The Meme Follow Up From Months Ago
1. What is your ultimate goal in life? Are you working toward it? If so, how is your progress? If not, why not?
To be the best person I can be. It's pretty broad, I know. I started to put "to be happy with myself" but, honestly, I want more than that from myself. I want to make the most of what God has given me (music, creativity, writing) and constantly push to be better in the things I'm not so skilled at (patience, self-care, parenting (i.e., patience). I am constantly working on these. I've made some progress. Like many things in my life, I wish it was more but I am seeing improvement and, for now, I'm learning to be happy with a slow, steady climb.
2. What would you die for? Why (or why not)?
I would die for my kids. I've had a chance at life, whatever the length may be at that particular point; they haven't. I'd like to think I'd die for 'truth, justice, and the American way' but I pretty sure that'd be a game time decision and based on a lot more factors. If I did, it would probably be because I have more balls than brains sometimes ("Son, your ego's writing checks your body can't cash!").
3. Is it more important to you to be right or to be liked? Why?
It used to be far more important for me to be liked, primarily because I was distinctly unpopular through elementary/middle/most of high school. As I get older, I'm realizing being liked isn't as important as it once was - for example, it is more important to me to DO what is right than to be liked. I'd still rather be liked than win an argument at all costs though.
4. Who do you look up to most and what has he/she taught you? (This person does not need to be still living.)
My grandma Pundt. She was probably the world's most patient and loving person. As Mom used to say, "she wouldn't say boo if she had a mouthful". To the extreme, that can be a bad thing. But what I am still learning from her, though she's been gone for several years, is that nobody likes a whiner and, just because things suck, I don't have to bitch about it. (This is why sometimes I don't post for several weeks, being rather prone to depression.)
5. What is the worst thing that ever happened to you in your life and how does it affect you today?
Two things. One a specific event, one a more generalized thing that had an even more broadreaching impact. First, the obvious one: as many of you know, I lost a baby. As anyone who has can tell you, it affects you in ways you can't even imagine. Still, I think my pariah status in grammar school affected me even more... it certainly shaped who I am as an adult. I don't like people much and I trust almost no one. If there's a way for me to interpret something as being 'against' me, I will. If someone is nice to me, my first thought is "what do they want from me" and my second is "when is the shoe going to drop". Something about having people be nice to you just so they can later kick you in the crotch/flush your purse in the toilet (yes, both happened - in elementary school) and humiliate you in front of large groups of people does that, you know?
6. Ditto for the best thing.
My husband. We've known each other nearly 16 years and been married 11 1/2. He's seen me at my best and at my worst. We have our issues - everyone does - but he is an unending booster for all my efforts. It's taken a while but I've learned I can trust that he loves me and isn't looking to humiliate me or tear me down somehow. And there is something really wonderful about that.
7. What is your favorite book and why?
I don't think I can narrow it down to one but here are a few. A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett - who wouldn't love to wake up from the drudgery of their daily life and find out they were really a diamond heiress? And the writing is so evocative; her descriptions are wonderful. Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen - a heroine I'd like to be. Again, the language is delightful. The Lord of the Rings / The Silmarillion, J. R. R. Tolkien - between the languages, the epic stories, the mythic nature, and the elves, it's a world I happily lose myself in at least annually.
8. What would be your ideal day? What would you do? What would you eat? Would you be with people or by yourself?
My ideal day varies but since I have to pick one... I'd sleep late, then get up and laze on the couch with a giant plate of cookies and a stack of books. When I got bored with reading, I'd go down to my jewelry bench and beat some metal for a while, then back up and order delivery boneless chicken wings (garlic parmesan), maybe play the piano some, then read and/or write until late into the night when I'd take a hot bubble bath, drink a martini, and snuggle down to bed and finish with a little conversation and good sex. I would be alone until bed. The only time I get alone is the drive to/from rehearsal and church. That's it. I'm an Introvert (and the capital was intentional) and I need my cave and I don't get it.
9. Do you need to do anything so badly that it makes you a bit crazy if you can't for some reason? What is it?
I need to create. These day it's jewelry or writing but it's been any number of things. I need to bring something from nothing by working with my hands. Unfortunately, I get very little time to do it (creativity requires focus which is impossible when interrupted every 5 minutes).
10. Is there any part (physical, mental, spiritual, etc.) of you that, if you lost it, it might not be worth going on?
I was having real troubles with my voice at one point and they thought I might need to have my thyroid out. This is a tricky surgery for singers as, if the surgeon is even a little off, it can have disastrous effects on your voice (witness Julie Andrews). Who I am is so inextricably linked with music and singing, I'm not sure how I would continue without being able to sing. Now, this was before I had my kids so I doubt now that it would have that effect but it sure would take the joy out of life.
11. What do you believe in - the sort of belief that goes to your very soul?
I believe in God - not a little old man with a big beard on a throne ready to can my sorry ass but what Susan Sowerby in The Secret Garden called the "Great Good Thing", the source of love, blessings, and, if we ask, guidance. I believe in being kind, giving people second chances. I also believe in whupping a little ass if it needs it. I believe in being honest, within reason (white lies are ok). I believe that, if you can love yourself, you've accomplished more than 90% of the people out there (I'm one of the 90%, mind you). I believe that most of my friends undervalue themselves immensely. I believe that some things are worth fighting for, that justice is important but that forgiveness is too. I believe that one's own house should be in order before one tackles other people's houses.
12. Do you have a creed/code/quote that you live by (or try to live by)? What is it?
There's a quote from Anne Shirley (the Anne of Anne of Green Gables) where she says she'd just like to leave the world a more beautiful place for having been in it. Me too.
Let's make this a baker's dozen and add one final one...
13. If you had to sum yourself up for someone in 10 words or less, what would you say?
"My life flows on in endless song above Earth's lamentations."
or, if you'd prefer descriptive words... creative, determined, loving, fierce, kind, multi-faceted, thoughtful, curious, eccentric, introvert
Happy New Year, everyone - Tag, you're it! (And if you missed the Christmas pics - see below!)