Sunshine Blogger Award


I am a huge fan of blog awards. I love reading people’s answers. There are a lot of simple things I learn about people from many of the award questions that don’t really warrant a full entry but are still interesting. They’re fun for me to answer as well.

Kranti nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award – “The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.” It makes me happy to be thought of this way and I’m grateful to her for nominating me.

I’ve recently discovered her blog and have really enjoyed the entries I’ve read so far. They have been thought provoking, entertaining, and inspiring. You should definitely check her blog out here.


The rules of the contest are here:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions. (I’m going to break this rule – I don’t nominate people directly but if you’re reading this and interested, consider yourself nominated)
  • List the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Here are my answers to Kranti’s questions that she asked here:

1  One memory which brings smile on your face ?

I’m lucky to have so many of these memories as I’m blessed with a wonderful family and friends. One of my fondest memories is one my son was vaguely remembering just last night. We were at a swimming hole in Missouri – the one that I’m glad to see someone put on YouTube (See below):

We often went here because our yurt had no air conditioning. It was impossible to keep cool on days where it would get up to 40C (104F) or more. On days like that the best thing to do was to come to a place like this, sit in water up to your neck and wait for the sun to go down, getting out only to eat some cold pasta salad you put in the cooler.

On one particularly hot day, Sage, her mom, Daegan, and I were at the swimming hole.  It was already very busy there and soon a family arrived with a very big and noisy dog. At this time Daegan was pretty scared of dogs (he adores them now) and so we had to figure out what to do. We really didn’t want to go back home in to the heat so we took our little inflatable lounger and went downstream just a little. Soon we came to a deep pool. On the other side was a nice beach like the one in the video but in between us was the pool, over my head and Daegan didn’t yet know how to swim. No matter, though. We had the lounger so we put him in it and pushed him across.  Once there we spent the day on that beach all alone – our own private space. We were at a place in the creek where another creek fed in to it and paddled the raft up there underneath the trees and lounged around in the big pool. Whenever I would get too hot I would dip in the water. Whenever I was hungry I’d get out and have a snack. In between all of this the whole family would chat, play, and relax. Looking back, it was better than any five star resort I could have paid for in the world and the company was fantastic.

2. What encourages you the most to keep blogging?

I really love meeting new people and hearing their stories. It really makes me happy if I am able to inspire someone to try something new, make them think, or make them laugh and hearing about that is great.

3. One thing you want to change here in blogosphere?
I am really happy with this space and the environment here. I spent years on Facebook and other social media platforms and they all got very negative. People posted about things they hated or things that upset them and comment threads would degrade in to arguments – even among the best of friends. Here the discourse is extremely positive and upbeat. We’re able to appreciate our differences without being upset about them or arguing. And more often than not we encourage each other. At least that is my experience among those I follow and who follow me. I really appreciate this.

When I first started this blog I left Facebook but returned in November. After just a few months I found it really unpleasant to be there and left. I still have an account there for Messenger since so many people I know seem to have left email behind completely in favour of this. If I give that up I lose touch.

4. What makes you cry easily?

Inspiring things, beautiful things. Movies like Craigslist Joe that show people being their best selves and the beauty of humanity. I’d also say that sometimes I find just big positive gatherings of lots of people moving in this way. For example, the year before we arrived there was a massive blackout in the east coast and all of the city was without power – and people rediscovered their humanity. Civilians directed traffic, restaurants, worried about food going bad without refrigeration served free food and drinks, and many people spent time together unmediated by the Internet or television. (Phones had yet to become ubiquitous). After that, some folks started having a “Blackout Anniversary Party” to take to the streets and celebrate that spirit. In 2012 Sage and I went to a great one. Hundreds of us travelled together on the subway with a live band then went to the big train station downtown and had a quick concert and celebration. Security didn’t know what to do – we looked like a protest but we were just a group of happy people. We didn’t stay long enough to cause any disruption and after a few minutes went out to a park and ended there. For some reason that sort of thing – an uncynical view of humanity and how we can interact together really moved me.  You can see a bit of it here.  Be sure to fast forward a bit to see the times on the subway and in the train station. It was magical:

5. What is your Passion? What does it mean to you?

In my more cynical moments I say I don’t have one. But you caught me on a good day so I can actually speak to this well. What I love best is challenging myself, inspiring others, and doing things that keep me off balance. I get restless and bored in my comfort zone. I’m scared to leave it but when I do it’s exhilarating. And so my life is a push/pull between doing what’s comfortable and easy and what’s uncomfortable and fulfilling. I think I’m getting better as I get older at doing less of the comfortable and easy.

6. What would you love to hear Flattery or bitter truth?

Sage and I have talked about this a lot and we’re both very much in agreement on this. I grew up on the east coast and there people are very blunt. In New York for example, people will tell you right away if they don’t like something you’re doing. On the west coast where Sage grew up it’s the opposite. People say nice things, try to subtly hint that maybe they possibly don’t like something you’re doing and hope you get it. Or maybe they don’t even tell you at all. I want to know. Tell me the truth. If you can do it and be nice at the same time it’s better, but I don’t work well with subtlety. I often miss the point entirely.

7. One thing that you have learned here in blogosphere?

Posting frequently doesn’t just make my readers happy, it makes me happy.

