“The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes – ah, that is where the art resides.”
― Artur Schnabel
During the six years it took me to write my memoir I was often lost in the past, overwhelmed in the present, and questioned the future. At the time I thought I was doing fine. Running my software business. Taking care of my elderly mother. Writing my book. Living part time in Spain. Being a good wife, daughter, friend, aunt, sister, mentor. I was in denial about the effects of menopause on my body, mind and spirit. In denial about exhausted adrenals. In denial I couldn’t be everything to everyone.
I kept so busy during those years of change in my fifties. I didn’t listen to my inner wisdom until a cancer scare three years ago made me wake up and pay attention. I wonder why didn’t I slow down and listen sooner?
I’ve heard menopause referred to as “womenopause.” But it should simply be called “me-o-pause.” Me. Oh. Pause. What a great reminder for all of us – no matter what our gender or age. We need to learn to say no.
To nurture ourselves along the way.
To be extra kind to ourselves…and others.
To put the oxygen mask on ourselves first, and breath deeply.
To have more by spending less.
To be more by doing less.
Me. Oh. Pause.
Just because I’m post-menopausal (is there even such thing?) doesn’t mean I can go back to my old ways. That’s the blessing of the changes we go through. We get to find new ways to be in the world. Find new ways to accept ease, joy and support. Find new ways to do without doing and still get everything done.
I’m still learning how to hit the pause button. Even with the stress of moving to Portugal I felt the old siren call to socialize, travel, learn, do, get, achieve, and create. Yet, this winter, I did none of those things. Me. Oh. I paused. And that has made all the difference.