The Day in the Life : Diaries from Women Across America

January 15, 2021


"By sharing the perspective of another woman, even for just one day, we gain not only a greater understanding of who that woman really is, but equally important, how much we all have in common."

The Day in the Life : Diaries from Women Across America is a collection of true life stories of women in America on June 29, 2004. There are some full diary accounts like a NASA astronaut's day, and plenty of candid ones pepper throughout the book. 

( The NASA astronaut juggles her job and motherhood. She and her husband, a glassblower, have a commuter marriage for fourteen years and counting. p.139)

Some excerpts I enjoyed:

From a firefighter:

"After more than 20 years as a firefighter, I find I think differently about most things than 'civilians'. When I think about the weather, I think about how it will affect fighting a fire or whether it will cause more runs. When I walk the city street, I look at buildings constantly to think about how fast a fire could travel, or how many people might have to be evacuated or searched for, or how the firefighter assigned to the roof will get there." p110


From a harpist:

"I went to play my harp in the CCU. It's usually frantic here, but I go in, anyway, knowing that it's doing both staff and patients good. I heard a story about a patient who had heard my harp in the CCU and asked a hospital volunteer, "Am I in heaven?" The volunteer told her, "Oh no, dear, that's our harpist Verlene playing right outside the door."

Later she asked the patient, who was in the process of dying, if she was afraid. The patient answered, "No.Ever since I heard the harp music, I'm not afraid."  p120

"Trying to explain the theory of evolution to a four-year-old is a tough one. I realise something has been lost in translation because he asks, 'When I get to be as old as you, will I be a monkey?" p135

"Diaper change time. Wonder how many diapers I've changed in eleven years? (Four diapers per kid per day, average of 3 kids a day, five days a week, fifty-one weeks a year, times eleven - 33,660!!! God, I've got to get out of this business." - a childcare provider p274

"It's difficult because I REALLY want to talk to him. But we mostly have to wait to chat until after the kids are in bed because it's too hard to talk over their needs." :'( - from a housewife p316

"You should always discuss medical procedures with girlfriends. Women are their own greatest health resource. That's probably why we live longer than men. We share knowledge, while men compete and die." p327

"My boyfriend kind of smells. He smells the way something tastes when you leave it in the refrigerator uncovered, a little touched by everything mixed together in a slightly stale way. " p. 383

"In my quiet moments, my reflective times, I am aware that I love and am loved by family and friends. I am at peace knowing so many care and want me to live. What more can we ask of life than that we would be missed if we were not here." - a dialysis patient, 66. p.345

"Call Mom to let her know I made it home and glance around the house for intruders. Open the shower curtain fast! No one. Under the bed. Clear."

"Hot bubble bath with Johnson's Bedtime Bath. It's really to 'soothe fussy babies', but since that's how I feel most of the time, I consider it a bathtime staple."

It's always nice to delve into the stories of others. Now, we need an Asian counterpart for me to better relate to.

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