Menopause Mondays: I’m My Father’s Daughter Because… - Ellen Dolgen
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Menopause Mondays: I’m My Father’s Daughter Because…

There’s no relationship quite like the one between a father and a daughter. This was certainly the case for my dad’s and my bond, which was forged in the hustle and bustle of the hotel business.

My father, a hotel developer/owner, businessman, and most importantly, family man, worked long hours building his booming Arizona properties and businesses. Eager to be around my father and idol, so did I. Starting at eight years young, I tidied hotel rooms, answered the switchboard, and, when I was especially lucky, I had the treat of paging hotel guests. My father invested himself in the development of his daughter’s business savvy during a period when most girls were confined to the kitchen with their mothers.

During my college years at the University of Arizona, I worked 40+ hours a week at one of my dad’s hotels, taking night classes just so that by day I was able to work as his director of public relations. It was not until he died at 58 years old from heart disease that I learned just how precious our time working together at the hotel really was. I’m so thankful that we were able to spend so much quality time together when I was young— looking back I realize that every precious moment with my dad shaped my character and my life’s choices.

My dad taught me everything he knew about business, but his most important lesson was this: Always take time for others.

Working with my dad provided my first glimpse of him outside of our home, and I found he was just as warm with his guests. He strived to make everyone in his hotel feel like family. People from all over the world walked into those hotels and were treated as if they were all my father’s long-lost brothers and sisters. He genuinely cared about others, and I learned just how wonderful it was to be around people of different backgrounds and cultures. Nearby college students would often come into the hotel to ask my father for advice on their education, business skills, and future. He always had time to offer some carefully chosen words of support.

Often when people become successful in business, their egos grows right along with their résumé. For my dad, success made him only more accessible and humble. He was eager to help others. It brought him joy. It brought everyone around him joy.

Now, in my encore career as a menopause and wellness advocate, I often think of my father. No, not because he suffered through hot flashes, but because he always took the time to help others. So as my schedule brims with books, blogs, interviews, and speaking engagements, it’s important for me to remember that taking time for every woman needing my help gives me joy and purpose.

Just a few days ago, a woman direct messaged me on Facebook about her menopausal woes. I responded back with my phone number and before I knew it we had chatted for almost an hour about her health history, sourcing of menopause doctors, and hormone happiness. This was all within her reach, but until we spoke, she was suffering in silence, feeling alone, abandoned without the power to change her condition. Now that she reached out, she can get the tools she needs to turn her life around.

It is those conversations that I most enjoy. They bring me back to the memories of my dad, his love of life, and his deep commitment to others. He has been gone for 33 years, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t find myself turning to him for counsel. I often find myself asking, “What would dad do?”

Happy Father’s Day, dad!

Reaching out is IN!  Suffering in silence is OUT!


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Let’s hang out! The first Monday of every month at 5:30pm PST/8:30pm EST, Ellen is hosting her Menopause Mondays Google Hangouts: Where the Sisterhood helps the Sisterhood. Sign up here and get ready to ask Ellen your menopause questions at this free online event!



10 thoughts on “Menopause Mondays: I’m My Father’s Daughter Because…”

  1. Loved reading about your memories. How cool to grow up around the hotel world. You and your dad truly had a special bond. Were his hotels a recognizable name? We used to visit Arizona a lot in the 70’s

    1. Hi Caryn, thanks for your sweet words….he was quite a mentor and father! Did you ever stay at: The Desert Inn, Aztec Inn, Howard Johnson Hotel, or the Plaza International?

  2. Your father sounds like he was an extraordinary man – and that he taught you so many valuable life lessons. I’m so sorry you lost him when he was so young, but from learning more about you and what you do, it sounds like you will carry on his lessons to help not only yourself but so many others.

  3. Really enjoyed this, Ellen. I love hearing people’s “origin stories”
    You were a lucky woman to have such a great dad and business role model.

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