I am 56 years beautiful, a mum of 3, and nearly post-menopausal.

I am 56 years beautiful, a mum of 3, and nearly post-menopausal.

Spotlight on a community member 

I am 56 and I am married with three adult kids, one son-in-law and two kitty cat grand babies. I am at the end of finding out if I've gone through menopause fully. For me, I am about three or four months off two years without a cycle so I am nearly officially on the other side, and I can say I've gone through menopause. I'm pretty sure it's the end now, which is really great, I don't see a likely event of ever getting a cycle again. 

What is the best thing about being a woman?

The best thing about being a woman for me I'm very grateful to being a mum. Not that I was interested in having kids earlier on, was not interested, but once I've had them, yeah, it's the most important thing for me. Yeah, love being a mum. 

How do you feel about your cycle ending?

It really great. It means not having to buy, use and continue on with pads and the whole cycle of periods, the washing, the cleaning, it's the freedom from that. That's the way I feel with it all. It's a nice time. 

Whats menopause been like for you?

For me, the process has been really easy. I have not had any hot flushes, I have not had any problems with anything other than probably a reduced sexual desire. That's the thing that I would say is the only side effect from menopause for me. For me it isn't as much as a problem but obviously it is a problem for my husband. But hey, I don't mind. There's still physical contact, we still do have intimacy, but obviously you know also we're getting older, so it's not as a a priority is when you're younger. But if you were talking to my husband, that's probably a different answer. 

Who prepared you for menopause in this transition? 

No one prepared me for this transition. It's been interesting. Both my mother and her mother really didn't have menopause the way I've gone through it, hysterectomy from my mother's mother, and my Mum ended up having to be medically induced into menopause. Actually, she went through cancer treatments, her periods didn't stop she kept getting them into her 60s. It was only when she was into her 60s when that they found she had cancer and that was hormonal related and so she actually didn't actually go through any menopause or anything herself either so it just stopped with the chemo treatments. So it was for me, it was just like, wait to see what happens. 

Have you spoken of your transition with your children?

I have two daughters. Have I been open with them? Um, you know - A little bit, we've only touched on a little bit, other than for me to just say it's been easy. You know, I really haven't, as I've explained, it's like I haven't really had any issues with it. So I'm very grateful for that. 

What has been positive about turning 50 for you?

I can't believe how much freer I feel, how much more like myself I feel, how like I am coming into the best years of my life. It's fantastic. It's such a nice time to be here. For me personally, a lot of self-confidence I think generates from when you turn 50, as weird as that sounds. But it is, it's an interesting time and it really is a bit like being born again. 

This is just a general perception of, especially with all the women getting enhancements with their bodies and not really enjoying the aging process, it's weird because I've enjoyed the aging process and that's where I feel like I'm a little bit different to other people. So getting older to me has been a really nice thing and I'm learning to embrace it.

Life just keeps getting better and better for me. You know, I just feel like life is awesome, life is crazy. I don't really have the issues of that. If I want to be by myself, I love it. It's because I love having that time to myself it's been a busy life so yeah I really enjoy the times when I'm on my own it's really been lovely.

From my peer group I see a shift after 50. I think it's something around when women come to this point of just going, I don't want to care about everybody else. I want to care about me. I want to enjoy my life. I want to just live. And I don't know if it's the hormonal shift and rebalancing, if it's something around just having enough decades on the clock, or what it is. But it's a really consistent story. And self-esteem, self-confidence, and this feeling of freedom are the three main messages that we get from women in the 50s. 

And I know not everyone can say that because there are people with health issues and all sorts of things at the moment, you know, in this age and even younger. But for me, I'm very grateful for the place that I'm in and the journey that this body has given me. I must say that I really was not prepared for my period, if we want to go back to that in the beginning. I was not prepared for that. It happened for me when I was in year seven, at the end of primary school, back in the and just 12 years old and had no idea what was happening and why, and so it was just something for me that you just got used to and you put up with. It wasn't something like amazing or to be embraced. I see now women are embracing their cycle, but for me, it was just something that happened and now that it's finished, it's like oh, hallelujah, thank you. No, I don't miss it at all. It's not that I hated it or anything like that or really had any really severe trouble with it. It was just something in my life that was okay, like a drudgery. It's like, okay, I've got to put up with this. That was just the thing.

You've had three children, so how did your period change after each one? Did it get worse? Did it get heavier? Did it change in any way? 

