Written by: Jan Brehm

So I’m wondering, do you ever…

…think about the phrase “Wisdom Comes With Age” and wonder who made that up and what were they talking about???

With the definition of wisdom being: “Accumulated knowledge of life or in a particular sphere of activity that has been gained through experience”, here are just a few profoundly impacting mid-life tidbits of wisdom I have accumulated through my life’s experiences thus far:

* If everyone looks younger than you it’s because they are.

* It’s OK to trust your life into the hands of a doctor that looks like your youngest child. And it’s OK to ask if they brushed their teeth and washed behind their ears. They understand.

* Russian Tea is going to be the new “it” beverage soon. Get a jump on it and dig out that old recipe. I just had to look up how to spell recipe.

* When your knees betray you and you can’t get up gracefully from that chair, lie and say you just went on a 10 mile run. Or groan as you struggle to rise and say, “Phew, those were good ribs”.

* Pretend menopause is a game show and you win money for every hot flash or bladder leakage. Then take yourself out for ice cream and a hair shampoo.

* Arguing with hubby not nearly as fun…cause you can’t remember why you got angry in the first place.

* It’s OK to listen to the Allman Brothers and feel really cool again.

* Ding Dongs don’t taste the same nor do HoHo’s.

* And the most important piece of true wisdom to practice everyday: Regretting the past is a waste of time. Forgive yourself.

So I’m wondering, do you ever…

…feel like you are in a gnarly tango with (peri)menopause? For me, just when I have somewhat tamed those morbid menopausal symptoms and I’m feeling back to me again, I discover that I am aimlessly wandering the aisles of Safeway or some other potential place of public humiliation talking to myself and in addition, extremely irritated and angry with anyone that comes within 25 feet of me. Or pretty much anyone within my hormonally challenged eye line.

And my memory!! What happened to my memory? Mr. Sandman stole it in the night? I lost it watching the WWI wrestling or America’s Next Top Model?? What happened?

It’s not just losing my keys, forgetting why I entered a room or not being able to complete a sentence with a shred of coherency, but I am staring this very moment, at my “to do” list from yesterday and one of the items I hastily scrawled marked “urgent” is: “MAKE PRICE RED SOCK”. What am I supposed to do with that?? I have formed the letters in every possible combination and got nothing! It may come back to me and then again may not.

And another frustration…I get the most ingenious ideas in the middle of the night. And since I would forget them the next morning, I placed pencil and paper by the bed to jot down my gifted prose and creations. I then would wake up to: “The rock has moss but the sun comes out”…?? What am I supposed to do with THAT?

I’m learning, as I know I’m not alone in this, to find humor when I forget names and faces, my address and social security number, birthdays and leaving my keys, cell phone and wallet in the car while it’s running…wait that last one wasn’t funny at all. Never mind. I’m really not learning anything at all about this and if I was, I’ll most likely forget it anyway…

Many of us support each other through laughter when experiencing these uncomfortable menopause signs and symptoms.

While we can chuckle, there is something more serious some of us women suffer during this transitional time. Sometimes I wake in the morning feeling useless and believe the messages in my head that say, “You can’t do this, who do you think you are, you’re too old, you’re a loser, you are not needed anymore…” etcetera and etcetera.

Being a naturally vibrant and life-loving woman, this for me is disturbing. As I fight through the onslaught of slandering woes and push myself to do the necessary tasks for the day, I find my mind calms a bit. But some days the self doubt, anxiety, restlessness are too much as my fluctuating hormones dictate my sense of wholeness and well being.

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