A Menopausal Woman’s Guide to Climate Change

by Leigh Anne Jasheway
Leigh Anne Jasheway

No one ever asks menopausal women how to solve global warming, which is a damned shame because we’ve experienced personal climate change AND lived through it. It seems like we’d be the first stop for reporters looking for opinions on the issue – I mean besides scientists, whom no one ever seems to want to talk to. Maybe those white lab coats create too much glare on camera?

As someone who has been there and sweated that, let me offer up some advice that may come in handy for saving the planet:

1. You cannot sleep through hot flashes because if you do, when you wake up, you’ll find yourself in a pool of water.

There is no doubt that Mother Earth is going through “the change” and as tempting as it may be to try to nap through it, we need to do something before sea level rise turns our mattresses into waterbeds.

2. Turn down the thermostat, I’m dying of heat.

Sure, putting ice in your bra or running around topless (and bottomless on some days) seem like good temporary solutions to overheating, but with the glaciers melting, we have to save ice for our margaritas. The best way to cool off is to turn down the temperature and the best way to do that is to:

a) Rely less on fossil fuels and things made from them, like plastic. (Remember: Mother Nature needs all the lubrication she can get to help her brittle bones, so let’s leave it in the ground;

b) Stop buying stuff we don’t need, like that 47th jar of anti-aging cream to replace the 46 that didn’t work;  and

c) Stop eating meat and dairy – we have enough hormones to deal with already (and the “production” of meat and dairy accounts for a huge percentage of deforestation, pollution, and global temperature increases). Believe me, a cooler planet is worth it, especially if we can still have margaritas on the rocks.

3. Beware of mood swings.

Menopause causes more ups and downs and screaming than the world’s fastest roller coast. But when Mama Nature has mood swings, she can be a real bitch. She’s not just going to yell at you to “Make your own damn sandwich you’re a grown-up for god’s sake!” one minute and then break down in tears over a video of a goat in pajamas riding in a shopping cart the next. No… she’ll toss in hurricanes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, wildfires and blizzards just to let us know how NOT happy she is. So, in addition to changing our habits to make life more bearable, we all need to be prepared, especially those of us who live in areas of high risk of natural disaster. Just remember: Mama can blow at any time.

4. Try every reasonable solution.

At last count, there were 6.3 million products aimed at helping menopausal women – herbs, supplements, drugs, creams, terry cloth clothing, bamboo PJs to wick away moisture, mini fans that attach to cell phones, popsicles, assless chaps… The thing is when you’re that hot and uncomfortable, you don’t want to leave any option on the table. Something that helps a little can help a lot, so if you take one tiny step to help reduce Mother Nature’s menopause, you’re doing us all a favor.

5. Raking the bushes will not prevent fires.

Believe me, I’ve raked my bushes AND cleaned up the floor of my forest, but I still chafed and got heat rash, ‘cuz it’s bone dry down there. In my experience, the only way to prevent fires is to let the shrubbery grow out and keep it moist. And for heaven’s sake, don’t thin it out because it will never grow back.

6. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll pee yourself a little.

The best way to prevent accidents is not to wait until the last minute. The longer we put things off, the more likely we’ll all end up in an emergency situation. And while we can all find a pair of clean undies, we can’t find another habitable planet.

That’s my advice. If you’re a journalist, you’ve got my contact info. Oh, and also, if anyone wants to talk geography, I may know a little something about personalized continental drift too. All the parts of my body have moved and some of them have gone the way of the lost city of Atlantis.

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