About LynetteSh

Author Archive | LynetteSh

Fab New Products for Menopause Goddesses

Changes © lynette sheppard

It absolutely thrills me that committed people are working on products to help us through the transition and changes of the Big M. I only wish more of these had been available when I was first going through the Pause. Oh well, they are here now!

Cool Clothes

Fifty One Apparel’s  line of cooling clothing has me so excited. They let me try one of their tops and after test driving it, I can declare it wonderful. (I need to get a set of their lounge pants next for yoga practice and exercising.) The garments really live up to their promise of “Cool Clothes for Hot Women.” A majority of cooling fabrics use a “wicking” mechanism to draw the sweat away from the body leaving the body cool but their technology (originally developed by NASA) controls the production of moisture before it begins to form, so that the body enjoys a stable temperature. It really is revolutionary.  Fifty One Apparel is located in the UK – it’s easy for them to send via mail to the US.  Find out more and check out styles (and terrific blogs) on their website Fifty One Apparel.

Hot Girls Pearls – A Cool Idea

Most of us undergoing the Big M found that putting ice on our neck or the inside of our wrists helped stop hot flashes. There are now even fancy wristbands made commercially that do the same without the mess and melting. But they are expensive. Enter Hot Girls Pearls. They gave me one of their necklaces to try and boy, is it great. Especially in those dog days of August when I flush or flash more than usual. (Yes, even though most of menopause is in my rear view mirror, I still have hot flashes, just not as often or as severe.) You just freeze the  pearl necklaces or bracelets, put them on, and voila – cool and comfortable. They have a non-toxic gel that stays frozen quite a while – and they look great. I chose gray – they also come in white or black. What a fashionable answer to hot flashes! Check them out on their site:  Hot Girls Pearls

Natural Menopause Relief

At Last Naturals offers a variety of products to help us naturally through the worst of menopause symptoms and facilitate hormone balance. Fifty years ago, a pharmacist created these all-natural remedies. His daughter, a member of the NAMS (North American Menopause Society) carries on the tradition to this day. I tried some samples of their vaginal gel – it’s now my new favorite external moisturizer. I LOVE their MSM moisture cream and soap.

One of our satellite goddesses tried the Menopause, Perimenopause, and PMS support cream and pronounced it helpful in relieving symptoms such as hot flashes. Wild yam extract is the active ingredient with no fragrances, colors, or animal products. Find out more and order on their website: At Last Naturals.

There really is no reason we can’t make it through menopause coolly and comfortably these days. Find out what works for you – and stay cool!

Comments { 0 }

Ways Body Detoxification Can Help Restore Hormone Balance

I am currently doing a cleansing diet and felt that this guest post by Hodge Racter was timely and relevant. Enjoy!

 

Image source: Elements Envato

Ways Body Detoxification Can Help Restore Hormone Balance

by Hodge Racter

Hormone imbalance tends to be overlooked in a person’s overall health nowadays. Instead of addressing it and taking it seriously, most people would rather associate it with plain mood swings and appetite changes. Technically, yes, mood swings and changes in one’s appetite are all part of hormone imbalance. But that’s not all of it. Hormone imbalance shouldn’t be taken lightly at all. In fact, it shouldn’t be left unaddressed the moment you notice a few changes.

The human body’s hormones are commonly referred to as the “chemical messengers,” which, from the name itself, transmit signals and messages to the brain. These hormones are actually in charge of a human’s emotions, feelings, mood, weight, and appetite. Hormones play a crucial role in making sure that your body runs smoothly. However, too much or too little production of these hormones can lead to hormone imbalance. And because of its important role in one’s body, hormone imbalances can then lead to a series of side effects throughout the entire body. With that, hormone imbalance is not supposed to be taken lightly. If anything, it should be attended to immediately before things get worse.

