the high BP rather than bunging some tablets at it. As I wistfully stared at my weight pre-babies he told me not to look to that as a target “as losing weight at your age will be very difficult”.
Internally my Libran scales went up and down with a further dialogue along the lines of:
“He’s a GP so knows best. He says that you are overweight that you need to lose some otherwise your BP will stay high, ergo you need to diet”
“But I have been doing Weighwatchers and I am losing weight so why is my blood pressure so high?”
“He’s a GP so knows best – it’s because of your weight, fatty!”
“But he’s basically said there’s a snowball’s chance in hell of losing it quickly so that leaves me the potential to keel over”
What to do? A year ago I would have taken his advice and tried to lose more weight, all the while worrying about my BP (and in doing so naturally aggravating it) and that would have then resulted in me making an appointment to see someone else. This time I was determined to have my say. So I took a deep breath and did so. The result was a compromise of some tablets and a review when I had lost a further 5kgs.
Is all this a sign that I have reached my “Warning” stage so wonderfully described by Jenny Joseph? I think I still have one foot in the “And pay our rent and not swear in the street; And set a good example for the children” stage. But if you see me buying bottles of brandy and wearing purple you will know that I have moved on…..
Until next month