Why We Should Celebrate the Joys of Menopause
Changing the story of 'the change'
When I started perimenopause, a good friend 10 years older gave me some great advice. She said, “Don't read any of those books on the symptoms of menopause. That stuff can get into your head, and those bad experiences can then become yours."
She added, “I refused to read any of it, and I sailed through menopause with very little discomfort.” Really? Could that work? Could the dreaded “change” be easy? I trusted her because she is someone who not only believes her thoughts create her reality but also proves it daily.
So, as my periods became further and further apart and eventually stopped altogether, I was hopeful. I didn't read the books, I avoided the articles, and I was blissfully ignorant.
Then, I was struck with hot flashes. NOOOOOO!!! WHYYYYYY??? I was going to create this menopause experience like my wise friend — so what happened? I was miffed. I looked up how long hot flashes last and discovered it could be anywhere from one to 10 years! No way!
I was determined to do this differently. I decided to change my thinking and stop focusing on the hot flashes, and I began focusing on the positive aspects of menopause instead. I am here to tell you, there are actually a lot of positives if you start looking for them.
First, those rumors about your libido lowering and your vagina drying up are not every woman's experience. In fact, when I turned 50, my libido was at an all-time high, and my vagina was functioning perfectly. I have now gone over a year without having a period and am still having, at almost 53, the best sex of my life. Not even kidding.
Secondly, I stopped focusing on all my perceived flaws. I looked at myself naked in the mirror, channeled my inner goddess and thought: Sure, you've had two children, you've got some laugh lines, your breasts are lower and your skin isn't as taut — but you still have it going on!
As it turns out, confidence at any age is very alluring. I was flirted with by people of every age group and every gender, and at the height of my newfound self-confidence, I attracted my partner. He was three years younger, and I couldn't get enough of him. Our relationship was a new opportunity to really own my sexuality as the 50-year-old, sexy, self-confident woman that I had become. And one of the first lessons was learning to own my 50-year-old sexual self.
I also learned to surrender to change — and I do mean all change. I stopped resisting. It turns out, I am not an anomaly. I have many friends in their 50s and 60s, single and married, who are having great sex and have sailed through menopause. It's not as uncommon as you may have been led to believe. I'm happy to report that there is much to be joyful about during menopause.
I didn't have to worry about birth control anymore or having messy period sex or abstaining from sex until my period was over. I wasn't achy, tired and moody every month. I have not gained a lot of weight, and I feel great.
And those pesky hot flashes? Well, I still have them. And yes, they are still annoying — especially when one occurs right in the middle of sex. But you know what? My man throws back the covers and admires my shimmering body while he waits patiently for it to pass. It's an actual turn-on, not a mood killer.
They often refer to menopause as “The Change,” so let's start changing the story. Let's start empowering women by telling empowering stories about the joys of menopause. Let's talk about how your thoughts can create your reality and change the entire menopausal experience, because what we focus on always gets bigger.
Let's tell a joyful story of self-acceptance, love and freedom, an embracing of our divine sexuality as we've never done before. This has been my experience, and it can be yours as well.
Let's make “The Change” a beautiful rite of passage, because change can be good and there isn't any way to prevent change from happening anyway. As for those annoying hot flashes: I sleep naked ... with a fan on … and have joyfully surrendered.