It hits us all!


Yes, we all know how it is, more of less of course, but regardless of the amount of problems we have during menopause, there are changes in our body. They will not go away just because we talk about them, but ventilating things can help a lot and we may also get some good tips that can relieve our problems. In this interview you can read about a lady that did not suffer in silence, but put a group together and also wrote a book about it all. How lucky are we not to be in a generation that can speak freely about this?

Name: Lynette Sheppard RN

Age: 63

Occupation: Artist/writer

Family: Live with my husband and a cat we call the Dark Lord, who is the boss of our household. We have two grown children and five grandchildren

Lives: We split our time between Molokai, Hawaii and Lake Tahoe, Nevada

You have a blog called Menopause Goddess Blog. What made you create a blog about menopause?

My good friend Theresa and I were totally unprepared for the crazy symptoms of menopause. We wondered if there was something wrong with us or if other women were experiencing these changes. So we got a group of women together for what we called "a slumber party with a focus" to explore the Big M. We found that we were all shocked by the changes and bonded in a sisterhood that became the Menopause Goddess Group. 

I put together our shared wisdom in a book - Becoming A Menopause Goddess. I started the blog as a way to share samples of the book and it took on a life of its own. We have a worldwide virtual community of women who connect through the blog now.

After that first meeting, we realized we needed to meet at least once a year to keep learning from one another. We found that sharing wisdom didn't stop with menopause issues, but also was pertinent in aging gracefully and crafting a vision for the second half of our lives. We all believe that we survived and actually thrived because of our group sharings.

It would be interesting to hear some more about the book.

The book, Becoming a Menopause Goddess is really a compilation of the wisdom we shared over the course of several meetings. Physical changes, emotional changes, and mental changes were discussed along with ways to cope with them. I really wrote the book so other women didn't have to go through what we did. I also included exercises for growing ourselves and a guide to Creating A Menopause Goddess group so no one had to start from scratch. The Menopause Goddess blog continues the tradition of women sharing wisdom.

Menopause starts out as a horror movie, but then transitions into a coming of age story. The time after menopause can truly become the best part of our lives as we create a vibrant second half of life.

You have experience yourself of how tough it can be. How shall we be able to look forward when things may be difficult due to those pesky hormones?

I always say that women are tough. We can handle anything as long as we know it's temporary and it's normal. Menopause issues are both. Once the worst of the hormonal fluctuations are over, we have the chance to recreate ourselves. We can try the things we've always wished to explore. We are less concerned about our appearance and we become way more comfortable in our skins.

Would you say that menopause is less sensitive to talk about now than for the generations before us? At least it seems like now with the internet, so many more women open up about problems there may be.

Our mother's generation was dubbed "The Silent Generation" for a reason. We grew up where women were no longer silent - we are naturally vocal about our feelings and these changes. That's a very good thing! And the internet helps us connect with other like-afflicted women.

But menopause is not only bad. This is a time of life that we should also celebrate. Many women say that there are many positive things as well. Would you like to share some of those?

First of all, I no longer worry about wearing white pants or skirts. Seriously, though, I feel comfortable trying all manner of new things - even just dabbling in artwork and writing and I travel. I no longer worry about doing things poorly - I can do something just because I enjoy it. I don't fret about my looks or appearance. I often say that we don't "let ourselves go" but we "allow ourselves to be". We learn to nurture ourselves as we once nurtured our kids and spouses. The sky is the limit. Second adulthood is the best!