Friday, May 22, 2020

Fly On The Wall At The End Of A Quarantine

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, four bloggers are bravely inviting you into their homes for a sneak peek at what has been going on behind closed doors.

As the U.S. and other countries begin to lift stay-at-home orders, I find myself thinking back on some of the better parts of quarantine life: the stillness in the streets, the appearance of more wildlife, crystal water, clean air, and the closeness of families in lockdown together.

Photo courtesy of: Mommy Needs Vodka

And of course, there was the joy of not having to shave my legs, pluck my eyebrows, or wear makeup. So what if I looked like a hairy beast roaming around my house all day in my pajamas and taking naps at my leisure. I WAS HAPPY.

Okay, so I did accomplish a few things while under quarantine. Redecorated my living room and dining room, organized a few closets, and created a new garden section with an adorable seating area by the previously unused portion on the side of my house. Oh, and I published some COVID-19 themed articles for several websites (see links below).

My social life has revolved around FaceTiming with my family and cheering one another virtually with cocktails in our hands

Other than that, the fly on the wall saw that my husband and I spent a great deal of time together in front of the TV, binging shows like Hollywood, The Great, Schitt's Creek, and Mind Hunters.

Now that the world is opening its doors again, I feel both fear and excitement. I'm not ready to venture out in public yet (and not just because I'm hairy!) but I will admit that it was wonderful to finally see my family again (masked up, of course) last weekend.

The world has survived worse and we will survive this. Stay safe and stay healthy, my friends!

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? I'm proud to share my first piece for USA TODAY's Reviewed section! You can read it HERE. I also have a COVID-19 related article on a new website, Illumination, which you can find HERE. And....if you're looking for some new humor, you can find my recent work featured on MANOPAUSE and MUDDY UM.

Be sure to check out the other Fly On The Wall blog posts---click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado        
Never Ever Give Up Hope   
Menopausal Mother         
Spatulas on Parade          

Friday, May 15, 2020

Super Spring Writer Series: Guest Author Jeremy McKeen

Today on the blog I have author Jeremy McKeen and I'm pleased to promote his upcoming book, You Don't Have To Worry So Much. As the description goes, "It's a powerful, fun, and poignant collection of essays focusing on a range of real life issues and post-modern approaches to topics like sex, love, marriage, belief, parenthood, and mental illness. " Jeremy was kind enough to send me an advanced reader copy of the book, and I am totally enjoying it!

Below is one of my favorite chapters of You Don't Have To Worry So Much. It thoroughly describes my husband, and he agrees. And yes, he laughed while reading it because he knows IT'S TRUE.  Enjoy this sample chapter and click on the link below to pre-order your copy today!


YOU WOKE UP ONE DAY, fully grown, probably in your 30s and with kids, and something about aftershave or toolboxes excited you to your core, and making time to putter around the woodshed, backyard, or basement just made sense. Your metabolism slowed down, and you started seeing the world through slower, more wizened eyes.
What happened?
         You got old.
You may actually be young, but chances are you’re already an old man.
You may have an “old soul” but that doesn’t give us the right to call you grandpa, grandpa. What gives us the right is probably your suspenders, or old-as-hell work boots you still think of as “new” when, in reality, you got them fifteen years ago. Or the fact that you think and act like an old man.

