Friday, March 12, 2010


I love this word. It has power. Hearing it makes my thoughts slow down as though by command. After all, this is one of those words that bring an image of resting to mind. How odd that the word can be a verb; a word of action.

I like the oppositeness of this: to pause is to take action to stop.

Few of us take advice well. Suggesting that someone pause before they do or say something is a gentle way to offer advice. My favourite is to hear from a dear friend that “maybe you should sleep on that”. I have learned to recognize this means I may not be heading in the right direction. Pausing, then, can save me from making a decision I would regret. Sometimes, though, pausing helps me to become more firm in my decision. Either way, I know that I am better for that moment of hesitation.

As women, our lives are often filled with running. The many errands we accomplish each day have to be noted, remembered and acted on. All this while still managing the myriad of tasks required in our daily lives.

Who has time to pause? If we do, is it constructive pausing or more of a “Phew” as we rest a bit with a cup of tea and book? I see a moment of rest as very different from a moment of pause. One is passive; the other active. I rest to relax my brain; I pause to refresh my thinking.

“Pause” is genderless but I love that this is a root of “menopause”. As a woman of a certain age, the great, broad impact of menopause on my life is somewhat overwhelming. It’s a time of change; to my body; my career; my relationships; my confidence. In many ways, this is a crucial time to pause and refresh my thinking.
Much of what is happening is good for me so it’s easy to overlook whatever negative changes may be happening. My life is getting better in its richness; relationships are becoming deeper. With the kids gone, there is more time for my husband and I to do what we like and explore life as never before. There is a new playfulness to our lives.

All of the good changes have been written about by so many. Why then do we collectively dwell on the negative physical changes when we think of menopause? As we baby boomer women take over the world just in numbers alone, we certainly should focus on the pluses of achieving this age.

Even so, just as at any time in our life, it’s critical that we not overlook our health as we “Pause”. I have found it too easy to generally lump every change under that vast umbrella and to ignore things that should not be ignored.

As we head into April, make a promise to yourself to have that checkup; take that walk; eat consciously; and take time for those you love.

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