Has anyone out there gone through "the change"? And by change, I do mean the hormonal, feminine variety punctuated less by a period and more by an exclamation point, as in "is it me or is hot in here!?"
I believe I am going through it now, as I am nearing 52 and my monthly cycle seem to be going haywire. Until now I haven't really given pause to sit down and think about what this means to me. But now that my cycles are wacky and my husband commented on my mood swings, I thought it high time to reflect for a moment.
For the most part, I have always considered having a menstrual cycle to be nothing but a nuisance. And, by the way, it just dawned on me that a woman's menstrual cycle has as many names as a man's penis. Names such as the "Friend", being on the "rag", the "curse", "Aunt Flow", "my visitor" and so on. Giving a name to your period or a man's penis is like allowing it to have a life and mind all it's own. And in a way I think that's what having a period has been to me. An unwelcome visitor that was not always predictable. Something out of my control. And at the same time, as much as I've hated it for 40 years, I have also come to appreciate what having a period is for and that I have been blessed with the ability to experience the miracle of birth three times. Something most men wouldn't be able to handle.
But just when I thought I couldn't wait for my unwelcome guest to leave and have the house to myself again, I realize I have become accustomed to it and am a little verklempt about it all. I realize it is a symbol of youth and beauty. Like an oasis, once the well has dried up, the lush, floral beauty seems to fade along with it. So I'm a little frightened and ill-prepared for what's next. I read that it is not until a full 12 months has passed that you can consider yourself to be fully passed menopause. So I have at least a year before that clock has ticked. But giving pause to the menopausal thing is making me a bit verklempt again, making me realize I can't have any more babies (not that I want to, but it's the idea), that my looks are beginning to fade, and those crows feet and gray hairs are here to stay and if anything - only increase.Continued on the next page