When I returned from Canada, after six weeks of weekly Reiki treatments there, I felt refreshed, strong, resilient, confident. Ready for a great year ahead!
After a month I started to feel tired. More tired than usual. My resilience faded. My confidence slowly diminished. My moods bottomed out. Some mornings it took everything I had to get out of bed to go to work. At the end of a day I would be so tired it was difficult to drive home. Anxiety attacks started again, only this time with something new – my face would flush and get really hot.
Something wasn’t right….
With my history of depression and anxiety I wasn’t sure if I was back there again? Something was different this time. What worried me was my abnormal, high level of fatigue. I went to the doctor to request blood work to test, among other things, my hormone levels to see if I was in menopause. I’m at that age…….
The doctor at the Gharaffa clinic was awesome! He referred me for a mammogram, pap test (clinical exam) at the Well Woman’s Clinic, comprehensive blood work as well as starting an anti-depressant with the guidance of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist to help with the dark thoughts that accompany my intense mood swings.
The results of the blood work confirmed I am in menopause.
At 48, this is a new phase of my life. The phase that ends a woman’s opportunity to have children. But I’ve never had children. I wasn’t one of those women who made a conscious decision to not have children because of a desired free to do whatever lifestyle. I just never felt ready, in a place to bring a child into the world. There were a few reasons for this. My main one being I felt that I hadn’t had my head screwed on right to be a good mother. My mind, my mental health is what I was busy managing. How could I manage children too? Then, a hysterectomy in my early forties sealed my fate of never having children of my own.
So here I am. A woman who feels like she has never grown up – locked in my mind for so many years – to one day have the wake up call of menopause. Suddenly I’m old.
How is this a wake up call for me? Well, I have to start taking better care of myself. Something I go in and out of phases with but have to pay closer attention now because the blood work also showed my cholesterol and triglycerides are high. Another first for me.
Old. I have a playful spirit. Something I believe I will always have. But now my body is going to start to change. Old. Not having children means I do not leave a legacy. What difference will I have made in this world? What legacy will I leave?
But there is something else….something more, a deeper change that is also happening because of menopause….
I blog sometimes about my struggles with my mind, my thoughts, my fears. With menopause, my wonderings, my struggles are starting to shift….. What legacy will I leave and……
Purpose. Finding my purpose. Why was I put here on this earth? I’ve wondered this before. Possibly even blogged about it? Now that I’m entering old hood…..maybe I feel like I am running out of time to find my purpose? To leave my mark in this world. Maybe my purpose was to be a mother and it is too late? We can adopt. Not that my husband is opposed to adopting, but he has two grown children and grandchildren. Well, we know couples who are in their 60’s who have young children. So age really isn’t a factor. The question is how do I know if I want children? I mean be REALLY ready to have a child? I don’t know! How does a woman know when she is ready to have children?
I’m not really talented in one thing. I kayak, but I’m not amazing at it. I enjoy travel, cooking, baking, blogging, Reiki, gardening, taking care of our pets, creating a cosy home, driving and dancing. I don’t excel in any of these. I’m not opening a gardening store or a restaurant in the near future. I’m just average.
So what if my purpose is to live an average life? Is average good enough? What if my legacy is an unremarkable one? Maybe my purpose is to be known for being kind, loving and a nice person who is silly and goofy at times? This reminds me of a popular quote by Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
And maybe that is it. Maybe my purpose is to just make people feel good? Is that enough? I don’t know because the measuring stick of success is very high these days. My purpose didn’t lead me to run a Fortune 500 company. When is good enough, enough?
And that is my menopause craziness…I’m now in old. Have I run out of time? Will I ever truly know my purpose? Do I want to have a child? What is that one special gift I have, that each of us brings into this life? What will be my legacy?
But then…..maybe my purpose, my reason for this life is to be the woman to give my husband a second chance at love? A man who suffered much with the loss of his previous partner to ALS? To love him deeply, to live a peaceful, adventurous life together and eventually settle down in Halifax and be grandparents. Finding Michael, yes he is part of my purpose, for sure! Maybe through his grandchildren I can leave a bit of a legacy?
Time will tell……and I’m not dead yet!! I’m still only 48!!! I’ve got a few good decades ahead of me to create more chapters from this crazy mind of mine!!! Right now is the Menopause Chapter!
Yours in Menopause Musings……Chapter 1