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1. What one day of your life do you think was your best day?

At my age, it is impossible to narrow down one specific day and deem it the “best” of all my days. There are many highlights, including the days my boys were born, the days I graduated, the day I was sworn into membership in the California State Bar, the day I argued before the California Supreme Court and the morning nearly three months later when I learned that I had won a 6-0 decision in my clients’ favor. The two days upon which I married BigBob were pretty awesome, and we’ve enjoyed some spectacular times over the course of the past 24 years. I also remember fondly the moments when I was introduced to folks who would later become my good friends.

2. What one day of your life do you think was your worst day?

Again, there have been some really dark moments over the years. I would count among them the day that my retinal surgeon informed me that I would, in fact, be going under the knife the very next morning if I wanted to save my eyesight. Of course, I did not know at that moment that I was embarking upon a life-altering, never-ending journey.

The morning after MattieBoo was born, the doctor came to my hospital room to tell me that I would be discharged that day, but he would be staying so that they could run tests and make a diagnosis. Prior to that moment, I thought he was perfectly healthy. I distinctly recall my knees buckling and thinking to myself that the sensation was just as I had read about, but never previously experienced. I grabbed for and sat down hard on the side of the bed.

Worse than the actual moments when I lost people dear to me were those instants when I learned conclusively that they would be departing. In late January, I was in a hotel room by myself when I learned at about 9:00 p.m. that my good friend, Clint Ritchie, would not be with us for long. On that, and numerous other similar occasions, I felt as though I had been punched hard in the stomach and it took me quite awhile to catch my breath and process the information.

There have been times when I have been disappointed by family and people I counted as friends. Again, for me, the precise instant when reality intrudes into my otherwise peaceful existence is always the hardest. It is much worse than the period of acceptance and loss of innocence, expectation, and hope that follows. Disillusionment that comes as a shock and surprise stings my heart.

Such moments are memorable and remain with me, informing who I am and impacting the life choices I make from those points forward.

3. If you had to pick the best year of your life, when was it and why?

I look back on the days when my boys were babies and toddlers with great happiness, affection, and sadness that those years flew by as quickly as everyone said they would. My parents were alive and healthy, as was Bob’s mother, and we got such joy from the boys and watching our parents enjoy their time with them.

4. If you had to pick the worst year of your life, when was it and why?

I haven’t enjoyed parts of 2009 so far. In addition to losing Clint, I have had a couple of health issues to deal with, worked many, many long hours (with many more to come), dealt with a husband who is constantly grumpy because working nights is very difficult for him, and involuntarily taken a ten percent reduction in salary.

Still . . . we have jobs, health, dental and vision insurance that ensures our medical needs will continue to be addressed, the kids are healthy and doing well, no debts . . . so much to be thankful and grateful for.

5. Most recently, what night did you do something that you loved?

I like to be right here at home with my family and really enjoy sitting down with BigBob, the boys, and Buddy and Sophie to watch a movie or special television program. A crackling fire, big bowl of popcorn, and glass of wine makes it a perfect evening.

6. Most recently, what night did you do something that you hated?

Last week, I nearly pulled an all-nighter in order to meet a deadline. I used to pull all-nighters all the time. In college, I was famous for my last-minute cram sessions just before finals. They are infinitely more difficult to survive and recover from at this point in my life.

7. Tell us about your best relationship that did not work out.

In order to do that, I have to define “best:” I believe a relationship that does not endure is still a success if you learn from the time spent with the person in question and your experiences with them. In terms of a romantic relationship, my most disappointing and thoroughly heartbreaking relationship was the one that made me, in myriad ways, the person I am today. I wrote about it in 2007.

8. Tell us about your worst romantic relationship that you’ve had.

That would be this one. I have never finished telling the story, but will eventually reveal why I could never have brought the man in question “home to mother.”

9. Is there a celebrity that you’d love to spend a “no holds barred” night with?

Again, the term “no holds barred” requires definition. But the short answer is “no.”


9 Comments

  1. I liked your answers. I especially thought what you said about your kids was dead on. I have four and we’re very close. But I still miss my kids AS kids. They thought I knew everything! They’ve grown to be special people. Happy Saturday, Janie!

  2. Life can be so hard at times. You are a fighter and one of the overall “good guys” in this world. I hope 2009 starts to get better for you. It seems lots of folks are having a hard time of it lately.

    Very insightful and thoughtful answers.

    Mimi Lenox´s most recent post: Saturday 9 – Your Bestest Day (in Sepia)

    • JHS

      @Mimi: Thanks, Mimi! It does seem that everyone is dealing with difficulties right now, doesn’t it? Every day I hear about someone else who lost their job, is struggling financially, etc. We all just have to hang in, hang together, and get through it, I think.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Well, one can get used to all nighters again. I did.

    Have a nice weekend.

    laane´s most recent post: Your bestest day

  4. shelly wagar

    Your answer was well thought out and beautiful

  5. I think 2009 will be a year we all want to forget. January started out bad with the loss of my beloved cat, Minx, who died at 19. He was more than just a cat; he kept me company while I watched tv, and he comforted me when I was sad. Now I found out that recently a wonderful former co-worker of mine who never failed in making me laugh died of congestive heart failure. Add this to work stress, financial stress, etc. and just plain I want a new life stress and I was heading for a depression. That is until I read your blog, Janie.
    It made me realize that others are going through similar stuff. Janie, I pray every night that God will help you heal with the pain of losing Clint. I hope one day you will be able to think of him without being sad.
    My mom used to tell me when I would be having problems that God never guaranteed a problem-free life. That God never gave us more than we could handle. Sometimes. I would like to ask him to back off a little but I find with each problem there is something I can learn from it. With financial problems, I learned that being materialistic isn’t the way for me. With loss of dear friends, I learned to not put off telling people what I feel for them. Work stress, I learned to be grateful to have a job.
    So thank you, Janie. Your wonderful, beautiful blog reminded me that we all are in the same boat. We either row together or we sink.

    • JHS

      @Marianne: I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your Minx, as well as your former coworker.

      I have written here about my beautiful T.C. who slept on my feet for 18 years. I adore Buddy & Sophie — and consider them my 2 “extra” children. But T.C.’er was special because she was my first pet & I still miss her each and every day.

      Ironically, the day before she died, I was on the phone with Clint telling him that I had to take her to the vet. He gave me a “pep talk,” urging me to be strong and “do the right thing for the animal.” Speaking from experience, he told me to stop feeling sorry for myself, get to the vet, and deal with reality. Then come home, “go behind the barn, have a good cry,” and get on with life. I did just that.

      He would tell those of us who loved him to do the same thing because he is in a wonderful place and we’ll see him again. He was a very spiritual person, as you know.

      It’s all a natural part of life. Stress ebbs and flows, problems magnify and lessen, people come and go . . . Through it all, we just have to hang on and go for the ride, right?

  6. Scrapbooking Ideas

    It’s interesting reading your answers to these questions, because although you are responding in a personal manner you still provide some great overarching truths and a few snippets I can definitely relate with. On the ‘darkest day’ question, I completely identify with that feeling of “the precise instant when reality intrudes into my otherwise peaceful existence is always the hardest.”

  7. Choose Your VoIP

    That was one potent reflection you wrote. And I felt like I have known you for years. I felt the pain and joy you just shared as if it were my own. And in every thought, I also thought of my own situation…

    Choose Your VoIP´s most recent post: VoIPYourLife

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