Like a great outdoor pool, Joyce's Hodgepodge always has a deep end and a shallow end. I think that's what I like about it. Her questions are a refreshing mix of fun and serious, simple and philosophical. To some of them it's easy to give a knee-jerk response. Others provoke thought and make you start with a "hmmmm." Since the first question this week made me start with a "hmmm," I would say let's jump into the deep end to get our Hodgepodge heads wet today.
1. In what way are you your own worst enemy?
I would say it's more than one way. I have two chief ways of being my own worst enemy.
ONE: I overthink most of the time. Rather than just settle on a good idea or plan, I think of all the whys and why-nots, and tend to complicate what could be simple.
TWO: I also tend to do the opposite: throw myself headlong into something before counting the costs, thereby causing trouble or difficulty through my impulsiveness. So I can be the poster child for two different slogans on any given day. Sometimes I am the poster child for "Analysis Paralysis" and at other times "Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread."
2. Jacques Cousteau's birthday was Monday, June 11th...ever been scuba diving? Is that something you'd like to try? What's your favorite 'under the sea' creature?
I have never been scuba diving and at one time was obsessed by the thought of doing it. When I was 17, I thought I wanted to become a marine biologist. It just sounded cool and I loved biology in high school. So I declared a biology major as I entered my freshman year of college. (Classic case in point of "fools rush in....") The declaration lasted exactly four class periods of Biology 101-- two lectures and two labs with Sister Ann. That's when I knew I was "in over my head" and didn't want to spend four years treading water.
So I became an English major where I could swim easily without getting eaten alive.
Okay, okay. Enough cliches. Even I am starting to gag and sputter. Call the literary lifeguard to rescue us all from the riptide of robust ridiculosity. (And yes, I just made up that word. This blog is my piece of cyber real estate and, as such, I enjoy the locution, locution, locution.
Anyway, getting back to the boat we're all in together--you know, the Hodgepodge dinghy...
My favorite "under the sea" creatures are probably dolphins. Or starfish. Or coral. The list of "not my favorites" is much longer. Good thing I realized PDQ (pretty darn quick) that I wouldn't make it as a marine biologist.
3. On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you in and around the water? (1=not at all, 10=very) Do you know how to swim and if so how and when did you learn?
My comfort level depends on the water. In a pool, I would be a "9"--love it and feel very little fear. In a fresh stream up to my knees, a 5. The ocean, a 2. The older and weaker I get, the more fear I have of water. As a kid, all my numbers would've been 7-9. I learned to swim from my parents and had a few different sets of swim lessons in late elementary years.
4. What's something you do to motivate yourself to tick an item off your to-do list?
Invite someone over if I need to clean the house up quickly. Read about organizing things or look at pictures if it's that kind of thing. For exercise, I have to put on my shoes and crank up music and pray for the grace because I really hate to sweat.
I have to focus on how good I will feel afterwards, not during, no matter what the "chore" is. Sometimes I just get down on my knees by the sofa and tell God what He already knows--that I desperately need His grace to do whatever that thing is that I don't "naturally" want to do--forgive someone, clean my house for the 720,818,624th time, exercise. He is always faithful to give me what I ask for, and that is NOT to say it's the great desire. Sometimes it's just a fresh wind to propel my sagging sails.
5. What makes a good neighbor? Are you a good neighbor?
Well, if "fences make good neighbors," then no. Our fences are decrepit. Split rails put up 25 years ago, I think. If, on the other hand, being a good neighbor means looking out for one another, offering to help when there's a need, chatting about life, not meddling, keeping a neat yard and a quiet home, then yes, I am a good neighbor
6. Who loads the dishwasher at your house? Is there a right way and a wrong way?
Usually I load it, but I often delegate it if I've already had most of the kitchen duty in a day and others are just loafing. There's not a right and wrong way, but there is my way which I certainly prefer. For example, I prefer that all the mugs go side by side, and the glasses and plastics get alternated. I handwash pots and pans, and make sure the spoons don't spoon. The plates go on one side, the bowls on the other. I don't get "bent out of shape" if someone does it differently, though, because no one likes to be criticized when they offer to help.
7. You know it's summer when your arms read like a Braille novel from all your mosquito bites.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Our new old puppy, Brownie, is working out well. She is a good influence on the golden pup, Reilly. She calms him and makes him more affectionate and will snarl at him if he gets too rowdy around her. I have an appointment at the vet's to get her checked out this afternoon and to have her nails clipped. Talons, actually--they're inhumanely long and keep her pads from gripping the kitchen floor well. Poor girl. I will also be giving her a bath and getting Reilly groomed this week. I am just really enjoying having two dogs who are like watching a great-grandma and a teenage great-grandson around each other. The generations need each other for many reasons. And I, the lady in midlife, need them as well. One to remind me of the vitality and strength of youth, the other to remind me to be gentle and patient with those who aren't as steady or as capable on their own as they once were.