Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Menopause has taught me a lot about myself, who I am and what really matters most.
I understand how women can change completely, become radical feminists, channel energies to spearhead causes,
wear wild clothes, get tattooed, and become very outspoken.
I have done none of these, I changed in other ways...

I suppose "empowered" is a term that might be linked with this stage of life.
A sense of self confidence, a healthy dose of self esteem,
and a feeling of calm after the hormonal storm of menopause.

My menopausal years were fraught with hot flashes and mood swings,
that only cold showers and vast amounts of chocolate could quell!
Those turbulent years of uncertainly, weight gain and many sleepless nights are now a thing of the past.
I am grateful that I have emerged relatively unscathed.
I have learned a thing or two...

I started paying closer attention to the food that I was fueling my body with...
and put in a vegetable patch started eating more fruits and vegetables in bright shades of colour.

Always the one taking care of others I used to be "too busy" to take care of myself.
I was the classic woman volunteer that could never say "NO."
Perhaps you've heard the expression "If you want something done ask a busy person"
that was me...
I was on the board of too many committee's.

When fatigue set in I cried for no reason.
I was downright cranky.
I had to figure things out for myself and it took awhile...
Slowly I pulled back from my committee duties and became more selective so that I could maintain a balance.

I discovered Yoga and learned to breathe properly, deeply and mindfully.
Books on the subject were read and I gleaned information and strategies for well being.

I learned that I could not control everything in my life...
I could only control my response to what happened in my life.

After a few years
the fog lifted and I felt well again.

I had energy, and felt a vibrancy that I had forgotten and thought I'd lost.
Clarity and Joy returned.
It was as if a wind had blown the cobwebs away...
I felt truly happy, grateful, excited, and interested in simply living.

I discovered that I needed to be outdoors surrounded by nature.
Walking and gardening are the best ways I know of to get fresh air and some exercise.
Mother Nature is a great healer.

I took up painting
a hobby just for me.
A creative outlet that brings me joy.

My roses are my muse and my Bliss.
They feed my soul.

I developed my personal style.
Less is better and classics suit me.

I have always gravitated to white tops and tees and jeans.

Pearls have multiplied strand by strand.

(the newest ones)

I am smitten with more rather than less.

Things have changed,
my children have grown up and moved out and created lives of their own.
I've become a grandmother and adore the lovely Miss Isla.

There's more time now to rest and recharge, even though I still work outside the home.
I have de-cluttered mentally and domestically and continue to streamline living in The Humble Bungalow.

I found that I love wearing scarves
and once every so often I'll treat myself to a new Hermes Silk Twill
or if luck is on my side I might find a nice scarf at a Thrift or Consignment Shoppe.

I didn't frequent spas until I hit menopause and then something went "click"
I gave myself "permission" to indulge!

Once every few months I'll have a facial or a massage and during sandal season, monthly pedicures.
I'd rather have pretty toes than a haute couture gown or a new designer bag.

There's a Spa tucked away in the tony Cadboro Bay Village area called Bliss.
It's off the beaten path, but in every way exceeds my expectations.
I have been going there for the past few years, 
their great service, good value and reasonable prices keep me coming back.

I do love to be pampered on occasion, especially during times of stress.
A little TLC goes a long way.

Hope that your week is full to the brim of good things.
Don't forget to take the time to enjoy the little things....

What has menopause taught you about yourself?
Have you changed?
What strategies did you use to navigate your way?
If you had any advice to give younger women what might that be?
I'm interested...
perhaps you've got some ideas that can help some of our sisters on their journey.

Thanks a bunch for stopping by The Humble Bungalow.


  1. What a wonderful post. I'm 48 and haven't hit menopause yet, I'd be interested to see when it started for everyone else who posts.
    I'm not too worried about it, it didn't impact on my mum at all, but then she's much more robust than I am.

    1. I think if your mom sailed through menopause chances are you will too.

  2. Hello Leslie, I'm 52 and I think I've been going through perimenopause for
    several years now. My symptoms so far have not been too bad, no real hot flashes, a bit of weight gain and a yes on the mood swings and the fog! Actually, I've been reading through your archives as I find your blog very soothing and I'm taking on board some of your tips - thank you!

    1. Patricia I am happy to hear that you are enjoying my little blog.
      Your symptoms may never go beyond what you are experiencing now.
      Several women I know never experienced hot flashes.

  3. What a lovely post, hostess! I was lucky: had an early (age 50) and relatively uneventful menopause. Like you, I've been paying better attention to diet and self-care. But yes, there's a revitalizing aspect to it too. We are more accepting of ourselves and our flaws and foibles, less apt to suffer fools gladly or feel we have to impress. We have a better sense of what we like and what works for us.

    1. Acceptance is a biggie but once it happens there is such a sense of freedom.
      Congratulations on your recent blog fame, I've known for a long time how clever you are at blogging.

  4. Beautifully said. I so enjoyed this post. Have a wonderful week!

  5. Thank you so much for writing this. I'm 45 and just starting down this path. Working on doing what I need to in order to feel my best because I deserve it! Lisa S.

  6. Mine was when I was 50 never had any problems,at the time was leading a very full life,running my business,travelling never thought much about the menopause.

    Lots of good health tips Hostess. Ida

    1. Ida: That's exactly what my mum said "I never thought about it much" Fingers crossed I'll be the same.

  7. With the exception of some hot flashes during sleep, I had an uneventful menopause - don't even remember exactly my age - sometime in my early 50's. However, now that I've turned 60, I am thinking about some changes I'd like to make to my life, but still in the embryonic stages. A very beautiful and inspiring post.

