If discussions of women's changing bodies is not your thing, don't bother to read on.
So - I began with an optimistic look at the world of outdoors so I could gripe a bit about this menopausal world. For the most part, I have learned to live with hot flashes with some degree of equanimity. I always wear layers that can quickly be removed to a sleeveless state. It's only about 8-10 a day, just a part of the deal now. Although, now and again one of them makes my skin prickle, my head feel like it's expanding, and I get a sense of panic that I might pass out. Those are rare, but disconcerting and harder to cover up. I do get the occasional stare - not because they notice that I'm sweating, I don't think, but because I have stripped down to a tank top where everyone else is in parkas. Still - I'm okay with that. And summer is coming - not sure what I'll do to cool down then.
More gray hair, more wrinkles, "loss of elasticity in the derma" (droopy skin), a growing distaste for mirrors and photographs (who IS that woman?)... well, sigh, okay. I'll take it as gracefully as I can.
The most recent visitor, however, is MOST highly unwelcome. A few weeks ago, as I was doing some stretches and abdominal work one morning, I kept pulling at my shirt to get it out of my way. It was bunching up over my lower abdomen, so my legs ran into it when I did my bicycle moves on my back. Good lord, that's not my shirt, it's part of me. I had heard of this unhappy phenomenon from a very thin, athletic high school friend. That little paunch is her only real sign of menopause so far. It has arrived chez moi - I HATE IT.
Okay - I've had my little tantrum, and will carry on, listening for the birds.