I am about to turn 61. I believe I have turned the corner into menopause because my hot flashes have pretty much abated. They went on and on for ten long scorching years. I was fifty when they first started to really get my attention. I could have had warm flushes before but I let those go unnoticed. Well, anyway, I have only this symptom of hot flashes to gauge whether I am truly menopausal, aside from getting blood levels drawn of my hormones, because I had a partial hysterectomy when I was 47.
However, officially once a woman enters menopause this is considered the absolute end of the reproductive years. When I started the hot flashes at age 50, I feared getting older and started taking a look at what being an older woman in our society means. I have to tell you I started to feel a dismal future looming on the horizon. It seems “life” is geared to the young and now I am no longer part of life. At least this is how I felt. I felt I was invisible to others around me. No one notices an older woman.
However I must say that I do not look like a sixty-year-old senior. I feel young on the inside and I am in pretty good health but I am aware that I have been around for six decades. I figure that my time left here on earth is shorter and now I understand what is meant by life is short. I have to tell you before this I didn’t get it. Life stretched out in front of me and I had oodles of time.
With all of the new information and research in how to extend one’s longevity maybe I have more years than I realize if I eat right, get exercise, watch my weight, deal with stress, have meaningful relationships. Whew that’s a lot to consider and I have to tell you all this I take seriously and do what I can. I want to live and be vibrantly alive.
Which brings me to why I chose to identify myself with the crone. Wikipedia defines a crone as malicious or even sinister. That’s not what I chose to believe. I chose to see the crone as a wise woman elder who passes on her insights either by sharing knowledge or just by listening and understanding.
I found an amazing poem about the crone on Spiral Goddess web page http://www.spiralgoddess.com/CroneWisdom.html. I hope you find it as inspirational as I did.
I have finally decided the thing to do is to mark the transition with a ritual that Susun S. Weed describes in her book I mentioned in my first blog because making the transition is not easy. Part of me is still clinging to wishing/wanting/desiring to have my youth back. BTW Susun Weed has a great web site devoted to Wise Woman tradition and Natural Health. http://www.susunweed.com/