I love a good personality quiz.

Today I found the (free! Unless you want the entire report) HIGH5 Personality Test. After 100 questions, you find out your top 5 strengths.

Here are mine:

1. EMPATHIZER

Your objective is to be empathetic to others’ emotions. No one can step into the others’ shoes better than you – it comes so naturally to you. You might not agree with every perspective and emotion, but most importantly you are able to understand what the person is going though. It allows you to have personalized approach to everyone, to see their differences and specialties, to include them and to treat fairly. Naturally, it draws others to you, as you know exactly how they feel. In a team, such a strength based on kindness can be essential for mitigating conflicts by making sure all team members are aware of each other’s emotions and challenges.

2. STRATEGIST
Your objective is to see the big picture. Have you heard about ‘taking the helicopter view’? In your case, you are constantly on this helicopter! That’s not even a skill, it’s a special way of seeing things – a special perspective on the world at large, where everything is interconnected. While others could be confused by your short-terms steps, in your mind you have a clear multi-step strategy on how to arrive at the desired outcome and to avoid paths leading nowhere. Such a strategist is an essential asset for any team determined to find a clear direction in a complex situation.

3. THINKER
Your objective is to think. Some get excited by exercising their biceps or triceps, you – by stretching your ‘brain muscles’ through deep thinking. It does not necessarily mean you are a very focused person. It just means you enjoy the mental activity and meaningful conversations. For your mind journeys, you perceive yourself as the best companion. This introspection allows you to digest complex information and ideas before communicating about it with the surrounding world. Who wouldn’t like to have a team member who can simplify even most sophisticated concepts in a way that a 3-year-old would understand?

4. COACH
Your objective is to develop people’s potential. Contrary to what others might think, you believe that every person has the potential for development. None of the people have achieved the ultimate level of excellence – there is always space to grow. You perceive it as a personal mission to help others utilize their potential and to experience success. As the result, you look for ways to facilitate their learning process – from challenging their thoughts in a discussion to creating environments which would facilitate learning process. You are one of those leaders that really care about the development of team members and they really appreciate it.

5. PHILOMATH
Your objective is to learn new things. Due to your love of learning people tend to say you are a very curious person. You like to experiment with different styles of learning as well – in the end, there is something to learn from that as well, right? As it’s the processes itself that excite you, you are not necessarily interested in becoming a subject matter expert. Instead you prefer learning something fast and then shift to a new thing to learn. Thanks to this strength, you learn very fast and thrive in short projects and dynamically changing environments. Needless to say, you will always be the one to contribute with new knowledge to your team as well.


This Myers-Briggs Personality Type Test is one of my favourites, as is this one – it has really in-depth results and cute graphics. I am INFP-T by the way; a less assertive and more ‘turbulent’ form of the Mediator / Healer type.

From Twitter

Last, I like the Enneagram Type Test. There are 9 types in all; I am Type 2 – The Giver/The Helper.


I could go on and on about quizzes and personality types. I love knowing more about myself and exploring the different, and often contradictory, aspects of my personality.

Any quiz recommendations? Let me know!

Wordy Wednesday

Today is my puppy’s first birthday! To celebrate, the word of the day is: macushla.

Macushla is an Irish-English noun that means ‘darling.’

First recorded in 1885–90, macushla is from Irish mo chuisle – literally, “my pulse.”

Miss Bailey, my puppy, is dearly loved. She’s playful, mischievous, and protective. She loves going for car rides, and always wants to be close to my daughter. I’m so happy my family adopted a ‘pandemic puppy’ last year. She has really brought a lot of joy and laughter into our lives.

Best of all, she gets my butt outside! Taking her for a walk is always an adventure.

Rainy Days

Rainy days are perfect for so many of my favourite things: reading, napping, writing, and cuddling with my puppy.

Inspiration doesn’t hit me like it used to. I blame the uncertainty that comes with a global pandemic. I obsess over what’s happening, and what could happen. I frame these thoughts in a negative way. But I know I need to switch my thinking and not dwell on the doom and gloom. We don’t have to go back to way things were; we have a chance to make the world better and to give our children hope.