In most cases, people who experience hormone imbalance opt for proven and professional help such as a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or BHRT. Lots of clinics today offer BHRT for patients who suffer from hormone imbalances. In fact, you can find one in Kansas! Kansas City bioidentical hormone replacement therapy offers a replacement of lost hormones to help restore one’s hormone balance and natural, youthful glow.

However, some people tend to go for simple and natural home remedies when it comes to bringing back the balance of their hormones, and detoxification is one of these. Cleansing and detoxifying are often laughed at as it’s most commonly known as a fad since a human’s organs are believed to filter and cleanse itself all the time. However, cleansing and detoxifying in today’s time has openly become a norm because of how much toxins you take in and digest in your body on a daily basis. All processed foods and inorganic skin and body products contribute to several health damages, that’s why you need to eliminate these toxins every once in a while. But, how can detoxifying really help balance one’s hormones? Listed below are ways body detoxification can help restore your hormone’s balance:

Reduces Inflammation
Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone,” and too much production of this can lead to belly fat. If you still don’t know, excess fat in this area is a known risk factor for health problems like diabetes, heart diseases, infertility, and a few more. Not to mention, excess fat in this area is hard to get rid of! When you experience chronic stress, your cortisol levels tend to rise in an instant and without warning. This leads to excessive eating, which can then result in too much sugar intake, diabetes, obesity, and a lot more.

Additionally, a person’s rising cortisol levels can cause a great amount of inflammation inside the body. Detoxing and eating foods rich in alkaline can significantly help reduce inflammation and keep your cortisol hormones at bay. Here’s a fact: diseases hate alkaline components, which means your body’s stressors causing these diseases are instantly reduced. As a result, you’ll become more aware of your eating habits and be able to filter the right types and amount of food you take in your body.

Decreases Body Fat While Increasing Energy
Doing cleanses and detox means you’re dumping out most of your body’s wastes or toxins for who knows how long it has been there! Detoxing and cleansing your body can often lead to weight loss and management. As you reduce toxins and wastes, there’s not a lot of room left for future toxins or stressors to occupy your body. What does this mean then?

No toxin storage means better health! As a result, your body has more energy to host a lot of other health benefits. More often than not, when a person has enough or more energy, he gets even more motivated to maintain and stick with a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Hormones are produced on time and in just about the right amounts. This means you’re starting to say hi to a better you!
Reduced Toxins Promote Better Hormone Production and Filtration
A human body’s liver can do wonders. It’s one of the most critical organs, actually. Your liver stores, produces, and filters a lot of varying substances in your body. And when you usually intake processed and unhealthy foods, apply inorganic body products all over your skin, and regularly expose yourself to pollution, your liver can get pretty stressed and dysfunctional. As a result, your liver tends to act up and produce either too much or too little hormones that your body will be needing.

Cleansing and detoxing your body, which targets the liver, can be very useful in filtering out hormones better, so you don’t end up with a series of hormone imbalances. This only means better hormone production and filtration, which also leads to a better and worry-free lifestyle!

Wrapping Up
Although detoxification was once considered a fad, many people nowadays resort to this to help combat hormone imbalance. True enough, cleansing and detoxifying every once in a while can do great wonders in your body. In fact, it can even lead to significant lifestyle changes, which your body will thank you for. Are you experiencing hormone imbalance? Try detoxing your body and eliminating toxic wastes to help make you feel better and bring back your hormones’ natural balance.

 


Author’s Bio:
Though not a medical professional, Hodge Racter knows a lot about medical topics, including testosterone replacement therapy (having undergone the procedure himself) and cosmetic and non-cosmetic surgeries. Today, he remains spry and energetic despite his age, and when he’s not doing freelance work, he’s having quality time with his wife and two dogs.

Comments { 2 }

Help With Menopause Research – Be Part of the Solution

Healing Touch © lynette sheppard

When I went through menopause, there was very little information or research about this life-altering transition. That’s changing – and you can be part of the change by sharing your experiences. I hope you will participate in both of these worthwhile causes.

