Two things prompted this week's post.
1. I realised that Cam was not on board with getting rid of the coffee table in our lounge
2. I'm reading Jen Gunter's Menopause Manifesto and she dedicated an entire chapter to how everything is connected.
And the result of those two things - this is worthy of it's own standalone paragraph :
It's super important to understand that menopause does not exist as it's own independent entity.
Which I think we kind of forget. Because menopause is viewed as this big, awful, lurkey lurker who floats around, hiding under our beds, and around corners, just ready to pounce when we least expect it.
"Boo!! Hey hottie! I'm a mooooooovin' in!!! Whoop!" And then possibly ... probably, farts.
It's got such a dreadful reputation that it's viewed as this totally alien 'thing' which happens to 'old' us.
The occurring of it is out of our control. We don't choose when or how. Or which symptoms we're going to experience. Or how badly. Or for how long. Or not at all.
But menopause is not a lurkey lurker add-on. It doesn't exist within our bodies independent of our other myriad amazing complicated inter-related parts. It is our bodies, and our bodies exist in our lives. And everything is connected.
So whatever is happening within our bodies and within our external environments in general, is involved in, and impacts, whatever is happening with the changes that are menopause.
This is important to note and recognise because that means there are some things we can do to moderate the effects of menopause. And some things we may just need to accept elegantly, gracefully, as possibly, just beautifully, age related.
Like sore joints and osteoporosis. Both of which can happen with menopause. (PS, make sure you see your GP and get a referral for a bone density test). But maybe, like me, you've run many many km's over your life and by the time you're well into your 40's your knee and ankle and hip joints are pretty well used and quite frankly, a bit sore. Estrogen loss (which is kind of like what menopause is, in a very simplified way) has a negative effect on (amongst a fair few other things) bone density (you lose up to 10% of your bone density in the first 5 years after menopause). But diet and exercise also play a major role in bone density and those things are totally controllable. (Weight bearing exercise, 1,300mg dietary calcium daily, lots of vitamin D, control alcohol and caffeine intakes and don't smoke in a nutshell).
And declining estrogen, which plays a big role in your overall well-being but which doesn't stop me feeling endorphin-amazin' after exercise and that plays a big role in my overall well-being.
And tiredness, the ultimate in big connected circles. You don't sleep so well through menopause - often because you're hot then cold then hot then cold, but also, maybe you had a cup of tea before bed, or too much coffee through the day, or your job is a bit more stressful, or you and your partner are going through some stuff, or your kids are going through some stuff, or all of the above and any other number of things which keeps us awake at night (like hating on your coffee table). And then you're tired so you're a bit grumpy, and you don't look entirely fresh and you don't have the energy to exercise and a glass of wine tastes sooooo good .... I don't need to keep painting that picture. It's never just one thing. It's lots of things, all connected.
Even the name menopause is connected. It's connected with generations of fear and misunderstanding. Which is connected to the way we think about it and approach it and experience it. All through a negative filter. It is challenging but I'd feel a lot better about konenki, the beautiful Japanese version of menopause which means renewal years and energy. That's a much nicer connection.
And then big stuff like socio-economic conditions, argh covid, even things like childhood trauma, have been shown to have an affect on how we experience menopause. A lot which is out of our control, but it's worth mentioning because it's been shown to have an affect. Which for me, makes me want to do alllllll of the things I can with regard to modifying the modify-able day to day stuff that can positively impact how I roll through menopause.
So hotties remember, everything is connected. Day to day stuff like what we eat, how we exercise, the quality of all of our relationships, our jobs, where we live, all affect our overall well-being. Some of these things we can't change. But some things we can. So it's important to take action and change what we can. Even little stuff, because cumulatively it's significant. Like today when I got rid of our living room coffee table because every time I looked at it I did not feel good. 100% a feng shui expert would immediately pronounce it was massively fucking up the energy in our entire living area. So (while Cam was tucked up in bed with a cold and couldn't stop me) I took it downstairs and tucked it away in the garage and now I feel good.
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