I've noticed a couple of significant after-effects of having tucked in this Plan B Life.
1. I feel very optimistic, as if almost any good thing is possible (and I'm capable of making it happen.)
2. I've been ordering different items for lunch (stuffed pepper!?) at the cafeteria, not my old "regulars."
3. I've had to go off of the dessert-and-pasta binge that I enjoyed so much as a New Yorker.
Number One is a very nice feeling, and likely to be more productive than the rather worn-down feeling I had at the time I got the welcome invitation to apartment-sit on the Upper West Side.
I've had this sudden attitude change happen once before, immediately after my first extra life: when I spent a month as "a Berkeley student" when I was twenty-nine and had received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to attend a fiction seminar on the California campus.
Shortly after I returned, I passed an acquaintance in the grocery store who abruptly said: "You changed. It changed you."
I didn't feel any different except in one way. My thought was: if I can get the federal government to send me to the Bay area for a month to read good novels and listen to jazz and hang out with a major literary critic and interesting writers from all over the country, there's just no telling what I can do.
And that's when I started publishing fairly frequently in national magazines.
Number Two? Changing my lunch menu? Well, that's not a huge deal, but does indicate that I'm making conscious decisions rather than staying in a rut.
Number Three: What a mistake it was to schedule my annual physical a few days after a major prolonged sugar experience. I flunked triglycerides, and now must eat virtuously.
At least for a while.