Out of the Fall of Discontent
and Into a New Beginning
I've been standing on the sinking ground of menopausal life. If you’ve breezed through it, write me and let me know how you did it. For the rest of you ladies who have reached or will be reaching that pinnacle, or for those of you, who have managed to confront it, move past it, and live to tell about it another day, this article is for you.
I'm calling this upheaval in my life my fall of discontent, which I pray will lead to a new beginning. I have been mystified and horrified as of recently, whenever I walk past a mirror and encounter a figure and a face I do not know, or lean over to pick something up off the floor only to hear a slight moaning sound as I stand. Could this person truly be me? Am I not more than my aches and pains and wrinkles? Has life become so stale, unfulfilling, and suffocating that things that used to matter don't anymore; and other, what were insignificant things, seem to take on paramount importance. Life is a question mark and I have become the small insignificant dot at the bottom.
Each day is filled with responsibilities. Cooking, cleaning, running to the grocery store, yard work, career –– it is all a part of everyone's existence. I used to run through the day with aplomb, admiring my accomplishments, never concerned that I couldn't handle whatever life handed out. But recently, there has been a weight inside me so heavy that there are days I feel I cannot even move. I drag myself through the day searching for crumbs of joy with tear rimmed eyes, desperate for a reprieve. I want to snap out of it. I want things to feel like they did when I was twenty, thirty, even forty would do. I have demanded my life go back to being "normal", but alas it laughs in my face.
So I sit, trying to define this person who I have become. I am many selves, the Pleaser, the Perfectionist, The Pouter. I am the person who defines herself by others expectations of me. I have always tried to be all things to all people, even upon occasion, forfeiting my true self to do what the Lord expects of me. I lead a life of quiet desperation. Could I be so cliché to say I am experiencing a midlife crisis…at my age? Say it's not so.
I draw in a deep breath and try figuratively to slap myself into submission. Shouldn't this problem be easily fixed like pushing a button on your computer or microwave? Certainly other women don’t go through these trails. They are all stronger, cleverer, more vested in their life's accomplishments to ever look back and wonder, what if. Am I as uncommon as a butterfly in the winter, or like a butterfly am I merely in transformation? Like Lewis Carrol said, “Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” I simply worry I will not figure out the answer before the Lord calls me home.
Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them.” So many hearts and griefs that die unspoken, and give no sign as to their aching…let that not be me. Luke 8:30 says, “Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him.” I suppose that is how I feel. My demons being hot flashes, mood swings, dryness, and having more of life behind me to reflect upon then ahead of me. Snap out of it, I scream. Put your back to the wind straighten those shoulders soldier, life could be worse. Yes, it certainly could. I do not want to become a Pollyanna. But, I will pray for grace and courage and wisdom. I will take my days step by step into my new life, and be patient assured that the Lord is not finished with me. I will stay the course on this grand adventure “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6. Amen, amen. So be it.