Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another Quiz….going to give it my best shot, you give it a try, too!

1. Do you like blue cheese? Is there a word stronger than NO?

2. Have you ever been drunk? Once. I did not know there was vodka in the Hawaiian punch at the fraternity party. For me, more than a little alcohol = dizzy = sick. Not my idea of fun. A little alcohol if it's tastey is OK, too much -- no way.

3. Do you own a gun? Yes. No further comment.

4. What flavor of Kool Aid is your favorite? The one that tastes like Hawaiian Punch (sweetened with Splenda)

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Not consciously. Too busy trying to get everything important ready to talk about in the 4 ½ minutes I might have with the doc. But still my BP is elevated at the visit. Probably due to the pressure of getting ready to launch into what's important to cover at the visit!

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Oh man. I'm glad I never went to the places where they're made! Unless it's turkey or chicken hot dogs, I don't eat them. Used to only eat Hebrew National with hope. Since I don't eat beef, no more.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Although it's not totally a "Christmas movie", I always like to watch "Auntie Mame" when writing Christmas cards or decorating the house (the song "We Need a Little Christmas" is from this movie)…enjoy the story and the Auntie Mame character.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? It has to be coffee…black, no sweetener. And some more coffee.

9. Can you do push ups? In theory, yes. Used to definitely. And when I give it a shot, always still can…a few.

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring, especially remembering what's engraved inside it. Never leaves my hand.

11. Favorite hobby? Music.

12. Do you have A.D.D. ? No. Other things, yes, but not A.D.D.

13. What's your favorite shoes? For a woman this is a REALLY hard question to narrow down. Though I don't get to wear them often, they'd be a pair of black heels I have with bows on them and pink lining. Love those shoes.

14. Middle name? Corser. It's my mother's maiden name. It was the one "mystery" I kept from my high school students when I was teaching. Since I wouldn't disclose it, drove them nuts. But everybody needs a LITTLE mystery!

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? This is a hard quiz, it's late and we haven't had dinner yet, and too many more to name. I'm a woman. We think a ton of things at the same time. Think of a 32 staff orchestral score and you'd be close. They're not necessarily profound thoughts of course, but still…lots.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Coffee, Espresso Coffee (also black/no sweetener), Diet Ginger Ale

17. Current worry? I try not to worry. If/when I do, too many to list.

18. Current hate right now? None. Challenges, yes, hates….nope.

20. How did you bring in the New Year? At home with my husband, champagne, watched the NY New Year's Eve thing. Some might think boring, but it was nice.

21. Where would you like to go? Wow…that should be more like where would I NOT like to go (and there would be some places on that list). But within reason, the ocean and I do love Bermuda.

22. Name three people who will complete this? No idea. I got this from Walt.

23. an unusual food you tried? Escargot (enjoy but pretty rich with all that butter) Caviar….really like this on a slice of French bread, little cream cheese, the caviar and squeeze of lemon juice….oh yum! Needn't be Beluga, the black Icelandic Lump Fish caviar is fine with me. Don't care for the large red caviar though.

24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Sort of lavender.

25. Do you like sleeping on Satin sheets? Yes. First had them when we had a water bed. Hooked. Very nice. Even the dog and cats like them.

26. Can you whistle? A little, but pretty lame at it.

27. Favorite color? Blue.

28. Would you be a pirate? No…not so much.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Nothing regular…often a gospel tune or a spiritual…or whatever I've been working on recently.

30. Favorite Girl's Name? Oh this is just too hard! I have no idea! The names which come to mind are the names of my women friends!

31. Favorite boy's name? That would be the same as my answer for #30…except names of my male friends.

32. What's in your pocket right now? Hm…a Kleenex and prayer beads.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? One of our cats deliriously happy lying in the sun in our bedroom window. She turned her head and blinked at me looking really loopy with joy.

34. Best memories as a child? Not such a terrific question. I think it would be practicing the wonderful pipe organ by myself in the church where I regularly practiced and played. Started piano and organ really quite young, so it would qualify as childhood memory.

35. Worst injury you've ever had as a child? Lost both "little" toenails from injury sustained riding my bike barefoot. They never grew back.

36. Do you love where you live? I like it. I don't think I've ever "loved" the place where I lived. Always liked things about those places, but love? Except I did love living in New York City. Idyllic time with no responsibilities in a beautiful place and oh the music, musicians, art and learning….and the FOOD. And I do LOVE the monastery where I've gone on many retreats…need to schedule one soon. Been too long!

38. Who is your loudest friend? This made me laugh! I don't believe I have any really "loud" friends at this time.

39. How many dogs do you have? One…West Highland Terrier…female, named Daisy.

40. Does someone have a crush on you? Other than my husband? I'm thinking no.

41. What is your favorite book? Usually one I'm reading at the moment! Right now it's "A Heart Like Jesus" by Max Lucado. I did love the "Mitford" series by Jan Karon. And I've been thinking of re-reading "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Ecco on our vacation, in addition to a pile of other books I'm bringing.

