Do the Next Indicated Thing

crete-chaniaI love link-surfing, going from link to link and drifting out into uncharted waters. My last bit of surfing took me to Greece. Intrigued by the mention of Chania – my work often took me to Crete – I followed a lovely comment by a new visitor, Chania Girl,  to her site. I found a beautiful blog and a post with a great interview. That’s a good way to get to know people, I thought. At the end of the post, she asked if anyone would like to be interviewed by her. I said yes, and here it is.

Being spontaneous is fun. I enjoy being my own boss and mixing things up! Being interviewed by others is another good way of finding our voices – the more hard questions and surprises, the better!

I haven’t used all of Chania Girl’s questions here; some overlapped with posts I actually had planned and others were so good I think she should use them as entire posts in her own blog! But here are a few of my favourites.

Chania Girl: If you could give your twenty year old self some advice, what would it be? What would you tell her?

Janice: I’d say “Everything’s meant and the pain passes. Love! Just keep loving. Things will work out OK.” I’d also say “Write home more.”  and “Sing your heart out while you can. Write, write and never stop.” Although it’s really tempting, I wouldn’t give her any advice that might change her life direction; everything that’s happened since then was meant, even the bad stuff.  Even things that became regrets were meant to happen.

Chania Girl: If I were meeting you for the first time, what would my first impression of you be?  Would I be correct?

Janice: Some people find me unsettling; others have been put off by the haunted eyes if they’ve caught me off guard. Some are uneasy because they can’t pigeonhole me when we start chatting and I ask unusual questions.  Most people who read this blog would feel instantly at home if we chatted,  like we’d already met but couldn’t quite remember where.

Chania Girl: What it is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?  Why?

Janice: Too hard! I’ve needed  – and been given – loads! My mum always said “What’s afore ye’ll no go past ye”  because I often felt out of  step and left out of things as a child and a teenager. It means if destiny’s got something planned for you, it’ll happen, no matter what you do.

Advice from books? First two that come to mind are “All must be deeply felt” and “Do the next indicated thing”. The first is one of my favourite Katherine Mansfield quotes and the second is a stunningly simple piece advice from Victoria Moran that works when I’m stuck or overwhelmed. One wee step at a time, believing that the universe is guiding me, I get through most things and often end up surprising myself.

Chania Girl: What makes you laugh?

Janice: My son was born knowing how to make me laugh, like he was sent on an undercover mission. It’s his timing. ‘Friends’ videos and great one-liners in films and ‘The West Wing’ make me snort with laugher. My husband doing jokes in foreign accents gets me every time. So does my daughter’s ear for the ridiculous which she captures in the dialogue she writes in her stories. Most of my friends have a drole, mischievous and wry sense of humour. One makes me laugh till I cry and my sides hurt.

Chania Girl: What qualities do you like most about yourself?

Janice: The first few that came to mind were resilience, loyalty, empathy, creative resourcefulness, honesty and a ridiculous bold determination to be authentic and do the right thing –  even when it gets me into trouble!

Thanks Chania Girl – it was fun!


I’d love to hear your answers to any of those questions.


  1. I love Chania Girl’s site and I was thrilled to hear about this interview. Both the questions and the replies were a joy to read! In response to the question, “What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?” I’d have to say “Be yourself.” It sounds SO cliche, but, really, it’s the best thing to be. If you can embrace who you are (which I’m still learning to do) you really can live a happier, more fulfilled life.

    Positively Present´s last blog post..rainy days and mondays…

  2. Hi, Positively Present! Glad you enjoyed the link-surfing. Chania Girl’s site is glorious, isn’t it! Great writing and beautifully put together.

    I don’t think ‘Be yourself’ is a cliché – I think it’s a brilliant bit of advice. My mum used to say it to me all the time. And you’re right – the learning to embrace who we are is the key to lifelong happiness. That’s why I keep drifting back to themes that involve getting to know ourselves. If we develop enough consciousness to simply be our true selves without ego, then we can let go of ego and simply be. That’s when we can heal the world.

