Category Archives: Mood

Posts about moodiness

What the Psychologists Say and a Giveaway!



A few years ago, my friend Lisa and I led a women’s retreat on the subject of happiness.  That’s when I realized there are people who study the subject officially and write books about it.  Fun!

While looking at happiness literature, I found this neat little title:

 Here are ten of my favorite tips from the book (although I like all of them).

Secret 12:  Have realistic expectations.

Secret 22:  Pay attention.  You may have what you want.

Secret 34:  It’s not what happened.  It’s how you think about what happened.

Secret 38:  Share of yourself.

Secret 49:  Be a peacemaker.

Secret 51:  Make your work a calling.

Secret 59:  Be Your own fan.

Secret 71:  Don’t accept television’s picture of the world.

Secret 82:  Don’t dwell on unwinnable conflicts.

And here’s a good one if you’re feeling extra wrinkly today:

Secret 98:  You have not finished the best part of your life.

Author and psychologist David Niven does a great job expounding on each secret with succinct  explanations, suggestions, and easygoing examples.  And he backs each secret up with psychological research.

Yes, a lot of the points ARE really simple, but I’m kind of slow to get some of this stuff.  It helps me to read it in happy black and white. I like to pick this book up sometimes when I’m feeling grumpy or at loose ends, and you will too.  That’s why I’m offering it as a GIVEAWAY.  Post a comment below or send me an email saying  you’d like to be entered in the giveaway.  I’ll choose a winner at random on March 8.

Photo at the top of the post was taken by daughter Kath  at a  funky sandwich shop in San Diego this week.

Photo below is my daughter Laura, the school psychologist, at her graduation from Northeastern University last spring.  (Since Laura spent seven years studying psychology as an undergrad and graduate student, I’m taking this motherly opportunity to post her picture on this post related to the study of the mind and human behavior.)

The book is One Hundred Simple Secrets of Happy People:  What Scientists Have Learned and How You can Use It.  David Niven, Ph.D.  Harper One, 2006.

Paper Plate Menopause Lady: A Craft Project


Phew!  My friend Lisa Flinn and I just turned in a manuscript to Abingdon Press for a book of children’s programs: crafts,song, stories, games, explanations, snacks, prayers.  I’m beat, but not too beat to write up one more craft, a craft just for you!  PAPER PLATE MENOPAUSE LADY!

Those old time paper plates with the fluted edges aren’t very good for serving food, but they’re great for crafts.  Google paper plate crafts + images to see paper plates turned into everything but a workable kitchen sink.  So before I give myself a break from fluted paper plates, I have a craft for you.   She’s easy.  She’s fun.  AND she will help you express your moods kindly and gently, so family and friends will have fair warning..

Color your face when you are happy and the hormones are rolling you merrily along.

Color your face when the winds of  the Great Pause are turning that smile upside down.

No need to add age spots or wrinkles, but do color or glue/tape/staple on some hair.

Add a hanger so you can wear Paper Plate Menopause Lady around your neck.

 Simply flip her to the mood that suits you at the moment.  If you like, say this poem to all you meet, by way of explanation:

If Menopause Lady sports a frown,

That means I’m feeling oh so down,

When Menopause Lady’s mouth is up,

Life’s  as happy as a  buttercup!

I’d love to see your Paper Plate Menopause Lady when she’s finished!  Do send photos!

PS. If you’re on the younger side, consider making a Paper Plate Menopause Lady or a Paper Plate Pregnancy Lady.  You’ll have to write your own poem, though.

Around the Year in Children’s Church will be out in about six months. I’ll send an update when the book is available.  Although it’s written for Children’s Church (creative programing for young kids while adults are attending the worship service),the ideas also work well for Sunday school or preschools.

Menopausal Spinning



There’s the good kind.

The Tilt-a-whirl, if you’re a ride person like me.

The salad spinner my daughter Kath swears by.

The cycling class my daughter Laura loves.

