Midlife and menopause is having a podcast boom at the moment, with more and more women talking about a topic that “no one is talking about”. Which is why, when I heard about On My Last Eggs with Rachel New, my eyes may have rolled a bit.
As I’ve said before, I love podcasts and have several that I listen to religiously. However, you may have noticed there wasn’t a single midlife lifestyle listed in my top podcasts for 2020. That’s because I find most of them a bit… worthy… I often feel I’m being preached at, rather than invited into an interesting conversation.
Now of course, after my own experiences – wanting to jump into the Thames, then under a train, having a breakdown in a pub – I know midlife and menopause is no joking matter. And yes, we must talk about it. As I told Louise Minchin (sorry, couldn’t resist!), we almost have a duty to the next generation to talk about the bad times.
But if I’m giving up a half-hour or hour to be told how to live my life, I’ll head to Canterbury Cathedral each week and at least I’ll have the beautiful choir singing to soften the blow.
And if they’re not worthy, then they’re flogging something. Often something expensive that I can get from the host’s website with a special discount. Or it’s a lifestyle, where I can be the chief executive of my very own six-figure company, have no cat hairs on the sofa and we’ll all sit around the dinner table discussing our emotions and saying how much we value each other …
On My Last Eggs – get it?
On My Last Eggs’s title, however, intrigued me: factually true and punny enough to raise a wry smile – the same aim I had in choosing the name 50Sense. Not a mention of being magnificent, feisty, fearless, ageless… I’m none of those things and after seven years of perimenopause and 12 months of Covid-19, I don’t identify with that. I just want to live a good, happy, healthy life (with the odd vice every now and then).
Nope, I’m not going to jump in a freezing cold lake at 3am. I don’t care how marvellous and live it will make me feel.
I also liked that the title didn’t talk about midlife. Menopause can happen at any age and we have to get away from this idea of it being an older woman’s thing. That not only does harm to us, with all the stereotypes attached to “older women”, but also to those who go through it at an early age and who find no representation of menopause they can identify with.
But the proof is in the listening, which is why I popped my headphones on while out for my daily constitutional and waited to be preached at.
So I wasn’t really expecting poppy music and a host who basically said: “I don’t understand menopause,” instead of using their Q&As to show off their own knowledge.
The first episode of On My Last Eggs is an easy-to-understand discussion of menopause with gynaecologist Amanda Tozer and because Rachel is honest about what she knows and doesn’t, I learnt a few things, too, as she asked the questions I wanted to ask.
Plus I did have a big smile when halfway through, the Pick of the Pops theme tune came on and Rachel gave a chart rundown of the top five menopause changes, with this week’s number one – body odour!
The only part I didn’t like: being told how millennials will change menopause. Because – and I’m even going to do an inspirational whoop here – our generation is changing it right now, On My Last Eggs!
Menopause like it is
Since then, there has been a mix of celeb menopausallers (yes, that’s a word now) and experts, sharing experiences, advice and laughs.
Lots of laughs.
Despite the bleak subjects, there is always at least a smile, if not a good old chuckle, because laughter is the best medicine. It’s true. And it saves having to reapply your mascara if you laugh instead of cry.
What I like most about On My Last Eggs is it is not at all aspirational or go-getting. There are no: “Yay women!” or: “Menopause can be the best time EVAH!!!!” Subjects such as vaginal dryness get the respect they need, with no holding back on how horrific menopause can be. Menopausal women need facts and honest information so we can make the right choice for us about the treatment we require and how we get through this time.
When I’m having a bad menopause day, I don’t want to be “inspired” by someone because that leaves me feeling even worse about the fact I feel like I can’t even leave the sofa. I want someone to listen and share and empathise and make me feel better.
We may have that with On My Last Eggs…
Have you listened? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.