  3. What a great set of questions! So different and so…deep. A great way to get to know you better Janice as well as a great insight into the person behind Chania Girl

  4. So Marc, m’dear, any you feel like answering? 😉 I can think of half a dozen people right now who would love the chance to interview you. You’re always answering people’s comments on their blogs. Let someone interview you on yours!

  5. Get someone to interview you and post them on your Daily Aikido site; it may inspire others to be at peace with who they are and who they’ve been. You know yourself, if your spirit isn’t tranquil, you can’t achieve martial art mastery.

  6. Marc: Would you expect Janice to go anywhere that wasn’t deep? She and Chania Girl both probably travel with shovels.

    Janice: Terrific interview. I did not know Chania Girl. Thanks for the introduction and for answering her questions.

    Chania Girl: It is good to know you. : > )

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..7 Steps to Squeaky Clean Copy

  7. Thanks for dropping in, Sean. I always enjoy it. I’m having fun getting out and about meeting new folk and recommending other places. Chania Girl has a beautiful black background blog, so I suggested she check out the Inkwell if she ever fancies a Thesis black one.

    Women With there’s a domain name… We could be the women with shovels who clean up behind the men with pens. 😉

  8. Just wanted to pop over this morning and say, Janice, what a treat it was to interview you and get to know you a bit more. Have even discovered a few more things since then, including our Greek connection. What you are doing here on this blog is a wonderful thing: I feel like this is the cafe I come to to wake up every day. I pour my morning cuppa and head over. It looks like other people are enjoying your interview too. Thank you for being up for it:)

    Chania Girl´s last blog post..Sharing the Journey with Janice Hunter

  9. @marc
    …shiny bright ideas

    I’d be happy to interview you any time and I’m sure there are folk here who would also be happy to. Chania Girl’s got lots of questions left; Nadia’s emails to me are full of good questions; Connie’s are so good you could have a best seller with them; Cindy would ask brilliant ones (I know she’s busy at the moment, but hers would open you up petal by petal); Sean would do a beaut and could add it to his portfolio of interviews. We both know he values people who comment. And there are loads more folk whose blogs I’ve checked out who would do a great job. Interview or guest post, any time – just give me a shout. Open mike night with red wine 😉 Life’s too short not to share good people.

  10. Hi Chania Girl!! Great to see you! Your comment arrived just in the middle of a wee exchange with a couple of wonderful scamps. I was defending our ‘depth’!
    I must upgrade my Thesis and get threaded comments for moments like those.

    Thank you again for doing this interview. I really had fun, and I’m betting your great questions got a lot of people thinking. I hope you’ll get a few new visitors and that we’ll see some posts popping up based on today’s questions when folk have had a chance to sit with their answers awhile.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your posts about living in Greece – although I fear they’ll make make me unbearably nostalgic. You’ll have to spam moderate me because I ramble too much at the best of times. Maudlin me is unbearable! Greece was branded into my heart and the scars are still there.

    I look forward to seeing you at your regular, sunny table for breakfast!

  11. Hi Janice,

    I love the interview and your answers were wonderful. I am not surprised! 🙂 I especially could relate to how you wrote about how people are unable to pigeonhole you. Isn’t it amazing how some people get unnerved that they cannot do that to you? The same holds true for me. People think I am one way but then I say something that shocks them and you can see there is a look of confusion. In my days of rebellion, I loved getting that look. Now that I am wiser (well…I think I am wiser) I am more humored by it because I understand their need for categories.

    Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog post..Claiming Your Voice

  12. @ Nadia
    I met Chania Girl through you, so thank you! She sent twice as many questions as that but I had posts already planned around some – spooky in a good way! – so I didn’t want to rush through them. You won’t be surprised to know that one ace question paralysed me, fried my brain trying to do it justice, like that one you had on favourite driving music, remember? I suspect that maybe it’s an age thing; I feel like I’ve earned all of my ‘me’s and they live quite happily with one another until I’m asked to choose something that represents me.

