Margaret Mead said, “There is no more creative force in the world than the menopausal woman with zest.”
Mary Wollstonecraft once said, “I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.”
Sitting here at my kitchen table thinking about all the good and bad that menopause has brought.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first – yes?
The Bad News
Bad news is, the hot flashes stick around for quite a while. Maybe not as disturbing as in the beginning, but they remind you from time to time that you once had estrogen.
The bad news is that your memory is probably a little worse, and I will take a guess that it may never get back to “normal,” as mine seems as foggy as ever. Some words have escaped me, and I fumble with trying to find an alternative. My children do make fun of me… all I say is what my mom used to say to me, “your time is coming.” Wish she was here to hear me say that to them now!
The bad news is that you don’t have the estrogen you used to have, which in turn, raises the risk of cardiovascular disease. The Mayo Clinic writes, “During the first few years after menopause, you may lose bone density at a rapid rate, increasing your risk of osteoporosis.”
Another joy we expect to experience is urinary incontinence… laughing and coughing have a whole new meaning… Lastly, weight gain, as our metabolism slows down after menopause.
The bad news is that those days of sleeping like you once did before menopause – are over. Getting a straight five hours of sleep is from your old life. I would be happy to get five straight hours of not waking up because of a hot flash or having to pee. I don’t even dare say seven hours….
From my perspective, I have become more emotional since menopause. I cry easily and quickly. Things that never bothered me before, on an emotional level, fill my heart to overflow. I am a big hot mushy mess. Not sure if that’s bad news or good news, so I will say it’s neutral for now.
The Good News
The good news, which needs not even a whisper of a word – no more period!! No more visits from “Aunt Flo.” No more periods showing up just in time for a special event or holiday. No more cramping. No more pads or tampons to purchase.
The good news is that you can wear white every day of the week if you want!
The good news is that your breasts don’t get sore or tender once a month anymore. You stop eating everything in sight the week before your period because you don’t have it anymore. And all the pre-menstrual moodiness and headaches have disappeared.
The good news is, you no longer need to worry about getting pregnant or using birth control anymore. And yes, at times you do think, “what if I got pregnant at this age?” And you laugh and thank God it’s all over.
The good news is, at least for me, I feel like I am free. I don’t think about my period… it is a part of my past. I have four children and I am content.
The Take Away
Menopause is the official start to your golden-non-child-bearing-years. A time for you to feel more comfortable in your own skin.
I need to repeat that so I can take it in. A time for me to feel comfortable in my own skin. November of this year marks three years behind me.
Menopause somehow is like a license to finally be bold. To take life by the horns and run. You feel unstoppable, and you take risks you never thought you ever could.
Obviously, there are many women who are part of GreyFeathers who have 10-20-30 years of menopause behind them. I want to hear from you. What is YOUR take-away of life in the long-term menopause years?
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