The Menopause becomes The Second Spring

Article by
Aisling Grimley.

Morning coffee with some girlfriends. . . The scones are freshly baked, coffee is brewing and the chat is on…. who’s got holiday plans? updates on our families and, of course, some local gossip to share. After a while, I shyly broach the subject – “Soo . . do you know anything about the menopause?” There I've said it, it's out in the open. This is not a topic that’s ever been on our lively agenda… until now.

My coffee pals look slightly aghast. This may be a social faux pas! They are 5 years younger, and like myself, they know little or nothing about the menopause. I feel a bit older, giddy, and a bit daring too.  I’ve raised a new subject. It’s not something on their immediate horizon…. but it is on mine, and they do seem interested, if not a bit puzzled. I promise them that I will go out there, and find out what it's all about and report it all back to them in time. I vow to be their menopause tutor of the future.

From then on I bring up the topic of the menopause with every woman that I meet. I target all ages, and try to do it without looking too predatory. Handily enough, there are a lot of events in the following weeks so I don’t have to hunt women down on the streets.  I get plenty of chances to butt in, to change the conversation and pop the intrusive question - even if it does come out from the side of my mouth! - ‘what do know about the menopause, …if anything?’

My findings are fascinating. I find myself smiling, but realise that maybe I shouldn’t be and straighten my face up swiftly, especially when some women seem a bit uneasy. I get the impression that many of the women are like myself - mildly curious, but they don’t want to cross that bridge until it is absolutely necessary.

Some of their statements include: ‘Isn’t it all about hot flushes?’, ‘Night sweats’, ‘Getting all dried up’, ‘HRT’,   ‘My mother had a dreadful time’.  ‘I’ve been through it with no symptoms at all’. …etc…

I try and turn their horror stories into something more positive by suggesting that the menopause could be about a time of change and creativity.“In China they call it the Second Spring and it’s seen as a time when women find their power, find their voice” – I quote. 

Some women will take a bit more convincing, but overall I see a noticeable lift in the energy levels when I introduce the idea of the Second Spring. Many of us are happy to adopt the notion that the menopause might provide us with a Second Spring, an opportunity for renewal.

My journey has started! I have become a menopause mentor, and the first seeds of this website are now planted!

I have done endless hours of research and gathered a lot of information for you to ponder. My key findings are summarised in the Menopause and Symptoms sections. The Treatment and Lifestyle sections suggest a range of options that can help and inspire you. In each section I identify books for further reading, supplements that I find helpful and products that you might like to try. To keep things lively, we will blog twice a week.

Welcome Aboard….

You may also be interested in

Mariella Frostrup and how we need to talk about menopause and plan ahead.
Donna Berber on starting again at midlife