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Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Meanderings on Menopause...
By Robbin Whachell
Sep 8, 2010 - 2:35:47 PM

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As my children get older and mark their own milestones, they become profound reminders of my aging. Although life has been fast and furious up until now, and there seems no end in sight to the exciting things it has to offer, as a woman, I've noticed the changes my body has gone through as I am aging.

I recall when my mother went through menopause. She had seven children, and although I was young, there was a dark time in her life, and I was consoled by my father with the simple short words, "She's going through a life change. It's called menopause."  My oldest sister offered me more information, as I was quite worried about my mother who seemed to be teary and blue for days and days at a time. My big sister told me it had to do with not being able to have children any more. I was pleased with that as I had such a large family, I could not see another sibling entering our lives.

Now that I am approaching midlife, I love being me, but know that I am not the spring chicken I used to be. Keeping my weight in control is no longer easy. What worked before does not work now. Having four children of my own, I know that my body has worked hard to carry, raise and nurture my offspring, and that in itself is a sacrifice I made and never regret.

So far I have not experienced the hot flashes or negative aspects the world likes to paint menopause with. Perhaps I am lucky, or I exercise enough, eat well enough, or perhaps it will hit me in a few years and so far I am lucky!

Dr. Susan Gregg writes, " In the Native American tradition menopause is viewed as a passage, an extraordinary journey into wisdom, beauty and grace that comes only with age. When viewed from this perspective menopause becomes something to celebrate. When we stop bleeding monthly we aren’t losing our womanhood, we are holding on to our power, we are retaining our wisdom."

I love the Native American view on menopause, just as I love their view on a young woman's first menses. They used to celebrate and feast for an entire week in honour of the young woman's right of passage, honouring her with gifts and ceremony.

I choose to see this time coming up in my life as a time of renewal and wisdom ... when perhaps my duties of birthing and mothering can now be exchanged for a clearer focus on my needs and gifts; and hope it will offer me a time of more in-depth spiritual work or understanding of myself and all that I have left to do on this planet.

My monthly cycle is something that marks my passages of time, and the rhythm of my life. How will I mark it when it's gone?  

I wrote the following one morning when the thoughts and fears of menopause came over me:


Does it literally mean, "pause from men"?
That could be the case
A time of adjustment
A time of reflection, correction, grace...
Pause, allow
Yet my flow is what keeps me in cycle
What keeps me feeling connected
Keeps me feeling "woman"
Now what?
The rhythms of my life are changing
And I am awake with its unexpectedness
Who am I without all that?
What am I then?
Whether I bleed from my nose or my womb
Am I not still woman? me?
I breathe, allow, relax, accept
Hold the same soft belly I had as a baby
Try and accept the realms of society's perceived perfections
Tell myself I am whole, loved, of light, and blessed
I appreciate this aspect of myself
Love my male and female
Invite the crone, along with her wisdom, grace and fortitude
It's just a pause
And I go on...

June 2010

About the author: Robbin Whachell has been a resident of Grand Bahama Island since 1998. She moved to Freeport from Vancouver, Canada. She is the mother of four children and is an involved volunteer in the community, in particular with the island's soccer programmes. She is a founding member of the Grand Bahama Writer's Circle, and The Bahamas representative for the International Women's Writer's Guild. Her passion for life on Grand Bahama comes across in her innovative and intuitive sharing and networking of information within the community she lives. She is appreciative of her opportunity to live in The Bahamas and looks forward to the continuance of being a team player within the larger community of The Bahamas. Robbin is the Editor of TheBahamasWeekly.com and can be reached at  Editor@thebahamasweekly.com

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