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M-E-N-O-P-A-U-S-E

I came home from work and my new passport on the coffee table welcomed me home. I excitedly reached for it and half reclining on the sofa, opened it to see how I look in the photo. The woman I saw has wrinkles along the forehead, crow lines along the eyes, drooping cheekbones, double chin, dry lips. She looked elderly and worn out. The joy of seeing my new passport was replaced with gloominess and sadness. The full brunt of ageing hit me hard that day, this is the truth of being fifty. Several changes happen to a woman, not only the physical changes like having wrinkles, gaining weight, either at the top or on the bottom, in the middle or all together (choose where you fall in), women have to struggle with premenopause, menopause and perimenopause. The big M is a sensitive topic but I know there are women out there who is going through or has gone through this phase too.

On the early stage of my premenopause, I would experience hot flashes and these happen during daytime unlike what I have read and heard that it occurs during night time. There I was in front of the computer struggling with numbers and I would start perspiring heavily. I feel lightheaded, nauseous, dizzy like I am having morning sickness. My menstrual period was erratic, disruptive for I had an unusually heavy flow of period. The premenopause stage lasted for two years and it was difficult for me. First, I was embarrassed to talk about it, as if it was taboo. Second, there was also the denial stage, I thought I was young yet to be menopause. Although menopause is a natural transition in a woman's life just as we go through the many phases of life, first from birth, childhood, puberty, adulthood, menopause, and last, our end here on earth, it is not an easy topic to speak or share about. Unlike, if we are sharing about our teen days or early womanhood, women are so open about it, either to share or even give advice. Maybe wrinkles & old age are not so popular topics.

My 50th birthday
At this phase of my life, I was struggling, about my health, my looks, my being a wife, my being a mother. I was overwhelmed with so many uncertainties, whether imagined or not. I have to anchor myself so as not to be carried by the tide and that anchor is my faith in God. I cried to him my fears, all that's pulling my sensibilities down. He guided me by reminding me of my self worth, that I have a purpose in this life. My purpose is to continue to nurture my family and be a model woman to my children. In retrospect, half of my life has gone by and I have this urge to be free. Free from all negativity, free from pleasing others, free from caring what others would say, free from old emotions. This is indeed a journey, to embrace the current phase in my life that there should be acceptance and not resistance to enjoy the true meaning of life. Life is going through, birth, childhood, puberty, adulthood, menopause and passing through this life.

Women should take care of themselves, eat a balanced diet, do light exercises to enable the free circulation of our blood, drink our maintenance medicines,treat ourselves to the salon, wear clothes we are comfortable with, be it chic, cozy or hip (let's not be dictated what we can or can't wear), find your unique style. If you want to have fillers, do so, just make sure it is done by a certified doctor. If that will make you feel good and you can afford it, go for it.

A woman wears so many hats, daughter, sister, mother, wife, grandmother. We wear them all, most of the times on top of each other. How resilient we are! We should not only embrace change but we should reinvent ourselves and have the courage and confidence to do it.

This is very personal to me but it is liberating to be able to express and share how I walk through the phase of menopausal.

Middle life is beautiful.

Till next time, God bless!

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