Menopause and Angel Wings

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Younger--Friend for the Ride--Angel Banner

Angels.

Who wouldn’t want to be one? (Someday, that is.)

Robes that hide stomachs and veiny legs.

Wings that take you wherever you want to go, with no security line hassles.

And you can sing!  (I didn’t make the chorus in fifth grade, which devastated me, and age has done nothing for my vocal tone and range.)

Then of course, there are angels who don’t wear the standard garb. Angels, who appear with invisible halos, to help a girl out.

What’s the kindest thing a stranger ever did for you?

I love this question!

But here’s another one.

What’s the kindest thing you’ve ever done for a stranger?

I’m realizing now, that in the menopause journey, I shrank into myself, some. I became less outgoing and less willing to extend myself to strangers.

Only recently did I, a people lover, figure out this had happened.

But you can’t be an angel, even a sometimes angel, if you hide inside yourself.

But I’m back at it.

I revved up a bit on a flight home from Baltimore yesterday. When the plane landed, the woman next to me thanked me for chatting. She and her mom were flying from Dayton to visit a sister/daughter in North Carolina.

Usually, I barely speak on a plane unless spoken to, as I’m fearful I will lose my reading time.

My seatmate ended her thank you by saying that her mom hadn’t flown since 1968.

Granted I was a tiny angel, but I like to think the mom, who had a long day, found the skies friendly in 2013, in part, because of our conversation.

What about you?

Did your flight into menopause make you more outgoing or did you turn inward?

If you turned inward, any plans to spread your wings again?

Christmas Banner:  My mom, Nancy Kiehne, made the angel banner in 1965 for Divinity Lutheran Church. The rocket is a nod to the space program, which was in full swing.

Birthday:  Happy birthday to loyal blog reader Gail Crane, who owes me another guest post. Her post, “To Be or Not to Be– Grey Hair, That Is”  started a festive conversation.

27 responses »

  1. This is on my mind a lot these days. I’m naturally an introvert, and as I age I become more introverted. I tell myself that’s fine, and I should be comfortable with who I am at this age. However, I hardly ever regret it when I extend myself to others, and am trying to do more of it. As you point out, it can really help someone else, which always feels good.

  2. I was an angel two times but like you, it does not come naturally to me to reach out. But when I do, I am amply rewarded with great one-world kind of feelings!

    I pulled a woman out of the water at my gym when she went into a diabetic coma and in the same gym, I paid for a membership for a person who could not afford it. Then the gym ended up giving me my money back because they decided to comp her membership instead.

    Funny how little it cost me to be an angel! But I did not tell anyone so it feels kind of fun to tell it here.

  3. I have met 2 angels. One who appeared when I locked my son in the car when he was 18 months with my purse with the keys in it. She got Matthew to open the door and after I grabbed him and turned around, she was gone and the parking lot was empty. The other was when our brand new dog ran off from home without his collar and we could not find him anywhere. When I got home from taking the children to school, there she was in our driveway with Howler. She said God told her to come here. I have never seen her before or since.
    Now that I think about it, I don’t think I have ever been an angel to anyone. Does doing the Heimlich maneuver at Wendy’s count? I need to open my eyes and start working on that. Thanks for the prompt.

  4. Happy birthday gail!!!!
    I am an introvert too……and find myself wanting more and more alone time. But i also love people so when i am socializing i am happy. I think it is interesting that when we are struggling and ready to hear a message that angels in all fashions do appear. I like to think i can be one to people too and will work harder on it!!

  5. Love your take on angels and I love the banner! I’m “only” perimenopausal, but I’ll be keeping this in mind as I am a natural introvert!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words.

      Like other aspects of the menopausal journey, I didn’t realize I had become more introverted until just a while ago .Most of all, I wish I had known that a good bit of my self-doubt and gloom was menopause. You may not have the same troubles, but it’s good to be aware. There’s great light on the other side though!

  6. Your seatmates will always remember you for that kindness.

    The last kind thing I did for a stranger was hand over a 20% off coupon to a guy buying an expensive mattress pad at Bed Bath and Beyond. He was very suprised!

  7. There was a time in my life that I had a lot of discretionary income and I constantly did random acts of kindness. Now, I still do the same, but a little less. Right now, this season, my husband and I are focusing on the homeless and we just made Christmas for a 13 yr old girl who needed warm clothes and other things. I love being an angel in training!
    Carol
    http://www.carolcassara.com

    • I’m doing sleeping bags for a Gifts of Warmth program at church this year, but I do like focusing on a specific child other years. Thirteen is such a great age too, as she will really remember your gifts.

  8. I am far from being an angel! I know I need to do way better. I love people but due to work and lack of time and tiredness, I don’t spend enough time doing things for others as I should. One gift I try to give others is just being there for them and listening. And just being friendly in this often cold, impersonal world. I know it isn’t much, but I find just making eye contact with strangers, smiling and saying hello elicits a smile from others. Lets them know they have actually been “seen” by someone. But this post makes me realize I do need to do more. That will be my New Year’s resolution!

  9. Interesting question, Barbara. Thank you. I became more outgoing during and after menopause in regards to my creativity and art business. I started leading workshops and participating in many more art related events and created my line of cards. But I became more introverted as far as friendships go. I have less energy for idyl conversation and more need for silence and going inward. I am learning to accept my need for this space and make room for it.

    Just after I gave birth to my youngest son I was holding him, managing my four year old and pumping gas during a heat wave, all at the same time. An older women appeared out of no where and held the Baby while I got myself together. After my job was complete she handed him back and went on her way. I often wonder if she was a real angel. In that moment I felt supported and cared for as a new mother and was relieved and grateful.

    During one of my art shows, I spent quite a bit of time talking with a woman about my age. She shared the heart wrenching news that her daughter had recently died in a car accident. I also learned that her daughter had loved mermaids. Flipping through my art bin, I found an original painting of one and gave it to her as a gift . I’ll never forget the look in her eyes and how our hearts connected in that moment. Could she have felt supported in her grief in the same way I felt supported as a young mother? Quite possibly.

    Very clearly, we are all in this together and we need each other. We don’t have to be alone… unless we want to be.

    Interestingly enough, the first image in my Women and the Hourglass series was “One day She Woke Up and Discovered She’d Grown Wings” . So there you have it…

    • Marylou!

      Just minutes ago I tired to load your latest Facebook posting onto my Friend for the Ride Facebook page (since you’ve given me permission) and I couldn’t get it to load with the writing to show, no matter how much I compressed it. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

      What sweet stories. And I bet the woman cherishes that mermaid with all her heart!

  10. I like your awareness of engaging/not engaging as we age and I do believe the two correlate. I know I do more for strangers since turning fifty than ever before; praise the harried mother of small kids, leave the server a giant tip, ask an elderly shopper if they want help locating things, etc. As I recall, the younger I was, the less I did.

  11. Very sweet post and lovely thought. Perhaps if we all talked to strangers more there would be more overall kindness, etc. I try to chat in elevators, etc. and often people are shocked that I say hello.Can’t think of any specific incident … . my foggy brain…

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