Humor, Menopause, Soul Homework

Your Own Little Masterpiece

The one-year anniversary of entering menopause will be next month, which means I haven’t had a menstrual period in two years.

My book is about my five-year journey through perimenopause and how I felt completely unprepared when it began. However, it is also my way of starting a conversation about perimenopause and menopause, as well as reducing the stigma associated with them. The stigma was a big reason I felt unprepared six years ago.

2017- In the middle of perimenopause

I feel much better now that I’ve been in menopause for a year than I did when I was in perimenopause. I’ve gained 30 pounds, primarily as a result of my antidepressant, but I’m okay with it. I had a moment this summer where I wanted to cry as I looked down at my larger belly. Then I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a migraine or a hot flash. Then I laughed, pinched that belly, and went about my business.

In my life, I’ve found a happy medium, which means I’ve let go of long-held beliefs and a value system that didn’t work for me. In terms of awakening, this year has been unlike any other.

Two months into menopause, November 2020

This isn’t to say that now that I’m in menopause, everything is rainbows and unicorns. I have my fair share of bad days. I’m not a fan of toxic positivity, so please don’t take this as such. But I felt like shit for a long time, and I frequently vented about it on this public platform. It’s only right that I share when I’m in a good place. And now that I’m feeling better, I have the patience to do the things I didn’t have the energy or mental well-being to do during perimenopause.

The other day, I was watering this girl:

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Meet Fern, the fiddle leaf fig

“You and I aren’t that different,” I told her. Take a look at us! We did it. “Better than before.”

She is one of two fiddle leaf figs that live in our home.

Doesn’t she look lovely? You’d never guess she was on the verge of dying last summer.

I’d taken her outside on the patio to enjoy the sunshine when, unbeknownst to me, a mosquito service we were using came to spray our yard, and the spray got on Fern’s leaves. I discovered brown spots on her leaves a week later.

She’d been in and out of existence for the rest of the summer.

Just like I was.

I determined not to give up on her.  I chose to ignore brown leaves.  I made certain she was well-fed and watered. I showered her with sunlight. I sang to her and played her music. I ignored the experts in favor of trusting my instincts.

Then something incredible happened.

She came back to life.

I’ve received a lot of advice on how to care for fiddle leaf figs since becoming a plant enthusiast:

Make sure you don’t move them!

Rotate the pot once a week!

Give them the same amount of water every week!

Allow for proper drainage!

Allow them plenty of natural light!


Two months before entering menopause, July 2020

Fern has lived in almost every room in our home.

She has been sprayed with mosquito repellent.

She’s never been rotated; at least not on purpose.

She never gets the same amount of water, and she’s never near a window with a lot of natural light.

But just take a look at her!

She’s lush, green, and majestic. She’s her own little masterpiece.

Nine months after entering menopause, June 2021

It made me think about perimenopause and menopause in the same way.

There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all guidance or care.

Not all of us require the same amount of water, sunlight, or rotation each week.

Every being is unique.

Each of us heals in a unique way.

Each of us must choose a healing path that works best for us in our own time.

There is no doctor, book, or plant expert on the planet who can predict how long this stage of your life will last.

Grow on your own timetable.

August 2021

And one day, you’ll be your own little masterpiece as well.

32 thoughts on “Your Own Little Masterpiece”

  1. Awww Kari! You got me this morning! This tugged at and filled my heart at the same time.
    I love that both you and Fern are thriving! I have a gig at home that might just need YOUR care; I’m afraid to see it’s condition when I arrive home late tonight.

    On another earth saving note, those mosquito soaring services are not so friendly to the birds, bees or butterflies. We got a Dynatrap to help with the pesky biting critters and it works pretty darn good. I need to blog about it.

    Anyhoo-I’m so happy that you’re being more gentle with yourself; this is something I’m also working on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a plant hospice, so if you have a plant in need of help, I am willing. 🙂

      No, they are not. We will never use them again. We had planned to get a Dynatrap this year, but our mosquitoes weren’t as bad this summer due to the drought.

      Being kind with yourself is SO hard, isn’t it? Keep working on it, and I will too. XOXO

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bloom on your own schedule…. I love it.
    That being said, menopause has wrecked me. Weight gain, fatigue, lack of energy, hot flashes, joint pain, belly fat, face flushes, … body is not my own and I haven’t felt like myself in 5 years. It’s a cruel thing being a woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is very telling. Just look at Fern. I feel like maybe I need to be rotated sometimes – hee hee. Seriously great parallels between a person’s journey and that of a plant. I’m thinking even when we don’t get we need, we somehow manage to get through it all and look fantastic. Of course how much better is it when we get what we need? Searching out our own path takes energy and dedication, but it’s possible. You look great in all of these pics. So happy for you that you are feeling better – that’s the goal, right? If I felt lousy all the time – yikes. That’d be a disaster for the people in my bubble. Love the light shining in through the window in the last pic – very artistic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps you DO need to be rotated?? Maybe we all do, lol.

      You make an excellent point regarding how feeling bad affects the people in your bubble. Yes, exactly. So much of this past year and my healing has been for the benefit of my family as much as myself.


  4. Thanks for writing about the “unmentionable.” I found perimenopause much more difficult than menopause. I had migraines, hot flashes, night sweats and I couldn’t sleep more than two or three hours a night. UGH. I’m thankful to be on the other side. I’m glad you and fern look so happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this so much! I love seeing the pictures of you from before and now, you look so happy and healthy. You are the light that fern needed, and the one that I needed as well. You are doing so well, and your light is shining so bright!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great to start convos… about all things. Mine is telling 20-somethings that pubes go grey… cause no one prepared me for that!!

    I didn’t experience any peri or menopause symptoms. But I had a scare this year when I had a full period out of nowhere… 5 yrs after my last. Fortunately, all is fine – it was some weird fluke. But the pelvic biopsy triggered some sort of horrible primal pain reaction that I hope never to experience again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s something I haven’t heard before; gray pubic hair! It’s funny you bring that up because a pubic hair discussion is in my book. So this feels very full circle. 🙂

      I experienced what I thought was a period this summer, five years after my last! It turned out it was something I required surgery for (not a period), but I’m all good now.

      I know how painful an in-office biopsy can be. I’m glad everything is fine.


      1. I’m glad you’re okay too!!

        I’ve also been stunned to see some of my eyelashes starting to go grey. But that’s far less upsetting than pubes and is happening far later in life.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve never heard of any other body hair changing color as we age. This is fascinating to me. Of course, this could be common knowledge and just another part of the stigma I mentioned in the post.


      3. Could be because I was a natural blond. My pubic hair went grey in my early 40s. Eyelashes just started, at 58. Grey arm hairs started appearing a few years ago. Facial hair.. eyebrows, chin, and moustache areas, are also rapidly converting from black to bright white.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this post. It has been so great to see you find your way to greater health and happiness. I have some similar belly issues, and I’m handling them the same way you are. I would so. much rather be fat and.happy than thin and miserable. I am so glad you’ve found migraine relief. I’m still having them, but nothing like I once was. I’m figuring out how to take better care of my body. When I do have one now, I can often pinpoint choices I made that contributed to it. I’ve begun thinking of water as my preventative.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kari, this is just the absolute sweetest post. I am so glad you aren’t struggling with migraines like you were. That’s really, really wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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