No kidding. I am actually going to write about that.
I have no choice.
The interfacing still hasn't arrived and I spent a lot of the day getting my next online course that goes live Tuesday ready. That's the same day my daughter and the little girls fly in so my plan is to lock myself in the bathroom with my laptop and a headset that evening.
Also I have been thinking of my fabulous oldest step-daughter since I was here. (If you knew her you would know that is the only word to describe her). Last year when she was visiting we were sitting out the back with a glass of wine and she looked at me and said:
"What's the menopause like?"
I am not sure what I told her, but in the last year I have been thinking about her question.
It seems to me we do a good job as women about not being honest to each other about life's realities. Here are some examples:
"Sleep when the baby sleeps and you will be fine." (What if the baby never sleeps?)
Or in the labour room "tell us if you are uncomfortable." (uncomfortable is telling the same story twice and realizing it half the way through).
"You will miss them when they are gone, but you'll enjoy the time to yourself." (Am I the only one who went back into the empty room to smell the pillow? Five years after that first trip to the airport.)
Likewise no one talks about the menopause.
So it looks like it's up to me. Since the interfacing hasn't arrived.
So here it is. What no one tells you. Let veterans add what I have forgotten:
1. You will get angry like you never have before. Part of the change of life is that part of you that allowed you to be tolerant, say when a male manager with half your brains spoke to you as if he were twice as smart, just expires.
You just stop putting up. All of a sudden.
It's unexpected and forceful. I have seen "F-k housework" written in lipstick on kitchen walls. I have seen the clothes no one picked up off that floor bagged and put out in the trash. I have received emails from efficient long time office administrators that have said "Toodle-doo folks. Organize your own conference."
And I am not even telling you what I have done.
Just don't scare yourself.
However once the storm has passed you will feel pretty good. Just remember it's not you, it's them. Probably always was.
2. You look at men differently. Thank God. I read somewhere women are susceptible to looking at a nice exterior and then fabricating a beautiful interior to match. You stop doing that. Your sex drive doesn't change, you just don't waste it.
This is a great relief and frees up more time to think about your sewing.
Listen, I look at George Clooney and think "that's a guy who would say he had paid off the Visa when he hadn't." Lately when watching Luck I found, for the first time, that Dustin Hoffman was sexy - because he was, in the end, nice to his grandson.
Nice is the new hot. Always should have been. Tell that to a 19 year old.
3. You get to be who you used to be again. Remember that awful time during puberty when suddenly you felt everyone was looking at you and all you cared about was what they thought? Well that expires too. And it's not whether or not they are looking, you just don't care if they are.
When you dress you want to feel cool and what anyone else thinks, well tough bananas.
I am personally convinced, based on no actual evidence, that I have never been cooler. That's kicked in to replace all that other stuff that's expired. I feel cool like only Miss Scarlett feels cool when she rides her bike around and says "I'm sporting."
It's good to get that back.
You like your treats and you treat yourself.
Rhubarb pie on the steps. Library books read in the bath. Looking at your feet in those new shoes. Talking to other women, members of the tribe. Noticing the birds. Working and thinking you are just so good, so practiced. Realizing you like yourself too much to let it get to you.
And you sew more.
- I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon