I challenge all the writers who read me to do this exercise: List the top 10 experiences of your life. Top meaning significant. Wonderous. Glorious. Terrible. Illuminating. Demoralizing. Jubilant. No one has to stop at 10, of course. If that number doesn’t challenge you, by all means, go for 20.
Here are my top 10 experiences, in no particular order:
1. Immigration. It breaks my life into two parts — before and after; living in Soviet Union and living in United States. I thank my parents for having the courage to chose to come to America.
2. Becoming a black belt. It was a long time ago, almost 40 years ago, but it is still a huge accomplishment in my life and I’m absurdly proud of it. I had discipline. I was in shape, and I worked my ass off.
3. Giving birth to two healthy children, and then raising them. I love watching, with pride, the kind of amazing, interesting people they are becoming.
4. The family trip to New Zealand, in 2017. Amazing and incredible are just the tip of the iceberg that describe that experience. This was truly my trip of a lifetime, and dream over 40 years.
5. Having a stillborn daughter, Ruthie, in 1999. It changed my very DNA. This was a horrific experience, and yet, it made me a more compassionate, loving person.
6. Getting two college degrees — Bachelor’s in journalism, and Master’s in English. Not bad for an immigrant girl.
7. Being married for 27 years. This means I have been with my husband for the past three decades, and our marriage is strong and loving.
8. When I worked for one of the two weekly newspapers in Jackson, Wyoming. It was my first job after college. I used this time wisely and went horseback riding and white water rafting, watching a meteor shower on the outskirts of town that looked like the Earth was spinning.
9. I’ve not seen a lot of concerts, but some of the most memorable ones I’ve seen have been: Pink Floyd, Men at Work, and White Snake.
10. Travel. The other fantastic trips I’ve taken during my life: Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Italy, and the places within United States.