At times it may feel as if there are no positive outcomes to take from going through the menopause, especially when we’re still experiencing the inconvenient and undesired symptoms but as they say, every cloud has a silver lining and if we choose to view the menopause as an opportunity, we can come out fighting on the other side.
Our recent roundtable event chaired by Loose Women host Andrea McLean revealed that menopausal and post-menopausal women are certainly not resting on their laurels when they hit this phase in life. Andrea herself believes that we should “see the menopause as an exciting new opportunity…and try and embrace it as much as we can.”
They say age is just a number and this has never been more true as women now, more than ever, are empowered to take their lives in whatever direction they wish. As we approach the post-menopause stage, hormone levels stabilise, the symptoms begin to subside and a new exciting phase of life can begin. More importantly, at this age we know what we want in life and as many of the women at our roundtable event concluded – we care a lot less about what other people think!
Grey hair, don’t care
“I don’t feel I have to please anybody anymore. I could do what I wanted which may be very selfish, but there’s no need to think you have to like something because everybody else does,” one woman summed up. This kind of attitude is a great way of helping us prioritise and make more time for what we actually enjoy doing in life whether it be a brand new hobby, exploring a new career or simply changing our hair colour. Being selfish can be an incredibly rewarding and empowering step to take so why not try it once in a while?
Similarly, although the menopause may alter our appearance, with more self-belief and a ‘don’t care’ attitude we can overcome insecurities and low self-esteem. For example, many women choose to embrace going grey as a natural part of life, “when I let my hair go grey there was very much a sense of outing myself,” one woman declared. At this age, we can be whoever we want to be and if that means going grey, embrace it. On the other hand, it’s equally acceptable to keep dying your hair or as Andrea admits, use extensions to combat thinning hair. What’s great about this stage of life is that we can make our own decisions and we know exactly what makes us feel great, confident and glowing.
Goodbye sensible you
Waving goodbye to notions of being sensible and responsible can also be liberating especially when the menopause can leave you feeling ‘irrational’ and ‘illogical.’ These are just two of the emotions expressed by some of the women at our roundtable event who had experienced or were experiencing menopausal symptoms. However, harnessing these negative feelings may be the way forward. Andrea recounted her recent extravagant and irrational purchase, which encourages us all to be a little bit more carefree…
“I traded in my car and I bought a sports car because I want a sports car, and I really can’t afford it and I’m going to buy it anyway because why not? It’s been a liberation because I’ve always been a really sensible girl through my whole life and I’ve actually realised that I don’t care anymore. And that sense of release has been a relief.”
Whether you’re just entering the peri-menopausal stage or have reached a post-menopausal phase, Andrea’s example shows that it’s never too late to try something new.
This stage of life is undoubtedly a great chance to try something new. Getting older needn’t hinder our hopes, dreams and ambitions! Many of the women agreed that being older made them feel more liberated, knowledgeable and that little bit braver. Coupled with a new found self-assertiveness and confidence, some of the women had embarked on new career paths.
Setting up a blog was one women’s way of “doing something for herself.” Reaching the menopause had made her reassess her role as a stay-at-home mum and housewife for the last 25 years and made her question why she hadn’t made more time for herself previously – “it gave me the desire to get out there and do something for me and the confidence to do it.” Another woman also made the brave step to change career paths in her 50s, “I went back to college to do exams and a year ago I set up my own business.” These are both empowering and brave moves, yet they are made by real women and show that anything is possible. There is light at the end of the menopause tunnel after all!
By this stage is life, many menopausal or post-menopausal women may have grown-up children and more time on their hands to embark on the things they’ve always dreamed of but never had the time or confidence to do. So, whether you fancy a round the world trip, a new career path or learning a different language, now’s your chance. Where will life take you?