Meditations of a Menopausal Witch
by Pat Carbonell
Menopause is not fun. With very few exceptions (like my #$%^&&* oldest sister!), menopause is that exciting time when you get to go through the hormonal uproar of puberty, in reverse. After 30-40 years of ticking along, suddenly you're faced with the world's worst case of PMS, pimples, irregular periods that range from spotting to bleeding like the proverbial stuck pig, migraines when you've never had them, aches and pains where you've never had them, hot flashes and cold chills, and just plain insanity.
And men who have no clue how they're taking their lives in their hands just talking to you on a bad day.
I'm fortunate enough to be spared the bulk of the physical symptoms. Good thing, too. Our thermostat has two settings: "sauna" and "refridgerator". It would be a real bitch if I had hot flashes and chills on top of that!
No, I'm one of the crazy ones. Figured that out a couple of years ago when I ripped into my mother for asking me how my day had been. Now, I've NEVER yelled at my mother - I was programmed at a very young age by a man 6'1" and over 300 lbs. that I should never, ever make my mommy unhappy. No, Dad didn't hit us - his presence was terrifying enough.
So, after that little episode I figured something wasn't right, went to my doctor and we concluded that I was early stage menopausal and he put me on happy drugs.
Good thing, too. This happened just about the same time that my best friend kinda sorta pushed me into accepting the fact that I'm a witch. I used all sorts of other terminology to describe myself (earth mage, telepath, empath, etc.), but not witch. He made me see that I am a witch, by any other name, and that led me to start studying again, and really getting a handle on what I can do... some of which isn't really very nice.
I had a young friend once who was playing around on the dark side of the street (emphasis "playing" - he really didn't know what he was getting into). I had a little chat with him about giving it up, because if he didn't, I was going to have to kick his sorry little ass. He was all defensive, and I think he was bewildered by how much I knew about what he was playing with - I don't think it ever occured to him that I knew because I'd been there once myself. Learned a lot of ugly stuff, and turned my back on it. That's when I pledged myself to the Light... which is why I would have been honor-bound to kick his sorry little ass. Fortunately, he grew out of it.
So, anyway, my doctor got me on meds that kept me from dragging out all the nastiness I'm capable of. Hey, I've always had a temper. I'm dead-center middle of the sign Scorpio, born two minutes after midnight, half Spanish and half German - which just means that I go zero-to-furious in 30 seconds flat and then staaay there, for a long, long time. Learned a long time ago to suppress the temper.
So of course that's what started to come undone when I hit menopause!!
The other fun part of hitting this stage in life is the emotional/psychological one. Somewhere along the line, most women pick up this little idea that their self-worth is tied to their womb... and when the baby-factory closes up shop, she's worthless. Sounds archaic, right? Well, I was born in the 50's, so my programming was pre-women's lib. I thought I didn't have that little issue - until I was faced with it. Holy shit! Rationally, at 49, 50, 51, the last thing I want to do is spawn again. Come on! Who wants to be dealing with a teenager at 65? Emotionally, though... I never expected to have only one child. I wanted to have more, but as I've never gotten married and one love child is enough for anyone, I was always careful after that. It's a real bitch when you dream about your son asking you why he can't be born. Sorry, honey.
And then there's how loooooong this process takes! I'm still ticking away, pretty regular. I would love to stop supporting Kotex and Midol! If it's gonna be over, then BE OVER already! Yeesh! Flip the goddam switch.
However, there are the jokes. Thank the gods for the jokes. They do make it all bearable. Got this series today, as a matter of fact. The good thing about having women friends who are the same age is we send these to everyone we know when we get them.
* Mid-life is when the growth of hair on our legs slows down. This gives us plenty of time to care for our newly acquired mustache.
* In mid-life women no longer have upper arms, we have wing spans. We are no longer women in sleeveless shirts, we are flying squirrels in drag.
* Mid-life is when you can stand naked in front of a mirror and you can see your rear without turning around.
* Mid-life is when you go for a mammogram and you realize that this is the only time someone will ask you to appear topless.
* Mid-life is when you want to grab every firm young lovely in a tube top and scream, "Listen honey, even the Roman empire fell and those will too"
* Mid-life brings wisdom to know that life throws us curves and we're sitting on our biggest ones.
* Mid-life is when you look at your-know-it-all, beeper-wearing 20 yr-old children and think: "For this I have stretch marks?"
* In mid-life your memory starts to go. In fact the only thing we can retain is water.
* Mid-life means that your Body By Jake now includes Legs By Rand McNally
-- more red and blue lines than an accurately scaled map of Wisconsin ..
* Mid-life means that you become more reflective...You start pondering the "big" questions. What is life? Why am I here? How much Healthy choice ice cream can I eat before it's no longer a healthy choice?
* But mid-life also brings with it an appreciation for what is important. We realize that breasts sag, hips expand and chins double, but our loved ones make the journey worthwhile. Would any of you trade the knowledge that you have now, for the body you had way back when? Maybe our bodies simply have to expand to hold all the wisdom and love we've acquired. That's my philosophy and I'm sticking to it!
The other piece of philosophy I love is the one that says you can go through life, being careful, eating right and eventually die bored with a well-preserved body, but for myself, I plan on screeching into the afterlife, laying the bike in the dust, wrinkled and worn out, shouting "Hot Damn! That was a hell of a ride!!!!"
Yeah, I'm still on the happy drugs... the world is safe for another day *grin*
Pat might or might not be one of the crazy ones.