Du bist mein Liebster means you are my favorite or my dearest. The Liebster Award is designed to recognize bloggers with fewer than 1000 followers (some versions say 200, some say 3000; there are varying opinions) and to introduce them to more readers. I want to thank Sandie from GettingrealwithPTSD for nominating me. Her blog addresses issues of mental health and trauma. She also shares interesting articles on these topics and now and then slips in something about animals as well.
According to the “rules” of the award, I am supposed to answer five questions my nominator posed, and then nominate others to answer my questions. Naturally this is entirely optional. (Special note to those who feel guilty for not meeting others’ expectations: optional means TRULY optional; I won’t be upset if you don’t pass it along.)
1. What has been the most surprising aspect of blogging that you didn’t expect when you first began?
I really started my blog with no particular plan, just looking for a place to play around with the craziness in my head. Then I started reading the blogs others wrote, and suddenly I realized that there were many (too many) others with similar experiences and pain. This was such a help to me; it helped to normalize my experience. I know this played a big part in accepting that disrupted, incomplete memories could be true, something I’d battled for years. And over the months I’ve been on WordPress, I’ve come to know people I’ve never met but nevertheless care about.
2. Who or what makes you laugh? Tell why.
My sister. She is two years younger than me. Our lives are pretty different, but when we get together, we get silly and laugh until the tears run down our faces and our stomachs hurt. She is a blessing to me in so many ways.
3. What book would you like everyone to read? Tell why.
Ah! There are so many; I can’t pick just one. Here are just a few that spring to mind.
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. This is one of my all-time favorites. It reminds me in some ways of work by Tolstoy, connecting the lives of a few individuals to enormous historical events. In this case, the events take place in India, and the central characters represent different social positions in a country that is rapidly changing. It’s a long book, intense (be prepared to cry), and an example of what the best literature does: make you think about life, fate, and choice.
A Visit from the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan. This is probably my favorite of all the books we’ve read in my book group. The chapters jump around in time and focus on different characters that, you start to realize as you read on, intersect with one another in various ways (in some ways, it reminds me of the Robert Altman film Short Cuts, except over a much longer period of time). What most amazed me about this book is that there is a chapter in PowerPoint, and it is probably the most moving chapter of the whole book (perhaps especially for me, since I have a son with autism).
Deep Dark Down: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle that Set Them Free by Hector Torbar. I picked this up reluctantly, thinking what could be that interesting? After all, we all know that they got out in the end. But I tried it anyway because a friend of mine recommended it so highly, and I trust her judgment. To my surprise, despite knowing the ending, I found it fascinating and even suspenseful. Torbar is very skilled at bringing to life to the thoughts and worries of individual miners and their families. He also reminds readers of what it means to cling to hope when there’s no evidence that relief will come. I went on to recommend it to my husband, and he read it twice in a row.
I could go on, but maybe that’s a topic for another post.
4. If you could invite one famous person to tea (or beverage of your choice) who would it be and why?
Hmm, maybe Terry Gross? For those of you who don’t listen to the US-based National Public Radio, Terry Gross conducts unusually insightful interviews with authors, directors, musicians and actors on her radio program Fresh Air. She is smart and gets to the core beliefs and motivations of artists and cultural leaders. I can listen to her for hours and be learning things all the time.
5. If you knew you would be going to be stranded on a deserted island, what would you take with you (besides items needed to live and survive)? In other words, what non-essentials would you consider essential? There is no Wifi.
Paper and pens. It is through writing that I know what I think.
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Here’s my list of nominees. Dear nominees, I think you are awesome. If you don’t feel like answering the questions and passing on the award, no worries. It would be great, though, if people would check out different blogs listed here. For those I didn’t nominate–some of you I nominated earlier for the Versatile Blogger Award, or you are an award-free blog, or I missed it this time and apologize. But I read you and appreciate you so much.
On therapy, healing and the long-term effects of trauma:
On mental health and living with or caring for someone with mental illness:
On gender and sexuality:
Please check out these excellent blogs. For those of you who want to answer questions, here are my questions for you:
#1. If you could achieve one thing with your blog, what would that be?
#2. What issues have you considered writing about on your blog but not yet addressed, and why?
#3. What book(s) do you think more people should be reading?
#4. Given the many good blogs out there, how do you decide which ones to read regularly?
#5. A year from now, what you like to see happening in your life?
And thanks to everyone for the time and effort you put into your blogs. Ich liebe Euch alle; I love you all.