So more often than not, I am weighed down by the heavy things. I think, “Why bother writing about love, friendship, or anything light-hearted? The world is crashing down upon us in so many ways – there’s no time for fluff, for laughter, for light!”

But this is exactly the time for such things.

The following is a poem I read recently that really resonates, so I wanted to share it:

I cannot tell you what lies ahead,
but I can tell you: you will grow.

Your ability to keep going each day
is a sign of courage on its own.

I know that peace feels far away
as you try to make sense of all the change,
and I just hope you can remember this:

You do not have to make sense of it all
in order to be worthy of peace.

To be the one keeps breathing
in the unknown is a brave and miraculous thing.

Learning to exhale is no small feat.
You are doing brave things.
Yes, you are doing brave things.
Even though it doesn’t always feel that way.

By Morgan Harper Nichols (on IG @morganharpernichols)

Wordy Wednesday

Today’s word is: diabolical.

Diabolical is a fun adjective that comes from the Old French diabolique, or ecclesiastical Latin diabolicus, from diabolus ‘devil’; the form diabolical dates from the early 16th century. Like the word devil, its roots trace back to the Greek diabolos, a word that literally means “slanderer.”

Diabolical meanings: 1. Characteristic of the Devil, or so evil as to be suggestive of the Devil.

And 2. Disgracefully bad or unpleasant; evil.

I like a good diabolical grin, personally.

Harry Potter

In 2001, I was 11 years old.

On November 16 of that year (my birthday!), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone had its first showing in my small city. My best friend’s father worked at the movie theatre, so my best friend and I were there almost every weekend.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I had no idea what or who Harry Potter was, but it was the only kid-friendly movie showing that night. My best friend and I squeezed into the last available seats in the front row. We sat back, craned our necks, and the obsession began.

Over the Christmas holidays we devoured the books in the series that were already out. We excitedly discussed theories and covered our bedroom walls with printed photos of our favourite characters. We discovered the world of fanfiction – the website Schnoogle, in particular. We would read as many chapters as possible on our dial-up computers on school nights and on weekends.

I began writing my own fanfiction around this time (2001/2002). My pre-teen self wrote pages of self-insert Digimon: Digital Monsters stories, X-Men stories, and of course, notebooks-full of self- and friend-insert Harry Potter stories. I enjoyed the challenge of keeping the characters as close to canon as possible. I have vague memories of my character dating Ron Weasley while carrying on an affair with Draco Malfoy behind his back. My 12 year old self loved drama just as much as my current 31 year old self does!

Pen to paper is still my preferred way of writing

Now, in 2021, I get to experience Harry Potter through a different lens. My 9 year old daughter has been watching the movies; we finished the first part of the 7th and final movie a few days ago. She knows bits and pieces of the story, but was never particularly interested in reading the books or watching the movies until lately (she wanted to know what her friends were talking about so she could join in). Dobby’s death hit me differently as an adult. My daughter was very upset about it, understandably. The second part of the final movie is going to be even worse, emotion-wise, I’ve warned her.

At least in the epilogue portion the badly-done old age makeup on the actors should make her laugh!

Wordy Wednesday

Welcome to the first Wordy Wednesday of 2021!

I have been dealing with some still unknown health issues of late. Intense fatigue (that isn’t new), along with joint pain and stiffness. The joint pain and stiffness I’ve just kind of ‘dealt with’ over the past five or so years, but during the summer when I became more active, the pain got much worse. My entire body would be so stiff at the end of the day, I couldn’t move without pain.

Finally, I’m doing something about it. Well, trying to. A chiropractor has helped. Now I’m having more vigorous rounds of blood work done to hopefully pinpoint what the hell is wrong.

Back to the word I’ve chosen to explore: selcouth.

Selcouth is an archaic adjective, first used before the 12th century.

It means unusual, strange, or extraordinary in appearance, effect, manner, etc; peculiar. 2. not known, seen, or experienced before; unfamiliar. Middle English, from Old English seldcūth, from seldan seldom + cūth known.

“The future queen’s selcouth beauty was both rare and striking, catching the eye of the king.”

