I started perimenopause around 46,(I'm now 55) and I'm still going through menopause. I went through a time of what happens now? I mean my whole life went in a logical order of graduation, career, marriage and divorce, motherhood but that's all done and dusted. I'm no longer being a wife with small kids at home running a daycare. My boys are grown and gone, I remarried and retired... so what the hell do I do now? I feel like my purpose, my reason for being, a mother etc, has left me wondering who I am without all that. My guess is other women are feeling like this too which is why I'm sharing my thoughts and experiences on this.
First thing I learned was my life was just beginning. I mean it! I don't have kids to get to school or make sure they've done their homework and all the demands that happen during motherhood. I retired then found my personal drive for entrepreneurship was calling again so I started an online t-shirt business for tall, "life experienced" women. I started working out really regularly, I have time to putter in my veggie garden,(the level of success on that is still up for debate) and I don't have to clean the house nearly as much as I did when I had my 2 boys and 7 munchkins roaring around the house.
Second thing I learned was that I got really busy, not the omg I've got so much to juggle with work, home and family, its the I'm choosing my busy. I can refinish a piece of furniture in a week or 6 months, the laundry can wait until I have enough of a load to make it worth running the washing machine.
Third thing I learned was I have time for me, not 5 minutes crammed in here and there when you manage to carve out during life. I'm talking real, focused, all about the fabulous and wonderful you time to do whatever makes your soul sing. Reading a book uninterrupted, having a coffee and finishing the entire cup well before it's stone cold, sitting under a tree contemplating the fuzz in your navel whatever it is enjoy every single second this is YOUR time.
Lastly but definitely not least, this was the biggest lesson of all, to pick and choose which relationships truly meant the world to me and let the rest lovingly go. I kept the 4 women who, if weren't in my life, would leave a hole in me that couldn't be filled without them. I've been able to truly nurture and appreciate these friends who've been through hell and back with me and I with them. Deciding to keep my circle of friends small was a conscious choice that I'm grateful for every day. It's difficult to explain but you'll know what I mean when you do this too.
Keep all this in mind as you navigate this stage of your life, reframe it to be a time of renewal and rebirth into who ever you darn well want to be, the sky's the limit beautiful.
"Look up, Reach out" ~ Og Mandino