11 Questions, 11 Answers, and 11 Awesome Blogs

I was so honored that last week one of my favorite bloggers Lindsey, who writes the blog A Design So Vast “tagged” me as one of  eleven people she wanted to answer a set of questions she came up with in this traveling question and answer theme that’s going around.

I read and look at many blogs but hers is one of my favorites. She writes beautifully and with such heart on topics about life that I and many others wrangle with. So even though I have never in my memory gone through with one of these I took this one on.

This is how it works:

  • Post the rules
  • Answer 11 questions the tagger posted for you
  • Create 11 new questions to ask the people you tag
  • Tag 11 people
  • Let them know you’ve tagged them

So here are my answers to Lindsey’s questions:

1. What is your favorite book?  Why?
Good grief. I am so not good at the favorite question so I’m going to cheat a little here, I hope you’ll forgive me. For the past at least two years and maybe more, I have been pretty much only reading nonfiction. Books I’ve loved this past year or so were mostly about creativity and/or understanding the journey of life (two subjects I’m obsessed with), here are a few I enjoyed: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami; Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod; An Alter in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor; My Life in France by Julia Child; Falling Apart in One Piece by Stacy Morrison; Plan B by Anne Lamott; A Homemade Life by Molly Wizeberg; The War of Art by Steven Pressfield;

2. What song brings you back most viscerally to a moment in your history?  Where does it take you?
Again, there are a lot of them but I’ll try to be more cooperative this time. There are a few gems from Fleetwood Mac, like Rhiannon and Landslide, that transport me instantly to my early years in college 19-20 years old. Full of youth, bursting-at-the-seems-in love, hopefulness, huge insecurities, anxiety, dreams… – a tremendously mixed bags of feelings but mostly warm sun on my bare tanned arms, bare feet, a dry breeze and the feeling that life was in full bloom in front of me.

3. Who is your favorite character in fiction?
The young woman from The Island of the Blue Dolphins. A kid’s book I know, but I never got over her. That book lit up my imagination! Maybe because it was about survival, or because it was one of the few books that had a female main character that I had read. I can’t wait to read it to my daughter in a couple of years.

4. What is your favorite food?
Let’s just start with, I love food, and by now you’ve probably adjusted to the fact that it’s hard for me to choose just one of almost anything, so if it were a last meal situation here are a few standouts for me: Fried chicken; rocky road ice cream; big crunchy salads; burritos served wet style (i.e. with enchilada sauce and melted cheese on top); bone-in rib eye steak with mounds of sauteed mushrooms and onions and served with steamed broccoli tossed in lemon juice; BLT sandwiches; chicken and dumplings (my Moms),…I could go on, but now I have to go make something to eat!
What about foods you abhor? I don’t hate them anymore, but I used to hate beets (tasted like dirt) and Brussels sprouts (I used to swallow them whole as a child).

5. Are you a morning or a night person?
Both technically. I was always a night person and I still love to stay up late and let time unspool into the wee hours, following whatever has my attention (reading, writing, web sites, socializing) but I am now mostly reformed. Since I’m a Mom and I work an 8-5 corporate job, and have other interests that I feel dead inside if I don’t get to play in, I have begun waking up very early (4:30 am most days). I found the evening was actually less productive since I was tired from work and in the morning I can do more of the things that require a fresh clear mind. I have no doubt though if I didn’t have to go to an office job I would take advantage of both as it suited me.

6. What is your default font when you write on your computer?
Times. Boring. I know. But that’s the truth.

7. How many siblings do you have?  How many children do you have (as of now)? I have one child, a little girl five years old, I wanted to have another but the timing and life circumstances for me were really bad and I didn’t do it. I know I still could but it feels a little late now. I still have some doubts that I made the right decision, for my daughter’s sake more than anything. She would have been a fabulous sister. I have two siblings, a brother and a sister, both of them younger than me. I love both dearly and am close with my sister. My brother is more independent and still single so we don’t get as much time with him.

8. What season do you like best?
Oh that’s hard for me because I truly love them all. I have no real weather pet peeves. If I had to pick my least favorite of the four it would probably be spring because it’s the most wishy-washy and I spend a good bit of it just waiting for Summer.

9. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Beginning in 8th grade or so onward I wanted to be a lawyer. My earlier interests were writer and psychologist. Also fashion designer came in their somewhere between paper dolls and my first Vogue subscription at thirteen.

10. If you practice yoga (even sporadically) what is your favorite pose?
Two of my favorites I just realized are named after birds (weird). Crow – where you balance your legs on your forearms with your hands being your only contact with the floor; and pigeon for the stretch (much easier!). My very favorite standing pose is Shiva Nataraj. So beautiful and graceful when pulled off, and always challenging!

11. When was the last time you cried?
Right after reading through these questions? I’m kidding! I cried at the movie we just watched with my daughter, Dolphin Tales. I cried at the enthusiasm of the kids to help save the dolphin, and for the little kids and adults who also had disabilities and were inspired by the dolphin “Winter”. Enthusiasm, to do something above and beyond, is something I cry at a lot. I am so moved by it. I cry when I watch the marathon, flash mobs (the dancing singing happy variety), and even get choked up at trade shows where I see so many people trying so hard to do well by themselves, their companies, and their families. I know it sounds strange but it moves me!

Here are the ones I tagged to answer the questions I came up with:
Lindsey Mead A Design So Vast (hey! She said I could)
Aidan Donnelley Rowley Ivy League Insecurities
Gale Ten Dollar Thoughts
Gretchen Rubin The Happiness Project
Molly Orangette
Jena Bullseye Baby
Havi Brooks The Fluent Self
Leo Zen Habits
Amy Whelan  Youthful Yogini
Meredith A Mother Seeking
Lisa Baldwin Zen at Play

And here are my questions for them (or you!):

  1. Excluding now, what was the best, most fun, or most satisfying time of your life? Why?
  2. If you could do anything for a vocation regardless of what it paid (say you didn’t need the money) what would it be?
  3. What is one non-profit or charity organization that is dear to your heart? Why? What sets them apart?
  4. If you could have a second home anywhere in the world and you could travel to and from free of charge, where would it be?
  5. If you’re feeling blue, or lonely, what are your favorite self-comforting activities?
  6. What is one big lesson-for-life that has personal meaning for you that you want to teach your child/children or that you just wish you had known sooner?
  7. What are three things on your “bucket” list?
  8. Are you right or left handed?
  9. What is your preferred method for getting in/staying in shape?
  10. Describe your ideal vacation.
  11. What is a favorite place you’ve been to in your travels?

Comments
Although I tagged certain people above, this doesn’t mean I would not LOVE to hear your own answers to the questions I posed above too. Please share them in the comments if you’re so inclined!

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7 Responses to 11 Questions, 11 Answers, and 11 Awesome Blogs

  1. Thanks for tagging me! So excited to answer them. I’ll get to that ASAP. Loved your answers!

    • Kathryn says:

      Wow Meredith you are the speediest speedster ever! I would hate to have lived in the wild west with you back in those gun slingin days 🙂 Looking forward to reading your answers!

  2. Love these answers!! I’m going to answer your questions here since I am not sure my readers want to hear more minutiae from me (though truthfully I adore question and answer posts myself).
    1. College, specifically junior and senior year. I felt intellectually challenged and had an intimate, wonderful group of friends who I adored. Life was arrayed in front of us and we felt confident about the brightness of the future.
    2. Writer!
    3. Organ donation. My father-in-law benefited from a heart transplant when my daughter was one month old, and he’s enjoyed 9.5 years of (relative) health since then. It is truly a miracle and I am passionate about more people becoming donors. Tell your spouse or next of kin that you wish to be a donor. Please!! That is the key.
    4. Ooh, great question. Probably on the water in Marion, MA or nearby (how boring is that!?)
    5. Reading. Always. Often, if I am in search of comfort, I turn to poetry.
    6. It is so rarely about me. Most of the time the reactions others have, that can wound me so deeply, have almost nothing to do with me (and you are psychic as I am in the middle of writing something along these lines right now).
    7. Fly a plane. Go to Alaska. Deliver a baby.
    8. Right handed, but I have an immense affinity for lefties. Two of my three college roommates were lefties, and my two best friends are now.
    9. Running. I want to love yoga, and I used to, and I do it now occasionally, but nothing clears my head like a run by myself in the early morning.
    10. Ocean. Books. Sleep. White wine on the rocks.
    11. This is hard. Jerusalem is probably my favorite, but it’s also the most recent. I cannot imagine I’ll top it anytime soon for life-changing experiences, though. Extraordinary, moving, exhausting, chaotic, overwhelming, and intensely beautiful.