Be Interviewed

Mara Santilli is a freelance writer working on  research for The Plum: https://theplumonline.com/, a new site for women over 40. They are putting together a package on Menopause for Menopause awareness month in September. She will be conducting short phone and email interviews with 51 women (51 being the average age women enter menopause) about their physical and emotional experiences with menopause. If you are  currently experiencing some stage of menopause, would you participate and give here quick quote? She will be using your full name, where you’re from, and a photo of you. Contact her at maracsantilli@gmail.com with any questions or if you’re able to help connect her in any way! Thanks so much for helping your sister menpause goddesses.

Participate in a Study

Alicia Eke-Egele is currently conducting an online survey as part of her Occupational Psychology masters. The aim of the study is to explore the moderating effect perceived organisational support may have on the relationship between menopause symptom severity and job satisfaction.  Participate by clicking on the following link:  https://coventry.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/does-organisational-support-moderate-the-relationship-betw-2   Thanks again for helping all of us through this transition. Any questions, contact Alicia via email:   alicia.eke@gmail.com   Results will be posted on this blog.

Comments { 2 }

Redefining Success in Our Second Act

Enjoy an illuminating look at success in this guest blog by Tania Carriere. Maybe it’s time to rethink what it means to each of us.

Are you a Success? by Tania Carriere

A dear friend is sitting on the couch across from me. There is a look of sleeplessness and worry on her face. She is, by her own admission, weary under the weight of the questions and fear – big, gut cramping fear- that swirls around her decision to close down her dream.

Two years ago she opened a boutique restaurant and today she is announcing that she is closing the doors. She slumps, cringing in defeat and shame, and confesses, no, she apologizes for proving the naysayers right and for being a failure.

I listen.

And when I can’t take it any more, I lean in.

You’ve got this all wrong.

This is a time for champagne.

And a little defiance.

I am so tired of being subjected to ads that promise me they hold the key to my “success”. What really irks me is in this promise of a six-figure income or vast blog reach, they presume to know what MY success looks like and that it is defined in how BIG and DOMINATING I am.

This kind of thinking is so destructive. I am tired of this narrative about how we should judge our days. And so when I see the face in front of me, shattered from the belief that she is not a success, the warrior in me reaches for her sword.

I refuse to succumb the word “success” anymore. That word has been hijacked and polluted. Instead of compelling or inspiring to greatness, I see it harm and diminish both clients and friends.

I’d rather talk about fulfillment, joy, meaning, or whatever word makes me and them smile longingly. My personal favourite is Glorious.

I arrive back at the table (‘cause there is ALWAYS a bottle of champagne in the fridge; I am vigilant for celebration worthy moments)…

I am going to pop this cork,

we are going to talk about what we are celebrating.

Tell me about being Glorious.

Because here’s how I see it.”

It was glorious when you felt the beginnings of a dream and you dared to believe in yourself and the vision you had, instead of the much easier route of ignoring it, talking yourself out of it or worse yet, pretending you didn’t even hear your own soul speaking in the first place. Glorious.

That day you looked at the naysayers who wanted you to favour safety over inspiration, thanked them for their concern and then went about finding financing and partners who would share and shoulder your dream. Glorious.

The guts it took to resist the shortcuts, the cheaper but value-bending options, the dismissive bankers, all while standing, feet wide in your own power pose. Glorious.

The soft humbleness through which you found the courage to seek advice, shift your plans, dream up the community that would surround you, create a brand, invite your first customer in. Glorious.

The integrity with which you took responsibility for your creation, staying up at night to look over the numbers for the 100th time, make difficult choices, all the while holding fiscal responsibility, blaming no one, not the economy or the clients, but working hard to overcome the events that influenced the pressures on your business. Glorious.

You were the master of your life, you dared, risked, loved, brought to life, delighted; all on your own two feet. True, you did not see the doors open into year 3. Yup, you missed that target. But that is NOT the thing that defines you.

Success is a state that you have a right to define for yourself. And if you define it as a succession of moments in which you were “glorious”, well then, that changes everything, doesn’t it?

