I spend a lot of time researching and thinking about ways to overcome, or at least balance out, the downsides of this menopausal transition.
Four categories have very clearly emerged:
I’m having such a good day today. Cam’s working from home too and we’ve been down to our local cafe for coffee together and had some funny, good chats (Racer is at kindy). Three loads of washing are drying on the line in the sun, I’ve made good progress on my work to-do list and eaten well (failed at good hydration but it’s 1.21pm so I’ve got time to make that up).
I feel SO GOOD because of all those things. But also because of the soundtrack I have playing.
For reasons unknown the Fame theme song came into my brain this morning so I played it super loud, sang super loud (sorry neighbours) and freaking loved it. I hit Song Radio and I’m listening to an awesome soundtrack of 80’s pearlers - the soundtrack of my childhood and early teens.
When I listen to songs like this my whole body literally reverberates with good energy. I feel open and inspired and energised. My face is even kind of tingling. It makes me feel good right into my soul.
I’ve been thinking about why and I think it's this -
When I was listening to these songs for the first time in the 80’s I was a pretty happy kid. I was shy and lacking confidence but at the same time I had thisabsolute and deep seated belief in my own ability. The world was my oyster and I had a clear, and very rosy vision of my future.
General pre-teen angst and my parents crumbling marriage aside, this was a really cool time in my life. I hadn’t experienced heartbreak, or disaster, or Covid, or the death of anyone in my family. There was no weight on my shoulders. I was skinny with buck teeth and often quite questionable shoes (it was the 80’s in Hamilton NZ so options were probably quite limited). But I wasn’t teased, I had loads of friends, fun siblings, a big back lawn and a local community to roam and play in, and myamazing Mum was doing an outstanding job of shielding us from the breakdown of her marriage and our family home.
Music played on our turntable, the washing machine swooshed away, clothes hung on the line, we made whirlpools in our above ground parapool, school was a sanctuary and life was one big, unscary, exciting,potential-filled adventure.
Today, listening to the soundtrack of that time; these songs tap into the exact mindset I had then, as a free, open, world-is-my-oyster kid with a deep seated belief in self.
How cool is that?!
That music can transport us not only to a place in time, but also ignite the actualmindset of that time.
(Unfortunately the power of song is also likely to ignite equally bad memories and times of life too, so I’m sorry if this is bringing back unwanted memories and feelings).
But for me, this music is my upper.
Music has the power to take me - us, to a place in our lives, ourbodies, of big dreams and no barriers.
It allows us tobelieve in our childlike dreams for the future. When we weren’t bogged down with adult relationships and money and not enough time and all the fucking crap and anxiety that we accumulate through life.
Today’s soundtrack tells me that no matter how much confidence I may have lost along the way, how much this menopausal recalibration of my body and hormones derails me, how much anxiety inducing adult shit we deal with every day; that pure, unadulterated, free, confident, world-is-my-oyster mindset of childhood isstill here, rooted in our minds and our bodies, ready, just waiting, to be unleashed on our adult world.
And do you also know what, and this is actually the coolest thing. Lara Briden refers to Menopause as reverse puberty. It’s the process of returning, as a mature adult, to our childhood-like, pre-reproductive-years selves. Fuck yes! Bring that on. To a rollicking good 80’s soundtrack (or whichever era gives your body reverberating good feels and takes you back to your free-est childhood self). I love menopause. And I love music. And my Mum.
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by Linda Smyth December 14, 2021 4 min read
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