I was having an interesting conversation with a friend a while back about how I tend to organize events in my mind. I think I tend to organize and count in 3s. If I have to enter a repetitive keystroke a certain large number of times, I would count it in multiples of three. Or another example, I breathe on 3s when I swim, so I do the crawl like “Left, right, breathe, right, left, breath, left, right, breathe” meaning that I breathe on alternating arms every time.

I stopped taking chemical birth control (bear with me, this is related) about 15 months ago, and started tracking my menstrual cycle to see if it would regulate itself naturally without the drugs. Considering the amount of time that it takes for the chemicals to completely leave the system, I don’t think I’ve been tracking it long enough to have the pattern locked down, but it appears that my body counts in threes as well. I’ve graphed it out and, very roughly, the pattern is something like a long cycle, medium-length cycle, short cycle. Then back to a long cycle. But it’s still pretty variable, with the long cycle varying from 42 to 35 days long and a short cycle from 27 to 30 days long, and the medium cycle overlapping some on either side. And there’s at least one hitch in the pattern where it goes long, medium, short, medium, long.

This is interesting to me, partly because it’s my body and I like to know how it works. But it also makes me question my understanding of how ovaries work. I thought they alternated ovulation, trading off months. I have a friend who has horrible insane psycho killer PMS symptoms every other month, and no real symptoms on the alternating months. So I wouldn’t be surprised if my cycle was long/short/long/short, but it seems odd for every third cycle to be extraordinarily long, meaning that each ovary takes a turn at a long cycle.

These crazy bodies, they are endlessly fascinating.