Of Snakes and Butterflies

Of Snakes and Butterflies

A few days ago, celebrating another one of our 50-something birthdays, a group of us were sitting in a friend’s kitchen drinking wine, when Cat said:

“OK girls, look at my face, I’m not sure if you can see the results yet or not, but I’m exfoliating.”

Despite her name, Cat is not feline-like in any way. After surviving and recovering from not only a bout with a cancerous ovarian tumor, and the botched surgery, and less than nurturing recovery care; but also a humiliating incident of sexual harassment from her employer, this military wife, and mother of two boys, cut her hair, went from dishwater to platinum blonde, left her secretarial job, got her real estate license and the former Catherine Louise, christened herself forever after: Cat. She reinvented herself and she is fabulous!

Cat is, most succinctly put, the CATalyst in our group of seven friends. She starts sentences with “OK girls, were going to talk about…” or “I have a story we need to discuss…” She’s even been known to bring 7 copies of an agenda with bulleted topics of discussion to the table where we’ve gathered for cocktails.

I admire this woman for what she’s accomplished, and how she handles the bumps in her life. Also, as a writer, I’m fascinated by the character that is Cat. As I wallow and whine in the throes of my hormonal premenopausal roller coaster, I find myself channeling her changeling spirit.

Menopause, or The Change, after all, is pretty much your body reinventing itself from perky, energetic, child bearer to solid, steady, wisdom bearer – or at least stereotypically, that’s how it goes. But being a woman (and a writer) and needing to talk about things, and share my feelings, good, bad, awful, dreadful, hot, cold… I probably have over dramatized this natural process. We see it in nature all the time – when it grows too large, a snake simply sheds its skin. A caterpillar, preferring privacy, undergoes metamorphosis in private, full-body, custom couture.

I have learned quite a bit from my ‘sistahood.’ They have literally changed my life, and without going too far out on a limb, I can honestly say that I have changed theirs too. Whether for good or for bad, change is hard and change is exciting, but more importantly change simply is. While my ‘change’ will not be as outwardly noticeable as literally shedding skin or emerging from a cocoon, like a snake, or a butterfly – or like Cat – it will be good – eventually.

OK girls, look at me, I’m not sure if you can see the results yet or not, but I’m changing.


  • Posted January 20, 2006 11:55 am 0Likes
    by Zee

    This is a great post about change. Although I am not near The Change, it really hits home for me. One must start from the inside if one wants to see a change on the outside.

  • Posted January 21, 2006 11:32 am 0Likes
    by Sue Richards

    MF,Change is such a funny reality. Since my dads wee sperm sacked my moms wee egg, I've been changing. Funny that 47 year's later, I start to notice.I've added you to my Club Meno links. Thanks for weighing in on my insecurity of meno blogging.Sue Richards

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