In the middle of the day’s stormy weather – a huge crack of blue appeared and out I scurried – clad in black except for my wooden clanckery (beads and bangles) and the orange flashes on my trainers. It will rain again soon, but for now I can speed around the park as fast as my ‘old lady’ knee and twinging PSOAS will allow.
I have sprained my foo! Well in fact, as it turns out I have tweaked my PSOAS somehow. God knows how?! I haven’t done a downward dog, a go down dog or any kind of dogging for some time. Nothing that might put more strain on the old girl’s groin. Still – there we have it. A quick Skype consult with the glorious and usefully talented sister of wonderment and she is 95% sure of PSOAS slippage. (Not a thing – that’s what I’m calling it – oesteopathically it will have a much smarter name. It doesn’t matter what I call it – it bloody hurts!)
I would spend the next few paragraphs listing my current woes but who’s got the time or the patience?
Short hand: I am 50 Something years old, in the HOT ZONE and a lazy mare who medicates and celebrates with food. Mainly Cake Food. So you can fill in the ailment and woement blanks. Whatever you’ve got – I have – and joy of joys mostly all at once.
This month if I rocked up at the doc’s with my list – I’d almost certainly have HRT pushed at me with the reassurance that the risk of cancer is very small – so well worth the trade off. A comfort if the symptoms of my meanopause are causing me or the people around me concern.
Fuck Right Off! I’d apologise for the language and ingratitude but you see another, glorious symptom of my current trajectory through this Neovavoom* is that I am a raging Medusa. Full on, hide the knives, righteous fury regularly courses through my brainpan – burning up the sweetness and laying waste to the accommodating me. The shift brings the utter relief of ‘don’t give a figness’ and it’s effing brilliant!
I say don’t hide your light or your anger under a bushel my friends. Sing out. Paint it all the colours of bat shit bonkers – allow yourself to give it all full expression.
For me, right now – it’s like the filters have been taken off. Ripped off on some days. I hunt in vain for the soft focus filter that fuzzies up reality enough – so it doesn’t hurt my brain with the searing unfairness of it all. Nope that one is lost – stomped on by the 10th Hot Over of the day – experienced in a supermarket while under a winter coat.
Ha! You won’t make that rookie mistake agin will ya! Coat, scarf AND a hat… Oh very dreary, deary me. Yes, you look cute now. Wait for 1/2 hour and see how you look – stripping off your clothes in the veggie aisle, as red as the vac pac beetroot and puffing. Oh heck! The puffing – blowing out through your pink, sweaty cheeks to cool down.
Then you’ll look like a fucking mad woman. Just don’t register the pity/distaste on the faces of your fellow shoppers. Make a joke – go on! Make a little, self deprecating, sorry I’m so messy, joke. They’ll smile, you’ll feel a bit better – like a twat but not so utterly wrong.
There are other filters which I’ve mislaid. Maybe temporarily but I can’t for the life of me find them today. Where’s my ‘give a fuck about your teenage tantrums about your non existent flab’ filter?
Perleese! My lap currently has it’s own lap. My behind is so vast, when I strap myself into the coach seat I am genuinely strangled by the seat belt after using up it’s entire length to circumnavigate my hips. So bugger off skinny. Go tell it to the mountain – just NOT this one.
I have zero tolerance for rudeness, selfish me, me me-ness. If I’ve gone quiet it isn’t because I’m listening. I’m planning how to kill you. Yes. Yes I am.
Too harsh? Nope. I am increasingly sure that what we need to do is VENT. Give voice and tell it truthfully – stop accommodating anyone and anything that undermines our sense of what is actually happening. Talking about the rubbish stuff is an important counterpoint to Facebook Faux Fabulous Syndrome.
I recently met an artist – the fabulous Diane Goldie, we talked in front of her challenging piece on the pornification of dating sites, a picture essay about self esteem, or rather lack of it – refracted through actual images of boobs and the words of the women who post them as part of their profile on a dating website.
