1. Finding humor in any situation. I have become a freaking genius at this. Life is chalk full of shitty situations. Situations that suck so much but have absolutely no control over. I am no stranger to these. Each time I have found myself facing a situation like this, I have found myself not just sad, mad or scared but I also somehow manage to find what is funny about it. I was the first one to make a joke about being a widow after Simon passed away. It especially took my friend Kelly by complete surprise and this ALWAYS makes me giddy with glee (it is really hard to catch her off guard and has become and ongoing life mission to do so). I honestly believe that humor has helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life. It has also been incredibly healing. Like the kiss on top of a band aid - it just makes the owies feel a little better.
2. Kids and animals. I thing I am pretty good with both of these. For what ever reason, both kids and animals tend to gravitate toward me when I am in a room. Its weird but it happens with a spooky consistency. Back in 2003, I was interviewing for a job taking care of infants in a day care. Part of the interview was hands on interaction with the kids. I sat down on the floor and within a few minutes, I had three or four babies crawling all over me - a complete stranger. Oddly, I can also touch and pick up animals that others can't. One day when I was watching my friend's twin girls, he came home and I was holding one of their cats. He couldn't believe I was holding her and I had no idea she never let people do that.
3. Parallel Parking. With nearly 97% accuracy, I can back my car into a parallel parking spot with exceptional ease. When I was learning how to drive, we lived on a street where there was no choice but to parallel park. So, by necessity, I became a quick pro. Fortunately, I have hung on to this skill and have glided effortlessly into some of the tightest spots. I have even impressed myself with this ability at times. :)
4. Finding good things about people. Tons of people in the world suck for tons of reasons. I deal with them every time I am at work, get on the road or even go to the grocery store. It is so easy to get caught up in all the ways people are rude, stupid or annoying. I am guilty of it all the time. However, I also have this cool ability to find something likable about most people. When I was young, my mom handed down a kernel of wisdom that her grandmother had given her: "There is goodness in everybody. You just have to look harder in some people to find it." I guess that has stuck with me through the years and I hear those words in my head to this day. In most cases, I have been able to find at least one good or likable quality in people.
5. Hugging and Cuddling. I take deep pride in my abilities when it comes to the hug and cuddle. In fact, I like to think of myself as a Jedi Master of hugging and cuddling. I make a great spoon in either the big or little position, ask anyone. I attribute my skill in this area to my passion for it and plan only to grow in my abilities. No one likes a weak, limp hug and if you do then I feel really bad for you. I personally hate them. If I am hugging someone and they are being all lame and limp, it makes me squeeze that much harder. Let me just extend an open invitation: if you are ever in need of a satisfying hug, I'm your gal. I have an endless supply, so come and get one or twenty!
6. I am a good listener. I love to listen to peoples stories. I love learning about people, who they are and what makes them unique. I have found that the best way to get to know a person is to really pay attention to what they are saying. So much information can be gleaned simply by paying attention to a person when they are speaking. For some reason, I have heard the following phrase a lot when talking with people, "I have never told anyone this before but..." I have been hearing this phrase over and over again from the time I was in my teens. It has been anyone from a person I am meeting for the first time to someone I know well. I am not exactly sure why, but people feel comfortable telling me personal things about themselves. It is very flattering and I like to think that I am also a damn good secret keeper, so that trust is safe and well placed with me :)