There are two things about mid-life that I don’t like. One is the menopause (which in my case has been shit) and the other is the fact that everything and I mean EVERYTHING starts to head south.
I started off with youthful skin (once the zits had cleared up) and everything was nice and firm. I had no wrinkles, no sagging and no unsightly jowls. Speaking of which.. sagging jowls used to be an ageing thing, but these days younger women are developing the unsightly bastards due to spending hours on end hunched over their mobile phones.
Did you just straighten up?
Now I am post-menopausal because my ovaries threw in the towel when I was 39. I had The Boy at 38 and my body never recovered. It wasn’t supposed to happen for another ten years but Mother Nature obviously considered three offspring of mine more than enough for any planet.
My face is ‘lived in’ like a comfy old sweater. Or a well worn pair of slippers. My skin is like an old handbag unless I spend three hours a day slavering cream on it. I have wrinkles around my eyes, a second chin (three depending on camera angle) and the beginnings of a moustache which I try to keep on top of with tweezers.
It’s the face of a woman who sprays her hair with pit spray and her pits with hairspray.
It’s the face of a woman who frequently walks into a room and stands there looking vacant while she struggles to remember what she went in for. Ten minutes later she gives up and sods off to do something else, like vacuuming the lawn..
At 3am the next morning the poor sleep-deprived lunatic finally remembers what it was she went in there for. Trust me ladies, you have all this to look forward to.
This is going to happen..
The menopause has robbed me of my marbles, not that I had many to start with. I’m forgetful and confuse things like when I referred to Midsomer Murder’s John Nettles as ‘Jim Nettles’. I’ve become that lady who once confused a pop song with a soap opera and came up with Betty Turpin’s Eyes. (True story)
I stand there whacking my hand against my forehead in an attempt to dislodge the information, but it never comes and, ‘No. It’s gone’ has become my catchphrase.
In fact, I’ll have that on my gravestone.
The biggest change though is my body.
I know it’s my body because my head is attached to it but I feel like Austin Powers every time I look at myself.
“Honestly, That’s not mine!“.
The thing is that it can be quite a shock when you really look at yourself. You notice the wibbly bits, the nipples that point south and a backside that’s considerably lower than you thought it was despite the fact that your knickers have become considerably larger in order to accommodate it. I think it’s been more of a shock to me because it hasn’t been a gradual decline. It was only seven years ago when I was toned (ish) and had a fully functioning pelvic floor.
Then I had The Boy and my ovaries threw in the towel.
However, I do love my c-section scar. I love that line because of what it represents. It’s an awesome line. Also, surprisingly neat. So well done those NHS peeps who opened me up and stitched me back together. Nice job!
I am starting to accept that my body has changed beyond recognition and even if I was to embark on a keep-fit regime that Rocky Balboa standards – I’m never going to be the same because I’m minus the necessary hormones.
Those special little chemical messengers that keep body and mind running smoothly.
A word of warning to husbands/partners
You know that week out of every month where you daren’t open your mouth? The tears? The tantrums? The plate hurling? The ‘ I’M LEAVING YOU!! BASTAAARD!!’ when you’ve called her ‘cuddly’?
This is nothing compared to the menopause.
Build yourself a bloody big shed and be prepared to spend a LOT of time in it. Get some electric in there and make it so that you’re self sufficient when she’s having one of her ‘do’s’. My dad rekindled his love of carpentry during Mum’s menopausal years. Luckily for him, he had a garage to retreat to when the going got tough. So you see, this uncertain time can be used to your advantage. Hormones can mean the difference between digging the garden with a spade and being buried with it so heed my advice and you might just survive with your testicles intacto, no?
Things settle down eventually (maybe never ha ha) but you will occasionally find your other half passed out over a pile of old photographs taken of her when she still had youth on her side (and collagen) but this generally happens on birthdays. You must tread carefully here my dears. Back away. Pretend you’ve seen NOTHING.
As crappy as the menopause can be, the alternative is not living long enough to experience any of it and when I look at it that way, I consider myself fortunate. I aim to embrace mid-life and menopause with a liberal helping of humour as well as the occasional strop. OK, LOTS of strops!
May your own decent into menopause be slow and graceful.
Got bags under your eyes, bigger hips and bigger thighs
You got places that you can’t even itch
You can nip it, tuck it, squeeze it
But you’re never gonna beat it
‘Cause gravity’s a bitch
~ Lambert, Miranda/Wray Scotty