  3. Amy Whelan says:

    Fun! Thanks for the invite! Here’s mine!

    1.Excluding now, what was the best, most fun, or most satisfying time of your life? Why?
    That would have to be a general answer since I have so many examples. The time that I enjoy the most are the days I spent exploring new experiences with my children and husband. My oldest son exudes excitement through is bouncy mannerisms—believe me, you cannot help getting excited when you experience his excitement, and my youngest shows his enthusiasm with his infectious laugh and wonderful sense of humor.

    2. If you could do anything for a vocation regardless of what it paid (say you didn’t need the money) what would it be?
    I would choose a vacation in which we had a myriad of experiences. We love to camp, though tent camping is getting harder and harder. We did experience camping in a yurt, and let me tell you, that was enjoyable. We’d also have to have swimming as part of our adventure. My kids have never been to the ocean and I think that would be a terrific experience to witness through their eyes. And of course, we’d have to have a condo on the beach so that we could relax after a full day of fun! That would be my dream vacation!

    3. What is one non-profit or charity organization that is dear to your heart? We have a no-kill shelter called TAILS in our town. Why? They do extraordinary work. What sets them apart? They never turn animals away (also injured wildlife will be cared for and returned to the wild). They have many families that foster dogs and cats that need homes. They have a spay/neuter program as well. I appreciate that they always put the animals first. They take animals from emergency situations all over the U.S. They may not have the room, but they WILL find a way to care for these animals. And it is ALL non-profit.

    4.If you could have a second home anywhere in the world and you could travel to and from free of charge, where would it be? My husband took me to San Francisco years ago, and I’ve never forgotten the beauty and the culture of the place! That’s where I’d like to spend a weekend. The highlight of that trip was buying peanuts in the shell and sitting in Golden Gate park feeding the squirrels. They would sit next to you and eat. I even had one crawl on me. I was careful not to touch the squirrel since they are wild, but they felt totally comfortable in the presence of people. (Unfortunately that can be dangerous for children who may not exercise caution around wild animals!)

    5. If you’re feeling blue, or lonely, what are your favorite self-comforting activities? I love to get a cup of coffee and a good book and curl up on the couch, epsom salt baths in my claw-foot tub, or quiet meditation/yoga. One of these three will usually allow me to be more present with the rest of the day.

    6.What is one big lesson-for-life that has personal meaning for you that you want to teach your child/children or that you just wish you had known sooner? That each individual learns and experiences the world differently through different filters. Patience must be taught so that each child can learn and grow without fear of criticism. Once a child understands how he works, it becomes a treasure.

    7.What are three things on your “bucket” list?
    Become a certified yoga instructor, travel to the ocean with my husband and two boys, and just be a part of life even as I grow old.

    8. Are you right or left handed? Right

    9. What is your preferred method for getting in/staying in shape? Yoga

    10.Describe your ideal vacation.
    We would wake up early and drive to our destination. We would stop along the way to visit anything we wanted to that caught our interests (without concern about time). Enjoy each site to its fullest, then either find accommodations or rent a yurt! I prefer vacations that offer a little surprise along the way. I do not have any interest in the high-budget vacations such as cruises or guided tours of different countries.

    11.What is a favorite place you’ve been to in your travels? My favorite place to visit is somewhere by water that has a lot of hiking trails. My sister’s home in GA with her family offers many of these fun activities as does the east coast and of course the west coast.

  4. Amy Whelan says:

    OK, I feel like a dork! I just realized your question to number #2 was vocation not vacation! Ugh! Well I think I summed that up in the bucket list question…yoga instructor…definitely! Sheesh!

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