It’s difficult to start viewing menopause as a positive time in your life when it’s such a negative sounding word.
Somehow, the “pause” part of it suggests an end to something great. So perhaps our reframing of menopause starts with the word itself.
Should we instead be interpreting it as “me? NO pause“? Because, in fact, menopause marks the start of an exciting time of life.
The American author Florence King once famously said: “a woman must wait for her ovaries to die before she can get her rightful self back“. Wow, that’s a powerful statement, but the sentiment absolutely resonates with me.
Sure menopause means the end to our fertility, but it also marks the end of monthly periods (hooray!) and the start of the second half of our lives, which we can live positively with the benefit of all the life lessons learnt in the first half!
In a recent edition of New Zealand Listener magazine, Nicky Pelligrino wrote about the “The Age of Success, The Rise and Rise of Older Women” stating “Advancing age seems an unlikely tool in a woman’s arsenal to break the glass ceiling. But growing numbers of 50-plus women are taking up new challenges and rising up the ranks.”
Menopause years coincide with some major lifestyle changes – children becoming more independent and leaving home, mortgages being paid off, more discretionary income, better job opportunities and pay, the joy of grandchildren, the opportunity to explore new interests and above all, more time for yourself.
In a word, menopausal women, are given the gift of freedom. Freedom from the constraints of running a busy household, freedom from the pressures of climbing the corporate ladder and freedom to express themselves authentically.
To make the most of that gift, and to turn the change of life into a positive time, we need to recognise the signs of menopause early, get them under control, and know how to care for our health in postmenopause.