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Questions and Answers - #6

After much contemplation, and supper, and scooping the cat boxes, here are my Questions and Answers to Round #6 of One Question Wednesday

From The Ranting Monkey - As people get to know you, what about you seems to surprise them the most? 
Well, I thought I would be lazy brilliant and survey my "many" friends to get to the bottom of this.  Not surprisingly, some of them failed to submit an answer, thus leaving me to ponder if the surprises of getting to know me are not something one wants to declare. Oh well, what can I say? I am what I am! Some of the responses I did get were not terribly surprising - things such as that I have several tattoos; that I was involved with men in the past who brought me down and seemed to be such opposites of me, and that I remarried again after those experiences; that I am a crazy cat lady; that I'm intelligent and seem to know about a lot of things; that I have "adopted" a bunch of rez kids, and that I have retained my hippie mindset. 

Along with that I've been told by more than one person in the past that they are surprised to learn that I am more liberal than I might appear, and have experienced a little more than one would think.  Yes, that's true, I have been around the block a few times in 58 years! :-)   The first impression I give people probably isn't all that awe- inspiring since I am just your plain-jane, middle aged, office worker in the comfy clothes, long flying hair and little make-up. If I don't know someone I am taken as shy, and maybe even as judgemental because of that. (Note - silence doesn't always signify displeasure, for the most part I just enjoy being a passive observer.)  However, I think if folks stick around and get to know me they will find me to be a devoted friend, and a lover of long, deep conversations! :-)  Now I'd like to hear from the rest of you, what about me surprised you as you got to know me??

From Louise - What is your biggest fear? 
Well, I have three that kind of loom in the background, It would be hard to state which of those is biggest.  The first would be the loss of my husband.  He is my rock, my joy, my love, my life.  He is by far the best man I've ever known. Before him my life was nothing like it is today, and without him it would be much less. Love is knowing that you belong, and that's such a good feeling! I would survive if something happened to him, it isn't that I can't function on my own, it's that life wouldn't be nearly as fulfilling or fun, and I wouldn't feel safe and cared for. He is irreplaceable and I wouldn't even try. 

The second big fear would be loss of my/our ability to support myself/ourselves. Things get more and more expensive while income never increases proportionately. When you are looking at retirement age, a fixed income is a frightening thing. Every single day I deal with people who have lost their cars, their homes, their ability to pay for needed medications/medical care, or even put food on the table, etc. because of debilitating illness or injury. I see their desperation and how little our country offers in the way of resources to help them. It is truly terrifying.

The third thing I fear is my daughter giving up on life. I try hard to instill the "survivor" mentality in her and most days she does pretty well with it. She has come so far from where she was a few years ago, but at times she still gets so depressed and despondent that I worry she will lose her way, or I will lose her altogether.  That's a parent's worst nightmare.

From Ken - What was your best day?
Obviously my wedding to John, and the births of my two children  are happiest days in my memory. Also high up there is the time I first visited Red Cloud Indian School, that I talked about a few weeks back.  I am going to go with a different angle here and say that my "best day" was the day I told my ex I was leaving after developing a plan of action to make that happen.  It wasn't a fun day, it was a heart-breaking day, but it was still my best day because it was the day I finally said "ENOUGH" to the abuse. It was the day I took back control of my life, it was the first day of the rest of my life! As is said by many people in those kinds of situations, I wish I would have done it ten years earlier.  But at last I did it, and I am so grateful that God gave me the strength to go!

From Jo-Anne - When you see someone when out and about who is looking like a misery guts do you ever get the urge to go up to them and poke them in the ribs and say it can't be that bad cheer up?
I do get fed up with people who are chronic whiners, such as a coworker who starts out nearly every morning bemoaning how tired she is, or the person who chronically complains about their spouse, their kids, their job, or their life, and especially the "why me, woe is me" folks who always find a reason to be gloomy.  I want to "enlighten" them with the reality that they have the power to do something about it so "just do it or shut up about it already"!  Of course I'm not really that mean, and I don't say it, at least not in those words or that way.  But folks who are chronically dumpy or grumpy are wearing.  Attitudes are so very contagious.  I am a morning person and don't like my morning dragged down!  Most often if it's a chronic problem I will pretty much ignore that person and learn to tune them out.

On the other hand, if someone who is not usually miserable, or some stranger I don't know appears to be sad or struggling, that brings out an entirely different reaction in my. I want to help, I want to make it better, I want to find a kind word to say, or at least offer a hug or a smile.  I don't like to see people hurting.  Usually that's when we tend to feel most alone.  I try to reach out whenever I can find a way to do that. Not always with answers, we don't really have the answers for anyone but ourselves, but at least with listening or a gesture that says I care.

