Do you qualify to be someone’s person?

Childhood best Friends

A person.

My person.

Individuals who made a difference in my life were assigned the title “my person” long before Shonda Rhimes introduced it in the television series, “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Some of the traits that characterize this individual have varied throughout the years, while others have remained the same.

Tonight, as I sat on the couch with only Roxy for company, I realized it’s been a while since I’ve called anyone “my person.”

Wrapping my fingers around a steaming mug of coffee, I pondered what a job profile for this esteemed position would be like. Quickly grabbing a notebook, I began to scribble what I deemed would be essential traits.

When I finished, my list looked something like this:

~ Must be willing to listen without judgement or criticism

~ Must possess the ability to comprehend verbal and non verbal communication, including profanity, slang, and unintelligible babble

~ Must possess empathy, kindness, and compassion

~ Must be able to both listen and hear, without interruptions, and for prolonged periods of time ~ Should possess restraint to keep from offering advice and other “fix it” type suggestions

~ Must be patient, sensitive, and supportive

Optional but favorable skills include:

~ Ability to make “personee” laugh, giggle, and feel like his or her situation has a solution

~ Ability to soothe, placate, and provide reassurance

~ Willingness to commiserate, validate, and offer a shoulder to cry on

Note: Willingness to bring good wine will guarantee potential candidates an automatic second interview

Note: Clock watchers, critics, and pseudo intellectuals need not apply

Yes, I’m certain this is how a “person’s” job profile would read.

Why? Because I’m convinced these are universal needs; needs that require us to reach out to our person in times of duress.

In times we feel lonely.
In times we feel completely alone.

A person.

We should all have one.
Every one of us.

Because no matter how tough, strong, and empowered we think we are, there are times we need to hear, “I am here. Talk to me.”

Do you have a person?

A Christmas newsletter with a twist?

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Patrick Q

I received my first Christmas newsletter yesterday.

I say first because year after year I am cursed with receiving newsletters of friends who just love to gloat share the good things that have happened to them during the year.

This letter in particular was from a friend (will call her Muffy), who lives in the Midwest.

She is bubbly, cheerful, and optimistic.

In other words, a ginormous ray of sunshine.

In her letter, Muffy enumerated her children’s many academic accomplishments, the many home improvements her husband has completed, and how her dog Minnie is expecting a litter of pups in the spring.

Muffy detailed so many good happenings, that you’d have to be a Buddhist monk to not feel like life isn’t fair.

Nevertheless, I had to smile as I reached the end of the letter.

There, in a large font, complete with swirls and curls, she had written, “What good things have happened to you in 2012?”

Given that I can’t actually write a sincere reply to Muffy, I thought I’d try my hand at my own Christmas newsletter and post it here.

Dear family and friends,
As 2012 nearly comes to a close, I can’t help but wonder why back in 2011 I thought this would be my year. For starters, we continue to soldier on without a dryer. Three years have passed since the demise of Gertrude, our trusty Whirlpool. Since then, we have toiled arduously to perfect the art of line drying. I think we can count this past year as the year we finally nailed how to dry three loads of laundry on two drying racks and any available surface. Sadly, this year we also suffered the passing of Bert, our central heating system. Much as we tried to CPR it back to life, the old guy didn’t have it in him to heat our home a second longer. The Son, always one to see the silver lining, came up with the brilliant idea that I should start a work in progress titled, “The Amish Ain’t Got Nothing On Us.” I am currently working on the first chapter.
The Son reached a milestone this year–he turned 21. He commemorated the event by attending a birthday/Halloween party dressed as a Ninja, for the ninth year in a row. Not one to upset tradition, he celebrated by drinking a hearty amount of distilled spirits in the company of his posse. Fortunately, upon arriving home, he was still able to walk a straight line and spell his name backwards.
This year brought a series of career opportunities to the Significant Other. His employer not only bequeathed him with a new desk chair, but also with new stationery. We now have plenty of “From the desk of…” post its to write our grocery lists on. Roxy Lee, our adorable furry friend underwent some difficult transitions. During the month of September, she went from cute ball of fur to fearful mini Cujo. This resulted not only in the loss of all her furry friends, but also in being banned from the dog park. We think this may be the reason why she has been leaving us little “gifts” as of late. Thanks to Roxy’s generosity, our home has taken on a unique aroma we call “Poopy-Bleach.” The Significant Other is currently considering whether to create an air freshener line with this very name.
This year, we also lost Helga, our spider plant. The neighbor, who saw me take out dear Helga’s lifeless carcass, thinks this may have been the result of overzealous watering. But between you and me, I think Helga committed suicide so she didn’t have to look at the snowman broom that hangs on the neighbor’s door year round. Finally, 2012 also gifted us with bronchitis, influenza, reflux, a torn meniscus, and copious amounts of gas and bloating. All in all, a splendid year, folks. We hope the holiday season finds you and your loved ones in good cheer!
With love,
Bella and family

Dear readers, what good things have happened to you in 2012?