Yes, it got heavier. I must admit, I was on the pill from late teens through to just before I had my first child. And then I didn't go back on the pill again after that. So I can only say it's possibly the way it was before I went on the pill, but I can't really compare. It's a long time ago. 

You know, the female body is such an incredible, incredible vessel and it is capable of so much. But we do, we do underestimate, I think, a little bit the gift that is. And I know I have, you know, underestimated the gift of being in a female body. 

How do you see not only the differences between you and your mother but your yourself and your daughters in terms of how they approach, not only just periods, but just life in general? 

Oh, very different. It's such a different generation now. And like they, I was so worried about falling pregnant and so I actually went on the pill in the beginning because of a bit of pain in my year 12 cycle. The doctor suggested putting me on the pill. But my girls are different, and they just trust, you know, that one's married and one's not, but with a boyfriend and had other boyfriends too. So it's interesting to see their different stance on everything. Sometimes they can have issues, you know, cramps and headaches and all the rest of it with their cycle. But they seem to be okay. They don't ever talk too much about it, but I do know that they're really quite more relaxed about it all. 

What do you think you've most enjoyed since turning 50 of like coming into this era of you? 

Again it's just that freedom. It's freedom and confidence just to be myself. And it is, you don't have to worry. You don't have to pack things just in case you might have a period if you're going on holidays or going away somewhere. It's all of that. It's just very different. 

Certainly a maturity with things, with life, how you see life and the changes that you make inside yourself because, yeah, you do grow up, you see things from different perspectives. Not so much concerned about what other people think, I think that's a big one, as opposed to when you're younger, you're really worried about what that other person thinks. And so you may or may not do something because of what someone else might say. I think that's changing in society a little bit. I hope it's changing. 

And have you ever spoken to your husband about menopause?


Would you?


Why not?

It's, well, it's women's things. Plus it's not something that he's interested in hearing about or talking about, I can tell you. And I think a lot of it's more that generation too. I think for my son's generation, I think all of that comes a bit easier, like from 40s down, possibly it's just that bit older and it's like, I don't know. And it's okay, because honestly I have enough friends I can talk to about things if I need to. 

I went through it by myself, but that doesn't mean I felt alone. I was actually like once the you know the cycle was starting to elongate because now I remember it was like a three-week cycle pretty much. I didn't have the four weeks, it was a three-week cycle. And so once it started to go into five weeks, I was just like, oh, this is fantastic, thank you. And you know, my body, I was just thanking it and grateful for the changes it was making. Sometimes, yes, it was a little bit heavy with that elongation, but then it all sort of sorted itself out and It just be it was just very easy so I Had a diary that I kept I am marked if I had a cycle or not and so that's how I know I'm nearly at that to you stage. And You know sometimes there have been unexpected flow out of the blue and so I'd be at 18 months and think I'd be almost there and then all of a sudden I'd get a cycle and okay, all right, here we go, another two years I've got to wait. But yeah, working in the natural therapies industry, it's been easy, I've had support if I've needed it, but I really didn't. I work on myself regularly, I do reflexology on myself regularly, I balance my hormonal system regularly, especially back in the day. I don't do it very often anymore, I'll check on if I feel like I need to, but it's not something that I consider much about anymore, but I will think everything's in balance and harmony. As simple as that. 

What can you voice now that either you never could before due to youth or inexperience, but now can that you've walked through this gateway into this next era, this post-50s utopia? 

For me, the biggest thing that comes to mind is just being able to accept myself, to love myself. That is something a younger me could not do. I had a lot of trouble with that. And so that's where finding my voice was a part of that journey too, you know. And a big message for me has been all about love, as you know. Yeah, that's the biggest change for myself. Yeah. How do you get to a point where you don't care about what other people think about you? It's like you know yourself on a deeper level, I think. You know where your perspectives come from and when other people have different perspectives, you know, seeing them beyond that physical shell, the clothes they wear, the way they look, whatever. And I think having a deeper understanding of myself and where I had been and where I am now, it's like it's it's easy to have that understanding for others then as well. And that's where I think it's not so much not caring, but it's understanding that people have different perspectives, and if theirs is different, it doesn't matter to me, it's okay. 

Has menopause or age helped your marriage?

