Friday, March 28, 2008

Moody? Me?

Lois Greiman

(Disclaimer: Picture has practically nothing to do with current blog. So sue me.)

I hate being moody and emotional and weird, and it’s even worse when I don’t have a decent reason for my neuroses. I mean, if you can say, “I just got a rejection letter,” or “My cat threw up on my grandmother’s shawl,” or “I have a hangnail the size of a small continent,” it helps, but generally when I’m gloomy I have no reason whatsoever. Hence, I’ve decided to blame everything on my hormones.

Recently I heard about an experiment done on women. The study group was shown a computer picture of a guy who the average person would consider extremely masculine. After examining the photograph, the women rated how attracted they were to him. The image then changed repeatedly, making him a little more feminine each time. And each time the women would have to rate him. What the study showed was that the closer the women were to ovulation the more attractive the macho man appeared to them.

This tells me two things…woman are extremely changeable, and…it’s little wonder men are confused.

But…beyond the sexual part of things, hormones control so much of our everyday lives. For instance, insulin controls the sugar levels in our bloodstreams. Oxytocin causes uterine contractions. Epinephrine speeds our heart rate, and endorphins make us happy. These are life-altering functions that shouldn’t be underestimated.

I was talking to a writer friend the other day. (I won’t mention her name but her initials are MH and she’s one of the riders.) Anyway, we both agreed that writing is easier when we’re ovulating. After giving that some additional thought I realized that most things are easier when I’m ovulating. How weird is that? Conversely, most things are generally not so great when I’m at the flip side of my cycle

So how about you? Do you feel like you’re being flung about by the ends of your hormones? Does your life revolve around your ovaries, or is it just me?


Playground Monitor said...

So... what does that mean for us post-menopausal women? Am I doomed as a writer? ;-)

I think all men should have to be injected full of estrogen once in their lives and experiece the joy of all that's female. Then strap on a pregnancy belly, put them in a pair of pantyhose and high heels and let them take two toddlers to the grocery store. Evil, aren't I?

My husband had to shop for groceries in February when I was laid up with my foot surgery. When he came home I could see the sticker shock in his eyes. And sadly he still has no clue.

And no, it's not just you. While my ovaries don't rule my life and never did while they were still working, I have plenty of friends who are in that boat. One says she writes her best sex scenes when ovulating.


Cindy Gerard said...

No, Marilyn, you are not doomed as a writer - I'm the proof. I've been sans ovaries due to surgery for many, many years and I'm here to tell you, I still write a pretty hot love scene - or so I'm told. And I'm still a pretty hot momma - or so my dh says:o) My libido is alive and well. Okay, too much information. And a little off topic. Blame it on deadline mania. I'll slink back into my cave now.

lois greiman said...

:) I love you guys. I can only assume that a little more sedate hormones would be a good thing in this field, Marilyn. The business is crazy enough as it is.

Have you ever considered how little men's lives change? I mean no monthly cycles, gestation, lactation, weaning, menopause. They're get know.

Betina Krahn said...

Lois, hormones are hell. But then you get over them, and by the time you do, you kinda wish you had some of them back!

I'm with you Cindy. . . my hormones now come from a patch. I don't miss those extremes a bit. But I find that I still get some ups and downs. . . don't know if it's the moon or some bizarre biological tic. Maybe all those years of cycling around have worn grooves in my endocrine system!

Or maybe it's just that I let all of the annoying minutiae of life build up on my personal paper plate until it snaps and I dump the whole thing on the carpet. Yeah, that's probably me. Anybody know where I can get a some psychological "Chinet"?

Lois, dear, if I run across any, I'll pick some up for you, too. :)

Michele Hauf said...

Write A Bestseller While Ovulating!

Okay, so maybe that conference workshop wouldn't go over so well? I believe I do my best writing thanks to hormones.

As for the men not having these ups and downs, I can so tell when the hubby is PMSing. Men have cycles, just like the rest of us, but they are more subtle.

Huh. This explains a lot. Just got back from the PLA where I spent a very pleasant time chatting with the Harlequin rep. On the way home I decided he was quite nummy and that I would have liked to hug him. For a long time. Talk about hormones. :-)

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm past ovulating, too. I was never particularly aware of ups and downs, never had cramps, never got excused from gym, don't think I had PMS, and menopause was no big deal. I know that my mother had all of the afore-mentioned problems, as did her mother. My sister had mega PMS issues. I guess I lucked out.

So now you've got me wondering whether my cycle (which was as regular as sunrise and moon phases) affected my writing. I feel so ...unself-aware. Fiddlesticks!

Linda said...

Oh dear. I used to be ruled by the hormones. In my 30's I was the queen of bitch on wheels two weeks out of four due to PMS. How my DH fell in love with me, I'll never understand. Then after my hyssy, bang, I'm all even tempered and a happy camper. I wouldn't go back to fluctuating hormones again for anything.

lois greiman said...

Linda, where do I sign up for a hyssy??

Debra Dixon said...

I've got a part-timer who just flat tells me where she is in her cycle because it makes a difference in what she understands. I'm not joking. We just don't bother to train anything new if it's the wrong part of her cycle. You cannot make this stuff up!

Michele Hauf said...

Deb, I can so relate to that part-timer! There are times of the month where I'm just plain more stupid than normal. :-) And klutzy. I walked into a door a few weeks ago. The cats had a good laugh over that one. Maybe they could invent a sort of 'cycle gauge' that would go from a wild and 'don't talk to me' purple to a more sedate 'let's chat' orange depending on what time of the month it is?

lois greiman said...

I know lots of people who say they're klutzy at certain times of the month. As for me, sometimes I should just stay in bed.