Male readers proceed with caution. This post is heavy on the estrogen…ummm… or light on it as the case may be. Either way, you’ve been warned.
Up before dawn, we piled into the little red Focus and headed north on our girls-only adventure. Drinking coffee, swapping stories and catching up on each others lives, we meandered through the Minnesota countryside to our destination. Somehow, we got on the subject of menopause (although we-at least I- avoided the word as much as possible…I don’t know why). Much to my 18-year-old daughters mortification, those older among us (everyone but her) started talking about night sweats, hot flashes, memory loss, word jumbles (and I don’t mean the kind you find in the paper) and mood swings (one minute Mother Teresa and the next Cruella DeVille). Commiserating with these dear friends, I found comfort in the fact that I did not venture into Menopause alone and although the waters were new to me, this was definitely not unchartered territory. As we continued the conversation, which twisted and turned as much as the river we drove along, one of my friends said something unexpected and frankly a bit scary. She said she went through menopause and came out a different person. That is a frightening prospect to me. To think that after all these years of struggling with and finally coming to a place of acceptance of who I am, I may change irrevocably.
Is it like a hormone roulette wheel spinning and if the ball drops on black=Cruella or red=Mother Teresa? Poor Brad. Either one is potentially unbearable. Or will I still be me but more ornery? Or more weepy (oh Lord we would pray not that)? Or more happy (that’d be good)? Apparently there’s more than one reason women refer to menopause as The Change.
Eventually (much to my daughters relief–she could stop pretending to sleep) we went on to other topics and did not revisit the subject. The bridal shower (our reason for the trip), filled with interactions with women of all ages, proved a delightful , memorable excursion. And as I reflect on the laughter, hospitality, wisdom and camaraderie of the day, I guess all the yucky stuff about getting older dulls in comparison to being a woman who can accept change (whatever it looks like) and embrace it.
Accept change…what ever it looks like…and embrace it…