The Provider

Kelly suggested that I look into yet another personality test, so I took the 120 question over at learnmyself.com. It’s unbelievably accurate, just like she said. Except for one thing. It says that I turn my nose up at the arts. And I feel incredibly the opposite about arts.

Abigail-personality-test

I think this description captures me to a T:

You do not experience strong, irresistible cravings and consequently do not find yourself tempted to overindulge; however, high levels of stress can lead to you feeling panic or confusion, but usually you cope with day to day pressures. You tend to feel overwhelmed by, and therefore actively avoid, large crowds. You often need privacy and time for yourself. You prefer the security and stability brought by conformity to tradition. You find helping other people genuinely rewarding and are generally willing to assist those who are in need. You find that doing things for others is a form of self-fulfilment rather than self-sacrifice; however, you are willing to take credit for good things that you do but you don’t often talk yourself up much. You take your time when making decisions and will deliberate on all the possible consequences and alternatives.

Some more food for thought.

Abigail

In Honor of Robert & Heather

It’s interesting how citizenship in the kingdom of the sick works. Almost always you get inducted without permission (or even your knowledge) and citizenship is irrevocable. With time comes knowledge that only an insider can gain. As time passes, one becomes more and more connected to other citizens even if your journey to citizenship is vastly different.

I write today as part of the effort to give a voice to those who have fallen victim to asbestos poisoning. Heather asked me to spread the word about mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. What she didn’t know was how close to home this hits.

As a young high schooler, it was my first real connection with death and mortality. I remember visiting my friend’s house one summer and spending a lot of time with her family. I remember being there every day for a week, and laughing and making fun of her dad who was so tall that he had to duck to come through a doorway. We even have pictures of our two families together.

I later learned that he got diagnosed with mesthelioma that week. It was the beginning of a very difficult journey for this family. Robert was given only months to live and deteriorated very rapidly. At his funeral, hundreds of people talked about his service to the church and to the community. I knew him as a hilarious father and a Sunday School teacher, but I realized that there was a whole other side of him that I never even encountered. I remember learning that he was exposed to asbestos as a high school graduate when he spent one summer working in a warehouse. I remember wondering what he did to deserve this. Did God not reward those who were hard-working and God-fearing? How could this illness so insidiously break up this family? How could someone who wasn’t even “old” die?

I wish I could tell my young self that that’s not how life works. Doing good and being pious don’t guarantee immortality. As humans, our days are numbered. It’s more about making the days we have count than the quantity of days we have. Citizenship in the kingdom of the sick doesn’t come by choice. We don’t have control over when we are naturalized and why. Sometimes there are things that could theoretically be controlled (like exposure to asbestos). Sometimes deficiencies are in our genes.

Today I choose to remember Robert for who he was and for what he did for me and for my friend. I encourage you to take a look at Heather’s story and become familiar with the continued presence of asbestos in our life. Most of all, know that illness strikes all kinds of people in many different ways; every one of them could use the support & encouragement of community.

From my heart,
Abigail

Good Grief! The Interwebs have spoken

Given my penchant for personality tests, I took one that “determines” which Peanuts character you are most like. In my sixth grade class, I had a very minor part (aka “the pitcher”) in our production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. It was the highlight of my senior year. I still remember that my dad had the flu and wasn’t able to come. My sister’s class only got to see a dress rehearsal (which wasn’t even in costume and didn’t have the “real” Schroeder!) And, I didn’t have any lines, so I convinced the music teacher to let me introduce the play. Yeah, it was a highlight of my elementary school performance.

Anyhow, ::drumroll:: character analysis puts me at Charlie Brown. At first I was offended because, hey, I got really good grades in school, and I don’t have a dog. But, come to think of it, I’m not very good at dating, have no idea how to actually play baseball, and probably would forget to feed my dog if I had one. This is their summary of Charlie Brown’s characteristics:

You’re a classic over-analyzer. You’re charismatic, have a core group of friends who are very loyal to you, and are highly intelligent — but that intelligence often leads you to overthink most things in life. To feel satisfied, you have to consider everything from every angle, from Christmas to crushes. This way of thinking makes you highly intuitive and emotionally aware, and also gives you a great sense of humor and ability to view situations objectively.

I have to say, I can relate to a lot of it. So maybe they do have a point.

Abigail

P.S. I am actually very good at writing book reports, and I played the lead female character in my first grade class’s production of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, just in case you were wondering.