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Menopause: I Laughed In Its Face

by lynette sheppard


Menopause the Musical would not be so successful if the whole transition weren’t so laughable. And the Venuses would be the first to say that humor has saved us. Humor and girlfriends.

Sometimes, though, the whole Menopause journey is so sucky that it’s hard to remember to laugh. And for those times we have a whole slew of cyber girlfriends to start us giggling at the absurdity once again.

Minnie Pauz is a cartoon menopausal everywoman. Check her out at minniepauz. com and sign up to get the cartoons. Better yet, buy the book! You’ll be hearing more about her in an upcoming blog entry where her creator, Dee Adams, tells how Minnie came to be.

A newcomer to our internet coffee klatch (or wine tasting, whatever) is 4honeybunch2.com. She has a line of hilarious cards, magnets, and more. And what I love most? She’ s not trying for political correctness – just telling it like it is.

The universality of the Menopause experience transcends borders (and so much more!) Izzy Muses In her humorous blog covers menopause and Other Midlife Matters from her home in the Emerald Isle.

The self-described Queen of Planet Hot Flash leads with “Put On Your Big Girl Panties and Deal With It” on her blogsite. Her menopausal rants are definitely good for a chuckle. Sadly, she hasn’t posted much lately, maybe Planet Hot Flash is going through some climate change. Like all of us. I can relate.

Longtime reader and blogger friend, Poetikat ,wrote this alphabet soup comparison poem about the difference HRT can make for some of us menopausal goddesses.

Three Letters Can Make a Big Difference

Without HRT
acrimonious
bitchy
confrontational
disgruntled
exasperated
furious
grave
hellish
irate
jugular
kick-ass
long-suffering
malevolent
nettled
overwrought
provoked
quick to judge
rage filled
snippy
tightly-wound
uncontrollable
vitriolic
wigged out
x is for murder
yelling
zoo-bound

Verdict: Locked up!

With HRT
agreeable
benevolent
composed
delighted
enervated
funny
gleeful
hilarious
incandescent
jocular
kick-up-your-heels
laughing
merry
nice (and naughty)
open-minded
pleasant
quiet
restful
soothing
tranquil
unflappable
vibrant
warm
x is for xstatic
yearning
zip-a-dee-doo-dah!
Verdict: Set free!

Many thanks to all these menopause goddesses helping us cope by making us laugh!

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Menopause Moments

memory cartoon

One of my girlfriends is newly in the throes of perimenopause.  And she has just experienced her first full-on Menopause Moment.  Yep, one of those mental lapses that previously would have been simply unthinkable and would cause a woman to doubt her very sanity. I think that we can safely assure her that it won’t be her last.

Just a little background on my friend to put this all in context. A (for Anonymous which is how she wants to be known just now) is a CEO, multitasking go-getter who still finds time to play and hang out with friends in between running her business and her bicoastal life. I think of her as one of the most balanced and together people I know. Which is why her story of her Menopause Moment is all the more hilarious and revelatory.

Menopause doesn’t discriminate and it takes no prisoners.  It afflicts every woman in her own unique way while providing universal Menopause experiences; those Menopause Moments that remind us we are in the second half of our lives.

Okay, enough background info – back to the story.  Our heroine has just finished closing up her East Coast house for the winter and is embarking on a circuitous journey to her West Coast home via New York, Miami, Kansas, Atlanta, and Seattle. She’s all packed and is on a last minute business call as she climbs into the taxi for the airport.

A couple of minutes of driving and her phone loses service.  She’s puzzled.  Usually she has such great service with her network all the way from home to airport.  She starts to dial again, when she realizes that the phone in her hand is not her cell phone.  It is the cordless HOME phone and she has just taken it with her.  After a few minutes consternation, she begins to laugh out loud and calls to tell me all about it, proclaiming, “I know understand how women put the mail in the freezer.”

So hey, no harm, no foul.  She’s sending the phone back to a neighbor to put back in her house.  The best thing about all this?  She knew that it’s NORMAL and she LAUGHED at it.  Because, girlfriends, that is all we can do in the face of such disorienting change.  Like the calypso poet / singer Jimmy Buffett says “Breathe in. Breathe out.  Move on.”  Words to live by now and for the next 50.

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Menopause Goddess is All Atwitter … Almost

Once we’ve passed the hurdle of Changeophobia, we head down the tract to the next one. Before we even have time to congratulate ourselves on our flexibilty, up looms New Learning.

