When it comes to menopause, it’s easy to focus on the negative, from hot flashes to vaginal dryness and painful sex.

But there are some wonderful things that can happen at this time of life, too. The list is long, from not having to deal with monthly cramps or worry about getting pregnant, to gaining certain perspectives you can only obtain from becoming older and wiser.

Here, six women who’ve gone through menopause and reached the other side with grace, grit, and happiness, share what they valued most from the experience.