I didn’t want a big party or a fancy present for my 50th Birthday. I wanted breakfast in bed. Just me and my menopause. Maybe Netflix could join me and possibly a bar of Cadbury’s chocolate – if we could find one in Vietnam. Or maybe Ferrero Rocher- those posh ones with the sparkly gold wrappers. I’m pretty sure I saw a box of those in the mini mart one time.
Diary Entry 20.08.20.
But the thing about being someone who;
1 Chases her dreams.
2 Didn’t want to settle down until she met the man she wanted to chase her dreams with.
3 Wanted to live an ordinary life in an extra-ordinary way.
1 I have a business to run and a book to write.
2 I didn’t meet my husband until I was 37 – which meant I didn’t have my first child until I was 40 and my second till I was 42.
3 I am living in Vietnam during lockdown, but still have to get my kids to on-line schooling by 8am!
The thing is that all the routines can get a bit challenging from time to time. On the other hand it’s these very routines that keep me going when my menopause is playing havoc with my sleep.
I mean it’s not like I can ever choose not to do the routine things. My first, main and essential job is to keep my two kids fed, warm, happy and dreaming their dreams. I guess that puts husband stuff at number 2. (Sorry about that honey – but it’s only till they’re both eighteen – or there abouts.)
Over the years friends have called me a free spirit. I kind of got what they meant. I worked for myself, travelled when I wanted to, didn’t worry about owning things. But though it looked very bohemian from the outside, on the inside I always felt unsteady, unprotected. Like life could blow me away in an instant.
“I was always looking for something, and never finding it. How could I?”
I was always looking for something and never finding it. How could I? When I didn’t know what I was looking for. It took several years of group therapy for me to become a different sort of woman. To understand more the needs of others, and my own. It was because of therapy that I managed to leave an unhealthy relationship, cross London, hide out for a while and go on to grow a happier life. In a new place, surrounded by friends. I got back on my feet.
Eight months later my husband found me on a dating site. We met a month later. Two months later we were engaged, a year after that we got married and a year after that I got pregnant with baby number 1.
Our marriage has been an adventure.
We both love to travel. Our first holiday was to Morocco. He joined me half way through my holiday. My friends didn’t mind! A couple of months later we travelled around California in a Mustang. Then came the pregnancy and baby and when baby 1 was eighteen months we travelled the world, stopping to have baby number 2 half way through the trip.
“It hasn’t all been Souks & Mustangs!”
It hasn’t all been souks and mustangs, we’ve weathered illness, major operations and grief. But during all this time we’ve loved each other with joy and irritation, humour and annoyance, along with a rainbow of other feelings and emotions, all of them with a yin for their yang.
Because that’s what love is isn’t it?! It’s real and honest. You see all the colours of your partners soul and still discover more. And each milestone brings more colour and more shade. (And I’m not just talking about the salt & pepper of our hair!)
But this new milestone – my menopause milestone, this is not so much fun.
This morning I did my usual routine, then made the girls breakfast. I huffed and puffed while I buttered the bagels and put them on the breakfast table. I tried to keep going, to stick to the routine, until my little one said, “Mum the back of your T-shirt is wet and you look like you’re trying to get inside the fridge. Would you like some ice-cream?!”
“I’m fine,” I said over my shoulder, then put my head back inside the fridge, “it’s just one of those Mummy hormone things!”
So here I am at 50…
So here I am at 50. Writing it out, making sense of it. In the only way I know how. The kids are online doing their crisis schooling, my husband has gone to work and I am here, at my desk. Thinking about the menopause and wondering how to make it better for myself, and for my husband
My ideal 50th birthday morning, the one where I go to bed with my menopause, is drifting in another universe somewhere while I am here. But I am happy to be so.
Later we will walk the beach. We may laugh or squabble – who knows? Then we will come home and my husband will cook roast dinner. We will drink wine (not the kids!) and play cards. Then shower off the sand before going to bed. Hopefully there won’t be a power cut (we get a lot of those in Vietnam) and we can sleep under the air-con.
And that will be my first day of being 50. A number I never thought of getting to. I am thankful. All of my experiences led to this.
I promise to love my family and also to love my 50 year old body. It’s carrying my soul – which seems to be growing larger these days – especially around my middle! One thing I know without any shadow of a doubt is that I love being part of this family. This pot of gold that is the end of my rainbow- and also the start of the rainbow for my children.
P.S. My Menopause Info
As for the menopause, I will be trying the HRT patches – just as soon as I can get hold of them. I’ve tried the herbal remedies, I’ve done the yoga and the TRX, I’ve even tried the vegan diet. Now it’s time for the big guns. I’ll let you know how I get on!
More info on finding help with your menopause…
Take the menopause quiz (I found this a lot of fun!)
Take a look at Brit Pop Queen Meg Mathew’s Menopause Blog
Join the @RockMyMenopause movement.