Thursday, February 12, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

My high school class has been assiduously Facebooking, which is quite a spectacle. After enjoying other people's lists, it finally felt like reciprocity required one of my own. Writing it was both sillier and harder than I'd anticipated. Interesting exercise. In any event, since my surmise is that my Facebook world and my blog world don't much intersect, I'm taking the easy way out and using this as today's post. I also signed up for Twitter today, after the recent columns David Pogue has been writing. Am I up-to-date (sort of) or what?

Yesterday unfolded in odd and unanticipated ways, but there was a small window in which I finally got back to the chapter I've been struggling with. Haven't read it again today to figure out if I made forward or backward progress, but it felt good to be thinking about it again. Of course, it wiped me out, and I was completely exhausted when done. Michael says this hit me as hard as it did because I'm still afflicted by this chest cold. It would be pretty to think so.

So, here's my list:

1. I have been fortunate all my life in friends and the wonderful people I know.

2. I remember when we used to get dressed up to travel on airplanes, not undressed.

3. Blue is my favorite color, except for dogs which I prefer always to be black and to be labs.

4. Michael is the best choice I ever made, the center and foundation of my life. It’s hard to believe I made such a good choice a time in my life that was otherwise, let’s say charitably, “confused.” More than thirty years later, I feel lucky every day.

5. Michael and I have two of the most wonderful daughters in the world. I have learned a lot from each of them. I hope to be there to watch their amazing growth unfold for many years.

6. Since I was 16, I’ve never had a job that existed before I held it.

7. I have a high tolerance for conflict, which has served as the foundation for a career in problem-solving and conflict resolution.

8. I love teaching and students, but especially like professional students and practicing professionals.

9. One aspect of both my presentations and teaching that helps a lot is that I turn out to be funny; who knew?

10. Other than chocolate, which everyone knows doesn’t count, I don’t ingest caffeine, and haven’t since my first pregnancy.

11. I’m a good organizer.

12. I’m committed to public education, teachers and schools. I spent 12 years on a school board. I believe passionately in public education as a foundation for democracy. Can any of us afford to live in a society where public schools don’t provide a level playing field for all students? Oh yes, and for high school, though I attended Urbana High School for two years, I actually graduated from a private girls' boarding school (see above about my class getting together on Facebook).

13. Years ago, the girls and I (with technical assistance from Michael and his dad) built dollhouses for each girl and also a lot of furniture for the houses. We still make something every Christmas together. (Though we’ll never build anything out of matchsticks again. Our matchstick Eiffel Tower will remind us if we ever get tempted.) I’ve been mulling making 1/144 scale models of our house, but cannot figure out the geometry of the roofline. Someday….

14. Be careful what you wish for or you may get it. I’ve been striving to become more patient and graceful for some time and wishing I was doing better at getting there. Fate brought me a broken brain to assist my learning. Luckily, it turns out that I have the perfect hair for brain surgery.

15. I like being a part of and living in a small-ish community over many years: people know each other and the interconnections bring mutual support and reward. I also like that it’s a college town, so we have a lot of features that a town this size otherwise would not.

16. We have had two dogs at a time for decades.

17. We like to travel to new places and we like returning to the same place over and over again and getting to know it in depth, which is why we return to the same place in France every chance we get.

18. One of my friends introduced me to Misook for professional clothes, which improved my quality of life. It’s related to my “fewer, nicer things” drive. I still haven’t managed to dispose of the clothes from before this improvement, but I’m making progress toward that goal.

19. Our idea of a really good time is having people for dinner and enjoying an evening of good food, good company and good conversation.

20. I’m still trying to figure if and how zero-in-box or other GTD concepts can work for me, or be adapted to improve my working life. Is this the place to say that we’re Mac people and I love my iPhone?

21. Blogging turned out to be a way to process a difficult experience and I really took to it. I never would have imagined myself blogging or anticipated how much it gives back to me.

22. If feeding myself, eating alone or having a quick snack, my favorite is rice with homemade salad dressing on it. I don’t know why this can coexist so peacefully with our preference for good food at home and to search out when we travel, but it does.

23. I love the woodwork, high ceilings, great windows and feel of our old house. When Michael and I talk about downsizing to a house he’d build, or someplace requiring less maintenance, we wonder how to take with us the feel of “home” this house has for us.

24. I wish I could draw and sing harmony. I’d start with drawings of buildings.

25. I like sitting in the sunshine, both physically and metaphorically. We all get to choose our outlook and mood. We don’t get to choose what happens to us always, but we always get to choose how we respond and what attitude we adopt.

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