The best advice about writing a blog is to write about what you know. However, my first dilemma about this one was to decide what it’s ACTUALLY about. It’s not really about aging; it’s not about the menopause; I don’t think it’s really about going through a mid-life crisis, and it’s certainly not setting out to be political or feminist. So, I know what’s it’s not although, all of the above do seem relevant as I can’t escape that I’m 51. In trying to pin it down, it’s more about a time of personal change, development, growth, exploration, experimentation, emergence, seeing things through a different lens. A bit like Adrian Mole, but probably not as articulate, or funny, as Sue Townsend. And without the prostate.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about what it’s like to be this woman of a certain age, and whilst there is a lot on the physical experience of the menopause; the anxiety and depression that can occur; the implications for our sex lives, and much from a feminist perspective of aging, there didn’t seem to be much from a personal perspective. And, I guess this is the one I know the best. I found Menopause Cafes set up in organisations (yes, really) where women can seek support and advice from each other, influential women like Kirsty Wark sharing their experiences, and much more in the media, and our homes, around those conversations, but none of them were specific to me. And, whilst I think they’re all much needed to help keep the subject in focus, this is about much more than the menopause.
The more I talk to friends (albeit mainly female) of a certain age, the more I recognise themes of what it’s like to be a woman of a certain age in the early part of the 21st century. And some of the reflections could probably be written 100 years ago too. So, I hope you recognise some of the highs, lows, laughs, pain, and, at times, controversy. Whilst this is purely writing for me (how self-centred and hedonistic?), feel free to join in and share your experiences too.