Celebrating My Menopause Journey & Not Past My Expiry Date

My_Menopause_Journey

I was trying to be a bit different with my pics and realised inadvertently they turned out almost like ‘the many faces of my menopause journey’!!  Sometimes I want to hide  behind something as big as these lips. Who is the real  Sharon? Can she come out, please? I took the photos as a bit of a laugh to balance things out. To show the other side of what menopause is sometimes like for me. I suspect as it is for many women. I’m here, celebrating my menopause journey warts and all! And shouting to the world that I’m definitely not past my expiry date!!!

 

One of the main reasons I LOVE writing about everything at this stage of my life but especially about my menopause journey is it documents it for ME. It’s ended up very  cathartic as I feel it enables me to dig deep and begin to unravel all my many knots.

 

As many of you will know who’ve followed my blog for a while I’ve written on here and talked a lot about the  menopause and me on my Instagram Stories. I’m an over sharer and talking things out really, really helps me. Even talking aloud on my stories you won’t believe how some days that really helps me.

 

Yes, it’s been and continues to be a tough old time sometimes. Just recently my HRT appeared to have stopped working and back off to my GP I trotted. Well, actually no trotting was involved. It was a chat over the phone. You can read about what the course of action was here:

 

How My HRT Stopped Working

 

And I think it’s worked. I need to see my GP again for another blood test. This is now three weeks overdue. I’ve called about 8-10 times now at different times of the day and can I heck get through. But we need to see what the hormone levels are like now. I think I know even without the test, though.

I continue to have good days and bad days but more good days  AND  I’ve finally started exercising again. In the depths of despair no matter how much I knew/know I needed to exercise, just getting through my work day felt like conquering Everest. Most evenings and mornings for a long time I felt like a wrung out dishcloth.

{I’m one of the co-founders of a web development and software company and I started that journey at the age of 55. Yes, some people might think I was mad but you see I’m far from done. Far from done. I’ll write about that another time, I think }

I’ve also started taking Vitamin B12 along with my Vitamin D. Throughout my life I’ve never been a pill taker of any kind but I’ve committed to this.

The Vitamin D we actually started taking as a family in Lockdown 2020 but the B12 is very recent.

My menopause journey has for the first time in my life, apart from my pregnancies, made me so in tune with my mind and body and I’m truly grateful for this.

“I’m also not wishing my life away but in 19 months

I will be 60!!!!!”

A milestone birthday of that magnitude feels like a BIG reminder that time is ticking. That and being almost post menopause seems to have this effect. But in a really positive way. I feel really enlightened and I honestly never thought that was a word I’d ever use to describe my psyche. It really makes me  stop and wonder and dig deep sometimes. Is that what the other side of the menopause is meant to be? Where it leads you? Is it nature’s grand plan? Giving us women something back? My journey all this time has been about reaching the point where I can cross that bridge into enlightenment and freedom or as all the memes call it  ..

 

The gives no fuckery stage of life’

 

Now I’m almost here I really feel as if I want to help younger women weave their way through this stage of life too. Nothing gives me a bigger buzz than when a young woman messages me on Instagram and thanks me for sharing my story. Yes, there’s more open discussion about menopause now. Yes there’s some progress been made in the workplace. Yes more books have been published about it in the last year than any other year.

Hell, it was even set to be added to the English school curriculum as of September 2020. I’d love to see how that’s going down. Imagine if it’s just a paragraph in a biology text book? I’d love to know just how much the whole sex education thing has moved on. Is it still as dire as when I was in secondary school? I know it hadn’t moved on very much when my boys went through school. How bad is that?

Yes! My boys and Mr B know everything about my menopause journey. They’ve been there every step of the way with me and supported me 1000%. What stars they are.

 ‘it’s a drop in the collective hormonal ocean’

It’s all a drop though isn’t it? There’s such a lot needs to be done.

I guess I’m saying I want to be a small part of the helping to get things done. I want to champion everyone’s menopause journey for all it’s good and bad points just as mine has been.  Even though some of the time it’s sent me spiralling down into darkness. I’ve tried really hard to look for the light when this happens and the love of my family is always there holding me up.

It’s made me realise I’m a strong fecker but then I’ve always known that.

It’s also massively energised me, too. In equal measures. Long may this continue .

God… midlife menopausal women .. I’m afraid I have to swear …   no … fuck it, I’m not afraid …

‘midlife menopausal women are fucking amazing!!!’

And it is on that note that I want to tell you about a little visibility project I’m trying to get off the ground.

It’s at the time that the menopause starts to affect us that many women begin to feel all kinds of crap and that platitude of feeling invisible.

I knew back in 2017 calling my blog ‘Best Before End Date’ would eventually have a purpose for me. A meaning. I called it that because I knew there was so much of me to give at this stage of my life. Even before I got to this stage I feel as if I knew it was going to. I’m psychic as well as menopausal, didn’t you know? 😆

I also knew three years ago writing on my Twitter bio that I was a ‘midlife champion’ would have meaning and purpose for me one day.

 

“I’m not past my expiry date till I am and that’s never, baby!”

I want every midlife woman to shout loud and proud about themselves and I’m going to be a cheerleader. I’ve always been good at cheerleading. Never in the spotlight, just really good at supporting and urging people on to believe in themselves. That’s my happy place.

I’ve been using the hashtag #notpastmyexpirydate on Instagram when I’ve felt good about something for a few weeks in preparation for sharing this with you and I’d love you to get involved. It can be any reason why you might want to use it. What made you feel good about yourself? Anything at all to show the world that you’re exactly not that … not past your expiry date.

“We need more positive stories about midlife –

peri menopause and post menopause.”

Wearing what we want, doing what we want, setting up businesses, travelling the world and solo if we want to, getting divorced, getting married, starting daring hobbies .. or not, making new friends, falling in love, having bloody wonderful adventures. They are all experiences that we can share with each other to prove we are still here. We are still visible and by no means not past our sell by date.

“We all are relevant until we die”

If using the hashtag takes off .. please use on Instagram and Twitter … I’ll pick a selection every week to share across my social media. If it takes off as well as I’d love it to then I’m going to write and share the inspirational stories behind the hashtag here on the blog. I’d like it to go as far as maybe even interviewing some of the amazing women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s I know are out there and share those here on the blog at some point, too. Lets see where it takes us.

“Please get involved today on World Menopause Day 2021. What a day for new beginnings.”

#NotPastMyExpiryDate

Not_Past_My_Expiry_Date

 

‘I NEED & WANT to see you all’

Love & Hugs

Sharon x0 

 

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4 Comments

  1. juliet brown
    / 1:03 am

    Wonderful uplifting post – and menopause is now officially a “thing” I know this as my husband had a training course on it at the uni where he works (well it was a well spaced one sided A4 leaflet explaining in wonderfully patronising terms how I feel – apparently), so he knows everything pffffffffft. I am wondering how to celebrate menopause day in our household, part of me loves a tackfest which will completely pass the males by (to be fair the son has autism), so far I have a chicken and spring onion (spring chicken? too obvious???) salad maybe, perhaps a little something with dried prunes???? I’d love to know how you plan to celebrate OUR day

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      / 10:41 am

      Thanks so much, Juliet. You’ve been a massive supporter of my blog and I really appreciate it.

      the dried prunes 😆

      I celebrated by recording an episode of It’s In The Genes Podcast with my eldest kidult where I got to chat menopause!

      • juliet brown
        / 9:25 pm

        Love your blog – you make me laugh so much, I guess we are the groovy prunes – or something like that, prunes need a better rap than they currently get

        • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
          Author
          / 9:55 pm

          You make me laugh too with your creative comments 😂

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