From Bozo - What makes you the most excited? (I mean positive excitement... not anger.)
I get excited about doing something fun with my husband, he only gets one Saturday off a month, so we really look forward to that. We fantasize about what it would be like to be retired and plan our day's activities together. 

I get excited about the rare times I get to be with my kids, and even more so when I manage to have both of them in the same room together with me, such as when we visited them in Tennessee last fall.  I don't get to see them nearly often enough.

I get excited about vacations... going new places and seeing/doing new things. I especially love quiet beautiful places such as the beach at sunset! Noisy crowds are not my thing. 

Not surprisingly, I also get excited when I have the time and opportunity to engage in long conversations either in person, on the phone, or even via text, email, blog or Facebook about real subjects and interesting stuff. 

I get excited when I get to ask questions... lots of questions, probing questions!  I could easily keep everyone going with daily questions to answer for years and years! Curiosity should be my middle name.  I think it's an Aquarian thing!  

Do you have a question about me that I haven't answered?  Feel free to leave me any question anytime on my blog. Answering questions is almost as much fun as asking them! :-)

Update:

McGuffy Ann just tossed another question my way... she asked What is your favorite song?
There are so many songs of different types I love for different reasons, McGuffy Ann, either the lyrics, the memories connected, or the way they make me feel.  If I had to choose just one to represent my life, it would be Bette Midler's The Rose. It says it all, perfectly. Her Wind Beneath My Wings, comes in a close second!  I love ethnic music as well, such as songs by Enya and the late Ofra Haza. Then there are the 60's/70's classics... always a trip down memory lane! :-)  This will probably seem weird, but I don't play a lot of music, and haven't in several years.  Why? It reaches me too much, too many emotional connections,and usually makes me cry. 

25 comments:

  1. I think the thing that surprised me most about you is how open minded you are.

    One of my biggest complaints about hippies (seriously, not when I'm being playful) is that so many of them are completely full of crap. Oh sure, they want you open minded as long as your open mindedness leads you to think like they do.

    You aren't like that. You accept me for me. You don't try to get me to think like you.

    Great answers!

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    1. Thanks Monkey! I really try to remember that I am not always right or only right, there are other ways to see life. You challenge me in that respect and that's good for me, especially when it comes from someone I like!

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  2. I think we have similarities in personality & thinking, i.e. the hippie thing. :-)

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    1. I definitely agree McGuffy Ann, the hippie thing and a love for critters... at least furry ones. I don't feel too kindly about snakes, though I admit they are beautiful in their own way... which needs to be far away from where I'm standing! :-)

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  3. Great answers I get excited about many things I even get excited over nothing........lol Yes I am a little strange........lol

    I like your best day it sounds like it would be a great day to remember......

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    1. I tend to have more of a wait-and-see attitude, Jo-Anne, things that appear wonderful can easily fail to materialize or come crashing down, while things that look pretty doubtful can turn out wonderful! Mind play excites me... always! :-) That is a really hard day for me to remember but a powerful one. I don't ever want to forget that if I survived that time in my life I can survive anything... though not always gracefully!

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  4. I've often considered doing a post about music but it is hard for me. I could never name a single song as my favorite though my current favorite is Uncle Kracker's Good to be me. My theme song!

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    1. That sounds like the perfect theme song for you, Monkey! I'm curious now, out of 30 days how many would you say on the average you feel positive about yourself and life?

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  5. What a wonderful way to get to know someone! This is delightful -- you are delightful and I am delighted to know you -- at least virtually! :)

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    1. LOL, Louise... that's a lot of delight! OQW really has turned out to be a fun game though, it gives us each something new to write about, and we all get a little closer and understand each other a little more. And it challenges my skill of writing the longest, most complex questions ever! :-) There is a point to it though... to get people to elaborate on their answers a bit!

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  6. Lovely answers, Josie! One of my favourite songs is "What a Wonderful World" (not sure if that's the title or just the refrain - but I'm sure you know which one I mean).

    I think I'll answer your question here - since it's the only one I have this week. I haven't made it around to everyone's blogs yet!

    Your question:

    "What has been the most difficult lesson you've learned in your life so far, and how has it changed you?"

    My answer:

    As always, choosing one particular thing is hard for me to do. So I might pull a Master Josie and answer this with more than one answer. Here are some of the difficult things I've learned and how I've been effected by them:

    I've discovered that I'm not invincible lol... sounds funny I'm sure - but all the years when I was growing up I firmly believed that nothing negative could ever touch me - whether on a physical level or whatever.

    I thought that as long as you led a good life - you would be safe... and although I still think that's true on a higher level - I've found out that it doesn't mean you won't suffer. This realization has brought a bit of fear into my life which I never had before.

    Along these same lines, I've learned that my body ages... again, a big shock!!! I feel so young - but my body is starting to complain and - and I find myself more conscious of illnesses and injuries because of where they can lead. I would rather not be quite so concious.

