“Welcome to 45. This is your captain, Mrs. Woog, speaking. We are expecting some turbulence during our journey, so please remain seated with your safety belt tightly fastened.“ I’ve often thought that whoever is in charge of the universe has one slightly bent sense of humour. I mean, who thought it would be great fun to put a peri-menopausal woman under the same roof as hormone-raging teenagers, while the man of the house slips into his mid-life crisis?
Did I mention that our house has only one bathroom?
And while this is all going down, you spend more and more time worrying about your aging parents, as their hips (or perhaps a shoulder or a knee) need replacing. You have to take them to specialist appointments and deal with doctors and surgeons and hospitals, much like you had to with your kids when they were little.
And when you’re not doing that, you are still taking the kids to the orthodontist and the podiatrist and the physio, thinking “what are we going to have for dinner” while trying to find ten minutes to call your best mate to wish them a happy birthday!
The word ‘journey’ is chronically overused in cheesy, reality TV programs, but it can be said that life is one great trip. You get up, get dressed and get out, with each day bringing new adventures, sadness, happiness and the great unknown.
I like to think that I am exactly half way through my journey (give or take a few years) and I could never have predicted any of my adventures thus far. It is exciting to think about what might be around the corner. It’s pretty unpredictable.
For decades, the term “menopause” has been a taboo topic. There was a certain stigma attached to a woman going through “the change of life”, meaning that their fertile days were behind them, rendering them quite useless in the eyes of society.
Stigma is a dangerous thing. It basically means disgraced. And how can a perfectly normal human function be described as “disgraceful”?
When I was in kindergarten, I was the only child who came from a “broken home.” Can you believe that was the language that was actually used? There was a stigma attached to my siblings and I. We were “disgraceful”. Fast-forward 40 years and that stigma has all but disappeared as it becomes more common and more discussed. More the “norm”, for want of a better term.
This is what we need to do with menopause. No longer should discussing it be taboo, as we share our experiences with our doctors and mates and partners. By arming ourselves with knowledge and information, it needn’t be driven by anxiety and shame, but by power.
Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. - Kofi Annan
So, try not to think of “suffering” from menopause. Shift your mindset as to it being the next part of your “journey”. Give it a name, make yourself acquainted with it, follow the safety demonstration and know that there are plenty of fellow “travellers” going along for the ride with you.
©Pfizer 2018. Pfizer Australia Pty Limited. Pfizer Medical Information: 1800 675 229. Level 15-18, 151 Clarence St, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia. PP-DUA-AUS-0319, 09/2018