NOTE: I really do want you to vote for me… If you don’t want to read this whole blog, please go straight to this link and place your vote for Midlife Moments… who cares why? Just do it!
I received an email the other day from Replens that I’d been entered in their Vibrant Voice blogging contest. Replens is a vaginal moisturizer targeted to us gals who have passed the point of no return on our reproductive cycles. I guess the old girl tends to get a little drier when the hormones stop surging through our bodies in full force. From what I gather, Replens is not really a lubricant for extra-curricular activities but a full-time moisturizer that provides relief anytime.
I started this blog when I turned 50, and my goal was to talk about subjects that I think are really important, but that you don’t hear discussed in most polite company. I don’t actually like polite company. I like people that talk about real things and experience life to its fullest, so I also wanted to find those people hiding out across the world that WANT to talk about these things. And I have found many of them. In fact, I think there’s a few people who have discovered they like to talk about this stuff, and they didn’t even know they did. So, I cover topics like addiction recovery, midlife dating, sex, menopause, divorce and codependency. I also talk about a lot of other fun stuff, too, just to lighten things up, but I really enjoy opening up topics that are taboo.
I was always sort of fascinated by menopause. I was terrified it too. It was shrouded in secrecy as if women dried up and were no longer useful or beautiful after it passed. I read somewhere that it is a life stage that is like the desert. Things dry up, and there’ s a different kind of rugged beauty to a woman in this stage of life. There’s more need for moisturizers and water. I’m heavily invested in the stuff now. I used to get by with cheap moisturizers, but now I spend more money on keeping my skin youthful and soft. I tried Botox once or twice, but it’s not for me…. at least not yet. It’s costly, and I just really want to keep my skin healthy and glowing. I see older women with bright skin and bright eyes, and they are stunningly beautiful. It’s as if their features fade into the background, and their wisdom and soul take center stage. What’s not to love about that?
The first time I started experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms, I actually felt a little excited. I remember researching it and feeling like I’d been admitted to a club that none of my friends had joined yet. It was fascinating to read about the changes that were going to happen in my body, and it was really interesting to read about how women tend to “take off” during menopause. No longer are we drenched in the baby-making hormones that drive us to focus on home and family. We become more like men in our focus and drive, and many women rock careers after they pass through “the change.” I felt really hopeful this would be the best time of my life… if I could manage the hot flashes.
The books I devoured were Dr. Christine Northrup’s Wisdom of Menopause and yoga teacher Patricia Walden’s The Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health. I consider both of these women ageless and fabulously beautiful. I grappled with my passage into my Crone Age. Ancient societies used to celebrate three stages of a woman’s life – Maiden, Mother and Crone. The Crone is the voice of wisdom, and it is presumed to be a time of sharing knowledge gained over a lifetime. I also grappled with the loss of my youth. In this day and age, we are so lucky that we can feel youthful into our 50s. In many times before us, women didn’t even live past menopause due to the hardships of childbirth and the rigors of survival. I truly felt the passage into this age right about the time I turned 50, but, by the time I got there, I found a new acceptance and an excitement about where I was heading.
Because I got so much from the writing of these woman that passed this way before me, and they were so encouraging, I wanted to write about it, too. What if I encouraged some woman who was struggling with the loss of her youth and baby-making phase? What if something I wrote brought a glimmer of hope that this age, too, can be exciting for very different reasons? I believe that is the voice of my Crone speaking, encouraging me to try something new and risky and exciting when some of society thinks I should be quieting down and accepting the downshift.
So, today I got an email informing me that I was in the top ten bloggers in the Vibrant Voice contest! I now have 250 Replens samples available to give away to my readers. They didn’t ask me to blog about it, but how could I not? My 15 minutes of fame could be due to my candor about menopause and my journey into acceptance. It worked for Dr. Christine Northrup and Patricia Walden! That’s how I want to live anyway. So, if you want a sample of Replens “on me”, click on this link, and they’ll send it to you. I could have a Vibrant Voice Blog Award, and you could have a Vibrant… Vagina! And, please go vote for me in this contest!!! I’d love to win it! You can find the voting page here. Go read those other bloggers, too, that are brave enough to write about this change of life! But… don’t vote for them… vote for me! 🙂