What kind of hugger are you?

What Kind of Hugger are you?

This past weekend I was caught up in thinking about hugs and huggers. It started off because I had one of those blue days where I was just sad and I felt like I was in desperate need of a hug, which then led me to think even more about the many hugs I’ve experienced and given along the way. And then I ended up coming up with the following categorization of huggers.  Where do you fall in the list?

Sider slider – We have all experienced or even delivered this kind of hug. Sider sliders are slick. You reach out to hug them and somehow you end up getting a squeeze around the shoulders, from a side angle. The side sliders keep it safe. They don’t want to be rude, but they also don’t feel comfortable with full blown hugs.

awkward side hug

The Pros- The Pros are confident huggers. They know just how much to squeeze and exactly how long to hug. They usually keep it casual with a small tap on the back that seems like the “this hug is ending” signal. The Pros can read people like a book-they know who to hug and who not to hug.

 Hugaphobic – This category describes an individual who would spray raid on someone, anyone who attempted to hug them. If you have even attempted to hug an individual in this category, you probably remember that dreaded feeling that you were on the verge of death the moment you wrapped your arms around the person, but it was too late to pull back. You were committed. And once you survived the encounter, you will never make the mistake again.

no hugging

The Free Hugger- The individuals in this category of hugging probably own a “free hugs” t-shirt. No not really ;). These people walk around fearlessly giving hugs. In fact, don’t expect or even try to leave the presence of a free hugger without getting a hug. They will come find you. “I will find you….and I will hug you.”

photo credit: coolspoters.com

photo credit: coolspoters.com

Anaconda Hugger- Anaconda Huggers believe in squeezing love into people. Once you are in the grip of an anaconda hugger, take a deep breath- it may be the last breath you get to take for the next few minutes. Anaconda Huggers are usually people with huge hearts…and strong arms.

Oh Wait! You are just an Acquaintance Hugger- Huggers in this group aren’t much for hugging people they don’t know very well, but they will do it. If you have ever been on the other end of a hug delivered by a person in this category you probably remember reaching out for a firm hug (because you’ve watched them saying good byes to their friends and they give them firm, back slapping hugs)  and then felt them just slip away and the hug is over before it even began. You walk away literally feel like you’ve just been hugged by a mannequin that thought you smelled bad (and thinking I thought we were friends!).

Awkward hugger- Individuals in this group feel lost. They don’t know when to give a hug, when not to give a hug. They don’t know how long to “embrace” so it is either too long or too short. They don’t know whether to give a side hug or a full hug…and usually it ends up being a weird combination of the two. And the poor awkward huggers can’t recognize a hugaphobic when they see one….it can get ugly.

hug


 

Out of all of these categories of huggers I am a little bit of an awkward hugger and the Oh Wait! You are just an Acquaintance Hugger. Hugging friends and family is something that just comes naturally but,…I don’t know you… I don’t know you very well…I just don’t know what to do! To hug or not to hug?

We should all try to hug more. Hugs make us feel safe, they make us feel happy, they make us feel loved. If  you aren’t comfortable hugging everyone, that’s OK! Hug the people close to you…hug them more often. We all need hugs (even those of us who don’t really like getting them!)…we all need to know we are cared about. The Huffington Post has an interesting article on the health benefits of hugging called, “7 Reasons Why We Should Be Given More Hugs”. find it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/27/health-benefits-of-huggin_n_5008616.html

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When your alarm throws in the towel

My eye lids slowly blinked open. I felt like I just woke up after spending three months in a vegetative state.

How I look waking up..

How I look waking up..

Even though darkness filled the room, I started to hear the zoom of the first wave of the morning rush. Sigh. I would have to wake up soon. I wondered how much time I had, if I was lucky it was the earliest crowd heading for a long commute to DC. If that were so I still had 2 blissful hours to sleep. It certainly was dark enough and I was certainly tired enough.

I picked up my phone and squinted at the blinding light and read 7:25am. I closed my eyes, shook my head. I must still be dreaming. There was no way it was 7:25, if it were true I would have to leave for work in 5 minutes. I reopened my eyes, forcing them to look into the light.

7:26am.

