Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday afternoon

It is already Sunday afternoon, and it seems that the weekend has flown past. I did not get any varnishing done because of a few stray rain squalls. The wind has been howling for a few days and will likely continue over the next two. I am hoping it will lay down for the sail up the coast on Thursday.

I am gradually getting over the respiratory virus. I am still coughing some and my appetite is negligible. Maybe I am done with being sick for the rest of the winter. I hope so.

For some reason, I had thoughts of the little place that I rented when I was in graduate school. I was in love and living alone. But, C. and I managed to spend our days working together and most of our nights sleeping together. There were parties then--wild and crazy intellectual conversations fueled by drink and marijuana. Some parties were about ten people getting together, while others included all the students, staff and professors. There were great bonfires by the water in winter, while in summer, we swam and played volleyball.

So many of us went on to be professors, federal or state researchers, heads of agencies. We played and worked hard, mostly taking ourselves very seriously. I remember how incensed C. was when she was asked by a dean of a prestigious school to which she had applied for the Ph.D, "Are you coming here to study or will you look for a husband and then leave?" She was one of the few women in the field then. Having to be better than the men was necessary, and there was a lot of bias against women. But she persevered, wrote the Dean to say she would not be coming after she had been accepted, and opted to complete her Ph.D at William and Mary.

I have enormous respect for those who overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. Some days, I miss our impetuous youth when anything seemed possible and nothing seemed too difficult. I remember those days like they were yesterday. Is this what happens when you reach middle age--remembering what it was like back when?


  1. long as you dont live in those are alright...and i have great respect ofr anyone that overcomes the obstacles and biases....

  2. This took me back to our 1st apartment. A 300 sq ft studio, on the second floor of someone's house. We tried to be careful not to wake them when we stumbled in drunk in the middle of the night. We were not often successful.

  3. Syd, experience is showing me that the older I get, the more "back whens" there are!

    I agree with Brian, stay busy--as you do also!--and there's no time to live in the past.

  4. I wonder if memories do get more vivid or accessible as we get older Syd -- I sometimes look back because it has to do with understanding my own history in terms of alcoholism, but sometimes I am just struck by a stray memory -- not too much nostalgia there.

    Kudos to C for being a fighter.

  5. Yes it is. I think we imagine that we looked better in our clothes too. What great fun you had!

  6. My husband is working on his dissertation now. He's old, he's tired and torn between wanting to retire from his job or keep working. He's torn between fixing the house (Irene) or writing. I wish he'd done this when he was younger and had more energy. Thank goodness we no longer take ourselves so seriously and the drunken parties are very few and FAR in between. :)

  7. I remember when women had to work twice as hard to be taken seriously. Now they work when they feel like it and demand to be catered to. It is hard to watch... I feel like I sacrificed a lot to earn what they are throwing away.

  8. I think I've been so busy dealing with other people's crisises that I haven't had a chance to have one of my own.

    I wouldn't know how to begin to have a mid-life crisis.

    I've always been the "good girl, the good wife, the good ...."

  9. gosh, Syd. i'm just now finding out i can actually DO things. and have dreams. i'm 47 in two weeks. i hope middle-age isn't just about "remembering when." :)


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.