If the end of the world is like a thief in the night and destruction comes suddenly, I won’t make it to the end of this post. But if 12/21/2012 is simply a new page in the Mayan calendar, then it’s an opportunity to reflect and I am reflecting on the Top 12 turning points in my life:
- Aug. 1, 1968: At 18 months old, I tottered off the back step and broke my arm. To date, it’s the only time I have broken a bone. But not the only time I’ve taken a step in the wrong direction.
- May 27, 1975: Alerted by my parents to my imminent move five hours north, my third grade teacher at a parochial school in Fairmont, Minn., planned a going away party for me. I still have the homemade construction paper card wishing me well and signed by all my classmates. The highlight of the party was supposed to be an extra few minutes of recess. I remember running down the hallway to doorway to the playground and seeing rain pouring out of the sky. I was so happy! I hated recess, and the rain meant more time to party back in the classroom.
- Dec. 23, 1980: I received a diary for my birthday. A few months later, I marveled on the pages, “I’ve never written in a diary this long!” It was the beginning of my writing obsession.
- Sept. 4, 1982: My first experience french kissing began when a boy asked, “Can you kiss?” I said, “No,” and he asked, “Do you want me to teach you?” I recount this ominous date in my latest novel in progress.
- Nov. 9, 1985: A pizza brought me and my first husband together for the first time. Talk about a turning point.
- April 21, 1987: My high school boyfriend dumped me when I had a tantrum over after-dinner coffee.
- Nov. 11, 1997: My first day on the job at a major scrapbook manufacturer, my boss said, “Book a ticket for Cincinnati next week. I need you at the video shoot.” It was the beginning of a jet-set career that gave me the opportunity to travel the nation and the world.
- Feb. 2, 2001: I didn’t know it at the time, but this date goes down in infamy as a pivotal moment in my life. It’s a long story. A book, in fact. Check out “The Percussionist’s Wife: A Memoir of Sex, Crime & Betrayal” to see what happened on this date.
- Jan. 10, 2006: After a lifetime of avoiding running (except when I ran down a hallway to cheer for a recess rain out), I took up jogging. Five months later, I finished a marathon. I still run 10 or 15 miles a week.
- Nov. 23, 2006: I dipped my toe in the water of online dating by creating a profile on date.com, and within two weeks, I connected with the man who would become my second husband, my Beloved.
- Jan. 16, 2007: Becoming a stepmother is about as natural as rocket science for of a woman who vowed never to have children, but it’s turned out to be an out-of-this-world experience. I met my adored stepson, 12 at the time, over a meal at Space Aliens Bar & Grill.
- June 9, 2011: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I got laid off and took the time to finish writing a memoir. How sweet it is!
Well, lookie there, I made it to the end of this post. And we’re both still here. Maybe those turning points aren’t so ominous after all.
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
And I feel fine.