Wordy Wednesday

Welcome to another edition of Wordy Wednesday, where I share a word I really like!

Today that word is: sophrosyne.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: sophrosyne is a noun that comes from the Greek sōphrosynē, from sōphrōn being of sound mind, prudent, reasonable (from saos, sōs whole, safe, sound + -phrōn; akin to Greek phrēn mind) + -sȳnē, suffix used to form abstract nouns.

Sophrosyne is an ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in a well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, like temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, and self-control. 

Sophrosyne was one of the good spirits to escape Pandora’s box and abandoned mankind in her flight back to Olympus.

Sophrosyne is considered the opposite of hubris, which is excessive pride or arrogance, especially the kind that clouds judgment.

An example: “Though some of her initial ideas were unrealistic, she maintained her sophrosyne that prevented her from pitching anything too crazy.”

Remembrance Day

In 2000, I was in 5th grade. In November of that year, we were tasked with memorizing the poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae. On Remembrance Day, each one of us faced the class and recited the poem.

All these years later, I remember the words.

Today stirs up a lot of feelings. My dad joined the Canadian Armed Forces when he was 18. He was inspired by his own father’s service; he wanted to help people and make the world a better place.

So I grew up on military bases around Canada. I knew my dad had a very important job. His job took him away from us for months at a time. As I got older, I would hold back tears during the schools’ Remembrance Day ceremonies. I thought of the times he was in war zones; the times he came back but some his friends and colleagues didn’t.

I remember when he was overseas in Afghanistan. I would hardly breathe when the news came on TV, waiting to see if his name and photo would flash across the screen.

The first time I saw my dad cry was when he said goodbye to us before his second tour. I was a teenager, and I did my best to hold it together for my parents.

He is retired now. I know that as a combat engineer and EOD specialist, he saw and experienced some (or a lot of) very bad things. He doesn’t talk about it.

So on Remembrance Day, I am thankful to all soldiers for their service. I hate that they experienced so many awful things; I hate war. All of the senseless death and destruction makes me physically ill. I hate that war is so often viewed as necessary.

We can do better.

Feeling It

The days are getting shorter. My favourite time of year is upon us! I love being able to go outside and feel a cool breeze. I’m not uncomfortably hot, I’m not uncomfortably cold – it’s perfect.

I like to take my puppy, Bailey, on long walks, letting her sniff and explore to her heart’s content. She’s endlessly curious and makes me smile every day.

Look at this face!

Every day is a fresh start. I’m really trying to be present in each moment.

Vision

COVID-19 anxiety has taken up so much space in my brain. I’m worried about getting sick, I’m worried about my family members getting sick, I’m worried worried worried. On top of the ‘regular’ anxiety I deal with, every day. I feel like a live wire, buzzing – this feeling of trepidation is always there, either at the forefront of my mind or swaying in the background, waiting to eat up everything.

I feel like my creativity has been sucked dry. I have no inspiration. No characters, no plots, no scenes – nothing.

This survival mode has killed all inspiration.

I’m still able to focus on and enjoy reading novels, thankfully. That’s one outlet I treasure.

I have a few drafts saved here on my blog. I’ve tried writing it out in different ways; I’ve tried writing about other topics.

But I’m overwhelmed. I’ve been overwhelmed before, of course, for loads of reasons, most magnified by depression and anxiety. But this is a different variety of ‘overwhelmed.’

Our world, our society, is changing so rapidly. We all feel it in different ways, some more than others. It feels like something big is coming to a head. Like a train that’s too late to stop.

I’m trying my best to be strong and brave for my child. I still try to be as frank and honest as possible; too much sugar-coating never helped any of us. Above all I make sure she knows I love her and I am her soft place to fall, as well as her fiercest protector. She and her friends are inheriting an uncertain future. Hell, we all are.

Amidst everything, I want to be positive. Stay hopeful. Continue to be loving. Change is never easy. In fact, it’s usually wretchedly hard.

So I can’t beat myself up too much about my lack of creativity. The spark is still there, I know. I do feel it, however fleetingly.