Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Seven Things About Me, Part 2

Although first I have to tell you all that poor Penny had to get staples in her little spayed area because the stitches reopened (yuck) and she has to wear The Cone again. Poor wee pumpkin. Plus we're having T's annual Masonic picnic at our house this weekend, so everyone gets to meet Her Elizabethan Collarness while she's not quite her sweet, perky self. We'll get her a lot of sympathy petting.

All right, I did 1-4, so now it's time for 5-7.

5. I love words, wordplay, etymology, all of that stuff. Words fascinate me. How can authors put words together in such beautiful, interesting, funny, awful, puzzling, enthralling ways? Aside from that, I love knowing facts like the word disaster literally means "a bad alignment of the stars", from dis-, meaning "not" or "bad", and -aster, meaning "star". Isn't that cool? The word sinister comes from the same Latin word, which meant "left-handed" or "unlucky" because left-handedness was considered unlucky or evil. I also love other languages and accents--connecting English to other languages gives me such a kick. I should have taken Latin. I speak Spanish and German, plan to learn French, and would like to learn a non-romance language such as Chinese. Now I just have to find places to speak my languages so I don't lose them completely. As always, suggestions welcome. I think my passion for words extends to all parts of my life: I teach English, I sing, I do accents, I admonish my students for using the same words in their writing over and over again when so many others exist. My favorite word I taught my husband?

To throw something out a window. Think about it: The word for window in three different languages is ventana (Spanish), fenetre (French), and fenster (German). It all adds up! Isn't that thrilling? I think so.

6. No matter how old I get, no matter how many places I go, I still find simple joys the best. Jaded, utterly sophisticated people must live such sad lives because it takes so much to make them interested or happy, if they even allow themselves to feel those emotions. I've had people laugh at me because I got excited about something they found ridiculous or unimportant: What do I care? I see it as me getting a lot more out of life than they do. The sound of wind in the trees, the curve of a shell, the emotion of a beautiful song with my choir, the feel of eight people rowing totally in synch, my puppy's wagging tail, the weight of my husband's hand on mine, the feeling of euphoria as I laugh with friends....Those joys fill me with life and make me whole.

7. I procrastinate. A lot. And I often feel like I'm faking it, and that it's just a matter of time until everyone finds out. I've started to figure out why I do this: At one point in my life, when things were rocky at home and I was away at school, I made a point to be "fine" so nobody worried about me. I was smart enough in school and life to get by, often doing things last minute but pulling it all out in the end. I didn't want to ask for help because of the previous point of appearing to deal with everything and because some part of me thought, "Well, you should know how to do this, so don't ask or you'll look foolish or feel ashamed." This of course led to a shame spiral, I now see. I think the procrastination has to do with avoidance, a technique that probably shielded me from some tough stuff at one point but that now sabotages me. The part of me that learned to deal with everyday life never asked for help and never learned to deal with things as an adult does. I have the little voice inside me that says not to open the mail, to play one more game of Solitaire, that I have plenty of time to grade those papers and doesn't stop to think that I have to get 100 of them graded by the end of the quarter. Then I pay the bill late or don't cash a check, stay up late doing lesson plans, and grade 100 papers in two days. So I've started listening to that voice and responding with a better way of doing things, or ignoring the child voice altogether. It's hard. She's been there a long, long time and she has a lot of say, but I think I can drown her out or at least turn her down. I've also realized that I'm not alone, I don't have to be perfect, and I have to forgive myself for being human. I have remind myself of that a lot, but I have wonderful people who do it for me when I forget.

Whoa, I didn't know I was going to let that last one out right there, though I'd been planning to write about it at some point. So now you know something about me, and maybe I made you realize something about yourselves. I tag any of you out there who blog to do this although, as Scarlet Lily pointed out, I think we all know the same bloggers, more or less.

I'm going to go check on Penny and grab a nap; that took more out of me than I'd thought. Happy Wednesday, dears.


GreenLight said...

I know you hate bullies. I'd want you around if I knew one. You're scrappy!
I'm glad you're on my side :)

Princess Powerless said...

Even more in common!

5. Me too! I used to be conversationally fluent in German, but I've lost a lot of it in the 19 years I've been back in the 'States. I speak a tiny bit of French and Spanish. My favorite German word: Bergundtalbahn. That's right, "mountain and valley train," also known as a rollercoaster. Have you been to I think they have a Word of the Day email... they might even have a widget. Oooh! Another widget to add to my blog! I do accents, too. Living in Germany, Virginia, Texas, and Minnesota have given me a bunch of fodder for imitation. Finally, my husband and I sing all the time. Today I sang to a client whose last name rhymes with "hanky." My Tina does the Hanky-Panky...

7. I hereby challenge you to a procrastination-off! First person to blog loses! :-)