10 Things…

As always, behind everyone else. But, these lists of questions are so much fun to read on other’s sites, so I thought I’d give it a try here… I don’t typically share much, but these aren’t asking me to share my address and phone number, so I think we’re good. Ha. Most of these are from the post San did several weeks ago. So thanks, San, for the idea!

  1. Physical stuff? I am short. As in, 5′ 2.5″ on a good day. I cannot use the top shelves in my kitchen cabinets. And do not get me started on that cabinet over the fridge. Or the microwave. My stepladder is my friend.
  2. Do you have any kids? Nope. Wasn’t in the cards, and it’s actually a good thing. I’m probably way too self-centered to be a good parent. I’ll spoil my nieces instead, thanks.
  3. Any siblings? Yes! One brother, 14 months older than me. We have always been close – even when in high school. Now, we rely on text and the infamous weekly Family Zoom to keep in touch. He’s the best big brother I could have asked for.
  4. Where did you grow up? I grew up in central Pennsylvania. My parents still live there, and my brother and his family live about 45 minutes south of them in MD. Most of my extended family also lives there – I am definitely the black sheep in that I left PA at age 24 and have only been back for one short (doomed) stint at a job in Philadelphia. Pros: Close to my family for the first time in decades. Cons: Hated the job. What can you do?
  5. What did you study in college? All of my degrees are in nursing – BSN, MSN, and PhD. My specialties, though, are pediatric and family nursing as well as genetics and genomics. DNA all the way. It’s been my passion for over 20 years and I love it. And, my specific population of interest is teenagers with chronic health conditions like diabetes, or food allergies, that kind of thing.
  6. What kind of music do you like? Well, um, yeah, I’m weird, so Celtic and Scottish folk, a bit of bluegrass, Brandi Carlisle, the Chicks, and a whole assortment of other random artists. Oh, and classical! Love, love, love classical music. Not so much for contemporary pop/rock/rap, but I will listen to pretty much anything as long as it’s actually, you know, musical.
  7. Windows or Mac/Android or iPhone? Mac (home), PC (work), iPhone (both work and home). It’s actually good because I’m pretty good at both OS’s, so I can give my parents tech support for their PCs. Which happens a lot. Even though I’m the kid who doesn’t live nearby.
  8. What job would you be terrible at? Retail or food service. I’m a klutz and my “customer service” skills are nonexistent. This means that I truly appreciate everyone who CAN work in those jobs. Because if I had to? No one would buy anything, and they’d never get their food while it’s hot. Or, they’d have it delivered to their laps, and not the table (see “klutz”, above).
  9. Have you ever traveled outside the country? Oh, yes, and I love it. Sigh. Can’t wait to get back to it. Favorite places are too many to count, but Australia, Iceland, France (particularly the South of France), and Canada are all favorites. Next, I’d love to go to the British Isles (Scotland, Ireland, Wales, in particular) but not sure when/if that will happen. Sigh.
  10. If you weren’t in your current job, what would you be doing? I would love to be a librarian. Think how awesome that would be – surrounded by books all day? Sign me up. But, again, I’d truly stink at the customer service aspect, so… yeah. Not sure how realistic that is.

So there you go, a few tidbits about me. Hopefully you’re not going to run scared now that you realize just how odd I am. (Although, if you’ve been here a bit, you’ve probably realized that already…)

Happy Monday, and happy Thanksgiving week to those of you in the US.

Halloween, leggings, participation, and presence

I promise, all of those random things in the post title are (somewhat) related. Let’s see if I can connect the dots… 🙂

As most if not all of you know, I am always about 1 week behind in reading blog posts from my favorites (life… sigh…). Which means that this weekend I was reading about Halloween and what people were doing. It got me thinking about how I have always hated Halloween – specifically, the dressing up part. I was never the kid who loved coming up with costumes. I never had any ideas, and was perfectly happy with those awful plastic masks and costumes that made you sweat the moment you put them on. (Anyone else remember those??) No thought or creativity required.

It’s not just a lack of creativity, though, that makes me dislike Halloween. It’s the idea of creating the “best” costume in order to stand out in some way. I have always hated being the center of attention – or, really, attracting any attention at all. I am content to blend into the background, to rarely appear in photos. I never wanted to have everyone’s eyes on me, and so I have spent a lot of my life figuring out how to blend in and disappear.

This has extended to my adult life, too. I am uncomfortable in bright colors or patterns (hm, trying to think if I own anything with a pattern other than, well, a stripe… or a plaid flannel shirt… ). I’m really uncomfortable in clothing that is tight, or sparkly, or that draws attention to me in any way.

Which is one of the reasons I loved lockdown with every fiber of my being. If you want to essentially disappear, there is no better way to do so than to work remotely. For the first time in my working life – other than the brief, glorious period when I wore scrubs to work every day (oh, how I miss scrubs…) – I was able to wear exactly what I wanted. Leggings. Yoga pants. Comfortable sweaters and tops. I was still presentable but I was so much more comfortable.

It’s helped me be so much more interactive and participatory in meetings. When I’m not worried about what I look like, and when I don’t have all the eyes in a room on me, I am much better at speaking up and sharing my perspective. I don’t do it often, of course – that would be completely unlike me. For one of the first times in my life, I feel like a full participant in some of these meetings rather than an observer.

I feel like the last almost two (good grief) years have helped me be more present in my professional life. To participate more, interact more with my colleagues, and honestly, get more done. Yes, things were slow with the pandemic. Yes, teaching online had its moments. But there were good things, too.

The challenge now is, how do I maintain this as things open back up? I don’t know what we’ll be doing going forward – although I do teach in person and that will continue. I am planning to push pretty hard that we keep a virtual option for all meetings, to allow those with health and other challenges to participate. I’m hopeful but also know there is a lot of support for being back in person all the time.

What I do know, though, is that I am no longer going to dress for others. Just for me. I feel like I’m finally recognizing who I am, after too many years of trying to keep up, trying to measure up to others’ expectations or standards. It feels good.

Oscar Wilde - Be Yourself Everyone Else is Already Taken" Canvas Print by  AlanPun | Redbubble