At the age of 50, I’m done talking about my father, and I understand my relationship with my mother. I don’t need a therapist to talk about any of it anymore. I’m over it. But there is something about midlife — and it’s not a musical comedy. Here’s what’s true; midlife women in peri-menopause and menopause make up the largest demographic group in the United States. We are between the ages of 40 and 60. And some of us start to walk down that highway in our 30s.
And it IS the “Big Change” as we move through this shifting hormonal cocktail of estrogen and testosterone. We wrestle with our body chemistry and emerge from what has been called “The Fertility Fog or The Fertility Haze.” You know, the place in our lives when we might be cutting up sandwiches in triangles — and then emerge mid-slice and wonder what the f**k are we doing anyway?
A woman’s body chemistry changes differently than a man over time — even though his body chemistry shifts too. It just has a more profound effect on women than “Man-0-Pause” does on men. Reading Dr. Christiane Northrup’s “The Wisdom of Menopause” again. I love this idea that women after menopause are able to return to a time in our lives when we were freer emotionally and physically. A quasi return to our teenage years without the tight skin but with oodles of knowledge and renewed possibility that our younger self could only imagine.
When the cloud lifts and we return to the reality of ourselves — we may find a renewed freedom, a rebellious spirit and this feeling that we are not who we have been for a decade or more. We are less compliant to “the rules.” There may be this deep desire for passion untasted. For adventure. There may be a storm of feelings. We might make a bit of a hot mess during our next evolution because we are the ones figuring it out. There aren’t many women before us — it was not too long ago that women were dead at 40. And here we are — born again sex Goddesses. Or deep on the quest to light her up inside ourselves.
The world is not yet used to us. You know, the midlife badass women of “The Change.” Oh yeah. We may stumble at first — because you know this new found “Hell, Yes” in our lives can complicate the lives of those that were used to us making sandwiches cut into triangles.
Our habits and desires may change; we may even start wanting to spend some of the money that we earn on ourselves. Yes, we dare to do that too. We are done with waiting and we have half our lives ahead of us — and this wonderful, wild and free extraordinary possibility of being.
Decades of power and revolution will emerge. Grab a fork.
Pamela Madsen runs retreats around the world to help women re-connect to their bodies and sensuous nature and is author of the book; “Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner” (Rodale 2011)