Leg Hair Part Two: A TMI Post

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WordPress lets bloggers see which posts people are reading. A post on Friend for the Ride that gets viewed almost every day is this one:

A TMI Post: Leg Hair–Score One for Menopause!

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My tone is gleeful in that post. I was shocked and pleased to realize back then that the hair on my legs was barely growing.

But guess what?

My leg hair is back. So that post is, yep, fake news.

So what gives? You aren’t supposed to get something good in menopause and then have it taken away again.

On the bright side, the edge of the bathtub in my new house is a way more comfortable place for shaving legs than the tub in our old bathroom. And I get to look at the lovely window above the tub and some of the treasures that escaped my downsizing project.

Treasures

What about you? Have you noticed a decrease in body hair? Did it go away and come back again?

 

Menopausal Rage: Causes and Solutions

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Shannon Perry, who blogs for genneve, wrote an excellent post on a topic so many of us don’t want to think about or talk about: menopausal rage.

She begins: “One of the thornier aspects of hormonal change during menopause, PMS, pregnancy, etc., is mood, the regulation thereof. In the course of researching this blog and talking to women heading into menopause, I came across story after story from women who found it difficult to “control” their anger. In truth, I learned that it’s less about controlling anger and more about respecting why it’s there and channeling the truth behind it in more productive ways.”

Shannon  goes on to discuss both serotonin, a neurotransmitter, and estrogen, a hormone, and the havoc menopause can bring to the way they work in your body. She explains that the “lack of serotonin makes it far more difficult to cope with the insomnia, hot flashes, short attention span, and all the other symptoms that can make menopause a challenge.” Shannon then gives practical ways you can understand, own, and channel the anger that often comes with menopause.

The post is titled “Menopause and Mood: Why Do We Seem Angrier…or Has It Always Been there?’ Read the post here.

Find more posts by Shannon as well as other great menopause resources  on the genneve website. 

Check out genneve’s products too!

About Shannon Perry: Shannon is the media & marketing director for genneve (www.genneve.com), a personalized digital health platform for women in midlife. She is dedicated to bringing as many voices as possible to the conversation around women’s midlife health to ensure women have the information and resources they need to lead their best, most vibrant lives.

The painting is mine.

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The red on the woman’s face represents the hot bubbling fury of rage. The pink stands for the embarrassment and regret rage can cause. The green is for jealousy or envy that sometimes spark rage. The blue is for sadness and depression, which also can lead to rage. And the gray represents the swirling confusion that menopause can bring. The yellow at the corner of the painting promises the light that comes from understanding and overcoming rage. Thank you Shannon for your tips!

The Ladies Room Door Art Series: Part Forty-two

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From Becca, Viva Mexican Kitchen in Morrisville, North Carolina. Love this bouncy, flouncy lady in pink!

From Susan, a cafe in La Boca, Buenos Aires where they do informal tango shows.


The D’Italie Restaurant in Buenos Aires

Don Alonso Restaurant in Mendoza, Argentina

 

La Cantina in Mendoza. Susan reports that “Cuyanos” means men from the Cuyo Province in Mendoza.

“Cuyanas” are the women from that province.

Susan found this door a thte Salentein Winery in Tupungato, Argentina.

And how about this bathroom set up at the The Andes “Cafe!”

On a more elegant note, you can find this lovely lady at Le Telka Restaurant in Buenos Aires.

And this gentleman.

These door graces La Cuartito Restaurant in Buenos Aires.

Thank you Susan, for your excellent accounting of the bathroom doors of Argentina.

Back on the home front, Cliff took these at a local pool hall. He went with a group of guys in our new neighborhood. What a husband! He goes out drinking with the boys and comes home with photos for me.

That wraps up another edition of our Ladies Room Door Art Series.

Purple Hippos, My Mom, and the Women of Saudi Arabia

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A post by writer, teacher, traveler, and friend Gwen Bellinger:

Last year while visiting my parents, my mother invited me for a lunch with some of her friends. It was here that Barbara first told me she had started a painting class. About six months later, Barbara had a whole collection of paintings. The lively colors and imaginative subjects give her paintings a playful and quixotic feel. My favorite is a bright purple hippopotamus drinking coffee in front of the Burwell School, a famous historical building in Hillsborough. I have many memories sledding down that hill at the school on snow days.

As much as I love this painting for its vibrancy, its quirkiness, and the nostalgia it brings me for childhood, Barbara’s paintings represent something so much more important for me. In the United States, and around the world, there is a stereotype that “empty nesters,” women whose children grow up and move away, are lonely and bored. I have friends who tell me they can’t move away from their home city because it will destroy their mothers. I don’t know their mothers, but it seems slightly offensive they think their mothers have nothing but their children.

