Stranger 025

JanWhat’s your full name? 

Janice Lynne Reynolds

Were you named after anyone?

No, but I have always been told the story that my brother and I were supposed to be twins, and my mother wanted our names to match. When my older brother came out alone, she named him James Lawrence Stone, my mother kept what she had planned to name him. When I came along two years later, she changed her choice of Janice Lorraine Stone, to a shortened version of Janice Lynne Stone (maiden name).

What’s your average day like?

Oh, well I mostly just go where the wind blows me. It usually revolves around my grandchildren, they are my light. I worked for many years and had to be where others told me to be, and had to do what others told me to do. Now, that sort of commitment sort of stresses me out.

I do like things planned out, if they’re fun, but mostly I like just doing whatever I want. I get up very early in the morning, have coffee and read and listen to the news. I love to dream about where I can go in the world, so am constantly planning somewhere to go, near or far. Balance is nice between spending time being with family, friends or just having fun and relaxing with my husband. I pretty much just try to keep focused on having fun.

What do you consider to be your “home”? 

I have no “home”. I was raised all over the world as a child. No matter where I am, there really is no home. My home is where my family is, and that can be anywhere, even if it is for a short time. It really doesn’t matter to me, as long as I am with my family.

When you age, its kind of a problem when you start to think of your own mortality and where you want to end your life or be buried. My husband and I just can’t find any one location that feels that way to us.

How far away do you live from where you were born?

I was born in Oxnard, CA, which is just down in SoCal, but I have no connection to that area, I have no memory of it. I know its where they filmed the movie “Its a Mad, Mad, World,” which is a hilarious old movie. I was told the treasure they were all searching for in the movie was under a couple of palm trees shaped like an “X” , they are actually located on the property of the hospital I was born in, so I think that is funny. It was right on the beach. I guess I am a real native California Beach girl, Lol.

Is that distance something you think about? Do you have any connection to your place of birth? 

Not at all.

Are you in touch with anyone from your youth? Is there someone you wish you stayed in contact with, but didn’t? 

Lots and lots of people. I have lived many lives, all over the world and made many friends as I grew up. Each place I lived, I had friends. Facebook has done me the favor of connecting me with a lot of them, which has made me painfully aware of how many lives I have led. Each are so different from one another depending on the location, from third world countries to elite boarding schools and everything in between.

I went to 10 different schools in Novato, Philippines, Nigeria, Virginia, Nicaragua, Atherton and Morgan Hill. Each place I had many childhood friends, who I communicate with at varied degrees, they don’t necessarily live where I met them, but instead live all over the world now. What you realize, is that some relationships were very important to you as a child, but not so much to the other person. But it also works in reverse, where others loved you a lot, and you didn’t really give them what they needed or wanted from you. I learned not to take it personally, each person comes through your life and you just enjoy the moment that its there and then move on. If there is a mutual connection, it’ll come back to you with tons of love, if not, you value the experience for what it gave you and that’s it.

I will tell you that those relationships where the love is mutual, is a life-changing event and so wonderful beyond words. Speaking a second language also gives you an advantage to connecting with those people, that has given me immense joy. I have an open heart because of the way I was raised and have had some amazing connections with people….age, gender, race, rich, poor, no matter, it’s all good.

At the moment, what’s something you’re looking forward to?

Always a vacation or time with my family.

Is there anything you need with you throughout the day to feel complete?

Just my husband, I’m sort of obsessed with him.

When you look in the mirror, what do you notice first about your appearance? 

If I am tired or not.

If you could change something about your appearance, what would it be? 

I could use a few less wrinkles, lol.

What do you first notice in strangers? 

Mostly I notice that they are smiling at me. Then I realize it must be because I am smiling at them, then I will return a great big smile because I have realized suddenly that they are smiling at me…and then I see them light up…it’s kind of funny. Makes me laugh.

What do think those that know you say about you?

My kids tell me I am really weird, oh well.

What would you hope they would say?

I hope they know how much I love them.

What do you think strangers notice first about you? 

I have a lot of people come up to me and tell me that they think they know me, or that I am some sort of “twin” to someone they know. It happens to me ALL the time, not just once in a while. One time I had someone tell me they thought my face looked like it belonged on the front of a cornflakes box. I think that must mean I have some sort of generic looking face that just looks familiar to people. Anyway, I get to meet a lot of people that way, Lol.

What is your proudest moment? Biggest victory? 

Oh, corny as it may sound, my children and grandchildren. Anything they do makes me weep with pride, it doesn’t matter how big or small. Every day I get surprised with something new.

What is your biggest regret? Biggest failure?

I wish I would have finished college, I wanted to be a marine biologist. But my own childhood family is my biggest failure, I have no relationship with any of them. I also built up a very successful financial education company that ended badly. I won financially, but my friends backstabbing me left me broken and hurt. It took me many years to get through the grief of losing 2 lifelong friends out of it. I wouldn’t have changed a thing, I was happy with my behavior and how I handled it, but I will always wonder if they feel like they did any wrong or feel justified in their actions. I guess they are the ones who have to look at themselves in the mirror. For me, I have learned to be kinder to people and try to be more sensitive to others, I know how it feels.

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be? 

I wish I didn’t talk so much and could be a better listener. I get mad at myself when I leave places and wish I had spent more time listening to the wonderful people I am with. I will try to work on that, I miss out on so much by not listening. I do try to be aware of it.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? Are you making plans for the future, or winging it? 

I am always working on making plans. It usually involves having fun with my family, or making plans for a vacation, even if its just to our houseboat for the weekend. Ten years from now, I will be with the man I love, enjoying every second I have on this earth, it doesn’t matter what we are doing, he makes going to the grocery store fun. But I hope its hiking around in the mountains somewhere, laying on a beach, observing wild animals in their natural habitat, or exploring the world around us.

If you could know exactly when and how you would die, would you want to know? 

NO!

What is the one rule you try to live by? Do you feel successful at following it? 

I wish I could always be patient and kind, like most people I think. I fail at it daily. As I age, I have been getting better at it and have had a few successes that made me feel pretty warm and fuzzy all over when all was said and done. I do believe that a lot of people aren’t lucky enough to know what true kindness is, I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced the epitome of kindness from my husband, my love. Lucky girl.

 

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