From time to time women in their 30s and 40s tell me they are terrified about growing older. It seems that since our teen years, we have all beenaped with tales about the horrors of aging … especially about menopause. It's as if we are all headed toward an inescapable black hole.

Well, I am here to tell you, it just is not so. Sure menopause can be uncomfortable at times. But compared to feeling altogether miserable for several days a month, and wanting to wage war the week before, “the change” we all go through can be a real change for the better.

In spite of the hype, menopause is not a disease, and aging does not have to be awful. If you look around you, who are apt to be the happiest people you see? Little kids and feisty old ladies. If we let it, aging can help us rediscover some of the fun in life that we've lost in all our cares and aspirations.

So, here are three little secrets about menopause and aging that I am willing to bet no one every told you. Some may be kind of silly, but it just shows how strong the bad rumors can be about what can be a vibrant time of life.

  1. You will never have to shave your legs again. Yes, this is one of the silly things. But it's still kind of cool. One more worry gone, one more thing to strike off you to do list. And if you walk or work out, you are never too old to have great legs.
  2. The need for status begins to lose some of its power. As with other times of life, it is hard sometimes not to feel like you should have accomplished more, or been more successful in life. But as you continue getting older, your views on success and failure can change. You may begin to value your experiences more than your resume, or revel in a healthy and loving family over more fleeting achievements.
  3. You discover that people like you for who you are. At some point as we get older, we finally realize that we are not our occupation. We may still be committed to our work, but we begin to see more of a life beyond it. And we discover that people may not have had nearly as many expectations of us as we thought they did. We may find instead that they liked us all along, just for who we are.

If you do experience unpleasant symptoms when you reach menopause, by all means, discuss them with your doctor. But until then, there is surely no need to worry that some horrible future awaits you. Menopause could surprise you and be one of the most productive times of your life.

Do you have any stories to share about happy surprises as a part of aging? Any new adventures you decided to finally explore? Please share with us, we would love to hear from you.