Regina – No 1.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATrumpets! Fireworks! Champagne! OK, maybe not champagne. On this blog’s budget, more like fruit cordial. Anyway, the point being, it’s ready! The very first responder has responded. A huge thank you and some sort of medal (may not actually contain a medal) goes to Regina from Tipperary, a kind and funny lady I follow on Twitter. She emailed her answers and is happy to get the ball rolling. And so, over to Regina :

 

1. Tell me about your favourite pet.

He’s my current one. Sir Gawain, a grey and cream lop-eared rabbit, who holds my heart in one comically oversized paw. He has eyes bright with mischief (seriously, you should see what he’s done to the couch upholstery with them needle-sharp fangs) and a sweet and utterly lovable disposition. Seeing him never fails to lift my spirits.

2. Describe your perfect day.

Time with the land, time with the people I love, at least two pots of TAAAAAAYYYYY and something home-baked. An absorbing read. Rachmaninov on the wireless.

3. What are you most grateful for?

The constant is the people in my life. The other ones are tea in the pot, the time spent making things from other things, the fact that Betty White is still getting work, continued decent health, enough to eat.

4. At what time in your recent past have you felt most alive?

In a good way, on honeymoon last year. Sitting having breakfast in Carcassonne with my new husband, my back to the most glorious morning sun, eating croissants with jam that tasted like sunshine in a jar. In a bad way, during a house fire a few months later.

5. What is the one thing you like most about yourself?

Um.. I’ve a really nice fountain pen?

6. What are you most proud of?

I made it this far.

7. What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?

Thought “expect little, forgive much” was a good way to live. (Kids! It’s really not!) I was *shudder* very young.

8. What’s your biggest regret so far?

I didn’t take that helicopter ride cross-country. Other than that, I regret any cruel or thoughtless words and/or deeds.

9. What has been your lowest point?

The period coming up to and including the death of a loved one. It was an absolute sustained punch in the gut, that whole time; I floundered. I didn’t know how to be at all.

10. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?

Learning to swim. I’ve always wanted to swim outdoors. What’s holding me back is the practical (finding the time and money, health woes) with a little drop of fear.

11. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

I’d make my music public.

12. Think of the last time you were angry. Why were you angry and how did you react?

Someone was taking the piss in a professional setting. I laughed it off with someone else there and fumed for a solid hour. Bah!

13. Is there something you’re ashamed of? Are you prepared to share it here?

Yes. I’m ashamed that there is so much I don’t know that other people take for granted (see: swimming).

14. What have you learned that you think other people should know about?

Use the best china, as life is painfully short as it is. Use your “no”; it really is okay.

15. What did you dream of being when you grew up?

A feminist Tanaiste who made all her own clothes.

16. What have you been thinking about lately?

Change, the nature of being stuck and getting unstuck, living life with fewer things.

17. What gives you butterflies in your stomach?

Himself.

18. What’s the one thing you’d like to change about the world?

I’d like there to be easy access to clean water for every world citizen.

19. What do you like to do in your spare time, on weekends?

I make things from other things (knitting, papercrafts, jewellery making, baking), I walk, I read, I watch films and some very dodgy TV.

20. Name one thing you’ve done that has made a positive difference to someone else.

I told someone the truth about themselves (as I saw it) and it gave them a lift at a difficult time.

21. What one question do you wish I had asked you today?

With two such magnificent legs, how is it you weren’t in show business?

 

 

Again, thanks to Regina for making it easier for the rest of us.

 

Contact me on –

Email : STWYMO@gmail.com

Twitter : @NiamhSTWYMO

Or leave a comment.

The Questions

file8471256893407This is the list of twenty-one questions we’ll use during our conversation. They start off gently with some nice easy ones, get a bit tricky in the middle and then we finish up with a few interesting ones.

There is only one question which could be answered with a yes or no: no 13. This is by design as I feel it is the most difficult question for most of us to answer truthfully. However, even acknowledging this in your answer, is enough.

Look through the list and answer them for yourself anyway. Then, when you are ready to chat about them with me, contact me at showthemwhatyouremadeof@gmail.com or on Twitter @NiamhSTWYMO.

  1. Tell me about your favourite pet.
  2. Describe your perfect day.
  3. What are you most grateful for?
  4. At what time in your recent past have you felt most alive?
  5. What is the one thing you like most about yourself?
  6. What are you most proud of?
  7. What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
  8. What’s your biggest regret so far?
  9. What has been your lowest point?
  10. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
  11. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  12. Think of the last time you were angry. Why were you angry and how did you react?
  13. Is there something you’re ashamed of? Are you prepared to share it here?
  14. What have you learned that you think other people should know about?
  15. What did you dream of being when you grew up?
  16. What have you been thinking about lately?
  17. What gives you butterflies in your stomach?
  18. What’s the one thing you’d like to change about the world?
  19. What do you like to do in your spare time, on weekends?
  20. Name one thing you’ve done that has made a positive difference to someone else.
  21. What one question do you wish I had asked you today?

That’s it. Easy-peasy, right? 😉 Looking forward to hearing from you.

By the way, in the next post I’ll be stepping up to the mark. Well, I can’t expect other people to volunteer if I haven’t sacrificed myself first, can I? Cue sweaty palms and palpitations….

Email : STWYMO@gmail.com

Twitter @NiamhSTWYMO

Or leave a comment.

What’s it all about?

Welcome to Show Them What You’re Made Of  (STWYMO). The aim of this blog is to promote positive mental health by re-igniting our empathy and strengthening our connections to each other.

Every one of us knows what it feels like to be lonely and isolated from other people. Luckily, for most of us, those feelings are fleeting. But for some of us, they are constant companions, ever-present demons haunting our lives. We all know, if ignored, they can lead on to depression, anxiety, addiction, and suicide.

file000939307933We get caught up in our ordinary lives, racing from homes and families, to jobs and friends. In the midst of all this, we sometimes forget to see the people around us. We like to think of ourselves as empathic, caring, understanding people but sometimes we just forget. Above the noise of life, we just don’t hear the people who need to be heard most.

“The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: Me too.” This is according to Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, whose viral TED talks on the power of vulnerability and listening to shame partly inspired this blog. (See links on the sidebar.)

holding hands

For many years before coming across those talks, I wondered how we could get to a place where we could let down our guards and be more open about our struggles, our failures, our shame so that not one of us would feel that there was no-one who would understand us in our darkest hours.

The idea behind this blog is that brave people share parts of their story so that those who feel they can’t share with anyone might see that, yes, there are others out there who have felt what I feel, who have thought the things that I think; that I am not abnormal, weird, unwell; that there are others in the world who might listen and understand if I choose to let them hear me.

So I invite you to be courageous, share your story with me and help that one scared person who reads it and hears “Me too” in your words.

Email : STWYMO@gmail.com

Twitter : NiamhSTWYMO

Or leave a comment.