Groove. A slang definition of groove is an enjoyable time or experience. Or, as from the fictional “Stella,” your mojo, your vibe, that which makes you click, tick, thrive, survive. Your essence. At times, if you lose your “groove,” you can lose that which helps makes you wake up happy each morning, your compass, your roadmap to life. You may feel if something is missing. “It” may be hard to put a finger on but when “it” is gone, you definitely know it. For me, my groove is the essence that makes me happy and helps me accomplish life with an anticipation of what is yet to come, also helps me to be fearless, adventurous and nurtures my being. In fact, serendipity is one of my groove mantras!
I have experienced some “take you to your knees” things in my life — my father suffering from and dying young of a debilitating horrible, horrible disease; physical abuse in my first marriage; discrimination at work (yup, discrimination is real and more awful than you can imagine if you’ve never been through it); and endometriosis. Yet I survived all of those things, knees wobbly for sure, but I was left standing heading into my 50s pretty darned happy. In fact, I was lovin' life in my late forties! I had figured out some real important stuff, including who I wanted to be, put some tricky relationships in order, got remarried to a sexy-smart-oh-so-yummy-loved-kids-guy who I loved AND really liked! When I was around him, I felt butterflies in my stomach. Ah…real love! Although Stella found her groove in Jamaica, I took my new husband and family TO Jamaica to get my groove on by jumping off the cliffs at Ricks Cafe, dancing on the beach, wearing bikinis, going snorkeling and watching the sun come up each morning, sitting on a lounge chair facing the ocean with a cup of coffee that was so good, it made you want to slap your mama!
I was active, excited, invigorated, alive! Yes, I did dread the every 28 days, but by my late forties, I had learned to manage the nuisance. I had my groove thing goin’ on!
Now just when I was poised to conquer the world, I started going through menopause. Menopause caused me to go to one knee. In fact, I was down on both knees. The hot flashes, memory lapses, vaginal dryness, weight gain, insomnia. Seriously! A lifetime of cramps, and now I was going to go through this this...horror? I cried foul but to no avail. My groove started to elude me. I was in a serious funk. Menopause was sucking away my groove. I felt like a different person...not a person who was happy, sunny and optimistic, but someone whose body was turning her into a unhappy, lethargic, moody pessimist! I was losing control and I wasn’t curious anymore. I found myself existing from one crummy bad feeling to the next.
Menopause is not for sissies or the faint of heart. For those of us who have experienced childbirth free of drugs (only one birth, I learned with the other two...at the first sign of pain, hello…drugs NOW!) you understand what I'm talking about. Most women that I know are strong. We have to be to keep all the balls of life in the air! But now Menopause is a whole ‘nother program. All women will go through it, but HOW we go through it can be a defining time in our lives. In fact, it can affect how we view and live our life for years!
My Mother sailed through menopause as she sailed through her menstrual cycle — pain free and more of a nuisance than anything else. Started at 16, ended at 50, and nary a cramp in between. Wow.
Me, on the other hand, I started my menstrual cycle at 10 years old in the fifth grade. I immediately had cramps. I mean the kind of cramps that aspirin won't help, and every 28 days I knew I would be in bed for at least two days. The kind of cramps that made me miss a band trip to Disneyland when I was in high school. The kind of cramps that made me question if I was being punished for something. When I was 18, I was diagnosed as having endometriosis and that the only real cure was a hysterectomy. Well, what I knew for sure was that I wanted to get married and have children and AFTER that, then I would reassess the situation. I went on to get married and have three beautiful children. Eventually dumped the abuser, and still suffered from cramps and endometriosis.