It's true, you know.
Everybody goes through nasty weather at one point or another in their lives.
No one makes it through this life unscathed.
As a grocery store cashier, I spend 4 to 9 hours a day greeting folks as I ring up their items to be purchased. Some of them I have known for 20 years, others I know not by name but by what they buy each day or week.
I exchange brief pleasantries with folks from all walks of life. Young and old. Rich and poor. Working, unemployed, soon-to-be-unemployed...
In one shift I see an often dizzying emotional mixture of happy, sad, rejoicing, grieving, kind, gruff, kind, angry...
It is, as the bumpy waves in the sea of humanity tend to go, a bit of an emotional roller coaster some days.
Such a humbling reminder: it's a cold, often cruel, world out there. And I'm not the only one who has endured the frostbite.
I remember one grey day a few years back when I was teetering precariously on the hormonal limb called perimenopause, running customers through the checkout line as quickly as possible, brushing away my tears between sales...
I could not see faces, just the various tragedies that had befallen each customer at some point in their life...the loss of a loved one, a cancer diagnosis, a wayward child, financial chaos...the list was endless.
And it was oh, so overwhelming.
But that is when it also hit me, and that's what strikes me every day at work...in the face of sadness and loss, we -- the human race -- just keep on keeping on.
We keep going and striving and hoping and and smiling and laughing and looking toward a better day.
Yes, the bright light and warm strength of the human spirit still shines, burning through the inevitable -- and at times, seemingly insurmountable -- dark nights of our souls.
So why not spread that light by offering an encouraging word or a friendly smile to all we we meet along life's path?
Like the song says, "The road is long with many a winding turn..."
Friday, March 08, 2013
Not an oxymoron. Nor is it an imaginary or estrogen therapy-induced state of mind.
It's real, I tell you!
I know because I feel it, nay, I rejoice in it, every time some young woman plunks down a package of Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi Pads With Flexi-Wings on the checkout counter at the grocery store where I work.
Eee-gads am I glad to be done with those!
(I understand they now offer Always Infinity Heavy Flow pads. Really? Infinity? If you are always flowing heavy for infinity, you need an emergency room doctor, darlin', not a sanitary napkin. But I digress.)
Yes, never having to purchase those bothersome female doodads ever again is, I have discovered over the past few years, just one of the many jolly aspects of no longer having a monthly menstrual ordeal.
No more worrying about sitting on white furniture during "that time of the month", or having to tie a jacket around my waist as I try to hold my legs together while attempting to nonchalantly hobble out of a room...backwards...to avoid a leaky embarrassment.
No more frightening, maniacal bouts of PMS!
Joyful! Joyful! Oh, how I (and my family and friends) adore and appreciate thee, my darling postmenopausal bliss!
And no more secretly stashing squares of semi-sweet baking chocolate in my underwear drawer for those "break open in case of dire hormonal emergency and gorge" moments.
Oh, if only I had a nickel for every Midol or other pain reliever I popped over that 40-year span of estrogen-laced hell...
Granted, I still buy Aleve in the convenient economy size and curl up regularly with a heating pad. But -- hippity hip hooray! -- it's only for mildly annoying arthritis symptoms not debilitatingly painful menstrual cramps.
I love chocolate.
I just don't hide it in my underwear drawer anymore.
So, if you, or someone you love, is postmenopausal, postpone the party no longer! Celebrate the bliss!
Perfect gift for the jubilant woman who is from-now-on-till-forever period free?
Why, 231 Other Ways To Use A Sanitary Napkin: The Ultimate Recycling Guide For Women Who Have Moved On, by Karen Isaacson, of course!