I had always thought of myself as a curious, interested, open kind of person. I liked learning – just about anything. Of course, that was when I had unlimited time left on this planet and seemingly unlimited energy to sample all its wares. The Big M brought those misconceptions to a screeching halt.

Like all the Venuses, I’m growing into the woman I want to be. And , alas, growing means having to learn new things. Because of finite time left, and less energy than in my youth, these new things must now pass the pros and cons of worthiness. Are they useful? HOW useful? Do they take up too much time for too little return? Are they fun? (Yep, fun has to figure in there somewhere. Living my second childhood demands a fun factor.) Do they offer anything of value to me? To others? Are they a distraction that gets me off track, off the Prime Directive of my life so to speak?

My Prime Directive is to boldly go where no menopausal goddess has gone before, in the company of other menopausal goddesses, sharing humor, heart, and help. Creating community and support for a transition that no one should travel alone.

With equal amounts terror and titillation, I ventured into the social networking world. (Thanks, Jonathan!) I was uncertain whether this would be helpful and useful to me and my sister goddesses or whether I’d be overwhelmed and lost. The first day was purely frightening as my inbox filled to bursting. "What have I done?" I thought bleakly. And then dear Sharon Venus inadvertantly came to my rescue with a short note declaring, "Seriously afraid of Facebook. Help." I laughed out loud at my own thoughts being voiced so perfectly. And then I knew how we’d get through it.

Together. That’s how we’ve handled the menopause transition. After the Big M, we ought to be able to handle a little hurdle like social networking. Sharon Venus and I talked on the phone, shared our fears and hopes, and made a plan to move ahead. (We also have become virtual office mates, since working at home means there’s no one in the next cubicle to help or push when needed. We’ve created virtual cubicles.)

This is how I’ve come to be all a Twitter, synced in on Linked in, and face forward on Facebook. I’ve seen the use in the social networking craze and how it can support the Prime Directive. I can now "tweet" a good link or quick tip for menopause goddesses from my freaking cell phone. I can join or create groups where menopause info can be shared, and hopefully share resources with more women. Sure the learning curve is steep at times, but I’m not afraid to "tweet" for help. Through cross-platform cross pollination, there’ll be more women sharing wisdom about Menopause.

Speaking of help, please fill out the quick survey I developed to get info on revamping this website. Click Here to take survey to help me make this site better.

You can follow me at Twitter Lynette’s Twitter
or join me at Lynette’s Facebook or
Lynette’s Linked In

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A Menopause Goddess Loses Her Balance

When Karen Leland first approached me about a Huffington Post piece on The Big M, she asked a series of questions. She’s also the Life-Balance Examiner for Examiner.com, so her first question was appropriately "How do peri-menopause and menopause affect a woman’s sense of balance in her life?" I answered her this way.

"A woman’s sense of balance is affected completely. Totally. Utterly. If a woman has managed to attain a certain level of balance in her life prior to these transitions, it will astonish her how completely "unbalanced" she will suddenly feel with the advent of the Big M.

The worst of it is not knowing what to expect or what is happening. Time and again, women will say to me "I thought I was going crazy."

There is good news, however, and HOPE. First, the worst of it is temporary. A goddess may be in for a tough year or two and things never completely return to our Pre-M state, but the ups and downs even out and balance is again attainable.

And, if we are prepared for this momentous transition, if we know what to expect, and that it’s temporary, we can handle it. After all, we’re women! We have reservoirs of strength. We give birth, for crying out loud!

And it may turn out that we give birth again, to a new self."

Ultimately, she pulled from my other answers specifics for a top 10 list of tips for becoming a menopausal goddess. The final tip addressed the "brain fog" aspect of the Big M. It was to be gentle with yourself when you put the mail into the refrigerator. When I gave that answer, I felt very balanced and sure that I was speaking with the voice of crone wisdom.

Alas, in a bizarre life imitating art moment, I was able to test this tip for myself today. I lost, or more likely misplaced, my checkbook. After calmly looking in all the usual places, (purse, check drawer, under the seats of the cars) I demanded that my husband join the search and/or tell me what he’d done with it. He hadn’t used it, but jumped into the fray.

