Jocelyn writes a blog called “O Mighty Crisis” which I adore. She has taken me along on her sabbatical to Turkey, her yoga classes, her daughter’s magazine adventures, and her sweet family birthday posts. When she asked for her readers to post some of the micro-moments which have defined life for us, I could not refuse.
Her most recent post included several of the micro-moments of her life. The idea is that throughout our lives, small moments, small decisions that we make can make a big difference in our lives.
She asked for such micro-moments as part of a writing assignment for the students in her creative writing class. I have never taken a creative writing class (yeah, I know)-this is my practice run. I wish I were in her class!
It was hard for me to think of micro-moments. I found myself focusing on the larger ones in my life. Some of these are probably better described as major moments. Remember, Jocelyn, I have hundreds of thousands more micro-moments than you!
Here are some memorable moments-some small, others a bit larger-that have been turning points in my life:
–when I was young, my family lived in a very stereotypical 1950′s cookie-cutter subdivision in Rochester, MN. When I was ten, my father allowed me to help him build a garage. As a ten-year-old girl, he took me to the roof of that garage, and I pounded nails to shingle that garage roof. My father then wrote an illustrated story about that day for my birthday. I still have that story.
–When I was in seventh grade, I had a science assignment to draw a picture of the moon each hour for several hours, keeping a fixed object in the picture to show its relation to the moon. I didn’t do the assignment. Just before class, I quickly drew several pictures of the moon near a large tree. In class, the teacher had us put the drawings on our desk to compare with other students. She walked through the class and commented on some of the drawings. She came to me and asked me if the moon had stayed in the same place over all of those hours. I stated quite confidently that yes, it did. I will never forget the feeling of shame and humiliation when I learned that the moon does, in fact appear to travel across the sky during the night. Duh! I not only lied, but even worse was that I looked stupid. I try very hard not to lie.
– My dad, who was notoriously frugal, took his car to a local mechanic who worked out of his home garage. On a day that I was particularly bored my dad brought me with him while he had some minor work done on his car. The mechanic had a very tall, good-looking nephew. We exchanged hellos, and he and I stood by while my dad and the mechanic worked on the car. Later that day, the nephew called to ask me on a date. I dated mechanic guy for over 3 years.
–A college friend of mine wanted to be a judge. She told me about the LSAT. I’d never heard of it. She convinced me to take it to keep her company. I figured I had nothing to lose. I did very well on it, she did not. I figured I might as well apply to law school and just see what happened. There were not very many women lawyers back in those days. All I knew is that I didn’t want to be in the courtroom like Perry Mason. I thought I would be an environmental lawyer.
–While I was a University student, I worked part time at a hospital. One of my coworkers asked me to talk to a guy who worked in the office, to see if he was interested in dating her. I’d never really talked to him. He’d never been of much interest to me. He was shorter, had shoulder-length hair, a beard, and wore earth shoes! Turns out he wasn’t interested in the other woman. But he and I began to talk at work. We talked a lot. He drove a hippie van-I had no vehicle-and when he asked if he could take me home after my shift, he took the van to the car wash before he returned to pick me up, arriving back at the office quite wet himself. My husband still likes to wash our car before we leave for any major car trip.
–At that same hospital, I got to know one of the resident doctors. I told him that I had applied to the University Law School and was on a waiting list, but it didn’t look like I would be admitted. The doctor encouraged me to check out another law school that he attended. (Yes, the resident doctor was also a law student) I’d never thought of going to night school. I worked full time and went to law school at night. I had not totally decided between the mechanic and my wet coworker at that point, but when the mechanic told me he really “couldn’t picture” me as a lawyer, he found himself out of the picture in my life.
–As an unmarried second year law student also working full time, I became pregnant. The doctor’s office kindly and unsolicited provided me with a referral for an abortion, should I choose. I went out to my car and cried. And cried. And cried some more. Then I tore up the referral, went to the boyfriend and told him he could either be with me or not but I was having that baby. I planned and had a wedding in 6 weeks while I finished the first semester. I took the next semester off, gave birth to a baby, had to re-apply to school to attend the next fall, worked, parented, and completed law school two years later. That baby will be 33 years old in a few weeks, is 6’4″ and recently received his Master’s Degree after attending graduate school at night while working full time. We have three smart, independent, beautiful children. And that wet coworker and I are still married.
–In 1983 I graduated from law school. My oldest son was 2. During a quiet moment in the ceremony, he sang his “ABC song” at the top of his lungs. Even from way in the front, I knew it was him. When I turned around, he saw me and yelled to me.
–Jobs were not plenty in 1983 and the following several years. Especially for female lawyers with 2 small children. After a few rather disappointing jobs ended, I began my own practice. A colleague told me about a part-time contract that was available for a public defense attorney in juvenile court. For 25 years I have been in court nearly every day….like Perry Mason. I don’t know much at all about environmental law.
–In 2006 our youngest son came to me and told me that he and his girlfriend were expecting a baby. They had only been dating for a few months. She decided that she was going to have the baby and that he could choose whether or not to be involved in their lives. It took him some time to decide, but after planning a wedding in about 2 months, they were married shortly after his daughter’s birth. They now have three smart, independent, gorgeous daughters, for whom I wrote an illustrated story as a Christmas gift last year.
So that’s what has made up my life…..crazy, small things building and adding up together into hours, days, weeks, years and an unbelievable amount of decades.
Share some of yours.
****Did you know that intro to the daytime soap “Days of Our Lives”? I had no idea it was still on the air. It’s been on since Nov. 1965.
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.