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Goldilocks and Her New Friend

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Once upon a time, there was a middle-aged lady named Goldilocks. Lately, she hadn’t been feeling like herself; but today was her once a month window-shopping excursion and she wasn’t going to miss it.

A few hours later, Goldilocks was pulling into the parking lot. She jumped out of her car and happily skipped to the entrance of the store. As soon as she entered, Goldi (short for Goldilocks), saw a large BOGO sign hanging over the shoe department. She rushed over and began examining the clearance rack. Looking to her left then her right, she couldn’t find her size, so she approached an available salesperson. “Could you please bring me a size 8?”, she asked the employee. Goldi noticed the representative wasn’t too friendly, as she communicated that she’d be right back. When she returned, she brought the right shoe, but the wrong size. Goldi thought she did it on purpose.  When Goldi pointed it out, the clerk made a dash for another pair and returned, but this set was too big. 

Right there in the middle of the store, Goldi lost her patience.  She stood up and with a loud voice, insisted that she see the manager.  Due to the volume of Goldi’s voice, the manager was already on her way to the front. She came out from behind the back room and immediately tried to apologize.

The manager tried to justify the demeanor of the salesperson, who had just received some bad news and was about to leave for the day.  The manager offered to assist Goldi, while the employee clocked out. Goldi wasn’t having it, she huffed, puffed and walked away.

Goldi disappeared to the other side of the store. She settled in the women’s section and as she was shuffling through the shirts, she begin to feel bad. She thought what was going on with her, this was the second time this week that she reacted out of character. Goldi turned and left the store.

Later that night, lying in her bed, she checked her social media and email account on her phone. Goldi’s attention went to an email, topic: menopause. The contents of the email included some of the symptoms she had been experiencing. After reading it she thought to herself, when was the last time I had a complete checkup and she decided to make an appointment.

The following week, during her doctor’s visit, in the examination room; she explained to the doctor what was going on.  ‘Last month, I noticed that I was waking up in the middle of the night sweating like an Olympic runner and visiting the bathroom more than a toddler learning how to potty train.’

The doctor examined her and had his assistant draw some blood.  He told her to go home and try not to let anything bother her and his office would contact her when he received the test results. Three days had passed. Goldi was sitting on the couch reading a book and was startled by the ringing of the phone. 

The nurse introduced herself and stated the nature of her call was to schedule a follow-up appointment for the doctor to review the test results. Goldi tried to get more information out of her, but the nurse insisted that the doctor would answer all of her questions at their next appointment.

Goldi hung up the phone and got up from the couch and decided to go outside for a walk. She needed to clear her mind and hope for the best. Before she knew it, the sun was going down, so she headed back home. When she returned home, while taking a shower, her middle school days popped up in her thought. Goldi remembered how they taught her about acne, menstrual period, but no one schooled her on what she was currently experiencing.

At her follow up appointment, Goldi waited patiently in the waiting area. She made friendly smirks at others around her but was too nervous to start any small talk. The door opens and they call her back.  The doctor comes in with her chart and looks at her and with this big grin on his face and says, “Goldi, congratulations you are smack dab in the middle of menopause. He explained to her that Menopause is a normal, natural event—defined as the final menstrual period and usually confirmed when a woman has missed her periods for 12 consecutive months (in the absence of other obvious causes). Menopause is associated with reduced functioning of the ovaries due to aging, resulting in lower levels of estrogen and other hormones. It marks the permanent end of fertility. Menopause occurs, on average, at age 51. The doctor also went over some of the things that she could do to help her through this new season. He suggested that she try to daily include good nutrition, exercise, an adequate amount of sleep….most of all learn to relax.”

Goldilocks exhaled a sigh of relief and even though she had to make some major changes in almost every area the doctor recommended, she knew it was for her good. She thanked the doctor and as she left his office.

As she opened her car door, she saw a flower store on the corner.  She closed the car door walked to the kiosk and brought a small bouquet of flowers. Goldi sped off to take them to the salesperson that she had yelled at the other day.  She apologized and said that her behavior was not acceptable, she went on to say that she just found out she is in the beginning stages of menopause and that she has to make some adjustments – watching how she reacts is one of them.

The employee apologize for how she treated Goldi. Goldi conversed a little longer. Not sure what was funny, but she and the salesperson broke out into a contagious laughter. They exchanged telephone numbers and Goldi said. “We have better keep in touch; we ladies are going to have to stick together if we are going to make it through this journey – called “MENOPAUSE.”

Sheri is also the author of ‘Pausing With God: A Journey Through Menopause’ (English & Spanish)

We were told about puberty, our menstruation, but no one taught or told us about menopause. There are libraries full of secular books on menopause, but how many have you found written from a spiritual perspective. Menopause is a natural and inevitable time in a woman’s life, but just the anticipation of this event can have one on pins and needles. From hot flashes to weight gain, every woman will experience different symptoms and to various degrees. Instead of focusing on what we can’t do, we’ll benefit most by setting our mind on what we can do.

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