Hectic Happiness by UNO’s Dr. Reed

“Giving up is NOT an option,” Dr. Reed says is the message she hopes readers take away from her new
memoir “Hectic Happiness,” available now online and in the UNO library.

Photo by GW Reed Publishing LLC

“Giving up is NOT an option,” Dr. Reed says is the message she hopes readers take away from her new memoir “Hectic Happiness,” available now online and in the UNO library.

Demi Guillory, Reporter

Dr. Gilda Werner Reed is an award-winning, well-established UNO professor. Now she can also add “published author” to her extensive list of accomplishments spanning seven decades. A psychology professor at UNO since 1994, Reed has documented her life in “Hectic Happiness,” a book that she hopes inspires others in challenging times.

Reed has had her fair share of ups and downs. She and her “soulmate” husband Sam have been married since 1967, and have a total of seven children and 16 grandchildren. Two of their children with disabilities were adopted as babies, and Reed affectionately jokes that she’s forgotten which ones they are.

She is a polio survivor who ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. Reed won her primary, but her bid ended with a loss in the general election. In the same year, she was named Louisiana Woman of the Year by BayouBuzz, as well as honorary member of the Jefferson Fire Fighters Association.

But the newly released book was not inspired by one single defining moment or experience in the native New Orleanian’s life. Instead, it is a combination of family, career, political and cultural experiences that she says has shaped her life. She expressed an interest in wanting to relate her experiences — good and challenging alike — in a book that would “share a life well-lived, despite obstacles, in order to motivate others not to give up,” Reed remarked.

Reed keeps a busy schedule between full-time teaching and a large family, which she says hindered her writing of the book, which had been in the works for a while.

“Teaching full-time definitely slowed me up,” said Reed. However, her long-term journaling habit had its advantages. “Journals since age 14 years old helped considerably,” Reed replied when asked about how she was able to manage to find the time to write a book.

“Hectic Happiness” is an extension of those journals, detailing the triumphs and tribulations of her life. The book is also — in her own words to The Psychology Times — the “heart-melting adorableness, enchanting exuberance, delightful antics and jaw dropping accomplishments” of her children and grandchildren.

Reed says the book is both a comedy and drama. It is “a real love story of a real person, a survival story of triumph and tragedy, joy, and pain,” she continued.

The book started selling a month ago and has already received high praise from people “old and young alike,” Reed said. One of those reviews came from a former student. This was particularly special for Reed, who sees teaching as an honor, not an obligation. This mindset is what has kept her teaching thousands of students for as long as she has.

“Hectic Happiness” is Reed’s first book, but she doesn’t plan on it being her last. “This book left way too much untold,” she said, promising that more stories are ahead.

Those interested in reading the book can do so by ordering through Amazon or directly through her website at gildareedpublishing.com. The book is also now available to check out right here at UNO in the Earl K. Long library.