Gone in a Flash

What determines the end of youth? Is it having kids? No, lots of parents still look and feel quite young. Maybe it’s when those same kids start saying you are old? Pffft, mine would do that if I were still 25. How about greying hair? Nah, that has nothing to do with it. Not to claim expert status or anything, but I knew in a flash when my own youth was gone.

A hot flash.

True, my complaints are very small compared to what others go through. I certainly don’t have the war stories that some of my sisters-in-age tell. I never even fogged my own glasses, stripped down to a sport bra in public, or rushed over to stand by the winning coach at the end of a football game just so I could get drenched with iced-down Gatorade.

But from the outside, no one can understand what even a mild flash is like. These flashes are so inexplicable that I’d like to speak for my fellow middle-aged-lady types, and set the record straight:

We Are Not Crazy.

We just seem crazy, what with feeling perfectly comfortable one second and desperately fanning ourselves/gasping for air the next. To you, nothing whatsoever has changed during that one second. To us, it feels as if we have been teleported from an air-conditioned building into a closed-up car in the parking lot. In July. With no shade.

Sometimes “Flash Onset” happens more slowly. I might simply be typing with my wrist touching the warm spot near the front edge of my laptop; hugging my husband; washing dishes over the sink; or wearing shoes. Any of these can kindle a glow which, if I don’t nip it in the bud (with a leap away from the heat source and/or some preemptive fanning), soon blossoms into an all-out Flash.

Whether we experience sudden- or gradual-onset Flash, we must fight back. If we are not within reach of the winning coach at the end of a football game when we first notice the Flash, we resort to other cool-down strategies, like patting our arms and face with cool water and letting them air-dry. And of course, if a heat source is causing the Flash, we must get away from it immediately. If said heat source is likely to get its feelings hurt at this behavior, then we’ll offer a word of explanation, Sweetie.

Wow — even as I type this, my wrist is feeling the heat from my laptop. And the room is starting to feel a bit… stuffy. As near as I can figure, that means it’s time to back away from the keyboard and relax with some ice cold Coke Zero.

After all, I’m not getting any younger.

Thanks for reading,

PS: I’m late to the party, but I hope you will visit some of my Soli Deo Gloria sisters! Not to mention Rachel and my sweet friends over at Company Girls!

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
This entry was posted in I Remember When... (my OWN stories), Near As I Can Figure.... Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Gone in a Flash

  1. Brent Johnson says:

    I thought you actually were crazy.


  2. Jen says:

    This post is hilarious, but then to see your little convo with the husband — sent me over the edge!


  3. Jeannine or Grandma Johnson says:

    Oh shades of the past. Thank goodness it’s past. I would stick my head in the fridge, and never wore a coat in the winter, and Arnold would look at me like I was crazy — but this too will pass. Love, Mom


  4. Pamela says:

    Ever hear, “Takes one to know one?” I knew what you were talking about from the first word to the last — experienced it all. Well, except for the Gatorade solution. Laughing is a good way to start my day. (fanning is not)

    Still laughing…


    • Jan says:

      Hi, Pamela! I’m SO glad I got you to laughing and NOT fanning! I had a hunch some of my online buddies would understand… all too well. Thanks for the comment!


  5. Pat says:

    Understand all too well, i am past flashes, I have surges.


    • Jan says:

      Pat — “Surges,” what a funny mental picture that creates. But I really AM sympathetic! Thanks for the comment (and the understanding!) Blessings, Jan


  6. Anonymous says:

    LOL! Love the conversation with the hubby! I’m not to the flashing “age” yet, but had flashes shortly after some of my kiddos were born (hormones, really?!?). NOT FUN to feel sweat running under my bra down my midsection while heating up like a volcano. Not looking forward to that again. Hope “this too shall pass” is soon for you!

    (Found you on Company Girls!)


  7. Joie Callaway says:

    Loved this story…in fact, all of your stories! Things are settling down around here, so I can enjoy reading again!


  8. Heather says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! it’s weird because my hormones have been messed up for years. I had been diagnosed with endometriosis in my early 20s. I was actually put into a medically induced menopause – twice. So, in my 20’s I had the hot flashes – kept many a popsicle in the freezer. In my 40th year, I had to have a hysterectomy due to said endo. I’m told that means my hot flashes will come earlier – can’t wait!


    • Jan says:

      Wow, so you’ve already been there. Hmmmm… I never thought of Popsicles… I’d better add that to my grocery list. Thanks for taking time to comment! I enjoyed your blog post, too — it must be fun to have a daughter!
      Best, Jan


  9. Robert West says:

    For a couple of years if I even touched Holly she would begin a hot flash. I wonder if the term “flashing” got its name not from dirty old men in trench coats but from fifty something year old women stripping in public. To save money I installed a window unit in the master bedroom so the entire house wouldn’t have to be cooled to near freezing. I use a comforter year round now.


    • Jan says:

      Hey Robert! Poor Holly; I bet you made it tough on her. Serves you right if you had icicles on your nose…
      Hm, your etymological theory warrants further research. Besides, it’s really funny. Thanks for stopping by!


  10. Savannah Page says:

    Great writing, Jan! Reminds of a Candace Bushnell moment…a hot flash, so I have heard, is unlike anything experienced. Take care and keep up the grand writing…and stay cool! 🙂


    • Jan says:

      It’s nice to hear from you, Savannah! I hope we can make it over there one day for some of your amazing hospitality. Thanks for the encouraging comment. Love ya!


  11. Pingback: 2011 In Review | Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

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