39 Odd Things About Me

I found this survey on several other blogs and thought I’d participate. I don’t know who created it. It’s originally called “40 Odd Things About Me” but there was no question #31, so I corrected it.

1. Do you like bleu cheese? No.

2. Coke or Pepsi? Neither. I don’t like soft drinks.

3. Do you own a gun? No.

4. What flavor of Koolaid? I don’t think Koolaid even exists here in the Netherlands. If you mean lemonade, I don’t care for it but the one I’d drink if I had to is raspberry.

5. Hot dogs? Yes!

6. Favorite TV show? I rarely watch TV.

7. Do you believe in ghosts? No.

8. What do you drink in the morning? Black coffee or water.

9. Can you do a push-up? No way!

10. Favorite Jewelry? My wedding ring.

11. Favorite hobby? Writing.

12. Do you have ADD/ADHD? Maybe. I definitely am disorganized but I’m not hyperactive. If I don’t have ADD, I’m pretty sure I have some type of executivve functioning disorder.

13. Do you wear glasses? No (they wouldn’t help my sight anyway).

14. Favorite cartoon character? Donald Duck. Is he a Dutch invention?

15. What three things have you done today? Done my morning routine, gone to day activities, read blogs.

16. Three drinks you drink all the time? Water, coffee and green tea.

17. Current health worries. Don’t know.

18. Do you believe in magic? A little.

19. Favorite place to be? The sensory room at day activities.

20. How did you bring in the New Year? I don’t remember.

21. Where would you like to visit? The USA.

22. Name four people that will play along: I don’t know.

23. Favorite movies? I don’t watch movies.

24. Favorite color? Blue and green.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I don’t know.

26. Can you whistle? No.

27. Where are you now? Home.

28. Where would you rather be? Somewhere cooler.

29. Favorite food: Chicken.

30. Least favorite chore? Vacuuming.

31. What’s in your pockets? I’m wearing a skirt and T-shirt, so no pockets.

32. Last thing that made you laugh? Reading these questions on another blog.

33. Favorite animal? Cats when it comes to pets, dolphins when it comes to wildlife animals.

34. What’s your most recent injury? Hitting my toe on the elliptical three weeks ago. It still hurts.

35. How many TV’s are in your house? One.

36. Worst pain ever? My collarbone fracture.
37. Do you like to dance? Yes but I can’t.
38. Are your parents still alive? Yes.
39. Do you enjoy camping? No.

#IWSG: What I Love to Read and Write

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means it’s time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG) post. I forgot about it altogether until I saw another blogger post their #IWSG post.

This past month, I’ve not been writing much. I published only nine blog posts here and overall haven’t been very active in writing on the Internet at all. I did try out several new writing apps, but none suited me. Maybe that’s because I’d still have to actually have something to write on.

This month’s optional question for the #IWSG post is about your favorite genre to read and write. The question is probably mostly geard towards fiction writers, but I don’t care. I’m going to answer it anyway.

With regards to reading, the genre I read most often is memoir. However, the genre I enjoy most reading is young adult, specifically novels about social issues. I rarely read fiction geared towards older adults, though I’ve come to read it some more recently. In general, the topics I most like to read about are legal and medical issues.

With respect to writing, well, I hardly write fiction anymore, if at all. I would love to try my hand at poetry again soon, but am finding it hard to know where to start. I mean, poetry when I was a teen used to be just a story with random line breaks inserted, but that’s not what it is.

My favorite genre to write in, hence, is memoir. On this blog, I most enjoy writing the personal reflections. Particularly though, the letters I’ve written to myself have been the most interesting to write. It’s sad that my personal reflections are not among the most popular posts on my blog.

So You Know (May 20, 2019)

I discovered Revenge of Eve’s So You Know (S.Y.K.) last week through another participant. However, I would’ve been terribly late to participate in that week’s installment. Today, I looked up the questions for this week and am on time to join in. The idea behind S.Y.K. is that Candice, the creator, poses a set of questions, which other bloggers get to answer. Here goes.

1. How long have you blogged? What is the anniversary?
It’s complicated. I have had a blog on WordPress ever since February 21, 2007. However, I moved my content from an online diary to WordPress then, so on that blog, it looks like I’ve had a blog ever since 2002. The blog you are reading now is ten months old, with its anniversary being July 25. However, I’ve had this subdomain ever since 2011 and had a blog on it then too.