 That's an interesting question that I really haven't given any thought to. I would say was we had a very sexual relationship right from the beginning. So I met my husband about 40 years ago, so you know we were very young and that's how it's been. And we were married for six years before we had kids, so we've had a good lot of time on our own. You know now that the kids have grown up and mostly left home, you know we have that time for ourselves again which is really nice. It's just different now because you're not, you know, you're not young, but has it, has menopause and aging affected? I can't say that it has, apart from the fact that, yeah, we're just not as intimate as often as we used to be, which is, I think, a normal progression. 

What do you wish you knew about menopause before it started? 

There wasn't much I didn't really know, having studied the body and the hormonal systems and how they work and all the different cycles and those sorts of things. So in a way it's like nothing really surprised me. I certainly learned from other people. You know, like so another lady, I met similar age, went through a terrible time, she needed to have a hysterectomy because of that. And so it's like, it's interesting to see, yeah, everyone has different experiences. But I wasn't really surprised by anything that I went through. 

What do you think is the most important message about menopause that you would have to help others? 

To embrace it. It might be, again, another stage of challenge that the physical body is experiencing, but it'll be what it needs to be and I think sometimes we can be as positive as we like and still the body will show up things that we really don't want to experience. I think we can also make it harder by not accepting what the body is doing. We have a great medical system as well as a great natural health system. And it really is listening to your body to know what it is that it needs. And one way might work one time and another way might work another, but certainly not to stick to one thing if it's not working. You know, try all sorts of different things. Don't just be set in because it worked for somebody else it's going to work for you too. Listen to your body. Listen, it's very important. It's an incredible, beautiful organism that's quite futuristic and knows what it needs to do. Sometimes we just need to get out of the way and let it do its thing, but not judge if something isn't working out how we'd like it to. And just honour the body and the processes that it's doing. 

When you came across Phenxx, what did you think?

I loved it. I loved your website, I loved just the naturalness of everything, the photos, the conversations. The conversations, it's a beautiful page. It's fantastic, it really, really is. It's needed, it really is. 

I was thinking of even my husband, he sleeps hot and I was thinking do I get some cooling products just for him? You know, even though I don't really feel it, but he might benefit from the products as well. There's lots of Places for all the different ideas that you're putting together. 

We have used the line, "I'm hot in bed" for this campaign and that we're searching for Australia's hottest woman. What do you think about that? What's your reaction when you heard that? 

I think it's fabulous but I also think you need to have a subheading about what type of hot woman you're looking for. That it is about hormonal cycles, not so much societal pressure to be hot, right? And hot in bed. It's such a controversial thing to talk about, right? 

So as a woman who is very comfortable in her skin, how do you deal with the external pressure of your appearance, what you look like, what other people think that you look like? 

Oh, I don't worry about that at all. And it's what I was saying before about judging a book by its cover, but certainly I think being hot in bed, yes, everyone has their own definitions. It can also raise feelings of inadequacy in people, I think, as well because they may not perceive themselves to be hot or hot in bed, you know? It's such an important conversation to have, right? For everyone who's reading about the campaign, Hot in Bed, Hot Woman in Bed, and sees that as objectification of women, or sees that as a sexualisation of women, or sees that as some kind of external judgement on women. I love this conversation. I'm so excited to have this backlash of conversation because this is a conversation that women all across this country need to start having, is that your status and your worth and your beingness has nothing to do with what you look like, what other people think you look like, or what you're doing or anything. None of your activities. And how sexual you are or anything like that. Zero. Zero. This is about highlighting that women find it hard to get to sleep at night because they're bloody hot. And I think that this is just such a wonderful nuanced and complex way to have that conversation. 

This campaign really is about how we as a collective of women can actually start supporting each other irrespective of what we look like or of what other people think that we look like or whether that person's deemed hot or not. This is about graduating high school. If we can't graduate high school in our 50s, when can we? I really don't know. 

So my first reaction to the hot in bed slogan, well, I just went, "wow," because it came with that beautiful lady lying there, it was just like wowee, that was really, you hit the nail on the head, it was just beautiful, the whole thing was just beautiful, I loved it. 

Just enjoy your body. It's a temporary vehicle and loving your body is just the most powerful thing you could do for yourself. It's a beautiful gift to give to yourself. I think that in itself helps make changes in the body, in the way the body works, it works more effectively and more efficiently, more harmoniously. And it might be hard or challenging for people to do that, but I would, from my perspective of climbing that mountain, I would encourage anyone to do that. 


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