Not Ready for Menopause?
The years can sneak up on you. One minute you’re 30 something, the next minute you’re noticing some odd things happening with your body and wondering if this is ‘the change’! It’s meant to be a transition from one phase of womanhood to another. There’s an assumed expectation that certain events have led you here…. that you’ve successfully traversed the womanly journey through wifehood and motherhood. And now that you’ve seen your kids grow, you’re body moves you into the next phase… one that can be a little more about you now that you’ve got time on your hands.
But what if it didn’t happen that way? What if you arrive at menopause and it signals the absolute end of any remote chance that motherhood could still happen?
What if you are alone, without partner or family… what if you are still coming to terms with not being a mum?
There are other reasons too for not feeling ready for menopause. Perhaps it’s come early. Maybe you’ve been dealing with poor health or recovering from an illness. Maybe you’re struggling with the idea of moving into your 50s and with mid-life in general. Perhaps you feel behind the eight ball with your career or finances, or you’ve lost your way doing things that you don’t feel passionate about and feeling it’s too late to change track. You might be underwhelmed with where you find yourself. Perhaps even anxious, stressed or depressed.
It’s hard to deal with your own perceived failure. To make peace with it. Especially hard when your body is aging and reminding you of what is no longer possible. But we are not all supposed to have the same journey, surely. Perhaps some of us are chosen to be different because we are strong enough to be different. Perhaps there are other wonderful things still coming to us, perhaps we can make a difference in the world somehow…. or on a smaller scale, perhaps we can make a difference in other lives around us, or in a special relationship that’s still making its way to us. One things for certain, we are not irrelevant or meaningless. Not all opportunity has passed us by. Life is not over; there is happiness to be found in every day, in the simple things, as well as in the knowledge that we’ve faced adversity and come through it stronger, wiser and with a better understanding of ourselves.
I can’t imagine what the best part of having a child might be. I’ve had a glimpse of unconditional love from my dogs over the years (and seen what kind of mother I might have been through the way I love and take care of them). But in the absence of a child, if I think about the best thing having one might be, then I would say the way that it moves the focus away from ‘the self’…. which, for someone already quite internal, would have been a wonderful diversion. Having a greater field of focus seems to me to be a perfect antidote to too much thinking and delving deep within. I think that the time and energy required to nurture and maintain family life would provide a balance between the internal and the external, basically put life into perspective. As much as I have told myself over the years that there are other perspectives – and I do think that’s true – I still know there’s a part of me that wonders if there is another perspective that would ring as true or feel as satisfying to a women.
Without that kind of life, you may have found that you’ve tried to ‘make up’ for it in other ways…. a drive to be the best at something, to prove yourself, to maximise the time that’s been your own. To find what you are supposed to have, or be. And maybe the onset of menopause is causing you to feel anxious about all of this. It’s easy to think of menopause as ‘the end’ in some respects. But really… is it?
Isn’t it simply that, as with all else, it is what you think it is. What you make of it….
Events outside our control can cause fear. When things don’t go to plan, or the unconsciously assumed plan, we can feel aggrieved. But remember that perspective is ours! Our perspective to have and apply as we see fit!
How we respond to each situation in life, to each change and challenge, and how we decide to perceive what is going on, is our choice. If you say you are not ready for menopause, then you won’t be. If you worry about aging, then it will be a situation that will indeed manifest much worry for you. Any milestone in life can be a wonderful experience – and one at this stage in life can be met head on with self-confidence, knowledge gained through the years, and a rite of passage no matter what your journey has been. We have all been courageous to get to this point – simply by allowing ourselves to grow, learn, adapt, get up again when we were knocked down…. and now, perhaps more than ever before, courageous enough to become who we really are.
‘Nothing can dim the light that shines from within’ (Maya Angelou)…. ‘not menopause, not being without children, not a journey that didn’t go to plan, and not aging’ (Lynda Wallas) 🙂
Here are some other inspiring quotes on courage: –
‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage’ (Anais Nin)
‘You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… you must do the thing you think you cannot do’ (Eleanor Roosevelt)
‘The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because sh$# worked out. They got that way because sh$# went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it’ (Elizabeth Gilbert)
Next time you feel like you’re not where you ought to be, or not ready for menopause, give yourself a little pep talk. Remind yourself that it is your unique journey and that it’s not over yet! Think about how all the winding paths so far just might be leading to the best and happiest years of your life. Congratulate yourself on all you have achieved and mastered so far, not so much the possessions or the accolades but your ability for empathy, love and forgiveness…. not being afraid of human-ness and making mistakes…. your grace, your spirit, your courage.
Then look menopause in the eye and dare her to bring it on!