My hot flashes have generally been well regulated lately. In other words, they come and go occasionally, but are mild and short in duration.

But that other form of heat, the emotional "Flame On" that makes me feel like a midlife superhero out of control, has been a bit more prevalent lately. I’ve previously been upset and mortified by these hot-headed events, but I’m taking a different tack these days. I’m trying to tap into this extra "energy" and use it wisely. Let’s face it – the energy will just build until it explodes volcanolike and I don’t want the lava laying waste to those innocents around me.

The other day, I was in the garage, feeling virtuous about getting my Christmas stuff organized early (a necessity, since we are traveling for 2 weeks in December.) And I realized after a fruitless search for the ornaments and decorations that there WAS JUST TOO MUCH CRAP IN OUR GARAGE AND HOW DID WE BECOME SUCH PACKRATS AND WHO ACTUALLY LIVES LIKE SUCH PIGS AND ……..

And things started flying into the middle of the space usually occupied by the car. I was in the midst of a full-fledged menopausal meltdown – a hormonal hissy fit of the highest order. Believe me when I say that nothing could have stopped me. By the time I exhausted myself, still irritated and panting, I had a plan. I’d use this "energy" to motivate myself. (And my poor unsuspecting husband.) I’d purge us of all this junk.

Of course, the timing of this heat-inspired brilliance was grossly inconvenient. We don’t really have much time before we leave and plenty of projects to complete. Yet, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about Menopause: it will always manifest at the least convenient, most annoying and embarrassing of times. All you can do is to put on your big girl panties and just go on.

My husband called later that day from the airport to say he was returning from his business trip. "You can’t park in the garage," I informed him. "Okaaaaaaaaaaay," he said carefully. He’s lived with a Menopausal Goddess long enough to know what to say AND what not to say. "And we’re getting a dumpster and getting rid of all this stuff we haven’t used in the last century, so get ready." "Great," he feigned enthusiasm, another calming trick he’s learned through this transition.

We spent the better part of a week going through stuff. Every time something irritated me, it was off to the garage and the Perfect Purge. After it was all over, the dumpster on its way and useful stuff off to the local thrift store, we toasted each other and the energy of Menopausal Meltdowns. We feel cleaner and lighter – kind of like we imagine a forest feels after a good fire blazes through.

So I’m less freaked out about the hormonal hissy fits. Anger is a form of energy; nothing more or less. It’s how we channel it and what we do with it that counts. And the next time I feel this energy coming on, I’m going through my closets!

(Don’t forget our girlfriend’s special for Christmas: buy one copy of "The Big M" and get the second at half price! Click here The Big M