2. What was your original purpose for beginning a blog?
My original reason for transferring from an online diary to WordPresss was to make my posts less personal and more essay-like. I would put my diary-style posts under the category of “Personal”, so that my parents and others who did not want to read my navel-gazing, could skip it. My original purpose with A Multitude of Musings was the exact opposite, to have a diary where I could be completely myself (and my alters could be themselves).

3. Did you research about blogging before establishing your own?
No. I didn’t even know that some bloggers did. I started most of the blogs I’ve had so far on a whim.

4. Has your purpose evolved or changed directions? If so, what was the determining factor for the change?
My purpose is still the same, but I am more aware of my audience. This may be a reason my alters don’t feel as comfortable sharing right now.

5. What determines your measure of success as far as blogging is concerned?
I must admit I rely a little too much on my stats to determine this. I would really love to resort back to writing just for me, as I did on the online diary site, which after all didn’t even have a commenting feature. However, now that I’ve had a blog for twelve years, I cannot even write in a private diary without having an audience in mind.

Sunshine Blogger Award Again

Yay, I was nominated for a blog award again. Jill from Food, Feelings, Freedom nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. I had already been nominated for this award about eight months ago, but am so happy for another award nomination. The idea of this award is that Jill poses eleven questions, which I have to answer. Then, I get to nominate eleven more bloggers and ask them eleven questions. Here are Jill’s questions.

1. What do you do when you’re having a bad day?

It depends. When I’m having a bad day, I mostly feel like sleeping, but I try to do other things to cheer myself up too.

2. What is one thing you are most proud of?

My writing abilities.
3. Do you have any pets? Want any?

Yes, my husband and I have a cat named Barry. I’d someday love to have a dog too.
4. What are three values you consider most important?

Respect, kindness, honesty. I think I got this question sometime a few months ago too, but can’t remember where I answered it, so I cannot look up whether I said the same then.
5. What are some of your hobbies?

Writing, reading, using the Internet.
6. What is one thing you would tell your childhood self?

Follow your heart! In other words, don’t do what others expect you to do if it doesn’t align with your feelings.
7. What is your favourite quotation?

I like many quotes, both funny and inspirational. My favorite quote is by Madeleine L’Engle and is about the fact that, the richer a character, the fuller of contradiction it is.
8. Where do you see yourself (what do you hope for your future) in 5 years?
I hope I’ll be living in a supported housing placement, doing day activities I like (at my current place maybe).
9. What is your biggest fear?
I guess abandonment.
10. What aspect of your life are you currently working on? (Work? Personal? Health?)
Mental health and finding an appropriate living situation.
11. What is a risk you took that paid off?
I don’t really know right now.

I am late writing this post, as Jill nominated me last week. I am also having a nasty cold as I write this, so I’m not up for a big challenge. For this reason, I originally didn’t intend on nominating anyone specifically. I thought for a bit that I should do it anyway, as leaving the nomination open seems annoying to me. However, screw it. I’m nominating the first eleven WordPress bloggers to see this post. Here are my questions for you.

  1. What is your biggest achievement in life?
  2. If you were to choose a college major now, which would you choose?
  3. Are you more a cat person, a dog person or maybe you’re a rattlesnake person?
  4. What’s your favorite color?
  5. Have you ever been to a farm?
  6. Are you a city, small town or rural area person?
  7. What is your taste in music like?
  8. How old were you when you spoke your first word?
  9. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  10. What is your favorite mythical character?
  11. How long have you been blogging?

#IWSG: Post-A2Z Ramblings

And yay, it’s May! It’s time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG) day again. As you may have noticed, I didn’t write for the past few days. As such, I didn’t finish the A to Z Challenge. I am still thinking of doing at least the letter Z post, for which I have a cool theme.

The reason I didn’t finish A to Z is that, on Saturday, when I was supposed to do the letter X post, I was off to my parents’ all day. I didn’t get home till past 11PM and, though I had my phone with me, I didn’t really have time to write at my parents’. That’s a good thing in a way, in that I didn’t feel the need to retreat. Usually I do feel that need, as I find conversing in general and with my parents in particular challenging. Now, not so.

I had a good visit with my parents. No hard questions. We did discuss my life a bit, but mostly it was about my premature birth and what has become of my treating neonatologist. I think I mentioned in my letter Q post that I wasn’t even sure he’s still alive. Well, he is, as he’s still a member of the Dutch Pediatric Society. I assume he no longer practises as a doctor though.

Then on Sunday, I felt just too tired to write. If it had been an easier letter I’d have to write on, I might’ve found the motivation to catch up that day, still giving me two days to complete my letter Y and Z posts. Well, it didn’t happen. Then on Monday, I spent the day at day activities and then was off to my in-laws. Yesterday, I started to write a different post, but got frustrated with my Mac and iPhone again, so I didn’t write then either.

