Is Menopause the Gateway to Our Second Act?
As we enter our forties and our bodies begin changing, so does our perception of who we are. Our hormones shift, hair thins, weight creeps up, and moods swing we are also shifting emotionally from the nurturing instinct and people pleasing tactics that have defined our past toward a self focused mode of what pleases us. We are not who we were in our twenties and thirties. We are at the halfway mark standing on the platform of our experience and wisdom. Stretched out before us is our next forty or fifty years. What do we do with it? Who will we be? What do we want? What really matters? Old responsibilities are shifting, children are becoming teenagers and young adults, aging parents may need more help, career ambitions have changed, and relationships somehow don’t fit as well. It can be an unsettling feeling, not who we were and not yet sure who we are. Now is the time we start exploring who we want to be, what we want to accomplish, and how we want to live. As time races by we often feel compelled to slow down, answer these questions and do something with the answers.
Menopause often heralds this transition from our old life to the new. For most of us it is difficult to ignore the physical symptoms that seem to pop up with increasing frequency. Many women struggle with these symptoms, not sure of where to turn. Accurate information can be hard to find but there are many good resources available and Gynecologists are becoming more open and informed. Taking time to research, ask questions and put ourselves on the front burner will help us to effectively manage the changes going on in our bodies. In order to do this we must not accept a pat on the head and a cliché “it’s just part of being a woman”. There are many options available, and with menopause research still in its infancy, there will be many yet too come. By making informed decisions based on what we feel is best for our own body in conjunction with a trusted health care provider, we are taking the first step in designing our second act and embracing the freedom to be who we are.
Maneuvering through the emotional aspects of menopause can be unnerving; running the gamut of emotions in any given hour is exhausting and mind boggling. This where a great circle of friends and a strong self care routine come our rescue. The support you get from a group of friends can be a life saver, it can keep you from feeling like you’ve gone crazy. Even though we all have a unique menopausal experience the camaraderie of other women can help pull us through. After all who else can identify with crossing your legs when you laugh too prevent a ‘leak’ one minute and in the next completely ‘get’ why you feel like you’re in limbo? Regular girls nights out are just what the doctor ordered. The other key ingredient is to spend some time focusing on ourselves. It has often been a very long time and can feel awkward to do what we want even for two hours a week. This will help us navigate through this transition and to discover the answer to ‘Who am I now?’ As we begin this journey looking to the future, experiencing the present, using the wisdom from our past to create a fulfilling, satisfying second act.
Copyright c 2006 Cathy Brennan
About the Author: Cathy Brennan, owner and lead coach of Pathways Coaching, is a Professional
Coach specializing in Inspiring Sensational Women to Lead Delicious Lives.
She thrives on helping her clients design a life that they can’t wait to greet each
morning. She has been a Professional Coach for 5 years and in the health and
wellness field for 25 years as a Registered Nurse, Holistic Health Practitioner,
Regional Manager, and Wellness Coach. She has had coach training at Coachville
and is a member of the ICF and IAC. Cathy lives in rural Connecticut where she
enjoys gardening, yoga, reading, and hiking. Married to Tom for 20 years, they
enjoy their 4 innovative, fun loving children, an adorable grandson, a sweet
golden retriever, and 3 very active cats. To contact her call 860-774-0006,
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.pathwayscoach.com .