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Monday, January 4, 2016

What Would You Do In 1942

I had a peculiar dream the other day. I dreamt that Greg and I had somehow gone back in time to 1942. (Luckily, we looked as if we were in our 30s.) It appeared as if we were somewhere in the Philippines--not a good place to be in the middle of World War II.

An American ship had landed and Greg was quickly recruited and reprimanded for not enlisting earlier. Meanwhile I was left behind because a warship was no place for a woman. We'd meet up again in another year or so, but we were left in a quandary of what to do next. If we couldn't find a way back, where would we fit in 1940s society?

I never found out if we made it back to our own time, but it brought up some interesting conversations over breakfast the next day.

Greg and I are fervent students of history. Greg in particular is well versed in World War II and what was happening in the world at that time. In the dream he was quite handy to have around since he knew where all the major battles had been fought.

We discussed how he could warn generals about what to expect, but I argued that it would be useless. Who would listen to us?

The best we could do, in my opinion, is affect our own future. For instance, if we were stuck in the 1940s, Greg might go into aeronautical engineering since he knows enough science of what makes a modern jet better than the best minds of the 1940s.

Me, I'd probably go into finance. Women would be rare enough in finance, but if you made enough profitable choices people wouldn't care as long as you made them money. Besides I'd kinda like to break those glass ceilings again.

The possibilities are endless and exciting.

If you found yourself in 1942, what would you do with your life?

What do you plan to do in 2016? The world is wide open.


betty said...

What a very interesting dream! I do agree it would provide lots of thought and discussion to about it; I'm sure you still think about it occasionally. I've read a few books recently about WW2; one was fascinating about the Jewish children that were hid during the war to escape the wrath of Hitler; it was a true story featuring three such children and the impact of that on the rest of their lives. Made me do a lot of thinking about that time. My mom was in her early 20s during the war, she would talk of rationing and blackout windows. My dad was in Poland at the time of the war and was in a Germany work camp; he was a prisoner of war from the Poland Army; he wouldn't talk much of it to my mom other than saying times were hard.

I think it I was in 1942, depending on where I would be, I probably would be figuring out how to survive and be praying for peace. I would like to think I would be doing something to help in the war effort, smuggling out children, etc., not sure I would be valiant for that though.

You know my plans for 2016 :) A move; I'm penciling you in to help with it too :) Actually, I like going to different places to explore them, I just don't like the actual physical part of moving which really doesn't take that long :)


Maria Zannini said...

Re: I'm penciling you in to help with it too :)

If I could help you move, I would. It's stressful but I really like the feeling of fresh beginnings.

Re: 1942
In the dream I was more upset that I didn't know how we got there. I didn't care as much that we couldn't get back but I didn't want us to be separated.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Oh, I think you should write that as a story or a novel - something!

As for 2016, I'm aiming for being a better me all around. Not exactly sure what that looks like, but I'll know it when I see it/feel it. :)

Happy New Year!

Maria Zannini said...

Madeline: Ha! That does sound like novel material, doesn't it?

Happy New Year, Madeline!

Mike Keyton said...

I'd play the stock market, silly. :) Indulge in simple things like buying up bomb sites. Millions were made after the war by those who bought up 'valueless' bomb sites. Even those turned into carparks made their owners small fortunes. Oh, and I'd wait a few years and pounce on the Beatles and Stones before Epstein and Oldham. But, alas, my last dream was an anxiety dream of things going wrong in the classroom :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Hmmm... I guess I could write some really awesome and realistic science fiction books set in the future (my past) and I wouldn't have the internet to distract me! If that didn't make me rich, I'd have to invest in the stock market, too.

As for 2016... I'll be happy to get Ghostly Interlude finished and published (either through Kensington or myself). Got to look at one project at a time.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Land speculation would be ideal. I'd buy up every piece of California property I could afford. I'd never live there, but it'd be a great place to invest.

Re: wrong class
I get those dreams too. Usually I'm told I have to go back to university to get one more credit hour because I didn't have enough to graduate. In reality, I overcompensated and got 12 extra hours. So much for insecurity and dreams. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Who better to write science fiction than a real life time traveler. I'm sure no one back then would believe the stuff we have now.

Joss said...

