Mini Challenge: Questions That Will Free Your Mind

Over the weekend, I was visiting Mary's blog at Secret Obsession and saw her challenge to other bloggers about answering some questions that are suppose to "free your mind". I had seen the list before, but I had never really actually considered taking the time to answer the questions. After reading Mary's post though, I felt challenged. Could I actually thoughtfully answer these questions?

As it turns out, I have today off. (The weather is in the single digits and US southerners don't do anything, including leave their house, when it is this cold and there is a POSSIBILITY ice is on the road.) It seemed like the perfect time to tackle and think about a few of these difficult questions.

Following in Mary's footsteps, I will only tackle 10 of the 50 questions today. I can't imagine anyone would be able to follow along to a blog post answering all 50 in one day.-

1. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

As funny as it seems (to me, anyway), the older I get the more this number changes. When I was 15, I was probably wishing I was 10 … or 18. Y'know. Older or younger. Either number was better than what I was. When I was 6, I'm pretty sure I was content being 6… except that I had just been to Disney World. After we returned home, I was promised that we would go again when I was 12. Every year until I turned 12, I would beg and plead… could we please go again? My parents finally agreed when I turned 10. I suppose 10 was close enough to 12. We went again the next year too.

But the older I get, the more I realize that things aren't always what you expect them to be. I expected things to just "become" what they were suppose to be. Working at getting those things? Psh!

None of that actually answers the question though. If I could be any age, I would be somewhere between 18 and 25. I like those numbers best. :)

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?


That was one of the easiest questions I have ever answered.

Charlie (the 4 year old I watch) always says "I can't do that" to anything he doesn't want to do. Usually I don't want to do what he wants me to do, so I (optimistically, of course) say "You can do anything you set your mind up to do." He rarely listens and I inevitably have to do what I don't want to do anyway. (GRR!)

The point is: you can never fail or succeed if you don't try. Plus, if you fail, you have succeeded at finding one answer to your problem (predicament?) that doesn't work. Go you! :)

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don't like and like so many things we don't do?

First of all, who says life is short? It could be, but some people live for more than 100 years. Is 100 years really short to a 4 year old?

Second of all, does this give me an excuse to eat dessert before dinner? ;)

I do things I don't like, because I don't have enough money to pay people to do them for me. I don't like cleaning, but I also don't like the alternative of living in a pig sty. Sometimes Justin cleans for me, but I know he doesn't like it either. I think that's why we both have to do it; it's not fair to make one person do all of the work when you both contribute to the problem.

As for liking things and not doing them? I do all of the things I like. Yes, I would like to do more things I like more frequently, but I will take what I can get. You certainly can't do all of the things you like all at once. Can you imagine me ice skating, taking pictures, and sitting under a blanket watching a movie all at once? Yeah. Neither can I. Plus, a lack of money certainly can hold you back as well.

4. When it's all said and done, will you have said more than you have done?

Probably. I don't say a whole lot most of the time, but overall I say a lot more than I do. For example, if you had asked me 10 years ago if I would ever actually travel to Europe, I very well might have laughed at you. Yes, I wanted to go ten years ago, but I didn't really have a reason or an excuse. It was just this thing in the back of my mind that maybe someday if I struck it rich and won the lottery I would go. And now, no better off than I was 10 years ago except for having an amazing husband and a *tiny* bit more money in the bank, I'm going. But this doesn't mean I'm going to Japan, Australia, California, or Hawaii. It's one trip once. Will I ever have the guts to not worry about money and go again? (Will I ever have enough points or figure out travel hacking well enough to go again without worrying about money?) Only time will tell.

5. What is one thing you'd most like to change about the world?

One thing? I can't say everything? Like world peace, getting rid of hunger, providing places to live for the homeless, making school education better, providing children with more books, and solving all of the world's problems? In one day?

When I was younger, my mom's father dated this woman who would periodically drive down to Atlanta on cold winter nights and hand out blankets to the homeless.

My dad's mom had an open house policy. Anyone and everyone was welcome for dinner. I guess when you have 4 kids though, that is is typically the case.

Then of course there was that Christmas song we were talking about less than a month ago… where millions was raised to help the hungry in Africa.

We can't all do big things, but we can all do something. That realization is the key to changing the world.

I might not be able to make a huge difference in the world, but if I make a difference in one person's life, I have changed their world. I think that's enough for me.

6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

haha. If happiness were the national currency, I'd be rich! My husband, my friends, my family, the kids I watch, and the opportunity to develop my photography skills all make me happy. I really couldn't ask for a better life. :)

7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

What does that even mean "what you believe in"?

I guess some would see me as "settling". I'm doing things I love, but they aren't magnificent or necessarily meaningful to more than a handful of people. I'm not the head of a large fortune-500 company nor do I work for one, I'm not a celebrity, and I'm not even where I thought I would be at my current age with regards to career. That doesn't mean I don't love what I do. I believe in the children I watch. I give them stability (in the form of babysitting), help them with their homework, and tell them that they can achieve their wildest dreams…if they want to. When I am taking pictures, I am advocating art as a form of speech, a way of connection.

Then there are the other forms of doing…regarding choices in purchases and where one's money goes. Do we advocate bike riding for health reasons, saving the environment, the cost benefit, or all three? Do we recycle and take care of our things? Are we appreciative of others?

There is a lot to consider with regards to this question, and while I am certain I believe in what I am doing the majority of the time, I am also certain that the other half of the time I am "settling". (i.e. This product is only made in China? Ok. I will support China economy as I buy this one thing.)

8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

Forty years is not very long. Unfortunately, that would mean my life is half over!

I'm not sure what I would do differently. I'd like to think I would have been in more of a hurry to get things done. My photography would be amazing. I would probably quit blogging. (It takes up too much time.) Most likely I would have already travelled to Europe. I would have married sooner. And at this point in my life, I would assume that buying a house is just not going to happen in my lifetime and just enjoy the money I do have rather than saving it all away for a rainy day.

… But since I have another like million years to live, I better work on that budget! ;)

9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

I finished high school and college. I decided I wanted to marry my best friend. I didn't have a lot of choice in some of the moves I made as a child, but I definitely have had a myriad of choices as an adult. It is possible that the economy contributed to my job status, but I am content. I think that's the important part. Then there is also the possibility that each thing I've done has led to each other thing which is both in my control and out of my control.

What is it the Christians say? Ahh… yes. The Serenity Prayer.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?


Put me in front of a computer editing an image and I will work the dickens out of the picture making it as "right" as it can be. People will complain that it is taking me too long to edit or that my picture is "good enough", but I don't listen. If it is not beautiful and pleasing to my eyes, it is not worth sharing or printing. (Worst of all is when something looks pretty until I print it. My eyes have adjusted and I don't see the color cast, but after printing, it is painfully obvious. This is especially painful if I have already shared online!)

When I am with a group of people I worry about saying the right things. Lucky for me, my husband says he'll love me always even if I say all of the wrong things. (That's when you know you've found true love.) I still criticize myself and overthink absolutely everything about every moment I have ever lived.


After only a few hours of thinking, I'm not entirely sure I feel "set free" yet. Maybe when I attempt to tackle some more questions at a later point I will. Hope everyone is having a fantastic Monday!

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