Here’s how to tell if you’re already an old man:
        1. If you’re not excited about the hardware store, give it time. Soon you will hear the pulse of Ace or True Value, or even bettera real, hometown hardware store with store creditcalling your name. “Stop by, old man, and buy something,” it whispers. “Buy everything here, there’s room in the basement for it, and the wife will understand,” it says gently, while ushering you to buy more hammers or shovels or a new knife. “Start a new project, you can probably teach yourself from a book,” it corrals you.
        2. Are you wearing khakis? You’re wearing khakis right now, aren’t you, old man? Yes, you are. You will always wear khakis when you’re old. Jeans have lost their youthful touch. Khakisembrace them, with their crease and endless endurance against all seasons. Hike them up, and belt them secure enough for a day raking leaves or reading a book quietly. And like jeans, they go with everything, especially work bootsyour old, dependable work boots. And a plaid shirt. And a Carhartt jacket. You’ll be wearing this uniform until you’re dead.
        3. It’s 4:30 a.m. and you’re awake. You’re just awake. Why isn’t everyone else awake? No, noyou need some alone timeall old men do. And you don’t have to be at work for a few hours. Maybe the hardware store is open. Or the diner.
        4. Smell that? That’s the aroma of a twenty-minute bowel movement, coffee, and a burnt match. You made that happen, old man.
        5. What time does the diner open? Oh, it’s open 24 hours? Well, who goes to a diner at night? Ok, let’s go to the diner, it’s almost 6 a.m. Hey, let’s do this more often. There are even young waitresses there who put up with your jokes. You’re theirs for life now, old man.
        6. If you haven’t gone deaf yet, you’re starting to, old man. Friends and family will understand. Just say you’re sorry, or ignore them. Your ears have had a good run.
        7. Tightening toilet seats gives you a sense of accomplishment not met with in the first half of your life. But nowcall the papers! You’ve saved the house from the wiggly wobble of someone’s ass slipping off the seat! You’ve done it, old man! No one else but you could have figured out how to righty-tighty the bolts while your hand was upside down and your forearm was on the part of the seat where everyone puts the most posterior flesh of their butt cheeks. But you did it.
        8. Your haircut is either short or buzzed. That’s just the way haircuts should be. Long hair is for college students and single men in their 20s. Beards are also acceptable, but somehow you don’t mind shaving your face every day of your life, because every day is precious now that you’re old.
        9. No matter how old you are, you are still and always horny as hell. This won’t change or let up until you’re dead, so there’s always that. Sorry, old man. Life is full of suffering.
        10. The mention of Scotch or Whiskey—or Bourbon or even Gin—especially the expensive stuff—gets you a little excited. The more adjectives or descriptors of said liquor, the more excited you get. Rye whiskey, single-malt…mention of these things makes you glad you’re still alive at your old age. And watching Mad Men excites you to no end as well, just for the reason that they’re drinking the whole time. Men wearing suits drinking all the damn time means something to you for some reason.
        11. No matter what the current hairstyle is, it looks stupid. It just looks stupid. The same goes for any new fashion that has arisen since you last bought fashionable clothes years ago, or whenever clothes just started showing up in your closet (it’s because your relatives just started buying you what your old man uniform dictates, and you didn’t know it, but you started going along with it because you’re old now).
        12. No bands or movies or books are as good as the ones from twenty years ago, or whenever it was you grew up, old man. You’re hearing your favorite band on the classic station, and you’re kind of deaf towell, downright pridefully ignorantnew hits. And your favorite artists have become old, too, only they’re somehow thinner and better looking than you.
        13. You feel a kinship with anyone your age unlike any other time in your life. Life has taught you many a great thing, old man, and you’re ready for someone to listen to your advice. You’ve lived, damn it, and you’re ready to give someone a piece of your mind, as soon as you read up on how to install your own ceiling or build a set of stairs.
        14. We know you really want to talk about your new Chevy or Buick or sensible automobile purchase, so go ahead, old man. You only live to old age once. Oh, it was a hybrid truck? Good job, grandpa. We know you got a deal, and we’re proud of you. Nobody gets good deals like you.
        15. For your birthday we always know what to get you. It’s whiskey and plaid shirts, right? And a gift card to Home Depot? Or a new pocket knife?
        16. You’re a bit of a hoarder, but it’s all in good taste and measure…because you only keep what you need, or that which has value somewhat. You never know when you’ll need three mismatched sets of wrenches or old boots or bungee cords or gloves. Or old khakis. Or shovels. You can never have enough shovels. The hardware store probably has shovels. You’re on your way to buy a new shovel now, aren’t you old man? We thought so.
Jeremy McKeen is an English teacher, writer, editor, and father of three living in Massachusetts. He has been featured on HuffPost, Yahoo! Parenting, Salon, Scary Mommy, YourTango, and The Good Men Project, among other blogs and magazines.  

