Menopause and Giving in to the Mystery

Zion NP © lynette sheppard

Early in my Menopause transition (euphemism for hellish maelstrom of horrifying hormonal events), so many things bothered me that I couldn’t keep count.

As the preliminary WTF freakouts of perimenopause and volcanic upheavals of The Big M are now mostly in my rear view mirror, I realize that some irritants that used to upset me simply don’t any longer. And that’s a real blessing.

For example, I used to be confounded and annoyed by the backhanded compliment “You look good…for your age.” Now, heck, I’ll take any compliment I can get without overanalyzing it for nuance or even honesty. I’ll just focus on the “look good” part and thank the complimenter with sincere gratitude.

Being called ma’am initially was both disconcerting and horrifying. My mom is ma’am. And she just barely. I felt old and frumpy every time I was addressed in this fashion usually by someone only recently out of diapers, waiting on me in the store or bank.

But now, I gotta say, I’m okay with ma’am. You might say I’ve grown into it. Ma’am. Short for madam – now there’s a racy little thought. And when someone calls me “Miss”? I know they’re just sucking up or trying to sell me something. I no way qualify for “Miss”  anymore. Another thing in my rear view mirror and I don’t really miss it.

I’ve heard some of my friends and sister goddesses over the years complain about being invisible
. And I’ve certainly experienced that evanescence myself when a clerk looks right past me to wait on some hot young woman. “Hey!” I’d want to yell. “I”m right here taking up space. Service me – or at least wait on me.” (No I never did yell, I’d just clear my throat and say, “Excuse me, I believe I was here first.” Which either worked or didn’t.

However, now in my post menopausal incarnation, I find that I enjoy a certain anonymity, thanks to this decreasing visibility. I can slip in and out of places faster than a greased pig. Hawkers on the street miss giving me flyers. I love that.

And if I’m having a bad hair day? Or a fat day? Who cares? I’m invisible in the very best way and can just go about my business, carefree and happy. I don’t have an image to keep up. I’m ma’am now, remember?

No, I’m not letting myself go – just letting myself be. So much easier when you aren’t noticed that much anymore. Whew, what a relief.

Forgetting things drove me absolutely stark staring mad in the beginning of my transition. Not so anymore. I’m used to it. I have Rube Goldbergian workarounds to make my life work these days. I am the Queen of ritual and OCD in organizing stuff.

I just can’t trust my formerly prodigious memory any longer to pick up the slack. And honestly, I can’t get all worked up about it anymore. I exercise my brain as well as my body but neither are going to be in Olympic condition any time soon. Or ever. Hence the workarounds.

Lastly, not knowing the why of things sent me into an info gathering tailspin. Not all bad. I’ve learned (and shared) so much about the crazy Menopause journey through my incessant desire for understanding. And while I can learn and understand a lot? Some things will remain incomprehensible. Maybe forever.

Like why I had hot flashes to the point of nausea and my friend Susan had nary a flush. Or why black cohosh works for some and not others. Or why I and others lose our hair while some women boast luxurious manes all their lives.

Overall, I’ve come to an acceptance that some things may never be clear. In a sense, I’m on a need-to-know basis – and apparently the great mystery has decided that I don’t really need to know. So be it.

Maybe the biggest change is this: I’m just going to enjoy the Mystery, however it plays out, whatever challenges or wonders await me ‘round the next bend. That might be one of the secrets to aging gracefully. Maybe not. Then again, maybe.

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8 Responses to Menopause and Giving in to the Mystery

  1. Teri Lou November 22, 2010 at 2:32 am #

    Oh Lynette, as I read the tail end of your journey, I truly feel that I need to find time to start from the beginning. How well you took a serious and sometimes painful stage of life and gave it less power, through humor and honesty.

  2. Rebecca November 22, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    Love this post! I just discovered your blog this past week. I know what you mean about being invisible. And I like the thought of giving in to the mystery. Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts. Thanks!

  3. Diane O'connor November 22, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    What still bothers me is that stuff just seems to “disappear”. I saw it before, I thought I left it “here”, I don’t remember moving it…. what happened to it? Who keeps picking up things and moving them someplace else and then forgets to leave me a memo? LOL!

  4. Theresa November 22, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Consistent background noise such as chatter, humming machines, tv’s, etc. used to put me over the edge. Not so much anymore. Perhaps I am simply better at blocking it out.

  5. Cynthia November 22, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    I remember being consumed with worries about meaning in my life. What was I here to do, really? Now, I have almost daily reminders that the wisdom, clarity and support I bring to family, friends and others is what matters and what satisfies my need for a meaningful life.

    And also, surrounding myself with quiet, the beauty of the outdoors and being present to the bounty of life all fill my life with joy and meaning.

    Unlike Theresa, I still can’t stand a lot of noise. It’s so exHAUSTING!

  6. Lynette Sheppard November 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Thanks everyone for the sharing. Cyn, I know what you mean about being focused on what was I here to do,really. Like you, it’s more a day to day thing – just being present. Oh I still have moments of OMG, what’s it all about, am I doing enough or the right things but those thoughts don’t really have much of a hold on me anymore.
    I’m probably in between you and Theresa on the noise thing – it bugs me, but not to the zero to rage in 60 seconds way anymore – and I just try to leave the noise behind. Barring that, there’s earplugs.

  7. rae November 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    I love that I can go on this journey with all my sisters and confirm what I have been thinking all a long……. why is my body doing this to me????!!!!!, on well we will just make the best of it and make the last of it incredible!!!!!

  8. brocail@live.fr January 1, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    oui , a force de travailler seule et l’age le troisieme age arrive est égal a la ménaupose et ma foi l’arréet de pause à la reflection pensait un instant plus envie de continuer , nous sommes arriver a bien pensée et là ou on croit inutile , nos rides , nos richesses acquises demandent de continuer telque pensée écrire un lire sa ne sert à rien par notre age mais si , vu il ni a pas d’hazard d’avoir tomber sur se site merci a encouragement chacun puisses dans un détail le besoin , esprit relie a nous tous

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