Friday, 27 June 2014

Embracing change

Brochures at the ready. Many are tempted to leave the daily grind behind for warmer climes.

Going on a planned journey frequently means anticipation and excitement, plus a great deal of preparation.

We gather together all the essentials we cannot leave home without ~ backpack for some and several suitcases' worth for others. 

Though a rare traveller, I'm more of an 'everything bar the kitchen sink' type of person, always concerned I'll leave something vital behind.

Not all the journeys we make in life are ones of choice. 

Some are beyond our power to control the duration or effects they have on us.

In the poem below  (featured in Issue 7: The Journey edition of 'What the Dickens?' magazine) I am sharing such a journey with you.

The Journey

Jerked into wakefulness
by an express train 
roaring through me,
throwing off signals ~
of alarm,
of warning
In the darkness
nothing stirs
except the pounding
pulsating rhythm
Pinioned in place
by a sticky torpor
as drenching torrents
rain over me,
flooding body and brain
I'm an unwilling captive
on a journey
leading inexorably to
Decay ~
A heat-sodden
of my hormones

In case you hadn't guessed, I am describing some potential symptoms of the menopause here - albeit with a little poetic licence. Menopause is a uniquely personal yet universal journey that women the world over have to take, whether it occurs naturally or is pre-empted surgically by removal of the ovaries. 

It will not be exactly the same for any one of us, though certain features may be common to many. Young women take note. Someone close to you may be throwing open the windows and saying "Is it me or is it hot in here?" even as you read this.

In my own peculiarly female journey I am truly grateful for:

  • HRT 
  • Herbal/ alternative remedies
  • A multiplicity of articles and books to inform us 
  • The fact that it is no longer a hidden or taboo subject                           
  • Cool cotton sheets
  • Fans/air conditioning
  • Friends and others who companion me                                         
  • Less symptom severity as time goes on
  • An understanding and sympathetic Other Half!
Any guys reading this needn't think they get away scot-free. Men can experience their own version of menopause too (the andropause) though it is not so well recognised, written about or treated as the female one. 

Not only that, Your Woman Will Need You ~
Tea (or cold drinks), sympathy, considerately keeping your distance where necessary, putting up with clothes/bedclothes on and off (not as much fun as it sounds) and coping with erratic moods or irritability from lack of restful sleep are basic requirements.

A sense of humour and an ability to stay cool and calm yourself are greatly desirable and very much appreciated, thank you.

Just don't take this quote too seriously either:

"Male menopause is a lot more fun than female menopause, with female menopause you gain weight and get hot flashes. Male menopause - you get to date young girls and drive motorcycles" ~ Rita Rudner

More thoughts on the mid-life journey:

" The hardest years in life are between 10 and 70" ~ Helen Hayes (age 73)
"I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows" ~ Janette Barber
"There is no more creative force in the world than the menopausal woman with zest" ~ Margaret Mead
"Thirty five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts to fall apart" ~ Caryn Leschen 
"Life is a journey, not a destination" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Journeys of various kinds are a common part of the human experience.

How we embrace the change they bring can affect how we feel about them.

Life journeys are made all the more pleasurable for the people who share them with us. I look forward to your company on further exploration of life and faith journeys I'll be making here.

You can read how it all began and why I'm exploring these themes if you click over here.

So until we meet again - do stay as cool, calm and collected as possible, oh, and pass me a glass of iced water, would you please? I can sense one of Those Glowing Moments coming on again. Phew!

**Note** ~ This is a little off topic for me as I usually write about faith issues rather than purely physical life experiences! But menopause affects us in every aspect of our lives, not least how we are perceived and how we feel. And I'm aware many suffer such things silently. It is always my aim to shed light on life's challenging themes in the aim of helping others feel less alone.

PS:If you enjoy my poetry, it is now being featured over at along with 'Prayer Whispers' and shorter reflections. You are very welcome to drop by and have a browse around.


  1. Great post Joy ... it good to sometimes reflect that even though we are children of the living God, we still have human 'hiccups' ... sending blessings xxx

    1. Thank you, Liana. I am all too familiar with those "human hiccups" as you so aptly put it! Bless you for your encouraging comment. :) xx

  2. Joy I enjoyed this post, I am there with you walking the walk and I loved the poem. I am at the beginning of this stage of life and some days are a little challenging. But knowing every woman goes through this is some comfort. thanks for sharing your journey.

    1. Hi Kath. It's lovely to see you here! Yes, the journey can be challenging and wearisome, can't it? Sharing our stories can help us to get through the tough parts of this particular life challenge. God bless you as you journey through life and faith. :) xx

  3. What a fun post Joy, I had to smile. Thanks to cancer at 40 my menopause happened overnight. So I didn't experience the horrors of menopause. The wrinkles I have, those that makes me looking alike a sharpie puppy dog when I smile...we'll I don't care anymore. I love this stage of my life and it isn't only the men that gets to have fun. Woman can to. I got to sail a boat etc. You won't believe how many of my friends think their lives are over at age 50. They need a kick in the butt. Maybe I should write and rant a bit about that. But I don't have the guts to do so. Unlike you. Or do you think I should? Love, Patricia

    1. Hi Patricia. It's lovely to see you here! I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Despite life being challenging in many ways, I think I can also say, "I love this stage of my life" and mean it. Being a writer/poet/blogger is the greatest fun ever, as is making new friends like you, and being a grandma too of course.
      I love your positive attitude! Go sail a boat; be the wonderful free-spirited woman God created you to be and enjoy every aspect of your life...including writing whatever you feel is good to say. You're definitely gutsy and brave enough to do that! Blessings and love to you, my friend. Xxx :)