Why do we take glory and success away from one another? Why do we hold each other and ourselves up to impossible standards? When did we stop celebrating the experience, the daring and the journey only to focus on the ending and outcome (and then only validating that if it has Amazon’s reach or Oprah’s endorsement)?

It takes bravery to reclaim the right to define our success.

We have to start putting weight on the things that really matter to us and to do the hard work of owning the measures to which we will account our days. Do you know what they are for you?

How many times have I started to answer someone’s question about my company, a coaching and retreat practice that allows me to live my best life, sharing my gifts in a way that brings me exquisite meaning and joy and makes a deep contribution to those I work with, and I hear …yes but, what about profit margin, the perils of not being scalable or can I really consider it a success if I am not on Oprah’s radar?

Seriously?

And how many champagne-worthy moments have I let pass me by because I was caught up in success-rhetoric that I don’t even believe in. Staying focused on what matters to me is a daily endeavour. And I can admit to you, I often get sucked into my own self-minimizing language and shame as I shrug and say, “well, you are probably right, there many out there who do what I do, and are better positioned to be a success… but at least I am happy..?”

But just when I start to lose my own wrestling match with worthiness, beautiful reminders come in and save the day.  Just yesterday I added to my own list of Glorious, when my best friend’s mother leaned in, kissed me on the cheek and said, “I love what you are doing with your life.”

Champagne-worthy, fist pumping moment….‘cause so do I.

Touching another’s heart, risking my vulnerability to follow my dream. Telling my truth and being seen for who I am.

Glorious.  

And in the end, isn’t that the bottom line?

There is success for all of us if we dare to claim it.

What is your Glorious?

In celebration, Tania

***

Tania is soon opening registration for The Re-Imagined Self (Jan 2020) and The Art of Seeing Possibility with Dewitt Jones (Feb 2020), both in Molokai Hawaii. Come and reclaim your own Glorious.

Join the first to know list by emailing Tania@advivum.ca

Comments { 3 }

Gluten, Exercise, and the Microbiome: Menopause Health News

Sierra Sunset © lynette sheppard

Greetings from the Sierra. Hope all you menopause goddesses have been keeping cool and having wonderful summers. It’s been warm but lovely up here in Lake Tahoe. And my sabbatical has been rejuvenating in the extreme.

Now to the menopause news. I’ve been involved in the Nurse’s Health Study for 40 + years. This is the longest prospective health study EVER. For those who are not research geeks or health care professionals, prospective studies tell us a great deal more than retrospective (looking back) studies. In other words, we really learn the effects of lifestyle and regimens on our health in real time.

Here are some of the latest findings of the Nurse’s Health Study.

Exercise

We all know that exercise is good for us and necessary for optimal health. But we don’t have to become triathletes or exercise junkies. And while it’s good to slim down, sometimes that is difficult after the Pause. Here’s the good news: the researchers found that exercise decreases risk of CHD (that’s coronary heart disease) regardless of weight. Women who walked briskly 2.5 hours a week had a 35% lower risk of developing CHD. 35% – that’s huge. And all we have to do is walk.

Gluten

For some years now, there has been a buzz about gluten-free options as a healthier alternative. But not so fast. Unless you have true gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, you may be missing out on the health benefits of gluten. Turns out that men and women with the highest level of gluten intake had a 20% lower risk of Type II diabetes as compared with those of lowest gluten intake. Gluten is a plant based protein so can supplant meat for nutritional health. Bottom line:  if you really don’t have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, eat your whole grains happily.

Gut Health

The most recent research in the Nurse’s Health study will be focusing on the microbiome and its relation to overall health. Stay tuned for those results as they become available.

And remember, all things in moderation. Including Excess!

