Bleeding Goals

Kotex adA little over a year ago I began setting goals by my menstrual cycle. Each month I take time during menstruation to think about life and what I want to accomplish in the upcoming month. I write down a few goals in a notebook to check on my progress throughout the month. At the start of my next cycle I review the past month’s goals. Often some goals remain incomplete, or at least still relevant, and I use them to start my list of goals for the next month.

I was inspired to use my body’s natural rhythms to facilitate improvement in all areas of my life by reading the work of some wonderful Jewish feminists. What can I say? You read The Red Tent and I read instructions for rituals of religions of which I am not a part. In all seriousness, I was delighted to see women taking a custom which represented oppression and turning it into something which enabled them to live more fully. Three cheers for living well in every way!

It was only natural to take the idea for myself.

Goals-notebookI do not have to live with the cultural demands of ritual impurity, but I do have to live with endometriosis and a level of pain that is much worse when I move. So when the pain lessens enough that I can think, I contemplate my current state in life and decide on what I want to achieve in the next month. Who do I want to become? Other than a bleeding woman, of course.

At times I pull my husband into my contemplation and goal setting. After all, he is directly impacted by my choices and, like it or not, my menstrual cycle. Sometimes Josh joins in with great zeal and we end up with many more goals for him than for me. At other times he simply does not feel like setting goals, and I ponder alone.

What suggestions do you have for a woman who wants to live well with, rather than despite of, her fertility cycle?

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12 thoughts on “Bleeding Goals

    1. Rae Post author

      Thank you, though I am afraid it is simply a way of coping with my laziness and the fact that I never do anything unless I have a clear goal.

  1. Christine

    I’ve never really thought about using my period as a regular time interval to check up on personal progress and goals in life. Now that you point it out, it makes a lot of sense.

    For me, now that I don’t eat gluten, I’m not on the pill and I take evening primrose oil pills daily, my periods are considerably more manageable. I usually only have one day of pain/nausea/overall feeling gross instead of the 3 to 5 I used to have. :)

    P.S. I love all ads like that from the 50s. For some reason, I find them absolutely hilarious.

    1. Rae Post author

      I am glad that you have found ways to make your periods more manageable! I used to take evening primrose oil, but haven’t bought more since my last bottle ran out before the move. Maybe I should look into that again.

      And I am glad that someone appreciated the ad. I find them fabulously ironic.

  2. sophia

    Wow. That is an interesting idea.
    Honestly, I have no advice…instead, I NEED advice. I hate periods, period (that was lame, tee hee).

    I still find womanly qualities awkward and uncomfortable. I would love to hear more about this progress.

  3. Sarah

    What a wonderful idea. I do not have any suggestions, unfortunately, but question you raise of living well with your fertility cycle is so important. I think, especially in the NFP crowds, that there’s a tendency to glorify those with “normal” fertility, at the expense of making those of us with some kind of setback (endometriosis, PCOS, thyroid issues) something of a pariah or to be pitied.

    An idea like this allows those of us with less-than-ideal cycles to take back our fertility as something good, even if its not something perfect. I have PCOS, and need to think more on this topic. Great post! :)

    1. Rae Post author

      Well you know, those of us with fertility issues do mess with their stats. After all, the rhythm method would be 98% effective if every woman had a perfect 28-day cycle! ;-)

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  5. MyFeminineMind

    During my menstruation, I honor myself by taking more time to rest and to just think. I’ve never thought of it as making goals for the future, but I suppose I am doing that too. I think as our body is shedding our uterine lining, I think it’s a great time to ask, “What else do I need to shed from my life? Any outmoded ways of believing or behaving? Any habits that need to be discarded?” (And by “outmoded”, I don’t mean, “unfashionable”, but whatever is not healthy or maybe just not working for us anymore.) Maybe one outmoded belief that can be discarded for many women is the idea that our bodies are flawed and that periods are a curse! LOL (sort of and yet totally serious about that too). :)

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