18 October is World Menopause Day; however, this is 2020 and we know that things aren’t quite as expected. So, instead of talking about menopause today I am going to discuss friendship.
Since the end of March when people across the world got used to a new way of living, the words ‘lockdown’ and ‘bubble’ liberally used in conversation, our priorities also changed. As a single person living mainly alone, unless my daughter is fleetingly back from university, this new world has meant a drastic change to my lifestyle with limited opportunities to go out meeting friends and family. What has remained constant in my world is friendship, which has meant that although alone, I have never been lonely.
Just before we went into the initial ‘lockdown’ a close friend was due to stay over but unfortunately couldn’t make it due to the weather – we live c.1 hour drive apart, but the journey includes a notorious stretch of road in the Peak District. So instead of spending a weekend drinking Prosecco and binge watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix we set up a weekly video chat. 7 months on this is the highlight of our week, we often haven’t done much in the week but nevertheless we happily chat away, whilst wearing our dressing gowns, for a couple of hours. We managed a weekend together between lifting of our local lockdowns and Helen brought the most delightful afternoon with her, and I dug out my fancy cake stands to display it. Finally, being in the same space together was the most amazing feeling.
With other friends I have been sharing the joys of listening to Pick of the Pops in our respective houses, having lots of video chats, met up for walks, blackberry foraging, been to a socially distanced gig and music quiz, taking part of a virtual music quiz team, been part of a group of people filming themselves dancing in their lounge for a music video, met up for lunch, had a friend drop off passata from a local deli when I couldn’t find any on the supermarket shelves, a friend pop by for a socially distanced coffee when they were working in the area and plenty of lengthy telephone calls with my sister.
True friends are always there for you, which brings me back to menopause. For many the symptoms of the menopause can at times feel completely unbearable and like they are never going to end. Your friends are always there to support you, talk with you, offer potential solutions to help especially if they are going through or have been through the menopause, and cheer you up knowing exactly what to say at the right moment.
On World Menopause Day take the time to appreciate those who are always there for you.
Love, Jane x