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Menopause as makeover? What is this, some kind of cruel joke?
A baby boomer woman's first reaction to menopause as makeover might be to reflect on the newly-acquired spare tire some of us are sporting. We might cast a jaded eye at the crows' feet and "laugh" lines that we do not find so amusing.
Muscle tone takes more work to hold on to than it used to. Our teenage and twenty-something daughters make us sigh as we remember the good old days.
Makeover? Not exactly an upgrade, to many minds.
But wait. There is another side to menopause which may or may not compensate for some of the new challenges.
On her website Drnorthrup.com, Dr. Christiane Northrup has presented the good news that might surprise you. There is indeed a makeover going on upon menopause. The good doctor said that the circuits of our brain are in the process of being re-wired.
The good doctor's not talking here about the tendency to forget what we left the room for, or the discouraging new habit of reaching for a word and missing it by a mile. She is also not referring to a change in neurons and how they interact, or an alteration in brain tissue.
She is talking about a change in how we think. Our perspective on the world, and concerning ourselves, can be transformed during the years following menopause.
For many women, the move beyond the child-bearing and child-raising years becomes a move toward the world outside of their home.
It is a progression beyond seeing themselves as "just" wife and mother, to being "just" ... themselves. It may be the first time this has happened since before their children were born.
The present generation of baby boomer women are pioneers to some degree, in this transformation process. The reason for this is in part because we no longer die within years of the advent of menopause, which was the case for centuries.
Instead of having just a few good years after our children are grown, we women are now looking at perhaps a third of our lifetime -- a third act -- still ahead of us.
Women were defined solely as wife and mother up until just a few generations ago.