Comments { 3 }

It Hits Us All – A Conversation About Menopause

Transformation © lynette sheppard

Learn more about menopause and what’s ahead. Check out this interview I did for Katharina Wallenborg on her blog:  Women’s Portraits Fifty Plus

She titled it “It Hits Us All”. That pretty much says it all. And while you are on her site, you might want to read more of her portraits of women fifty years and older. We’ll take all the inspiration we can get!

Comments { 0 }

Cucumber Clothing: Coolness for Menopause Goddesses

Opening © lynette sheppard

Our good friends across the pond at Cucumber Clothing have been super busy. You might have seen my review in April of 2018 of their lovely loungewear/pajamas. (Click here if you missed it!)

Their wicking clothing is perfect (read darn near necessary) for menopause goddesses who want to keep cool. And their loungewear is suitable for just about anything: working at home, going out to dinner at a friend’s home, and sleeping cool.

They have a whole new line of clothing, including new ‘cool’ cashmere mix fabric jumpsuits that have all the same thermoregulating and moisture wicking properties of their other loungewear.

Cucumber clothing’s soft, silky wicking fabrics in lovely colors move moisture up and away from us, so we can remain cool and get dry quickly. Antibacterial technology eliminates odor and keeps the fabric looking new despite repeated washings.

They let me try a rose V neck nightdress which I have absolutely fallen in love with. I can wear it all day – to work at home (including being seen on Skype and Zoom), off to the post office for the day’s mail, having friends over for appetizers and wine on the front deck, and finally to bed for a blissfully cool sleep. And I live in the tropics so this fabric gets a real test of its cooling properties.

I think I’m going to ask my husband, Dewitt, for a set of their new shell button pajamas for my birthday – they look so comfortable. And cool. Cool in both senses of the word – temperature wise and style wise!

Cucumber Clothing is based in the UK – however they ship to most countries. Find out more and order on their website:  Cucumber Clothing.  Right now they are offering 10% off when you join the Cucumber Community. Be sure to check out their blog while you’re there, too.

Comments { 1 }

5 Menopause Symptoms CBD Could Help

Metamorphosis © lynette sheppard

My mother has suffered from severe osteoarthritis. It recently became resistant to standard drug therapy and she lost mobility to the point of being unable to get out of bed. She had heard about CBD cream in the treatment of joint pain and asked me to get some for her. I am happy to report that she is now able to walk, go to the store and beauty parlor, and enjoy life again.  This guest post by Kelsi Burley illuminates at least five ways CBD can help with the menopause transition.

5 Menopause Symptoms CBD Could Help

by Kelsi Burley

CBD is known for its pain relieving properties and for its use in fighting anxiety, however there are many more conditions that can be treated with CBD, including the symptoms of menopause. Unfortunately, most women only start managing menopause once the effects become unpleasant; which of course isn’t the only way to go about it.
CBD is now being used throughout the health sector to treat all manner of ailments – and that includes some of the most common side effects of menopause. Let’s see what exactly you can get up to with CBD:


1.  Treatment for Aches & Joint Pain

Post-menopausal women often experience pain in the joints as the body stops producing estrogen. This results in a higher number of inflammatory cells. This is why pain and aches are common past 40. CBD can help by firing up cell regeneration, numbing pain, and reducing levels of inflammation. Another way you can fight inflammation and joint pain is by eating foods that have high antioxidant activity, performing low-impact exercises, and being otherwise mindful of your diet.

2.  Genitourinary Syndrome (Vaginal Dryness, Atrophy & Bladder Control)

Bladder control becomes an important area of sexual health after menopause.This happens because the lower estrogen levels affect the amount of blood reaching the pelvic region. This lower blood flow in turn affects the tissues in the surrounding organs, including elasticity of the urinary tract. Women can improve bladder control by paying more attention to their pelvis section and doing things like yoga to improve blood circulation. CBD oil can be massaged into the pelvic region and because they are extremely powerful vasodilators, they help by improving blood flow. Topical CBD is also great for reducing inflammation and vaginal dryness, and it can be bought in the form of lubes and ointments.

