Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

I am not a number…

Old age is the only disease you can catch by imitating its symptoms

Mario E. Martinez

On my soap box

Photo by Skitterphoto on

In a world obsessed with the pursuit of eternal youth it can be hard to wear our years with pride. We should fade into the background, noiselessly accepting our lot as has-beens. Social media platforms seem to be teeming with bright young things. Many of the images posted have passed through some filter which magically (and artificially) removes all lines, giving people a Barbie and Ken plastic complexion. Even personal grooming products have joined the fray with labels such as ‘anti-ageing’, ‘anti-wrinkle’ and ‘anti-grey’.

Thinking and being

Social media and media in general are not alone in prematurely aging us. We do it to ourselves. Beliefs handed on to us in conjunction with our own inner monologue make a heady combination. How many of us believe we are ‘past it’ once a woman is menopausal? I used to hold that belief strongly in the very core of my being. I once described myself as slowly becoming a prune, all dried up and wrinkly. I’d look longingly at a pair of boots, imagining myself wearing them, then bursting my own bubble with thoughts such as ‘they are too young for me’. I’d see an item of clothing and think ‘Cost Center 1 (my daughter) would look lovely in that, but I’d look like mutton dressed as lamb.’ And with that, I’ve told myself I am old! It’s easy it is to live down to those expectations. If we keep this inner monologue (or in my case, dialogue/argument) going long enough we’ll talk ourselves out of experimentation, exploration and creativity, all the way into a cage, an age cage.

You can go your own way …

Freedom to choose fun!

Ok so maybe, as individuals, persuade marketing departments to drop the ‘anti’ and try ‘pro’ is not an easy task so let’s focus on what we can do, starting with ourselves. Imagine if we didn’t think like this? What if we thought of trying on the clothing or the boots? What if we kept all negative references to age out of it and simply asked ‘does this work for me?’ Instead of trapping ourselves into early dotage, we could, by adjusting our inner voice, give ourselves the freedom to express ourselves in whichever way pleases us without worrying about what everyone else thinks. What goes on in other people’s heads is no business of ours.

Cath’s top tips in no particular order:

  • Eat well
  • Sleep well
  • Move your butt – dance, yoga, run, swim – whatever floats your boat!
  • Start the day with gratitude and affirmations to get you where you want to go.
  • Under no circumstances let your inner voice mutter stuff like ‘…at your age…’, ‘…too old for…’ and the phrase ‘senior moment’ is banned
  • Do activities that make you smile and laugh, and do them regularly
  • Life is short. This isn’t a dress rehearsal so use the good china and dress up to suit yourself
  • If the mood takes you, change your hairstyle or (and) buy that special item. This sends a strong message of love and care to the inner you
  • Look after your emotional health – mindful meditation really does help
  • Get outside in the fresh air every day.

Bless you all for reading and following this blog.

Cath xx

Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Cath’s adventures – tales from the other side…

Whatever else menopause is, it most certainly is not for the faint-hearted! I could tick off almost every last one of the 35 symptoms of menopause, while adding a few new ones of my own. I’ve lost count of the number of times I had myself measured up for my coffin. Apparently all that is normal for the big change.

So what’s it like on the other side? Has everything suddenly stopped causing havoc now that I’m officially post-menopausal?

The short answer to the first question is, it’s pretty much the same as pre-menopause but definitely no chance of another monthly visit, or unexpected visits from the stork! I celebrated this fact by handing over every last towel and tampon to Cost Centre 1 (aka beloved daughter). I removed them from my desk drawer at work, toilet bags, and handbag pockets. Like Christmas tree needles in Easter, the little packets are still turning up in unexpected places three years down the line!

Now to the second question…. have symptoms ceased to trouble me, disappearing as if switched off? Nope. But before you despair, they’re not as intense as they once were, and I’m more accustomed to them so I don’t give them a chance to turn into meno-monsters! Well, mostly. There are days when I’m utterly down in the dumps, tearing my hair out over some tiny, but huge to me, issue.

Over the next few weeks I’ll fill you in on some of the bigger issues:

  • Skin, hair and nail health
  • Is the old libido gone for good?
  • Taming the waist-line and keeping active in general
  • Erratic temperature control
  • Bone health
  • Hearty hearts
  • Anything else that springs to mind… like brain fog and forgetfulness

If you are still on the other side, and new to my blog, why not have a look at my adventures in Perimenopauseland.

Keep smiling… it makes everyone wonder what you’re up to!