Greetings from the other side of menopause, you know, the dark side.
I am here now, in this new place. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. It’s kind of nice.
Occasionally there are complicating factors. For example, I teach yoga and if I plan inversions I need to ask my students if they are on their “moon cycle,” which is yoga speak for menstruating. I don’t personally believe in the old husbands’ tale that a woman shouldn’t go upside down during her cycle because the blood will pour out of her eyes. However, many do and so it’s much easier to postpone inversions a week than to argue the point.
However, my friends and I agree that we are amazed by the outpouring of news, podcasts, literature, social media, and television dedicated to discussing menopause – like it’s a new thing!
My news feed is even flooded with menopause advice from women in their thirties who aren’t even there yet. Good for them! I wish I had all those answers when I was younger too.
I know a lot about menopause, but I also realize you’ve been bombarded by this information. So instead, I’m going to offer some good news about what happens afterward, in the place you never hear about, the post-menopausal woman.
Some Very Good, Excellent Things about What is Coming
1. You Pay Attention
Menopause should have taught you to pay attention to how you feel because most of us felt different if not downright terrible. You focused on the one person you never had time for, you.
So now you are in the good habit of paying attention as you age because if you thought that declining hormones was interesting, wait until you are faced with broken bones, joint replacements, cancer, stroke, severe illness, the death of loved ones, and more. Aging is a party, but one that you will be better prepared for.
2. You Stress Less
I now make decisions based on just one criterion: what will create the least stress, because stress is a killer. I leave FOMO behind and instead focus on what plan or opportunity will bring the most joy and the least anxiety. If I find that a day or a week is overscheduled, I cancel things. Stress is poison to the body, mind, and spirit and you learn to limit it.
3. You Invest in Joy
Menopause probably made you feel sick-ish. I was exhausted for many years and I couldn’t do some of the things that I loved. That made me value happiness even more. Sometimes I sit at the barn or yoga studio with friends and chat. I used to think of this as wasting time, but now I think of it as investing in joy.
4. It is Quiet Here
The change in hormones comes on gradually, but the effects are disruptive. Afterward, when you get your sleep under control, your appetite in check, your exercise figured out, your new body in new clothes, and learn how to paint on your eyebrows, it becomes quiet. I can simply go about my business. For me, this is the best, most excellent thing that happens after menopause: your world becomes quieter, simpler, and more rewarding.
I discovered that I like it here quite a bit. Let me know when you arrive, and I’ll welcome you with a long chat, a cup of tea, and an investment in joy.
Michelle Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning writer and author you can find wherever books are sold, or on the internet where you are probably reading this now.