SISTERHOOD OF THE WORLD BLOGGERS AWARD

sisterhood

The lovely Carys of Cariad Carys was kind enough to gift me with the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award recently! It works like this:

Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site. Put the award logo on your blog. Answer the ten questions sent to you. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer. Nominate seven blogs.

I’m going to put my answers under a cut, since they got a little wordy in places.

1. What is your earliest memory?

This is a toughie for me because I actually don’t remember much of anything before I was 7 or 8, and what I do remember is so fragmented it’s difficult to tell what might have come first. One that does stand out, though, is trying to read my “rainy day” books before I was allowed to. I was one of those children who has more energy than was good for them (and definitely more energy than was good for my parents), and my mother used to keep a stash of “rainy day books” to pacify me on days when it was too wet or cold to go outside. Naturally, though, waiting wasn’t a concept little four year old Nezzy liked very much, so when my mother would take the laundry outside on not-so-wet days, I would wait until she left the room, then push a chair up to the kitchen counter, climb onto it, climb onto the counter, and raid the top cupboards for whatever book might be stashed there. I would then try to read it (they looked like this, and weren’t too hard for a kid to speed-read) before Mum could come back with the empty laundry basket.

Basically I was a tiny terror and I’m both amazed and grateful that my mother never tried to drown me in the bath. That’s another thing I remember from my childhood– I had a little plastic bath with three bears on it. I loved that damn thing. Anything to do with bears, actually; I don’t remember this one, but I had little Mary-Jane shoes with bears on the soles, and much to mum’s understandable distress, I would randomly whip the shoes off to kiss the bears.

I credit this for my fairly fabulous immune system. (Kissing the soles of my bloody shoes– kids are mental, aren’t they?!)

 

2. You are given £1000 (or relevant currency) and told that you must spend it within 24 hours or the remainder will be taken back. What do you do with the cash?!
There are two answers to this: one sensible, and one boring. If my credit card balance was looking particularly ropey, I’d use it for that. It makes sense, after all– presumably you’ve been using your card to buy things you love, so it’s not like wasting the money. I won a few bob on the Lotto once (no, really) and used it to pay off my credit card straight away.

Assuming my card balance was healthy, though… I’d be straight off to BTs (think Saks 5th Avenue, but Irish). I’d hit the makeup counters, then the Hermes concession (for more scarves!), and then with whatever was left, I’d buy my mother a new iPad to make up for being such a terrible snot of a child when I was little.

 

3. What first attracted you to the world of blogging?
Initially, it was mostly about finding an audience for my writing and to encourage me to write something every day. Now, though, it’s more about expression, and the chance to be part of something that’s fun and creative. I really love it when someone comments on one of my reviews or general posts and says it’s been of use to them. It’s nice to do something that’s both fun for me and useful to other people.

 

4. Given the nature of this award, what does the word ‘sisterhood’ mean to you?
This is an interesting one for me– since I’m an only child, I don’t have any actual, real sisters. I go kind of back and forth on this one, because to me the concept of a Sisterhood is based on being understanding and supportive of one another… But I don’t think that necessarily needs to be a gendered concept. Things would be vastly better if everyone were kinder to one another and more supportive of one another, whether it’s a sister or a brother.

I suppose in the end, to me, “Sisterhood” is about respecting other women and allowing them freedom of choice, without subjecting them to mockery or contempt for those choices. We all have our negative opinions (I promise you, I am full of them), but there’s no need to bash other people with them, either. It makes me incredibly sad when I see career girls tearing down stay-at-home mothers, or when I see conservative, traditional ladies attacking other women for being sexually promiscuous ladettes.

Most of the people complaining this way are lucky enough to live in a free society, and us people in that position should thank our lucky stars every day that if we see someone else engaging in a behaviour we don’t like, we don’t have to participate. That’s the beauty of freedom of choice. Don’t want to gyrate on men with your tongue out? You don’t have to! Don’t want to stay home minding kids? You don’t have to! Whatever it is you don’t want to do, don’t. Never let anyone force you into doing something you don’t want to… But don’t shame other women because they have chosen to do it, either.

If a fellow sister is doing something that’s not hurting you, support her choice to do what makes her feel happy. If we enable girls (and guys too, for that matter) to only do the things that make them feel satisfied and content, then we don’t even have to worry about “bad role models” any more, since people would be less likely to blindly follow whatever was cool if it it didn’t leave them personally satisfied.

TL;DR: sisterhood, to me, is about supporting a woman’s right to make choices about her path in life, whether you’d make the same choices or different ones in her place.

 

5. Would you rather have a seven tier pizza or a seven tier chocolate cake?
CAKE. No contest. And no, you can’t have any. Mine. All of it. All the cake for Nez. It’s just so chocolatey…! (I warned you I was an only child.)

Sister-Assumpta
me, last easter. just kidding. it was the easter before!
(image from joe.ie)


6. What moment in your life changed you as a person?

I actually left this question to come back to it twice– first while I was doing the questions from the beginning, and then again when I got to the end and still didn’t have an answer. I came back a few days later to see if I could think of something good to say here, but unfortunately… I don’t.

