who are you
are you nobody too?"
That was a comment by V-Grrrl on one of Neil of Citizen of the Month 's posts. Her thoughts spawned a wonderfully eloquent follow-up post about the nature of blogging, and the blogosphere, and bloggy cliques and relationships and...really, you should just go read it. In fact, you should read everything he's ever written; he's brilliant.
Anyway, this particular post ended with Neil creating a potentially never-ending interview chain (thus far there are well over 500). He wrote:
I know most of you won’t agree with me, but I think anyone who decides to write about their life online is interesting, even those who may not do the best job yet of conveying that on paper. We all should be interviewed, at least once.It works like this: if you comment on the post, you become both an interviewer and interviewee. August over at Girl on the Run was my interviewer, and she did an amazing job with the questions (I'm still working on the questions for my interviewee, who is ElizaF at the appropriately named ElizaF ).
So, without further ado, here it is...my interview:
1. Let's start out by talking about blogging. When did you first learn about blogging? Why did you start your own blog? What did you hope to accomplish via your blog and is this your only blog or do you have others?
A private message board I used to frequent had a few bloggers. After some encouragement from a couple of them, I decided to jump in. I've always been one to keep journals, although often my "journals" have been random scraps of paper shoved into various drawers. I liked the idea of organizing my thoughts in one place, as well also the ability to document the minutiae of my everyday life in such a way that I could find it later.
The only other blog I have is a photoblog which has about five photos on it and has been ignored forever. It's on my to-do list. Right behind lint rolling our finger puppets.
I am now also the Healthy Family Editor at Blissfully Domestic. Might as well put that medical degree to use somehow.
2. You mention in your profile that you are a former physician. I gathered from your posts that you never got to practice since your first child was born before you were able to do so. Is that correct? If not, which field of medicine did you practice and if you didn't practice, what field were you looking to practice in?
In a nutshell, almost exactly one month to the day after I graduated from medical school, my son was born. I delayed my internship for six months to be at home with him, and when that time was drawing to a quick close, I requested six more. When that time was up, I just walked away from medicine, which was a tough financial decision for us, but easy because I hated working in that world. So, I became a stay at home mom officially.
3. As a "stay at home mom" do you find it hard to schedule your time the way you would if you worked in a secular job? When and how do you find or make time for yourself to pursue your personal interests?
I think if I worked outside of the home I wouldn't be as disorganized as I am. Well, now that I think about it, maybe not. I don't know...I'm not organized enough to be able to noodle that one through.
Actually, the thing is, I'm just not a schedule type of person. I avoid itineraries whenever possible. In fact, if I make a do make a plan, even if it something I really love doing, it usually ends up that I'm just not in the mood for it when the time comes. I much prefer being spontaneous and winging it. Fortunately, my husband is the same way. Our kids aren't being raised with mass quantities of structure in that regard.
My husband is really supportive of me doing my own thing, whether it's photography or blogging or painting or whatever. We each have our own interests (most of his revolve around music) and we know it's important to retain some sense of self. Earlier in our marriage we weren't so wise, and it wasn't a good thing...but we've learned and we're all the happier for it!
4. Besides photography and blogging, do you have any other hobbies?
I love interior design; ever since I was six years-old and able to shove my bedroom furniture around and reach the top of dressers, I've been decorating. I've done a bit for friends, and recently it's turned into a (very) part time business for me in the form of home staging for a couple of Realtors in the area. I also really, strangely, enjoy event planning. I've chaired a couple of fundraising auctions for my kids' schools, and plan on doing more. It's a lot of time, but really fulfilling. I paint occasionally...let's see...is reading a hobby? I'm a big reader...mostly novels, but I can get into political biographies and other non-fiction dealing with politics and history.
I sound boring.
5. You call yourself a "sketchy homemaker" in your profile. Would you like to elaborate on that?
My house is a mess (not dirty, just messy)(okay, a little dirty now that I think about it). It's hit or miss as to whether I'll cook dinner...often my husband does once he's home from work. I have mountains of laundry piled up everywhere. It's common to hear someone say, "Is this pile clean or dirty?"
6. What are 3 things you would like to pass on to your children?
Hmmmmmm...well, first of all, my husband and I laugh together a lot and don't take ourselves too seriously (usually). I'd like for my kids to carry that trait with them...if you can laugh even in yucky circumstances, it makes the good times all the sweeter.
Secondly, I'd like for them to try to live their lives so that they have no regrets. I've lived my life that way as best as possible...and while the choices I made haven't always been the best in the long run, I wouldn't do things differently. For example, medical school was one expensive mistake; however, if I hadn't done that I'd always think that I should have, and wish that I had. Does that make any sense?
Lastly, I want them to have a strong sense of self, to truly like themselves and not be afraid to buck a trend or have opinions that might be unpopular. In essence, I want them to be independent thinkers and the confidence to express their thoughts.
7. I love photography and I think it's so cool that you have turned your interest into a living. Tell me about some of your favorite photography "gigs" that you've had. Have you ever visited www.photofriday.com?
One of my favorite gigs was a wedding I shot for friends of a friend. Their photographer had to back out a week prior to the wedding, and the bride and groom were frantic. I'd only done a couple of weddings prior, and I was a bit nervous because with weddings you don't have a second chance if you mess up! That wedding turned out wonderfully; what they wanted dove-tailed perfectly with how I like to shoot. It is one of the best events I've shot.
