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How many hours of TV do you watch per week? Do you feel that’s too much, not enough or just right?  Yikes, I can’t even count the number of hours!  I often have the TV on just for background noise, so the number of hours it’s on would give me a stroke if I calculated them.  What I actually sit down and focus on watching, that’s a slightly less astonishing number.  But it’s way too much.  (Didja notice how I didn’t actually answer the question?  I’m training to be a politician, ha ha!)

Which of the 5 senses do you feel is your strongest sense?  My sense of smell.  And the fact that a lot of smells trigger migraines for me makes it a particular joy to have.

What’s the wackiest belief you held as a child?  My brother told me that there was a tunnel between North America and Australia, which is how kangaroos and koalas were able to come to be in our zoos.  I believed in this tunnel for the longest time!  And yes, I am as gullible as they come.  He is also an extremely good storyteller.

Check out Fleur de Lisa’s Manic Monday hub!

What is one thing you admire about each of your parents?  I admire my father’s incredible aptitude for financial management (which he definitely did NOT pass on to me, much to both our dismay).  I admire my mother’s unbelievable strength (which inspires me every day).

Which parts of your home do you like best?  Hmm, hard one.  I guess it would be my bedroom, the one room in the house that is truly mine.
Which would you prefer and why? To have every stoplight turn green upon your arrival for the rest of your life or to have one week of the best sex any person ever had?  I’d rather have the lights turn green.  I think it would be incredibly sad to know that sex in the future would inevitably not live up to that one week.

For others’ take on the Manic Monday questions, go to Fleur de Lisa’s great site!

Pick out the most important item you have in your purse/wallet and tell me why it’s important to you.  This might sound funny, but it’s my chapstick.  I am prone to cold sores if my lips get too dry or if they are not protected from the sun.  And I get anxious if I don’t have any lip balm, chapstick, etc. with me!

What would you take from your house if you knew it would be flooded tomorrow?  Obviously, my dog.  Assuming that’s understood, I would probably take my laptop, my meds, my teddy bear, and my journal.

If you were stuck in a room for an hour with a chalk board, what would you draw on it?  I probably wouldn’t draw on it at all.  I’d probably pick a long word, maybe something like “postmodernism” or “antidisestablishmentarianism”, and see how many smaller words I could make up out of the letters.  (Cough, geek! cough cough)

Check out Fleur de Lisa’s Manic Monday site!

The Manic Monday site is here!

What’s worse, physical or mental cheating? Why?

In general, I think physical cheating is worse;  the person has actually done something.  (Unless it’s an ongoing emotional affair… like the ones they have on Dr. Phil;  that’s just as bad as physical cheating.)  But just looking at someone with lust, or even fantasizing about them, is just normal, IMO.

Do you think men and women can be just friends? Why or why not?

Yes.  I’ve had quite a few male friends.

How do you feel about dating co-workers?

Well, the last time I did it was disastrous, but that wasn’t really about us being co-workers.  I don’t think I’d do it again, though.

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So I’m finally getting back to normal after sleeping for the last day and a half.  Unfortunately, there’s all that laundry and other life stuff to catch up on, so I’ll be working over the next few days on comments and on catching up on blogs!

If you were to name the one thing you have the most compassion for, what would it be?

There is not one single thing/person/entity for which I have the most compassion.  But my criteria for who I would have the most compassion for would be those who are helpless, who cannot speak for themselves, who have to rely (for good or for ill) on others for their well-being.  This category would include animals, children, and people who are disabled who cannot communicate or who lack the cognitive ability to understand what abuse is and that they might be experiencing it.

I’ve mentioned that I work with the local SPCA, but I haven’t mentioned my work with the Canadian Red Cross.  I am a certified Abuse Prevention Educator, and we focus on preventing abuse against children and youth (child abuse, relationship violence, bullying and harassment, violence in sport, etc.).  Often, the disabled who are unable to communicate or who lack the ability to understand that they are being abused are targeted by abusers.

All of this work has led me to have the most compassion for those who cannot express that they are being abused or neglected, such as animals, children (who may not even know that what they are experiencing is abuse and/or neglect), and those who cannot express what they are experiencing or who don’t know that it is abuse.

(Sorry that this is a little repetitive;  I’m a little dizzy today.)

It’s been said that, “The best things in life are free.” Do you think this is true?

Somewhat.  Certainly, things like love, companionship, kindness, compassion, friendship, and joy do not come with a price tag attached.  However, things like security, health (both physical and mental), peace of mind, having sufficient food to eat or clean water to drink, and feeling safe in the world are definitely not free.  They all require a certain amount of money to achieve.  Having lived on a very limited income for the past eight years (with the safety net of friends and family who have the resources to help when I truly need it) and planning my future with an equally limited income and perhaps much less of a safety net, I am becoming aware that this second group of “things” are certainly not free.

What is the most valuable thing you own?

It pains my heart that animals are considered property, but there it is (for now, at least).  And since that is the case, I would have to say that Dannan, my furry family member, is most valuable.  To me, having him in my life is beyond price.  If you are interested to find out why, read on.  If not, just skip to the end.

In the past, I have called Dannan my “suicide prevention dog”, which no one seems to find funny except for me. But he surely is.  When I am completely lost in the darkness, he is what keeps me from considering suicide.  Even my family doesn’t enter into my thoughts;  when I’m really low, I tell myself that they would understand.  But I know that my dog wouldn’t, and I could never abandon him that way.  So that’s part of it.

Also, he is the reason I get out of bed on many mornings.  There are definitely several days out of the average month that I might not do it if it weren’t for him.  And he is so happy in the morning at the idea of getting up and out of bed, that he reminds me every day that I should be glad that I’m here.

When I am not feeling well, whether it is the flu or a cold, or whether it is because I am very anxious or depressed, he sticks close by me.  He either lies in my lap, or close enough to me that we touch.  It really kind of seems like he realizes that I need him nearby.  And the days when I am crying, he gets into my lap and licks my face until I catch my breath and calm down.

When I am anxious or depressed, I scratch and stroke him, and this helps me to moderate my emotions.  Having to look after him also brings me out of myself.  His needs for fresh air and exercise are almost always what motivates me to go outside and to exercise myself.  I never feel judged by him;  he always loves me and wants to be with me.

I really don’t think that I would be where I am in my recovery without my dog.  His unconditional love and his very presence in my life keeps me plugging along.  Taking care of him forces me to take care of myself when I might not otherwise.

To see what other people have said about these three questions, check out Manic Monday.

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