“I still remember the day one of my friends secretly asked me “Hey, do you know about ‘periods’?” I was confused and I answered “No… what’s that?” She just smiled at me and tried to explain and all our group of girls gathered to listen to her. Everyone was a bit uncomfortable, but curious, about this menstruation process. A few of them had just entered this beautiful phase of life and a few, like me, were about to begin it. “
Later on, one day, I felt that I had entered this beautiful phase and I secretly whispered in my elder sister, Tai’s, ear about it… As soon as I shared, she smiled and called our mother. Now, Tai took the initiative and told my mom about me, and they both were so happy and started giggling. Mom came closer to me and kissed me on my cheek with a sweet smile .. “O my dear child, from today you won’t be a child anymore.” She beautifully narrated the whole meaning of periods, and the biological and emotional changes during this monthly discharge and it was a great emotional support and relief to me.
Here, in India though, not everyone thinks menstruation is a beautiful phase. Most of the time they call it “Adchan” (obstacle) and periods are always a big topic of debate. Even now, many girls don’t go to school on their period and many families do not allow a girl or a woman to touch anywhere in the house during her four special days of every month. Religious people don’t allow women to enter temples or any religious places when they are having a period. In many families, menstruating women are banned from doing many things such as cooking food, worshipping God etc. In many families, the main lady of the family keeps an eye on the period cycle of every female in the house and accordingly allows them to get involved in social or cultural gatherings like some Puja or festivals. However, that doesn’t mean that in India, people look at menstruation as a ‘TABOO’ but we are bound by our cultural and religious values.
Whenever I see all those people, I know how lucky I was that my mom chose a different reaction from the one society would have given. Later she happily shared this beautiful thing with my dad. Instead of shame and secrecy, she made us sweets to celebrate. But the real gift she gave me was to think of menstruation as a beautiful part of womanhood. This memory is why I would like to tell women to celebrate their menopause too.
During menopause, the most difficult thing for any woman is to keep emotional balance. Mood swings and high emotions may occur now and then when a woman goes through menopause. Sleepless nights, hot flashes, night sweats and many other symptoms many times can cause disturbance in your day to day routine. But do not allow them to affect your inner strength. I know it’s difficult to handle but such is life and you must enjoy this important phase of your life. In fact, I would like to suggest that you should try to celebrate your menopause too! What do you say ?
You can celebrate it by enjoying each and every moment of your life, with positive thinking, taking good care of yourself, eating healthy food, by doing exercise, by watching films and listening to good music, reading, developing hobbies and interests, learning new new things, sharing your thoughts with your friends and family.
When you yourself start enjoying your life in such a creative, beautiful way, I am sure, every person connected with you will give you more of themselves and menopause will become a sweet moment for you.
A ripe fruit is sweeter, and so are you.
So, why not celebrate this phase of your life?
Lifestyle. Menopause. Women’s Empowerment.