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“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” Benjamin Franklin (Artwork by Kelly Rae Roberts)

Within three weeks of each other, I was asked by two friends to share about myself.

One tagged me on Facebook and suggested I write seven things that others may not know. By the time I got to number three, I received a second similar message.

List 25 things about myself.

I procrastinated. Several times I struck the project from my writing to-do list, only to add it back by afternoon. I had reasons I wanted to write the list, and just as many excuses why I didn’t. I’m happy to say reasons trumped excuses, and because of that I know more about myself today than yesterday.

Here’s my list. Where’s yours?

1. I loved raising my kids through their teen years, and grew up a little myself.

2. I taught ballet, took ballroom dancing, danced on two clogging teams and performed with one, and instructed Zumba classes. I can’t shag (and I live at the beach).

3. I delivered both my children naturally and lived to tell them about it, and tell them about it, and tell them about it.

4. I ate a bowl of Jell-O while sitting in my car, just before checking into the hospital to give birth to our daughter. They told me not to eat, but who does that sort of physical labor without nourishment?

5. I’ve watched the movie Dreamer at least nine times. Okay, maybe ninety times. The story gives me hope.

6. I was too afraid to try out for the tennis team in high school so I waited till my mid-thirties to play competitively.

7. I like shoes a LOT. At this moment, I own 73 pairs, and that’s after downsizing. Ridiculous, I know.

8. I’ve had articles published in and on Clubhouse magazine, The Daily Green,, This Old House magazine, Lifeway publications, and most recently, Jeff Goins’ blog.

9. I hiked the Appalachian Trail (for a day), hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back out, walked a remote and very high section of the Great Wall, and rode to the top of the St. Louis Gateway Arch. I’m afraid of heights.

10.  I’ve been married 34 years to my best friend. Our gentle years are ahead.

11.  I wanted to be a counselor most of my life till family and friends said I should write. Best advice (and therapy) ever – it helps to put my thoughts on paper. My hope is readers’ days are a little more well-written and brightened by my writing.

12. I see the ocean every day, unless we’re traveling.

13. I appreciate encouraging, honest and kind friends more than ever. I say “I’m sorry” more easily than ever. I say “I love you” more often than ever.

14. I’ve ridden my own Honda Rebel motorcycle and on the back of my husband’s Harley and Gold Wing. These days I prefer a golf cart.

15. I feel sleepy when I hear the sound of a vacuum cleaner. My husband sometimes vacuum while I relax on the couch.

16. I cry every time I read Martin Luther King, Jr’s words “I have a dream.”

17. I listened to Rascal Flatts’ song “I’m Movin’ On” hundreds of times before I moved on.

18. When I’m around my granddogs, I talk in their voices almost as much as I do my own.

19. I bawl during “Good Will Hunting” when Robin Williams tells Matt Damon “It’s not your fault.”

20. I’m alive today because of my friend Betty and my kids. Love and gratitude pale when I try to put into words their contributions to my life.

21.  I have trouble with the words “I deserve,” but feel comforted when I say, “I approve of myself.”

22.  I seriously thought about signing up for a cupcake-eating contest just so I could eat two for free, but realized that wasn’t really the point.

23. I got so upset about a phone call I received on my way into Wal-Mart that halfway through my shopping list, I realized I was pushing someone else’s cart. I did a quick switch when I finally found my original cart. My apologies to the other shopper.

24.  I used to find a lot wrong with others so I wouldn’t have to look at myself. I’m relieved to finally know focusing on myself is the solution to all my problems. And God, of course.

25. I look for signs everywhere like found money, dragonflies, our lucky number 13, the same message showing up three times, a line from a song, a quote from a movie. I told you, everywhere.

More? Just a few I can’t bear to leave out.

I like chocolate, love stories, cakes and cookies, a long walk, songs that make me cry, breezy days, our pillowtop mattress, living by water, down comforters, a swimming pool with a pink float, walking in the rain, dogs, green grass and lots of trees, my hammock chair, massages, napping on a comfy couch with chimes nearby …

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – I hope you’ll accept the challenge to write your list of 25 things, and share your link in the comment section so we can get to know you better. Pretty please. It’s actually fun and enlightening once you get going.

On the side: Thanks for the challenge from friends whose lists I admire, Jocelyn Wilhelm @ JW Social Media and author Jean Dalton.

Photo “What does your heart say?” used by permission from Kelly Rae Roberts .

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