Menopause

The Menopause Marbles

Marbles

Nope!

You aren’t losing your marbles.

Menopause just makes you feel that way sometimes.

Names skip away.

Car key escape.

The brownies decide to burn.

For years, women nicknamed this condition “menopausal fog.”

The results of a recent research study confirm that menopausal brain fog is for real.

And the best suggestion for working through the fog seems to be to cut down on distractions and multitasking.

I learned to multitask as a young children’s librarian when I had bunches of kids asking me for books at the same time.

I could grab A Wrinkle in Time with one hand and Beezus and Ramona with the other while heading toward the biographies to find Helen Keller and Hank Aaron.

I carried on my multitasking tradition as a mom, when we all become Multitask Queens.

But menopause seems to be a time to let up a bit.

I find I no longer want to rush.

In fact, rushing doesn’t give me the happy rush it once did.

And not rushing helps me hold onto a few more marbles.

What about you?

Any tips for keeping your marbles in the jar?

The marbles in the photo are from my mom’s collection. They decorate her kitchen counter in her apartment in Towson, Maryland.

To learn more about vintage marbles, check out this cool blog, Marbles Galore.

Marble

MINTED:  Congrats to Karoline  who won the Minted giveaway!

Aging, Menopause, Menopause Symptoms, No More Periods, Periods

Menopause: Save the Sisters!

Menopause + Definition

Although the subtitle of this blog is “Encouraging Words for the Menopause Roller Coaster,” I must give you a

Whine Alert!

I thought the great day would come when we’d stop having periods.

No cramps.

No worrying about going sailing for six hours at that time of the month.

No birth control.

Just free wheeling.

I figured the definition above, which I snipped from a Google search of “menopause,” was an honest one.

Not!

 Menopause is so much more.

No cramps slips into other concerns: achy feet, insomnia, extra dry skin, weight gain, bloating, and on and on….

No birth control remains a blessing, but one’s enthusiasm can wane when vaginal dryness and atrophy appear.

I was tricked!

No one warned me, really.

Or maybe they did, but I missed it.

Menopause, physically, is not simply the cessation of periods and the end to the possibility of pregnancy.

I cry NOT to the definition above. Or perhaps that should be “THAT’S NOT ALL!”

Do I wish I had known?

Yes!

I’m of the forewarned is best persuasion.

The Girl Scout motto “Be prepared” stuck with me.

What about  you?

There’s plenty to celebrate with The Great Pause.

Liberation from some of the “shoulds” and “musts.”

A willingness to toss out what’s not working.

The courage and confidence to find new hobbies, activities, travels, relationships, and even careers.

The mind-changing stuff rocks.

But to the physical stuff I say

Yikes and Yuck.

So what are the encouraging words?

Point one is that there are remedies, at least in part, for some of the ailments.

Point two is that the mind-changing stuff is cool.

Point three is that I think it’s time we

Save the Sisters!

Just like an older sister informs a younger one about periods, we should let those who come after us know what lies ahead.

I wish I’d been warned.

I would have appreciated my youth more.

And not been so shocked by the changes to my body.

So it’s time, with encouraging but honest words, to clue in the sisters.

Agree?

Disagree?

Grandchildren, Grandmother, Menopause

The Bouncing Ball of Menopause

Capture

Child psychologists say a baby learns

When you drop a bouncing ball,

The ball bounces back up.

Babies, smarter sometimes than grownups,

Know that life has its ups and downs,

And after the down, almost always comes an up!

Some of those ups and downs, if you’re a woman of a certain age, are the moody woes of menopause.

Telling yourself that the ups will come back really is helpful.

If this doesn’t work, try chocolate, a brisk walk, and more chocolate.

Frog: The Frog, name unknown to this grandma, was a baby shower gift of guest blogger Judy Ackley Brown, who writes in this post about rainy days and life.

Chocolate:  Make that a tiny bit, each time. Menopause pounds are a real downer.

Poet (of sorts) :  Me. I’ve been having fun keeping up with current thinking in child development from Kath,  creator of Baby Eats Real Food.

The baby: My grandson Mazen, usually upbeat!

Menopause

A Favorite Website: 34 Menopause Symptoms

34 Symptoms

When I was in the middle of menopausal madness, this was my favorite website.

Here is the link, loud and clear, for you to click:

34 Menopause Symptoms

I’d have something funky going on. Could this be menopause?

I’d jump onto this website and voila, there it was!

I counted just now, and all in all, I had 19 of the 34 symptoms.

I’m glad I skipped (at least so far) burning tongue.  Great tongues of fire does that sound bad!

The prose on  34 Menopause Symptoms is clear and concise.  At the bottom of the page, there are links to articles ranging in topic from surgical menopause to breast tenderness.

Articles

If you’re not familiar with this site, do check it out.

And the contest is on!

 Who can beat my count of 19 symptoms?

Menopause, Menopause Symptoms, Mood

Ever Green Menopausal You

Evergreen.  Since ancient times, a symbol of life in the midst of the cold of winter. Vibrancy.  Color. Renewal.

For those of you who sometimes feel frozen with the sadness, nervousness, and grumpiness that menopausal moodiness can bring, take heart in the symbol of the evergreen.

You’re still vibrant.  You’re just feeling some chilly hormones.

Your trademark colors are there.  They’re just covered up at the moment by a blanket of uninvited snow.

You’ll emerge from the snowy tunnel renewed.

You just have to weather the ice and wind (even though they may come in the form of some hot sweaty moments).

Albert Camus, whom I know best from my days of reading L’etranger  (The Stranger) in French class, wrote,  “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

Stand close to an evergreen if you’re troubled this winter.

Touch those vibrant branches.

Take in the color.

Smell the hope.

Menopausal moodiness doesn’t last forever.

Green days are a’coming.

Photo:  I took this picture on Bald Head Island. I love evergreens, but I’m not so good at distinguishing spruce from balsam from arbor vitae.  Anyone know what kind of evergreen this is?

Menopause

Dr. Oz–Quick Take on Menopause and Bioidentical Hormones

Dr. Oz explains what those shifting hormones do in this short clip.

I found it especially interesting that he calls progesterone “The Valium of the brain.”   He says it’s the drop in progesterone levels that causes menopausal grumpiness.

His suggestion for the woes of menopause?  Bioidentical hormones, which I hope to have a guest post about before long.  The newscaster, who certainly looks too young to be going through the Great Pause, takes them and loves them.

Dr. Oz reports that bioidentical hormones are concocted from yams.

Yams

How clever is that? Not only do they make great casseroles, but they’re a balm for menopause.

If you’ve had any experience with bioidenticals, do chime in. Thanks!

Menopause

A Halloween Menopause Riddle

How is menopause like Halloween?

Because sometimes you feel like a witch,

and you just don’t know which sort of witch you are.

Sometimes, you want to hide away in a pumpkin patch,

 And other times, you’re bursting with energy, ready to turn over a giant new leaf.

Some days, your friends and family think you’ve morphed into a monster,

or they’re sure the old you has gone missing, hidden behind a skeleton mask.

Sometimes, you’re as confused as  jack-o-lanterns with grumbly grins.

Menopause can make you think you’re coming unstitched.

But wait!

Here’s the super cool Halloween connection.

Menopause is like Halloween because you get to pick your own costume.

Your stuffing is changing.

So stuff yourself with new stuff.

New hobbies.

New treats.

New adventures.

Just like a brave and proud  purple scarecrow lady,

put on your new straw hat

and greet the world.

Photos were taken by me at the North Carolina State Fair. Thanks to the artists and craftspeople and gardeners and cooks who make visiting the fair a highlight of our  year.