Janet Mary Cobb Answers Totally Terrifying Questions
I met Janet Mary Cobb when we were both participating in April’s A-Z Blogging Challenge. She was ‘new’ to blogging, having given up a couple of blogs earlier in her life. As a new blogger, taking on the A-Z challenge was a deep dive not a cautious toe dip. Janet blogged twenty-six days in the month of April, each post an elaboration on her chosen theme of ‘voice’ and each a startlingly fresh and original interpretation. She is doing the same thing this month with her daily Bits of Joy posts.
As you will see below, Janet has lived a fascinating life, a life she speaks of openly and with great honesty. For this tribe story, Janet had the courage to answer all 25 of our Totally Terrifying Questions. I’m confident that you will find her responses interesting and thought-provoking so, without further ado, here’s Janet Mary Cobb.
My Life’s Purpose
My purpose in life is to go about doing good. The mission statement on my website reads,
“act justly, love mercy, walk humbly, do good, always seek to do the next right thing, and actively attempt to help anyone I encounter to find peace, be content, and share joy.”
This has taken on several renditions over the years.
From 18-31, I lived as a Catholic religious in a convent.
From ages 33-present, I’ve been a mother to my children whom I hope to raise with the same values and sense of purpose (so far, so good).
And now as a semi-empty-nester from 2016, I hope that I live these values as a strategy coach to small nonprofits both across the country and internationally, as well as through my blog and other writing.
Starts, Stops and Sidetracks
I started life over at age 31 when I was dispensed of my vows of chastity, poverty and obedience as a Catholic sister.
In 2000, I moved across the country with my husband and family to start again in a new job and new home. We did that again in 2007.
Then in 2015, I started my career over completely when I moved out of the academic world and into nonprofit coaching.
I’d say the only constant in my life is inconsistency!
- I am often waiting for the other shoe to drop, and am a bit of a hypochondriac. It would be awful to die before I am successful at anything important or meaningful in life.
- As a child, I was very afraid that my mother would leave me and never come back. Then, when I was about seven, my father did.
- I am avoiding completing my various writing projects (business related, fiction, and nonfiction) because once they are completed, I will be faced with the reality of whether or not they are considered successful. By not committing to a project enough, I avoid the chance that I might fail. If I knew I could not fail, I would make sure to market my services and my books more.
- In my convent training days, I dreamt often that the devil was hiding under my bed waiting to pull me down into the depths of hell. A therapist could have had quite a time with that one! Fortunately, I haven’t had a dream like that in more than thirty years.
- I’ve often thought it would be cool to visit various places like the Philippines, Australia or Ireland. Those place names change depending on who I’m spending time with or what I am into, so while it’s a desire, it’s not a super strong one.
- Lake Tahoe was nearby when I was growing up, but I never actually saw it. I’d like to do that sometime.
- If I were going to die tomorrow, I’d call all of my children and siblings to say goodbye, and I’d eat chocolate cake and have a great big sweet chunky caramel ice cream treat. Next, I’d create an email to inform my clients that I would not be attending any further sessions. I’d make sure my husband had everything he needed to take care of what is usually my responsibility, and then I’d hang out with him until I passed.
- If I could choose just one thing to change about the world, I’d get rid of hatred. Hatred is what leads to violence and war. While illness and death seem a natural part of life, hatred is simply unnecessary, unmitigated evil.
- For me, a full life would look like living debt free with my family so that all my earnings could be spent on enjoyment in the here and now. In 2007, before the recession, we were debt free except for a mortgage. That’s not the case now.
- The one thing I haven’t done that I really want to do is to finish writing all my works in progress, publish them, and be a full-time author. Three things are holding me back–I have too many ideas, I procrastinate, and I struggle with marketing.
- The other thing I’ve always wanted is to be a waitress!
7 Things Most People Don’t Know About Me
- I surrendered my desire for a totally natural home birth with my first child to go to a hospital –at hour 75 of labour. I underwent an emergency C-section at hour 86. My all or nothing tendencies were totally challenged when I realized that the integration of holistic and traditional Western medicine saved my life and the life of my baby.
- If I could live anywhere in the world, I’d like to live in Chicago where I am now, but near the lake.
- For about seven years now, I’ve been bursting into tears over odd things. This led to the implosion of my career, which was fine because I’m happy in my new choice. However, it does cause many uncomfortable and awkward moments for others.
- The last time I laughed so much it hurt was at my mother’s funeral a few months ago. I loved listening to the stories from her life.
- The Chinese culture speaks to me. I lived in Taiwan and Hong Kong, speak the languages, and love the Taoist philosophy.
- I’m most myself when I’m in the kitchen, cooking.
- I have no regrets and I don’t really believe in mistakes when it comes to life choices. They are simply lessons we learn.
Janet and I invite your thoughts, reflections and questions.