Being a People Person


I recently had the pleasure of spending a few days with people I love and it made me realize a few things. First, I really am a people person. I am so much happier when I’m connected to people. And I don’t mean through social media. I mean the sitting in the same room kind of connected. We don’t even need to be talking to each other. We could each be reading different books or just sitting outside enjoying the weather or the view.

Second, being in the presence of another person brings you an emotional connection you cannot get through the internet. At least, I can’t. Being able to reach over and hold someone’s hand or hug or lean on each other. Really. Physically lean on each other. Try it. It can bring so much comfort or silliness depending on the mood. Watching someone as they turn their face into a warm breeze and breathe in the scent of the ocean brings a smile to my face.

Third, being with other people sometimes means embracing the chaos. Letting conversations swirl around you like fall leaves on the wind. Discussing the day, sharing things that make them smile, venting about whatever ridiculous thing aggravated them, or dissolving into peals of laughter. It means listening to others argue but not getting involved because you know it will resolve itself. Everyone has a different way of communicating and sometimes they clash.

Take a moment and watch the others around you. It makes my heart swell to see my family and friends interacting and enjoying themselves. Watching those that are watching others and thinking no one notices. The concern etched on faces of loved ones as they look after each other and the joy that stretches across those same faces when they see each other enter a room. Those small details that you cannot get through a screen. And while the screen serves a purpose when loved ones are miles away, I’m tired of it being the only form of connection.

I am a people person through and through. I would rather sit down and have a cup of tea and chat. Sitting outside in nice weather while having a conversation or taking a walk in the woods hold more pleasure than a phone call. Although, if I could actually have a quick phone call I would probably have more of those. I am the kind of person that enjoys listening to the stories of older people. The glimpses into the lives of others and hearing their hopes and dreams and the suspense they keep you in until you find out which became reality and which are still dreams.

People will always surprise me. They are not always what they first seem to be. I savor uncovering the layers of a person as you get to know them better. To do that, you have to put down your electronics and focus on that moment. Listen with intent. Connect with other people. For me, it keeps me afloat.

Writing into Being


Over the course of the past few years, I have been on a journey to get to know myself better. To find things that make me happy and discover what I would like my future to be. Sometimes that means going back to something I used to do to see if I still like it as much as I once did. Other times, it’s trying something completely new. It could even mean doing something I used to do but in a new way. Writing is one of those things. I started off so well in January of this year and then February became nothing – right up until today. The funny thing is that I compose blog posts in my head all the time. I could easily post once a week if I would just sit down and do it. Instead, I distract myself.

The other writing thing I started recently was to journal again. This works out pretty much the same way as my blogging. Hit and very miss. This year I was determined to do the monthly journaling prompts that are provided in a course I am taking by Nicole Cody. I’m working on the May prompts right now. (What month are we in? Does it count that I did September IN September?) The prompt I did today was “Describe a room that would make you happy.” It seemed simple enough. Something I could knock out pretty quick. But then something magical happened.

I kept writing. Rather than stopping after three or four sentences, I wrote an entire page! The more I wrote, the clearer this room became for me. I could feel the chair surrounding me and suggesting I snuggle in deeper. I could smell the tea in the cup on the table beside my chair. I could feel the peace in my happy room.

I wrote more and began to see the colors emerge from shadows. Colors for the chairs, the couch, the rug, the walls and even the spines of the books on the light cherry wood shelves. As my pen moved across the page, I could hear the whispers of conversations held in that room. Happy, sad, excited, dreamy, frustrated. It doesn’t matter, this room is comfortable enough for all conversations. It’s a room where I can dream and plan, find sleep on a sleepless night, joy in friendship, solace in grief. And to give all that and more back out to the world.

I know my happy room is somewhere out there because I just wrote it into being. I thought it might be something nice to share on a blog someday. I guess today is someday.

Mother’s Love


Today is my mother’s birthday. And it’s one of those years where I don’t have a physical gift to give her. Yes, there will be a homemade card, a lunch with Margherita Pizza, and a yellow cake with chocolate icing. I know she will enjoy it because it’s what she wants. I want to give her so much more.

My mom is a huge influence in my life. At this point in her life, she seems to be the most confident I have ever known her to be. And not in the “I have no idea what I’m doing, so I’ll just act confident and hope people believe me” kinda way. Anyone who is a parent knows that kind of “confidence.” She’s more self-assured and assertive – ask my Dad. She is and always has been, incredibly real. Now they call it authentic.

