It’s Thanksgiving already – time to take stock of things that inspire gratitude. I find that I have so much to be grateful for: family and friends, the beauty outside my window, cats, sunsets, Jimmy Buffett songs, art projects, home renovation that is FINISHED, rain, boat rides, and cheeseburgers. The list goes on and on.

And strangely enough, I’m also grateful for menopause. Oh, don’t get me wrong; I’m not wild about hot flashes, weight gain, dryness, or hair thinning. I am an incurable optimist, but I’m not crazy! (Yet). I’d give up the physical changes, emotional rollercoaster and mental derangements in a hot minute.

I’d be less anxious to give up the unexpected side benefits of the big M. I love this newfound feeling of comfort in my skin. I’m enjoying dabbling in art and dance and other "electives", since I worry less about looking foolish. I give more out of genuine desire and less out of obligation.

I don’t do things anymore just because I always have or because I should. My husband suggested that we go out for Thanksgiving dinner this year. I loved the idea and made reservations right away. There won’t be a turkey roasting in our house this year, but there also won’t be a menopausal woman (moi) roasting. How great is that?

So yes, I’m grateful for menopause for startling me into questioning just about everything. I don’t have any answers yet, but I sure am delighting in the inquiry. Most of all, I’m grateful for my goddess sisters who are accompanying and supporting me on this journey. Thanksgiving blessings to you all!