My husband encourages me to finish the challenge late, so that at least I have some sense of succeeding rather than feel I failed the challenge yet again. I understand his point of view, but I have several other posts I want to write. So, we’ll see.

Who Am I Right Now?: Exploring My Identities #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to day 23 in the #AtoZChallenge. I had a topic for my W post in mind for a few weeks, but then wasn’t sure whether to pick that one. I am doing so anyway. Today, I am exploring the things that make me me. My “identities” can, of course, refer to my alters too, but I covered that topic in my letter M post already. Today, I am exploring my different roles.

I am a daughter. My parents are still both alive. I was a granddaughter (and some would say I still am), though my last living grandparent died in 2018. I am a sister and an aunt-to-be, since my sister is 20 weeks pregnant.

I am a wife. I have been together with my husband nearly 11 years and married over seven. My husband is by far the most important person in my life. Through him, I am also a daughter-in-law and sister-in-law. My mother-in-law is the second most important person currently involved in my life.

I am a blogger. I’ve had one blog or another ever since 2007 and really have been an online writer since 2002. I am also an author, though I’ve had only one small piece published in an anthology. It makes me proud nonetheless.

I am an advocate. Though I don’t engage in as much activism as I used to about ten years ago, I still consider myself a disability, mental health and autistic rights advocate.

I am a believer. Though I subscribe to “something-ism”, it does help me to feel connected to a higher power.

I am mentally ill. I am autistic. I am blind. I am multiply-disabled. I am a benefits claimant. I am a service user at a day center for people with intellectual disabilities.

These last few identities may be the most defining of me when I tend to introduce myself. That’s why I listed them last here. I need to learn to focus on the others.

Voice: Expressing Myself Through This Blog #AtoZChallenge

Welcoem to the letter V post in the #AtoZChallenge. This letter was very hard. No topic came to mind spontaneously, except for “vision loss”, which I already covered in my letter B post. So I looked at a book of journaling prompts which has, among other things, a prompt for each letter of the alphabet. The prompt for V was “Voice”. The attached question was to write about something you’ve always wanted to tell someone. I am instead going to write about the way I use this blog to express myself.

When I started this blog, I intended for it to be as free and open as a public place on the Internet could be. I didn’t want to feel limited by beliefs about what should be blog-worthy. In a way, I wanted this blog to be as authentic as my first online diary was, before I knew the impact of sharing stuff online. I would, of course, take care to avoid using people’s real names – something I didn’t do back then -, but I would not keep much hidden to prevent getting criticism.

Now, nine months on, I must say I reached this goal most of the time. Of course, there are still things I don’t share on here, but those are things that shouldn’t go on the Internet at all mostly. Like, I don’t go about describing an argument I had with my husband. In this sense, it is good that my blog isn’t like my first online diary, in which I did describe every argument with my parents.

I still do care a little about the quality of my posts, but that’s not bad. I mean, maybe I wish I were as open as some of my online friends are on their blogs, sharing stuff I share in small E-mail groups on here. That probably won’t happen. My inner critic is too harsh for that, and I don’t even know whether that’s a bad thing.

#IWSG: The Ebb and Flow of My Writing

This is going to be a quick post, as it’s already 9PM and I’m off to bed soon. I have to check in with the #IWSG community though. I did plan on writing, but then my time and energy got taken up by the A to Z Challenge. I don’t know how the other writers who participate in both, do it.

I wanted to touch on something I’ve discovered regarding my motivation for writing. At the beginning of each month, it’s usually much higher than at the end. Readers of my blog can see this by the number of blog posts I write per week.

I have yet to figure out what is causing this decline in motivation. Or is it inspiration? I don’t know. There are enough prompts and ideas to choose from to write about for each day of the month.

I noticed also that, when I started this blog, I had a lot more inspiration and motivation than I did after even a month. It can’t be because I touched on every topic I wanted to cover already, as I didn’t. But why then is it so? I am not going to answer this question right here, but this is something I need to think on in the coming month.

In contrast to this, I do manage to write something almost everyday. It just isn’t always blog-worthy. Or I think it isn’t. Which is strange, since, when starting this blog, I didn’t give blog-worthiness a thought. Well, now apparently I do.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Theme Reveal

Yay, it’s that time of year again! Ever since 2010, bloggers have gathered every April to share posts each day of the week except Sundays and with the blog post titles reflecting the letters of the alphabet.

