In light of recent events, most of us worldwide are confined within the barriers of our own home.
This is becoming an increasingly difficult time for all, but it is especially a bad time to be in the travel industry. Seeing as I’m not only involved in travel, I’m also seven months pregnant, so needless to say- I don’t have a lot going on right now!
While browsing Pinterest, (boring days, guys, boring days,) I stumbled upon a writing challenge that is said to provoke new writing ideas while stimulating your mind. It’s a series of questions to answer, and hey, who doesn’t like talking about themselves?!
I kid, I kid, but it is a great way to learn more about one another and during this stressful time we could all stand to be a bit more united.
If you guys would like to participate in this writing challenge as well, copy and paste the questions and fill in your own answers. It’s that easy! Let’s go!
- List 10 things that make you really happy. 1) My daughter, Teagan. She has been my little travel companion for almost all my excursions and her quick wit, intelligence, maturity, and sense of adventure make me proud every single day. 2) My son, Ryan. He has the kindest and most compassionate heart of anyone I have ever met. He is a light in this sometimes gloom world and truly inspires me to be a better human being. 3) My husband, Gabe. His patience, tolerance, and intelligence is admirable. He maintains these qualities through even the hardest and most trying of times, especially when I no longer possess them myself, and I can’t help but tip my hat down to him. He is the glue in our family that holds us together. 4) My dog, Paisley. She was found as a stray, hiding underneath my car. While she was only supposed to be a short term house guest, she has since turned into a permanent resident, winning us all over with her quirky personality and unconditional love of our family. 5) Cheese. There, I said it. Cheese makes me happy, sometimes it even makes me happier than every other reason listed above depending on the day and mood. 6) Wine to accompany said cheese. That happiness is temporarily halted until the little one gets evicted from my tummy, but I assure you, it will come back with a vengeance. 7) Clean laundry and freshly washed sheets. There is nothing like cuddling up in bed to the fresh scent of fabric softener expelled through soft sheets. 8) My parents. They have tolerated and guided me for 31 years and still continue to make me a grilled cheese sandwich or Zelle me $20 here and there, “just because.” 9) Our family hamster, Marley. She’s a cute ball of fluff who pokes her head out from her mounds of bedding whenever she hears her name. No further explanation required. 10) The original Disney Movies. They provide me with a nostalgic comfort that has yet to let me down on a sick day.
- Write something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot. That I had a pancake bum that looked like a deflated balloon. I’m aware this was probably supposed to be answered in a motivational fashion, but if we are being honest it’s the hurtful things people hold onto more than the complimentary.
- What are your top 3 pet peeves? 1) The phrase, “I made a funny.” 2) When my husband refuses to throw away an empty toilet paper roll and instead leaves a new roll on top of the old roll. Although, given our current situation, I would be happy to have toilet paper in the house at all. 3) When I daydream about one particular food item in the house that I can’t wait to eat only to find out someone else has already eaten it. I’m guilty of hoarding snacks under my bed and hiding in the pantry sneaking food so I’m not asked to share. This is called, parenting, my friends.
- Write about someone who inspires you. Betty White. She has always appeared to be an incredibly genuine person, amongst the pressures of the media, as well as maintained her humor, energy, and sass regardless of her age. Also, how can you look at Betty White and not want to give her a hug?!
- List 5 places you want to visit. This is an easy one seeing as there are so many uncharted territories and lands I have yet to explore. 1) Greece. 2) France. 3) Italy. 4) Croatia. 5) Morocco. (I could have gotten far more specific on exactly which places and why but you would have needed to stop for a snack break, resume reading, stop for dinner, resume reading, stop for sleep, wake up, resume reading….you get it.)
- List 5 ways to win your heart. 1) Honesty. I feel that honesty is becoming more and more of a rarity these days. We live in a disposable world where people are increasingly being treated as objects and are so easily replaceable. Having the courage to remain honest with yourself, and others is hugely respected in my book. 2) Emotional Intelligence. I think it’s far easier to pick up a math book and learn calculus than it is to deeply connect with someone on an emotional level. Having emotionally in-depth conversations is often times harder than the discussion of physics and I admire those that are capable of doing so. 3) Acceptance. The majority of the world is very quick to judge others based on their past, their present, their occupation, their race, their sexual orientation, their income. It’s exhausting trying to continually seek the acceptance of others, and I think we could all learn to be a little more compassionate and accepting of one another. 4) Cheese. 5) Wine.