8. Describe yourself in one word?


9. Which kind of blogs you like to read?

I want to know what people are doing and thinking. What matters to them? Travel is interesting, but if I’m given between a choice between someone talking about the beauty of a building or the taste of food or how it felt for them to be where they were I’ll take the latter any time. The same is true regardless of the subject. I want to know what makes people tick – I want to hear about them and their lives and why what they’re talking about matters to them. It’s especially interesting to read about people having a very different life to my own. It’s also very interesting to view my own culture from the point of view of someone outside.

10. What is your expectation from yourself?

I want to be better than I was yesterday. When I ride my bike or run I want to be stronger. When I practice my Hindi I want to know more words, have better pronunciation and better grammar than the day before. When I encounter another person I want to be more compassionate than the day before. But I also need to understand that improvement is never strictly linear. We might improve over time but in the middle of that time we’ll have good and bad days. Remembering this is key to being gentle with yourself and not being too hard on yourself.

11. According to you what is the key to a successful blogging?

Knowing what you want and then going for it. If you are just looking for followers, likes and readers, being successful is one thing. If you’re looking for interaction, that requires something different. Improving your writing and content continually is important but what “improvement” is varies from subject to subject.

And of course I’m not an expert on any of that yet – I just know what I like to read and aim for that. If the readers come, I’m happy.

My questions:

  1. Was there a point in your life that was a crossroads between two potential lives? What was it and what would your life have been like if you made a different choice?
  2. What do you think you need to do now to make your elderly self feel you’ve lived a successful life?
  3. Here’s an easy one: You get to eat one region or country’s food for the rest of your life and can’t eat anything else. What will you eat?
  4. Coffee, tea, or something else?
  5. Are you a morning person or night person?
  6. Do you like warmer or colder weather better?
  7. You can go back and change one action in your life. Will you use that opportunity? If you feel comfortable sharing, what will you change?
  8. What’s the first song you remember liking?
  9. What is the first toy you remember loving?
  10. We all have dreams, both realistic and BIG dreams that may require a whole lot of luck as well as work to do. What’s your big dream?
  11. What’s your realistic dream?

7 thoughts on “Sunshine Blogger Award

  1. Congratulations. I guess you have got this award previously also. Enjoyed reading your answers. I too feel the same way about Facebook and sometimes find it like a place to brag with too much happiness to handle :D…
    You haven’t nominated anybody but I guess you would like readers to answer a question or two. So here I go:
    Ans to Q1. It was while deciding my career. In fact it was not quite ‘deciding’, it had just happened. Well, I should not be confusing you. Let me get to the point. I was in a situation where I could opt to continue working in a project for the government, which would in due course become a full time position (It was a very interesting job, perhaps I should write about that someday). The job was very closely connected to the University degree I have. However, I might have had to stay in a remote corner of the country. This would mean a settled life with all the comforts that government jobs have in India. The other option was to leave my small town and go to a bigger city in search of something unknown, a new job. I had no clue what I would find. I opted for the latter (still wonder how I got the courage to that). Then I landed in the corporate world quite by chance with a job that is no way connected with my University degree and that’s what I have been doing for 10 long years now. When the corporate stress takes over, I do wonder if the other life would have been better. But if I weigh the things I have got and the things I have missed, it surely is in favour of the risk that I took. My life would have been totally different if I would have settled for the comfort of the known.

    1. Thanks! Funny how there are some little decisions that can change everything.

      For example, I can trace a relatively random choice of work-study job in university that was misunderstood in a good way by my first employer and resulted in my first “real” job. That led to my whole career.

      Then there was the fact that I was not able to finish university and only finished two years. I was totally crushed at the time but in the end it resulted in my having the job above that was a night shift job. Back in 1991 that led to my being on one of the earliest Internet chat systems where I met the woman whom I would marry.

      And so, if I hadn’t taken the work-study job I did and failed to finish university, pretty much nothing about my life would be the same. I wouldn’t have the family I have, I’d have a different career, I most likely would still live in the US. I’d likely still regularly drive a car instead of riding a bike – so I wouldn’t be into bicycle touring. Would I have travelled to other countries? Maybe. Would I have learned to speak some French or Hindi? Probably not. Absolutely NOTHING about my life would be as it is. And I’m really happy. So even what was a sad thing at the time, not finishing university, would be something I’d never dream of changing – as happy as it would’ve made me at the time.

      Do write that job – it sounds like an interesting story, by the way.

      1. Amazing how we all have our own stories 🙂
        As they say whatever happens is always for the best even if that may not be apparent at the moment. I see that in your story and that’s exactly what I can say about myself.
        Thank you for sharing!

  2. Craigslist Joe sounds so interesting. Kind of like your 500 Kindnesses bike ride! Definitely adding that to my watch list!

    It’s so true about how the people on the west coast will try to tell you things subtly instead of straight up. In the midwest is where they wont tell you at all lol.

    I always enjoy reading your answers to these, Todd!

    1. Yes – there’s a lot of similarities to how his journey felt to watch and our journey felt to do. I watched it and just kept saying “Yes! Yes! He gets it!” I watched it once, then Daegan got home that day and I watched it all over again with him.

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.