3.  Sleep Disturbances

If you find it a challenge to sleep through the night, either due to anxiety or some other condition, then CBD can help by relaxing the body and mind to allow rest, and also by balancing hormones such as melatonin and others that are responsible for managing sleep. Menopause causes sleeplessness for a number of reasons: anxiety, depression, or night sweats. All three can be targeted with CBD – but talk to your doctor if one or more of these three conditions are severe. Due to CBD’s influence on neurochemistry, it can be used effectively against insomnia and night sweats.

4.  Mood Swings & Depression

Changing hormones also cause a strange pattern of mood swings which on the outside, doesn’t seem to have a trigger. Having low estrogen levels means that neurotransmitters like serotonin become more erratic and may sometimes plummet, leaving a person’s neurochemistry changed forever. CBD can stop this process by creating a harmonious balance of neurotransmitters that fall under the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which include serotonin and other natural mood adjusters. The fall in estrogen would then have less impact on mood, and a cheerful person can keep their neurochemistry, or personality, if you like.

5.  Memory Loss

Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms of aging, but medical research suggests that memory loss can be delayed in the majority of people, if certain nutrients are made available in the earlier years. CBD contains antioxidants that are able to reverse many of the effects of cell degradation and the loss of proper functioning in the hippocampus. When estrogen levels are restored or improved, the cells in the hippocampus are renewed and things like memory, learning, and emotion function better. CBD is believed to facilitate synaptic plasticity and neuroprotection, meaning it keeps the brain younger for longer.

If this is your first time hearing about CBD, then the resources at CBDCentral.com would be a good place to start to learn what it is, how it works, and the research supporting its use. It’s also worth mentioning that quality CBD comes from reputable dealers; so watch out for scammers online. CBD can be consumed in many ways so you might want to try delivery methods such as vaping devices, oils, or drinks to see what works best for you.

Comments { 2 }

Sabbatical Notes II

Serenity © lynette sheppard

It’s the beginning of May. I’m five months into my sabbatical. And it really does seem to be a state of mind and being. I still have to respond to small “crises” here and there (eg. broken water pipe, dead car battery, sick kitty), but they no longer cause my heart rate to ratchet up or my jaw to tighten. I feel like there is time to handle the small hiccups of life instead of the stressloaded pressure that filled my day(s) previously.

I had a book on my bookshelf for years that I never read. I bought it in 1999 when it was first published, fully intending to read it when I tucked it up on my self help- spirituality shelf. (Yes, I shelve my books by topic or genre.) I can’t believe it took me 20 years to read this wonderful book, but clearly I wasn’t ready until now.

It’s called “Sabbath, Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest” by Wayne Muller.

And I am delighted to report that it is still in print. If ever I needed affirmation that we need periodic time-outs, I found it in this lovely tome. I may read it again. And again. With humor and heart, Muller illuminates why taking time away from work, chores, technology, and busyness are necessary for our health and well-being. One of my favorite bits referred to a practice that his friend named “slotha yoga”. I am so dedicated to such a practice.  Speaking of which, it’s time now for my practice. Stay tuned for more.

Comments { 3 }

This is Not Your Mother’s Menopause

Girlfriends © lynette sheppard

Our dear friends at genneve wrote this inspiring guest post. Enjoy!

After menopause, are you the woman you were?

The quote “Change is the only constant” has been attributed to the philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus. I’m guessing he borrowed it from some menopausal woman in his life.

As the content person for genneve, a company focused on helping women have an easier menopause, I hear a lot about the changes women go though in midlife. Almost none of the changes, it seems, are welcome, maybe because they strike at the heart of something we’ve spent 50ish years (on average) developing: our very identity and sense of self.

Categories of change
There are changes (small “c”) in life like getting a new job or moving to a new city that may change our circumstances but don’t really alter us in any profound way.

There are Changes (big “C”) like marriage, divorce, kids, health crises, or loss of parents that may change some aspects of our identity very deeply: wife to singleton or vice versa; person to parent; well to ill; offspring to orphan.