- List 10 songs you’re loving right now. 1) Dude looks like a lady- Aerosmith. Does everyone else picture Mrs. Doubtfire dancing around the house with a vacuum? Come on, it’s a fun song! 2) Seven Devils- Florence and the Machine. I love her voice and the eerily inspiring music. What exactly it’s inspiring is another question, but it gets me going. 3) Fader- The Temper Trap. I like singing along to it in the car. 4) Critical Mistakes- 888. It’s fun to dance to in the shower. 5) Monophobia- deadmau5. I think it’s a beautifully sad song. 6) Kinfolks- Sam Hunt. I was raised in a small, western town, and this makes me nostalgic for my childhood. 7) Fix You- Coldplay. (You know how I know you’re gay? You like Coldplay.) I know, I know. This was an important song to me when I was going through a severe depression as a child and it will always be one of my favorites. 8) Cemetery Gates- Pantera. It’s one of my top favorite guitar riffs. 9) Swing Life Away- Rise Against. “If love is a labor I’ll slave till the end,” so very Emo of me. 10) God Only Knows- The Beach Boys. I’m an old soul.
- Share something you struggle with. Body image, especially now that I’m pregnant. I have always struggled with body dysmorphia and this led me to get continual cosmetic surgeries in a never-ending and unattainable quest for perfection. While it took me years of time and growth, I did eventually overcome this body paranoia, but now that I am expecting my third child the rapid weight gain has caused some previous insecurities to resurface.
- Post some words of wisdom that speak to you. One saying that has always resonated with me is, “Don’t let where you begin dictate where you end up.” I don’t feel that any dream, no matter how large, is unattainable. We all have to start somewhere and no amount of effort is too small. All happy endings once had a beginning and it is a constant reminder to avoid discouragement and continue to persevere until you achieve your goals.
- Write about something for which you feel strongly. I would say the whole inspiration of this blog is something I feel very strongly about which is travel. My daughter was unlike other children her age for years because she didn’t have the luxury of a phone, tablet, video games, even cable television. I chose to limit my expenses significantly and we survived on the bare minimum, only spending money on essentials while at home. She may not have had the nicest clothes or been up to date on the most current television series but she had knowledge of the world and memories many don’t get to experience in a lifetime. Giving her the gift of culture was, in my eyes, the best present I could have offered her and some of the most cherished moments in our life thus far.
- What is something you always think, ‘what if,’ about? “I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller,
I wish I had a girl who looked good, I would call her. I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat, and a six four Impala.” Sorry guys, delirium has taken over and gotten the best of me. Does anyone remember that song or did I just age myself significantly?? It was the first thing that came to mind when I read that question. On a serious note, given the current circumstances, I frequently find myself asking “what if we don’t recover from this crisis, what if we can’t pay rent, what if we run out of food, what if we get sick?” I know it seems like a bleak and grim outlook and I’m trying to remain positive and optimistic but these are real questions I find myself struggling to answer these days.
- Write about 5 blessings in your life. I think this question ties in with the first regarding what makes me the happiest, but if I had to change my answer I would have to say I was blessed with the ability to see the world, I am blessed with my health, I am blessed to have a house I truly feel at home in, I am blessed with wonderful friends, and I am blessed with this pregnancy. I went through fertility testing and treatments and being able to get pregnant with my husband has been a powerful blessing in which I was doubtful I would ever receive.
- What are you excited about? The birth of my daughter. I’m extremely excited to hold her for the first time and see her face. It will be so nice to have her here with us finally. I’m also excited to not have to pee every 2 minutes any longer!
- Post your favorite movies that you never get tired of watching. Tangled. I know it sounds silly but it was my daughters’ favorite movie for a year when she was two and whenever I watch it I reminisce on her little feet dancing and twirling around the house to each song played. Corny, I know, but my memories with my kids never tire.
- Bullet-point your whole day. I’m going to skip this one for the time being seeing as we are on a form of house arrest, and quite frankly, my days are a bit boring right now!
- What is something that you miss? I really miss the breadsticks and slushies from Fazoli’s that are no longer open here in Arizona.
- Post about your zodiac sign, and whether or not it fits you. “Taurus is an earth sign represented by the bull. Like their celestial spirit animal, Taureans enjoy relaxing in serene, bucolic environments, surrounded by soft sounds, soothing aromas, and succulent flavors. Taurus is ruled by Venus, the enchanting planet that governs love, beauty, and money.” When googled, this is what first pops up. I am a Taurus, obviously, born on the last day of April. I would have thought the well known Taurus stubbornness would have been the first quality to be pointed out but yes, I would have to agree with all of the above. I am a bit of a hippie in the sense that I love the world around me and try to find beauty wherever I go.