I discovered the #AtoZChallenge in 2015 and participated in it that year and in 2016 with the themes of autism and mental health respectively. In both 2017 and 2018, I started on the challenge with the aim of finishing it, but I didn’t. In 2017, the reason was the theme I’d chosen – autism again, while I was undergoing re-assessment for it and not sure I’d be diagnosed again. In 2018, I stopped posting as I reached the letter Q post, because the topic I’d chosen for it suddenly felt unsafe.

In 2018, I chose “random reflections” as my theme. I am going to choose that theme again this year, but call it differently. In keeping with my blog title, my theme for 2019 will be: A to Z of Miscellaneous Musings.

I hope to share a glimpse into my life and mind with these musings. I hope I won’t be held back by my own inner critic again this time.

As a side note, I apologize if I wasn’t supposed to select 2015 as my first year of having participated in the challenge, since that wasn’t on this blog.

I hope to see a ton of old and new blogging friends participating in the challenge this year. Enjoy!

Gratitude List (January 4, 2019) #TToT

Yay, it’s time for my gratitude list with #TToT once again. I am also linking up with the Word of the Day Challenge, for which the prompt is “gratitude” today. Do you want to know what I’ve been grateful for lately? I love to share!

1. Two wonderful full days at day activities between Christmas and New Year’s. There were only about five clients there each day and two staff. On Thursday, I went for a walk with one of the staff. We also ate pancakes for lunch. On Friday, the staff drove the center’s van to a restaurant in a nearby village, where we had a drink. I had hot chocolate with whipped cream. One of the clients from my group, an older man who used to drink beers with his friends regularly before he declined from a brain injury, had an alcohol-free beer. I could tell he thoroughly enjoyed the experience. So did I.

2. Resting over the week-end. I was pretty tired from all the Christmassy stuff by last week Saturday. So was my husband, so we chose to have a lie-in. I normally feel bad about getting up at like noon and my husband doesn’t like it either, but neither of us minded.

3. Oil balls or whatever the English term is. These are fried balls made of the same stuff that pancakes are made of. They’re a traditional New Year’s snack here. I was nauseated from them for days, but who cares?

4. Not having gained any weight over the holiday season. That is, I may’ve lost then gained some or vice versa, but in any case I was at the exact same weight last Monday that I’d been in early November. I already mentioned this last Monday, but I’m still so grateful for it.

5. A long walk with my mother-in-law. On Wednesday, she visited me and we went for a walk into the next village. This was about a 5km walk that took us 70 minutes.

6. Horseback riding with my support worker. Yesterday, for the first time in a while, my support worker was available to assist me as I rode the horse. It was truly a lovely trip. While waiting on the taxi back home, a young man from my day activities came into the canteen. Once she’d made out that we knew each other, his staff prompted him: “Who’s that?” I was delighted to hear him say “Astrid!” I only see this man on one of my days at day activities and I hadn’t expected him to recognize me, so it was truly lovely that he did.

7. Fried chicken. Yesterday, my husband cooked a rather boring meal of macaroni with bell peppers and leek. He surprised me at the end by saying that, if I admitted this was the most delicious meal I’d ever had, he might have some chicken for me. So funny! We had wings and filet. I liked the filet better, so my husband gave that to me.

8. Getting a head massage. We havve a head massager at day activities. I love it and today, my staff were doing beauty stuff. I asked for the head massage first, but I also had my nails done.

9. Looking at an online store for sensory supplies with my staff. I already knew the store and have my sensory cat from there, but my staff hadn’t heard of it. They probably got the sensory room modeled by Barry Emons, the inventor of snoezelen, but his shop is harder to use and the itmes are more expensive than the store I found. I was totally excited ooohing and aaahing at all the lovely supplies and all the more excited because my staff was excited too. We might get some stuff for my day activities group.

10. Dancing. On Friday afternoon, one of the staff at another day activities group organizes a “prom” for the entire center. I only went once before, but today, I decided to go again. I loved it.

11. Eating French fries for the first time in a while. Today, my husband heard a doctor on the radio say that you need to go to the snack conrer once in a while or you’ll get fat, or so he said. The real talk was probably about crash diets not working, but I loved my husband twisting it to an excuse to get us fries. We also each had a burger with it.

12. The lovely blog interaction I’ve been involved with this past week. I’ve gotten more interested in reading and responding to other blogs and it probably pays off on my own blog too. Besides, I just love reading other blogs, as it inspires me too.

What have you been grateful for this past week?