    And the third hard thing I've learned is that, although I love it here, I don't blend in to the culture 100%. I find that I really am half American and half Indian - and that leaves me a bit confused and stressed as I try and figure out what to do. I trust that everything will sort out eventually - but in the meanwhile... blah!!! ;-)

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    1. I do know that song Bozo, and it's beautiful! I think it's true that when we are quite young, even into our 20's we think we are invincible, that no real harm will befall us or anyone we love. Sadly, not true.

      You are also right about not suffering if you live a good life. Ideally, good things should happen to people who do good, and vice versa, but we know life isn't like that. Life is not fair at least not in the limited means we understand it. I'm betting in the bigger picture it is!

      I think any person raised with one foot in each world, be it nationality, race, religion, or whatever, finds it difficult to know exactly where they belong. As you get older you will see that it doesn't matter so much, you can just be YOU, beautiful as you are, and the rest will fall into place. We don't have to fit, we can be unique and still get along with everyone. Though admittedly we are often more comfortable in some spots than others, I am most comfortable in my own little world with my Papa Bear and my cats! :-)

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  7. As always Josie, your answers are always a pleasure to read.
    I am mighty impressed however, at the several tattoos.

    And whenever you write about your husband, it makes me feel all warm and squidgy, at the immense love you two have for each other.

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    1. Thank you Lily! I love my tats, seriously I do. I got them at a time when it was more unusual for women - other than ladies of the night - to have tattoos. I have never regretted having them, but sometimes I forget, like when I go to a new doctor and the nurses kinda gasp, they don't expect to see an old lady with flowers running down her spine, and they always hesitate to stick needles in the angel on my arm. :-)

      Papa Bear always says "I love you more today than yesterday", and I've discovered, after meeting him that it's true. Real love grows deeper as time passes, while superficial relationsnips tend to fracture under stress. It took me a long time to trust him, to learn to trust again, but I have learned he is - as his friends said - the real deal there are no bad surprises, only the happy reality that I am loved!

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    2. I swear you're going to turn me into a blubbering mess.
      Woman the world over, dream of hearing those words.

      When I hear about relationships like yours and Papa Bear, it gives me hope and gladdens my heart.

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    3. He is truly amazing Lily. I have no idea why I am blessed to have him, but I am. It's all natural with him, no put ons, no fancy words, no show. Just sincere words and a romantic heart. And along with that a true joy of laughter and playfulness! If I could clone him I could sell copies by the hundreds and there would be no returns!

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    4. But the truly amazing part, is that if you would have asked me the year before I met him if I believed there were ANY decent men in the world I would have said HELL NO! I pretty much hated all men by that time. Maybe God was determined to show me just how wrong I was. There are a few good men, maybe even more than a few! :-)

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  8. Hi Josie,i answered your question on my post today. Check it out. Also, thanks for your answer, that's quite a few good things. :)

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    1. You sure did answer my question(s), and you did a great job of it Ken! I always like to know where people come from, why they've made the choices they have, and if they are satisfied with what has resulted. You are blessed in that you get to do something you enjoy, even if it is hard work. Do you have chickens? :-))

      I could make a long list of good days, but there was a time in my life I would have been hard pressed to think of any. Perspective changes everything. I know to count my blessings big and small!

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  9. I'm just like lily, I get all warm and gushy inside whenever you talk about John. It's like a repetitive "awwww" goes off in my head - I love it!! And boy can you ask questions! LOL One Question Wednesday with Josie really means, hmmm, three, four or five in one =P

    Seriously, thanks for all your support the last few days..it's helped a bunch!!!

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    1. Thank you Elsie! It's hard not to sound mushy when I talk about my Papa Bear because he really is, for real, that dear to me. He seems too good to be true, but it's all true. I don't say he's flawless, and I certainly have a few of my own, errr, ok maybe more than a few but it in no way affects our love for each other or how well we get along. We seem to just be made for each other at this time in our lives, though we both admit freely that if we had met up in our younger hot-headed days we wouldn't have lasted a year! You learn along the way to fight the big fights and ignore socks on the floor! :-)

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  10. I have given your question much thought...the answer is on my blog.

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    1. That's great McGuffy Ann, can't wait to read your answer. I'm headed that way now!

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  11. I share similar fears to you. I think it is something most people worry about. I am really glad, however that you have such a wonderful love in your life. Love like that sustains us!

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    1. That's right Selma, and I've also learned that we have to take life as it comes, one day at a time. All the worry in the world about tomorrow won't change what is or isn't going to happen, and so often our fears are far worse than the reality. If it happens I'll find a way to deal with it because I'm determined to survive regardless, just as you are! We all need to work hard to get that message into our heads --- we CAN deal with what life throws our way (not always gracefully) but we can get thru it and move forward again! There is always a way, I believe that!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)