Amber Naslund recently posted a blog about what she wished more people knew about her. It was insightful and sweet. She’s invited other bloggers to join her. So in that “vain” I’m going to share some things about me. You don’t have to read it if you’d rather not see my self-indulgent blather. But if you’re curious..dig in.

 

I like to help.

I am completely charged up with the idea that something I do can help others succeed. My friends know that if they call me and say “can I get your opinion” or “would you mind helping me with something” that the answer is first “Yes” and then “What it is it?”  I love, love, love being the person that people can call on. It makes me feel good.  I think that’s a result of the life-long desire of being wanted. I mean, really, isn’t that what we all want?

I’m a professional eater and aspiring cook.

I’m still better at ordering than cooking..but I’m definitely improving on the cooking side. I have all the stuff I need to cook..I just have to work on the skills and find more willing victims. Here’s what I do know: I make a mean lasagna, a killer roast chicken and lousy cookies. As far as ordering goes, it could come from a food truck or a Michelin star restaurant..I love ’em both. I’m not really a food snob, although I love exotic ingredients like truffles and foie gras I don’t need those things to enjoy a meal. What I DO usually want is a good beer or a glass of wine or sake..I find those things greatly improve the food experience. In the case of my cooking, sometimes its the only way to choke it all down.

I’m up for it.

I’ll try almost anything once. The exception to that being jumping out of planes. I went on my first night dive after only diving 3 times, and even after coming face to face with a white tip shark in the dark waters, I still love night diving. I live it better than diving during the day. I used to ride a dirt bike. Fast. I’ll eat almost anything. I’ve done hikes I had no business doing. I’ve befriended the homeless. I love spicy food.

I’ve learned to fall.

I’ve been a skier since I was 3 years old. One of the first lessons anyone should know about skiing is not to be afraid to fall. When you resist falling you get hurt. That idea has translated throughout my life. I’ve fallen. I’ve failed spectacularly. And every single time, I’ve gotten back up. What I’ve learned is that risk is good, failure isn’t bad either though its better to fall in powder than on ice.

I am madly in love.

This is in no particular order: I have to say that from the outset. Also as you’ll see, I’m a massive softy. I have 13 nieces and nephews ranging from 3-24. They own me. With them, I am “Auntie T.” and they absolutely have me wrapped around their fingers. I don’t see any of them nearly enough, but when I do, I am in my glory and when they leave, I almost always cry. Hard. There is always one last hug to be given, one last kiss to receive. Rudy is my Jack Russell Terrier. He’s 15. Don’t ask me what life will be like without him, I can no longer imagine not having his wild and crazy energy around my house. Yes, he buries his bone in my potted basil plant. Yes, he wants to be in my lap all the time. Yes, he sheds like a wooly mammoth in the Sonoran Desert. But at the end of the day, his black eyes and wagging tail get me every time. He’s the original love of my life. I love him so much that I left a serious relationship I was in when the guy said “Its me or the dog.”  The dog won and so did I, because I finally found the right person for me, my fabulous husband, Jeff.  I married him because he let me be me. He never asks me to be anything but. And in return, I enjoy who he really is.  He is one of the most generous souls I’ve ever met. He gives and gives and gives. I married late, but it was worth the wait.  My Mom is my idol. Throughout my life, she’s always “been there” for me. But when my Dad passed, I got to see what she was really made of as a women, and WOW, I hope I can grow up like her. Everything that defined her changed and she picked herself up, dusted off and just recreated her life. Like its the easiest thing in the world. My sister is my best friend. She’s one of a couple of people who can make me laugh until I cry. I think she’s an inspired Mom and Wife. I think she’s smart as a whip. And I think I’m one lucky “sistah” to have her. My best friends are my best friends for life. We plan on retiring together in a house, Golden Girls style WITH the pool boy. That’s what I’m sav’n my money for.

I’m passionate and creative.

Not in the romance novel kind of passionate, but in the “I give a damn” way.  Being passionate is two sides to a coin. Passion drives some great things, but it also creates some uncomfortable situations.  Sometimes that means that I am frustrated and show it. Sometimes that means I raise my voice. Sometimes it means I spew out 20 different ideas without consideration for how it gets done. But that’s OK, because I will find a way to accomplish something if I’m passionate about it-I’m also a doer.  My creativity is a struggling stepchild.. I have to be creative about how I find outlets for it because I have not one single iota of talent for drawing, painting or playing musical instruments. I think its ironic that I was born with a creative spirit but no obvious outlet for it. But there’s no denying it: I see the world differently than others. My viewpoint is uniquely mine and my creativity couldn’t be repressed if I wanted it to..but sometimes it comes out at inconvenient times, like in the middle of the night.

I am sarcastic, ironic and profane.

Sometimes sarcasm and irony don’t translate so well in the written word in in 140 characters. It’s OK, I’ll keep trying. No. Seriously. I will. That isn’t sarcastic or ironic. Then there’s the profane. In person, with friends, in my house, there will be an F-bomb. No, I don’t do it here. I don’t do it with clients. But I truly love the liberation of swearing. It used to be the shock value that I adored, but once my Mom got used to be “Dropping F’s” in front of her, that particular thrill was gone. None the less, I swear like a sailor still, but now its mostly because its ironic to see a 5’1 blonde talk like that.

My mind and heart are always open.

I don’t really care what your job is, where you came from, who you love.  Those aren’t perquisites for being in my life. My friends range from pool boys to thought leaders, from doctors to artists. From gay couples to..well, I guess I don’t  have any religious fanatics in my life.  I care about your story. Who you are. How you got here and where you want to be.   If your a good person, aren’t interested in judging my other friends..and you can make me laugh on occasion, we can probably be friends. And if we’re really lucky, maybe we can be close friends.

The Midwestern’r in me will probably never die.

I was born and spent most of my childhood in Green Bay, Wisconsin. My Dad was the first in his family to go to college and he didn’t get there until he was in his late ’20’s. But he did it, and then proceeded to succeed in a professional career at IBM, through hard work and a commitment to people. I believe that working hard at something matters. I believe in never, ever, ever giving up.  I believe that family comes first. I believe we should enjoy the summer cherries and July 4th fireworks. I believe winters are for skiing and snow forts. I believe that loyalty matters. I believe in trusting until you can’t be trusted. I believe its OK to hunt and eat meat, but I don’t believe in wasting anything. I believe in humility and letting others recognize your accomplishments. I believe the Packers are the only football team worth watching. I believe every sunny day is a gift. I believe sometimes kids get muddy and dogs run off the leash.