1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
- I was an English Lit major in college.
- I played flute for many years.
- I stopped playing flute when I got pregnant with my son because it aggravated my morning sickness (IOW, it made me want to throw up--but then, everything did back then).
- I haven't really played flute much to speak of since.
- I would love to start playing flute again.
- I am a dog person.
- I am a cat person.
- I basically like anything furry, and some reptiles.
- Birds and insects don't do much for me, though.
- Not in cages, anyway. I like birds outside. Insects I could take or leave.
- It seems too easy to say "I'm a quilter." Y'all probably know that already.
- The book that made me fall in love with the written word as a child was Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. That's when I realized how lovely language could be.
- I came to my love of clean, neat, organized spaces as an adult. I wasn't particularly that way as a child.
- Which made me only somewhat more patient with my own kids' lack of love of clean, neat, organized spaces.
- But I still yelled once in awhile.
- I love Disney World in Orlando.
- I especially loved it more the older my kids got. You lose the magic, but you gain in relaxation and really enjoying it together as a family on a different level.
- I plan on taking my kids and grandkids there, if and when grandkids ever become part of the picture.
- I've more recently developed a real love of creative cooking without recipes. Which drives my family nuts because if they really like something, they're unlikely to get exactly that version again.
- My kids have reached an age where we no longer refer to it as parenting or (less respectfully) nagging, but, rather, life coaching. "Son, I'm about to do a little coaching." Somehow that makes it easier for them to hear. Why didn't I think of that when they were 13?
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
- I'm afraid of the dark. That's legitimate because it's, well, dark. Things can hide there. Icky things with big teeth or, worse, guns and knives. I don't know how it became a fear since I've been afraid of the dark for as long as I remember.
- I'm afraid of heights. That one I do know when it started: I was fine with heights until I fell off a 10' balcony when I was around 11 or so. My family home had a second-story balcony off the back of the house. My dad built our house himself (literally, bare hands, with very little outside help). He was not a construction guy or anything--he was a college professor that simply loved to do everything himself. The balcony railings were, at the time, 2x4s nailed horizontally between the posts holding the balcony roof up. We weren't supposed to lean against them and most of the time I remembered that. But one of my sister's friends who was playing outside with her had gotten a phone call and I ran out to the balcony to holler out to her to come inside to answer it; I leaned against the railing and out over to see around the corner. I remember hearing the railing come loose, and then it was sort of like a cartoon where the horizon stays stable for a moment and then suddenly everything drops. I landed sitting on my ankle. I was very fortunate that all that happened was a sprained ankle. (Wrought iron railings were installed shortly thereafter.) But from then on, whenever I've been on a height, the bottom of my feet start aching and I freeze and get short of breath. I've even had panic attacks. I tried to do a high ropes course as part of a team to get over the fear and had a complete melt-down--and, in fact, that experience only aggravated the fear now. I've decided it's a fear I can live with. If my life were at stake, I trust that adrenalin would kick in and I'd do what I need to do. Meanwhile, no more high ropes courses. (I do climb up on my kitchen counters every year to put my Christmas village on the top of my kitchen cabinets. I don't like doing it, but it gets done. So the fear of heights isn't completely debilitating!)
- Like a lot of people, I do have a fear of failure. But I can deal with that pretty easily. It's not nearly as bad as my fear of heights!
I had a great relationship with both parents. They both encouraged creativity; they encouraged us to be individuals. They weren't big on telling me what to do, most of the time--pretty much helped me just figure things out for myself once I hit about middle school or so. I was more comfortable talking to my mom than my dad but that was probably more a generational thing--Mom was around more and interacted with us more directly, although Dad was very present as well. Dad was a great storyteller and taught me what it means to have passion for a cause; Mom taught me how to make that passion work in the real world. The older I get, the more I turn into my Mom, although I'm also very aware of certain parts of my personality that are just Dad all over. And then there's a lot that's just me. Dad passed away in 2001 and Mom in 2009. I miss them both.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
- That guy you think was all that and a bag of chips? Not so much. Stop sweating that he doesn't even know you're alive. There's a really, really great guy that you'll meet just three years from now. Be patient.
- You're right that you feel different from everyone else. You learn later that your personality type is only something like 5% of the population and that answered a whole LOT of questions. But you know what? That's okay. You'll still find plenty of people that love you and that you can love! And you'll learn to appreciate and make your wierdisms work for you--and then you'll also be able to help your daughter deal with it when she inherits the same basic personality.
- Keep writing. You love it, and you'll miss it later.
- Don't be as intense about everything. Wait--I'll save my breath on that one. Adolescence is defined as "intense." Go ahead and be intense. Just know that eventually it all gets a lot easier when the hormones stop flying. And yes, life really is unfair. Or, rather, fairness is in the eye of the beholder sometimes.
- Keep riding your bike. That's another thing you really love right now that you'll really miss later. And later, you could really use the exercise!
- Appreciate how thin you are now rather than worrying about what size jeans you're wearing compared to your friends. You're in good shape! That's another thing you'll really miss later!
- Stay out of the sun.
- Those couple of besties you have now that sometimes you get aggravated with? News flash: They're still your besties 30 years from now. I know--who'd a thunk it, right?
- Clean your room. (Yes, you do become your Mom a few years from now!)
- You have a unique and beautiful family environment that at times is embarrassing, at times painful, at times annoying, but admittedly, quite often a whole lot of fun. Appreciate it and just know that every bit of that makes you who you become when you're 47 and are sitting there writing a blog post to your 16-year-old self.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.