Since I was a kid, Mom and I have always defaulted to “You Are My Sunshine” whenever we needed to test the tuning on a guitar or get our harmony-singing skills oiled up after a long time of disuse. I love the song probably more than I should given how many times I’ve sung/played/heard it over the years. It never stops being new to me. I find previously unexplored paths in the harmony. I sing it to (or with) someone new. Hell, I even named my cat after it. (For a long time before I moved back home, his devilish ass was the purest joy I knew every day, and “Sunny” just sort of came about organically. Now, of course, he has more names than I can count — he answers to all of them. Thankfully, I haven’t had to take him to the vet in several years because I have no idea what I’d put down in his paperwork.) My point is, I believe in sunshine. I believe most things look different and better in the bright light of day; I believe in smiling at people I don’t know on the street; and I believe in being the joy I want to see in the world.
That being said, there have been times on this blog (and many MANY times in my life) that I’ve felt the need to temper the distribution of sunshine with some common sense as well as a few cold, hard facts. I mean, I’m a fan of sunshine and joy and light, but I also think it’s important not to be overwhelmed by them to such an extent that they drown out the things that really need sayin’. It’s a balance thing for me. I will happily distribute my Happy whenever I have it, but you’re gonna have to take the rest of this shit, too.
With that in mind, I oh-so-happily accept from Christine (at I’m Sick and So Are You) THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD. I am also ecstatic to carry on the fine tradition of cheating that she has begun (balance, see?), and for basically the same reasons: 1) I don’t really do this award thing, and 2) when I finally sit down with inspiration in my fingers, I absolutely don’t want to spend it all (and it is a finite thing for me most of the time) on responding to someone else’s prompts. I mean, unless I like their prompts, which I TOTALLY DO in Christine’s case. (I wish this interface had emoticons like my iPhone, because this spot right here needs that cheesy-nervous toothy-grinning one.)
So. I’m swallowing my last big ass guzzle of perfect-temperature coffee and I’ve had my peanut butter toast breakfast, and I’m probably as ready as I’m ever going to be. Here go my questions from Christine, who obviously didn’t get the memo that there should be a buildup to impossible-to-answer questions in order to postpone as long as possible the (perhaps inevitable) eventuality that I’ll need to bang my head on the fireplace and then go in search of more coffee to replace my lost brain cells. I guess she’ll know better next time! But anyway, here goes…
How do you know when you’re in love?
(Do you see what I’m saying, Christine?!) This is going to be a lot lengthier than it should be. There have been a couple different stages in my life. In years past, I tended to lose myself in the life of my partner to such an extent that my wants and needs were secondary to theirs. I moved to be with them. I shut my cakehole and resisted saying what I should’ve in order to spare them or their families when I should’ve been making myself and my continued sanity and self-worth the priority. Used to be, that’s how I knew it was love: I stopped thinking about myself (like AT ALL) and started thinking about them.
Before I ever started dating my husband, I knew that was going to change in a big way. In fact, I told him so on a fateful Christmas Day car trip in 2014 (a mere two weeks after I moved back to Illinois) when we had five hours of drive time alone. I felt (and feel) like I’ve been “in love” with Hubby for a lot of my life. But “in love” gets quotation marks because when I say it, I’m thinking of that crush-y warm unsuppressibly happy and giggly state of being that is also experienced by every junior high girl ever in the presence of the hot guy who currently has her attention. To be clear, I don’t think that’s love. Most likely it’s lust, but as we get older and more experienced, I feel like there’s probably also something like recognition in that feeling; maybe we think we’ve found a kindred spirit. Or maybe even a long-lost soulmate.
Love, for me, is a whole other thing. It’s work. It’s putting your life and your wants and needs together with someone else’s to such an extent that now there’s an entirely new pile of stuff labeled OUR LIFE. The pile is a changeable and constantly shifting thing, and though it may occasionally seem to be favoring one person over the other, in the longevity of things, the only real considerations are our survival and our happiness and our togetherness. That’s how I know it’s love.
What is your spirit animal?
I have always had nothing but love for tigers and was not at all surprised to discover a decade or so ago that I am a tiger on the Chinese zodiac. It fits. Pair that with the fact that my devil kitty clearly regards me as a larger and meaner version of himself and I think my tiger-y nature becomes a given.
What is your favorite blog post that you’ve written?
Right now? This one. I miss my husband a lot these days. Plus all that talk about love in the first question.
What music do you wallow to?
I have 900 wallowing songs. No joke. 900. There’s a playlist on my phone that contains every song I like from every chick-centered television show that’s been on the air in the last decade. It began, of course, with Grey’s Anatomy. Things
went downhill took off from there.
I know it seems counterintuitive, but if I’m wallowing and want to escape the wallowing, I listen to the blues. I guess it’s sort of like Hubby driving me through the worst parts of the city to demonstrate how great our life is — I just can’t keep being sad after listening to so many folks who clearly have it so much worse.
Ocean or mountains?
Don’t you dare. I won’t do it. You can’t make me choose. How about this: in a perfect world, I live in the mountains and have the ability to magically teleport to the beach whenever I need my tank refilled. My husband agrees, which is a clear demonstration of both our lifetime love and his unassailable good sense.
Okay. Now, here are my 5 questions:
- If you weren’t worried for your health or your life, is there anything you would choose to do differently?
- What is your guilty pleasure?
- If you could’ve been born in a different time or lived through a certain moment in history, which would you choose?
- Apple or Android?
- Do you have a favorite blog post that you’ve written? Why?
And here are the bloggers I’m directing them to, though they are certainly free to ignore them for whatever reasons they choose (including mine):
- Remnants of Wit Even though she’s currently hiatus-ing, she posts great stuff for book lovers when she’s not.
- Just This About That She goes pretty places and posts gorgeous pictures. Plus we’re virtually interchangeable in our political opinions. Once in a while, I really like someone who thinks like me.
- Happy Healing I don’t know if I’ve ever even left Marina a comment, but I enjoy her picture-heavy food posts; they give me good ideas for stuff to try and they make me more devoted to keeping my own food log.
- Unfolding From The Fog Because she writes beautifully and makes me feel inferior in all the most motivational ways.
- Trailing Gaia Every time she updates she posts stunning pictures of the Appalachian Trail that make me want to sell everything I own and purchase hiking gear.
If you are one of the bloggers listed above and you want to play by the actual rules and not Christine’s made up ones that I shamelessly stole, you can click here to find them. Everyone else, please proceed to the route and get to clicking. ❤