By Elizabeth Phinney
Conversation about menopause usually focuses on the physical attributes: night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, headaches, mood swings…the list goes on. But, as women, we buck up and deal with whatever horrors our version of menopause has to offer.
But, I want to talk about all the other side effects of menopause, not the physiological ones. Typically it occurs in our fifties. By then, the kids are pretty much grown and, in an ideal world, moved out and self-supporting (I can dream can’t I ??) Wherever they are, they are older and their own person and not listening to us any more anyway. Or, if there are no children in your life and/or you are in a career, job security can be questionable. You are either too expensive or too old for the company’s image. Do you even like the job?
So, the big question is, what to do now? What to focus on now? How about, if I may be so bold, FOCUS ON YOU?? Imagine that, for the first time in probably 30 years, you put YOU first? What do you want to do? What job do you want? Where do you want to live? And, with whom? Where do you want to travel? The women’s movement of the 1970’s gave us the freedom to have many more choices available for us. So, now, in the new millennium, what if we took that freedom one step further, and focused on us?
We women in our 50’s and 60’s are very wise women. We have lived through the complete upheaval of our society. Although we have a ways to go on the pay scale, we are bullying forth in the corporate world and are now in line to be President of the United States. We have come a long way, baby. So why not take what is due you – reclaim your life.
Chances are you will live well into your 80’s and 90’s, so make the decision to make the best choices you can NOW to live independently then: exercise an hour each day – the best gift you can give your body and yourself; get 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night (when you actually allow that time, your body will take it!); drink lots of water and maintain a steady hydration level; eat right and eat well – only clean, nutritious foods that are easy for your body to put to good use without all the poisons and sugars so prevalent in our food system that contribute to ill health.
By choosing you first and making these changes to your lifestyle, your life becomes your own and you can live into your future with confidence and zest.