Thanks! - for your downer advice, which I will not be passing on.
Cover Image: Jen Meller (@menjeller)
Recently, while chatting with a friend 10-12 years my senior in the community pool - relaxed, each with a very cold and potent drink in our hand - we exchanged a few compliments, being as both of us are into fitness. We talked about classes we liked (she takes my free, twice-a-week Barre by Zoom class, Islamabarre) and workouts we have been doing. She complimented me on the maintenance of my physique and I on hers. A nice poolside banter, we had going, until she told me...
¨You know, when I was your age, I didn´t have to worry about my body. And then menopause hit and it was out of control. You won´t have this (signaling to my body from the neck down) forever.¨
Was this the first time I ever heard this from someone my senior? Nope. In fact, thanks to everyone who has been through it in my life and their need to share all the details about it, I am hyper aware that my clock is coming to its closing years.
I have to be honest with all of you. I think it is just as disrespectful to preview ¨what is coming¨ - which to me is robbing someone else of their own mystery - as it is to be a total disrespectful ingrate to an older person. You don´t need to tell someone ten years younger than you that their life will turn to shit in ten years, even if it turns out that there´s a good chance that will happen. Because doing that will only make them begin their own self-fulfilling prophecy. People deserve to live out their own lives with as much mystery and intrigue as possible; help them to stay in the moment, rather than fear what is coming.
Even when faced with a younger person I can´t stand, whom I´d like to tell a thing or two to, I hold my tongue. It isn´t for me to divulge the grand mystery of our bodies, our spirits, and our journeys - and even if I did venture to guess what might happen to that person - all the bad I saw coming because I myself went through something bad when I was their age - I might well be wrong. Experience does not make you right. No one is paying you to read the crystal ball of someone else´s life, so don´t pretend you are doing them a service by telling them all the things that they are destined for.
Look, I know menopause is coming, and I know it´s not going to be fun. I know someday I may turn around and say, damn - all that for nothing. I am old and alone. I chose not to have children. I know, friends - and I have to live with that. But in the meantime, I´m finding ways to live happily and fulfill goals I want - not someone else´s goals, but mine, the ones in my mind´s eye. I hope and believe I´m not ever going to be a person who suddenly hates working out and stops making room in my budget for self care. I think I am taking care of things now so that later I won´t have to pay the piper. Maybe I am wrong about all of this. But please, let me find out for myself.