They call it hormonal mischief. It is the new perspective coming into view in every woman’s major life passage. A midlife agitation, literal and poignant — first, the gushing, like the reddening of a dying tree as it blazes out in the funeral autumn with a flowing canopy, then reduced to basics, forced to lie fallow, in an emptiness watered by tears over the surrender of the magical powers of birthing and breeding.
Then, it was like some powerful switch had been thrown. The little bouts of blues in a fog of indeterminate sadness, then little crashes of fatigue when one counted on abundant energy. It was profound to find one’s self crawling home from a day of writing, then falling into the nearest sofa for a nap only to wake up dancing around an unexplained depression.
The normal preamble to this malaise is sometimes treated with a casualness, bordering on the criminal, in a despond that doesn’t lift or dissipate for days. I always ask: Will it be permanent mellowing, permanent anything, or simply be an erratic activity playing mischief with a woman’s equilibrium ? Is it all in their minds, or perhaps is it mostly because of a looseness of termination of subjective flaws?
Women deal with this “pause” in hundred variations. There are the periods of magnificent energy and acute mental functioning, even brilliance, when one was never tired, producing like crazy going through the temporary phenomenon. After spending five decades of focusing on their children and husbands’ lives, she is now filled with a sense of unease or disequilibrium. This is something women feel, a thought that becomes incomprehensible at times, while enduring hormonal mischief cycles. With the spiritual energy of fully evolved women,who are beyond being objects defined by the male gaze, they found distinctive charm and disciplined intellect, and celebrate within themselves.
The transition in their lives change, had become, for most of them; the best — physically, emotionally and spiritually.
In my own odyssey (oh, years ago), I was so sure I would just sail right through it. Instead, I veered (like most of us) off course, lost some of the wind in my sails, and almost capsized, thrown into widowhood.
But I realized women who no longer belong to somebody now can belong to everybody — the community, a chosen circle of friends, a worship group or even the world — as their source of experience and wisdom.
I started by giving up the futile gallantry of trying to remain the same younger self, and reach a new plateau of contentment and self acceptance, and find a potent new burst of energy.
Take the “pause” as a liberation. After my liberation from keeping this four long-legged daughters filed up, the empty nest did not leave me feeling useless and lacking in self concept, but with relief or relish!
One of the girls asked, “Mother, what are you going to do with yourself now that we’re all gone?” I said, “Baby, I don’t know, but count on it…I am going to have fun!”
E-mail Mylah at firstname.lastname@example.org