It’s only natural that once people pass over the 50-year milestone, they start the requisite soul-searching that accompanies such a birthday. I must be a little delayed in that department, because here I am, in my late 50’s — OK, 61 to be exact — and it’s only now that I’ve started the process.

Do I regret all the Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream I’ve eaten that may ultimately lead to my dying sooner than others who have denied themselves such pleasures? Heck, no. Why live if you can’t enjoy great food? Do I regret daily walking rather than jogging for exercise? Absolutely not. Well, OK, maybe just a wee bit.

But what I do regret is that I never went back to thank . . . nay, bow down, to the Fertility Awareness instructor whose class I took at a women’s clinic 35 years ago. I am chagrined to say that I don’t even remember her name, and yet she, probably more than anyone else, changed my life, and I am eternally grateful to her for that.

It was a difficult time for me, and I was really struggling with depression. I was floundering. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, I had no job, and I was feeling like my life was slipping away from me. Of course, in retrospect, I was only 27 years old, but at the time, I felt lost.

So what did I do? For those of you who have already read the intro to my book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, you know this humiliating story, but the bottom line is that I applied to be a women’s health educator at a women’s clinic, armed with nothing but a passion for women’s health. Ooohps. I guess I never got the memo that you need to have a tad more education and experience under your belt, as it were. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job, but I did pick up a pamphlet about a FAM class they taught there, and the rest is history, as they say.

Except it’s not. How do I ever thank the instructor who introduced me to a whole new world of knowledge and empowerment? I only wish that I could find her. All I remember is that her first name started with a J, but I can’t even recall the name of the women’s clinic. But this much I know: It was about 1982 (gasp), the clinic was on Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles, and it was white with black trim. If these clues ring a bell for anyone, I’d love to hear from you.