The Secret Pleasures of Menopause Playbook, by Christiane Northrup, M.D.
When you were 15, your mother was hopelessly out of touch. Secretly, perhaps, you admired her. You might have wanted to be like her someday. But, when you were 15, you were certain that your mother was the most un-hip person in the world.
Forty-five seemed so old when you were 15. Don’t you wish you could tell your former 15-year-old self a thing or two? By now, you’ve conquered 45 and beyond, you’re seasoned, more experienced and life is good. Now, take it further by reading “The Secret Pleasures of Menopause Playbook,” by Christiane Northrup, M.D. See how other women have learned to embrace this time in their lives, too.
After her last book, Northrup says she was surprised and pleased at the huge number of personal stories her fans sent her. She says the stories were “touching and creative… from women who definitely saw midlife as the start of the absolute best years of their lives.”
She emphatically states, “Their stories prove that the pursuit of pleasure is hardly an indulgence; it’s a life-affirming necessity!”
To live passionate and joyful lives, Northrup claims, women should learn to bring more nitric oxide into their lives. Nitric oxide is a molecule, not to be confused with the stuff your dentist uses. This natural molecule, she believes, tells your body to stay healthy and thus, happy. “It literally resets your power grid,” she says. “Think of it as your secret weapon for wellness!”
Northrup says there are six ways to maximize nitric oxide: associate yourself with positive people; eat well, exercise and watch your weight; take pride in yourself; move forward, not backward; realize that you are what you believe you are; and know that sex and health go hand-in-hand.
In “Secret Pleasures,” each chapter filled with testimonials from women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond, who are embracing the six tenets Northrup advocates. Following each chapter, there are lined pages for you to add your own thoughts, the challenges you want to overcome and the commitments you’ll make for your future.
While I’m a little skeptical about maximizing nitric oxide by doing good things for myself (search online, and you will be, too), I’m all for the basic meaning behind what Northrup is saying. But, what she writes isn’t where the real joy in this book lies.
The best part of this book is in the stories that Northrup includes. These are accounts of women who have survived, thrived and learned to embrace this time of their lives. They’ve “found” exercise, stopped dying their hair, practiced gratitude, gone back to school, discovered a passionate side, become comfortable with their bodies and learned to let go of anger. They’ve found joy and peace in midlife. What’s not to love about that?
If you’re feeling blue, feeling old, or think menopause means a fast-forward to misery, read this book and think again. “The Secret Pleasures of Menopause Playbook” is not your mother’s change-of-life book.
Shaking the Globe, by Blythe J. McGarvie
The car in your garage came from America. Detroit, all the way. However, the television on which you checked the weather this morning came mostly from Japan. Part of your lunch was raised on a farm in Mexico. Several of your household appliances were manufactured in China. Your favorite sweater came from England.
So often, we’re urged to buy locally or nationally, but that isn’t always possible. It’s also probably not good for business, says author Blythe J. McGarvie, and in her new book, “Shaking the Globe,” she discusses the future of work in a world economy.
The news is filled with daily reports of factory closings and job layoffs. Manufacturing is moving overseas; yet, more than two-thirds of Americans want tighter restrictions on free trade. Are we heading for a global economy?
“For the past 50 years, Americans… have been accustomed to setting the standards of business for the rest of the world,” says McGarvie, in the beginning of her book. But, “…change is not only inevitable - it is already in rapid motion,” she concludes.
Major corporations, of course, have been doing business abroad for some time, but you’re just a small operation. Can you still go global?
You must, says McGarvie. According to Goldman Sachs, businesses that can meet future challenges know, among other things, that globalization is critical.
Start with courageous leadership. Establish a presence in the emerging markets by looking for new opportunity, new capital and new talent. Understand that ignoring “Generation Y” workers is doing a disservice to your business. Likewise, know that you’ll have to adapt your business practices, not only to reflect new cultures, but for the real possibility that you may have four generations of workers to meld into a team.
Recognize that women are a huge, untapped labor source in other countries. Be on the lookout for entrepreneurs. Learn the proper way to communicate with overseas shareholders and be willing to learn the expectations and cultures of the countries into which you’re expanding.
At first blush, “Shaking the Globe” is going to make a few people shake their fists. Not buying American is often blasphemous, but McGarvie has some valid, well-considered points.
“If Americans want to buy products at cheap prices, they must endure having these products manufactured by cheap labor,” she says. She also points out that we need to remain open to a multicultural pool of diverse talent.
McGarvie also has some blood-curdling statistics: Chinese schools hand diplomas to about twice as many engineers as do American schools. Within two generations, 97 percent of the global labor force will come from developing economies, yet our country limits the number of H-1B visas, meant for foreign professionals. According to the World Economic Forum, the U.S. ranks 57th worldwide, when it comes to macroeconomic stability.
Although the book is occasionally dry, if you own a business or aim to own one someday and you want to know your future, “Shaking the Globe” is a good place to start. In today’s economy, why in the world read anything else?
The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.