Ordinarily he is the creative, right brained partner and often misplaces things in plain site. At these times I urge him not to worry, to be calm, to stop looking and the missing item will turn up. In an irritating role reversal, this time, he invoked the calm voice of reason, while I was having a panic-driven meltdown, tearing through the entire house looking EVERYWHERE for the motherloving CHECKBOOK! Which I still haven’t found! And yes, I even checked the fridge. Note to self: refrain from being logical, voice of reason when next Dewitt has hissy fit over a misplaced object.

So an amendment to that final tip: Be gentle with yourself when you can’t be gentle with yourself, because your freaking brain went on the fritz again. Just when you thought you had it all together.

I finished my interview with Karen, telling her that I believe that Menopause is a wake-up call. It starts out as a horror story, but with the support of other women, it can turn into a most amazing coming-of-age story One of the worst journeys you never wanted to take might morph into the best trip you’ve ever been forced to endure. I still believe this, even in unbalanced moments such as this one. Menopause. It truly can herald the best part of our lives. (But it’ll really piss us off first.)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-leland/how-to-be-a-menopause-god_b_183990.html

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Happy Holidays for Menopausal Goddesses, Bolster Your Boundaries

Boundaries. They are an issue that we menopausal goddesses have dealt with all our lives. We’ve explored our boundary problems over and over again at our Venus meetings. Years of excessive pleasing, helping, and giving have made us all too permeable and eventually just plain exhausted. And at no time is this more apparent than around the holidays.

We baby boomers, heck just women in general, bought into the Superwoman myth in our youth – and now we’re trying to be Supercrones. We could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never never let him forget he’s a man. (As if he ever could!) Now at holiday time, we can work, craft, cook for our extending family, and be the best grandparents/aunts/elders the younger generation has ever seen. Yikes! A sure recipe for hapless holidays.

So it is with great joy that I can report at least one Venus-in-training has gently and successfully bolstered her boundaries. My daughter-in-law to be, Shana, and my son, Brian, invited us (and much more family) for Thanksgiving. I wondered how Shana would cope with all the stress of having way too many family members, cooking, and entertaining, since she has been working nonstop on editing the feature film she wrote and directed. I needn’t have worried – she is WAY smarter than I ever was.

She bought dinner – all cooked to perfection, by experts. My son and she set the table the day before – and – it was truly one of the best Thanksgivings I can remember. (The others were choreographed by Bobbi-Venus).

We actually visited and hung out together. We took the dogs for a walk. We watched a cheesy, fun movie. No one was sweaty, stressed, cranky, or tired. There was no clusterfunk in the kitchen. And the meal? Simply fantastic.

As the Venuses dissected, probed, and analyzed our all too feminine loose boundaries, we came up with advice for our daughters and the young Venuses in training. (Excerpted from The Big M).

"Set Appropriate Boundaries
Whew! This is a hard one since we are still learning how to manage this task ourselves. (Just read the first half of this chapter if you want to know how hard.) In order to have clear boundaries, you must know yourself. What are your values, beliefs, and break points? You must know how to care for yourself as well as you care for others. Start with self-knowledge, acceptance, and compassion and you will be well on the way to knowing your boundaries.

Watch for unconscious patterns such as wanting everyone to like you, pleasing everyone but yourself, minimizing your own accomplishments, and putting yourself last. Awareness is the key to breaking the hold of such habits.

One last word about boundaries – awareness must extend to others’ boundaries. While that may seem contradictory, appropriate boundary setting involves not only recognizing your own boundaries but honoring others as well. Unfortunately we’ve known (and been) too many women who finally discover their boundaries only to bludgeon others around them with their newfound discovery."
As for Shana? She could teach us menopausal goddesses a thing or two. And I’m so ready to learn.

(Only 6 more shopping days til Christmas – click below to order The Big M – and don’t forget our girlfriend’s special – buy one at full price and get the second at half price! Merry Christmas! the Big M

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How Many Menopausal Women Does It Take To Change a Light Bulb?

One of our favorite pre-menopausal goddesses, Saskia, shares this bit of wit from cyberspace. And younger women can substitute "PMS" for Menopause, because it is still relevant.
Q: How many women with MENOPAUSE does it take to change a light
Bulb?

