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  • Writer's picturePooja Bahri

The Wonder Years

It's been nearly two years since I received my Master’s in Fine Arts degree! Taken me forever to write this blog… but why am I writing? To share. And why did it take so long? Because I’m a world-class procrastinator with a black belt in delaying tactics.

I turn 50 in less than half a year, and while counting my blessings, I do realise that I’ve lived more than half my life. To put it crudely, the experiences, the relationships, and the people you meet – some add flavour, and some are for taste (everything’s food-related with me!). All these lead to confidence in the life I choose to live. Sometimes, I feel in a hurry, but then let me be because life has been happening in full force. Like I always say, if there's one thing the pandemic taught us, the circle of people around you is narrower, and the relationships you form with them are deeper. I've reached a point where I don’t want to be part of anyone else’s world because I’ve created my own beautiful one—something that only maturity can give, surrounding myself with people who add value to my life. Your world is beautiful, but the one I’m creating for myself is what I want—maybe selfish or maybe self-care. I call it “enlightened self-interest.”

Fagradalsfjall Volcano, Iceland, 2024 during my participation at SIM Residency in Reykjavik

While the world grapples with climate change and global conflicts, it’s important to acknowledge how these challenges uniquely affect women. On top of everything else—periods, childbirth, raising kids—we face additional battles that often go unspoken. Enter PERIMENOPAUSE. Yes, that delightful period (pun intended) leading up to menopause that can turn your life upside down. Perimenopause is like that uninvited guest who overstays their welcome and eats all your snacks. Why didn’t our moms warn us about this with all their life advice? Thanks for all the tips, Mom, but how about a heads-up on the brain fog and hot flashes?

My first encounter (or rather, the first time I realised what brain fog feels like) with perimenopause was during my final jury and presentation for my Master's. Imagine a 20-minute presentation turning into a 3-minute train wreck, with my tutor looking at me like I’d failed spectacularly (true story). Brain fog is real, people! And it strikes at the worst times.

The late (early/mid for some) 40s bring a whole new set of surprises: weight fluctuation, emotional roller coasters, anxiety, joint and muscle aches, skin dryness, hair loss… I could go on, but you get the picture. When you think you’ve got this whole womanhood thing figured out, perimenopause shows up like, "Think again."

Take my recent trip to Andaman for a yoga camp with Devina. In the middle of a yoga pose, suddenly turning into a human volcano with hot flashes, I was labelled a “drama queen” (by Devina). But really, sharing supplements, diets, and workouts has become the new norm in conversations with my girlfriends. Comparing notes on multivitamins takes precedence even over discussing the blatant show of the Ambani wedding wealth .

 Not always the perfect yoga pose!

So, what's my mantra while battling perimenopause and its delightful symptoms? Yoga, controlling glucose spikes, and protein – lots and lots of protein. Picture me trying to hold a serene yoga pose while sweating like a human waterfall, thanks to hot flashes. Or see me meticulously planning meals to keep those pesky glucose spikes at bay. And yes, my kitchen is now a health haven. It's not about what I do outside but what goes in. That said, I’m a true foodie, and when the Punjabi in me gets out, it’s very tough to stop me.

                                                                                         Punju mode on!

And then there’s solo travel. It started of necessity (no travel buddy), and now it’s a habit. Traveling aimlessly but working with a purpose – I call this unadulterated focus on myself: physically, mentally, and creatively. If that makes sense, it is amazing how life works out. This June was Devina's first solo travel. My little baby was getting out of her comfort zone and registering herself for an advanced scuba course somewhere on a small Thai island, and this mommy (who did not admit it to her at that time) booked herself to a nearby island – how do I put it – to subtly hover? Surprisingly, I was quite cool and didn’t worry – I can be quite a helicopter mom when I want to! My rule to me – and now to Devi: TRAVEL! However, always have a ‘personal achievement’ to focus on, regardless of how tangible or intangible.

                                                                                         Devina- getting in for a dive

So, here I am, balancing relationships, career, finances, and battling perimenopause with a smile. If you're going through the same, let's support each other and share a laugh. This is serious stuff, but sharing makes it relatable.

                                                                                       Untitled, 2024 #WIP

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01 jul
Obtuvo 5 de 5 estrellas.

Great write up.

Possibly you could have signed it - Harmonically yours.


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30 jun
Obtuvo 5 de 5 estrellas.

So from the heart and you for a woman you are ....for how you have done what you have wanted...cheers to you

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29 jun
Obtuvo 5 de 5 estrellas.

Love it! Thanks for keeping it real Puja …yeah while we’re all in it might as well laugh it off and stay cool- good call on scuba diving ;)

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29 jun
Obtuvo 5 de 5 estrellas.

So insightful and funny! Good to know we are not alone in this hot mess 😅

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