My recent post called Why do I blog? might fool you into thinking I’m an actual blogger. But, in reality, I’m only a newbie, still learning the ropes. I keep expecting someone to burst in at any moment and shout, “HEY! What are you doing?! You can’t be blogging! Who do you think you are? You’re not good enough!”
So I was both shocked and honoured when Living a Lung Life nominated me for The Liebster Award.
If you haven’t heard of The Liebster award before, you’re probably picturing red carpet and a trophy; perhaps some handshaking with important people while photographers clamour to take pictures.
If that’s the case, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
The Liebster Award isn’t an actual award. It’s more like a virtual fist bump from one blogger to another, in recognition of good blogging. (But seriously, how exciting! Another blogger thinks my blog is good!)
The Liebster award (Google says the German word ‘Liebster’ means ‘most loved’ / sweetheart / endearing) was conceived as a way for experienced bloggers to recognise and encourage talented newbie bloggers.
If you accept your Liebster Award nomination, you write a blog post answering a set list of questions, kind of like a strange award acceptance speech. Then you choose some other bloggers to encourage, setting them new questions to answer. The whole process exposes your blog to new readers, and helps both new and old readers to get to know you a little better. Plus, there’s the whole someone thought my blog was good enough to nominate me for an award thing…
Below are the questions I’ve been asked to answer (aka, my acceptance speech).
1. Who has been the most influential person in your life & why?
There have been a lot of influential people in my life, but the most influential would be my parents. (Yes, I’m seriously starting my acceptance speech with, “I’d like to thank my Mum and Dad…”)
My parents taught me about generosity, and compassion, and fairness, and grace; not only with their words, but also with their actions. They also took me camping, and showed me outback Australia. My Mum taught me how to cook and craft, and my Dad taught me how to use computers and power tools. Most importantly, they both taught me about God, which affects how I view myself (the dignity I believe I have, what I believe I am capable of, what I believe my purpose is) and how I view the world around me (how I treat others, what I do / don’t expect out of life). Honestly, whenever anyone compliments me on my character, I always feel like pointing to my parents and saying, “Actually, thank them“.
2. How does your family cope with your illness?
My Mum has several chronic illnesses, and was sick while I was growing up, so my parents are very experienced with the chronic illness life. They’re super compassionate, and very helpful. Extended family find it a little harder to understand, as they haven’t had as much exposure.
3. What’s your favourite clothing item that you couldn’t live without?
Also, the rainbow pashmina scarf that my sister B gave me. It was made in Turkey, and it’s so soft! When I’m not wearing it, it’s hanging on the cupboard door in my bedroom, which I can see when I’m stuck in bed. It’s brightly coloured, and it makes me happy to look at it.
4. Who was your best teacher & why?
Oh, this is a hard one! I went to an amazing place for most of my school years, and the majority of the teachers there were passionate and wonderful. The one who first popped into my mind when I read this question was my Yr 7 music teacher. I’ve been playing piano since I was 6 years old, which translated into a lot of sitting around in school music classes while everyone else stuck notated masking tape onto their keyboards in an attempt to learn which key was which note.
But this teacher didn’t leave me to rot away at the back of the classroom like a forgotten carrot in the bottom of the fridge. Instead, he used music classes as an opportunity to teach me syncopation (a tricky rhythm). It was difficult to master, but he was patient, and I still remember the day I got it. I mentally thank him whenever I’m playing an epic syncopated piece on the piano.
(Side note: who invented melodicas (those small keyboards with hoses that you blow into to make noise)? Please, if you are a teacher, do not buy a class set of these. In the hands of a kid, one of these sounds bad. Thirty of them all howling discordantly could be a kind of medieval torture technique).
5. What value do your friends add to your (quality of) life?
I have ‘geographically present’ friends (most of which are also part of my Church family). I have friends who live far away. I have friends that I’ve never met ‘in real life’, but have gotten to know through online chronic illness groups and blogs. All of them add a value to my quality of life that cannot be measured ❤
6. If you are on medication, what is the worst side effect?
I currently take three different medications, and two supplements. But, after the initial weaning-on period, none of them have given me any problematic side effects.
I’ve tried a lot of medications in my 12 years of chronic illness though, particularly during the first 6 or 7 years, while I wasn’t correctly diagnosed. Most of them had horrible side effects. Probably the most memorable was the medication that made me hallucinate. Sitting in my bedroom, I would see pink poodles snuffling my carpet, tiny purple spaceships zooming around, and little green men abseiling up and rappelling down my bedroom walls. When my Mum walked in, I complained that I was having a staring contest with the green man sitting on the end of my bed, but he was cheating, because he didn’t need to blink.
7. What is your favourite time of the day?
My body hates mornings, but I love listening to the birds when I wake up 🙂
8. Preference : writing, reading, watching?
I love all three! I obviously like writing, because, well… blogging!
But I think the reason I love writing is because I love reading. My Mum was the school librarian when I was growing up, and both my parents are avid readers. I grew up reading books like other people grew up playing sport. However, I’m also a very visual person (hence my infographic and comic series), so I love watching things too. I have a photographic memory (when my brain isn’t lost in brain fog), so watching allows me to store things away for later.
9. What is one aspect of your life that you are most proud of?
I had to think really hard to answer this question.
I left it until last, and I still couldn’t answer it.
I realised it’s because, for me, each day seems to be filled with little victories and failures. Some days there are more wins, other days there are more losses. It was easy to think of a recent little victory that made me proud, but I couldn’t think of an entire aspect of my life that made me proud, because I constantly win and lose in every aspect, due to my health. The things that make me proud of myself, like cooking a delicious but healthy meal for Mr Happy, or helping a student master a tricky piano skill, are also the things that most frustrate me, because I’m often unable to do them (or unable to do them well enough to make me feel proud of myself).
And then it hit me: my teamwork with Mr Happy is the aspect of my life that I am most proud of. Because no matter how many little victories or failures there are in a day, for either of us, we work together. We use our strengths to support the other in their weaknesses. It doesn’t matter if it’s housework, teaching preparation, ministry, or just basic ‘getting through the day’. We’re a team.
10. What makes you laugh until you pee?
Generally something funny that’s also surprising or unexpected. Either that, or I’m seriously overtired (in which case, everything is hilarious).
11. Name the one part of your body you love the most ?
Hmm. Before I had to cut it super short because of my health, I probably would have said my hair. But now… I’d probably nominate my dark eyes, long dark eyelashes, or olive skin as my favourite. Being half Lebanese does have perks (even if you can’t eat any of the yummy food anymore)!
So ends my acceptance speech.
Now I’d like to bestow the Liebster Award upon the following bloggers:
Diksha ~ A Writer’s Cauldron
Jena ~ A Broken Crayon
“Dr Wife” ~ De Morbo Sacro
Lauren ~ mymsdiaries
Kristin ~ Kristin Wagner
Ariel ~ Little Fish Outta Water
And the (so far) anonymous ~ A Spoonful Of Salt
Since this post is already long, I’ll pop the questions for your ‘acceptance speech’, along with the rules, down in the comment section below.