Flying High © lynette sheppard

We recently took our first trip to the mainland to see family in two and a half years. Wow. So wonderful to reconnect. However, in that two and a half years, I had forgotten how and what to pack. There is so much stuff I need post-menopause just for maintenance.

I need moisturizer with a good SPF sunscreen. I need those compression socks for long airplane flights (and all flights are long from Hawaii). I need a full pillbox – most of which are supplements. Acetyl-l-carnitine for memory, Co-Q 10 for heart health, D3 for strong bones, free fatty acids for heart + (a vegetarian fish oil), Benadryl to sleep. Those chewable pink tablets just in case of an upset stomach. Don’t forget, we now need N95 masks and hand sanitizer. Lastly, my epi-pen in case someone slips me some iceberg lettuce accidentally. Sigh.

But then I started to muse on what I no longer need now that I am officially post-menopausal. And the list is pretty long.

I no longer need to wear glasses or contacts thanks to my cataract surgery. Woo hoo!

I don’t need sanitary napkins or tampons. Ditto Midol.

I don’t require birth control of any kind.

I don’t need running shoes – I just walk now.

I don’t need high heels – actually, I never did.

I don’t need more holes in my ears (two in each is plenty).

I don’t need perms every six months (those chemicals are deadly for thinning hair – I just keep it long, it’s easiest. And a bonus – it finally has its own natural curl.)

I don’t need a gym membership – I have tons of exercises right on my phone.

I don’t need a desktop computer – my laptop is fine.

I don’t need a big suitcase for travel – I travel more lightly even with all the maintenance necessities. (Though if I’m too lazy to pack efficiently, I’ll use a big suitcase and just throw everything in. It doesn’t have to be full.)

And finally, I don’t need to be hard on myself if/when I forget something. Menopause is a journey – and I’m just going to enjoy the ride.