We talked about our menopause, the quietness of it and the rage, the fuzziness and the searing moments of painful clarity and she told me that she had used facebook in the exact opposite way to most. She created a page and instead of offering up pretty images of her best self alongside cleaned up homillies from a happy harridan, she shared herself as she found herself – in the moment. Real and raw – not for sympathy but to find an authentic way to engage with the medium/social communication channel.
I thought that was very brave. to be an artist you have to be brave don’t you? To be a menopausal woman you have to be brave if you want to say FUCK OFF to HRT then you know you’re dealing with a tsunami of unmedicated symptoms from physical to emotional and lets not forget the social challenges. No bugger likes an aged crone, sweating away in the corner.
Whahoo! For all the flumphs, and the aches and hotties and thinning of hair, oh and conversely the excess hair, tiredness, rage, weeping, waist thickening, fuggy headed – vag wrinkling bollocks of it – there is plenty to celebrate!
REALLY?! Have you taken leave of what’s left of your senses woman? What? WHAT are you celebrating? Exactly…
Well first off – the only way we get to do this my hot friends, is to COME OUT!
Lets have a mass outting – of peri menopausal and menopausal women – lets march about and demand shit. I don’t much care what – free personal fans for everyone over 45! Money for research into refrigerated knickers… Cake on demand. The right to be considered vital, gorgeous and relevant even as our wombs retreat … we still like the odd shag and what’s more we’re good at it. After all we’ve been doing it for quite a while …
Is HRT for you? Brilliant! Go and get it.
Is it though? Might you do well with a different approach? Diet, exercise, yoga, meditation – take a lover. Slow down a bit.
What if we fully celebrated cronedome as an arrival at some kind of wisdom – like they used to before we demonised aging/wise women and witches. Before blokes took over medicine and child-birth and synthesised the natural remedies while telling us that they were hokum.
What if we didn’t terrify each other about ageing, hair (seriously why are we so scared of hair?) needing to slow down, putting on a bit of weight as we age? How about we celebrate women who are ageing in all their glory not just the ones who’s job it is to look perennially young – or who have been battered with the pretty stick and managed to hold onto it – usually as a result of genetics or surgery – but not in fact because they are amazing people.
Lets get excited about all of us – the cute, the bumpy, lumpy, hot and bothered and the less than perfect ones. You don’t have to be an artist, a great beauty, accomplished in any way – you just have to be you. Gorgeous, unique and messy you. You carry wisdom, knowledge and heart scars. These are what make you valuable to your family, your lover, your friends, colleagues and neighbours.
Entering menopause isn’t a time to disappear – it’s a time to galvanise that Medusa spirit and rage!
If we weren’t so bloody scared to get older we might not be so fucking depressed by the onset of menopause.
The Change – as it is so portentously named. If women were valued deeply for their nature and their contriubtion beyond their physical gorgeousness – we’d be less fucked up when the inevitable ageing begins and we change.
I’m not wearing a bra today, because yesterday – the bloody thing felt so uncomfortable, I fidgeted with my under crackers all day – NOT the actions of a confident woman.
So today – I thought ‘bugger it!’ Who’s going to care? Frankly who’s going to notice!? Unless I want to be visible – I can disappear (Let’s ignore the pink* hair – turns out it was a mistake but you know what I mean.)
Am I sad that I am no longer juicy and plumped skinned, vital and bendy.
However this isn’t inevitable and once past the pressure to be young and pretty, (I’m short-handing here – we know the politics and social pressures are more complex) then a bit more yoga, some sunshine and fresh air, more and better quality sleep and a proper, considered diet will sort out most of the issues.
Also some proper information on the actual hormonal mix that I am personally working with – that’d be good No? (CHeck online for NHS advice – menopause)
So it starts here – well to be honest – it started over there – but somehow it got a bit lost.
The personal revamp starts here – with a Menofesto – I like a manifesto!
Tell it like it is.
Eat real food.
Be Me. (You’ll have to be you – I’m all over the ‘being me’ shit).
This post might be categorised under the Crazy banner. It’s a little late – because I got scared – talked myself out of it for a week.
*It’s returned to my beloved lilac now…
If you are in Australia W.A. find Laura Harvey here >>