I paused for a moment, staring at the time in horror. I had set the alarm for 6:30am. I had set the alarm and I had turned it up to the highest volume, I was 100% certain. Then the phone buzzed and went dark. It buzzed again, almost angrily sounding; a small box popped up on the screen announcing that google play was shutting down (definitely was sleeping,  not playing fruit ninja), next it buzzed with the message that messenger was forced to close (I didn’t even have it open), after it announced that the phone was pretty much throwing in the towel, quitting everything.

7:27am.

Then it hit me-Autumn, you have to leave for work in 3 minutes, why are you staring at your disloyal phone?

The adrenaline kicked in and I flew out of bed and ran to the kitchen to check the clock on the microwave, just in case.

Still 7:27….wait no, now it’s 7:28!

I let out a little scream and dashed to my room to throw on some clothes. I should note that, I’m that employee with the special parking lot for perfect attendance and always being on time. Haha. Not really! But I really strive for punctuality and always being at work on time or early. This could not be happening!

I looked at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and winced. My hair was wild, like I had been riding in a convertible for hours….in tornado alley. Already 7:31, I had no choice but to braid it. I thought that might look a little more put together than a pony tail. Braid done. Next was the makeup, I had fallen asleep still wearing my make up so now I had mascara crumbling on to my cheeks and eyeliner smeared under my eyes.jack sparrow I looked like Jack Sparrow, pretty much. I tried to scrub it off, but then I remembered that my eyeliner is water proof. The smudges became even thicker. And it was 7:34 now. I was frantic. I grabbed the eye makeup remover and wiped away the dark smudging the best I could and reapplied mascara over the crunchy stuff already on. Now my eyelashes looked like tarantula legs. At least it is near Halloween, maybe I could get away with it. 7:36. I needed to leave, and of course I couldn’t find my shoes! I saw my hot pink flip flops in the corner, but no I couldn’t wear those to work and definitely not on a freezing drizzly day. 7:37. The hot pink flip flops were on my feet and I was finally out the door.

When I got to work I ran into my office and closed the door, I had for the most part slipped in, unnoticed and I was on time! YES! Now all I had to worry about was avoiding people and at least I could be grateful that my boss had just left for vacation yesterday.

Several hours into the day, I had a spare moment so I slipped into the bathroom to help tidy my appearance. I looked in the mirror (with better lighting than my own) and it was bad. With my straggly braid and frightening eyelashes and drippy makeup I looked like I had just been on set in the Hunger Games. There was little I could do but once again utter a prayer of thanks that at least my boss was on vacation.hunger games

I was back in my office when I heard the deep voice rumbling through the hall ways. It can’t be. Oh! But it was. The voice grew louder and louder. He was headed my way. He popped into the door and I said a chipper, “I thought you were supposed to be in a car heading to the beach!” My insides were squirming, praying he would stay near the door and at least not catch a glimpse of the hot pink rubber flip flops. He greeted me saying he had forgot to tell me about a detail he had for a project I would be completing in his absence. He was bringing his dog to the kennel and decided to just drop by the office, since it was on the way. The dog was with him and everyone knows I love dogs so I had to go over and pet it or he would know something was up. I got up from my desk and my hot pink flip flops were exposed.

I waited for something, a comment about the unprofessional, blindingly neon pink shoes. But he didn’t say anything!What a relief! Perhaps he was lenient because he was headed to the beach himself? Well, I set the alarm on the radio clock…hopefully that won’t quit on me!

Have you ever woken up late and had to scramble to get to work? Would you rather be late or wear hot pink flip flops to work? (I am questioning my judgment on this…maybe I should’ve taken a few more minutes? But I HATE being late!)

