21 Questions

Throughout the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I get to meet other talented writers and read their amazing blogs. One writer, Tamara, titles each of her blog posts this month with a thought-provoking question. Her questions allow me to take a deeper look at myself, think about the past, and plan for the future. I’m so appreciative of these posts because we are similar in age and the questions she poses are also my questions. So without further ado, I’m going to answer her 21 questions in today’s blog post. I’ll try to keep my answers short and sweet, but know that I could write a post about each one of them.

Here we go!

  1. How do I feel stuck right now? – I’m not employed right now. And because I’m so used to a work routine, it is throwing me off my game. Some days, I’m productive and other days I sleep in. I do a lot of networking and applying for jobs and unfortunately, I’m not getting very far, so I’m definitely feeling stuck.
  2. What brings me joy? – The easy answer is my friends and family bring me joy. On a deeper level, I love to write and am taking advantage of this time off to study this craft and write my book. Next month is NaNoWriMo, which is a month of writing  every day with the goal of having a shitty first draft at the end of the month. I’m seriously considering signing up for it.
  3. What brings me a lot of energy when I do it? – After I check a few things off of my to-do list, I’m energized to keep going. The act of accomplishing big tasks and lots of errands fuels me to see what else I can do in the limited time period I have to get things done. Also, coffee.
  4. How do I like to help others? – I love to connect people. If you ask me to introduce you to someone who can help you out with X, I’ll look through my list and if I know someone, I’ll make that connection. Whether it is a handyman or a career coach or another mom going through “a phase” with their kids, I’m sure I know someone who can help out. Also, that someone may be me!
  5. What has been my favorite job so far? – My favorite job so far is no doubt the 13 years I spent as the Program and Communications Director at my synagogue. We have a large congregation with a plethora of activities, and I referred to myself as the “cruise director.” I gave a lot of tours to potential members and made sure that current members who wanted to be engaged in the community found their place. I was also fortunate enough to work with amazing clergy, staff partners, and volunteers. It was a lot of fun, and there are parts of that job I hope to incorporate into my next position.
  6. Describe some of the happiest moments in my life.. – Short answer – spending time with family, especially my kids. Also, traveling, baseball games, and Billy Joel concerts.
  7. Why do you want to find your purpose? – Because I ain’t getting any younger! 🙂
  8. What legacy would I like to leave behind? – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a great quote to answer this question.  “Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.”
  9. In what ways am I not living out my purpose right now? – I think I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in my life. Even though I’m not working, I’m still growing and learning and enjoying life. I’m looking for ways to contribute and be kind to others. I may not be living out my purpose in the traditional ways at the moment, but I know that I’ll figure it out.
  10. Do you prefer working alone or with others? – While I am great at working independently, I love collaborating with other smart and talented people. I think the more brainstorming and creating we can do as a team, the better the end product will be in the long run.
  11. Do you like to be home or out in the world? – It depends. I like the comforts of home, but I also love to explore new places.
  12. Do you enjoy being out in nature? – I love visiting national parks and some hiking as long as it’s not too difficult. But, I also like indoor bathroom facilities and a place to plug in my hair dryer, so camping is not my jam.
  13. What kinds of people do you like to work with? – I love to work with people who are supportive and patient and who understand that I haven’t forgotten about them, but that other things may take priority. And people who know that I’m doing the best I can with the staff and resources that are available to me. I also love to work with people who are kind and welcoming and don’t take themselves too seriously and have a sense of humor. Life is too short to not spend it with people you enjoy being around.
  14. What is your preferred environment to be in? – There are so many ways I can answer this question. I love the fall weather when my allergies are at bay, and I can enjoy the crisp weather, the colors of the leaves, the cozy bonfires, and sweater weather. I also love being in a bookstore or a library surrounded by other avid readers who I could talk to about our favorite authors and books over a hot beverage or a bottle of wine.
  15. What guidance do you often give others? – I always tell my kids to go with their gut. It has worked for me, and has never steered me wrong. If there is an element of doubt, explore that hesitation before making a decision. If you have a gut feeling about a person, a job, or an important move, follow that instinct. You will be much happier than if you ignore it.
  16. What do I feel like I’m an expert in? – Finding typos everywhere. They just jump out at me. 🙂
  17. Describe your ideal day from beginning to end. – Sleep in and then read for a while before having brunch at a fancy restaurant. Spend the afternoon exploring a new city, and then dinner and dancing with friends.
  18. What comes naturally to me? – I’m good at small talk. I pride myself on walking up to people I don’t know at a networking event or a swim meet or wherever and starting up a conversation. If they aren’t in the mood to talk, I move on. If they want to engage with me, I usually make a new friend.
  19. In what ways do I live intentionally? – I am intentionally taking my time to find my next job because I want to be happy, valued, maximized, and properly compensated. I won’t settle for anything less.
  20. What do I prefer to wear to work? – I like that I can wear whatever I’m in the mood for when working from home. If I don’t have a lot of Zoom calls, I wear a t-shirt or something comfy and barely any makeup. When I have a day full of meetings, I will dress up on top and sometimes sweatpants or jeans on the bottom. And there are days when I know I will only be productive if I’m dressed up top to bottom as if I’m going into an office. It’s a trick I use to get into the work mindset.
  21. What does the world need more of? – Tolerance and understanding.

How did I do? What questions resonated with you and how would you answer them?

Thanks, Tamara for asking such insightful questions!



4 comments on 21 Questions

  1. Tamara
    October 22, 2023 at 4:42 am (1 month ago)

    Great job answering these questions, Elisa. I am not surprised to find similarities to mine. Except the small talk! Great advice to follow your gut!
    BTW, the writing prompts are not “mine”, however. I found them during the April UBC on Angel Lewis’ blog: https://embracingchange.blog/april-prompts-finding-purpose/

  2. Kebba Buckley Button
    October 22, 2023 at 12:15 am (1 month ago)

    Elisa, what fun getting to know your nature better! But I did not know you are a typo seeker! So you could always pinch hit as a preafrooder!

  3. Laurie
    October 21, 2023 at 10:00 pm (1 month ago)

    I’m with you on the typos. Same for me.
    Good answers. Those took some thought.

    Have a great week.

  4. Martha
    October 21, 2023 at 9:29 pm (1 month ago)

    Awesome replies to all Tamara’s questions. I feel I know you a bit better now!

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