Instagram: jeremymckeendotdotdot
Twitter: @mckeenish

Thursday, April 23, 2020

How The Pod Smart Mattress Can Help Menopause Symptoms

Hey, Menopausal Ladies! Are you tired of waking up several times a night soaking wet from hot flashes and night sweats? I am! The bedroom fans just aren't doing it for me anymore, and my husband is tired of shivering in bed when I turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees.

I've been looking for a solution to this problem, and I found it with The Smart Pod. Check out their information below and see what their customers have
to say about this amazing mattress!

How The Pod Smart Mattress Can Help Menopause Symptoms

Up to 85% of women experience hot flashes during perimenopause, menopause, or postmenopause. The changes in levels of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body affect temperature control and cause hot flashes and night sweats, which cause women to wake up multiple times per night, affecting their quality of sleep. And according to the National Sleep Foundation, 61% of post-menopausal women report insomnia symptoms. This fragmented sleep and increased insomnia can disrupt productivity and cause irritability during the day. 

The Eight Sleep Pod is especially helpful for women suffering from hot flashes and night sweats due to perimenopausal, menopausal or postmenopause who have not yet been able to find an active solution to stop their symptoms from fragmenting their sleep. The Pod, which can be set as low as 55 degrees or as high as 110 degrees, is the only bed that uses water rather than fans or cooling gel to cool the surface of the bed and keep a person’s body temperature low while they sleep. Most foam mattresses absorb and store heat so they get hotter throughout the night. This is especially problematic for women with hot flashes or otherwise unpredictable body temperatures. The Pod uses water based cooling technology to regulate body temperature and stay cool while sleeping. 

Many of our female members have told us that sleeping on The Pod prevents them from feeling the negative effects of their perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms and allows them to sleep soundly through the night, improving not only their sleep but also their day. With that in mind, we spoke to some of them to find out how: 

Water-Powered Thermal Technology:

Women who experience hot flashes and sleep on the Pod have said that the Pod’s thermal regulation keeps their body temperature down throughout multiple hot flashes a hot flash, and they don’t wake up from it as a result. They are able to sleep through the night, and feel the benefits of quality sleep during the day.  In fact, about 70% of women between the ages of 35-60 who are sleeping on the Pod wake up 0-2 times per night. Plus, if something does cause them to wake up, they have complete control of the temperature via the 8+ app, and can easily change it without having to get out of bed.

Smart Temp:

The Pod’s Smart Temp feature changes the temperature of the bed throughout the night so women going through hot flashes don’t wake up when their body temperature changes. Once they set the Pod to their optimal sleeping temperature, the Pod’s sensors track their body temperature and automatically adjust the bed to keep them at their optimal sleeping temperature.

If you’re experiencing hot flashes, using Smart Temp will ensure maximum comfort. If you like to go to sleep when it is warm but find yourself waking up later on in the night due to a hot flash, set the Pod to start warm and then cool down when it senses you are asleep so you can still enjoy a warm bed and fight hot flashes throughout the night. The best of both worlds. 

Dual Zone Temperature:

Both women and men have cited increased frustrations between partners due to temperature control in the bedroom, which is exacerbated by hot flashes and night sweats. The Pod’s dual zone temperature feature allows partners to sleep at their individual optimal temperatures throughout the night without disturbing the other. If your hot flashes disturb both you and your partner, the dual zone technology feature will give you both control over the temperature of your side of the bed and help you both sleep better throughout the night. 

