There will be times when, ‘there are no words’. Just none. At the very moment you are about to deliver the sentence of your life with the best punchline ever, your mind empties. Completely.
For the many of us that have reached the midlife stage of life, congratulations. We made it. Many of us will have grown up during a time that periods and ‘women’s business’ were shrouded in secrecy, so there is relief to be had from knowing that we don’t have to hide under a stone as we experience all that comes with the mid years.
Because people are sharing and that is worthy of a big sigh of relief in my books. Yours too, I imagine. There is a lot to be said for knowing that we are not alone as the menopausal symptoms start to join us on the next stage of our journey, isn’t there? Particularly as none of us know quite what form this company is going to take. Not even an advert to reassure us that we can roller-skate without fear or embarrassment.
Having done years of good service to the period, you and I are now to experience that what is given is also taken away. Quite how it is taken away is the part for which we didn’t get the memo. We are entering a zone for which neither of us are really prepared.
And it’s not like we can hide it, is it? In the way that we do when we place our sanitary products up our sleeve and trot off to the bathroom ‘discreetly’ (on our roller skates).
We can’t hide the fact that the onset of the menopausal symptoms will make us question whether we are indeed on the verge of losing our marbles. That there will be times when, as someone once very eloquently described, ‘there are no words’. Just none. At the very moment we are about to deliver the sentence of our lives with the best punchline ever, our mind empties. Completely.
The ability to construct a sentence disappears – literally mid-sentence. As though someone has been waiting in the wings with a Dyson and vacuumed the very essence of our interesting dialogue!
This particular symptom of the menopause has no social graces. And knows no bounds. And we are left mid-meeting, mid-interview with an open mouth and no words. Just hanging. Along with everyone else who is wondering why we have suddenly stopped talking. Or whether we’ve had some kind of seizure (because we are of ‘that’ age), and should they be looking for vital signs? There is no covering this one up.
Sod’s Law will also dictate here because the one person that can always be relied on to interrupt at such times (because they know everything) will most likely have their head in the cupboard looking for a First Aid Kit to save your life. You are on your own!
So what to do?
Well – in the same way that Sods have Laws, clouds also have silver linings. And having spent our lives hiding the period and worrying about what others think, the silver lining that comes with the perimenopause is that we start to care a little less about the thoughts of others and more about our own needs. We feel liberated. If only we could live our life backwards!
Although the inevitable twist here (because there is one) is that we can’t articulate ourselves sufficiently to tell the poor souls that think we are dying, that we aren’t. And just as someone was going to save us too!!
Yet we are intelligent women – right? But this is not a measure of our capabilities or mental agility. The menopause does not discriminate when it comes to our intellect.
So why am I writing about this? First and foremost because there is joy to be had in knowing that ‘it’s not just me or you’. Whenever I discover a like minded or like-symptomed soul, I don’t just do a little happy dance, I have a right royal knees-up.
And if these few words (pardon the pun) save you from thinking you might have the early signs of something more serious, then I have, at least, saved one person from having an uncomfortable conversation with their doctor. So instead, why not reflect on what you have achieved. You’ll surprise yourself once you acknowledge that you’ve actually been a little bit brilliant at least once. That you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone using the grit and determination that has been gifted to you for your long service to the hormone. It’s called midlife!
If you are anything like me, you will most certainly have noticed that the inventor of the menopause didn’t call this little chapter of our lives the change for no reason. Oh no. More on that another time. It’s not a subject that can be covered in a single post after all, is it?!
Once again there is irony in the fact that this is a time in our lives when we feel particularly determined and driven. Many of us will have quit the school run and the early years of parenting, ready to embrace what comes next – only to discover that we can’t remember what we did five minutes ago, let alone what we want to do next!! And some of us may be at the stage in our career wondering whether we have truly lost all that makes us brilliant and got us here in the first place. For the avoidance of doubt that was you, by the way! You got yourself there. By being brilliant.
But we crack on stoically and do what we do best in the face of adversity –
cry we blooming well get on with it, don’t we ladies.
And we don’t really need any words for that. Because you know your story and I know mine. That’s not going to change. That’s a feeling and a way of being. It’s not something that the menopausal moments can steal. Neither will we let it.
Because as fast as that bit of doubt comes over us, it quickly disappears. Have you noticed that? Yep me too! That is our fickle friend making us doubt our ability to make our mind up. The menopause is a contrary old soul that plays mind games. You will have noticed this for sure.
So let’s just continue being wonderful anyway, shall we? Let’s do this on our terms. Our rules. We can drag our fickle friend along for the ride until it decides to part company with us. If it has any sense that will be sooner rather than later!
What do we reckon?