Fourteen honest things about myself:
1) I am a morning person. I am totally energized in the morning–up early, chatty, full of ideas, working, busy, happy, productive, creative, and annoying. I am in fifth gear when everyone else is still in neutral. It takes love and patience to be with me in the mornings if you are not a morning person too.
2) I am not a night person. I am very disciplined about getting adequate rest. You know how night people feel crummy in the morning, like foggy and drop-dead cranky, and need a cup of joe to make it to the bathroom? That’s how I feel at night around 10 PM. But since I turned 50, I am improving on this.
3) I am a good listener. As a pastor’s wife and missionary for many years, I have learned to listen. In fact, I love to listen for the unspoken words between the phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. I hear what is not being said more than what is being said. I don’t feel compelled “to fix” problems either. I believe listening has great value in and of itself.
4) I like to talk too, if I know someone is really hearing me. If not, what’s the use? I love metaphor and irony and light and all the layers of meaning attached to these when listening or expressing myself.
5) I would rather write than verbally express my feelings, my everything. I am in pain if I do not write. I do not write to be published, so much as to alleviate pain. You know how some people talk too much and eventually hang themselves with their words? Well, sometimes I write too much… I love the proverb that says that “even a fool is considered wise if he is silent.” I try not to say to much, but I need to apply that to my writing at times, especially blogging or commenting. Too many words on paper or computer screen eventually make me look foolish. In this case less is more, and as poet I really do appreciate less.
6) I desperately need to be alone. I have to check out from society when I have had enough. I can’t survive unless I do. I have learned to pace myself. I have learned that being alone is essential to my mental and emotional health. I have also learned that too much alone makes me inward and ugly. There is a balance for me that is tipped more toward being alone, but too much s definitely unhealthy.
7) I desperately need silence or the sound of only nature. I am in pain with too much noise. Silence or the sounds of nature like the ocean waves or rain or thunder or birds or a waterfall completely replenish me.
8) I am not a perfectionist. I strive for and appreciate excellence, but do not come unglued if errors occur. I have learned that even with my best attempt at excellence there will still be flaws, and I am okay with that.
9) With that said, I am hard on myself in other ways. I compare myself to others at times and can become totally discouraged.
10) I am tolerant of people’s views that are different than mine. This doesn’t change the fact that I believe in absolutes, but I appreciate and respect people who do not think or act like me.
11) I am sensitive but love bottom-line honesty, even if it is not what I want to hear. Now I did not say brutal honesty. I believe the truth should be presented with kindness.
12) Speaking of kindness, I am married to the kindest man on earth. Proverbs says that what is desired in a man is kindness. Our culture’s thinking is the opposite–that what is desired in a man is to be macho. I adore the kindness of my husband, and it is the trait I most admire in other men, albeit hard to find in most. Kindness is what my husband will be remembered for. I will not be remembered for my kindness. In fact, I feel I will not be remembered at all for my character qualities, rather for my giftings. And I am sad about that, sometimes.
13) I must have beauty around me, without it I begin to see the dark of life instead of the light. This sounds totally strange, but my good friends David and Emma helped me identify this need in me. I see it as a strength and weakness. If there is no beauty, I will create it. But occasionally I have been in places for extended times where there was no way to create beauty, like our first years in Ukraine. I felt like I was living in a three-foot room and had to crouch all the time. I am in pain without beauty around me. But I do see beauty in things that most people don’t like the desert, barren branches in winter, and the bark of a tree. With that said, if I can’t find beauty somewhere, things are bleak.
14) Like most artists, I am filled with self doubt at times. I realize this is selfish and inward, but it is a real struggle. I combat this in many spiritual ways. This trait keeps me from achievement at times, and it keeps me depending on Someone bigger than I.