I recently received a message from my bloggy friend Rivki over at Life in the Married Lane that she had nominated me for a Liebster award. I’ve never heard of these awards before, but it’s an honour to be chosen. Here are the rules:
1) Tell 11 things about yourself.
2) Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
3) Post 11 questions for those who will be nominated by you.
4) Nominate 11 bloggers.
5) Get in contact with those bloggers to inform them that you nominated them
It’s easier than thinking up a totally original post, so here goes…
11 Things about me:
1. I once ran a half-triathlon. I was 19 years old and reeling from a recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I set my own training schedule, trained for three months, and came in second in my age class… out of two athletes. I am immensely proud and still have the plaque and the photos to prove it.
2. I knew that I would marry Mr. December within moments of seeing him. Not meeting him, seeing him. And it wasn’t a conscious, “wow, he’s so gorgeous I wanna marry him.” It was more of an intuitive flash: my brain said to me, “I’m gonna marry that guy,” and I said to my brain, “What? That’s crazy! You don’t know him! You don’t even know if he’s Jewish!” Needless to say, my intuition was correct. I was 15 years old.
3. My children did not come easily to me. I was infertile. My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage and completely changed my perspective on life. Truly. I’ve been depressed, bitter, emotionally unstable, jealous, and every other ugly emotion you can think of. Infertility is brutal. One of my biggest fears is that infertile people may see me with my three children under the age of 5 and feel jealous and resentful. Our past struggles aren’t out there for all to see. I sometimes wish I could dress my kids in t-shirts that say “IUI Baby”, “IVF Baby”, and “We thought we were infertile. Surprise!”
4. I’m very comfortable with the elderly. I used to work in a nursing home. Dementia doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable. I’m happy to sit and converse with elderly people for hours. I wouldn’t normally mention this, but it’s been brought to my attention that many people are extremely uncomfortable in those situations.
5. I once spent a month in a wheelchair. It was crunch time in second-year university and my fibromyalgia was flaring up and making it difficult to get through the day. Staying home sick wasn’t an option, so I used a wheelchair to help me conserve energy so that I could keep up with my schedule. It was definitely an education. To this day, that was the only time anyone at Tim Hortons has asked me if I’d like my muffin heated up.
6. I like sex. I hear jokes and anecdotes about wives not being interested in sex and I’m completely unable to relate. This is verging on TMI, so I’ll leave it at that.
7. My guilty pleasure? Ready Pride and Prejudice Fanfiction. I don’t know why I love it so much, but I never get tired of the “what ifs?” inspired by Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy. It’s like reading trashy novels, I suppose. Also, some of it is surprisingly (and enjoyably) smutty (see item #6.)
8. I’m not happy unless I’m creating something. I actually kind of dread vacations, because I don’t know what I’d do after the first few days without my sewing machine and power tools. Honestly, just how many novels can one person read?
9. I had some seriously low self-esteem. I had practically no friends in elementary school. I was frequently the only kid in my class not invited to bar mitzvahs (really, what kind of parent allows their child to invite the whole class minus one?). I was teased about my clothes, my hobbies (apparently classical opera-style singing isn’t cool,) the way I spoke (my mother was from a British colony. We didn’t braid my hair, we plaited it.) It wasn’t until I got to high school that I realized the problem wasn’t me – it was the culture at my old school. Suddenly my skills and talents (and quirks) were valued, I had friends, and my whole self-image changed.
10. I kind of wish I had the discipline and dedication to be frum. I love Judaism, its traditions, its community, and I wish I could really be fully part of a frum community… but I can’t. I’m just not there. I’m still coming to terms with that realization. Good thing my frum friends still love me regardless.
11. I have no regrets. I’m one of those annoying people who feels that everything that’s happened has made me into the person I am, so no regrets. Not one. Well, maybe one: I shouldn’t have eaten that chocolate bar today. But aside from that, no regrets.
Now, Rivki has asked a bunch of questions that I’m supposed to answer. Let’s see how many I can get through before my eyes start to close:
- If you could outsource any domestic chore or duty, which one would you choose?
Definitely laundry. I’d rather scrub the bathroom than fold laundry. It used to be grocery shopping, but now I’m all organized and in a groove, so I don’t mind it so much.
What mitzvah, or spiritual practice, do you connect with the most?
Oh, boy. I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between Mikvah and the Passover Seder. Mikvah because it was personally very relevant right after my miscarriage and through the years of infertility treatments – it felt very much like a fresh start, physically and emotionally and spiritually. And the Passover seder? I love the wisdom inherent in it: our culture and religion are passed on through the things we tell our children. I love the ritualization of that retelling.
What’s your favourite holiday?
Passover, hands down.
Where’s the most beautiful place you’ve visited?
You’re going to make me choose? Okay, fine. We went on a hike in the Golan heights to a river called the “Jilaboon” (Nahal Giv’on, in Hebrew) and it ended in a deep valley, covered over by oleander trees in bloom, and a waterfall cascading into a deep pool. We went swimming there. It was gorgeous.
What song would you listen to for a burst of energy?
Walking on Sunshine. How can you not want to get up and get moving when you hear that song?
What do you consider comfort food?
Chocolate. Preferably Cadbury’s pretzels & peanut butter chocolate bar. Yum. Also on the comfort food list are hummus and pita, and chicken soup.
Prior to marriage, did you have a “list” of qualities you wanted in a spouse? If so, how close was your list to reality?
I’m sure I had a list running in my mind. I wanted a man with a beautiful voice, who would sing to me. I wanted someone who loved being outdoors. Someone who knew that chivalry wasn’t dead – who would open doors for me, etc. I wanted someone gregarious and optimistic. And who did I marry? I call him “Tall, Dark, and Broody.” He doesn’t really sing. He’s practically a vampire – feels no drive whatsoever to go outside. I trained him in the art of chivalry. Gregarious and optimistic? Hmmm… he’s a charismatic skeptic. He’s my perfect other half, and I’m crazy in love with him.
If you could play any instrument, which one would it be?
I do play an instrument. No, I play five or six: voice (yes, it’s an instrument,) piano, guitar, viola, flute, drums. If I could choose another to learn magically? I wouldn’t… I’d just choose to become very, very good at guitar.
You won a free trip to anywhere you like. Where would you go?
Okay, now it’s my turn to ask the questions! Here goes…
1. What’s your passion in life?
2. Given the option, what time would be the “perfect” wake-up time for you?
3. What’s your favourite mode of transportation?
4. What do you think of The Simpsons?
5. If you were a food, what kind of food would you be?
6. What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? Did it pay off?
7. If you didn’t have to work for a living, how would you spend your days?
8. What’s your favourite charity?
9. If you had two hours a day all to yourself with absolutely no other obligatons, how would you spend them?
10. What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
11. Why do you blog?
And now for the nominees…
Jennifer from Adventures in Mama-land
Lisaleh from Modern Balabusta
Miri from Here we are together
Andy from Fly, little words, fly!
Sheryl from Little Snowflakes
Gideon from Exploring Souls and Cities
Elizabeth from Project Progeny
The ever-skilled at Lego, and apparently kind of anonymous, Bible Belt Balabusta
Cheryl from Wunch Break
Lisa from Helical Smile
And… that’s it. I know it’s only 10, but you’ll forgive me. Right? Right? If I’ve forgotten you, by any chance, please consider yourself nominated.
And now, off to inform my nominees. Can’t wait to see their answers!
… 1506 words later, I must conclude that it would have been easier to come up with my own post idea!