Shirley Weir is the fifty-four-year-old founder of Menopause Chicks, and the author of Mokita: How to navigate perimenopause with confidence and ease.
I was forty-eight when I did this for the very first time. It was New Year’s Eve 2015. I was lying in my bathtub—and I looked down at my body, and I said, “THANK YOU.” I thanked it for giving me two amazing children. And for carrying me this far on my journey. It seemed rather insignificant at the time—but reflecting back, I realize it was a pivotal line-in-the-sand I drew between, “this sucks,” and, “I’ve got this!”
Although it was impossible to know that night, I was a year away from reaching menopause (the twelve-month anniversary of my final period). My journey through perimenopause (hormone shifts, sleep challenges, debilitating brain fog, mood changes), plus stress-induced burnout, had been at the forefront of my busy mom and entrepreneurial life for the past ten years. The bathtub is my sacred place. But it had also become the place I frequented to curl up and rock back-and-forth after losing my temper with one of my kids, or my place to try to escape feelings of depression, anxiety, and overwhelm.
Now, you must know, I am the ultimate cup-half-full girl. “Change is good,” “Be the change you want to see in the world,” and Maya Angelou’s, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit to the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Those are my go-to mantras. But in my tub, surrounded by my favourite magazines, I noticed the headlines were all negative. It felt as though someone was trying to convince me I wasn’t good enough, that I was broken. Even with a career in marketing, that message didn’t resonate with me.
I didn’t need fixing. But I was changing. I prayed that meant for the better. So, I decided to replace words like “hot” with “whole.” And “bitchy” with “beautiful.” I bounced out of that tub because I had a family to care for, a business to run… and fifty more years to embrace!
I convinced myself to put my own health at the top of the to-do list, take on the job of meeting other women where they are, and become their “concierge” for quality midlife health information and trusted health professionals.
I was being called to crack open the conversation about perimenopause and menopause; then disrupt it.
Connect with Shirley:
Founder, Menopause Chicks
Women’s Health Advocate, Menopause Chicks Private Online Community