  8. Dear Hostess what a lovely, lovely post!
    My menopause was relatively easy compared to some. I have embraced yoga, meditation, breath work, organic food, stopped eating meat, attended several Chopra retreats(which changed my life),gone back to knitting and spend more time in nature,(meaning I spend more time here in paradise on the Island away from the hustle, bustle of San Francisco). I suppose I have embraced my inner hippie without the wardrobe.
    I have also given myself permission to let long term friendships with negative women go. Energy is contagious and I try to surround myself with generous, uplifting people.

    1. Dear well styled life : This is a wonderful comment, I have also given myself permission to let long term friendships with negative women go. Energy is contagious and I try to surround myself with generous, uplifting people. Thank You so much , I have been thinking of this and it is such a necessary thing for me to do at this time in my life . Donna

    2. I agree with you on surrounding yourself with positive energetic people...
      it felt a bit like defeat when I let a long term friendship lapse but the toxicity was consuming me.
      In hindsight I think I was enabling this woman to vent her negativity.

  9. This post brought tears to my eyes: I'm 49 and have been going through perimenopause with lots of symptoms and no health insurance (I have ajob now so will consult a doc ASAP). I was so inspired by your post. Do you have any advice for those of us still in the throes of perimenopause? I've learned so far to honor this new phase of life as vital and full of energy, despite the way society regards older women. I am trying to learn also to embrace my frailties (now needing glasses, needing to take wild yam progesterone supplements to sleep at night) as individual items and not the sum total of myself. And I've also be nurtured by the kindness of other women (for example, Adrienne of The Rich Life), and lean on them for support. Thanks for this beautiful post on your journey -- love your blog. BTW, am I too old to learn how to sail?

    1. Oh seeking professional medical advice is always a good idea. Reading books by reputable people can shed some light on the subject too.
      I tried very hard not to dwell on my symptoms and keep my focus on things that made me feel happy.
      I did read a book Simple Abundance by Sarah Breathnach which was lovely and inspiring. You might find a copy in a used book seller as it is an oldie but a goodie!
      You are never too old to learn something new. If you feel passionate about trying something new I would implore you to make it happen.
      Good luck.

  10. I am 44 and have no sign of it on the horizon, I have the blood tests and monthly reminders to prove it! though I am constantly being told by my sister that I am going through it, cos she did at a young age- why do some people do that? Just because they have had a health issue everyone else who is related has to have it too. All I know is that I want to shed a fair bit of weight before I hit it so that it will be a bit easier on me. My mum didn't start until she was 55 so I may have a bit to go yet. But I would like to be in the place you are (mindwise!) before I start!

  11. Beautifully written . . . you are in to your own . . . perfect!

  12. You know I've become more assertive about my needs and interests in recent years, but I hadn't thought to attribute it to menopause. I had a hysterectomy in my early 40s...which makes tracking its progress difficult to do.

  13. Oh Thank you Thank you Thank you....for telling me about the AFTER and not just the before and during. I am expiring the 'during' phase...and I think after reading I am less anxious about the AFTER. In fact, I think its going to be good. I'm in the clutches of the rough stuff right now...but its a beginning and not just an end. So glad you shared this.

    Your photos are beautiful.

    1. It's a journey that is different for all of us. I think speaking about it often helps...
      be gentle and kind to yourself and try to keep smiling.

  14. Bravo! Lovely and meaningful post. I love your new pearls and your wonderful curls.

  15. My perimenopausal years were turbulent- teenage in reverse. A very wise employee of mine comforted me and said, "There is life after menopause." She was so right. These have been some of the best years of my life. I weather life's storms so much better. The need to simplify is strong and ongoing, in both my personal life and environment. And I like myself and my own company.

    And thank you for sharing the lovely flower photos. Your garden must be charming.

  16. I loved this post. I read you every day. I'd like to think if I lived near you we could be friends because I feel as though I learn from you every time I read your blog. I'm 48 and not in menopause yet but I like knowing it doesn't have to be the end! You always come across as a very genuine, down-to-earth, wise woman - something I hope I'm described as some day. Thank you. Katie in California

    1. Welcome Katie from California.
      I appreciate your comments today and am happy that you read my blog posts.
      If it weren't for people like you I probably would not be blogging.

  17. This is an awesome blog post Leslie , thank you so much , the timing could not be better for me . Time for me to make some major changes on my life , this is so encouraging and reading all the comments from everyone. Donna

  18. Donna when I started typing this post it came out of nowhere...
    often when I sit to prepare a post I have no idea what I will be writing about and these thought just bubbled up.
    A former co worker used to say that if you open yourself up to the universe seeking advice an answer will come to you.
    Good luck on your journey.

  19. Hello,

    I am new to your blog and I have to say that this post brought tears to my eyes. I am 52 and have been going through menopause or peri for several years now along with thyroid issues. I am told they sometimes are linked together. I have all of the horror symptoms and daily I am looking for something to CLICK and help me feel better.

    This post did just that. Thank you!

    1. Elena,
      I empathize with what you are going through. I too have thyroid issues and am on a daily dose for an under active thyroid.
      Try to keep positive thoughts and embrace gratitude, that helped me a lot.
      Good luck!

  20. What a lovely post. I relaxed just reading it, my shoulders actually unclenched. I always enjoy your posts, but this one was special.

  21. Ah, lovely. Thank goodness you didn't get a tattoo!