Reviews from Members:

We spoke with many female Pod members about how sleeping on the Pod has helped their menopausal symptoms, and here’s what some of them had to say:

One user from New Jersey who's hot flashes and night sweats caused problems sleeping with her partner said, 

“[My hot flashes] just kept getting worse and worse and worse. The minute they set up that bed and I slept in it from the very first night I have had a full night of sleep ever since.” 

She described the effects of the Pod on her hot flashes as,

“When that ball of fire starts in the core of your chest, the cooling mattress doesn’t let it get any further and on top of that, the mattress doesn’t retain any of the heat that you are giving. And I think that’s the key. The more the mattress is cool, the more it is not retaining that heat, but on top of that, it’s stopping that ball of fire from emitting so I don’t even break out into a sweat. It doesn’t even reach my skin.” 

One member described how it was beneficial to get both her and her husband to sleep soundly,

“He was looking for something that would keep him asleep because I was tossing and turning with the sheets on and the sheets off because of the hot flashes. So that was the whole concept that he was hoping it would at least help me sleep better at night and I will say yes it has.”

Finally, another member described the effects the sleep she got on the Pod,

“After sleeping on the Pod for a week, I felt 10 years younger. I was getting so much better sleep than I was before when I was tossing and turning all the time. I went from feeling 46 to feeling 35 again.” 

Find Your Solution Today:

If hot flashes have been causing disrupted sleep in your life, the Eight Sleep Pod is the only active cooling solution that can stop you from feeling the negative effects and improve your sleep. Many of Eight Sleep’s perimenopausal and menopausal members have reported that they do not realize they are having hot flashes in their sleep anymore since the hot flashes are not waking them up. 

Eight Sleep offers an 100 day free trial so you can test out the Pod with zero risk and see the effects for yourself. Because better sleep means better everything.

Plus, enter to win an Eight Sleep Pod here!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Fly On The Wall In A Pandemic Lockdown

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, five bloggers are bravely inviting you into their homes to see what goes on behind closed doors.

     The fly is STILL going stir crazy as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. It has been very difficult lately to find humor amid the chaos in the world. The news reminds us daily of rising death tolls, overcrowded hospitals, and a massive lack of toilet paper (WHY IS THIS STILL A PROBLEM? WHO IS HOARDING ALL THE TOILET PAPER?). Thank God I have a husband who has a gift for humor and knows how to use it when times are tough.

The other thing that is helping me through the pandemic is FaceTiming frequently with my kids. Sometimes we are on for hours, laughing about stupid stuff we did and learning new things about one another. Being apart so long has created a deeper appreciation for one another, and it really shows during our online conversations.

     Oh, and another thing that helps: tropical drinks in the hot tub on a Saturday night while listening to Hawaiian music. Yeah, that's an important one!

     Thankfully, despite everything happening in the world today, I can still find bits of humor here and there, and most of it comes from the man who once promised in his wedding vows to make me laugh every single day:

"You've been cooking too much ever since the quarantine started. My colon is now five pounds heavier."

"I just went to the drugstore and then to the gas station. Both were completely empty. Is it possible that The Rapture occurred and we got left behind?"

"Since we've been stuck at home, I've moved past wearing sweatpants every day to wearing a Snuggie on the couch."

"I almost accidentally put Bengay instead of Desitin on my chafed butt cheeks. Talk about a flaming ass#$@*"

"Okay Lizzo, I did my hair toss and checked my nails. When do I start feeling good as hell?"

"You know I must be bored when I find squirrels running up and down a tree entertaining."
"You're fine as long as you don't start barking at them"

"Since I can't go to the mall during this pandemic, I've been looking for new clothes online."
"Any luck?"
"You know that 'one size fits all' slogan that companies
advertise? They lied."

"Stop baking Monkey Bread every weekend. I'm so tired of it, I feel like I'm eating the monkey's butt."

"I tried to sell our lamps for $50 on the Nextdoor App but nobody was interested. I know we need some extra cash until our stimulus checks from the government come in, but I'm not sure what else to sell for money. This whole situation is seriously pissing me off."
"I can always strap you in a chair on the front lawn with a sign that reads, "Ornery Man For Sale: $10 Or Best Offer.'"

