Reading “Moody Bitches” by Julie Holland and found this passage today:
“So much emphasis and worry are put on physical aging in women and their appearance that the emotional maturity and freedom that can come at this time are given short shrift. The most interesting thing about menopause is what happens after. Women come into their own. It’s a time of redefining and refining what it is we want to accomplish in our time left. The cyclicity that dominated the first half of our lives has been replaced with something more solid and consistent… Menopause is a time for pruning. It is our version of the midlife crisis, where we weed out those who are “toxic,” prioritizing and further honing our mission, whatever it may be.
In the mating years, … we thrive by cultivating relationships and nurturing those around us. The estrogen years have us keeping the peace, giving to others, and doing it ourselves instead of delegating, because at least it will be done right that way. When estrogen levels fall, we start to slowly transition from…self-sacrifice to [assertiveness]. …now that the hormones that were lubricating communication, caretaking, and conflict aversion are on permanent vacation, … the trick is to turn the anger and assertiveness into action, making changes that will benefit not just you but possibly your whole family.
I hope that …. the new standard for aging women will be about vitality, strength, and assertiveness. Forget accommodation; struggle for authenticity.”
My gynocologist says that I’m not actually perimenopausal yet according to my hormone levels. In other words, I’m still deeply entrenched in the cyclicity of life. No chance of solid ground under my feet any time soon. But maybe, this is the perfect time to clarify – and possibly modify – “my mission,” my purpose, my goals, so I’m ready when menopause hits.