Martha's Interview Questions
1. no holds barred... tell me about your dream life. GO!
No holds barred, wow, ok. I would be living in California with my family - my compassionate and respectable husband who is either in some sort of scientific or helping profession, but who also writes music, our three children, a boy, and twin girls. I would have an active but flexible private practice as a counseling psychologist and on a daily basis be making a difference in others lives. We would all be actively involved in our church ministries and in our community. Our neighbors and coworkers, be they Christian, atheist, buddhist, whatever, would all feel loved and accepted by our family and see that we all carry with us a joy and confidence that can only come from Christ. I would be friends with all kinds of people, from all walks of life. A homeless man and the mayor of our city would feel equally welcome to visit my home, which would be spacious, two stories, have an amazing view of the ocean or mountains, and be on acres of land where our horse and german shepherd thrives. The inside of my home would be occupied by a grand piano and a couple of cats :) Since California is far from my family and friends in Texas, we would have some kind of connection to an airline in which we have unlimited free flights, so we could frequently visit Texas and bring our Texas loved ones to enjoy our home. And we would travel often. We'd go on mission trips with our church, and take our children to see all the sights of the world and introduce them to different cultures from our own. I will take my mom to Egypt on her 65th birthday. My kids would all be in scouting, and maybe take music lessons or do theatre or something. I would read lots of books and ride my bike often. I would have an enormous amount of energy, and often awaken before my children are out of bed to ride my bike up a mountain (ok, forget the beach) and watch the sunrise as I read my Bible and drink my coffee.
2. if you could author the biography of anyone (alive or dead; famous or not), who would it be and why?
Ooh, this is a hard choice. The first person who came to mind was Rich Mullins, but I think that I would have to choose someone closer to home - my maternal grandfather, who died when my mom was 12. Since I never had the opportunity to meet him, writing his biography would be a great way to get to know him. He was a math teacher and then a principal. As a young man, him and his father built their house themselves. He went to Texas A&M and earned his way through college by working summers in Illinois at some pipe company. One summer a pipe fell on his leg, and he was hospitalized with a massive infection. This was pre WWII, before penicillin was widely used. The doctors had to amputate his leg, and doubted whether he would live through the night. The Catholic nuns at the hospital stayed up all night praying for him, and he survived. Because he was an amputee, he wasn't able to enlist in the war efforts. His younger brother Bobby did, and was killed when his plane was shot down over Germany. I don't know how he met my grandmother, someone introduced them, but his younger sister thought she was so grown-up and sophisticated when he first brought her home. When he was working as a teacher and raising his family in East Texas, he would send frequent checks to his other younger brother who was going to dental school in Dallas or Fort Worth, who thirty years later still felt so grateful that he refused to let my parents pay for my braces that he put on. I know that this question didn't ask me to start writing the biography, but from these and other stories, he sounds like someone who was hardworking, determined, loyal to his family, sacrificial, and valued education. Maybe this is idealistic to say, but I hope that a part of me is living out the legacy that the left our family.
3. if you could have been born a child prodigy... what would you want your remarkable gift/talent to be?
The ability to easily learn any language. I've studied Spanish for years, but it's so frustrating that I can barely hold a conversation with someone. I once heard of a savant who within a matter of weeks or days could learn any language. I picked up some Spanish tapes from the library today to attempt to refresh myself.
4. if someone were to make a movie about your life, who would you want to play you? why?
This is tough! I love Meg Ryan and used to say that she would play the older version of me, but I'm still pretty young so I need to pick someone else. Most of my favorite actresses (Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett) just seem too serious for the role of me, and aren't that much younger than Meg Ryan. I tried to think of other actresses that I enjoy who seem to just be completely full of life and can play someone who is engaging and enthusiastic without coming across as obnoxious. I thought of Emilie de Ravin and Anne Hathaway who are fun on screen, but I think that I'd have to pick Kate Winslett because she has that spark that I want and also comes across as very genuine. Plus, she deserves as many roles as possible and maybe one of them will finally win her an Oscar! Also, a movie about my life starring Kate Winslett would get better reviews :)
5. what is the greatest gift you've ever been given? what's the greatest gift you've ever given to someone else?
Greatest gift that I've been given - This is really hard, as I tend to first think of the moment when a gift was given - opening the present, feeling the surprise and delight and excitement, turning in gratitude to thank and praise the giver, gushing and beaming, all completely natural reactions to a gift so great. I can think of a lot of these types of gifts that I have been given, but I don't know if I can pick the greatest gift just based on that one moment. Instead, I'll pick a gift that has endured, past the initial moment, past the friendship of the giver even - my stuffed rabbit Reeves, given to me by my childhood best friends at the age of 6 or 7. Fifteen years later, I still treasure this gift, my comfort object, whom I sleep with, whom is so precious to me that I won't dare bring him with me on vacations anymore. It seems silly to pick a raggety rabbit over a laptop, special scrapbook, a digital camera, or many other wonderful things that others have blessed with me. But I picked Reeves because while it would be awful to replace a lost digital camera, I would be completely devastated to lose this little toy who has been my silent companion for most of my life.
Greatest gift that I've given someone else - The scrapbook that I made my mom for her 50th birthday. I emailed all of her sisters, their children, and my friends and asked them to write a birthday wish for her or something about what she meant to them. The responses poured in, and I was able to give my mom a scrapbook showing not only what she meant to me, but to so many others who are blessed to know her. She read the whole thing at least twice that night, and keeps it in her office so she can look through from time to time. I often see it sitting out on her desk :) To be honest, my mom doesn't have a lot of close friends, so I wanted to show her that she has made an impact in the lives of her family and my friends. I wanted to show her that she loved and cherished.
Phew! Thanks Martha! These were good questions, and I enjoyed answering each one of them. Some were easier to answer, others I had to let stew in my mind, others I thought were hard to answer, but once I started writing, everything just flowed! I've noticed that I probably spend half an hour to an hour writing my blog entries. Seriously, there's no way I can keep that up forever at this rate. I often want to sit down and write something, but then I worry that I don't have the time. I need to start writing shorter entries.