Welcome to Meant To Pause

Tuolumne river © lynette sheppard

Why is it called Menopause instead of Menohalt? We don’t pause our hormones and childbearing status. We come to a screeching stop!

So why the temporary sounding name? Perhaps there’s a message here. (No, I’m not talking about Men On Pause, although there is certainly a component of that for awhile during the Big M.)

I wonder if we are Meant to Pause. Okay, okay, I’m probably reading way too much into this, but I just got back from a major pause up in the high Sierra and it seems that this deep appreciation for all things beautiful has been pushed to the forefront by Menopause.

Peace, enjoyment of simple pleasures like nature and music, reveling in the perfection to be had in the here and now.
Theresa Venus talks about this same feeling in her latest blog entry, wondering if resort living might really be a frame of mind rather than a place like Lake Tahoe. I think she might be on to something.

Case in point: Dewitt and I went up to Tuolumne Lodge in Yosemite National Park again this year. It’s a great vacation spot complete with rustic tent cabins. There’s no wifi and precious little cell phone service. No electricity either. A perfect place to unplug.

Add to that, hot showers and great food prepared for you twice a day and there are just no responsibilities whatsoever. It’s like going to camp without the overamped counselors and activities. Because if there’s one thing we Menopause Goddesses long for, it is unstructured, open time. Time to read, make art, daydream, or just do nothing.

Every morning at breakfast, we were seated with several other campers that we didn’t know. Inevitably the first topic of conversation was “What hike are you doing?”

“Er, none.” we’d answer. “We are just going to walk a little ways down the river and hang out. Maybe read a little and take some photos.”

This was a most appropriate question, since this lodge is the jumping off point for some of the most beautiful (and strenuous) hikes in the Sierra. Our answer earned us some pretty weird looks, and sometimes put a stop to all further conversation.

Still, we stuck to our nonplan. (One of Dewitt’s favorite phrases about vacationing and travel is that “The unaimed arrow never misses.” We live by that.

Off to the river we meandered with lawn chairs, books, cameras, water, and trail mix. Long days were spent rereading favorite books. (In Spite of Everything Yes by Ralph Steiner for Dewitt, Anne Lamott’s delightful book on writing Bird by Bird for me.) We swam and took photos, watched shadows and birds, and just filled ourselves up on natural beauty.

At dinner, we’d reprise our day when asked what hike(s) we did. Some confused looks as well as some curious glances were directed our way. Luckily, food arrived quickly enough to save us having to explain too much.

Our last morning, we were sitting at the table with two goddesses of a certain Meant To Pause age. They asked us about our hiking plans; we sheepishly reiterated our lazy ass, open-ended, goal less ‘plans’. “Wonderful,” they crowed. “Us too. Don’t you just love it?”

We do. We love it. And them. They came along just in time, reaffirming our commitment to Pause and reflect, Pause and relax, Pause and enjoy. Yep, from now on, I’m a Meant To Pause Goddess and proud of it.

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9 Responses to Welcome to Meant To Pause

  1. Dee August 30, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    You are such a joy! 🙂 Too bad you didn’t have one of my t-shirts (or a bumper sticker) that says,

  2. Diana August 30, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    I was actually searching for bioidentical hormone doctors on Google and I stumbled upon your blog. Do you know anything about the safety of bioidenticals? Being the “Goddess of Menopause” and all… 🙂

  3. Maureen August 31, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Perhaps the time it takes for the flashes to ease off is dependant upon the time it takes to accept things as they are, or have become anyway.

  4. Patti Twomey August 31, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    What a perfect vacation. Exactly what Terry & I are planning on doing for our vacation. Funny how in the past we were such in a hurry to do it all and see it all that by the time vacation is over with you are completely exhausted. Maybe this is what the expert has been referring to when they say with age comes wisdom.

  5. Anne August 31, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    OOH. I so get you. I so relish my few unstructured, no plans, no committment hours!! If I watch the birds at my birdfeeder, or practice my yoga breathing, I can feel my soul expanding. I actually don’t have enough hours in the day to do all the self-realization stuff, bec/ I”M TOO BUSY CARETAKING for my 5th decade (working FT and my Dad circling the drain and my favorite sister’s marriage imploding). This is why I’m doing yoga 3 days/week, and I can still barely survive.
    Breathe deep . . .

  6. Lynette Sheppard September 2, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Wow, ladies, thanks for all the affirming comments. And Diana, to answer your question “Are bioidentical hormones safe?” Well, yes and no or maybe. The fact is we have done precious little research on bioidenticals so we cannot say for sure.

    Intuitively, it would make sense that bioidentical hormones would be safer as they mimic our body. But the truth is we just don’t know for sure. MD’s have been prescribing these hormones since the early 70’s (maybe even earlier) so there is a track record but no data.

    Each women needs to do a risk benefit analysis of her own situation to determine if hormones might be right for her. The latest studies of hormones generally seem to suggest that, barring history of clotting, or reproductive cancers; a woman’s risk does not increase substantially for these for 3 – 5 years.

    I have been on a bioidentical hormone patch for just over 3 years and am weaning off it now.

    You need to evaluate how bad or debilitating your symptoms are vs the potential risk. In evaluating risk, you might want to look at bioidenticals as being as risky as pharma hormones, to make the most informed decision.

    And, you may check out Women In Balance and Holistic Medical Assn for a practitioner near you to help as a partner in your decision making who can also prescribe bioidentical hormones should you decide to go that way.
    Also search on the blogsite here for more info on bioidentical hormones and natural remedies. Good luck and keep us posted.

  7. Nancy October 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    First of all I love your blog! More than “just the facts” mam… We do need to feed our souls, too. thanks for a wonderful resource, I will be back often


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