It’s been ages since I’ve participated in a good old fashion question and answer weekly meme. Tonight, this one seems apt. My new job has me working until 3 am, so I’m adjusting to being a day sleeper, hitting the hay around 5:30 am. I’m almost adjusted to the schedule although I still find I toss and turn a good bit once it gets beyond the used-to-be-sleeping-in time of 11 am. I’m never sure what day it is because my day spans two days, but I’m managing well otherwise.
1. What helps you get through the night? These days, coffee. If I time it correctly, the cup I drink between my meal break and my last fifteen keeps me going the rest of the shift. When I can’t sleep, a good book gets me through the night.
2. Do you ALWAYS keep an open mind? Does anyone ALWAYS keep an open mind? Of course not. It’s human nature to be closed minded. Our neural pathways do their darnest to make sure each new piece of data fits neatly into our old way of thinking. Our brains were designed to recognize patterns, after all. With all that being said, I try to be mindful of close minded tenancies. I live the best I can by Aristotle’s idea that “it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it” by exposing myself to viewpoints with which I disagree as often as to those with which I agree. My personal belief systems have evolved, slowly but surely, over the course of my life as I accept and reject ideas I have entertained.
3. Who is the wisest person you know? Wisdom is rather subjective, I think. Madeleine L’Engle was wise, but so is Adam Carolla. It’s hard to write a truly unique sentence with the amount of content generated in our digital age, but I do believe I’ve succeed with the previous line. In all seriousness, wisdom is something we all possess to varying degrees and in vastly different flavors. I have no desire to attempt to quantify it.
4. Who is the strongest person you know? I could change my answer about the wisest person I know by replacing the word strong and it would be an accurate answer to this question. Yes, names included.
5. How would we tell by your behavior if you are having a bad day? Typically, it’s hard to tell if I’m having a bad day. Especially in a professional setting, I do everything in my power to hid what tells I do have. I am less social when I am stressed or sick, but I still smile and am as friendly as I can muster with co-workers and clients. At home, things are a bit different. If I am not feeling well, I am likely to curl up on the sofa with a blanket or two, watching back to back episodes of one thing or another and drinking cup after cup of tea.
6. Does your ego sometimes get in your way? Not very often these days. I have gone through enough experiences in the last few years to toss any unhealthy pride out the window.
7. Do you believe in Zen? If yes, can it be mastered? My outlook on the world is far to culturally Western to embrace any tenant of Buddhism. To be sure I know from where I’m speaking, I looked up Zen at Dictionary.com: “An approach to religion, arising from Buddhism, that seeks religious enlightenment by meditation in which there is no consciousness of self.” See, that whole shedding of self tends to go against the American spirit, not to mention Christianity which seeks a personal relationship with the persons of the Trinity. I would however say if one were to seek Zen, it is not the mastering, but the practice and the journey which matter, much in the way Christians seek to be Christlike while knowing perfectly well the goal is unattainable while inhabiting flesh and blood bodies.
8. Do you believe you could teach someone, like your child, to be competitive? I couldn’t, no. I’m not in the least competitive. While it is not good to be a poor sport, I do wish I had a stronger desire to win. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about any possible and future children of mine lacking the spirit of competition. Chris is both competitive and a good sport. I especially admire what all his years of playing chess have given him in the ability to study and prepare for competition in a systematic way. The only question remains: Is there somewhere we’ll be able to get chess piece shaped teething toys?
9. Do you believe home is not a place but rather a state of mind? Raised as I was, moving around from Navy base to Navy base from one side of the country to the other, I know it to be true. Home is people who love you even if you can’t get more than two or three together at the same time. Home is shared memories and the stories, personal or from media and culture, which mean more than the sum of the original experience as time passes. My home is as much in my daily text messages with my best friend and weekly phone calls to my mom as it is in my living room.