Tag Archives: Menopause

Just Over Yonder: A Poem for Menopause and Other Times Too


Just Over Yonder

As I went through The Great Pause, I kept asking older women about it.

“Menopause? That was ages ago! I’ve forgotten,” they’d reply cheerfully.

Their responses were happy but not helpful.


Their forgetfulness inspired me to start this blog, so I could encourage others.

Yes, menopause, among other maladies, can bring on gloom and self-doubt.

But raise a glass to the tincture of time!

Sometimes, it takes patience. Ya just gotta wait.

A new you is sprouting!


I wrote this poem for my friend June Cotner. June, who’s the editor  of thirty anthologies and counting, sends out a call for submissions and that gets the words spinning. “Just Over Yonder” will appear in BACK TO JOY: Little Reminders to Help Us Through Tough Times  (October, 2014 by Andrews McMeel Publishing). Pre-orders of Back to Joy are available now.


Flying Up the Stairs: Menopausal Arthritis (and a Book Giveaway!)


Phyllis Two

A post by Phyllis Rickel-Wong, author of  Flying Up the Stairs!  What You Need to Know About Menopausal Arthritis to Break Free:

I am not quite sure when exactly the change happened.

No, not “The Change,” but rather the change in my body’s physical strength!

Right around menopause, though, my body was undergoing subtle changes that I was not aware of; hence, the reason that I did not take action then to correct them.

At one point in perimenopause, I had been walking for hours nearly each day (in an attempt to lose weight through the “calories in – calories out” rule).That is, any calories consumed by me such as a heaping plateful of spaghetti topped with bolognese sauce, I would then work off through a couple of intense hours of very fast walking.

This was precisely calculated to burn off my guilty culinary pleasures!

Well, the calories in – calories out equation didn’t work.

Not only did I not lose weight this way, but I also was not really exercising my body in a way that would bring strength to the muscles in my legs and feet, and knees and ankle joints. You might be wondering how can this be, and I’ll explain shortly.

It was sometime a few years later, right around menopause, when I began to discover that something was wrong.

I simply began to stumble and fall on more than one occasion without warning!

The last time this happened, I had turned around to enthusiastically wave goodbye to family as I descended a small sloping sidewalk. Turning front to continue walking to our car, I went instead careening through the air! I sailed right into their yard, and landed squarely in a hedge of rose bushes!

So, this brings me to the actual topic of my post, and that is “menopausal arthritis,” or the joint pain that is associated with the menopause!

It turns out that the supportive athletic shoes and the incredibly comfortable clogs that I was wearing didn’t allow my muscles to really work! Weakened muscles led to a gait that produced knee pain, and what I thought was arthritis! Also, my inability to lose weight, was related to a changed metabolism that is actually associated with developing osteoarthritis!

My husband, a martial arts master, developed a program of exercises to strengthen my muscles and tendons, and I began to use many anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, and supplements.

After healing from my own “menopausal arthritis” (and, indeed achieving a body strong enough to “fly up the stairs!”) I wrote my book so that others might not have to go through what I had in menopause and after. I hope that if you are experiencing joint pain associated with the menopause that my book will help you become pain-free!


GIVEAWAY: Phyllis has kindly offered one Friend for the Ride reader a copy of her book, Flying Up the Stairs! What You Need to Know About Menopausal Arthritis to Break Free. For a chance to win, enter a comment by June 30. U.S. and Canada only. Thanks!

Phyllis Rickel-Wong is a researcher and writer in the fields of health, medicine, and psychology. She has a long-standing interest in alternative and complementary medicine, and more recently, integrative medicine. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan, and her Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from San Francisco State University.

Ms. Rickel-Wong is currently writing a series of books to address physical and psychological health in menopause, of which “Flying Up the Stairs!” is her first. Through her work base and company, Transforming Menopause, Inc. in San Ramon, CA, she hopes to help women transform the experience of menopause into a “Welcomed Change!”

Photo of Phyllis: The photo credit goes to Herb Wong (Phyllis’ s husband) who had to assume a somewhat “supine” position in the landing of the Walnut Creek Library’s stairs to compensate for their lack of a sophisticated camera lens that would have rendered him a whole lot less amusing to library  patrons.


The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones–A Book Giveaway


Sandra Loh

In your senior year of high school, when you have attitude piled on attitude, your behavior is dismissed.  “Senioritis,” everyone says.

But when you’re a menopausal woman, if you throw hissy fits and behave badly, you’re not so quickly excused.

Sandra Loh writes of her bad, bad year in her new book, The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones.


From an affair to the end of her marriage to dealing with daughters to caring for an eccentric dad, she tells it all, and throws in her menopausal woes to boot!

Here’s the description from the publisher:

In The Madwoman in the Volvo Loh speaks hilariously and honestly about her life as a mother, a daughter, and an artist. She recounts her journey through a tumultuous time of life, trying to maintain appearances during an epic hormonal—and that means physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual—change. The upbeat conclusion: it does get better.

Along with her  own madcap menopausal adventures and musings, Loh  does a superb job of analyzing the bible of menopause, Christiane Northrup’s The Wisdom of Menopause.

A writer and performer, Sandra Tsing Loh is a contributing editor to The Atlantic and host of the syndicated radio show The Loh Down on Science.  She lives in Pasadena, California.

Giveway:  The publisher has sent Friend for the Ride a galley copy of The Madwoman in the Volvo.  Post a comment by June 25 saying you’d like to win. I’ll choose a winner with the random integer generator (which is how I always choose the winner).


A Shadow of My Former Self



Menopause messes with your mind…

Whirls and twirls those old brain waves

And shoots out changes in attitude, perspective, and personality.

Some changes just happen.

Some are more deliberate, prompted by an increase in zest, courage, and confidence.

A week ago, my friend Judy Brown sent me this quotation about conscious changes:

“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want
to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”

- Deepak Chopra

As a younger woman, I might not have gotten this.

I thought you had to react in the old ways.

If someone makes you mad, yell. If someone hurts your feelings, cry. If someone refuses to cooperate, sulk.

But I tried Deepak’s advice this week.

It works!

Keeping it up will be the challenge.

But this leopard is willing to change her spots.

I want to live as a taller, more reflective and loving shadow of my former self.

What about you?

Any techniques for tossing past ways of handling life and embracing new ones?

For another post on menopausal change, visit the smiling, flying leopard on this post.


I took this shadow selfie on the beach at Bald Head Island last October.