In my experience, women have much more to offer. I think my mom was sad when I went to college, and I know she wasn’t thrilled when I moved to India, but I never got the sense that she suffered serious emotional distress when my sister and I left home. In fact, I think she really blossomed in her creative endeavors. She started making jewelry which she sells at the Art’s Council downtown. She, like Barbara, was a great mother, but also had many individual goals and hobbies.

 

Currently I am working as a freelancer. Sometimes I refer to this as “my business” (after all, I am registered as an LLC) and sometimes as “my hustle.” “Hustle” is an apt descriptor as generally I am completing various editing projects for a number of clients, writing, teaching children English in China from midnight until eight in the morning, and then working with adults across the world to help improve their English conversation.

I have one long-time student, Loay, a man in his thirties originally from Syria and currently living in Saudi Arabia. I consider Loay more as a friend than a student and look forward to our twice weekly conversations. Loay is the type of person I wish everyone could meet. He’s incredibly friendly and open-minded and we’ve had conversations about romantic relationships, the future of online learning, and gender relations in the workplace. He can talk about anything.

We recently discussed women and education in the Middle East. Loay is a huge supporter of gender equality. He told me that when he gets married he will work very hard to make sure he can provide for his wife and make her feel like a princess. At the same time, he wants to be very supportive of her and her career goals. “I don’t want to force my wife to be a housewife,” he told me. He wants his wife to be able to chase her dreams and have a sense of purpose in life.

“Arab culture focuses on the success of the domestic life, the family life. Business life comes second,” he told me. Unfortunately, this means many women who are working have a double responsibility. Their primary charge is the home, then their business. Loay believes men have a responsibility to help their partners achieve success in the working world. Some of his friends in Saudi Arabia have helped their wives establish their own businesses.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is reforming the country. This year, women will finally be able to drive.

In a country where women need permission to travel, work, marry, and study, the independence of movement is a huge gain for women’s rights.[1] In January, women were finally allowed to attend soccer matches. The country’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development concluded that the number of women working in the private sector has increased 130 percent between 2012-2016. [2] They now represent 30 percent of the private sector and the government has spearheaded many initiatives to support working women.[3]

Loay often reminds me that Saudi Arabia is not Syria. In other parts of the Middle East women enjoy many more freedoms than in Saudi Arabia. I’ve seen this from personal experience. In Lebanon, many women were driving, working, completing their Master’s degrees, and living alone. Saudi Arabia is one of the most conservative countries in the Middle East. Loay has also reminded me many times that this conservatism and view of women is not inherently Arab or Muslim. It’s the culture of Saudi Arabia, not the entire region.

He concedes though, for all the ways that Saudi Arabia is progressing, it will take a long time to change mentalities. “Businesses prefer men,” he said. “The perception of the society is that business woman are not strong enough to have a great business.” He reminded me this was not his personal view. But due to this mentality, he said, it will only be with government support and much time that things can change. Many still believe a woman’s place is in the domestic space.

These cross-cultural conversations are important for a number of reasons. For one, it helps break down stereotypes and reminds us that the world is a dynamic, changing place. Women are fighting for their rights globally and their male allies can come from many walks of life. It also makes me appreciate my mother and her friends. I told Loay about how these “empty nesters” are so involved in their communities. They are creating art, participating in plays, helping the elderly, running local organizations, writing blogs, volunteering with their churches, tutoring students in French, and helping out with the grandkids.

Women of all ages contribute to society and have so much potential. I’m grateful for the opportunity to know my mother’s inspirational friends, breaking the stereotype that “empty nesters” have empty lives. I’m also grateful for Loay and my other students from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East who can help break the stereotype about gender equality and male mentalities in the Arab World.

Gwendolyn Bellinger is a freelance writer, editor, and English teacher, currently working remotely while exploring the world. Originally from Hillsborough, North Carolina, she has worked and written her away across 50 countries. She currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. You can read more about her adventures at gwengetsglobal.com or inquire about her services at gwendolynbellinger.com

 

 

Sources:

[1] http://www.news.com.au/world/middle-east/the-truth-behind-the-changing-fate-of-women-in-saudi-arabia/news-story/aa88b71968897df309c65a42e618d201

[2] https://stepfeed.com/130-more-women-are-working-in-saudi-arabia-study-reveals-3366

[3] Ibid.

Photo Credits:

Saudi Women Top:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/92278137@N04/13421558713/ (Flickr, Tribes of the World)

Women2Drive: https://www.flickr.com/photos/92278137@N04/10755435936/in/photostream/ (Flickr, Tribes of the World)

Saudi Women Bottom: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Women2drive_by_Latuff.gif (Carlos Latuff [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)