Musings on Menopause

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | September 27th, 2011 | 2 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Aging, Personal Growth

Menopause Lane Sign

Once upon a glorious pre-perimenopausal time, my cycles were more reliable than NASA and the Mayans for marking the passage of time. My body responded to exercise, diet and a good night’s sleep as intended — by performing well and looking good. Heck, my body responded to wine, chocolate and a restless night’s sleep by performing well and looking good!

But that, my friends, was in what I now refer to as “the good ol’ days.”

These days, Aunt Flo is as likely to arrive when I’m 100 feet above the ground in a hemlock forest and still 1½ hours away from zip-lining my way to “feminine protection” as she is to appear on schedule. And my body has adopted the mindset of a 15-year-old miscreant, responding to all my requests to perform and look good with the equivalent of a shrug and an eye-roll.

Ah yes … Mother Nature is reminding me quite nicely who’s really in charge.

Though we haven’t always seen eye to eye — I, for example, think the whole nine-months-to-build-a-baby thing could easily be pared down to five or six with a little more effort — Mother Nature has effectively reminded me that humiliation 100 feet in the air can lead to humility back on the ground. And that’s been a good thing.

My friend Jamie concurs.

Though she laments what she calls a “crepiness” around her neck, Jamie remains convinced that what she’s gained at this point in her life — a calm acceptance that she can handle what life dishes out, for starters — is more than worth wanting to wear turtlenecks year round. She sums it up as “a loss of fear.”

Though my other friends have their own litany of physical complaints — from unexpected adult acne to the sprouting of increasingly irrepressible facial hairs — they, too, admit that a certain calm comes as well.

Unfortunately, it’s not always a calm we can share. My friend Dawn, whose hugs are legendary, admits wryly that — thanks to hot flashes that leave her wringing wet — “I don’t hug as often as I used to.”

Those who’ve reached the other side, however, regale me with stories of increased energy and creativity that they haven’t experienced in years. And a jaunty confidence that despite weight gain, crepey skin and directionally challenged hairs, all is well.


  1. I am a post menopause woman, assuming that after 11 years of no monthly cycles make one POST-M. I still get hot flashes at night, the fan is my best friend along with cold water at my bed side and on really flashy nights a cold glass of milk cools the insides enough to fall back to sleep.
    Yes I have to pluck those long facial hairs that grow some months longer than others..weekly close mirror checks are needed to make sure non has popped back out. And yes my head hair has faded into grey, silver, and something in the middle of those two. And of course the dry skin makes for using face cream that I never did as a younger woman with oily skin. But all in all I Love who I am as a post menopause woman. I do not always know the woman in the mirror due to the aging changes but when I don’t look at that I truly like this older version of womanhood. I like the fact that looking back at my youth I have come a long way “babe”. The best part of all the changes is I no longer get caught out and about with out the proper tools to care for the monthly cycle that came each month but for some reason I stayed in denial that it would not arrive “this month”. Silly I know but I really found that cycle of womanhood annoying! and never seemed prepared for it to arrive.
    Now I am free from such and love that fact,(mind you first 5 months of no periods I spent a fortune on those little home test just to make sure my husband didn’t play a trick on me!).
    As for the weight gain. I think that is simply because of the years gained in life. I go to the GYM to keep it down best I can and don’t care to worry about it anymore than having good healthy body. I gladly leave the Sexy to those in there twenties to forties. At fifty seven I just want another forty five years of healthy living..or maybe more. My Aunt just had her one hundredth birthday so why not? Oh and did I mention I did menopause naturally with no hormone treatments? I simply warned the family to roll with my personality changes and what ever you do, Do Not, mention Crazy to me or say It will be ok when I rage! Better yet just leave the room I occupy because believe me when I say I would leave too if that crazy woman wouldn’t follow me!

    Theresa Saldivia | September 27th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  2. Well, we all know menopause is a normal part of a woman’s life. Now that I am turning 40 this December, I start to feel this hot flashes that starts from my neck going down. Sometimes I got nervous and I tried to do deep breathing and relax myself for a few minutes, divert my mind and it really works.

    Hot Flashes | October 17th, 2011 | Comment Permalink

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