Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Woodstove+Book+Dog = One Happy Texter

What? Me, interview you?

About once a week, I've been trying to post interviews with amazing and insightful people who inspire me. Today, I'm focusing on someone who has inspired me (and sometimes bossed me) to do the right thing more times than I can count. Someone who has helped me maintain my faith regardless of my phase in life, and who has never been afraid to make big changes in her life when they needed to be made.

Yep, the bossy part gave it away. It's my sister! (she's the blonde in the pic, by the way!)

Seriously, Jessica is a pretty amazing person, if I do say so myself. She's a single mom by choice who was brave enough to be a rather young foster mom to some adorable kiddos, one of whom she (finally!) officially adopted last year (yay!!!). She's also one of those people who is gifted in the ability to communicate with teenagers, which is not exactly the average layman's forte. She's somehow able to be straightforward without being pushy and to be supportive without being nosy. I have no idea how she does it, but she just gets the turmoil that is growing up. Did I mention she's a high school teacher? Talk about finding your niche.

Oh, and I forgot my favorite thing about her. She's completely cheesy. I mean it. Her cards and notes will just make you cry if you're not careful. (I'm kinda cheesy, too. I think maybe we get that from our mom, who's never been afraid to say what needs to be said even if it embarrassed us (i.e., "I love you SO much, sweetie!" in front of our cool friends on the first day of high school).)

Anyway, here are Jessica's answers to my happiness interview questions:

1. How do you cheer yourself up when you're feeling blue?

it depends on why i'm feeling blue. if it's a work issue, i go find a trusted work friend and we have a vent/hug/scream/cry session. if it's just a general blah day, i'll do something random like take my daughter out for a special treat like hibachi dinner or waffle house or ice cream or a donut. or i put on a favorite CD and we sing along. or once my daughter’s in bed, i'll pick up a "blue day" book and read a page or two that i previously folded down. or buy a new book and read it while sitting by the woodstove with my dog. or email/text/call someone. but you have to pick the right someone for the situation -- certain folks are better with certain situations.

2. What have been the happiest experiences of your life so far?

there are so many that it's hard to pick THE HAPPIEST, but here are some that rank high up there:

*my daughter's adoption day
*my niece’s birth
*so many awesome Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays with family & friends & my favorite ever foster kids -- I LOVE the holidays!
*Disney and beach trips with my family & some awesome friends
*chaperoning the senior trip with amazing friends/coworkers
*Gatlinburg trips with friends/coworkers -- oh the memories!
*camping trips with friends & family
*hanging out with the whole family in WY or the other side of the family in GA
*summer as a counselor at Girl Scout Camp
*hanging out with wonderful church friends at Wednesday night suppers, retreats, doing service projects, etc.
*coffee hour with such amazing friends
*game nights
*girls' night out

3. What is something small that you do regularly that makes you happier?

I am a relationship person. At this point in my life I'm completely happy with myself and by myself, but I enjoy time with friends and family one-on-one or in small groups. It makes me happy to spend face-time (or at least facebook-time) with the people who mean the most to me. I completely LOVE Wednesday nights because I get to sit around with my favorite folks from church and share our life adventures with love and laughter. I used to be very anti-cell phone and anti-facebook. BUT... I now have texting and facebook addictions because I can use them to keep up with my friends and family near and far, thus maintaining our involvement in each other's daily lives in spite of the miles between us.


Wisdom from my big sis. Who, by the way, is the fastest texter I've EVER met in my life. Seriously, in the time it just took me to write this sentence on my laptop, she probably just texted a whole paragraph to one of her friends. It's a gift. And, apparently, a gift that boosts her happiness! So more power to her!

I love how texting is such a non-instrusive way to stay connected to other people. I especially appreciated texting when my daughter was tiny and napped much of the day. My phone ringing seemed so intrusive and rude, but a text "ping" seemed so gentle and thoughtful. Do you text, and if not, why not?

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