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.

Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • 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.