30 Questions Thursday, Part 3

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10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.

Strangely, the first one that comes to mind is when I was in first grade. Back then, wrap-around clothes were all the rage: wrap-around skirts, culottes, etc. I was wearing a pair of wrap-around shorts/skort that my mother had made me. To put these on, there were two pairs of strings. You held it up to your front and tied around the back, then pulled it between your legs and to the back, then wrapped it over your backside back around to the front and secured it in the front with another set of ties. It ended up looking like shorts in the back and a little bit of a skirt thing in the front. 

We'd been playing on the playground for recess and I came running in when the bell rang. Somehow I didn't notice that the ties on the front of my skorts or whatever they were called had come undone, and I raced into the classroom with the back of my outfit dragging on the floor, my little undies visible for all to see. My teacher had to come over and help me get everything put back together. 

Fortunately, time has dulled the memory of the humiliation. However, I don't think I ever wore those shorts again. And when wrap-around skirts came back into fashion when I was in late-high-school/early college, I hated wearing them because they tended to blow open and be a bit...revealing...shall we say, and brought back that first-grade memory.

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

  • Ignorance. Not people who haven't had a chance to learn, but people who refuse to.
  • Arrogance. Those who think they're all that and a bag of chips work my very last nerve. A little humility works wonders.
  • Taking up space. I hate going to the grocery store and getting stuck behind people who park their carts in the middle of the aisle when they could easily pull to one side or the other, or people who walk two or three abreast very slowly down the middle of the sidewalk forcing me to duck and dodge, or sitting next to guys (strangers) on airplanes who spread their legs out so I'm crammed into a corner to keep from getting too intimate with my knees.
  • People invading my personal bubble, as my daughter would say. This is similar to the above--but people who put their face too close to mine when talking really wig me out. This doesn't happen as much now but when I was a kid and adults would lean down and get really close to me to talk to me just made me feel like shrinking into the floor.
  • My kids leaving "floaters" all over the house. This may just be a family name for this, but when someone drinks half a can of pop (soda) and walks away, that's a floater. When my kids were home, I'd find floaters in the family room, the basement, the computer room...drove me nuts. Trying to get them to take their cans to the sink and rinse them out was a never-ending battle. I still end up picking up floaters now after they've gone back to their dorms/apartments. 
  • Commercials. Thank God for DVRs and the fact I can buzz through them now. 
  • People who get onto airplanes smelling like a bar floor. Yes, I've sat next to a few of them on long flights and had had to work hard not to get sick. (I don't mean someone who's had a drink or two in the airport; I mean people who were clearly up drinking all night and poured themselves onto the early flight the next morning--smelling like stale beer, sweat, and lord knows what else. Stomach-turning.)
  • Those who act like technology is the devil's tool. I'm tired of having conversations about whether or not computers have killed face-to-face relationships. My social circle has greatly expanded plus I'm able to be so much more closely in touch with my kids and sibs via texting, social networking, videocalls, and so forth, than I would have back when all we had was the phone. And it's not just a generational thing: When my mother was alive, she and I would talk on the phone, but we'd also text and chat. She had a Facebook account. (Still does, in fact--did you know you have to send Facebook a copy of the death certificate to get a Facebook profile removed? We still haven't gotten around to that four years later.) She was a gadget girl and enjoyed learning new technologies. Go, Mom.
  • Not sure I can come up with two more. I had to really think about it to get the eight I've already listed. I'm not sure I'd call all of those "pet peeves" but more, "occasional annoyances." I try to be a pretty zen person most of the time.

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
Wake up; have a lot of coffee while doing some professional, spiritual, creativity-motivating, or quilty reading; finally eat breakfast (my stomach has to wake up first); take the rest of my coffee and go upstairs to my home office to work thinking I'll just check email and then grab a shower; hours later realize what time it's gotten to be and stop for lunch--usually not until early afternoon--then take a shower and get dressed during my lunch break since I'd lost track of needing to do that earlier; finish work; and (if I'm being healthy) go to the gym or (more usually, when I'm not being as healthy) work on some quilting project while waiting for my husband to get home; sometimes start getting dinner ready before he gets home but usually wait until after I see him walk in the door because after he's called me to tell me he's leaving his office as often as not he gets stopped in the hallway by someone and it's another half hour before he actually heads for the parking lot; have dinner; watch TV with husband but read magazines or play games with daughter on my iPad while she's away at school or some sort of hand-quilting project or whatever because I'm constitutionally unable to simply sit and watch TV without doing something else at the same time; go to bed far too late and read for awhile. 

If husband is out of town, which happens a lot, scratch everything after work from "getting dinner ready" through "watch TV" and change it to "work on quilting project, grab leftovers for dinner, quilt some more, go to bed far too late." I'm also usually out at least one night a week for something or other.

