There is such a stigma…. shhhh….we don’t talk about menopause, the change of life. Our mothers and grandmothers didn’t talk about it. They whispered about it in the kitchen, they called it “the change.”
WTF are we changing into? Our husbands say we changed, our kids are annoyed at how we have changed. Over night, are we changing into old ladies that drip sweat, wear sensible shoes and sweaters with kittens on them? You know… like your Grandmother used to wear?
Hell no….. we are not doing that anymore! If we do it right, we are changing into healthy, assertive, creative women who don’t take any shit, and we do it wearing whatever the hell we want to wear.
Angeles Arrien, author of The Second Half of Life, says “When you find the courage to change at midlife, a miracle happens.” Your character is opened, deepened, strengthened, softened. You return to your soul’s highest values. You are now prepared to create your legacy: an imprint of your dream for our world—a dream that can fully come true in The Second Half of Life.
Ok… I can not be the only one who loves how fucking awesome that sounds!
As your hormones estrogen and progesterone begin to decline in your forties, you start to return to the way you were before puberty. Your brain actually changes! Remember how you used to be… adventurous, fierce and sassy? You had wild and outrageous plans for your future. ( Then you started producing estrogen and progesterone and all you thought about was hair, clothes, makeup and boys…. then it was wedding dresses, babies and white picket fences)
So with the decline of those female hormones, you may feel some physical discomfort as you adjust, but don’t worry, it is your body’s way of getting your attention. Please listen to it!
But on a mental and emotional level, you are less inclined to want to be the nurturer and peacekeeper that you have been for the last few decades. Now, using the testosterone that your body has left, you want to run out and try new things again. You want to learn, create and discuss things that maybe don’t always revolve around finding lost socks or remembering how everyone likes their sandwiches made. Your life will become more about you, and what you want to do. You may start to feel a bit selfish. But don’t. It is supposed to be this way.
This change, if you choose to accept it, is deep and transformational. It may start to upset the world of those who you have kept peace with and nurtured. You may also feel at a loss and dont know what to do as your kids grow up and you face an empty nest with no one to nurture. I imagine it is why middle age women take to having too many cats or carrying around small dogs in their purse, talking to them and calling them baby….although, you will get no judgement from me.
A lot of women end up in a midlife divorce, as they just do not feel like they fit in the marriage anymore. It has changed. This does not have to happen, especially if both partners can accept and grow with this normal change of life. It helps to understand and to know that you HAVE changed, it is not your imagination. Your brain is biologically programed to change. You are biologically programmed to use all of that fierceness, adventure and outrageousness that you had when you were 11, combined with all of the wisdom that you have acquired over the last 30 years, to go out and make your way in the world.
Just imagine… if all women embraced these changes, instead of fearing them. What a force we would be.
It is time to show the world that midlife women are the most valuable and powerful resource that world has!
Be brave enough to change into the women you want to be! Cuddly cat sweaters and sensible shoes are not required, but totally optional.