Photo Friday…on Saturday…

Sister road trips are the best. At the time we all worked at the zoo, (it was a family thing-4 of us worked there!) it had been a busy day for Spring and we could not get that clock to tick fast enough. Finally, the floors were scrubbed and mopped, the chairs turned over, the lights turned out, the mouse traps set (haha! Truth! Mice love cotton candy apparently) -with a final glance, we ran out the door and into 10 days of freedom, aka vacation time. Andrea and I had just graduated from college, and if you have gone to a college far from home, you probably understand that empty feeling of returning home and going from having tons of friends to 2 friends- not to mention one of them is your sister. I could not wait to get to Florida, neither could Katie and Andrea, and we decided we wouldn’t wait. The night before and that morning we packed our bags and had them waiting at the front door. The plan was to head out right when we changed out of our zoo gear and said our good byes to our parents. It was nearly 7:00pm when we finally hit the road. We planned on driving straight through, and with three people we formed a “driver rotation”. One person would sleep in the back, one person would drive, one person in the passenger seat would keep the driver awake. I have always liked starting a road trip at night especially if it is an over 20 hour drive and you don’t want to “waste” an ounce of money by staying at a hotel. When you start the trip you have adrenaline on your side, helping keep you awake and alert and then when the sun comes up you are more than half-way there! My boyfriend and I are total opposites when it comes to driving at night. He says he likes to see scenery. Well there ain’t much scenery in Northern New Mexico!

Back to my story: It was a little past midnight when I started driving on the lonely and barren highway. There were few cars, and just a whole lot of nothing, maybe a few tumbleweeds but it was so hard to see them anyway. I was drinking black Columbian coffee, gross but keeps you AWAKE and singing with the radio. This was SOOOO boring. My driving “buddy” that was supposed to keep  me awake, fell asleep! It was just me and the road and the thick blackness of an area with no houses and no cities for miles. I looked out the window and gasped. There was a dark shadow of some kind of rock formation. But what stood out to me was the backdrop-Thousands, millions of stars. I pulled over and woke up Andrea and Katie. We hopped out of the car and stood there with our heads bent upwards, staring at a sky filled with glittering stars. We didn’t say anything for a while. There was nothing to say and too much to say all at once. It was so beautiful. I had never before seen so many stars. New Mexico was meant to be driven through at night.

photo credit: google images

photo credit: google images

Where is the spot you have seen the most stars?

Poem, The Girl With Thick Framed Glasses

This is a poem I started a long time ago and finally picked up last week and finished.

The Girl With Thick Framed Glasses

Behind her glasses

Those thick-lined frames

She was one of those people everyone passes,

Disappearing in a sea of names.

Brown hair pulled into a ponytail

A smile touched her pink lips

Her skin was freckled and pale

Her cheeks the color of rose tips.

She worked in the college café

Ringing up orders, making frappes

And by brewing coffee, saving the day-

At least mine, anyway.

The girl that no one for sure knew

Was the one my throat got tight around

When I tried to say “Hi”, my legs turned to glue

My palms got sweaty, my heart would pound.

Behind those thick framed glasses

Were her beautiful eyes-

The color of ginger and molasses-

The love in them stretched to the skies.

To the world she was just a cashier

That rang up their orders each day,

No one noticed her brown hair

Shine when the sun hit it a certain way.

To the world she may not have mattered much,

Just the coffee stop on the way to their classes-

So many lives she did subtly touch,

The girl behind the thick framed glasses.

Talk to the girl that visits your dreams

Who is an angel, just without wings.

Talk to the give with the sweet face,

Whose movements are all touched with grace.

On the last day of school I had one chance

To ask her to the end of year dance.

I walked into the café-

But I couldn’t find the words to say.

“She already has a date,” I thought

“Tell her how you feel!” My courage fought.

She was the girl I longed to know-

She was beautiful, but I couldn’t tell her so.

I paused and looked at her once more-

And turned back, and out the door.

I am the girl with thick framed glasses

The girl that everyone passes

The girl that no one notices in a crowd

Even though I’m screaming so loud.

I’m the girl that needs to know

That in the middle of hundreds of lights,

Someone sees my glow.

I’m the girl that needs to know

That in this big world I am not alone

That I am wanted and longed to be known.

I wrote this with the thought that someone out there may NEED to know they are cared about. Someone out there may NEED YOU. Don’t just assume they know you care…..tell them.

photo friday: Wind Blown

Today’s Photo Friday is a picture that “wowed” me. From growing up in Colorado, I was always fascinated by trees and plants that grew out of the side of rocks and even sideways sometimes off the side of a cliff. But I had never seen a tree like the one pictured, that refused to break during a horrible wind storm. The picture below is of a wind-blown juniper tree on the Island of El Hierro, the Canary Islands. Can you imagine what that wind must have been like? More importantly, can you imagine the strength of this tree’s roots? It is amazing how sometimes we don’t realize how strong/powerful nature can be.