The thing is, I can’t think of a single moment that stands out? I don’t think there’s any one incident that’s contributed to my personality or behaviour in a way that’s obviously greater than all the others. Can most people really track the core traits of their personality back to a single event or moment? I find that hard to– Well, if not hard to believe (other people would know their situations better than I would), I certainly find it very hard to imagine.

I’m of the feeling that every step in my life has added to my experience, and that every experience has shaped my who I am as a person. Of course the big life events like changing school or meeting a life-long friend might have had a greater impact than the time I picked up the groceries last week– but was one school experience more influencing than another, or has one friend had more impact than all the others?

It’s really hard for me to quantify these things, so all I can say is that I feel like every moment in my life has been a stepping-stone to the next, and each of those moments has been a building block in making me the person I am today. Sure, some of those blocks might be bigger and shinier than the others, but all of them count, and all of them help to make me who I am today.

 

7. What are your top tips for relaxation for on-the-go women who might read this?
Probably the only relaxation tip I can give to anyone: is don’t take on too much. Know your limits, and stick to them. If I took on half the responsibilities that my friends and relatives do (and I don’t even mean real responsibilities, I just mean things like agreeing to go places and see people), I’d have been dead before I hit thirty. I only commit to things I know I can do– because I will try to do them even if I can’t, and the combination of effort exerted and failure regardless will kill me. So before I commit to anything at all, I look at my available hours and energy level, and make the decision based on that rather than on how much I want to do the thing, or how much I feel I should do it.

I feel more prepared this way. I am more prepared this way. I was always that girl who had her essay finished the week it was assigned, whose costumes are finished a week before the con, and who knows exactly which drawer the emergency flashlight is in. There have been exceptions, naturally– god knows I’m not perfect. Due to its importance, I was gripped by such a paralytic terror of my Senior Thesis that I ended up waiting until the week it was due to begin writing it. (Amusingly, this was actually the topic of my next thesis, the one for my Masters: what psychological factors affect how likely a person is to get a project finished on time. Fascinating stuff, as it happens.) Last year I signed up to go to a convention only six weeks beforehand, and barely got my costumes finished before I had to pack them. Like everyone else, I mess up sometimes. But I make a lot of to-do lists, so generally I’m on top of things, and that keeps me afloat.

I guess I have a helpful tip for that, too: if you are a list-maker like me, include fun or easy things on your to-do list. Ticking things off your list makes you feel successful, which gives you momentum, so it can be surprisingly helpful to add things to your list that are easily accomplished– or even things you’ve already accomplished, just so you can tick them off right away. Scheduling things like “Try a new recipe” or “Visit Mum” or “Read another few chapters of that book you’re enjoying right now” means you get your business done– and have a little fun, too.

 

8. Do you have any unusual guilty pleasures?
Straight up no. I believe that if anything makes you happy (assuming it hurts nobody– if your happy comes from stealing candy from babies, I’m not talking to you), then you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

I do believe in keeping things to their appropriate places, though, so there are things I enjoy that I would discuss in some places and not others. There’s a big difference, to me, in feeling guilty about something and feeling something’s not an appropriate topic of conversation for a particular group or place unless someone else brings it up and everyone else is interested.

 

9. Where would you visit if you had the opportunity?
I’m hoping to see Iceland, maybe this year! I’ve already been to a lot of the places I really want to see (Tokyo, New York, Paris, Cairo), but I think I’d like to also visit mainland Europe a little bit (Switzerland and Germany in particular) and explore the West Coast of the States a little more.

 

10. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
That’s a big question. I suppose by then I’d like to be in a position to split my time between Ireland and somewhere warmer. I’d like to be somewhat successful with my writing. I’d like to be ten pounds lighter. Everything else can stay the same.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with where my life is at right now.

 

Those were pretty awesome questions, Carys! Thanks for those– I hope mine are even in the same ballpark of insightful:

1. How close do you keep the remote when watching TV?
2. What’s the first thing you do when you come home after a long day?
3. What’s your favourite word?
4. What job or career would be your worst nightmare?
5. What style quirk (hairdo, makeup item, silhouette) has stayed with you the longest?
6. How addicted to social media are you, on a scale of 1 to 10?
7. Have you ever fought with someone over the temperature in the room?
8. What website would you miss most if your internet was out for a week?
9. Would you rather live in the time of fifty years into the future, or fifty years into the past?
10. What’s your favourite memory of an experience of sisterhood?

And the nominees are:
talkerblogger
sarahlovesmakeup
sayhellotogorgeous
acasualbeauty
30isthenewohnevermind
simplythebetsy
ellyseesworld

Thanks again to Carys, and I hope the people I’ve chosen have fun answering the questions! Please feel under absolutely no obligation to answer or post, but I’d like for you guys to know that I’m enjoying your blog. ♥

-A-

2 Comments

  1. Posted January 29, 2015 at 19:15 | Permalink | Reply

    I am so thrilled that you accepted this because your answers are wonderful. Thank you for being so open and detailed, it made for great reading! Your questions for the nominees are imaginative and exciting. I look forward to their answers! Cx

    • Posted February 1, 2015 at 07:04 | Permalink | Reply

      Aw, thank you so much. ❤

      I have just now realised that I forgot to notify people, so I shall have to go around and do that today! Hope you're having a lovely weekend. :3

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