The Change

We have all seen them: little old ladies dressed in warm coats and hats on warm days. I want to know when that happens. When do we shift from being warm all the time to being chilly; because I want to get there sooner rather than later.

It used to be that women didn’t talk about The Change and the symptoms that accompanied the mysterious Change were a surprise when they appeared. Thank goodness we’ve come through that phase and that we’re quite free in the way we talk about it now, at least that how it is in my circles. I work with a group of other women in a similar demographic to me and it’s not unusual when we’re in a meeting for one of us to suddenly pull out a piece of paper and begin fanning herself. It’s also not uncommon for one of the rest of us to also pull out a piece of paper and assist in the fanning.

Sometimes, though, I find myself in a meeting with people I don’t know quite so well or (heaven forbid!) with men and the fanning doesn’t seem quite as appropriate. When the heat wave comes over me at those times I do my best to ignore it and hope that the beads of sweat I feel on my upper lip aren’t visible to anyone or, worse yet, that I don’t spontaneously combust in front of everyone.

My experience of meno-moments in the middle of the night are of another sort. I wake up with a sense of burning heat originating in the center of my chest that gradually intensifies to the point where I am sure my blood must be boiling. I throw my covers off and reach for the remote control on my bedside table that controls the huge white oscilating fan that stands next to my bed and with a quick click-click turn it on and set it to run for one hour. That fan has saved my life. Seriously.

My mom died when I was still at the place in my life where I wanted to be considered hot (oh if I had only known….) so we never talked about these meno-moments; I had no idea what to expect. I’ve muddled through and, while I can’t say I’ve embraced these heat waves, I suppose I have learned to cope with them as best as I can. Now I have other questions.

When will I feel cold? At what age do we feel the desire to throw away our wicking pajamas and don pair of flannel pajamas and socks? When will I turn into one of those little old ladies wearing a coat when everyone younger is wearing summer attire? When? I have never heard women talking about this change; it seems to be one of the final taboo points of discussion in the life of women.

Break the silence, ladies! Talk to your mothers and your grandmothers and find out when this shift happens! Get the dialogue going!

And when you find the answer please come back and tell me.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. I don’t think there’s a specific time when our body thermostats change over. It’s more related (like most other things) to genetics. 🙂

    1. Ah yes…genetics….. 🙂

  2. I have been at this for six years now and still don’t get cold at night. My fan is my life:)) LOL
    I am not thrilled with all the changes my body is going through and am trying to accept them, and do what I have to to go forward.

    1. I saw a woman with a gadget that looked like an iPod on a string around her neck one time. Even though it looked like an iPod it was actually a fan! Very crafty idea!

      The fan is my life too, Terri! 🙂

  3. Have hope my friend. I’m over the volcano and down the slopes into the land of never warm enough. Flannel is mankind’s greatest invention. It took the better part of a decade. What’s interesting, even though I no longer flash, is that I no longer have any tolerance for heat, and before internal combustion, I loved soaking up the sun.

    1. Ah, Deb….thank you for leaving this glimmer of hope. I look forward to the day.

  4. Hi Linda, thanks for visiting my blog this morning. Glad you liked my spring photos. I’m chuckling at your post, having been at this flashing business now for nearly 15 years. I kid you not! Things are slowing down though. Just recently I realized that I’m getting through most nights now without throwing off the covers. When my mother in law was in her mid-70s I asked her how it long it lasted for her and this was her answer: I don’t want to tell you. (So that told me everything I needed to know.) Sorry to be the bearer of bad news–although we’re all different. My sister tells me she thinks she had a hot flash once about five years ago.
    Didn’t mean for this to be so long.

    1. Fifteen years! On my….

      And your sister “thinking” she had a hot flash once, that had me laughing. I don’t know about you, but there’s no “thinking” I’ve had one with me. When they show up I KNOW IT!

      Hope to see here here again!

  5. I was lucky, and only had a few months of those “power surges” following surgical menopause. At the beginning of this year, I started thinking about how I’ll turn 60 in June, how it was a new decade, and that at the beginning of the next decade I will be about to turn 70. Well, that gave me pause, and I decided to see if I could “blog the decade.” I’ve gotten started by adding a page to my regular blog. The page is called “Ten Little Years.” Would love it if you would join our small group there and just jump into the conversation.

  6. Looking at your picture, it’s hard to believe you are going to be turning sixty! You must be doing something right!

    I would love to join the conversation on Ten Little Years…watch for me!

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