42. What is your favorite candy? Marzipan….definitely. I mean chocolate is a given, but marzipan….divine.

43. Favorite Sports Team? Not such a big watcher of sports. When any of the Boston teams are winning at the end of their series, I do keenly watch then (Red Socks, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins). The UNH Hockey team has a special place in my heart, though. Went to lots of games when I was a student. Still follow their scores.

44. What is your favorite food at your favorite restaurant? I don't have an actual favorite. There are many I really enjoy with foods from many cultures. But I have to say, it truly pained me when they closed the Russian Tea Room in New York City. Oh the food….and the violinist…he could play anything. But oh the food. EVERYTHING on their menu.

45. What song do you want played at your funeral? I have no idea. I won't "be" there…have played so many funerals, I don't know. But if there was a ton of money to pay for a marvelous choir, it would be Gregorio Allegri's "Miserere mei, Deus". Simply amazing. Like angels singing. Whew! Done! Now, it's your turn! It really was kinda fun :-)

Go With the “Flow!”

A framed cartoon of two angels looking quizzically at one another has one asking, "Well, Bonnie, what do you think the next crisis will be?" and the other responds, "Gee, Karen, I don't know. But if we wait 5 minutes, I'm sure we'll find out!" Does this feel just too similar to your life? Are questions like this one asked often at your home or office? Most Americans these days answer a vehement "YES!"

Terms such as "crisis management", "triage" and "911" used to refer to the exception rather than the rule, the emergencies and the imminent threat to life being separated from the usual and customary of day-to-day living. Are those words part of your everyday lifestyle vocabulary? Perhaps not the exact words, but the feeling?

For some time now, psychologists have been studying something called "flow". You know, as in "go with the flow". This term describes the feeling of being one with something going well or times of feeling both in control and relaxed simultaneously. Stop for a moment and think about when you feel this way, or when the last time was when you felt like this.

People who are able to identify this sensation recall they come the closest to it in moments while driving on a highway in smoothly paced traffic without delays. Other times of feeling "flow" are experienced by people singing in a choir or swiftly and easily doing something mundane like stuffing envelopes. Despite the seeming disparity of these things, they all have the same thing in common: the awareness of what it feels like to do something with ease.

The keyword here is not so much "ease", but "awareness". This is good news due to the demands on our time which require us to manage several things at once, making the concept of "ease" seem insurmountable.

When do people least feel "flow"? If you guessed it's during their vacation, you were correct. In addition to awareness, the other necessary component here is something which is learned. Although it seems odd, we just don't learn how to relax!

At this time of year when the back-to-school commercials prompt us that summer is coming to a close, we often feel wistful and sad that another golden season has passed us by. Once again it feels too late to capture a little something for ourselves. If we had the time, how would we learn that awareness of being in the moment? How could we then know when we have that "ease"?

This peaceful quality can be learned by making small but decisive changes one little bit at a time. Here are some ideas to consider in making this happen for yourself:

1.)Choose a verse or inspiring phrase that sets the tone for the changes you want to implement and start every day with it. An example might be, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)
2.)When the telephone rings, let it be a signal for you to stop and take a breath instead of instantly lunging to grab the receiver. Remind yourself of the verse you've chosen.
3.)Make a commitment to take an amount of time every day in which you will be peaceful. Really. If this is only three minutes to start, be diligent in taking the full three minutes each and every day. Think of something that you enjoy. Read that scripture you've been saying you want to start. Remember: just small pieces of time to begin with instead of trying to do too much and being overwhelmed or sabotaging your intentions before you really get into it.
4.)Take a "prayer break". Stand up and walk a bit, (even if it's just to the rest room or to get a drink of water) while lifting your mind for a few moments from the tedium of whatever you're working on.
5.)Instead of becoming tense when the light ahead of you turns red, use this as an unexpected moment to take a slow deep breath and roll your shoulders to UN-tense.
6.)If you usually have the radio on at work, home, or when you drive, try turning it off once and a while and become re-acquainted with the relief and beauty of silence.

 Remember that your life didn't become as hectic as it feels in one fast leap, and that the pathway toward calmness and peace is made of many little steps toward that goal. Instead of bracing yourself for the crises which will inevitably occur, why not enjoy the time in between them! That old phrase, "Go with the flow" can be achieved by looking for the pleasant surprises that are there… just waiting to be noticed. This September, why not learn to Go with the Flow! Not only will you actually become more productive, but you'll have the awareness to discover more of the happiness and fulfillment the Lord intended for you and has planted in your heart.