Monday, October 15, 2012
Milestone birthdays always spark a torrent of reflection, and over the past year, I've done my fair share of looking back at what I've achieved. I've spent my last decade in a safe, happy cocoon, raising my kids, watching them grow from babies to kids. On a personal level, I've learned more about who I am, and what I want to do, and how to be comfortable with myself.
Now that I'm in my forties, I find myself looking forward to the next 10 or 15 years. I'm entering a completely different stage in my life, so I know the changes will be significant. Here are a few that I'm expecting, hoping for and dreading:
Doctors will find a cure for cancer.
Scientists will discover life somewhere in the universe.
My three children will leave home and go away to college.
My ninety-three year-old grandmother will likely pass away.
I will experience menopause.
Did that last one surprise you? I started menstruating fairly early (age 11), so I always thought I'd run out of eggs sooner than most. Then again, most women experience menopause between the ages of 40 and 58 (with an average age of 51), so it's not a huge stretch for me to expect it to happen in the next decade.
In some ways, I think menopause will be a relief -- no more awful menstrual cramps or bloating. Or maybe I'm just saying that to console myself about the other, not-so- great things that come with menopause. You're dry during sex but you pee in your pants. Your bones become brittle just as you gain weight.
And the hot flashes, oh, the hot flashes! All the horror stories I hear about menopause have to do with hot flashes and sweating. My mother-in-law got into endless squabbles with her husband because she kept kicking the blankets off in the middle of winter (she tells me her night sweats left her so drenched that she could literally wring her nightdress out). Unfortunately, she was drenched in all the wrong places -- she says if only she had a bit more moisture in, ummm, more private places, at least they'd have had some great make-up sex after all those squabbles! But no, menopause had to ruin the fun of make-up sex, too.
My own mother broke her own decades-long aversion to sleeveless tops for my sister's
wedding because she figured the mother of the bride would probably not look her best
with sweat drenching her gown (It's always good form to compliment the mother of the
bride for looking as youthful and fit as her daughter, but I don't think stained armpits is the kind of "hot" my mother was going for). I have a thyroid disorder, so I already feel uncomfortably warm when my husband is wrapped up in sweaters and blankets. Add a hot flash to that, and I'm moving to Iceland.
No, menopause is definitely no picnic, and I'll take any and all the help I can get to get through it with the minimum of discomfort and embarrassment. So it's nice to know that Poise is coming out with a line of products to help -- personal lubricant, roll-on cooling gel, and body cooling towelettes. They even have an online site, the2ndtalk.com, where you can share what you're going through and get information
and support. You can even share your embarrassing stories and feel a bit better
knowing that you're not the only one who feels like stripping down to her underwear all the time. Not that I have anything against Iceland, but it sure sounds a lot easier than relocating halfway across the world!
Win a “Hot Flash Prize Pack” from Poise
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Disclosure: This is a paid post, courtesy of Poise. All views and opinions expressed here are my own.