Then there’s the bad sort of spinning.

The car that does a 180 on an icy road.

The roulette wheel if you’re a compulsive gambler.

The bout of vertigo that knocked me flat last winter.

And there’s another kind of spinning that can be good or bad.

Mind spinning.

A spinning mind is great when you’re working on an invention or plans to redo the family room or a Jeopardy question, but when your mind spins with worry or anger or self-doubt, it’s the pits.

A few years ago, I read an article that said women tend to let a problem spin and spin, which can lead to some pretty miserable days and nights and sometimes weeks, months, and years.  Men, on the other hand, let the problem tumble in their brain for a shorter amount of time, solve it or come to terms with it, and then give it the old heave ho.


That’s an “admit the men might be right in this area” kind of hmm.

Menopausal moodiness can turn a girl into an unhappy top.  It’s like the hormones jump onto the thoughts, and together, they go round and round and round and round, and they don’t know how to …


To those of you not there yet or in the midst, beware the spinning top!  Even if you can’t stop it, you can sometimes slow it down by recognizing that menopausal moodiness exacerbates negative and troublesome thoughts.

Meditation, exercise, rest,engaging conversations, meaningful work and projects, and happy diversions can help.  And then there’s always a cold beer with a male buddy in a funky pub.  (Well the pub doesn’t actually have to be that funky.)

Ask him if his mind ever twirls ad infinitum with negative and worrisome thoughts.  If he says, “No,” offer to buy him another beer and see if he’ll share a few testosterone laced trade secrets.  Do let us know!

The Top:  When I was a little girl, my great-aunt kept just a few toys at her house.  They toys lived there;  my brother  and I were not allowed to bring them home.  My favorite was this Mickey Mouse top. When I grew up, I got brave enough to ask her for it.  Now it’s one of my finest treasures, rusty spots and all.

Guest Post and a Giveaway: Bring Out Your Inner Dragon!


A guest post by my friend Minnilue :

Finally– a holiday that embraces menopausal women.  The Chinese New Year starts on January 23. Get out your noise-makers ladies, the Year of the Dragon is almost upon us. In Chinese Astrology, dragons are special and revered, so wipe out your western view of Smaug or Puff. These dragons are a symbol of power and wisdom.

I searched online, and found a western definition of Menopause that called it “a normal phase in a woman’s life.” How boring-sounding is that? I don’t know about you, but menopause was anything but normal to me.  I prefer the Chinese medicine definition I found that said menopause is “a natural change that creates an imbalance in the body.”

I had a washing machine that worked well for years and years. It washed baby diapers, shin guards, jammies, occasional rocks and Ninja Turtles. Suddenly one day it bucked, bumped, and spun out of control–leaking water all over the floor. The red light flashed “IMBALANCE” over and over—“Danger Will Robinson!” After a day or so, I got it to work (well, at least on the Delicate cycle. The Normal cycle never worked again. ) After another year, it finally stopped. I just got a new washer. It washes and behaves well, but without the thrill of the bang and clang, washing clothes is “normal and boring” again.

You have to admit that a fire-breathing dragon, like menopause, does lend itself to drama and aura. Hot flashes—once they start, there’s no going back. Mood swings? “The dragon made me do it.” But hang in there. One day menopause will be over, and your body will be back in better balance–whatever that means.

Lucky Envelope Giveaway:  For a chance to win a Good Luck Chinese Envelope, please tell the Dragon about a change you fantasize happening in your life (or a friend’s life) in the New Year OR what dragon in literature or mythology is your favorite dragon.  Send entry by Friday at noon,E.S.T.  Winners will be chosen at random.

For further reading check out:   and

Read about your animal sign according to birth year:  

The Dragon:  A Google Image search found this handsome dragon here.

Minnilue  lives with her husband, Tom, ‘Fraidy Cat, and a new washer with the Normal cycle. The rest of her life is a combination of Normal cycle and Year of the Dragon.

ghgh 083.JPG