Woman’s Answer:
One! ONLY ONE!!!! And do you know WHY? Because no one else in this
House knows HOW to change a light bulb! They don’t even know that the bulb is BURNED OUT!! They would sit in the dark for THREE DAYS before they figured it out.
And, once they figured it out, they wouldn’t be able to find the #&%!* light bulbs despite the fact that they’ve been in the SAME CABINET for the past 27 YEARS! But if they did, by some miracle of God, actually find them, 2 DAYS LATER, the chair they dragged to stand on to change the STUPID light bulb would STILL BE IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!! AND UNDERNEATH IT WOULD BE THE WRAPPER THE FREAKING LIGHT BULBS CAME IN!!! BECAUSE NO ONE EVER PICKS UP OR DOES THE LAUNDRY!! IT’S A WONDER WE HAVEN’T ALL SUFFOCATED FROM THE PILES OFDIRTY CLOTHESTHAT ARE A FOOT DEEP THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE HOUSE!! IT WOULD TAKE AN ARMY TO CLEAN THIS PLACE! AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON WHO CHANGES THE TOILET PAPER ROLL!!

I’m sorry. What was the question?

Humor just may get us through this – that and girlfriends who understand.

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“The Big M” – The Menopause Bible is On Sale Now

Finally, "The Big M" by Lynette Sheppard (and the community of menopausal goddesses) is available. Just click on the "Buy it Now" link on the right of this website. And our introductory "Girlfriends" offer is on for a limited time, where you can buy the first copy at the regular price and get the second for half price to – of course – give to a girlfriend. (And yes, if you buy a third, you get the fourth for half price, and so on. Some of us have lots of girlfriends!)

You may also download the first chapter of "The Big M" at our sister website: The Big M Website

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Menopause and Anxiety: The Night Terrors

We Venuses may not all have suffered daytime panic, but each of us had nocturnal visits from a variety of rest-sucking fears we call the night terrors. Our specters included anxiety and worry, instant replays, and the list of undones. Some of us got all three of these lovelies, occasionally all in the same night. Along with insomnia, these visitations disrupted our sleep profoundly, leaving us more vulnerable to all the other emotional and physical changes that afflict us during the daylight hours.

Initially, I was feeling rather smug during the onset of menopause because I did not find myself bursting into tears or excessively cranky like some of my menopause goddess sisters. However, I made up for this initial blessing in spades during the night time.

In the wee hours of each morning, I would wake to find myself aboard the Fretliner Express, my own personal bullet train to anxiety and worry. While I would have no memory of embarking or even purchasing a ticket, I’d suddenly be speeding straight on to worst-case scenario with no stops at logic, rationality, or probability statistics.

"But this is not me!" I’d cry out silently. "I just don’t worry." I think I’ve mentioned before that this phrase could be the mantra of mid-life women "This is not me." Alas, it is you. And me. Now.

Back to the Fretliner – as always, I am alone and the train is whizzing past stops so fast I can’t tell where we are. Of course it is an underground train – eerie and dark and forbidding. My heart races, and I worry. About everything, it would seem. My kids – where are they right now? Either sound asleep, like I ought to be or partying the night away with their friends or mates. In any case, they are thousands of miles away, living their own lives. But I worry about unseen, amorphous dangers they might encounter. I worry about my health, my husband’s health, the health of my island or the planet. I fret about global warming and whether Friendly Market will have mahi-mahi for tomorrow night’s dinner. I worry about aging in general. I worry that Island Air will be late when we fly to Maui in 2 months, though we have no particular schedule that would be affected if it were late. All these worries are equal somehow. Equal as in HUGE. So I lay awake – worrying and fretting and desperate to get back to sleep. The worst part is that all this worry is aging me further! As much as I lose my train of thought these days, I can’t seem to lose my nocturnal journeys on the Fretliner Express train.

Instant Replays are another hard-to-swallow flavor of the night terrors for us menopausal goddesses. Like a curmudgeonly version of the movie "Groundhog Day", you are forced to relive over and over some insignificant event. The repetition can drive you stark, raving mad. Ordinary moments play over and over in your brain like visual earworms. You re-view the dinner where you had an extra glass of wine and told an overlong albeit amusing story about your cats. You see yourself over and over again saying something stupid to your neighbor. A little episode of mutual crankiness at the dinner table plays ad nauseum. Even a mundane phone conversation with your mother is stuck on repeat.

Yet unlike that uplifting movie where Bill Murray learns the meaning of life and love, you just keep viewing the same loop with no resolution in sight. And in the morning you know it will strike you as inconsequential and meaningless, even silly, but right now in the dark of night, it won’t leave you alone. It drones on like a mosquito, bent on sucking the rest right out of you.

