“You like me! You really like me!”
It’s always nice to be recognized and rewarded for the work that you do. That’s why I was thrilled when when Maybe I’ll Shower Today chose me for this honor. But I don’t get to clutch my Oscar, fake tears, and thank my family, producer and God until the music swells. This award has a price: I need to open my trenchcoat for you and answer some questions. And then I need to do what bloggers do best: pass on the love by rewarding those seven sisters that inspire me. So here we go:
1. Who do you most admire? It’s not so much a particular person I admire as a type of person: I like direct people who know what they want and are able to communicate that in a very transparent way. I can’t stand passive aggressive behavior, or people who expect you to “just know” what they need. So many problems in relationships happen because of communication, and not just romantic relationships: problems between doctor and patient, teacher and parent, friends, siblings, etc. But the people I most admire, are people who are also very compassionate and work to understand someone else’s point of view. You can’t just be a good communicator – you have to be an even better listener.
2. Dark, milk or white chocolate? If at all, very dark. But I avoid sugar as much as possible, because it doesn’t make me feel good. I know that seems crazy, and I do crave chocolate a few times a year, but it almost always makes me feel nauseous afterwards. So, it’s pretty easy to avoid. I developed rosacea when I turned 40, and after I stopped eating wheat, fruit and refined sugars, my skin cleared up. If I fall off the wagon – BOOM! Acne…I’m in trouble right now, though, because I’m craving wine again instead of vodka, which has a lower sugar content. Oh well…sometimes you have to just take the bad skin as payment for good booze.
3. What is your favorite indulgence? Really good cheese and more recently caviar. My family loves to make elaborate cheese platters with aged goudas, cheddars, wild boar salami, and gourmet olives, and just eat that for dinner. We have a Wegman’s near our house, and it is spoiling us! I recently decided to try caviar and creme fraiche, because it was about $10, and the “cheese guy” said he tasted no difference between that and the $100 one. I’m hooked now. The rest of my family thinks it’s interesting at best and “you can’t pay me to touch that” at worst. So, I eat half of the jar for dinner, and then have the best/weirdest breakfast ever, depending on your perspective.
4. What did you want to be when you grew up? An obstetrician. My mother worked for one for 25 years, and when I was very young I tried to tell people this is what I wanted to be, but I stumbled over the word (aww!) That evolved into a nurse midwife when I was in high school, because my Grandmother was one of the original Frontier Nurses who rode through the Appalachian Mountains, delivering babies for poor women. I got in to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, which was a huge deal, because they were considered the best Nursing school in the country. However, this is right around the time that my hidden Ehlers-Danlos syndrome started kicking up its heels, and my plan to matriculate into the very challenging Midwifery Masters program began to fall apart. But I managed to satisfy my birthing itch eventually: I did graduate with a Nursing degree, and became a certified doula. I assisted several births in a birthing center, which, frankly, kicked ass. But probably the most exciting thing I’ve ever done is deliver a baby. I had a friend who was convinced she could deliver her own third child (Uh, it wasn’t MY choice for her, but she was stubborn. She refused to go to the hospital.) I had been working as a Pediatric nurse for about 6 months at this point, and she called me at 5 am to tell me the baby was coming. I showed up and said “When is the midwife getting here?” And she said “She isn’t. She is in California. And I’m not going to the hospital.” Oh shit. But we did it – right there in her bathtub. And it was one of the most amazing things I have ever not really done, because she and the baby did it, and I just watched and assisted…and trusted in the process. I felt like this was Life handing me the chance to be a midwife one time before it took it all away from me. And I am at peace. I was able to have a good nursing career for several years after that, but I have had to retire from Nursing for good because of EDS.
5. What is happiness to you? Not being in pain and having the energy to do what I want with the people I love.
6. What is your favorite movie? It’s a toss up between The Lord of The Rings series and the Harry Potter series. We are huge geeks.
7. Are you a neat-freak or a total slob? Kind of both. My energy is limited, so I tend to let things go, because I can’t spend energy cleaning. But I get very particular about certain parts of the house, namely parts that people will see more often. Like, my bedroom is the last place in the house that I pick up, because no one goes in there but us. I am not a bedmaker either, but my husband is! And I am grateful, because I do like it when he does, but I always feel bad when I have to nap and I disturb the covers.
8. What cocktail best describes you? Ooh, that’s hard. I would say a martini, because you can make them in so many different ways. I have a wide variety of tastes and elements to my personality. And, my go-to drink is a Cosmo with orange vodka – tres elegant!
9. What is the coolest thing you have ever done? Besides deliver a baby? Swing dance on top of the Phillies dugout as a part of the mid-inning entertainment. My dance partner and I were on one rooftop, and another couple was on the other dugout. My father was in town to watch me and everything – I had a photo of me on the JumboTron (but it’s packed away in boxes somewhere…!)
10. What do you like best about yourself? My ability to reinvent myself and just keep on going in spite of all of the obstacles I have faced. Many people marvel at how positive and funny I am, even though I live with a lot of physical pain and setbacks. I have had to deal with great frustration at not becoming what I thought I was going to be, but I am still proud of who I am, and I hope to model that for my children every day.
And now that you know a little more about me, and maybe why I was singled out by my peers for this distinction, I would like to call your attention to seven ladies who inspire me:
6. Jen Riann
1. How do you love on people?
2. How do you know you are loved?
3. What is your favorite way to spend the day?
4. Why did you start your blog, and how did you name it?
5. Who do you live with?
6. Would your Life best be told by a movie, book or play? Is it a musical? A comedy? Drama? Describe it.
7. Who do you most admire?
8. What do you like best about yourself?
9. What is the most interesting thing you have ever done?
10. Where will you be in ten years? In twenty years?
1. Link to the person who nominated you.
2. Add the award logo.
3. Answer the questions your nominator has asked.
4. Nominate 7 other blogs and let them know via comments.
5. Ask your nominees 10 questions.