I had BIG writing plans before Christmas. I was going to crank out a couple of blogs and enlighten/inspire/wow you but life......oh blessed life got in the way. Before I get to the business at hand, let me say that we had the loveliest Christmas. Because we don't travel back to Chicago until after Christmas, we have the kindest friends who invite us over and treat us like family. My two dearest - Gayla who has an open house on Christmas Eve for oh, about forty people (who has the energy for that???) and Kathy who has invited us to Christmas dinner with her family for forever it seems. Every year when our entourage arrives at their festive homes with our covered dishes I could weep that they want us there to spend the holiday with them. On Christmas day, Kathy's husband, Brian, made a toast and read this quote by Eric Sevareid, “Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves.” It seemed especially true this year, or maybe age makes me look at a table of friends and family and think, "Oh, look at us. Here we are and aren't we just the luckiest people ever?"
So where were we back in December when Frozen was merely a movie and not a way of life? Oh yes, I had just won a BIG award, bestowed upon me by my OSMA.
You really must read her blog. This is her latest and I LOVED IT. And her......I. Love. Her.
As a condition of the prize one must answer eleven questions. These are the ones she posed to me and the other prize winners.
1.) What's your favorite thing about yourself and why?
I crack myself up. I continually have a party of one all day long.
2.) Do you believe in afterlife? If not, why not how come what for?
Also, do you feel life has a purpose or is it just randomized units of
energy bumping into each other?
I do believe in the afterlife. The best thing I ever heard was that there is a thin veil that separates us from those who have moved on. I have found that thought to be very comforting. I do believe that life has a purpose but I also love the idea of being bumped by energy.
3.) If you found a stray animal that was hurt, what would you do?
Well, this just happened recently and I did nothing which is rather haunting to me. You might remember that early in December I wrote about a hawk that was sitting high above on a streetlight observing the landscape. A week later, I was in the very same vicinity and saw what looked to be the same hawk dead on the street. A couple of people had stopped and maybe it dove for something and collided with a car. I'll never know as I came after the fact. I have never seen such a big bird that close and I was rattled by it. Other than getting him off the street it was too late to do anything else but I wish I had stopped. That animal, even in death, was beautiful and in stopping it might have felt like I had duly paid my respects to the hawk that I wrote about.
4.) Do your days bore you, enlighten you, weigh you down, or other?
Mostly, in regards to work they challenge me. I am in an environment that is fast-paced and quickly changing so my brain always has to be in overdrive. There are times I miss the boredom of my past retail jobs when I could daydream and write in my head all day long.
5.) If you could do anything at all without any concern about money, what would it be and why?
I would write and write and write. A couple of my nieces and nephews are fabulously talented artists and so my dream is to write a children's book and to have all of them contribute to the illustration of it. I'd also open an Etsy shop to fill my creative, crafty side. A few months ago, I bought a mustard cardigan at the thrift store. I never tried it on and when I got it home discovered it was too tight in the arms and so I put it in a pile to donate. Three times I've put it in the pile and pulled it out. Something is begging to be repurposed from that gorgeous color. I can't figure out yet what it is but since it keeps telling me to not get rid of it I am going to pay attention.
6.) What is your favorite memory as a child? Teenager? Adult?
My favorite memory of all those years is Christmas Eve. The whole family would cram into the living room and we would slowly make our way around opening presents. It was very civilized and felt special. I always knew I was loved. On that night it filled me up.
7.) What is your internal dialogue saying? Do you speak kindness to
yourself throughout the day? How does doing this or not doing this
impact your actions?
I am working on that. As I've gotten older I give myself a break much of the time. Much of what keeps me up and fibrillating at night doesn't ever come to pass and so I would like to spend my energy moving in a more positive direction. In order to do that I need to turn the inner chatter off and listen more to the hum of life. The hum is where the energy is.
8.) Where would you rather be right now and why?
I think in the natural order of the Zodiac, I am born to be by water. What Kansas has in affordable living, great bbq and jazz, it lacks in water. I am always most content gazing at water.
9.) Describe your perfect afternoon.
Cleaning the house, rearranging some furniture, getting the laundry done, lighting some candles and making a great dinner. I am such a homebody.
10.) Are you doing what your 15 yo self wanted you to do? If not, what is stopping you?
My 15 year old self was like a deer in the headlights of life. My 56 year old self is much the same but because of wonder and not because of fear.
11.) What kind of people make you happy/inspire you/intrigue you?
Well, those dearies I mentioned at the start make me happy. Anyone who makes me laugh immediately skyrockets to the top of my love meter. The people who intrigue me are the ones I see every day. The UPS driver, the checker at the grocery store, the guy at the bus stop. I always wonder what kind of story they have to tell. The people who inspire me would be Mark and the kids. Each of them are in hot pursuit of what makes their hearts beat a little faster. They are passionate people and one can feel that in their presence.
And now for eleven questions of my own...............
1. Are you a believer in New Year's resolutions? If so, have you made any?
2. What five people would you invite to a dinner party?
3. What would you serve at that dinner party?
3. What one book have you recommended most to friends?
4. What would the title of your biography be called?
5. If you won the Publisher's Clearing House prize what would you do with the money?
6. What is the first thing you notice when you meet someone new?
7. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
8. What are you afraid of?
9. When was the last time you cried?
10. Do politics interest or bore you?
11. What word do you hate? What word do you love? ( A ripoff from James Lipton and the Actor's Studio but I love that question.)
Writing feels like home to me and so it is good to be back. Because you always show up, surely you know that these questions are for you.