After all the years of more than ample fertility, I figured I would really enjoy hitting “the change of life.” I don’t fear getting older…hey, it’s not like we have any choice! Problem is, I don’t know when it will happen. None of the women living in my family seem to know because they all had hysterectomies before they were 45. “Sometime in your fifties,” is all they could guess.
So now I’m in my fifties, and I feel like I’m in limbo. Is this it or not? Will I have hot flashes and that will tell me I’m “going through the change”? I have hot feet at night, is that the same thing? Will I have wild mood swings and be half crazy like some women seem to? This whole process seems so nebulous and undefined, and I don’t like that. I like stuff kind of concrete and manageable.
Apparently it’s something you know you’ve reached when you have an absence of symptoms, something you sort of gradually slide into. From the little inklings I have, it must be like puberty in reverse. The appearance of zits, for example, something I haven’t battled since my teens. Suddenly I have skin that’s dry where it wasn’t before, and oily in other spots. Very weird, having my skin turn on me like this. After a lifetime of familiarity with my body and its quirks, now I feel ike I’m inhabiting the shell of a stranger.
There’s this dramatic change in sleep patterns, now that’s a hoot! I spent a lot of my teen years staying up all night listening to music or reading, or watching TV. Then in my childraising years, I found I couldn’t do those all-nighters anymore, I was too tired to even watch the New Year come in. But suddenly in my fifties, I can’t sleep…at least, not at night! I doze off on the sofa around 9 pm and sleep deeply until about 1:30 am. Then I’m awake and just cannot go back to sleep…until the first rays of light begin to show on the horizon when I suddenly get sleepy and can’t keep my eyes open. And then there is that mid-afternoon spell where there is nothing to do but doze off.
In my teens, the big quest was to figure out who I was. Now my quest is to figure out where I am and what I was supposed to be doing here. I get up to do something and head purposefully into the next room only to suddenly find myself in a fog where I just can’t remember what I wanted to do. My friends call that the “dealing with the hereafter” because you can’t remember “what you came here after!”
I guess I have no choice but to follow my body as it regresses through puberty back into childhood. It’s gonna be an interesting ride.