I almost cried in a meeting. I never cry in meetings – my business motto has always been “die before you cry.” Luckily, I was meeting with a woman who has known me for years and is going through menopause as well.
In fact, our meeting agendas have to include time for removing jackets, turning on fans, putting jackets back on, holding back angry words, remembering what we were going to say, and then removing jackets again.
Don’t get me wrong, women can lead brilliantly during any phase of their life. The menopausal struggle is purely a personal one, fought in a matter of seconds.
In this particular encounter, I was responding to a very simple question about my work. As I opened my mouth to respond, my chin began to quiver. I know because I felt the tiny hairs there tickling my chin.
There was no sobbing, no tears rolling down my face, just the mortification associated with the thought that I might cry in a professional meeting.
You all will be happy to know that I pulled my emotions back together, tied a rope around them and kept them constrained until I sat in my car on the way home. Then the song, “I’ll be Home for Christmas” came on and I lost it.
Just as quickly as the tears attacked, they receded, and I looked to the left. I noticed a woman walking a very large dog down the sidewalk. The dog spotted a cat in the next yard, and took off running. The woman’s arm flew up in the air like she was riding a bull at the rodeo, and she was yanked down the sidewalk haphazardly. I began to laugh hysterically.
I am sure the drivers sitting next to me at the light were terrified by this time, sure that the next emotion would be anger and they’d be the undeserving recipients.
I believe the theater masks should be the sign for a menopausal woman. We laugh. We cry. We scream. We grow hair on our chins. It’s a busy time.
And, yet, we keep doing it all. We make brilliant leadership decisions, run our homes, and stay connected to our friends. We rock.
Happy Holidays, Dames!