1. What's something you hated as a teen but love today?
I'm not sure there is such a thing. My teen self was pretty definitely formed, and in my memory she is recognizable in almost every way as the younger edition of current me. I guess I will have to pick a food item... maybe broccoli? I don't think I started liking it till after college. When I was growing up, our family ate only canned veg and garden salads, so broccoli was an alien item experienced only in other people's homes. My first real encounters with it would have been as a teen trying to be a polite guest somewhere, and I know my reaction to it was negative. Indeed, I still think it's pretty stinky and weird-textured, only now I also find it tasty and worth the trouble.
2. What's something you recently dreaded that turned out not too bad?
Dentist appointment? Mammogram? Just did both. They're always scarier to anticipate than to experience, but either makes for a pretty mundane answer. Let's see... Eight months ago, there was that little Sherlockian conference I ran -- terrifying (because I wasn't confident we'd get enough attendees), but ultimately successful. Then four months ago, there was the wedding cake I'd somehow agreed to make for my own son's wedding. I regretted saying "yes" during every moment of the run-up and then the more-difficult-than-usual baking and decorating process, but the end result was respectable.
3. How do you feel about February as it compares to January?
Bittersweet. When Jan. ends, so does any lingering trace of holiday afterglow, and there's no more marveling at how the calendar really did advance yet another year. You have to accept it all and be a grown-up again. Also, as a teacher, I have most of the month of Jan. off -- unpaid, to be sure, but off work nonetheless. Feb. is a "back to the grind" month.
4. Who among people you know is really making the world a better place?
Both my current pastor (aka boss) and the one at my former church (who's a friend) have a real heart for helping the homeless, and under their leadership, their respective churches are big participants in manning the winter homeless shelter in our county. Both men have been forces behind an attempt to get a more permanent set of facilities for this work. It's a points-of-light thing, but I think it's meaningful.
5. In what way is today better than yesterday?
In general, "today" is always better, because today is real, and yesterday is now part of the phantom realm. And what's real is better simply because it *is*, right?
If you mean today specifically, let me count the ways: it's a Friday, the best day of the week. I am teaching at the campus where I start an hour later, so I didn't have to get up at 5:30 a.m. this morning. And it's 15 degrees warmer outside, so I will not be so uncomfortable all day.