- Post 5 facts about yourself. 1) I am short, measuring in at an entire 5 feet. Barely. 2) I was diagnosed with MS two years ago but don’t allow it to control or discourage me. 3) I am pigeon-toed and it is quite noticeable when I walk. 4) I am fluent in American Sign Language. 5) I love food and have been grateful to eat at some exquisite restaurants, but fun-shaped macaroni and cheese will forever be my favorite comfort food.
- Discuss your first love. Bonus fun fact- I’m actually on my second marriage. I got married at the age of 17, and while I thought I was in love at the time, I have since realized now that I am older and more ‘matured’ shall we say, that I really had no idea what love truly meant. My previous marriage was abusive and toxic but at the time I was convinced it was normal and full of romance. Warning! Headed into a cheese-fest, but I don’t think I really knew love until I met my current husband. (I’m hoping he reads this and I just secretly want him to go get me a McFlurry so I’m schmoozing hard.) In all honesty, though, I really didn’t know I was capable of being so deeply in love with someone until he, and I would say I get to experience life with my first real love every day.
- Post about three celebrity crushes. Gabe already knows my celebrity crushes so I write this without guilt. 1) Zac Efron. I’m a sucker for cute boys who sing, what can I say, The Greatest Showman stole my heart. 2) Kate Beckinsale. I know she is a female, no, I don’t swing that way, but I can admit when another woman is beautiful. She is so pleasant not only to look at but to listen to as well and she seems like a sincerely nice person. 3) Don’t make fun of me for this one, but, Hugh Grant. I’m sorry but you just cannot deny his charm….or his coy smile.
- What three lessons do you want your children to learn from you? This is a hard one. I’m going to take a different approach to this and instead hope my children learn from my mistakes. I hope they learn to be comfortable in their own skin, that they are beautiful people and to not let the pressures of society beat them down or ever make them feel anything less. 2) I hope they learn independence and self soothe. That the world can be a bitter and sometimes cruel place but they don’t need to rely on anyone other than themselves to provide happiness and validation. 3) I hope they learn to cook before the age of 30. I barely knew how to make scrambled eggs up until a few years ago. Embarrassing but true. Now I love to cook, but I wish it had been a skill I had picked up on earlier in life. Doing so would have saved me quite a bit of time, money, health, and humiliation!
- Put your music on shuffle and post the first ten songs. This seems repetitive. You guys don’t care to hear my choice in music again any more than I care to type it out. Am I wrong, though?
- If you could write a letter to anyone, who would it be? My children. If anything were to ever happen to me I would want to leave them with a letter encouraging them, praising them, and letting them know just how much they mean to me and have changed my life for the better.
- Write about a lesson you’ve learned the hard way. Trying too hard to please everyone and sacrificing my own needs and happiness to accommodate others. Although I still believe it is always important to be as helpful and nice as possible, I no longer believe it should come at your own expense. I have been walked on more times than I can count before realizing that being assertive is not the same thing as being mean.
- Think of any word. Search it on google images. Write something inspired by the 11th image. This is a bit random but let’s do it. The word I chose was sunshine. The image that came up was a beautiful sunset, and it inspired me to continually be grateful that I love living in Arizona, where we have some of the most colorful and enchanting sunsets out of any state or country I have been to.
- Write about an area in your life that you would like to improve. My marriage. This is not to be taken as a red flag that my marriage is a cause for concern or not flourishing but with the stress of daily life, children, and finances, it’s easy to spiral down a rabbit hole of stress and forget to take the time out of the day to really nourish our marriage and prioritize the importance of loving one another.
- Conversely, write about something that’s kicking ass right now. Coronavirus. I know that seems like a slightly sarcastic and insensitive response seeing as that was supposed to be a motivational question, but it really is hurting all of us in a severe way. My thoughts go out to everyone dealing with this dramatic impact on their everyday life.
- Five things that make you laugh out loud. 1) An extremely creative meme. 2) My husband, he is known for doing silly voices that crack me up. 3) Dumb and Dumber, stupid as it is, it will always make me laugh. 4) Ellen DeGeneres. 5) My children.
- What are your goals for the next 30 days? Trying to hone in and focus on self-improvement, taking this time while my kids are out of school to spend more quality time with them, and to generate more interest in this fun blog to engage with more of my readers and build some quality friendships with like-minded people.
- What are your high and lows from the month? My low would be temporarily losing my job. (Not a good time to be a travel agent or writer.) My high would be now having the opportunity to spend more time with my family and continuing to get closer to them every day.