Monday, January 7, 2013

Catharsis Caught the German Love Bug

It feels like ages ago when I last published something here.  It’s been a crazy past two weeks, with a family medical emergency that necessitated a trip back to IL.  Christmas just flew by without even sitting down briefly to have coffee (tea or hot cocoa) with me.  *sigh*

Well, we are home now and trying to calm things down and slowly and sanely welcome 2013.  The past year was rough, with treasured friends and family going through serious illnesses, as well as news of relationships going through major challenges.  Should I even mention holding my breath a little (just a little) for that dreaded 12/21/12 date?  (Truth be told, a part of me actually wished for a worldwide ‘reboot’, but let’s save my pessimism for some other time, shall we?)…

On a more positive and jolly note, I’d like to share with you an award that was passed on to me.  Muriel, our French Yummy Mommy in London, and also  dear blogger friend  of mine, nominated me for the Liebster Award (an award for blogs with less than 300 followers).  (Thank you so much, Muriel!  It's an honor).  She herself had so many interesting things to share about her life so you should really check her out here.

The rules of this award are the following:
1. When nominated, share 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
2. Pass the award onto 11 other bloggers (while making sure you notify them of their nomination)
3. Write up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees.
4. Of course, do not nominate the blog of the one who nominated your blog!
5. Paste the award picture onto your blog. (You can Google the image; there are plenty of them!)

So are you ready?  Here are my 11 random facts ----

1) I am a homebody, seriously.  I like being at home, being alone, enjoying my solitude.  Most people are actually surprised at how high my threshold is when it comes to this.

2) I’m probably one of the very few people on earth who don’t own a smart phone.  I really don’t think I need it right now.

3) I LOVE cilantro with a passion.

4) I’m a very poor sleeper, so when I’m finally really asleep, don’t ever make the mistake of disturbing me if you want to live.

5) When I’m feeling inexplicably down or stressed out, I often find myself turning to Pinterest.  I can always count on it to show me something that inspires, or something to criticize.  Either way, I’m entertained.

6) I’m highly possessive and territorial, especially where it concerns people who are most important to me.

7) I am extremely exhausted and have been for years.  My husband summed it up pretty well by saying that it seems I’m in a perpetual fight or flight state.  And I guess #4 is a huge factor too.

8) Christmas is my favorite holiday.  I spend the entire year waiting for it.

9) I’m still good friends with my ex (bf), even after 11 ½ years.

10) Breakfast doesn’t feel complete to me when it doesn’t include egg.

11) I’m a middle child.  Feel free to attach every single stereotype you know about that.  

Now here are Muriel's questions that I need to address:

    1. Why did you start blogging?
        I started writing ‘isolated’ entries since 2006 but by that I mean writing something like one essay a year.  It was just for fun, something I just felt I wanted to try out.  It was in 2009 when I began to be serious about blogging and it was really out of need more than anything else.  I was feeling depressed and someone had suggested that perhaps I needed to engage in something that would not only occupy me, but also fulfill me.  I turned to writing because I felt it was an expression of who I am.  At the time, I needed to re-establish and strengthen my sense of identity and blogging became my savior.  It still is in so many ways.

    2.   What is your favourite book and why?
          I would have to say it's Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams.  It takes me to so many different worlds where time is not as we know it.  And where the concept of time is involved, I think you can pretty much expect to be engaged in serious existential 'wonderingments'.  Check it out and see for yourself.

3. Where would you like to live?
  Anywhere where there's reliable internet connection, preferably wi-fi.  
4. What are your new year's resolutions for 2013?
     I don't believe in specific resolutions because they're bound to get broken.  However, I did make a pretty general one this year and it is has something to do with my writing.  I desire to be more 'authentic'.  Let's leave it at that.

5. What is writing for you?
     As I had mentioned above, it is my savior, my catharsis, a reflection of my sense of identity.

6. How do you find time to write your blog?
    It has been quite challenging and I assure you, it's not as easy as some would like to assume.  It takes time for me to come up with an interesting topic, develop it, and find the appropriate words to make it engaging enough.  What I know for sure is that I need to be by myself, in a quiet space when I'm writing.  Fortunately, my son is now going to school so in between chores and other 'real life' demands, I'm able to sit down and write before it's once again time to run to the bus stop in the afternoon.

7. What is your biggest regret?
     I'm not sure if this is the 'biggest', but one that comes to mind is that I regret not travelling when I could (to at least other Asian countries) when I was still single.

8. What are you most proud of?
     ...that I was once a teacher.  Having had the privilege of teaching at the University is something I'll always treasure because to me, touching and transforming minds, and lives, through education is priceless.

9. How do you stay motivated?
  Belonging to an amazing and caring blogging group (PBAU) has helped me tremendously.  Reading their pieces, as well as those written by some of my other favorites not part of said group, always seems to help.  I also introspect/meditate when possible.  Calming my mind and taking deep breaths are always helpful.  When all else fails, I just sit back and enjoy a Lindt Lindor Truffle.  

10. If you could be a character, who would you be? Why?
       There are actually two characters I've always associated with the most.  I'd be a cross between Ally McBeal and Carrie Bradshaw, minus all the boyfriends and sex, tiny physique, mini skirts and expensive outfits.  Both are constantly in their heads, overanalyzers and of course, hopeless romantics

11. What makes you happy?
       My son and everything about him.  Deep conversations and writing seem to do the trick too.

The Liebster Award requires that I pass this on to 11 bloggers but I don't think I can do that right now. Some of those I'd like to pass this onto have also just received it from others.  For the sake of paying this forward, I do, however, want to nominate 5 instead of 11.  And since I'm only nominating five, I think it's only fair that I also only require them to answer 5 questions from me, and have them reveal 5 random facts about themselves (unless of course they'd rather write 11).  I will leave that up to them.

Here are the five fabulous bloggers/ writers to whom I'm passing this award.  I respect and admire these writers for their creativity, humor, and wisdom.  They all inspire me in their own distinct ways and I do hope you can visit their blogs and enjoy their writing as well!

Marie of Scrollwork 
Rachel of Lala Musings
Marie of Rock The Kasbah

Here are my 5 questions for my nominees:

1.  What one piece of advice would you give to your 25-year old self if it were possible to do so now?

2.  What is your favorite ice cream flavor (if you have one)?

3.  What are your top 3 highlights from 2012?

4.  If you could publish a book (not a first for some of you) on ANY topic, what would it be about? 

5.  How has the definition of 'love' evolved for you through the years?

I really hope my nominees will find time to accept this award, participate and share their insights to the rest of us!  I hope I'm not giving any of you a hard time.

Happy New Year!!  And as I've written on my Facebook page, my true wish for 2013 is for all of us to have healthier, more spiritual and authentic lives.  I know that those are the three things I really want to work on starting this year, even if they're just baby steps.  Cheers!!  

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