Saanvi’s story: Menopause made me reconsider my life choices

My menopause has only just begun. Physically, it has been okay, given that I’m relatively healthy. The main issue for me has been a sense of regret. I’m a successful lawyer and have always put my career first. I’m also single, which isn’t common for women my age in India. Over the last 20-odd years, I’ve seen most female colleagues leave. It starts with a boyfriend, then a wedding, then babies come along, and it’s time for the farewell party. Even when their partners are in the same profession, in most instances, the woman is the one giving up her career.

While I was happy with the choices I made, somewhere deep down I think I felt like I still had time – you hear about women having kids well into their forties now. Call it stupid, but it never occurred to me that I was running out of time. When my periods started to change, I was filled with – I hate the word – regret. I’ve traveled the whole world and had amazing experiences. It feels silly to regret anything. I started seeing a therapist – grateful that I have access to such things – and she’s helping.

There are times I wish I could take a break from work. For now, though, I’m reminding myself that these were my choices; and they were good choices – that a child or partner doesn’t define you. I mean, I can still find a partner, and maybe also adopt. I am working on my mental space and giving myself room to understand this sense of loss. I like that word better than regret.

Saanvi, 47 — New Delhi, India | Find her story at page 56