Then there’s The Change (big “T” big “C”) that changes everything: menopause. Our outer appearance, our inner workings, our identities as “woman” can be utterly new and different.
How we navigate that change is, some say, within our control, but many if not most women in menopause know that during this transition, very little seems “within our control.”

If everything changes at menopause, from our waistlines and hair to the ways we cope with problems and our attitudes towards nurturing others, are we the same women we were before?

Menopause as loss
So here’s the problem with trying to define a post-menopausal identity: all the current options suck.
In much of popular culture and opinion, menopause equals “loss” – it’s a time of things being taken away (energy, perky boobs, fertility) and of things that must be given up because they’re no longer “appropriate” (short skirts, long hair, self-confidence).

The good news is, we’re not stuck with the current definition.
In a culture where fertility is your #1 value prop, of course menopause is going to be a crap option. Fertility isn’t just being able to reproduce, it’s all the properties that go with it: thick, shiny hair and a narrow waistline but also the ability to put up with other people’s nonsense, keep a lid on rage, and maintain a desire to nurture others at the expense of self.

Women after menopause may have none of these, and some may define that as a loss. Even more, if “mothering” is a woman’s primary purpose (and our culture certainly seems to think so), then once that possibility is gone – and even the instinct is diminished – so is a woman’s very identity.
Nonsense.

If menopause is like a second adolescence, I’d argue you have the same opportunity a tween does – the life ahead of you is yours to define, and there’s plenty of it.

Menopause as gain: from reproductive to productive
Sure, Mother Nature taketh away, but she also giveth: generously, even lavishly. We just have to learn to value the gifts we’re being given as much as the ones we lament losing.

Creativity. Maybe your new self is part Georgia O’Keeffe? Freed from the cycles of procreativity, many women feel a surge of creativity in this second chapter. As one who previously taught at the community college level, I can tell you hallways were teeming with mature women taking classes in everything from Photoshop to creative writing to dance to political science. Margaret Walker wrote her first novel, Jubilee, at age 51. How about the woman who created more than 1,700 works of art, starting when she was 68 and continuing for the next 20 years. Finished? Dried up? Done? Tell that to Mary Delany.

Attitude. Perhaps second-chapter you is a little Dorothy Parker? A lot of women in our community spend time apologizing for being a little “sharper” and not as nurturing as they previously were. We say things we once would have swallowed. We push back where we formerly would have gone along. We’ve learned to say “no” and mean it. The trick is to embrace all these things and not apologize for them when no apology is warranted.
Sexiness: Does your post-menopausal identity have a touch of Mae West? Women over 50 (heck, over 40) complain about suddenly feeling invisible, and with good reason. If you want evidence that mid-life women are underrepresented, try finding good images on a photography site sometime. Women over 50 generally aren’t represented as sexy, sexual beings, which may be why so many don’t seek help for the vaginal dryness and limp libido that can come with menopause – who needs ‘em? But check out Rachel Peru, who started a modeling career at 46! Mature women are vibrant, gorgeous, adventurous, and experienced, often with a new confidence and sass that Mae West would appreciate.

Time. How about a little Madonna Buder in your post-menopausal mix? Menopause isn’t the signal that it’s “all downhill to death” from here on out, far from it! The average woman in the US can expect decades more time. And if she takes care of her health, eats well, walks or does other exercise, those decades can be a joyful time of exploration, discovery, and growth.

Menopause and the years after get a really bad rap, and sure, there’s plenty to complain about when you’re dealing with hot flashes, poor sleep, vaginal dryness, and headaches. But we’re starting to see menopause being redefined for the modern woman. Women are embracing their gray hair, celebrities are speaking out about their menopause journeys, women are starting to have conversations about menopause in the workplace.
Your years from here on out may be more your own than any you’ve had so far, and you have more freedom and possibility to define your own identity than any generation before. This definitely isn’t our mothers’ menopause.

Comments { 0 }