This tree makes me think of those people who never seem to give up, no matter how hard their life’s storm is. They may be bent, but they are not broken. It also made me think of the simple truth of “nurturing things”. If you take care of something, give it nutrients- it will grow stronger and stronger and when the bad things/wind come it won’t break. Life works the same way most of the time. If we nurture our relationships by pouring in communication, time, love etc. they become stronger and stronger and you can survive fights, disagreements, rumors, tears, whatever. It is the same thing that goes for work, parenting, writing, faith, and physical health. Learn to be someone who is always trying to grow, who is always building whether it’s your relationship or a skill; the more you practice, the more you nurture, the better and stronger you become.

photo credit: google images

photo credit: google images

Photo FridayWho is someone you have met that is the strongest person you’ve ever known?

Jet Skiing Adventure

Has there been something you’ve dreamed of doing, something you knew would be so fun, so enjoyable, an absolute blast, but when you were actually able to get around and do it, boy-you were so wrong? That’s what happened to me when I recently went on a vacation to the Outer Banks with my boyfriend’s family.

When we crossed the North Carolina border we were greeted with sheets of rain, howling winds, and thunder that made the ground rumble. As the gray clouds got thicker and thicker, I whipped out my phone to check out the weather. Josh’s mom said that we had 6 straight days of sun in our vacation forecast. I was finally, going to the beach, finally days under the sunshine. I desperately needed a vacation. The last one was a trip to Colorado for my twin sister’s wedding (btw the plan for a co-owned blog by my twin sister, Andrea and myself is in the works. Stay tuned!) but a “wedding vacation” isn’t ever exactly a vacation. I looked at my phone and felt my entire body slump in disappointment. Rain. Rain. Clouds. Rain. Thunderstorms. Rain. Gray. No Sun. WHAT?? This can’t be possible. I checked another sight for Duck, North Carolina, and it was basically the same prediction, but it did promise one partially sunny day. I was depressed. There is nothing like going on a vacation to the beach and having it rain 24/7. I tried to remain positive saying to myself, “Rainy days make good writing days” but I certainly wasn’t feeling it.

About two days into the vacation, the sun broke out. I hadn’t seen it in so long I started checking the people around me for any glittering skin, The Outer Banks had transformed into Washington State so one can never be too careful (horrible Twilight joke I know).

edward

What I actually did was throw on my bikini, grab my boogie board and try to shuffle everyone straight to the beach. En-route, Josh’s step-dad, Tim, announced that before we headed to the beach we were going on a little adventure. The adventure was…JET SKIING!!

I clapped with joy! I have never ever been jet skiing in my life, and it was one of my life long dreams to go. I love boating, and what couldn’t be more fun that gliding across the gentle water on a “motorcycle of the seas”? As we drove to the Jet Skiing retail docks Josh told me story after story of his jet skiing adventures. All of the highlights of his adventures included someone flying off the back of the jet ski. My favorite description he gave was, “Yeah, Dad flew off the back of the jet ski so hard he looked like a rock skipping across the water! He was in so much pain the next day, it was hilarious!” Inwardly I grimaced and thought about how weird guys are. For so many of them “bonding” or “having fun” most always includes pain of some kind. With each story, my excitement turned into uneasiness. I would be the riding with Josh. I would be the victim. I would be flung in the air, skipping across the water.

We all signed waivers and then walked down a boarded walk to the dock where about 15 jet skis’ sat waiting to be used. The guy that worked at the dock was tall and so thin I thought he would disappear when he turned sideways. His skin was perfected toasted from what I could tell was a summer spent working in the sun. He mumbled a memorized speech of instructions and before I knew it we were pulling on life vests. It took me forever to find one that wasn’t too big or the home of a spider.

By now my hands felt clammy and my stomach felt like a twisted knot. I looked over at Josh and said firmly, “Babe, you can’t go too fast and you can’t throw me off, ok?”

He patted me on the back and insisted I would be ok. “I promise not to go too fast. But going fast is fun!”

I gulped. Our definition of “fast” was far from close. If I was Miss Daisy, he was a “break the sound barrier” wanna be.

