Perimenopause And Powerpoints. A Primer For Those Who Miss Out On This “Joy”.
Imagine if you will…
You have a presentation to deliver to a key client. You’ll be stretching yourself a little thin to make it happen on their timeline, but this isn’t your first rodeo and you are a whiz when it comes to pulling off the miraculous.
Powerpoint cued up, check.
Microphone plugged in, check.
Notifications off, check.
Your belly starts to flutter as it always does. You’re used to that at this stage in your career. Something this important is bound to elicit such a response. Your pits begin their water works, but again that is par for the course.
You have a lot riding on this presentation, and your usual level of confidence has shown up front and center…double check. “Thank yooou Exxxxperience”.
That is until you feel it coming. That tingle deep in your gut telling you it’s on its way. The dreaded hot flush is crashing this well orchestrated party despite the fact she was expressly left off the calendar invite.
Cue the red face, neck and chest. Sh*t. Here comes the sweat.
This is a moment many women in perimenopause experience on the daily. Some women? All. Day. Long. To say it is ”inconvenient” is the understatement of all understatements. Add to this the hit-or-miss nature of her period that was once like clockwork, and you’ve got a textbook case of “anxiety with a stress chaser”.
If she’s anything like the women I know, in addition to all that “fun”, she forgets common words and names of people she’s worked with, side-by-side, for years. Imagine the pressure that adds to a presentation.
Now we don’t talk about this happening to us, mind you. We keep this close to the vest. Even when that vest is sweat-soaked bringing on a chill to contend with alongside the loveliness we’re currently marinating in.
Oh. The. Joy.
The women reaching out to me lately have hit their threshold and the stress has been dialed up for so long, they are experiencing anxiety at this point. The anxiety is gravely affecting not only their performance at work, but it is sucking the joy out of their lives. And they are suffering in solitude, emotionally exposed for everyone to gawk at.
Women in leadership roles wear a multitude of masks while spinning their plentiful plates as they sport a stylish selection of hats suitable to the occasion. The only hat they don’t wear is the one that prioritizes their needs. The one that puts them first, not everyone and everything else.
Women like this take pride in their ability to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. They stake their reputations on being the epitome of a strong, successful, well put together woman. They anchor their value and their worth to their ability to perform. They….ah, who am I kidding? Women like this are stressed and many are one infinitesimal nerve away from “losing it”, that is if they even had “it” at the start.
Honestly, having “it” is totally overrated. I’m not really sure who started the rumor that “it” is worth having. There are so many rabbit holes I could burrow down into at this point, but I’ll save that adventure for another time.
I feel compelled to speak up and share what your coworkers, your partners, your mothers, your leaders and your friends may be experiencing. They most likely won’t tell you themselves. There’s zero freedom to do so. We live in a society that values automaton over human. The exactingness of the masculine, over the flexibility of what it is to be in one’s feminine flow.
I bring it up as a call-to-action. A call for you to level up your compassion if you are lucky to be in the midst of a woman who is in this most powerful point of her evolution. She is mounting a metamorphosis.
She doesn’t have a disease, she’s experiencing perimenopause. A natural stage in the physical, mental and emotional evolution of a woman. We’ve been going through it since the dawn of time. It’s only now that we’re talking more about it.
This conversation has a place in every room you find women. In the boardroom and the bedroom. Different conversations, mind you, but conversations to be had nonetheless.
If what you’ve heard resonates with you personally, there’s a place for you to turn to get vetted information on navigating the perimenopausal waters. That place is my Unraveling Together community. (Explore more here: https://www.drsamgraber.com/UnravelingTogether )
You can find me on LinkedIn @DrSamGraber, DM me for more info or just to chat about what you’re going through.
If what you’ve heard resonates with you by proxy, so to speak, share this with the woman who is on your mind right now. It just may be exactly what she needs from you…along with a generous serving of “some slack”.