"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.
What is your favorite virtue? I think perseverance would have to top my list. Life more often than not challenges your very sanity, and it takes a lot of guts to just keep plugging away. One of my favorite expressions is, “Fall seven times, get up eight.” We just have to keep getting up.
Your favorite qualities in a man. My husband has so many qualities I admire. He’s strong but gentle. He’s quietly loyal and hardworking and values his family over everything else. He’s smart and funny, and so absolutely caring and patient and kind. He’s my dream guy!
Your favorite qualities in a woman. Hmmm…I think grace under pressure would be a good one. Intelligence would be another one. And I think independence. I admire women who make no apologies for being smart and headstrong, and who don’t pretend to be helpless just to get or keep a guy. If you have to act that way to get or keep him, why do you want him?
Your chief characteristic. I’m strong but flexible, and I truly, truly care about my fellow human beings. When I see someone struggling, I don’t stand idly by (usually). Instead, I try to help.
What do you appreciate the most about your friends? My friends are awesome! No matter how long it has been since we’ve seen each other, we can pick right up where we left off. They’re steady and understanding.
Your main fault. I over-analyze everything. I can’t help but pick things apart. I can’t ever accept a simple explanation. I have to see it from all angles.I also spend a lot of time in my head. I can’t turn my brain off. It’s always going forty miles an hour and I drift off and forget to pay attention to what is going on or who is talking around me. I feel terrible about it!
Your favorite occupation. I think I’m built for customer service. That’s what I excel at in real life. If I had to choose my ideal job, it would have to be running a dog rescue organization. I love animals!!!
Your idea of happiness. Running a dog rescue! Seriously, though, I think it would make me happy to just be comfortable, to not have to worry about money. I’d love to be able to live without feeling like we’re merely surviving. I’d love to be able to take care of my entire family so that they can feel comfortable as well. This is a “What-if” of course. But I do have a lot of things to be thankful for in my life right now, such as my husband, my kids, my 3 dogs and five chickens, and my health.
Your idea of misery.Being without my family. Not being able to hug my kids and talk to them every day and spend time with them.
If not yourself, who would you be? Someone rich? I honestly don’t know. I’m not a perfect person (far from it, actually) but I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin. I don’t want to be anyone other than myself. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and stupid decisions, but they’ve all led me to exactly where I am right now. And that’s a pretty good place to be.
Your favorite heroes in fiction. Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke from the In Death series by Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb.
Your favorite heroes in real life. My dad. He’s amazing. He’s been fighting cancer for about 10 years now, and has had just as many operations to remove tumors. And these operations have been ugly, very painful. He embodies the “Fall seven times, get up eight” quote I love so much. He’s got a lot of medical issues and probably shouldn’t even be walking due to the severe nature of his spinal injuries, but he just keeps going. He’s always there for me and will literally drop everything and run if I need him. He’s kind and gentle and patient, and he always has a smile for me, despite how much pain he is in every single day. He never fails to let me know that he loves me and is proud of me. I wish I could be half the person he is.
Your favorite food and drink. Whatever doesn’t run away. Honestly, I love seafood. I love shrimp and lobster so much! And I have two favorite drinks: cherry icees (like you used to get at the department store when you were a kid?) and Seven Daughters Moscato. I like the sweet stuff. Oh, and coffee! How can I forget my morning fuel? Coffee!!!!
What is your present state of mind? Introspective.
Your personal motto. Obviously the one about falling and getting up, but also, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” It was something my dad always said to me, and I appreciate it so much more now that I’m older. It’s now something I say to my kids.
For all things Jessica including her fabulous book selection, check out her web site.