Then there is the dreaded "Night of the Undones", a B-grade subplot of the horror movie that is menopause. The Undones. Those things you forgot to do, should have done, or worry that you might need to do – like thought zombies that parade through your night, jostling you, keeping you awake with silent incessant nagging. Did I pay last month’s phone bill? I can’t remember seeing it. I forgot to call the plumber or clean the catbox. I should have bought computer paper. When did I last check the oil in the car? What am I going to do with all those Christmas cards I bought, now that it is mid-January? Did I buy laundry soap? Did I clean the lint catcher in the dryer? Did I set the Tivo to record Desperate Housewives?
The litany goes on. And on.
If I get up and write these little reminders down, I’m up for a while. Usually, I focus on them, try to commit them to memory, in case they might be important. And this takes long enough that, I’m up. Or should I try to ignore the Undone zombies, they just keep lurching into my consciousness and you guessed it, I’m up.

Undones from the Future come to plague me as well. If they visited me over my morning coffee, I would consider them fodder for a walloping big to-do list. But of course, I’m too exhausted from the previous night’s visitations in the morning, to have a single productive thought in my head. Like their counterparts from "Night of the Living Dead", my middle-of-the -night, synaptic zombies shuffle, lurch, and drag inexorably on through my sleep-deprived brain.
LURCH Order more diet cat food from the vet.
DRAG Check the chemicals in the hot tub.
SHUFFLE Look for the little dual voltage travel water-heating thing so we can take it to Thailand.
LURCH Remind Dewitt to find and put up the motion sensor light outside.
DRAG Trim dead bird-of-paradise blooms in front garden.
And so on. Don’t even suggest one of those little light pens that you can use to write down your list in the middle of the night, guaranteed to keep from waking your spouse and to allow you to fall right back to sleep, safe in the knowledge that you have corralled and organized the zombies. Suffice it to say that I fumble around in the dark, knocking all other implements from my bedside table to the floor, searching for this small item that if I weren’t so irritated would help me so much. But now, I am frustrated and heading toward pissed off, so once again I am AWAKE. and up for a while. The only thing that seems to help dissipate the nighttime anxiety IS anger.

And the one thing that truly makes it all bearable is that I’m not the only one. Even though I don’t see you on the Fretliner, I know you’re there – in some other car, riding along with me, sharing my sweats and terrors. The movie is easier to handle when we know what to expect and when we experience it together.
(material partially adapted from "The Big M" – available in the next 2-3 weeks – stay tuned.)

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Menopause Is A Scary Business

Anxiety may literally be the most unnerving of the emotional traumas visited upon menopausal women; certainly it’s one of the least recognized or discussed. Although I touched upon it in a previous blog entry "(Menopause Has Got Me Worried" Sept. 7, 2007), it seems like it is time to talk about it again. Just recently, I’ve encountered a number of goddesses struggling with this frightening symptom.

First and most important, anxiety that comes out of nowhere when you enter perimenopause and menopause is NORMAL! Not every woman will suffer it, but those who do can take heart that it is just another in the panoply of maladies that accompany our transition. Second, it is TEMPORARY! It will get better. Most women I know have anxiety issues that last 6 months to 2 years. (If you’ve just started having anxiety episodes, you may be screaming inside "Two years! I can’t take two more years of this!") Oh yes, you can. And you will. And there’s help.

The biggest help we found was the discovery that we were not alone. Other midlife women, who previously had never suffered from anxiety and fear, found them selves terrified driving on the freeway or over bridges, petrified for no reason on a daily basis, even experiencing full-blown panic attics in the absence of any recognizable threat.

The Venuses don’t really know of any ingestable remedies that decrease the anxiety of menopause per se. Sure there are some herbal anti-anxiety supplements but we felt we just didn’t know enough about them. Kava kava, for example, relieves anxiety but may damage our liver. (Although that may be dose related – Fijians have been using it for decades on a daily basis – they seem to have a decent life span.) As always, when trying something like this, let your health care partner/practitioner know and monitor your symptoms and dosage carefully. If your MD is not acting as a partner, but as a parent or ultimate authority, find one who will. I can tell you as a health care practitioner myself that the amount we DO NOT KNOW about menopause and many of the complementary therapies would fill a library. Or two.

While you may consult your health care practitioner/partner about your anxiety, be wary of pharmaceutical intervention as a first answer. Tranquilizers and other drugs such as Prozac may be helpful, but may cause other problems or adverse effects. Remember, we’re women. We can handle a lot. We do every day. As long as we know it’s NORMAL and TEMPORARY.

