Welcome to "Hold That Pause"
This is my first post at Healthline.com and I couldn’t be more delighted. Being able to write about something I am so passionate about is not only a thrill, but deeply satisfying as well. If someone would have told me twenty years ago that I would one day become a health writer and advocate for women’s health issues, I likely would have guffawed. But, that was then and this is now, and well, here I am.
If this is your first time here, I welcome you and invite you to join me often. You will find compassion here at Hold that Pause along with plenty of empathy and mutual experience. The journey that brought me here is likely the same journey that brought you here - a life changing transition called menopause.
I care about the same issues you care about, and I want to be a voice you can trust. I hope to provide insight, help, understanding, encouragement, resources, and who knows, maybe even a little raucous humor at times. At the very least, I want you to know you are not alone and that other women just like you have walked the same path, and made it safely to the other side.
Here’s what I’ve learned about menopause: It’s sneaky. Yes, I knew it was coming one day, and so did you, I’m sure. But it’s like growing up. It’s a process that you don’t really notice until you get there. There are growing pains along the way too. Life has them, and so does menopause. They are called hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
But menopause is more than just physical symptoms and the cessation of one’s menstrual cycles. It is a major life passage, a bridge, if you will, into another part of life. The passage is scary for some women. It was for me. I didn’t want to leave the life that I had carved out for myself and which felt so familiar. I didn’t want to accept that I could no longer conceive a child and feel its life growing in my womb. I didn’t want my hair to gray or my breasts to sag, and I didn’t want my hips to take on that matronly, grandmother quality. And frankly, I didn’t want to think about death and dying either.
Menopause is all of those things, the physical symptoms, the sense of loss, and the realization that you have lived at least half your life, with no guarantee that you will have an equal number of years on the other side. To say it is sobering is an understatement.
A lot of women quit living when they reach menopause. They only see the loss, I guess, and resign themselves to the inevitable – senior citizen status, bifocals, a good pair of orthopedic sneakers, and Depend® for urinary incontinence.
It’s true. There’s nothing sexy about a leaky bladder, an AARP® membership, bifocals, and sensible footwear. But if you frame it right and cultivate a healthy sense of humor, well, that is sexy. And speaking of sex, there’s plenty of that left after menopause. Trust me on that one.
Menopause isn’t the end of your life. It is just the end of your life as you once knew it. If you play it right, you might find a brand new swagger in your step. I like to call it menopause moxie.