I’m an eclectic, broadly varied personality. I don’t fit into a typical personal ‘brand’ model, personality or leadership style type (although I’ve taken just about every test given in the corporate world). I don’t uniformly align with my standard demographic peer audience by age, status, income, etc.. I don’t believe many of us do, actually. We’re all far more interesting and complex than our analytics tools allow us to capture and express.
I have widely varying interests, from faith to science, to economics, to crafts, to philanthropy, to female empowerment, to cooking, to hiking, to health and wellness, to photography, to architecture, to wildlife viewing, to light comedy, to religious/spiritual studies, to business growth, and so on. I’ve played and sang music, I’ve taken sailing classes, a piloting class, and I’ve travelled all over the world, and still, I love my own backyard and its view.
I enjoy doing work around the house and yard on some days, but dislike it on others. I love to get lost in a good book, and other times prefer to watch light romcoms that last only 30 minutes a piece but connect together nicely in Netflix binge sessions. I mostly read non-fiction and magazine or opinion articles online, and I read widely, from multiple perspectives and ‘camps’, and I enjoy educated and thoughtful writers.
I love to cook when I have the luxury of time, but I may only use recipes the first time I’m making something complex, and even then, I often break out into my own creative variations. I’ve had fun this year using IBM Chef Watson software to conjure up some very silly recipes (octopus and chocolate?) to use as inspiration.
I love stuff that often goes unnoticed or overlooked in our busy modern lives. For instance, I like bugs – tiny creatures that have a special purpose and sometimes very elaborate behaviors they follow. Spiders are incredibly amazing if you stop and watch them. Baby spiders are adorable as they learn to build a web. Their young first attempts are like our childhood drawings and early scrawls of writing. Such alertness of the everyday pulse of life has its benefits. For instance, I’ve played hide and seek and fetch with my cats over the years because they get to know me and understand that I know them deeply. Parrots are the most interpersonally aware pets you can have if you pay careful attention to their sounds and tones. My parrots and I hold conversations regularly. Yes, they are simple conversations, but they are relational and responsive…not mimicry.
I enjoy the outdoors and prefer parts of our country that are rural over the elaborate urban creations in many cosmopolitan city centers. Although, I’ve lived or stayed in both worlds at various times in my life: LA/OC, Chicago, Philadelphia, Manhattan, Seattle, Casper and Lander Wyoming and Helena, Missoula and Fort Peck Montana.
I often buy homeless panhandlers coffee and sandwiches, or whatever the occasion calls for. I talk with them, and pray with them. I’ve been known to drive a few miles, stand in line for food and beverage and drive back to the location where the person is standing with their sign or cup. I’ve stood praying on a sidewalk with a down and out man in the midst of Manhattan with literally 100’s of people bustling by. I’ve been a tourist in cities around the world and brought food to begging women and men on the streets who depend on the kindness of others. There are so many poor around us, and it only takes a little attention and time to care for another. I don’t do this indiscriminately, but if you listen, God will tell you when a person needs TLC and when to act.
I tell my trees I’m sorry when I have to cut them down because they are dying.
I love having people over to my house and hanging out. Playing games, talking, listening to music, singing, sharing thoughts, ideas and prayer needs with friends and family, are some of the most fulfilling times and memories that I can recollect. I have also loved being part of a larger corporate group over many years of my life. From the time I was in drill team in high school, through my college years and into my work life I loved coming together with others to make something exciting and powerful happen. I have collaborated with and managed teams of incredibly committed, capable and dedicated people to accomplish fantastic achievements. My first career has been a blast.
I and my husband raised two daughters who were my cousin’s children and it’s been wonderful to know that we were able to give them a solid grounding from which to launch their lives. They’ve each taken their own paths and are making their way each day with the knowledge and capabilities for building a family and fulfilling their purpose in this world if they choose.
I pay attention to many drumbeats around me, and feel called to contribute to many purposes and causes in the world. I’m grateful for the education I have had, both in an industry (math/cs) that has been very lucrative and allowed our family to live more than comfortably for all of my adult life, and most recently in the business of making and running a business (mba). I’m thrilled that I was able to go back to school after retiring from my first career and launch into an even more meaningful second career now that allows me to impact the world in a foundational and structurally supportive manner. I hope my second career has an even more lasting impact on the world around us.
I see life as poignant, moving, sad and funny, all at once. And there is hope.
Above, around, and between it all, God fuels my heartbeat, breath and being every moment of every day. He lives through me. I am His and He is mine. This past year He told me to “make my mouth joy, like the sounds of heaven above”. I continue working out and learning what that means, and I hope to resound joy to everyone who will hear that heavenly sound.