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

  • Math. I hate math--I actually believe in "math trauma." I have terrible memories of a math teacher in early elementary school who was very "old school" in her approach to teaching and would highlight kids who weren't doing as well in front of their peers by saying things like, "Because Sandy didn't get this, we're all going to do it again." My husband doesn't get why I don't get math because my brain is, in so many ways, very systematic and logical and math should come easily, but my brain just has a block. And it makes my stomach hurt to do it.
  • I can get very task-oriented when I'm overly stressed, which usually doesn't help the people around me. I can quickly go into "heads-down, blinders-on, let's get 'er done" mode while some people are still struggling to catch up with what the issue is in the first place. I really have to watch myself and take a deep breath, then wait for awhile for things to play out a bit to see what actually needs to happen.
  • I can tend to avoid conflict, although it depends on the kind of conflict. If it only affects me, I usually avoid it. If it affects others--depending on the situation--I am more willing to confront it. If it affects a project I'm working on or a group dynamic or a process, I'm perfectly comfortable dealing with it. 
  • As my husband says, I can sometimes sound more intense than I really am. I have a naturally deadpan expression and a tone of voice that can come across as being intense when the reality is, I can just as easily go one way or the other on the given question. I've really had to learn how to say things like, "I don't really have an opinion on this but I'd probably want to think through X," or "I'm thinking out loud here" (and have had to teach myself to think out loud, see below). I've also had to teach myself to laugh out loud at my own jokes when speaking publicly--the deadpan thing mixed with a very dry humor means a lot of times people don't know when I'm being funny versus serious. It's genetic. My oldest sister, also a pastor and with about 10 years of experience on me, was the one that coached me to do this when I first started preaching. "People don't always know when we DeMotts are joking, so we have to cue them. 'See, I'm laughing--that means you can laugh now too!'"
  • Because I'm an introvert, there are a lot of people who have used words like "arrogant," "aloof," "disinterested," "unemotional" and the like to describe me. That's not at all true. I'm extremely interested in you and very, very curious about the world. I won't necessarily ask you about your life, not because I'm not interested in knowing, but simply because I have a very high sense of privacy and always assume that if you wanted me to know, you'd tell me. I'm being quiet because I'm observing, not because I'm judging or aloof. I like to formulate what I'm going to say before saying it; I do have emotions but don't choose to share them unless I've known you for a very long time. (All the extraverts reading this are thinking, "But you should get over that!" All the introverts reading this are nodding their heads and saying, "Yep, people have said those things about me too." LOL) I don't view my introvert nature as a weakness--indeed, there are a lot of strengths to it. However, I do view some of how it comes across in group settings, some of the "symptoms," as it were, as something I've really had to become highly aware of, and learn to compensate for, in order to be more effective in my vocation and in social terms. Hence, I'm always exhausted after being around people for awhile--I've had to spend most of that time working against nature. No matter how much I'm enjoying you and how much fun I'm having, you're wearing me out. So please don't get offended if I disappear into a quiet room or take a walk by myself for half an hour to regroup. :-) 
    •  By the way, one of the outcomes of my specific Myers-Briggs personality type (and yes--I found this listed in a book as common with folks like me!) is that I'm terrible at remembering names. That IS a weakness. My BIL is fantastic at remembering names of people he only met once years ago, and I've always been super-envious of that ability!

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
  • See some of the paragraph above: I keep things confidential and have a very high sense of ethics, professionally and personally. I may not always ask you what's wrong, but if you tell me, it'll stay with me. 
  • I'm intensely curious and love to learn new things. Learning about people, places, techniques, history, science.... It doesn't entirely matter what I'm learning, I'm just enjoying the process of learning. (Well, except math!) 
  • I'm very organized and systematic. I can easily see how to set up a process for just about anything that needs to get done. I can change the process on the fly if it needs to be changed, but I like to start somewhere. 
  • I'm very loyal. I'm not blind to faults--but I'm loyal anyway. When we watched Law and Order together my kids always joked that I wouldn't be the mother who was trying to conceal her kids' crimes--that I'd turn them in on a dime. I always said, "Yes, I would, because you need to be held accountable--but I would love you regardless and stay with you through whatever came after!" I'm loyal to the organization I work for, my quilt guild, my friends, and my family. And my listeners!
  • I love being a part of helping to provide opportunities for people to grow. I absolutely love watching someone discover things they didn't know they knew how to do, or gain new confidence, or whatever. That's my favorite part of my job and, as I've discovered, my favorite part of doing my podcast. I love challenging people to move beyond what they think they're capable of and whatever little boxes they've put themselves in (or others have put them in). That just jazzes me no end. I get a little thrill just thinking about it.
Wow--this week was hard!

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.