I was awoken by the wave, which dredged me up from the depths of my dreams and cast me gasping and thrashing on the shore of consciousness. Like a fever, the heat pulsed through my body as I threw off the covers, pleading with the remnants of sleep. Despite the radiant heat in my veins, without the cover I felt a chill. I tossed and turned to find a halfway house, sleepily grumpy that hot AND cold made no sense. Bloody menopause, why does it demand my attention, like an insistent toddler waking me up because she cannot sleep? Why can’t it just quietly get on with the job without jumping up and down, shouting “look at me, feel me! Yes, I am the end of ‘mother’, say hello to ‘crone’!”
In truth, I am happy to accept this transition; gently exploring a reframe of my self-identity and welcoming the wisdom and perspective. But I could do without the mood swings, echoes of the teenager without the benefits or freedom of youth. I resent the invasion into my precious sleep, tiredness exaggerating my surges of emotion.
Ahh, but here’s the gift of my blog to me; a sudden thought as I write these words – sense making and reflection. The message of my menopause as it clamours for my attention is not to gloat at the passing of youth. No, it urges me to reclaim the right to my time, my care, my love. It reminds me to put my own needs first once more, after years of giving and being the last to receive. It reminds me to be compassionate towards my ageing body and to respect the self-knowledge I’ve earned. It urges me to please myself rather than to try to please others, and to do so with joy and relish. My menopause says “sod the guilt, you’ve earned the right”.
And I will heed that message, and I will ride the stormy waves you bring – but please, dear menopause, just let me sleep!