My friend, Jen, tagged me in her “5 Random Facts About Me” post the other day, meaning it’s now my turn to tell you 5 random facts about myself.
This exercise, by its very definition, is random. There are so many things I could tell you about. Some are funny, some are painful, and some are boring, every day things. But, in keeping with the whole idea of the project, here are the five things that came to me randomly today, as I thought about this question.
Random Fact #1: I believe in wishes
I believe that wishes do come true. Not the big ones like wishing for a million dollars. But the smaller ones, the ones that we might have some ability to affect. Maybe if I bought a lottery ticket I could include the million dollar wish in this category, but the fact that I never buy one means that I have very little power of influence over that wish.
I’ll give you an example of what I do mean.
My first thought upon waking this morning was, “I wish I had time.” After a week of feeling under pressure, all I wanted was enough time to feel unhurried, to get everything done.
I discovered shortly thereafter, much to my surprise, that the clocks had turned back in the night. I had an extra hour.
As if that wasn’t lucky enough, my son had to finish his chores after breakfast, leaving me an unexpected two hours for uninterrupted writing.
But wait, there’s more. About midway through the day, I checked the clock to see how much time I had left before I had to get Sunday dinner going. It was only 2:30. So early, in fact, that not only did I have hours to spare, I even had time to sneak in an extra coffee. And some more writing.
That was all I wanted. In fact, it was more than I had even wished for.
Random Fact # 2: I’ve had 18 addresses
I’ve had 18 addresses over the course of my life, which seems like a lot to me since I lived in the same house until I moved into university residence at the age of 17.
My strangest and most favourite address was:
Above the Chemist
Upper Bridge Street
Killorglin, Co. Kerry
It was a little like Harry Potter in the broom closet under the stairs…without the abusive family members, thankfully.
Random Fact #3: I’m not very good at keeping tabs on gratitude
For a while, I tried to write down something I was grateful for each day. It was my attempt at positive thinking, prompted by something I read on a blog about how transformational an experience it would be to review all my daily gratitude notes after a year.
The problem I ran into fairly quickly was that I kept trying to think of lofty or deep or significant items of gratitude. I was looking for awestruck wonder. Despite Random Fact #1, my daily notations dwindled. My expectations were too high.
I guess it’s a bit like wishing for a million dollars and then complaining that wishes never come true.
Yesterday, however, a friend shared an article on Facebook that changed my perspective on gratitude. It was the first time I had come across the idea of gratitude explained in a realistic way – in the way I should have been thinking about it all along. I realized that I would feel so much more fulfilled – and I would find some of that simple, elusive happiness – if instead I focused on the every day things I am grateful for: fresh water, a job, free health care, a comfortable home, my family, a safe country.
This is what real gratitude is. We often look at the materialistic things others have and we feel inferior, or we worry we’re missing out. When really, we ingrates have more than we need to make us happy.
Random Fact #4: Reverse psychology works really well on me
If I feel I have to do something, it will become the last thing I want to do. Feeling backed into a corner freaks me out completely. I moved to Ireland at 23, after a lifetime of wanting to do so. People were amazed that I did it, that I moved to a country where I knew no one and had virtually no ties. They said I wouldn’t do it and, when I did, they said I wouldn’t stay. Which made me feel like I had to. Which made me want to come home. My mother, knowing me as only a mother can, saved me with a few simple words: “You don’t have to stay there. You have nothing to prove. You can leave any time you want.” I stayed for five years and only left when I got tired of fighting for minimum wage jobs.
Thank you, Mom.
It’s the same with writing. As soon as I feel there are expectations, I clam up. That might explain why I have 23 partially drafted posts languishing in my blog archive right now.
Random Fact #5: I am morally opposed to the exotic pet business
My final random fact for today is about a baby iguana I once adopted from a former boyfriend. The boyfriend had taken the little creature on without fully understanding how much care it would require, how big it would get, how much food it would eat. When realization hit after two weeks, he wanted to return it to the flea-infested miniature terrarium in the pet store. I stepped in, said “No way” and took it home myself.
I named it Kerouac.
Kerouac was a well-fed iguana. I researched iguana diets thoroughly and had a fairly involved menu for him of fresh raspberries, kale, collards, green beans, red peppers and cactus pears. Not surprisingly, he quickly outgrew his terrarium.
When he was about two years old, I noticed that he was gaining weight but not eating anything. He seemed bloated and listless. I took him to the vet and we were both surprised to learn that Kerouac was actually a she. And she was ready to lay her eggs for fertilization.
I tried to re-name her Kerry but it just didn’t stick. She was Kerouac.
Kerouac was full of character. She was a beautiful animal. She should have lived her life in the wild. When I had to give her up to move to Ireland, I vowed I would only ever own dogs or cats again. Not because I don’t absolutely adore lizards. I do. But because for the most part, animals should not be ripped from their natural habitat for our enjoyment.
End of sermon.
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Thanks for wandering through my random Sunday thoughts with me. I’m not sure what this collection of facts says about me, but it is random.
Now, it’s your turn…whoever wishes to take up the challenge. I guess that’s my extra, six-for-the-price-of-five random fact. I’m indecisive because I overthink everything. But go ahead, readers, take this as a prompt. Give me your five random facts.