My mom never pretends to be something she is not. She’s never been over-the-top or one to back down when she believes in something. Especially when that something is me. Alright, or one of my siblings. She has always seen things in each of us that we couldn’t see in ourselves. She would try and show us those traits that made us special. We didn’t always believe her. But with years to look back on, she was right. This is her chance to say “I told you so.”

No matter what direction I took, she has always supported me. Even when she knew that my choice was a bad one. She would attempt to get me back on track and, on occasion, when that didn’t work she would tell me that she couldn’t support whatever it was. At the time, I might accuse her of turning her back on me. But that was never true. Instead, she didn’t sleep at night, couldn’t eat, prayed continuously, and waited for me to come home. Luckily, I always made it home.

I look to her for advice, support, and unconditional love. Because she is as close as I will ever get to unconditional love without getting a puppy. I have ignored her, yelled at her, tried to prove I didn’t care about her, accused her of trying to run/ruin/control my life. And that was just the teen years. She stood by me anyway. She still saw the good in me despite the not so good. I once asked her why she never kicked me out of the house. Her answer? “One day you’ll understand.”

She’s also a lot of fun. High school friends will remember parties at our house where the furniture got pushed against walls and my parents taught them how to dance. Not only did she try and teach the boys how to lead but, she also taught the girls how to lead, just in case. She’s the type of person you want to sit next to at a party because she’s incredibly observant. My dad is the boisterous one. Mom is the witty one.

My mom and I share a love of going to the movies, reading, and puzzles. She’s got more talent than she will admit to. She can draw and write. And I have to remind her of both, regularly. I can spend an entire day with her just talking over tea, sitting quietly in a room reading, dreaming over catalogs, anything really. At the end of that kind of day, I will feel calm, centered, and loved. Because she is all of those things.

She’s the best of all of us.

Happy Birthday, Mom.



The most influential people in my life have been that small band of folks that I was born into, my Family. We’ve been through it all together. Ups and downs, celebrations and disasters, even truths and secrets. Much of what happened throughout the years has shaped us towards what we are today. Yes, there were things each of us had to overcome but the strength of this Family has helped each of us stand on our own together.

This Family came with others as well. The grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that are attached to our parents. I’ve spent parts of my life living near this extended family and parts living far away. I like living near much better. They are a rowdy band of interconnections that will rally around you in a crisis because you are Family.

The funny thing is that as this menagerie has grown and contracted over the years through marriage and divorce, births and deaths, we always come back to our original Family. A touchpoint that helps us be okay. We don’t always agree but we try and listen to each other. We try to support one another.

Then there are the people that come in the side door. It may be that someone’s bad choice has brought a jewel into our Family that we absorb and love as our own. Or the friends that I allow deeper into my life. Those folks I’ve gathered along my meandering journey that have become family. The ones that will call my parents to check on me if I’m not responding to them. The people who have stuck with me through the darkest of times as well as the joyful ones. Even the ones I thought I lost, that came back to me so they were there when I needed them most.

All of these people comprise my family. Not everyone sees things the way I do. For as many family members that I have, there are that that many differing opinions and beliefs. It’s not all sunshine and roses. There are fights and feuds woven in and out of some truly funny and loving memories. Yet we are able to come together at the most important times. We put aside differences to be there for one another. We care about the well-being of every member of this tribe. We learn who the strong ones are, who is sensitive, who will help, who will gossip, who will hold you tight and we act accordingly. Because we are Family.



Everything we do requirs a choice to be made. Get up or hit the snooze? Eat the chocolate or the apple? Continue to wallow in self-pity or do something to change the situation? Stay on the couch instead of going for a walk. These are all choices to be made. My choices. Your choices. No one else can make them for us or even force us to make a choice we don’t want.

That is a choice – to do what someone else wants to make life easier, avoid an argument or any other reason we can come up with instead of saying “I choose this instead.” It’s also a choice to listen to what certain people say and ignore others. Even our own inertia is a choice. Because sometimes it’s just hard to get yourself doing that thing you know you want, or maybe even need, to do. We can do the hard work.

Part of the problem is that we forget we also need to rest. So if something was hard to get started and you’re not sure you can sustain the momentum. Take a break. Give yourself an hour to read or nap or watch TV. Just don’t start to use “resting” as the excuse to not make the next choice that will move you forward.

No path worth taking is always easy. The hard parts are what help us grow. Don’t beat yourself up – just move forward, one choice at a time.