  13. Hi Janice,

    Great interview — I love this interview process. It’s such a great way to get to know fellow bloggers. I would have to agree with Positively Present and give myself the piece of advice to “be yourself.” As a young person, you have so many self-doubts. Age teaches you that you are, in fact, good enough. ; )

    BTW, enjoyed reading the exchange going on in this comment section. Pretty amusing stuff. LOL

    kirwin´s last blog post..May Goals

  14. Hi Kirwin!
    In Scots, we have a phrase ‘kent faces’ – people whose faces we recognise. I’m so grateful to Nadia for telling her Happy Lotus readers about the post here. It’s nice to finally get a chance to chat with some kent faces! I know you’ve shared lots of boxes with Chania Girl too.

    Be yourself – and love all the evolving bits too! I agree that a lot of acceptance about who we are comes with age. There’s a lot of hope for our futures when so many younger writers are interested in personal development.

  15. Thanks Janice for sharing your interview and here is my reflection.

    I would tell my 20 year old self to have more confidence. That my ideas are often as good as the experts, but I need to have the guts to share them in any forum.

    I’m a very unconventional person, too!

    Robyn McMaster´s last blog post..Losing Your Ability to Concentrate?

  16. Hi there, Robyn! I’ve just come off the phone with a coaching friend and was telling him how your ‘coffee post’ made my day!

    I guessed you were unconventional, but until I read your piece on adversity a wee while back, I wouldn’t have guessed that you hadn’t always been quietly confident.

  17. I agree with Karen. Those red flags in my youth were trying to tell me something. Unfortunately, I had been taught to ignore them (at my peril).

    I’m glad you had such a positive interview!

    Diana´s last blog post..Come on, have a smile today

  18. I love that post! How fun…I will do this and post later this week. I can’t believe I have not come across your blog before! What a wonderful spot you have here…

    caroline´s last blog post..Entitlement

  19. @Karen
    I think that question has touched a lot of people. What is it, do you think, about that particular age? That we thought we were fully grown adults on the brink of a huge new phase and made mistakes born out of trying too hard to prove ourselves too soon? That we were still young enough to be influenced by well meaning (or not so caring) adults? That we didn’t have the confdence to realise we had lots of answers already? There are lots of strong people in our wee community, and I think that adversity shaped many of them. Looking back, we can see the strength and the wisdom that was always there. Thanks for this, Karen. I enjoyed it because of the bigger jigsaw picture I’ve been building of you from your other comments and posts.

    I’m glad this week has been (and will continue to be) about focusing on having unique voices within a choir. Together, we can bring all that we are and have been to the table help others. Some twenty year old reading these comments is going to be listening a little harder to their guts, wisdom and confident inner voice.

    Nice to meet you! I love writing and I talk too much, and too often – but I’m a coach too, so I spend a lot of time silent and asking questions. Luckily I love the experience of asking and living the questions as well as answering them! I look forward to reading your response. I have a lot more posts planned with questions designed to help us all discover and express our authentic selves and voices!

  20. Hi Janice,

    I just commented on your guestbook, but will say again, great blog!

    And to answer one question – if I could tell my 20 year old self some advice, I would certainly say to follow your gut! Those instincts are usually right on target. I’ve failed miserably the times I didn’t listen to that inner voice.

    Be blessed,

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment here and in the guest book! (And thanks Chania Girl for leading Annie here!) Spookily – or not – my whole week’s blogging’s been based on what I call ‘synchronicity surfing’ and how it can help us find our voices and the people we resonate with. I completely agree about the inner voice; I’m surprised mine still talks to me after the amount of times I didn’t listen when I should have!

  21. @Annie That’s one piece of advice I heard a lot of when I taught women self-defense (Aikido).

    Almost every one that had experienced some form of violence said that they wished they had trusted their gut feeling. To this day I remember one of them saying something along the lines of “The only problem with gut instincts is that there’s only one way to prove it wrong. Ignore it.”

    Marc´s last blog post..Walk the Path

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