"It has been four weeks since I've shaved my legs or plucked my eyebrows."
"Yes, I can see that you're channeling your inner Woolly Mammoth."

I do believe that between my husband's jokes and FaceTiming my kids, I just might survive this Quarantine time with my sanity intact after all.....

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? You can find me on Humor Outcasts this week with a funny piece about drinking at home. Read it HERE

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado        
Never Ever Give Up Hope   
Menopausal Mother         
Spatulas on Parade          
Go Mama O.                      

Friday, April 10, 2020

Why I Love Easter: Peter Pan, Jesus, And Marshmallow Peeps

Easter was always a big deal at my house when I was a kid. For my mother, it was all about dressing my sisters and me in ruffled dresses, and patent leather shoes for the Sunday service at Church. My ten-year-old brain automatically tuned out the sermon and focused instead on Peter Pan's advice for Neverland---to think of the happy thing that would give me the power to fly on Tinkerbell wings.

That thing was Easter Peeps.

I was still dreaming of the sugar-coated, chick-shaped marshmallows when my parents insisted on an additional hour of biblical education in a Sunday school classroom that smelled of Elmer's Glue and mothballs. The teacher tried to engage the class in a rousing rendition of Peter, Paul and Mary's "If I Had A Hammer," but nothing could distract me from the promise of the spongy yellow birds nestled deep in the plastic grass of my Easter basket.

The only thing I learned during those formative years of Sunday school instruction was that (1) I owed Jesus an enormous debt that I couldn't possibly repay, and (2) Jesus was a forgiving man who would understand if I didn't want to share my Peeps.

I learned how to negotiate my Easter candy stash like a Blackjack dealer with my friends until I owned the lion's share of squishy, marshmallow birds. I was a Peeps aficionado who preferred to eat my neon yellow chicks while they were still fluffy and fresh, unlike my best friend, who left the package open for days to age the marshmallows like a fine wine until they were a harder, crunchier bird.

My penchant for Peeps followed me well into adulthood and was passed down to my own children. My youngest son was especially fond of Peeps, introducing me to the joys of microwaving them until they expanded like Macy's Day Parade floats---a confectionary feat no other candy could duplicate.

There are recipes online for deep-fried Peeps, 'Smore Peeps, and even Peeps pizza, but nothing tops eating them in their original puffy form----beady eyes and all.

Being the Peeps purist that I am, I've found the new, dizzying array of flavors on the market disappointing. Pumpkin spice, cotton candy, bubble gum, and caramel apple----these are just poor substitutes for the real thing. Faux Peeps, indeed.

The latest flavor hitting the market just in time for Easter is the love child of marshmallow Peeps and Hot Tamales chewy candies, and the result is a baby chick with an attitude.

Sold as Peeps Marshmallow Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon, they come in a box of ten fiery-colored birds: "Two classic candies come together in one sweet and spicy treat!" One fat-free, gluten-free serving is 110 calories for four chicks (but let's be real, these sticky birds are conjoined in sleeves of five, and expected to be eaten by the row). That's 24 grams of sugar per serving, or 60 if you consume the entire box. Enough to keep your dentist busy for a year.

I wrestled with what felt like a child-proof package until the cellophane tore, and was greeted by the aromatic scent of cinnamon rolls baking on Christmas morning. I tested the sponginess of the marshmallow---it was fresh---and then swiftly decapitated the bird with one bite. The nostalgic flavor combination of cinnamon and sugar instantly transported me back to my grandmother's kitchen, where a plate of homemade snickerdoodles awaited after a hard day of playing tag in the summer heat.

Eating an entire sleeve of these Peeps is like drinking shots of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey without the annoying hangover side-effect. Despite the fiery Hot Tamale brand, fans of Flamin' Hot Cheetos will be disappointed that these marshmallows don't pack the same amount of heat. There's only a subtle hint of warmth when the cinnamon spice hits your tastebuds and turns your tongue bright red.

