To help me fall asleep at night, I try to think about soothing subjects. This is why, since I turned fifty several years ago, I have found myself renovating houses in my head. On home-renovation shows no one is ever disappointed, and every episode ends with smiles, good feelings, and a sense of transformation. I am particularly interested in renovating the houses of my childhood. I’ll never be able to step inside them again, but I can rearrange and reimagine the lives once lived there. I think about expanding the kitchen at my great-aunt and -uncle’s, providing much-needed distance between the two of them. I add a full bath to the basement of the house where I lived with my mother and father and sister — so we won’t always be banging on the door of the lone bathroom. I widen the closet in my dead cousin’s bedroom to make room for all the clothes she left behind. It’s a pleasing way to fall asleep, remodeling my youth to better fit my needs in middle age.