Today in My History

2000:  I Survived Mothers Day
2001:  No entry--in England
2002:  Move Over, Mr. Blackwell
2003:  Lame Duck
2004:  The Bionic Woman
2005:  What Big Teeth You Have
2006 Mothers

2007: With Six Do You Get Egg Roll?
2008:  A Dose of Reality
2009:  Cannibalism
2010:  Our Daughter, the Carpenter
2011:  The Brave Little Tailor!
2012: Now This is Just Silly
2013: Jack Bauer Lives

2014: Why Reading the News Makes Me Cry
2015: Today at Logos
2016: The Princess of Procrastination
2017: Customer Service

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Updated 5/10
"Marjorie Prime"

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 Updated 5/5
"The Burning Room"

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Books Read in 2018
Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
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WHAT IF....?

16 May, 2018

Gosh, I wish Gilbert were still here.  Gilbert suffered from terrible insomnia and I can't think of a single time we got together when a good part of the visit did not include a report on how many (or how few) hours of sleep he got.  I'd love to compare notes now.

In the past year, I have suddenly gone from functioning on 3-4 hours of sleep a night--for years, to sleeping almost constantly.  I am almost always wide awake at 3 a.m., after sleeping on the couch for 2-3 hours, then awake for a couple of hours, falling asleep in the recliner hoping to find something boring on TV that will put me to sleep, and then sleeping until sometimes as late as 9:30 or later.  I can't believe how much sleep I'm getting.  Even after that night time sleep, it is not unusual to take two one-hour naps during the day, one in the later morning and one (or two!) in the middle of the afternoon.

Of course then there are nights like last night.  I had napped in the afternoon and was not sleepy at midnight, so puttered around doing various things until about 2:30, but then I could. not. get. to. sleep.  I tried everything but when The Today Show started, at 7 a.m., I was still wide awake.

I did, however, fall asleep sometime during that show and woke around 9:30, by which time Walt had made coffee and brought me a cup.  That brought me to life, but I took a late morning nap and a mid afternoon nap.  It will be interesting to see how my sleep goes tonight.

But when you have hours of awake time mid-night, your brain goes off on flights of fancy all of its own choosing.

Today I was thinking about the "what ifs" in my life.  The big decisions that led to where I am today and everything I have done in my life.  The biggest decision that changed my life 100% was first, my decision to enter the convent after high school, and second, changing my mind and deciding not to enter the convent.

The decision had been fraught with trauma, my father furious that I wanted to become a nun, but eventually placated and grudgingly agreeing to my decision.  But when I changed my mind at the last minute, he laid down the law:  "OK.  I did it you way, now you are going to do it MY way."  I wanted to take a year off, work, and then go to college. He insisted I go to UC Berkeley right away (it was a lot easier to get in in those days...cheaper too!)  I was to go to Berkeley and become a teacher, which was, he told me, a cushy job--you only worked until 3 pm. each day, you had 3 months of vacation and you got great pay.  Yeah, yeah, I can hear every teacher who sees  this guffawing about it, but that was what he thought, and I knew nothing different--except that I knew I hated teaching.

So I enrolled in Berkeley.  Had I waited 6 months instead of starting mid-year, my life might have been completely different.  I was the only student in my dorm who entered mid-semester and knew NOTHING about how and where to begin because I missed all the orientation sessions that people starting in September got.

Also, because when we toured the dorm everyone was on Christmas vacation and only one girl was still living there, I agreed to be her roommate, because I already knew her and being shy, I didn't know what I would get otherwise.

She turned out to be the roommate from hell.  She also gave me the absolute worse advice ever, when I was choosing my classes.  She recommended I take Speech instead of English because she had taken it and it was "an easy A."  Well.  Yeah. For her.  She never shut up.  I hated public speaking and was a writer.  It was a horrid class for me and I was in knots every time I went to class.

I also knew nothing of advisors or TAs.  When I had difficulty in a class, I had no idea there was somewhere to turn.  I was in a couple of classes that were larger than m entire school.  Talk about intimidating.  When a professor started hitting on me, I knew nothing about reporting it to a counselor and just stopped going to class, which meant I got the very first F I ever had in my life and I assumed that I had just killed my education opportunities and stopped trying

So I took refuge in the one place that felt familiar -- the Newman Center, the Catholic center on campus.  And the rest is history.  At Newman I made my best friends, the pinata group had its beginnings and that shaped that part of my life for the rest of my life, to date.

I occasionally see questions about "if you could go back and change anything, what would you change" and I have said repeatedly that I would not.  I would love for David and Paul not to have died, but I would hate to give up things that happened as a result of those deaths.  Paul's, especially.  If Paul had not died, I would never have met Steve Schalchlin, who became my friend, my brother, my confidante.  My life would be considerably different without that significant meeting.

There are many other significant turning points where you wonder "if I did this instead of that, what would my life be like today?"

All things considered it hasn't worked out too I must have made some good decisions along the way.


Pinata group, a very long time ago
(3 in this photo are no longer with us)


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