As a group, the Venuses’ fretting was rarely overwhelming, but it was scary and disturbing. If it had been worse, we likely would have seen therapists. (Differentiation note: If you are frightened and jittery, that’s normal. If you cannot leave the house because of fear, or are unable to conduct activities of daily living, that’s not normal and professional help is needed.)

We did practice giving ourselves and each other little "reality checks" when our worrying was excessively annoying. We practiced asking, "What is happening right now, this moment?" (Usually the answer was "Nothing.") "Am I safe, alive, comfortable, etc?" Then we took deep breaths and decided not to panic until we had something to actually panic about, rather than a mental litany of "what ifs". This actually helped ease our jitters quite a bit, although some days our practice worked better than others.

Above all, be gentle with yourself. Give your fear a name. Invite it in for tea. Recognize it as another part of this roller coaster ride we call Menopause – remember right after the scary climb up, anticipating the drop, comes the thrill of a great ride. Let’s do it together – it’s easier to share both the fear and the fun.

(Stay tuned for a future blog entry regarding the Night Terrors, a nocturnal flavor of anxiety.)

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Menopause: Puberty to The Tenth Power

Let me just say, for the record, that we Venuses have been on this planet long enough to realize in our very cells that life is not fair. But we also recognize that there are depths to some of the unfairness that need to be plumbed. One of the deep injustices of particular concern to us has to be the difference between puberty and menopause. Not only are the physical, emotional, and mental changes that occur during menopause akin to puberty squared (or maybe puberty to the tenth power), but the amount of external support for these changes is like the difference in the number of photons present in day vs night. Think we exaggerate? Okay, let’s compare the two side by side, with our tongues only slightly stuck to our cheek linings.

Similarities Between Puberty and Menopause
In puberty we suffer acne and skin eruptions, weird hair growth, wildly fluctuating hormones, body shape changes, breast tenderness, irregular menses, orthodontic problems, growing pains, and fatigue. We also are afflicted with mood swings, melancholia, bursts of anger, and the inability to concentrate.
During the Big M, we also suffer acne and skin eruptions, weird hair growth, wildly fluctuating hormones, body shape changes, breast tenderness, irregular menses, orthodontic problems, growing pains, and mind-numbing fatigue.
Sadly, there the similarities end. Where there is significant preparation and support for the passage of puberty, there is little to none for the transition of Menopause. Here’s a summary of the differences in emotional buttressing for these two pivotal events in a woman’s life.

For the prepubescent female, there is a veritable flood of information and prep for the coming transition. The adults in her life are prepared that she will need time alone to sulk, daydream, or write poetry. Support is offered for the "tough time" she is experiencing. People make excuses for her; "she’s just going through puberty." A relative freedom from responsibilities means that she can truly attend to the process that she is experiencing; to grow into the new being that she is becoming.

For the menopausal goddess, there is a dearth of coherent information (so many of the blogs and sites out there are selling something or just repeating the senseless blather we’ve heard forever.) There is almost no preparation for the changes of the Big M. Time alone to sulk, daydream, or write poetry? You’ve got to be kidding! Support for the tough time you’re experiencing? Uh-uh! People making excuses for you, "she’s just going through menopause?" No way! Freedom from responsibilities? In your dreams!

And the final difference between puberty and menopause comes down to duration. Puberty is expected to last 5 years +/- 2. Alas, menopause lasts 5 years +/- 40. As cataclysmic transformations go, I think we’ve got to say that the Big M beats puberty hands down.

Okay, maybe it isn’t fair to do a side-by-side comparison of menopause with puberty, but we’ve already ascertained and admitted that life’s scales are unbalanced. What we CAN do is our level best to rebalance those lopsided weights by being vocal advocates for ourselves and each other. We can educate our loved ones, coworkers, and Venuses-in-training what to expect from the Big M.

After all, we’re women. We can handle these meteoric changes if we know what’s coming and that it won’t last forever. Not to mention that a little support would go a long way to making the transition easier on everybody. Note to mates, offspring, and others who deal with us: granting us a modicum of the compassion tendered to a fretful, pubescent teen could pay HUGE dividends. Seriously. All joking aside. We’re not kidding.
(This week’s photo of Theresa Venus [top] and myself was taken by Dewitt Jones, my mate who actually IS being supportive of the Big M. Now. At last. Hallelujah.)

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