Adventures in Aging: Escaping the Killer Whale
I read the most interesting scientific fact the other day. It turns out that in the killer whale world, post-menopausal females become the leaders of their pod. Scientists did extensive research which led to the discovery that these particular whales become highly valued for their wisdom, experience, and survival skills. For instance, when the salmon is lean, they can single-handedly keep their family unit alive with their hunting abilities.
I think that is just wonderful, and as much as I should embrace the orca as my spirit animal when it comes to aging, it’s going to be a hard no for me. While it may sound like an empowering concept, how is my reward for going through menopause – more work? I am sorry, but in addition to struggling with hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, and other unmentionables, I’m now in charge of a seafood dinner?!
Needless to say, I don’t want to be in charge of a pod just yet. Instead, I have been taking some field trips around the ocean, discovering ways to navigate this change of life head-on. During my swim, I have found many treasures and ways to find adventures in aging:
Friends and family. I have a wealth of support, whether it be commiserating with fellow meno-sisters (think minnows with hot flashes) on what’s working for them, what sucks about it all, or just receiving encouragement and much-appreciated special care from those who know I’m on this journey.
The professionals. I am availing myself of some very helpful medications, natural remedies, and support that address the things I can’t control – tsunami-style hormones and a long-running stand-off with Mother Nature.
The female-only gym I visit three afternoons a week. It is kicking my tail and buoying my spirits, all at the same time. I’ve been welcomed with open arms and no one judges when I run out of steam.
Introduction to glass art class. (Well, let’s be honest, only Roberta and I are beginners – everyone else looks like they are preparing for a show at the High.) The teacher is a whirlpool of female sparkle that makes me excited to create my first sushi plate and focus on feeding my soul.
The school full of dear little ones I tutor once a week. This is something I have sorely missed since COVID shut the program down. It is great fun listening to their complicated tales, even though I know they are trying to wriggle their way out of doing their work.
And of course, this blog! What a wonderful platform to share my stories that I hope readers can, or at some point will relate to. The main theme through it all is, mommas, no matter the challenge, just keep swimming! There is plenty of fish in the sea to help you in your journey.
While I may follow in the killer whale’s “fin-steps” one day, right now, I’m setting sail for an adventure in aging!