by Faith Childs

An admission: I quaked just a bit when I joined with two bold women last year to serve as one the principals of Women’s Voices for Change.

It was one thing to be part of a larger group which was concerned about changing the image of menopause. En masse, I was sure, our voices would be heard, but I was just a bit uneasy about stepping forward and being counted as one of the few.

I never lie about my age, but I do "pass." You know what I mean. I can wear size zeros and twos, and in a pinch can show my navel were I so inclined (or insane). More than a few people have mistaken me for younger than my years.

I don’t need to claim any years less than 55 to feel good about myself, although I have let others think whatever they want about my age. But, declaring, "Look, over here, I’m menopausal, and proud of it," took me to another level because I had to admit that being menopausal was one of those clubs that few were clamoring to join, maybe even me. It meant that I had some of those conventional, negative views about the long, slow march to invisibility and sexual erasure.

I slept on those doubts and wrestled with them, and when I woke up, I was clear. I knew that not only did I want to step forward and be counted as a 55-year-old menopausal woman, but I knew, too, that it was necessary that I do so.

I knew for certain that I was living my life for me, not others, that I was smarter and wiser than I had ever been. I wanted women older and younger to know that menopause is a wondrous time of transformation and renewal, and that they, too, could harvest the abundant energy and wisdom of these years and become their best selves.

About this I am certain. These are the best years of my life and each day offers me living proof that this is so.

Faith Childs is a literary agent who lives and works in New York City and is on the board of Women’s Voices for Change.

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  • Ann November 30, 2006 at 11:04 am

    This is a wonderful piece and reminds me that these are the best years of MY life too. I’m so glad it was written and shared.

    Reply