The PAUSE in Menopause

Menopause should more accurately be called menohalt, as reader Jackie M points out. I wonder sometimes about the scientists or health professionals that named it – were they overly optimistic? Confused? Clueless? Where actually is the PAUSE in menopause?

I think I may have figured it out. The Pause might be a pause for reflection. We can’t remember anything, can’t function as we used to, are clueless and confused ourselves. We reevaluate everything. We pause to ask ourselves who we are. We look back to who we’ve been up until the Big M. We look ahead to the woman we might become.

We pause to ask what WE want, rather than what does our family, our work, our world want from us. We cease going on automatic and examine our life from the sides, the bottom, the soft juicy core.

The Big M ushers in a host of other m’s, not the least of which is mortality. A pretty big M in its own right, mortality reminds us that this ride is not forever, so we had better choose our manner of conveyance and pay attention to the journey.

We pause to ponder what we might be when we grow up. We pause to consider what we might wish to leave behind when we shuffle off this mortal slinky. Mostly, we pause to appreciate, to savor flowers and love and blue sky and books and girlfriends.

I recently discovered Vibrant Nation, a website for women over fifty, when they posted an article about my book "The Big M". I liked the site and its conversations. so I joined. When I filled out the personal info page with bio and the usual stats, I came to a box that asked me to send a postcard to my younger self.

I was delighted and intrigued. What would I say to her/me if I could? Besides love your body because it changes, don’t sweat the small stuff, clean less and play more, work and success are okay, but love and gratitude make for a meaningful life. Stuff like that.

In the end, I simply wrote this:

Dear Me,

It’s all worth it – it only gets better. I’ll be (am) glad when you are here.

All my best,


What would YOU write to your younger self? Let me know and maybe we’ll be able to pass on our notes to our daughters and the young goddesses in training. Pause, reflect, and send that virtual postcard to the sweet, young you from the wiser, vibrant woman you’ve become. Let’s really put the PAUSE in menopause.

(photo for this posting by my handsome hubby, Dewitt Jones)

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8 Responses to The PAUSE in Menopause

  1. Betty Zahler September 23, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    When one gets to be a menopausal goddess, a pause is necessary to evaluate life`s accomplishments. It always makes us stronger and more self assured at the M stage.

    Gone are the every day worries with our spouses and children. I find this a very special time and i am currently enjoying my golden years. Celebrate these years Goddesses and kudos to our enlightened leader Lynette.

  2. Theresa September 23, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    Fabulous thoughts. I am passing this one to all of my gal friends. Kudos to you.

  3. Maureen Senn September 23, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    Ok, here is my postcard:

    Can’t wait for you to get here and see your grandchildren! They make it all worthwhile. Oh and your husband. He will become your best friend so putting up with the little things is just paying it forward. Enjoy every moment getting here and have no regrets. See you soon. Love, Mo

  4. lynette Sheppard September 23, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    Your postcard rocks, girlfriend!

  5. Karen Derby September 23, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    I would have told myself to start yoga as early as possible and save myself alot of bad choices thru the yrs. Starting yoga at 52, I’ve never been so strong—-in body and in mind, and I have to admit, I look damn good.!!!!

  6. Barb Sasaki September 23, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    My Dear Barbie,

    Try just a little harder to understand what others are going through. Put aside your self righteousness. Try just a little harder to judge less and give… and forgive more. Someday you will be the one needing forgiveness. Try just a little harder to laugh more and cry less. And when you ask if things will ever get better…easier…less painful….the answer is YES! Hang on, I am waiting here for you, little sister.



  7. Anne Wheeler September 23, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    I love this essay! This is one of your best yet, Lynnette. Really spoke to me, and made me think about the postcard I need to send to my younger self. You just get better and better!



  8. Carol September 23, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    Oh I do love this post. You are so right…it’s almost scary knowing that we are not immortal, that we have a responsibility to ourSELF to find our passion, and that (for me, at least), I’ve wasted a lot of time whining about things that didn’t matter. I’ve also learned that the "me" from so long ago wasn’t so bad, after all. Sigh.

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