4. "You're a fabulous writer, so I guess what I want to know is if you have any writing projects on the go apart from what you share with us here."
That compliment means a lot coming from a really fabulous writer like you. The short answer: No, but soon, I hope. The long answer:I have a lot of ideas, but I have not yet figured out how my writing style will translate into fiction, or if it even should. Essays that use a lot of big words? I'm good at that. Plot construction? I'm even okay with that. But I have some serious skill development to work on if I'm ever going to put something out there for serious consideration.
5. "What is your most embarrassing moment?"
Oh, the pain. I posted about this here about this time last year. Be forewarned -- this post involves nudity, and some of my husband's most embarrassing moments, too. His are way better than mine. Go, read, enjoy.
6. "What was your favorite thing about optometry school?"
We've been outed! Now you know what my husband does for a living. (No sweat. I already feel pretty exposed because I have to use my real name at the CBC.) This is a good question, Eowyn. CPod attended school in Memphis, and I will forever associate our time in that city with our dear friends, Scott and Heather. Scott was the only other LDS guy in CPod's class, and when they began to study together, Heather and I became fast best friends. They were our family in Memphis, and we were theirs. Their kids were the first ones I ever loved, and I count my friendship with Heather as one of the greatest blessings of my life. Everyone should have a Heather, and the memories of the time we shared will always be inextricably tied to the city and the school.
I have other favorite parts about optometry school, too, but they only became my favorite in retrospect. Does that make sense? For example, we spent four years in Memphis really figuring out our relationship without the well-intended but meddling influence of loving family members. By the time we moved back to the Carolinas, where both sets of in-laws live, our habits and traditions were pretty firmly ingrained and our marriage was really, truly solid. I will always love Memphis for that.
I will also always love Memphis because that's where I learned to cultivate my solitude. CPod worked two (TWO!) jobs in addition to full-time school; I worked full-time, then came home to a 30-student piano studio. We were busy, and almost never in the same place at the same time. I spent a lot of time by myself, and I had to learn how to enjoy it. Now, solitude is something I crave -- no, NEED on occassion.
We worked so hard while CPod was in school. As a result of that hard work, we ended up with half the average in student loans. That early sacrifice paid off huge dividends when we finished paying CPod's student loans last year. This has been an important lesson for me -- I have seen firsthand how extreme sacrifice in the short-term can change our lives drastically for the better in the future. And that is probably WAAAAAAY more of an answer than you thought you would get, Eowyn!
So now, maybe you, like Andrea, are wondering this:
7. "Do you have any "free" time, and what do you do with it?"
Since I learned to cultivate my solitude in Memphis, obviously, I must fill that solitude with great and wonderful things, right?
I always say I don't have a lot of free time, but then I produce blog posts and comments on others' blogs. Which means I blog in my free time.
And then I recommend a book to someone. Lots of books. Which means I read in my free time. (Reading is actually like breathing for me: a necessary activity, absolutely essential for my mental stability and emotional well-being.) I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to learn new things, and when I am curious about a subject I devour everything I can find until the itch has been scratched, and then I move on to another topic. I read lots of fiction, but lots of other stuff, too. Constantly. While I'm drying my hair. While I'm nursing. While I'm waiting in the car pick up line at preschool. In the bathtub. On the toilet. Standing at the kitchen counter stirring a pot of soup. While eating breakfast. While watching my kids play outside.
Between childcare, housekeeping, bookkeeping, and spousal relationship maintenance, there is not a lot of time for anything else. But here's what I do when I can, in no particular order:
- Quilting -- the combination of lovely fabrics with a creative medium that requires you to use math on a regular basis is a sublime marriage of the most active parts of my brain. I adore beautiful things. I love a good puzzle. A good quilt is both.
- Driving around to look at property -- this is something my husband and I have always done together, since we were dating. Strange, I know. We take pictures of houses we love. We walk around on vacant land, scoping out hypothetical site prep requirements and where we would put a house if the land belonged to us. Now, our kids go with us, and while they hate it, they're strapped into the car seats and we have a captive audience.
- Outside stuff -- hiking, camping, boating. This doesn't happen as much as it used to. Read about a great backpacking trip here. We live in paradise. Seriously. When the weather is warm, we spend every spare moment in the national forest nearby, playing in the water, hiking, picnicking, just breathing the clean air and reveling in our mountain home. At least one of my children turns into a different kid when we go up in the forest. In a totally good way.
- Traveling -- another one that doesn't happen the way it used to. One of the good things that came out of seven years of infertility is a well-used passport. Eventually, our kids will be partakers of that adventurous spirit that I was so glad to recognize in my husband when we met, and I itch to just grab them and go -- to fabulous, eye-opening, lovely and different locations all over the world. One day!
- Household stuff -- cooking and growing. Oh, how I love food! (You can read more about my foodiness here, and a little bit more here.) And I love to get my hands down in the dirt, too. I'm hoping my kids will catch on to that one this summer. We'll see.
- Shopping -- I love a good deal, don't get me wrong, but a good fit? I've been known to spend too much. And I am not ashamed.
- Just hanging out -- I love good conversation wherever I can get it: playing games with friends and family, chatting into the wee hours of the morning with my fabulous girlfriends (love you all!), or just every day with my husband. Hanging out with CPod is, in fact my most favorite one of all. I love to be with people I love, people who stimulate my mind, people who help me to see things from a different perspective, people who make me laugh, and CPod does all of those things for me. And, my friends, all of that is waiting for me as soon as I unplug myself from the computer.