Another job that is turning into something I love is doing a huge family portrait for a friend's extended family when they get together for the holidays (Chanukah and Christmas for them). I've done it twice so far; it's fun seeing the children grow. I love being part of their tradition.
8. You recently did a post about things that you would love to get paid for. If you could pick your dream job, what would it be?
Seriously, I love doing home staging; I can't believe people are paying me to do it, because it's something I've done for free many times out of the sheer enjoyment of the process.
Other than that, I'd love to do consulting of some sort. For example, I've done a few charity auctions now, I'd love to help others streamline their events. When I was in eighth grade I read Cheaper by the Dozen. The dad in the book was an Efficiency Expert; he went around to different businesses, evaluated their organization, and told them how they could increase profits. Usually that meant modernizing, which today is called downsizing and isn't cool. But I've always thought that would be an awesome gig.
9. You've been to Ireland (so have I, twice ;). Why did you go there and what was your favorite city? Where else have you been outside the US and where would you like your next foreign visit to be?
I've been to Ireland twice as well! The first time was when I was backpacking around Europe...I ferried to Ireland from France and spent a couple of weeks there. The second time was for a wedding; we took our son who was three at the time. I absolutely love it there; we've often dreamed about moving to a little old fishing village.
I'd have to say my favorite city was Dingle in Co. Kerry. I went there on my first trip to Ireland, and chose it because it was one of the last Gaelic speaking communities in Ireland. The fact that it is rumored to have the highest ratio of pubs per capita than anywhere else in the world didn't hurt, either.
Anyway, when I got there I found out that a wild dolphin lives in the harbor. The story is that a baby dolphin came into shallow water with his mother because she was ill. She ultimately died, and he stayed as Dingle Harbor was the only home he knew; the fishermen and locals are now his adopted family. He knows the routine of the fishermen and often escorts the boats in and out of the harbor; they've named him Funghi and he often responds when they call his name out to him. He'll play in the water with the locals, letting people he knows touch him and interact with him.
One afternoon while I was there, I rented a wetsuit and went to a spot at the mouth of the harbor because the locals had told me that Fungi liked to play there at that time of day as he waited for the fishing boats to come home for the evening. The beach (actually, calling it a beach is a stretch...it was really simply the end of a path that dumped out at the inlet to the Dingle harbor); I gingerly stepped into the chilly water and paddled and floated and paddled and floated. At one floating point, I was belly-down, looking at the water flowing underneath me. Suddenly, there he was. Funghi. He was swimming belly-up, not six feet away from me, and I swear, he looked like he had a big old smile on his face. His sleek dolphin body was shimmying below me, hovering like an underwater helicopter; our eyes met for what seemed like...I don't know, a long time. I was floating, he was underwater helicopter hovering. What I do know, for sure, is that we were both curious about each other, and neither one of us was scared.
Eventually he started to circled around me; I shifted my position and began to doggie paddle. At times he was so close to me I could have touched him with my hand or fin if I'd reached out. But I didn't...back to the idea of me not wanting to startle him. After a bit, he swam away. Our sensitive dance was over.
I considered going to Dingle with my son and husband years later on our trip to Ireland for the wedding; it didn't fit into out itinerary. I'm kind of glad that I didn't, because it seems that Fungi has become quite the tourist attraction in Dingle, with boat rides out to see him all day. I'm glad I got to "meet" him one-on-one and would rather have that memory not be trumped by a more commercial one.
Wait, does that mean Dingle isn't my favorite city in Ireland? No, I'm sticking with it as my fave.
Other than the Ireland trip for the wedding, and my backbacking around Europe when I was twenty-seven, I went to Greece once for a month, I've been to the Caribbean several times, Mexico, and Canada. Nothing too thrilling.
I'd love to go to Montreal...I've heard the Old Montreal is gorgeous and I'd like to see if I have any ability to speak or understand French anymore. I'd also REALLY like to go to Rio deJaneiro...I have yet to see a photo from that city that isn't stunning. I also think it would be really cool to go to Cuba.
10. Do your husband or real life friends read or know about your blog? Have you ever met any bloggers face to face? If you could, who would it be and why?
There are only a few friends who read my blog along with a few family members. I like having enough anonymity to post vaguely about my everyday life. I do think that those days are coming to an end, though.
I haven't ever met a blogger face-to-face! However, I will be soon as I'm heading to San Fransisco next month for Bossy's Excellent road trip! Woohoo!
11. What do you like most about yourself? (Go for it... I'm looking for total honesty with no apologies honey ;)
Oh, I could go on and ON! Okay, seriously, I'm proud of the fact that I've accomplished things in a variety of disciplines...my mom always stressed that it was important to be well rounded.
12. Are you a shopper? If you could pick 3 places to have an all expense paid shopping spree, where would that be?
I'm too broke to be a shopper. If money wasn't an issue, I'd pick Williams Sonoma, Zappos, and Sephora. House stuff, shoes, and beauty products...oh my!
13. What are your biggest pet peeves?
I'm really particular about chewing. I hate people chewing with their mouth open, audible mastication (ew!), super crunchy sounds. I'm ridiculous about it. My poor family.
14. And finally, how did you come to know Neil of Citizen of the Month fame?
I first 'met' Neil at NaBloPoMo where he had the audacity to suggest that SoCal bloggers were going to kick our NorCal blogger's butts in the challenge. Once I read his blog, I was like, "Oh, great. Another fabulous blog to read!" I love his Great Interview Experiment and am happy to be able to take part in it. Thanks for the great questions and for being so patient in waiting for my answers!