Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Menopause is just mean.
Therefore, it really should be spelled "Mean"opause.
For those of you who know what I mean, well, you know what I mean!
Did I get you to chuckle?
Well, I've been doing a bit of reading about this change in life and it seems that laughter really can be the best medicine...
I have really been spiraling with my health in the last year, both physically and mentally.  My anxiety levels have been at an all time high, kicking off a fight or flight response that could prime me for war.  Instead, I have been at war with myself. As in Proverbs 17:3, the Lord has been testing my heart just as the crucible is for silver and the fiery furnace is for gold.  Not to mention the fiery furnace that my body has turned into!

At first I didn't know what was wrong with me as my memory quickly faded and soon I was writing post-it notes with my kids' names on them!  Just kidding.  Did you chuckle again?  I sure did when I read that "somewhere." (Of course I don't remember where:)  But the problem is that now I can't read the post-it notes because my vision has faded too!
Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry, so I do both...This part is like being pregnant but no sweet baby to show for it!  The same goes for the over-grown belly.  Yep, I look 5 months pregnant but no baby to excuse the growth. Yet we still remain open to new life, despite the slimmer possibilities.
Essentially I've become like my 7 year-old's transformer..."transformed" into one big sweaty mood swing!  Doesn't this sound mean?
Preparing for my 45th birthday in 2 weeks and feeling rather "picked on", I have come to realize that I am not alone...After reading Lisa Hendey's article, I decided to write about it too.  Especially after reading the scripture that inspired me this morning (read below).
I've come to learn that this meanopause is a gradual process of change that effects everyone differently.  As our bodies change with these many symptoms, the time of transition is called peri-meanopause.  How long is the suffering?  It's different for everyone but it doesn't usually happen over night.  Therefore, the term long suffering. (wink)
What to do?
There are no easy answers!
I'm aiming for these:
Laugh, (Eat Chocolate), and Pray...
Oh, and do my best at the exercise-thing too!
I was reading that laughing can have the same relieving qualities for stress as exercise.  I know I have heard this before, but it was good to hear it again. Research has proven that when you laugh, your muscles relax, your stress hormones decrease, your immune function improves, your blood pressure lowers, your pain triggers go down, your blood sugar levels lower, you forget your problems and your skin appearance improves. Wow, now that's a pill to cure an ill:)
The chronic emotional stress can be physically draining.  The thing with meanopause is that the stress response is constantly or frequently activated in your body (unlike a healthy short duration of stress) and we often must sit perfectly still while this war is being waged within us, hence the psycho strong mood swings.  This is where laughter and exercise can really tame the beast and keep us sane! 

Like any other test in life, the blessing is the work that God is doing within us.  I know that...but it's still a tough road.  They say that meanopause is the time when women are really convinced that there is a God, and that he's male!  hee hee This is where prayer comes in.  My prayer life has been beefed up again, just like everything else in my body:) 
In all seriousness, this scripture verse is what inspired my writing, as I mentioned above:
"We are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal." ~2 Corinthians 4: 16-18~

We are all just passing through this life, aiming for the glories of the next.  The changes in our lives, regardless of their nature, are sure signs that we are not meant to stay the same.  I remain open to God's plan, regardless of the challenges placed before me.
In the meantime, knowing this meanopause too shall pass, I plan on laughing it away with a prayer and a song...and
referring back to this post as I am sure to forget!

A Prayer:
Help me, Lord, to embrace life's cycle.
When my emotions fluctuate, steady me. When my body temperature rises, shade me beneath your cool, comforting shelter. When my spirit falls, lift me up, Oh Lord; remind me that I am blessed, that I am beautiful, that I am desirable, that I am whole. When I find myself envying younger women, teach me, God, how to rejoice in the joy of others. Open my eyes to the abundant gifts that surround me each day.
I thank You, God, for making me a woman, for the beauty of youth, for the joy of marriage, for the miracle of childbirth, for the blessings of motherhood, for the beauty that comes with age, for the wisdom of my years. Thank you, dear Jesus for comforting me in this time of need.  In your most Holy name, I pray. Amen.

