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Musings on Menopause

Posted By Leslie Garrett On September 27, 2011 @ 10:17 am In Health & Wellness, Healthy Aging, Personal Growth | 2 Comments

Menopause Lane Sign [1]

Once upon a glorious pre-perimenopausal [2] 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 [3] is reminding me quite nicely who’s really in charge [4].

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 [5], for starters — is more than worth wanting to wear turtlenecks year round. She sums it up as “a loss of fear [6].”

Though my other friends have their own litany of physical complaints [7] — 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 [8], however, regale me with stories [9] of increased energy [10] and creativity [11] that they haven’t experienced in years. And a jaunty confidence [12] that despite weight gain, crepey skin and directionally challenged hairs, all is well.


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Musings-on-Menopause.jpg

[2] perimenopausal: http://life.gaiam.com/article/your-female-brain-insane

[3] Mother Nature: http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-women-struggle-and-cope-menstruation-all-over-world

[4] who’s really in charge: http://www.gaiamtv.com/tv/mayo-clinic-wellness-solutions-menopause

[5] handle what life dishes out: http://life.gaiam.com/article/making-peace-your-age-patricia-waldens-words-widsom

[6] a loss of fear: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/aging-gracefully-i%E2%80%99m-gonna-do-it-or-die-trying/

[7] physical complaints: http://life.gaiam.com/video/4-minute-meditation-ease-menopause-symptoms

[8] reached the other side: http://www.gaiam.com/product/mayo+clinic+wellness+solutions+for+menopause.do?SID=WG117SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod

[9] regale me with stories: http://www.gaiamtv.com/video/women-vision-womans-way-anne-arsenault?chan=GaiamLife&utm_source=GaiamLife&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=10day

[10] increased energy: http://life.gaiam.com/article/1-minute-breathing-exercise-energy-and-productivity

[11] creativity: http://life.gaiam.com/article/get-creative-live-healthier-longer

[12] jaunty confidence: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/honoring-the-big-5-0-the-day-i-revealed-my-true-age/

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