The crazy thing is, this Peeps purist likes them, and I've found that roasting them over a campfire enhances their flavor, adding an extra zing to my 'Smores. As tradition calls, I also tried the microwave test, but after the initial swelling of the marshmallow, the bird shrank into a hard, chewy ball reminiscent of stale bubble gum. I had difficulty scraping the gooey mess off the microwave plate, which made me wonder what affect the Peeps might have on my intestines if I ate another sleeve.

Although the marshmallow itself is made up mostly of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin, the main ingredient of Peeps' eyes is carnauba wax---the same component found in furniture and shoe polish, lipstick, and car wax. They're also insoluble, which means that I might be carrying a giant ball of Peeps eyes in my belly that has been accumulating since 1969.

Peeps Marshmallow Hot Tamales are good enough to become a holiday staple in our family. But just in case this durable, cinnamon bird is ever pulled from grocery store shelves, I'll hang onto a few boxes to pass down my Peeps legacy to future generations. They'd make a great addition to any Easter basket since they never age, and no matter how many years into the future they're opened, they'll still taste fresh.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Fly On The Wall During A Quarantine

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, five bloggers are bravely inviting you into their homes to see what goes on behind closed doors.

     The fly at our house is going a little stir crazy since our town is pretty much on lockdown due to COVID-19. No restaurants, schools, bars. gyms....and even our beaches here in South Florida are closed. You know things must be bad when even your adult kids choose to hang out at your house on a Saturday night to play cards because THERE IS NOTHING ELSE TO DO. But the good news is, the gatherings offer some pretty funny conversations:

"Eat as many carbs as you want, dear. Calories from stress eating definitely do NOT count when you are quarantined for the Coronavirus."

"It's understandable that we have to keep washing our towels during this virus, but why do the wet towels left overnight in the washing machine smell like death in the morning?"
"They died from the virus."

"I just stress-ate all three packages of the Hot Tamale Peeps and now my colon will never be the same."
"Have fun with that since there's no toilet paper to be found in the stores."

"Where are my car keys? Who took my damn car key?!? Oh wait---- they're right here..... in my hand."
"Forget about the keys----call the doctor instead. You're either feverish from COVID-19 or you're already exhibiting signs of early dementia."

"I almost took one of the dog's chemo pills by accident instead of my antibiotics. I probably would have grown a third arm out of my back if I'd taken it."
"Yeah, and that new arm would also have Carpal Tunnel."

"Social Distancing? Awesome! I finally have an excuse to avoid all the idiots in my life."

"There's only one solution to getting around town and staying virus-free. We need to learn how to levitate."
"That skill will definitely come in handy in five years when you're too old to walk anymore."

"When they were testing the basketball players for the Coronavirus, they found that a lot of the guys only had 3% body fat. I have more than that in one earlobe."

"I was looking on Amazon for arch supports, and the ad right next to it was for filet knives. Am I supposed to trim my arches?"
"Yeah, they did it that way so that you can make Filet of Sole."

"I predict three things from the outcome of the COVID-19 quarantine: A boom in births in December, a higher demand for therapists and anxiety meds, and everyone on the planet will have the cleanest homes this world has ever seen."

     Hope this Fly Post brought you some smiles during these trying times. Stay safe, my friends. Sending virtual hugs to all!

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? I'm so excited to share the news that I had my very first humor piece published in Slackjaw! I had a blast writing it, too! It's called, THE FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF WHILE BUILDING AN IKEA ENTERTAINMENT CENTER.