What an interesting dream. I wish mine were more like that, but sadly they tend to be a tad freaky. Think your best friend turning into a giant baguette and eating everyone you care about while you run after her yelling "NO Sammy Baguette! don't eat him." As to what I would do if I suddenly found myself jumping back in time like that, well if I'm honest I would probably turn into a quivering wreck, but let's pretend I'm brave for a minute and say I would dive into this new world and embrace it. Oh who am I kidding, I'd be a quivering wreck for sure. :)

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I don't what I'd do in 1942. Crime spree? Without the drugs I need, I don't know how pleasant life would be, so before they all wore off, I'd have to do something fun. ;)

Diane Carlisle said...

With the mind I have today, I would move to Florida right away and invest in real estate, more explicitly, student housing. lol

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I would use all my earnings to buy land. Think of the value today. Sounds like a great dream. You might have to write an alternate history story about that.

Maria Zannini said...

Joss: Most times I wish I didn't remember my dreams. I scare myself!

re: quivering wreck
It's been my experience that when faced with the real stuff, most of us are surprisingly resilient. We have backbone when we need it most. If we didn't the human race would've died out long ago. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: There's that. Medicine has come a long way since the 40s. Polio alone wasn't conquered until I was born. We have friends who still bear the scars of their polio.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: I'll bet Florida was amazing in the 40s. Their architecture always seem to have a lot of style.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: Land would be the best investment. What hasn't gone up in value since then.

The suburb I left a few years ago was nothing but farms 30 years ago. Today, I don't think I could afford to move back. It skyrocketed after I left. ...hmm...maybe it was me. LOL.

Angela Brown said...

1942 doesn't sound like a time I'd want to go back to. If you were stuck there as a black female, I imagine the limits were a bit more limited, and I would probably end up having to figure a way to insert my writing as a way to do something meaningful.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: I wouldn't let that stop me. Although opportunities were rare for women of any color, it's not impossible. Look at Madame Walker. She died a multi-millionaire and this was in the early 1900s.

For the record I wouldn't want to go back in time either--not if I couldn't come back to my own time. The past is the past. I'd only go back as an observer.

Lynn Viehl said...

If I was whisked back to 1942 I'd hand-deliver a copy of Schindler's List, The Diary of Anne Frank, and a detailed report on how many Jews Hitler would be killing that year, and where, to FDR, every other leader in the free world, and every newspaper and media outlet I could find. I'd like to visit my six-year-old mother, although I'd be tempted to give her advice that might prevent five other people from being born, so maybe not. Then I'd either go back to medical school, or maybe just go to City College in New York, find Jonas Salk, and offer to be his free lab assistant for life. :)

I have lots of open and secret plans for 2016, including something brilliant that you worked on. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Re: ...I'd be tempted to give her advice that might prevent five other people from being born, so maybe not.

ROTFL! I wish I had thought of that.

Re: 2016...including something brilliant that you worked on.
I'm looking forward to all your reveals. :)

Stacy said...

What a fun dream and a great question! I wonder if your subconscious is still not convinced that you and Greg are really together full-time now? :) I don't really know what I would do but, like you, I'd love to help break through those female inequalities. I suppose that wondering what I'd have done in 1942 is the same as wondering what I would have done if I was to have a second chance at my life now - and I hope that I would feel less restricted about my choices. I'd lose the "I'm not a math/science person so my choices are limited to other things" ideas. Breaking through my own glass ceilings would be the first step. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: I was concerned when the Navy took him away from me. But he came back for me, even though we were still stuck in the 1940s.

Writers, I think would have the most freedom. Without the internet, no one would know of our gender or our qualifications. We'd write with a tour de force only a time traveler could muster.

Shelley Munro said...

Interesting dream. I often wonder how different our world would be if all those young soldiers were still alive. Such a waste of life. Hubby and I visited some of the war cemeteries in Belgium last year, and it was sobering.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: We talked about that at length. If we had changed one thing during the war, even if we thought it was for the good, would we have changed how other things turned out?

Blogoratti said...

An interesting perspective and thoughts indeed. Lots of what ifs in this life. Going back will definitely change a lot of things.

Maria Zannini said...


re: Going back will definitely change a lot of things.

But not necessarily for the better. Nor would we know the difference since anyone inside the new timeline would see history as unchanged.