In the bell curve of life, I’m nearing the top. Mathematically, does that mean that when I reach 52 next month, I have some 50 years before me? Wouldn’t that be nice and awesome and in line with Blue Zone philosophies?
Or is it a free fall toward death, depression, despair, displacement? Honestly, I want to enjoy life, my relationships, my body, and the planet. I have made a commitment to myself to see that I do. Few people besides my husband know how I can talk myself into a wallowing tepid bath of depression and self pity. I put on a pretty good front. I do believe that if you project happy then eventually you’ll be happy. For me that might require something as small as a shot of caffeine, a good exercise session, or a friend’s smile or email. Some days it means teasing me back from the ledge, carefully, so I don’t fall into some bottomless rabbit hole. Quietly I sit wishing someone would throw me a bone.
I think this should be embarrassing, but I also think none of us should hide from the reality of our lives. Right now mine is life changing. I guess it is embarrassing. I’m a little embarrassed about this, but, why let something that will happen to every woman embarrass me? I think menopause needs some good press. It needs jokes. It needs glory.
Because honestly, what does it mean? No more PMS? No more having a period? It’s up to women to change the perception about the double rainbow called menopause.
I expect to be calm and to have a perspective that experience has given me. And here’s something that I’m already happy about. I’m comfortable with and happy for women who are younger than me but have achieved amazing successes in their lives. It’s so nice to appreciate and acknowledge other women who make it to vice president, gain professional respect, and direct a project as though they were schooled in military campaigns. I wish I could be like that, but I’m made differently. Sometimes I want to say thank you for giving me an assignment and letting me shine in my own small way.
It’s time to own this stage. I’m used to making people uncomfortable anyway, so, it’s my calling to see if I can get the men in my life to loosen up a little bit about it, since it’s not the end of the world. It’s a woman’s opportunity to be something solid and dependable, with loads of fun thrown in. All kinds of fun. Yes, even THAT.
I have hot flashes, but I like to call them power surges, gentle warming events that radiate up and out of my face and arms for a few minutes, resulting in a cold sweat, nearly every hour. It wakes me up at night, so that part I’m not too thrilled about as I don’t get enough sleep as it is. But because I’m generally healthy, I think I’m built to deal with it all.
Mentally and emotionally, it’s a bit hard to assess this stage of life without feeling some regrets. I’m glad I have such young daughters. Most moms with 11 and nine-year-olds are in their 30s or 40s, so that sometimes provides me a bit of an escape. Most moms my age, a lot of my friends, are grandparents! So already I’m mentally younger than them, right? LOL
I’m hopeful that my approach and acceptance makes this an easy stage for my life’s bell curve. Wouldn’t it be great if we could make this the norm rather than the exception? Or maybe, as I walk through this next portal, I’ll learn that this level of happiness with life is the next big, really cool, wavy gravy secret. Can you dig it?