I noticed recently that September is Menopause Awareness Month. I began reading an article, specifically for women over 50, stating how glad they were that perimenopausal and menopausal women were getting attention this month. Glad, hmm, not a word I would choose. Focusing attention on menopause for a whole month. Now there’s a happy thought. My spell checker red lined ‘perimenopausal’. Does anyone else find that ironic? Then it proceeded to inform me, “No Guesses Found.” Not a single helpful suggestion. Perimenopausal is written in my medical chart. But my online dictionary white screened it. I suppose Mr. Oxford could use some awareness.
I have a list titled, “Things I Have to Laugh About So I Don’t Cry”. Today, this one moved up to first place.
I’m all about awareness. Concern, understanding, commiserating, support, empathy, care. All those things and much more. I so get that. As soon as the second woman appeared on Earth, she and Eve probably got it, too.
I’m just saying that I doubt there are too many women anywhere in the remote vicinity of menopause — peri, pre or whatever — that have a ginormous (spell checker liked that one) thought bubble filled with question marks hanging over their heads. It’s not some unidentified medical anomaly. It’s menopause, for goodness sakes. It’s either here or on it’s way — like death and taxes.
I’m trying, honestly I am, but the part of menopause that I’m supposed to be celebrating (or at least supporting) has eluded me.
In fact, this is the part where the laughing stops and the crying begins. At 50 something, with a 15 and a 12 year old, here’s what I think. First, know that I did the math all those years ago and knew these days were coming, just as sure as the next Oregon rainy season. And, more importantly, God knew exactly what would happen at exactly the right time. With no question about His absolute sovereignty, this is just my observation: We were probably never intended to have to use the words menopause and teenagers in the same sentence.
Those words together — menopause and teenagers — generate a sensation of the pitching of a boat during a storm at sea. The chaos of hormones crashing against the boat from all sides. I’m in the boat alright. You might even be in the boat with me. Floundering, weathering the storm, in the doldrums, sinking, drowning, thrown overboard, reeled in, oh, there are so many great nautical metaphors! Walking on water is a fabulous picture of Jesus and Peter but doesn’t quite capture what I’m feeling. More like between the devil and the deep blue sea. Steady as she goes has such a nice hopeful sound, doesn’t it? I’ll put a pin in that one for later. Walk the plank, there we go. That anchors it.
My husband? He just sort of stays out of the way. Smart man.
Can you excuse me a moment? I think I’ll walk the plank now.