The Changing Light Bulb of Menopause


Cliff helped daughter Laura change a complicated light bulb on our last visit to Dallas. And talk about complicated! Read the types of light you can get nowadays from various light bulbs. Who knew? I was so impressed that I snapped a photo of the light bulb packaging.

Which bulb would I pick? They all sound wonderful. In contrast are the not-so-lovely moods of menopause. The roller coaster ride can bring on some nasty downward swoops, putting you in unhappy light.

WebMD is one of my favorite health sites because it’s clear, calm, and consistent. They list these emotional troubles that are often brought on by the changing hormones of menopause:

  • Irritability
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anxiety
  • Aggressiveness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Tension

Many doctors are still reluctant to point to menopause as the cause of emotional issues. My friend Jessie was instructed to make an appointment with a psychiatrist. Another friend suggested Jessie’s trouble might be menopause. She found a different OB/GYN, and HRT changed Jessie’s gloom into gladness in just a few days. A happy light bulb went on!

WebMD goes on to say:”If you are feeling irritable and sad, there is a good chance it could be related to menopause, but the above listed symptoms are not linked only to menopause. There are a number of conditions that can cause you to feel downright irritable.”

So sure, look for other reasons behind your moodiness, but do consider menopause as the culprit.

Here’s the full article on WebMD.

To go a bit further with the light bulb theme, I found a timeline of light bulbs:


I don’t recall the 1982 version at all. But I don’t remember much about the larger world of the eighties. I was too busy raising little kids. Talk about roller coaster emotions. Me and them!


Keepin’ on the Sunny Side of Those Shady Hormones


Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,

Keep on the sunny side of life;

It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,

If we keep on the sunny side of life.

I love this old song, written by Ada Blenkhorn in 1899. The story goes that Ada was inspired by her nephew, who used a wheelchair. When they went for a jaunt, he always asked to be pushed down the sunny side of the street.

“Keep on the Sunny Side” was recorded by the Carter Family in 1928, remaining their radio theme song for years. You may remember the song from the soundtrack to Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

Keep on the sunny side…

So how do we do it?

It’s not always easy. In perimenopause and menopause, pesty hormones can bring on some pretty dark storms.

Knowing that moodiness is usually temporary helps.

So does understanding that other women are weathering similar storms. Three cheers for the blogosphere that connects us to the worldwide sisterhood.

Exercise, friendships, pets, music, hobbies, volunteerism, and happy rituals also propel us toward the sun.

Sometimes, it takes real effort.

Sometimes, you have to push yourself. “Move over, dark clouds! I’m steppin’ into the sunlight!”

Any tips for steppin lively with Old Mother Sun despite the changeable winds of menopause? Do share!

Listen to the Carters sing their trademark song:

Suns Above:  No one creates suns like picture book artist and illustrator Eric Carle! Thanks, Eric, for for your upbeat, sunny contribution to the world of children’s books. I can’t wait to buy your book for my new GRANDSUN!

The songwriter below:  Ada Blenkhorn

Menopause, Menopause Symptoms, Mood

Pumpkin Menopause

BOO! and BOO!  and BOO!

You might think these pumpkins are men but they aren’t!  They are Pumpkin Ladies who have pulled their hair back.

And guess what?  Each one is in the middle of the Roller Coaster Ride!  You didn’t think pumpkins went through menopause?  Just ask these women:

Hi I’m Paulette, the pumpkin on the left. I am in a BAD mood even though it’s Halloween.  GRRRR. Yesterday, everything had a happy orange glow but not today!  Read my pumpkin lips, honey:  GET OUT OF MY FACE!  You go have yourself a Happy Halloween, but leave me alone.

Hi I’m Polly, the pumpkin in the middle.  Life is good!  Nothing can get me down.  I just want to grin, grin, grin.  Happy Halloween everyone!  I wish I could pop out of the screen and hug you all!  Since I can’t, I’m sending you a thousand Halloween winks!

Hi I’m Penelope, the pumpkin on the right.  I don’t know if I’m in a good mood or a bad one.  I was in a bad mood a minute ago, but now I’m in a great mood. Whoopee!  Oh wait, now I’m in a bad mood.  I could throw candy corn at the world!  Oh hold on, now I’m as happy as a witch sailing on a broomstick through the Halloween Sky.  Oh wait, did someone say witch?  Now I’m feeling itchy and witchy and bitchy.  Drats.

See!  I told you.  Pumpkins go through menopause too.

The next time menopause makes you up, or down, or up and down, remember our Pumpkin Sisters!  We are not alone.


Photo:  When I met them, these lovely pumpkin ladies told me they would be pleased to be featured on Friend for the Ride.   They are spreading the word about my new menopause blog to the rest of the Female Pumpkin WorldWelcome, new Pumpkin Readers! 

The Carver: These pumpkins were on display this year at the North Carolina State Fair.  Check out some more examples of the work of master carver Tim Trudgeon.  

Children, Menopause, Mood

Keep It Simple and You’ll Put on a Happy Face

Just a few simple lines and dots.  Yet they work.  The happy face smiles, and you smile back.  (If you’re not a fan of happy faces, I’d love to have you agree with me today for the sake of this post.)


When life is so stressful that even Glinda the Good Witch couldn’t calm you down, keep things simple, especially if your hormones are playing nasty.  This isn’t new advice.  It’s age-old, and it works:

  • Buy, don’t bake the cookies.
  • Get the bride and groom a gift certificate.
  • Let your husband or kids or friends or all of them win the argument.
  • Put Anna Karenina aside and pick up the junky beach read.

Another day, when you’re in the mood and have the time, you can get fancy:

  • Recreate your grandmother’s rolled sugar cookies (using her 100–year-old cookie cutters).
  • Use a zillion colors and a whole dictionary of stitches to knit the couple a throw for their first anniversary.
  • Spend hours articulately proving to everyone that you’re an authority on most subjects and issues.
  • Finish Anna Karenina and then write a happier ending, in perfect Russian.  Give that girl a break, too!

Fancy and complicated can be fun, but when your mood says, “One more thing and I’ll pop like Glinda’s bubble,” remember:  Simple!

Photo:  My button’s name is Helga Happy Face.  She lives in my button collection where she cheers up the more serious buttons by cracking jokes and reciting limericks.

Guest Posts:  I’m simply delighted to have a guest post on Girlfriendology!

Happy Birthday on Tuesday:  To Daughter Number Two, Laura Younger, who makes me happy every single day, even though raising her wasn’t exactly simple.