This one’s for the ladies…
Here I am. About to share another post with you that I really thought I’d never write. A post that I never thought I’d even think about sharing. A post that never should have had existence because what I am about to write I never thought I would do. (Does that make sense? Hmmm… moving on…)
But first, let’s just make sure it’s only ladies here. Seriously, guys, this is a woman’s post because today I am going to talk about my aunt.
You know, Aunt Flo.
The red tide.
Are you catching my drift?
I’m talking about having the painters in. Being on the rag.
I’m riding the cotton pony, surfin’ the crimson wave….
I’m talking about that time of the month.
You know, my period.
(There. I think that did it.)
Okay ladies, now that we have the guys gone, let’s chat.
I’m going to be honest. As “hippie” and “nature-lovin’” as I am, I really hate that time of the month. I’m not one of those poetic types who wistfully recite the beauties of the cycle… you know, how it connects me to the rhythms of nature, or how “cleansing” it is, or any of that flowery garbage. And while I am very sensitive to the fact that there are women out there who, for whatever reason, struggle to maintain or have a regular period (for which I’m truly sorry), for me it’s still a somewhat harsh reality every time my period starts.
So with that in mind, I do what most women in our society do, I keep my Cousin Red a private matter. I don’t enjoy talking about it. I don’t enjoy thinking about it. So why on earth am I writing a post about it!?
Because, something changed. Once again I found myself forced upon information that I didn’t want to know and now I can’t unlearn it. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up a bit.
My not so green period.
I’ve made some major strides these past few years to “greenify” my life. From my food, to my personal care products, to the stuff we use to clean our stuff. We have had a major overhaul of all our previously toxic, inhumane, and otherwise “not green” living. Dangerous cleaners? Gone! Toxic cookware? Gone! Inhumane food products? Gone!
Keep in mind that this has all been a gradual process. I’ve tried not to go crazy or stress too much about these changes. I’ve told myself “baby steps” the entire time. But I always had a mental list of the things that would eventual replace the garbage I didn’t want in my life.
And yet, in the back of my conscious was a little closed door with twenty or so locks bolted tightly… a barricade to this voice of change. There was one part of my life that I just didn’t worry about and thought would stay the same forever. You guessed it: My period.
Sure, I knew that tampons and disposable pads weren’t really eco-friendly. I mean, the average North American woman goes through more than 11,000 feminine products in her lifetime. And that more than 20 billion feminine hygiene products are flushed (they wreak havoc on pipes and plumbing by the way) or tossed annually… that’s more than baby diapers!
And if pressed, I would probably relent to the fact that there were much more healthy and less toxic ways of treating my period.
Of course I was well aware of more expensive, organic, chlorine-free disposable products. I knew some women who even use reusable pads or those weird “menstrual cup” gadgets. Yeah, I wasn’t going to go there.
I just didn’t want to deal with these things. I didn’t want to give up my perceived convenience. I didn’t want make this unwanted monthly visitor any more of a hassle, or mess, or expense than it already was.
But there’s no going back….
(Here is my warning to you: If you don’t want to change and continue living in ignorance, don’t read on. I won’t blame or judge you. Promise.)
I don’t remember how I stumbled upon it. Probably facebook. It was probably one of the “all-natural-hippie-lovin’” pages that I follow who posted something. But regardless, I came across this article where I saw this picture:
Hey, guess what!? That’s mold!
MOLD! In a brand-new tampon! You know, the thing you shove up your “inner-most femininity” and keep it there for several hours. The place in your body with some of the most delicate and absorbent tissue!
I just sat there and stared at the photo, wishing I hadn’t seen it. Wishing I hadn’t read the response of the company responsible. Wishing I could go back to my blissful (but not-so-green) ways. But I couldn’t. Before I knew it I was stirring up an online storm, searching for ways to help my body (and the planet).
I now stand before you; a changed woman.
Ladies, I have greenified my period!
You know what? It wasn’t so bad. Or expensive. Or messy. On the contrary, it was good, more economical, and cleaner!
In fact, I love it.
This post is already a million years long (again, sorry. I tend to get carried away). But come back tomorrow where I reveal my experiences. I’ll try to make it entertaining if not educational. (Here is the post).
In the meantime, what are you feeling toward your Aunt Flo?
(top image by Viraj Photography, Flickr)