God, I’m sure you heard me praying to you last month when my cycle was late. At the age of 43, my thoughts didn’t turn to pregnancy. That I wouldn’t even mind. (How bad could having a child in my forties be? My husband would leave me, but otherwise it would be fine.) No, my thoughts turned to the other elephant in the room—menopause. Is it here, I asked you? Am I now turning back into the pumpkin I was before I turned into a princess? You didn’t answer, probably not recognizing me from all those years ago when I was a pimpled overweight adolescent asking the same thing. (Although in fairness, I haven’t changed that much, but my teeth did seem to straighten.)
Looking for a sympathetic voice, I shared my concerns with my husband. He ran his fingers through my hair, and stoically asked, “Will sex still be fun?” I didn’t know how to respond. That was the least of my concerns, although it was (is) a concern. I’m not one to talk openly about sex, especially in an open letter to God, but does it go bad once your hormones die? (Insert sad face emoji if I was technically advanced enough to figure out how). A day later, my cycle came, setting my anxiety at ease. You had answered my prayers! It was not menopause, but my Google search identified the other culprit—perimenopuase.
God, what is perimenopause, and why after all these years of having to juggle hormones and menstrual cycles, are you bestowing it on me? When I first started waking covered in sweat, I thought it was because of the excessive Florida heat. Stupid global warming. But, nope. That wasn’t it at all. It was my hormones beginning to turn and shift. Next, came the hormonal cystic acne. Yeah, the gift I never knew I needed—melasma darkening my face for eternity. My breasts hurt all the time. My gums and teeth throb. My head aches. I had to borrow my cousin's deodorant on vacation because mine stopped working and the odor was distracting others. My brain gets very foggy. Sometimes when I’m writing a blog I forget what I’m even writing about. This blog was about my kids’ first day of school, but apparently it went off course. (My mother will hate that I referenced sex. We were all immaculately conceived.)
God, all my friends are just as confused as me. What is happening to us? How long does it last? I made my doctor check my ovaries and uterus last year because I kept having painful cycles, and she said I had plenty of eggs left. Is this process really going to take years? (Insert shocked face emoji). Us middle aged women need some guidance. Perhaps arrange for the school nurse to put on a symposium we can all attend, or at least a TED Talk we can watch online. Just make sure the air conditioning is turned on very low. We are all hot (partly from hormones, and partly from the heat index being the highest in recorded history—that part is global warming).
God, I’m sorry if I’m coming off ungrateful. I’ve really appreciated my uterus, and the three children it housed. I’m also appreciative that during this time you have joined me with a supportive and loving partner. My husband’s happy that he gets to sleep on freshly washed sheets every night, because I wash them every morning to clean out the excess sweat. He also assured me not to worry, even if sex becomes not fun, he will stand by my side. He would never leave me for anyone younger and more fertile than me. (He’s very adamant about not having more children.) I’m actually not sure if that was comforting or not, but I’m trying to be optimistic. Also, God, does he get perimenopause too—or is it just me? If not, add this to the bucket list of things you need to even out in the afterlife, including the fact that he doesn’t have to shave his legs or armpit hair.
In conclusion, God, I am wandering through middle life aimlessly. I’ve never been 43 before, and unless time starts going backwards, I probably won’t be 43 again. I’m just as confused now, as I was when it all began all those years ago. I appreciate any guidance you can offer. Or at least send ice pops to help with the hot flashes.
Sincerely your biggest fan perpetually and for all eternity,
P.S. Say hello to my dad and grandma. I miss them.
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