Aging, Menopause, Perimenopause, Periods

From the Other Side of the Kotex Box

I love these old Kotex ads!  They make me feel a part of the sisterhood of the ages even though I’m not having periods anymore.

But I thought being finished would feel more joyful.

Like winning a free trip to Barcelona or losing ten pounds on a diet of peanut butter fudge.

I’m disappointed to report, it doesn’t.

I thought I’d be constantly thinking, wow, no period to worry about this month.

But I don’t.

I guess my time of the month was replaced by other problems and quandaries brought on by The Great Pause.

Or maybe my menopausal mind is so iffy that I’ve forgotten what PMS and periods are like.

Or maybe I just can’t get over the shock that so many years have gone by.

Those of you who are finished, what about you?

 Is a period-free life all you thought it would be? Do you wake up every day shouting, “Yipee!” or has that old pesty nemesis faded from your thoughts?

And those of you still struggling with cramps or flooding or spotting or any other yucky period stuff, am I nuts?

Speak up, oh readers on either side of the Kotex box!

16 thoughts on “From the Other Side of the Kotex Box”

  1. I don’t even think of it any more. But I should be counting my blessings especially when I have a college daughter at home and I am reminded first hand of the bad PMS symptoms. I just never realized how difficult we are to live with that week!

    1. Remember important events being ruined (or at least you thought they might be) by it being the wrong time of the month. The memories are coming back!

  2. well I am still spotting on occasion. I also get cramping out of nowhere. I have had a rough time with that whole thing. I still think, what else is going to happen

    1. Yep, it’s so weird as it’s us, our bodies, but we don’t have a clue what they’re going to do!

  3. Barbara, you did it again. This is an awesome post! You’ve really got me thinking now. Yes, I am on the other side of the Kotex box and have been for several years.

    Living decades of one’s life being ruled (yes, ruled) by such a bizarre (yes, bizarre) bodily function truly should baffle the mind. Learning about menstruation, then waiting for it to happen, then dealing with the products, counting the days, hoping you don’t get it, then hoping you DO get it, bloating, and PMS are all just a weird thing that becomes so ordinary in our life.

    THEN when you get to the perimenopause years and it all starts again, all the uncertainty and the insults and assaults to the body and brain, it again should baffle the mind. Those all-encompassing feelings and thoughts about moving into the Big Pause are overwhelming.

    And then, poof.

    A year of no periods is finally reached and within months, it becomes like a distant dream. I was reminded of just how much my decades of periods have disappeared from my conscious thought when my daughter asked me to pick up a box of pads for her at the store. I walked into that aisle and felt like I had walked into a foreign land. I found what she requested, grabbed the box, and felt no familiarity at all. I forgot what it was like to buy those things each month. Forty years of making sure I always had “feminine protection” on hand just disappeared from my memory – purged from my hippocampus perhaps to make room for other more important stuff now, like remembering to take my calcium and do my weight-bearing exercises. I don’t know, but it was weird.

    So, joyful about it? Nope. I remember when I hit the one year period-free mark I did enjoy some jubilation. But it wasn’t long at all before it just became a non-issue.

    Thanks again, Barbara, for sharing your thoughts and insights and letting us come along for the ride!

    Oh, and I really enjoyed those incredible ads! Wasn’t it hilarious, thinking back, how they used nurses in uniform on the packages and ads to market “sanitary” products? The whole idea of menstruation being unsanitary is pretty odd.

  4. Oh, btw… when we moved to Florida, my periods started coinciding with the full moon. No kidding. I blame being close to the Gulf of Mexico, you know the moon/tide thing. The strange thing is that even though my periods are over, I still get bloated on the full moon, just as if I was having my period. Thought that was strange.

  5. I am on “the other side” and definitely find it freeing. One less thing to pack on trips, fewer mood swings, less mess….life is simpler now! To me it feels kind of like a reward for reaching this age.

    1. Love it–a reward for reaching this age. There’s a guest post in that line, if you’d be willing to write one.

  6. I am on the perimenopausal side and I can’t wait to be done. My periods were always a week long and very heavy on the first two days. Oh, how I envied my friends with light 3 day periods. Now my periods are MORE frequent, every 3 weeks instead of every 4 and they are just as long so I’m pretty much only have two weeks off in between. I don’t think I’ll miss it at all. But what I miss already is sleeping through the night!

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