I am at the intersection of Puberty and Menopause

menopause tree

I woke this morning with something out of the ordinary I think–I had a zit. A zit on the age spot in the wrinkle on my forehead. Looked at it with wonder and disbelief. Apparently the intersection of puberty and menopause is on my T-zone. I know–I am insane. I have looked at my face and body differently lately…have you heard the saying that you “know something like the back of your hand?” What if you don’t recognize the back of your hand, what if it looks more like your Mother’s or Grandmother’s?

menopause mirror - Copy

I have gone through more changes than the average gal I think.  I was a premie baby–barely 5 pounds at birth. Then for reasons only God knows for sure, I grew and grew and grew. When I was 5 I wore a size 5 shoe, by the time age 11 rolled around I was over 6 feet and wore a size 12 shoe. If you don’t believe me I have plenty, PLENTY of awkward photographic evidence. Puberty was rather uneventful. I wasn’t really informed ahead of time to any of the changes I would encounter and I was so busy growing it all seemed part of the chaos. It was really one of the only “normal” things I experienced growing up.

menopause blue - Copy

Last Sunday when I was getting ready for church I was putting on my make up and I started thinking about when I was a teen and learning how to apply makeup. I remember being at a Mary Kay or Beauty Control pushy “sale“–oops, I mean “make up class” one of the “desperate housewives,” oops, I mean “consultants” told me the art of make up at my age was to look like I wasn’t wearing any. I spent my youth trying to learn that lesson and now… Now I am trying to use makeup to make me look youthful! The bloom of my youth has faded!

menopause that girl

In my 20’s, rather than “peak” I spent them overweight, depressed and ill-equipped to navigate adulthood. I saw a dermatologist (and a therapist thank goodness) and he was sorta shocked that the majority of my sun damage was top of my feet, top of my head and ears and my arms and hands below the elbow. This is my reward for staying inside, covered most of the time doing no physical activity.

menopause fat - Copy

My 30’s found me  really overweight, divorced, alone, in a job I hated and ready for a change!  I had gastric bypass and it was the best thing I ever did (Oh yes, that whole story is a post for another day)!  SO, I melted and lost more than half of me! That is a change my friend–A big Change and it happened so fast (in about 8 months)! I met my hubs after the melting had slowed, now 6′ 1″ and 149 lbs. He is sweet and tells me he would have fallen in love with me if I were still a ‘big girl’ had we worked together or otherwise become acquainted…I smile but doubt it!

menopause baby - Copy

So I married that nice Norwegian man who doesn’t seem put off by my height or history and I become pregnant 4 months later. If you read my Pulitzer Prize-worthy posts “Grim, Bleak and Barren,” or “Woman Of Advanced Maternal Age”  then you know a lot of that story.  Now girls, being pregnant the first time and having your last 9lb baby after 40, are big changes. Parts you never knew you had grow and swell and your hair is great, your nose super sensitive and your skin soft and pink…then there’s the birth….  You morph from ripe and full to sore and deflated in a matter of moments! That is a big change. Heck, becoming a mother is like the biggest change I ever experienced! I changed how I slept and ate and played, I changed my view of the world, the music I learned and the TV I watched. (insert da da da da da Dora) I changed most of the diapers too! I gained weight and lost weight before, during and after and like every other average mom out there, I kept a few pounds from each one.

menopause blow - Copy

Ok, here I am in present day, 41 and realizing that I need to come to terms with these next 10 years. I have a strong history of breast cancer in my family–I have to get those parachutes checked often. I have had some trouble with my girl parts, baby makin’ quiver is full and I have to prepare for this next change, MENOPAUSE!  I hate that word, it scares me. I would rather have a pause to eat, a pause to rest, or a pause to write than a pause from that…not that I enjoy Aunt Flo’s monthly visits but really? Never ever again? Besides, the word ‘pause‘ implies that there will be a time of ‘resume’.

old lady cooking

Who am I here? I have just filled my nest when most women my age are emptying theirs. I have little kids, babies still…where do we go from here? Honestly, have you every heard anyone say anything good about the pause?  So the next 10 years I am to be hot and cold and wet and dry and happy and sad all while my face sags slowly downward everyday until I resemble a tired ol’ coonhound who has to tuck her jowls into the turtleneck? Will the kids at school always think that my stooges brought their grandparents for a field trip? What is my identity these next few years? Am I ready for that change?

old lady garden

So here I am at the intersection of puberty and menopause–just like in driver’s ed with Mr. Mulligan.  I take a deep breath and put my foot on the gas…the light is green–this is way better than being a teenager!  Right?!

old lady shopping

Sincerely, Sara

(and you can keep the change)!

8 thoughts on “I am at the intersection of Puberty and Menopause

  1. I just reached the big M and am here to tell you that there’s actually a lot of security and peace that comes with it. No monthly “maintenance” is awesome among other things. As is the case for… my guess is… ALL women, your questions are starting now and will continue to drive you crazy from this point on. But if you have a loving and supportive husband, it will help tremendously! I also think having younger kids will be a huge help to you through the next several years, so enjoy…!

  2. Wow! There is life after the “pause”! LOL! One thing you really have right is change, change, change and change…..

  3. Haha, I just read this Sara and know why I love you (and Amy and mom, dad, etc..) so much, girl! Truly miss just sitting and chatting with you as there is never a dull moment. From the first time I met your family many moons ago, you guys always make me laugh and feel so blessed and loved. 🙂 Now I have to spend my morning reading the rest of your blogs instead of working… not sure if that’s a good idea since I’m behind but I could really use the laughs. xoxox

  4. Rather enjoyed reading this. Your writing is fun to read. I have no advice or anything to give but as long as your family always loves you, you are set for life 🙂

  5. Pingback: T. M(ay).I. | thesisterslice

  6. At a march against Monsanto, I met a farmers wife of an organic farm (raw milk, veggies, etc,) that had her first baby at 48. Somehow it shifted my thinking. Check out the Facebook page “homegrown healthy” and there are some awesome articles about how to eat with (estrogen based) breast cancer as a risk/or present. You can actually eat food that help block cancer growth. Awesomeness.

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