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  • Writer's picturePatricia Awapara

It Is That Time Of My Life.

It is mid September and a chill morning in Longmont, Colorado. I am enjoying the change of season, sipping coffee, focused on painting thistles and flower fields. I feel grateful for the creative flow. Purples and greens glide through the surface of the gesso board. I am a joyful soul.

Just as I am having these wonderful thoughts, uneasiness crawls up my spine into the back of my neck. I know what's on the horizon. The pit of my stomach closes, my heart dwindles, my skin feels warms, my cheeks turn red.

I am on fire!

I run to the fridge, grab a small ice pack, placing the frozen thing behind my neck without hesitation. I laugh nervously as I continue to rub the cold object all over my face, behind my ears, along my arms and back to my neck. I stand under the fan, is blowing warm air. I walk outside, it is 50 degrees. the balcony floor feels good under my bare feet and a soft breeze helps me relax and cool off.

Yes, it is that time of my life. Menopause!!

The hot flashes usually last a few minutes, but they seems eternal. Sometimes they are mild and I am able to ignore them [kinda]. Lately, however, I wish I could rip my skin off and stick it in a cooler. These moments I wish I had a commercial freezer handy [the ones to keep the ice from melting] so I can jump inside until it passes. The funny part is once it is gone I am shivering like a leaf, ready to put my sweater back on. It is no laughing matter, but I cannot help it!