We got on and I clung on for dear life, hoping that in the words of American Ninja Warrior, I had enough “grip strength”.

Once we got out of the no wake zone Josh hit the gas. The jet ski flew across the water. Let me just say, it didn’t feel like we were riding on water it felt like we were riding on concrete. I imagined the pain that was bound to happen flying into that rough water. The wind and water hit my face like little needles and I screamed feeling totally lame. I tried to be brave, but I felt my fingers slipping.

“Too fast!” I cried.

He slowed down a little and looked for waves to “bounce around”. “You’ll like this!” He called back to me.

We were crashing into waves and I held on like I was holding onto a bucking bronco. That’s how it felt to me anyway. He spun around in huge circles and then in little circles. We flew into the air after “bouncing” against the waves. I watched my life flash before my eyes.

 bronco

At one point the seat had gotten completely soaked and I was literally sliding off, bouncing around. He asked how I felt and I called back, “I feel like butter in a frying pan! I’m sliding all over!”

Josh suggested that I try to drive it. We came to a stop and I finally was able to breath again. When I drove it I realized I didn’t feel paralyzed with fear going 20 miles per hour or under in a perfectly straight line. I was lame. I was Miss Daisy.

photo credit: Driving Miss Daisy

photo credit: Driving Miss Daisy

I felt so bad for Josh so I begged him to drop me off at the dock, so at least he could enjoy himself more. He said he didn’t want to do that, he wanted to jet ski with me and he would just go slower. I felt awful so I told him to speed up to around 35 mph even though I was scared.

I had not imagined jet skiing this way. I imagined that I would love it. That I would save up and buy a jet ski one day. I had not imagined feeling relieved when the guy that worked there signaled for us to come back to the dock, and our time was over. When we docked I leaped off the jet ski to discover my legs and arms and fingers felt like they were frozen into position and I ended up being sore for days because I was clutching on so tightly.

I am glad I got to mark something off of my bucket list, but am sad that I didn’t enjoy jet skiing as much as I thought I would (I mean doesn’t every cool person like to jet ski?). But I do have hope for perhaps competing on The Next American Ninja Warrior…clearly I have killer grip strength. 😉

photo credit: American Ninja Warrior

photo credit: American Ninja Warrior

What is something you thought you’d love and ended up hating/not loving it after you tried it?

Jane Austen…random thoughts

I heard a quote yesterday by Jane Austen that I absolutely loved and never heard before. So of course I thought it would only be right if I share it with my fellow bloggers.

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”

-Jane Austen

Jane, I couldn’t agree with you more! I have been feeling the need to find new adventures myself and well…I suppose I should start thinking about leaving my “village”.

All day long, I had Jane Austen on my mind. I’ve been a big fan since I was really little and watched “Pride and Prejudice” the Wishbone version. Did any one else ever watch that show Wishbone with the Jack Russel Terrier? After that I developed an obsession. I have seen almost every version of Pride and Prejudice out there (A & E version is the BEST!), Emma, Sense and Sensibility, etc. I felt like I had a connection with Jane Austen because (before my youngest sister was born) there were 5 girls in my family and no boys. My Mom would even call us the “Bennet” family. Today, as I was reminiscing, while trying not to get hit by the aggressive shoppers pushing carts in Walmart (they are especially vicious in the Walmart closest to my house-if you are in the way you better move fast! Once I wasn’t “hasty” enough for one woman and she rammed me in the heels and then swerved around me without even acknowledging me and my bruising ankle. It felt like a hit and run!) I decided I should see if there were any Austen Era novels available in Walmart’s book section. The only one I found was “Death at Pemberly” or maybe it is “Murder at Pemberly”. I decided to go ahead and buy it, I mean at least it wasn’t those ridiculous zombie books, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (remember those books?…eessh!). I’ve always loved mystery books and obviously I love Pride and Prejudice so maybe this mash-up could be a great thing…we’ll see.

While I’m going on about Pride and Prejudice I actually had a potential book idea pop into my mind. Mary is the boring, dull and forgotten sister. I thought, maybe I should write a book about her? Tell her story.  The Forgotten Sister, The Quiet One.…I can see it now…

What is the most recent book you’ve read?  Is there a “forgotten” character in a book that you would like to write about, share their story? Are you starting a new adventure?