Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Guest Column! A Pregnant Pause For Menopause!

(Today, beloved Ungirdled readers, is a special guest column by Valerie Johnston for the website Healthline.com on something we've all faced or will face. Enjoy and check out Healthline.com when you get the chance!)

What We Want is a Pregnant Pause for Menopause

First, let it be said that most women agree that there is nothing funny about menopause.  That said, it might as well be approached with humor; every woman who reaches an age when menopause creeps into life is going to experience it.  It might as well have a light-hearted side.  And after a life long struggle with monthly female issues, month after month, year after ragged year, maybe it is time for some levity when, some time into the creep, you suddenly realize: Oh.  No more periods.  Isn’t that worth celebrating?

So, what have you to look forward to if the creeping paws of menopause have not yet set upon you?  It is a slow process.  If you were expecting something that would be a quick-change artist; a dash into the walk-in closet, throw on a new frock, old lady threads, and repeat that over the cycle of the moon, and voilà, you’re now a completed woman (oh, but there is something incomplete), you need the quiet, pregnant pause to reconsider.  Don’t take too long in contemplation.  It’s a long time going down the road, but the road has a quick beginning.

The first thing you might notice – and it may be a couple of months before it slaps its dose of reality – is that your periods stopped.  There may be a sudden twist of regret in the womb: it is the finality of youth and procreative power.  Never again, it echoes, never, ever…  Motherhood does have its joys and sorrows.  The sorrows lose their sting after a time, but the joys last forever.  Never, ever again.  You may suddenly feel like you are the next model, a female this time, for the Old Man of the Year with a scythe draped over your shoulder.  You are bent over, hobbling.  With the end of the year comes the sudden realization: no more periods!  And life did not end after all.  In fact, a look in the mirror and you may not even see a wrinkle or a gray hair.  Isn’t that worth celebrating?

Wait!  Why am I laying here in bed, middle of the night in the dead of winter, and I’m having night sweats?  I’m having lunch with my daughters -- two married, one not yet -- the next afternoon.  The fan in the restaurant is right over our table, and I’m having day sweats!  “Hells’ bells, is it hot in here or is it just me?”  They look at me, shrugging.  I’m positively drenched.  Is there a fire?  Did the sprinklers just turn on?  They don’t have a clue!  Just you wait for mother’s revenge!  I’ll get you, my pretties.

I’m looking in the mirror; just waking up, putting on my make-up, and, even though it is “that time of month,” I suddenly have a happy tune rolling through my head.  “I’m as corny as Kansas in August, I’m as normal as blueberry pie…”  The creeping paws have delivered another piece of pleasure pie: no more mood swings!  Finally, for the first time since we were married thirtummmmmmmmy mmm-mmm years ago, my husband may be able to look at me, listen to me, and he will likely understand everything I said.  Did he change, or did I?  Who cares?  If I was from Venus and he was from Mars, we have finally coordinated a landing in the middle on Earth, but it feels like heaven.  Isn’t that worth celebrating?

Take off the sad face, hold for a good, long, pregnant pause and celebrate the creeping paws of menopause.

Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

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