Menopause

Leg Hair Part Two: A TMI Post

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?

 

Menopause

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!

Menopause

The Ladies Room Door Art Series: Part Forty-two

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.

Menopause

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

 

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)

Menopause

Showtime: My Adventures as Mattie the Maid

Two weeks ago, I played Mattie (short for “Matilda”), a member of the housekeeping staff at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The play was Neil Simon’s California Suite. My director, Lisa Woodward, added two characters to the script. My fellow maid Bets (Bettina), played wonderfully by Susan Johns, and I were the comedic relief between scenes. We had a blast, and by many kind reports, we did a fine job.

In the video above, I come into the suite to clean the room. I discover a gorgeous gown left on the bed. A British movie star has tossed it there after losing the Oscar. Mattie is star struck, so she can’t resist trying it on. Putting on a evening gown in front of an audience was not anything I’d ever imagined I’d do. Sometimes, life tosses us happy challenges!

In other scenes, I danced the macarena, encountered an adorable hooker slinking into the suite, admonished Bets for sneaking a cigarette,  and drank too much gin and then danced with my mop.  Bill the Bellhop tried to wake us up, but alas, he was unsuccessful. (Here we are posing backstage with the bellhop, played brilliantly by Joe Siler.)

Below are some more shots from the show. Thanks to Susan B. for the video and some of the photos. Other photos were taken by Cliff, who reported having trouble getting clear shots since we weren’t still on stage very long.


I loved the curtain call best of all, when Bets and I came onto the stage for a final time as the song California Girls played. We dusted off our fellow actors and then took a bow.

Thanks to the director and techs and cast of California Suite. I hated turning in my maid’s costume; I loved it so much.

And now it’s back to just cleaning my own house, which isn’t nearly as much fun.

Menopause

Always Discreet Boutique: A Giveaway!

 

 

A post and a giveaway offer from the makers of Always Discreet Boutique, a new line of disposable bladder leak underwear. Talk about an adorable design! 

Most women today want to continue to feel sexy especially as they age. As we all know, fifty is the new 30 and women out there have a strong desire to feel modern and feminine. They are focused on being healthy, while maintaining their beauty and confidence. However, there are some issues that women face that aren’t always talked about, including dreaded bladder leaks and how to deal with them!

Seventy-seven percent of women say wearing their current bladder leak underwear makes them feel older than they would like to feel. They also told say that bulky bladder leak products can erode their confidence and femininity, with two in three women who’ve tried bladder leak underwear saying they avoid wearing them all together, even when they know they need them. Today, all that is about to change. Always Discreet has introduced Boutique, a new line of beautiful bladder leak underwear that offers fashionable – and maximum – protection.

  • Always Discreet Boutique is bladder leak underwear that looks flirty and fashionable, with stylish attention paid to every detail, including its beautiful and sleek packaging.
  • Made with silky-soft fabric and curve-hugging contours that come in a rosé color with delicate lace prints, the design is inspired by fashion industry and pantone trends, with a flowery pattern that goes from the front to the back on one side.
  • Worked on by lingerie experts and fashion designers, Always Discreet Boutique is panty drawer-worthy underwear that can be paired with a favorite bra with pride.
  • Always Discreet Boutique offers:
    • Incredible-performing protection
    • A super-absorbent core with unique RapidDry™ technology that absorbs leaks in seconds
    • OdorLock technology that helps neutralize odors instantly and continuously
    • Absorbent Gel Material (AGM) that helps lock the fluid deep within the core and away from the body

Giveaway: The makers of Always Discreet Boutique are offering one pack each to two lucky Friend for the Ride winners, U.S. or Canada. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by April 1.


 

I did not receive monetary compensation for this post and am grateful for the giveaway offer from Always Discreet Boutique.

Menopause

Coming Back Strong: Wellness after Surgical Menopause

 

This post is from Lori Ann King, best-selling author of Come Back Strong: Balanced Wellness after Surgical Menopause.

I went into surgery, hoping and trusting for the best-case scenario: the simple removal of an ovary, cyst, and fallopian tube. I was excited to erase the pain that was burdening me. I didn’t expect anything else to happen.

I awoke to learn that the worst-case scenario had happened: I had received a full hysterectomy as well as a double oophorectomy. Uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes—everything had been removed due to the severity of endometriosis that had been found.

I expected to be pain free when I woke. It didn’t work that way. I was in severe pain. I was tired. I was afraid. I couldn’t pee or poop. My body felt and looked swollen and bloated. This was uncharted territory, and I had no idea how to fix it.

I suddenly experienced all the symptoms that many women report in natural menopause including weight gain, slow metabolism, low energy, fatigue, insomnia, lack of focus, and a roller coaster of emotions that leave us feeling overwhelmed, highly stressed, and out of balance.

In addition, hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness affected my health, relationships, and even my passion and sense of purpose. The more symptoms I had, the more hopeless and powerless I felt.

The worst part was that these symptoms hit me all at once. And, in spite of following a strict diet and exercise plan, I gained 26 pounds in 26 months.

In the weeks while I was at home recovering, I found myself explaining and clarifying and justifying to family and friends. Conversations would go something like this:

Friend: “What’s new? I haven’t seen you in a while.”

Me: “I had a hysterectomy.”

Friend: “Oh. Wow. What else is new?”

Me: “No. I had a full hysterectomy.”

Friend: “Okay. And?”

Me: “I had a full hysterectomy. They took everything. Nothing’s left of my womanly parts except my va-jay-jay.”

Friend: “Oh. Okay. So that’s simple these days, right? An in-and-out procedure? Laparoscopic? Barely a scar? When will you be back to work? Wait, why are you crying?”

This experience had turned my world upside down, and it would feel as if my friend was saying “So what? What’s the big deal?”

The big deal was that I was struggling physically and emotionally, and I didn’t know how to help myself feel better again.

As my doctor worked with me to find the right dosage of bioidentical hormones, I learned that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not an exact science. In fact, it seemed a bit like a guessing game as we attempted to balance my hormones and emotions and help me feel good again. The hardest part, perhaps, was that it simply took time to get it right.

I discovered that wellness is more than a state of health where you are free of illness. It is a state of well-being that is the result of deliberate effort.

In the months that followed, I found solutions for my symptoms through complementary medicine and lifestyle changes. I worked on improving my thought life and my emotions turned toward the positive. Overall, through the journey of surgical menopause, I found hope in my ability to come back strong.

For more information or to purchase Come Back Strong, visit www.LoriAnnKing.com.

Amazon: Here’s the link to Come Back Strong on Amazon.

Giveaway: Lori is offering a copy of Come Back Strong to one Friend for the Ride reader. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by April 1. Thanks!

Lori Ann King is a best-selling author, speaker, blogger, certified sports nutritionist, and wellness coach with over eight years of experience in health and wellness.
Lori is also a cyclist and body builder, and was a runner for over twenty-five years, competing in races ranging in length from two to 26.2 miles.  She has an undergraduate degree in Recreation from Western State College of Colorado and an advanced certificate in Information Management from Syracuse University. She currently resides in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband, Jim.