THE BLOG

Tropical Moments

05/05/2015 04:31 pm ET | Updated May 05, 2016
Ziggy Smolinski via Getty Images

Before I ever had a hot flash, I heard women refer to them as power surges and tropical moments and while I never really found that hilarious, I figured they were probably pretty accurate descriptions of what a hot flash felt like.

Then I had a hot flash.

A hot flash is not a damn tropical moment. A tropical moment is sitting in a beach chair, perhaps glistening with sweat, while drinking some fruity rum drink out of a coconut. There is a cool breeze and lovely young men whose sole purpose in life is to fetch frou frou drinks.

Hot flashes are NOT tropical moments. Imagine if you will that your brain is filled with fire ants, and at random moments, they all come out of your brain and burrow to just underneath your skin while carrying little tiny ant buckets of sweat. The throw buckets and buckets of sweat from the inside out until it seeps through your pores. This is not normal sweat. This is sweat that also turns your skin purple.

See the difference? Tropical moment = vacation. Hot flash = torture by fire ants.

I think, at the very least, we menopausal women should get to shoot fire out of our eyeballs when we're having a hot flash. We should get something out of this bullshit.

Moving on to "power surge." I feel no surge of power when I have a hot flash. I feel my energy drain away like it's a Monday morning after staying up way too late on a Sunday night. There is no surge, just hot and sweating bargaining with the gods of menopause to please make it stop.

From what I gather, this is just the beginning. Apparently, I'm at the stage that is so mild that I'll probably look back and be embarrassed by how wussy I was to whine about a few hot flashes.

I suppose soon, I will start sweating enough at night to soak through pajamas and sheets. I'm also waiting for my nearly wrinkle free skin to dry out and shrivel up any day now. I'm more worried about that than I am soaking the sheets at night.

Even so, even with the bullshit that goes along with aging and menopause, I don't have an age that I'd like to relive.

I saw an interview with Cher a number of years ago and something she said has always stuck with me. She said, "I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better. I've been forty and I've been fifty. Forty is better."

I suspect the being rich is much better than being poor... I have to guess because I have no way to gauge having only experienced the one side of being rich and poor. However, I have been both forty and fifty and I like my fifties so much more than forty.

I have recently had to accept that the number of years ahead of me are no longer infinite. I know they never were, but who doesn't think they will live forever when they are younger?

I feel an urgency to stop waiting. For anything. If I want to accomplish anything new in my life, then I need to act.

This urgency isn't entirely uncomfortable. The urgency I feel to live my authentic life gives me a power surge. I can accept that feeling wildly uncomfortable at inopportune times is a decent price to pay for feeling like I'm finally coming in to my own.

I don't like the hot flashes. I suspect I might find there are a lot more things to dislike about aging and menopause as time goes by, but that doesn't mean that I can't love the good parts more than the bad.