…On Riding the Mid-Life Wave


I’ve waited my whole life for this day.

Perhaps that sounds odd to some, but this is a day I’ve thought about for a very. long. time.

I’m officially menopausal.  Not to be confused with peri-menopause. But I have arrived at the end of 12 months with no longer having those “monthly visits.” Sorry if I make anyone squeamish, but this is the most glorious celebration!

I’ve been wanting to talk about this and share my experience, my thoughts, and my hopes… And the day is finally here.

Though I must say I’ve found myself hesitating in sharing. The mid-life ride hasn’t been easy at times, especially these last eight months or so. And I know many will have horror stories of what this time can be like.

While I can’t control some of the wild hormonal rides with these guests of many opinions who have showed up in my mind of late (where did they come from??), I am choosing to embrace this time in my life with open arms.

I want to ride the wave naturally. I’m doing all I can to do just that. While yes there are days I simply want to jump out of my skin, scream “stop the madness!” and wish my emotions weren’t up one second and come crashing down the next, I remind myself this is normal.

I give thanks that unlike when I was in my teen’s, I understand my feelings and emotions much better. I give thanks for all the work I’ve done to this point to become a better version of myself as I really believe it has been a help as I move through this time. Menopause is just another step in this evolution, I think, of paying attention on an even deeper level of what matters most to me – and then living from that place.

I’m a dedicated and devout follower of Dr. Christiane Northrup who wrote the book on moving with grace through this time, The Wisdom of Menopause. This book has become a bible of sorts to me and I can’t even begin to tell you how often I have opened to the pages of it.

I laughed out loud when I read a blog post recently and an article written about “the change” by Lisa Hartman and this paragraph:

There are books, articles, even talk shows that address peri/menopause – but the event, rather, the slow unfolding process, is a sneak attack in our youth-obsessed culture. You don’t seek information or educate yourself before the fact, when it could help you. No, you seek it at 3 am, in a panic, and devour it in the hope that something, anything, can save you now.

That last sentence I swear Lisa must have been peaking in through my living room window on many occasions!

But oh, how important laughter is as I move through this. Because if I’m not laughing, I find myself crying for no reason. Not a single solitary reason can I find for why the tears come at a most inappropriate time. Ride the wave, I tell myself. Ride the wave.

And again, Lisa’s words of wisdom make me chuckle.  “You will weep over everything and nothing. You will feel sad and silly, hopeless and giddy all at once. It will make not a lick of sense.”

She goes on to say, You will look at the people in your family and wonder, “Who are they? Why are they here? What do they want from me?” Keep this to yourself.

Now those are very wise words of wisdom as I’ve found myself in this thought process of late too. It’s also a reminder to be good to myself and practice as much self-care as  I can so hopefully I don’t say something I may regret.

If you are lucky, you will hopefully have a prince charming in your life who is riding the wave with you without sarcasm.  I realized the other day that my husband, John, is trying really hard to understand- though we have had our moments! But I also realized it is up to me to share with him what I am feeling and going through. He is my prince charming.

While I’ve heard many bad things about this time of life, I’ve also heard so many good things and many blessings that come with it. That is what I am concentrating on – even while riding a scary wave thinking oh no, this is it, I’ll be stuck in this maddening place forever.

And as Lisa shared, We learn new things about ourselves, and our priorities shift, supposedly. It is a rich, complicated thing, this mid-life journey. Meet it with a smile and drink it up

or just kick its ass. I plan on doing as much ass kicking as possible.

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…On Feeling Grateful and Delivering the Goods to Frankie’s Forever Home

helper delivering the goods

Gidget my faithful helper

Sometimes I swear there is a bit of Frankie’s spirit in the my pint-sized little Gidget. It’s hard to explain, but it’s just a certain feeling that comes over me once and awhile – like it did today.

Bookworm Gardens where Frankie’s statue likeness resides ordered more Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog books to have available for their season opening May 1st. This will be their 5th season! Miss Gidget was my helper today as we hopped in the car to make the 20-minute drive east to drop them off where they will be available yet again in their gift shop.

Where has the time gone, I wonder?  I still remember so clearly the day I walked behind John and Joe, Frankie snug in my arms, as they wheeled Frankie’s dog house (that John built) down the paved brick walk to a permanent home below a shade tree where her story now lives forever.

IMG_1772For me, in many ways, Frankie’s home in this beautiful garden feels very sacred to me. It is here that I feel her spirit very much alive.

For quite some time I’ve been giving thought to scattering her ashes there. But I’ve not done it yet. When I feel the time is right, I will approach the staff to see if that is a possibility. I’ve pictured a few times in my mind doing this and it feels right.

Time will tell. But as I drove back home today I was reminded of how far I’ve come — in big part because of Frankie. I just couldn’t help but smile and be so very grateful.

If you ever find yourself in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, do be sure to plan a visit to Bookworm Gardens. It is an enjoyable (and free!) outing for the whole family – I promise you will not be disappointed. It is such a magical and delightful place!

…And you just never know… you just may hear a distant bark of the sprite of a spirit named Frankie.

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Wednesdays with the Wisdom of Dog: Simplicity

Wednesdays with the Wisdom of Dog: Simplicity

I picture Snoopy when I think of simplicity. His little stick with a bandana tied to the end forming a sack with just his few belongings – likely just his dog bowls and some food – and perhaps a bit of bird seed for his sidekick Woodstock.

He could go anywhere, really— explore the world with just a few basic needs.

For many years now I’ve been trying to simplify my life. Unloading stuff that is no longer necessary – many of which were really never necessary to begin with. But at the time I just felt I had to have.

I’ve gotten better at living more simply and I continue to make strides. For me, this means really consciously thinking about what I bring into my home and about the purchases I make.

There is something so enticing about simplicity that Dog never needs to change their outfit. They are beautiful just as they are.

They don’t worry about what shampoo to buy, what makeup to wear or new trends that come out. What you see, is what you get with them.

Though there are many elaborate dog houses out on the market, I think if they could speak and we humans would listen, it isn’t what matters to them. They just want a soft place to lay next to the master they love.

I believe in all their many ways of being that Dog conveys to us to keep it simple. Like just going for walk with them – the simplicity in that brings so much joy for me. Or just sitting with them on the floor or sofa. That’s it, plain and simple – just being in the presence with each other – nothing else needed.

Simple, simple, simple = joy, joy, joy = more freedom.

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