As I entered the 55th year of my life this week, I allowed myself to reflect on how far I’ve come, where I’m at and where I’m going in this next stage of my life.
I often say that my menopause transition was one of the hardest times of my life but also one of the best things to ever happen to me. Although there were moments where I felt utterly bewildered, lost and unsure about what was going on with my body and mind, this experience also transformed me.
I’m different now. Yes, I may have gained a little weight and some more wrinkles. My skin is a bit flabbier and perhaps I’m not as ‘beautiful’ as the younger me.
However, I also think that by different, I mean a better version of myself. In fact, I would actually say that as I emerged from my menopause transition, I also evolved into the woman I had always wanted to be. With regards to beauty – for me, beauty is so much more than skin deep. Rather, it’s now more about energy, authenticity and enthusiasm for life. Personally, if I look at it that way, then at 54, I am more beautiful now than I have ever been because finally, I feel like I am truly living this one precious life.
That’s the thing about this crazy menopause transition. Perhaps you do lose a bit of yourself and maybe even become somewhat invisible. But throughout that process, you also have an opportunity. An opportunity to discard everything that is no longer serving you – aspects of your life that have perhaps never served you but somehow become part of what society or your own beliefs expected was right.
This opportunity also provides us with somewhat of a second chance. In this second part of life, we are reinvented. As our reproductive hormones diminish, we are transported back through a kind of reverse puberty to a time where we may have had wild, perhaps unrealistic dreams of the future. Back then everything seemed possible – nothing was off limits. You were allowed to dream big.
For me, the reproductive years, although of course wonderful and allowing me to grow and birth two gorgeous humans, was a time where I felt like I never lived up to my potential. I was somehow held back by the strong pull of my nurturing hormones – the need to find a partner, reproduce and care for others, all while often putting my own needs and desires last.
As those nurturing hormones began to decrease, I felt a change. Somehow, that brave young girl who was unafraid of speaking her mind, who dreamt of doing hard things and who was excited about the future, began to occasionally reappear. Of course, that was in between the crazy fluctuating hormones, bursts of severe confusion and even distress to some extent about what was going on with my body and mind as this evolutionary process was weaving its way through my being.
As I emerged into post menopause, I was left with a new body, a new mind and a whole new operating system. Some people say that when we lose estrogen it’s a deficiency. For me, that loss has allowed me to find my power, my passion and my purpose. For me, the loss of estrogen is anything but a deficiency. With no fluctuating hormonal cycles, I have so much more overall clarity Being able to focus knowing that I won’t be hijacked by my hormonal related moods is an incredible gift.
Yes, perhaps I am more invisible. But, I actually like that. When you are not so obvious, it really doesn’t matter what you do. I feel like I can take more risks and be more authentic. Menopause is often thought of as the end. I don’t buy into that and I’m determined to change the narrative. If we see this process as an opportunity, I believe that menopause can be the beginning of the very best part of our lives.
So, allow me to reintroduce myself. I am Tania Dalton, a 54 year old post menopausal women who has found herself – found parts of herself she lost for quite a few years. I’m no longer afraid of sharing my thoughts and ideas. I’m dreaming big. I’m stepping up and stepping away from decades of self-limiting beliefs. What have I got to lose? At least half my life is over and I am no longer willing to live the remainder of it by playing small.
I’m living my Beautiful Midlife and I hope you will do the same.