A Song:
Sing to tune "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

You'd better veg out
Have a good cry
Utter no doubt your "friend" is bye bye
Menopause is coming around

She's making a fist
Mom's ain't quite right
Drug store specs corrected your sight
Menopause is coming around

You bloat when you are sleeping
It's hot when you're awake
Just throw away those rags for good
And enjoy the chocolate cake

You'd better rock out
Estrogen buy
This could be the best part of your life
Menopause is coming around

All of this is safe, effective, and free of charge!


  1. Oh... thank you! A much needed laugh and some encouragement! Just as I came on to the computer to try and alleviate another symptom that I have- insomnia.

  2. Tiffany, your prayer is perfect and this post is timely! I ditto Laurie's comment about the insomnia-I can hardly remember what it feels like to sleep for more than 4 hours at a stretch!

    A few years ago, when I first noticed symptoms of peri-menopause combined with depression a co-worker tried to encourage me by telling me that everything that was happening to me was normal and part of the change of life. It's your hormones, she would say. I told her that I could accept the menopause, but that God had to be involved as well (she is very anti-religion/Catholic especially). I knew that the insomnia and mood swings were caused by hormones, but also knew that God was using this time in my life to effect a change of heart and draw me closer to Him. I would say his plan is working quite well, especially regarding the insomnia-I do my best praying and writing in the middle of the night when sleep is absent.

    It's so good to know that we are not alone!!! Misery does love company, it's true. I'm praying for you my friend! Welcome to the 45 club!

  3. Ack! I'm not looking forward to this! Hang in there :)

  4. I always say I'm going to go straight from nursing (or maybe pumping with this baby) sweats to menopausal sweats. Menopause is just that, a pause, right?

    Sorry for all you are going through. My Mother in law was on some kind of pills for menopause, but all it did in the end was delay her symptoms.

    Laughing....I kept thinking every time you said laughing was the movie "Dan in Real Life" I laughed so hard when watching that one. Good, clean and funny!

    Prayers for you my friend!

  5. Tiffany. I laughed my way through your whole post! and every bit of it is true. you forgot the night sweats!!! and i can relate to your feelings, and physical symptoms. where did this bloated belly come from, almost overnight! ugh. but I believe I'm aging gracefully inside (maybe not outside). I love the Corinthians passage you discovered. it is beautiful and so appropriate for menopause. This post should be passed around and around to all our mommy friends. God bless your sweaty day!

  6. I needed to read this. So far, this phase of life is taking it pretty easy on me, I know. I'm 48... no night sweats, still in single vision glasses, cycle's still pretty regular. However, I am running on hot, which I don't tolerate well. And, I am battling mood swings and the guilt that comes along with them. I feel like I am caught in a constant state of PMS. One of my older kids snapped at me earlier today, and I burst into tears. She was just being a typical teen... not even disrespectful really. Thank you, Tiffany... I'm bookmarking this! +JMJ+

  7. Hi Tiffany, I'm right behind you and have been told I've been in peri-menopause for years. I like your attitude about facing this phase in life. No way of getting around it, must go through it and I prefer to handle it with as much grace as possible!

  8. I'm always hot as it is...menopause will be like hell. Think I'm entering the peri stage...

    Thanks for writing about it and the inspiration.

  9. although i'm not there yet, I can somewhat relate. i was told that i was pre-menopausal at the ripe age of 22. i had all the symptoms for just over a year. it was definitively a challenging time for me and i thank God that he removed that cup from me. it was intense for me and my family. i trust that it was (and is) a trial for the entire family.

    i pray that He will ease your burden and provide you the graces to persevere with joy and peace, through this time of "refinement". i also pray that your family be given the graces to grow in patience and charity during this time of change.

    Ad Jesum per Mariam!

  10. Tiffany, did you write that last prayer and the song?! One was beautiful, the other was hysterical!

    I remember how my mom would freeze us to death during the cold winter months of the Midwest and she'd practically be in shorts and a tank top! LOL

    I love Allison's response!

    Great post! I'm almost right behind you...especially with the eyesight thing. Oh my!

  11. I might have had a hot flash yesterday and I thought of your cartoon.

  12. I still need to respond to your message from a while back so we can commiserate! I find that laughter is the only way. After how I have been plunged into Meanopause (LOVE this!) I have to laugh on some days or I would cry! I promise to write more soon sweet friend!
    I have found much comfort in Psalm 46 the past few months! I keep telling myself "Be Still and Know that I am GOD!" It really does soothe :D


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