I love the Proust Questionnaire. Proust designed this questionnaire when he was 20. I decided it would be fun to give it a try and see for myself what it feels like what I ask others to do for me when I interview them. Here goes my humble attempt:
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The family immersed in laughter and conversation in our countryside kitchen. When my sister joins it is even better!
What is your greatest fear?
Pain or sickness for myself or any of my loved ones.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I like many! I am so impressed by two people from two very different generations and the positive change they bring to the world. Malala and Pope Francis.
Which living person do you most admire?
My husband Riku. No doubt about that. He is the most grounded individual in the planet and you can’t find a better dad than him!
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
An overused asset: speed. I am the world’s most impatient person.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Cruelty. Intolerance. Bigotry. When people distance themselves from others to the point they feel superior.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Sleeping late on weekends. Spending too much time on Facebook.
On what occasion do you lie?
When I don’t want to hurt someone or when I know my opinion is not relevant
Which words do you most overuse?
“Lovely” and “Dear”.
What is your greatest regret?
Not spending enough time with loved ones. But in general I rather look forward and hopefully sometimes learn from my mistakes than spend time on regrets.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Definitely my Latin bum! Thank God for Shakira and J-Lo!
When and where were you happiest?
If you changed one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be able to sing and I would be a great cook. With those two qualities I would throw the best parties, ever. And for my more reflective creative moments; I would draw well too.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
We would all live nearby each other and drop constantly in each other’s homes.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Our two children. They are fantastic and I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be their mum.
If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?
Maybe the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. I would smile and watch people and pass time weaving the most interesting tales of people’s lives!
What is your most treasured possession?
Certainly family and friends.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
A miserable childhood.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
I like character, courage and vision in both a man and a woman. A man that in addition can make you laugh- well, that is simply fantastic!
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Same as above: character, courage and vision. I love that women are strong enough to show vulnerability and strength simultaneously. Wish men did that more often. And I love how good we are at multitasking and socializing. Few things are more enjoyable than a cheerful conversation of girlfriends in a restaurant.
What do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty, love, honoring a confidence shared in secret, friendship.
Who are your favorite writers?
I have many. Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa and Isabel Allende in Spanish. I love Coelho and find it amazing people find him light. There are many in English: Jumpa Lahiri and Khaleid Hosseini are two favourites. I also enjoy non fiction and really like Malcolm Gladwell and Simon Sinek.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
That is a tough one. It very much depends what I am reading. Sometimes I get so attached to the heroes they become like friends and I have been known to cry when a book is over and the characters start leaving their own life. I like characters that have depth and are completely fallible, just like all of us. My son says villains make better characters in movies. I am not into villains, but I do like depth in characters.
What is it that you most dislike?
Cruelty, contempt, intolerance. I have another big dislike. I call it “busy work”. It is work without purpose, joy or inspiration. It’s the pointless celebration of overworking.
Work is like cooking. If there is no love in the making, it shows.
Where would you like to live?
A secret sauce for loving where you live, wherever that is, is to see it as a choice to live there. When you do that, the great things of a place jump at you and the not so nice ones, are irrelevant.
Where would you love to die?
In old age, healthy and in a painless way knowing I had told everyone I love how much I do that very day.
What is your motto?
Life’s a treasure, treasure it!