***I also have my first humor piece published on Manopause, which you can read here: THE LITTLE WHITE LIES MIDDLE-AGED MEN TELL THEMSELVES

***As always, I have new work on CONSIDERABLE this week. You can read all of my articles for them here:

Buzz around my blog, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado        
Never Ever Give Up Hope   
Menopausal Mother         
Spatulas on Parade          
Medicated Musings              

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Super Spring Writers Series: Guest Post By Shari Bender

     Today on the blog I have author Shari Bender, who just happens to be a peri-menopausal mama. When I read her guest post, I found myself laughing and nodding my head in agreement at her experiences because I have certainly been in her shoes for a long time. I have a hunch many of you will relate to her tale.....

Then and Now: My Peri-menopausal Journey
My phone is showing me ads for period underwear. Clearly, it has me confused with someone Not googling menopausal symptoms. 
I’m 48 and going through menopause. Peri-menopause started in my early 40’s (ask my mother, I’ve always been precocious). Oh, it’s been fun thus far. Thankfully I have a super patient and understanding gynecologist who I consider to be my vaginal spirit animal if that were a thing. 

Peri-menopause joys, oh let me count the ways! 

Then: you were afraid those few extra pounds would make you look pregnant
Now: You’d be flattered if someone thought you were young enough to be pregnant

Then: Excuse: Sorry I’m on my period
Now: Excuse: Sorry I’m (peri)menopausal 

Then: It’s freezing in here!
Now: Why is it so hot in here?

Then: I should get my hair cut
Now: I should get my chin hair cut

Then: Eats entire sleeve of thin mints, doesn’t gain an ounce
Now: Eats three thin mints, walks 1 mile and gains two pounds 

Then: Gets called “Miss” and goes on a feminist rant 
Now: Gets called “Ma’am” and barely restrains a lunge at the barista

Since I’m on the younger side of the menopausal spectrum, often I’m met with disbelief. And I don’t want to believe it either! But reality stares me in the mirror, particularly the hall bathroom mirror. My iPhone with all its fancy built-in filters makes me feel like a spry still-menstruating woman. Hall bathroom tells a different story. Who is this woman with ever-expanding grey roots and ever-deepening crow’s feet? And don’t get me started on that now visible upper lip peach fuzz. I need extra hair on my head, not my face. Menopause is clearly missing that memo.

You will know when you are truly heading towards menopause when hot lemon water starts to become your beverage of choice. Grab a bestie for hot lemon water happy hour! I’ve become a wine on weekends only type of girl thanks to wine calories finding their way directly to my menopausal mid-section. Menopausal metabolism gets a bad rap for a reason because it is real. A dinner out can require strategic planning in order to keep the scale happy. Prunes have also found their way to a permanent residence in my pantry.  

There are some upsides to this menopausal journey.  For example, money saved on feminine products now can be used towards anti-wrinkle cream. You can finally go and enjoy the hilarious melodic truth that is Menopause the Musical. You also become very adept at the cross-legged sneeze and the ability to wake up every morning at the crack of dawn without an alarm clock. You also free up a lot of closet space, since you no longer wear bulky sweaters or any real winter clothes. You discover novel and socially acceptable ways to stave off a hot flash, instead of frantically ripping off your clothes.  My favorite was passed on by my mother-in-law during a particularly bad hot flash during my sister’s 50th birthday dinner- hold a glass of ice water and be sure to position your hands so that your wrists get a feel of the cold. If you’re at home when a hot flash hits, sticking your head in the fridge for 10 seconds works wonders!

The menopausal journey is a time of shifting hormones and levels of sanity. If you are bone-cracking knees deep in this phase of life just remember, you’re not alone in this peri and menopausal madness. My motto? Be loud, Be proud, Be (hot) Flashy.


Shari Bender is an empty-nesting peri-menopausal mama.  She earned her BA in Communication from Stanford University in 1992 and currently works as Communication and Marketing Director for a large electrical firm on Long Island.  Shari is a cat-loving spiritual vegan who loves embracing her empty-nest along with her husband of 27 years. Her musings are featured regularly on Grown & Flown.

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Find my latest work on CONSIDERABLE Here


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