It happens to us all
So the college reunion last weekend with 10 beauty therapists, many not in the industry any more, was a huge success. One of those events that you get yourself all worked up about and then find everything just slots in to how it used to be.
Our class was very close. There were two groups of Hair and Beauty students on the three year course. On our first day in September 1984, 32 young 17 and 18 year old would be beauty therapists gathered in a hairdressing salon at Weston Super Mare College and divided ourselves up in to two groups. We were the ‘A’s’. Most of us didn’t know anyone else at all, so it was quite random how we sorted ourselves out. Some lived locally in the Weston and Burnham area, while others, like me, had got full grants to live away, and were from Gloucester, Stroud, Exeter and even Newquay! Remember that this was the time when there were no other colleges available. Well before the industry really exploded, and every main college started to run courses in beauty and holistic therapies. When we were at college there were no gel nails, spray tans, laser hair removal or mineral make up. In fact french nail polish wasn’t even taught and Aromatherapy was an alternative medicine, and needed to be studied as a self funded ‘extra’. Just look at the tired dated blankets and old couches and trollies we had!
The course was ‘full on’ and very full time. None of this signing up for a full time course but actually it’s only three days. This was five days a with two late nights for clinics each week. We were in each others pockets for a very long time. Late teens, early twenties, doing what you do when you are young. Full of hairspray and sparkly tops with shoulder pads, those were the ‘clubbing days’. Black Tower wine and Lambrusco before you went out, and racing to get to the night club early to get free entry on a Thursday night. Staying out until 2am then falling into college for a business studies class the next morning!
Those were the days!
Many of us kept in touch after finishing college, some going in to beauty salons, others followed different paths. As time went on, we began to loose touch, it was after all nearly 30 years ago. Then I discovered Face Book and although I often slate it for it’s negativity and energy draining posts, if used well and with care, amazing things can happen. For instance, I reconnected with Jacqui in the most weird but synchronistical way. Thats another story, and a spooky one at that! For the past three or four years, most of us have been Face Book friends, some using it more than others, but still able to contact each other without even having addresses and phone numbers. How times have changed, but this has enabled us all to connect and get together in person.
It was as if 28 years hadn’t passed at all. Except there were more stories, and the usual questions like, ‘what does your husband/partner do then?…..and ‘how old are your children?’ and in my case…. ‘How old is Bob?’ !
I’m sure that we were all checking out each others wrinkles, and I was looking to see who had taken time to paint their toe nails. I hadn’t! Oops! Some haven’t had a facial since leaving college, while others only go to a salon for what they consider an ‘essential’ which is eyebrow waxing! Not me. I’ll do my own and save money, but I do have regular facials and a massage every four to six weeks. Some have acupuncture, others have Bowen, one has trained in that too. Some still cut hair, another who couldn’t be with us, has moved to Lanzarote and has a her own beauty business. Some are married and many have children.
We all had followed different paths, but the common thread throughout the afternoon was the ‘M’ word.
Some were in it, others starting, some with hot flushes, others with joint aches. Discussions ranged from how bad the mood swings were and how sporadic periods have become. It was refreshing to hear from a peer group that we all had the same, but varying degrees of symptoms. Our bodies had altered with age, some had changed through child birth, breast feeding and weight fluctuations, but the common thread was the menopause.
Although it was amusing to hear all the stories, it was also refreshing to know that hip pain is being endured by a few, mood swings were also quite common. Personally I don’t have the hot flushes, but some were experiencing those too. We seem to have jumped from discussions 28 years ago about cellulite, boyfriends and who passed their driving test first, to how difficult teenagers are, how irritating selfies can be, and how bad the menopause is. A very interesting change of topic!
It’s good to know we are not alone. Women have been going through the menopause for …. ever! Although we now have the ‘peri menopausal’ term, which, to me means….
‘Any of the symptoms below, for anything up to 10 years (TEN YEARS!) until you haven’t menstruated for a whole year’.
Hot Flushes (or ‘flashes as I’m seeing it written these days’)
Heavy periods and possible clotting
Scanty light, but lengthy periods
Loss of Libido
So far I have been lucky. No hot flushes, just very light, but lengthy periods. Mood swings? I guess so. More like weepy PMS than raging anger, and I did have the continued hip pain, which I am very pleased to say has improved immensely since taking the Sizzling Minerals. Recently I have started become the first UK stockist of Tazeka Aromatherapy oils and the Wise Woman blend is, I have to say, quite amazing! To save you having to get it shipped from the U.S, you can purchase from me – £29.50
Recently having started to embrace the menopause as a time of change, I am much better equipped to deal with whatever it throws at me, knowing that although there is a standard list of symptoms, it does depend on the individual and their own personality as to how these little things manifest, and how you deal with them. What works for one may not work for another, but the underlying fact is….
This is a time of change. This is a time to embrace the wisdom you have and the life you are leading. Yes, you may have more lines and wrinkles, but hey, we have creams for that! We have evolved after all. The industry is very well equipped and we have things to help. Thank heavens we weren’t going through the menopause in the 80s when we hardly knew about many of these products or treatments. So try different things like acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage, home care oils, mineral supplements, knicker magnets, and good old mindfulness and meditation.
Find what works for you, but you have to go through it.
It’s why you were born a woman.
It’s part of the package.