Thank you! Thank you for connecting with this page. My name is Toni Sorenson and I believe that life delivers on time and on cue, so if you’re here,  you’re meant to be here because you have something to contribute and hopefully, to glean. Welcome, friend! That said. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve never been particularly insightful. I’m the one who laughs last and loudest because I don’t get the joke. But…I used to be darn funny. I know because Erma Bombeck told me so. If you don’t know who Erma Bombeck was, please look her up. She was both insightful and hysterical. And real. Oh, how I loved her realness.

Through “a series of unfortunate events”, life squashed my funny parts and I’m just trying to resuscitate (I had to look that word up to spell it right) them. I’m guessing this blog will be a place where vulnerability thrives. Where every day stuff takes on meaning because we ask and answer questions. Where we grow smarter.  Where we laugh together as we trip over our humanity. I’m hoping that’s the environment we create.

Let’s Get Acquainted

This is a random list of info about me. It’s meant to pull you in and make you think my life is interesting. Here’s the truth. As far as interesting people—I’m not one, but I AM INTERESTED. In people, places, and things. A therapist once told me that I’m average and that there’s no shame in being average. I managed a straight face as I asked, “Mind if I type that up and quote you? I’d like to hang that on my fridge…you know…for motivation.” She actually had to pause to think about  it. “I suppose I’ll allow that,” she said, “as long as you give me author credit.”

Here’s your author credit, you lame therapist that I never saw again after I walked out that day.

Some people just don’t get my sense of humor.

That’s okay. I still share because I’m a writer and it’s what we do. So while I’m sharing, let me tell you about the voices I hear that no one else hears. They’re snarky and taunting. Relentless. They echo inside my skull and say crap like they’re saying now: “Who do you think you are? You have nothing to say and nobody will care if you say it.” Hush. Be still, voices. I DO have things to say and words to say them. My heart wants to help people because I’ve survived a lot of stuff. I’m still standing and I’m still smiling. Maybe, by taking this risk, I can help someone else, caught out there in the landmine of life, to navigate around the danger zones.

Oh, pluleeze. Who am I to help anyone else? I’m still trying to save myself. So if you want to come along for that journey, you’re oh so welcome. I’ll slide over any day and make room for you. In the meantime allow me to peel back a layer of my soul and allow you a glimpse inside my “average” life. Here goes:

A camel once tried to chew my thumb off. It wasn’t the camel’s fault.

I was orphaned young so a good chunk of my childhood centered around running away and foster care. Wanna talk vulnerability? Any day. Any time.

I am a single mother to six children. I forget which ones are adopted.

I’ve made more mistakes than most people ever will.

My mightiest fear is that I’ll die having never lived.

My white-hot passion is to study the human brain. And travel. There’s no place I don’t want to visit.

I adore healthy foods, but still, I’m overweight. I am working on it because that number on the scale gets in the way of opportunity.

Harrison Ford once apologized to me.

I’ve survived a few trials like cancer, malaria, dengue and divorce.

A few years ago I walked atop the wall around Jerusalem. Got lost and ended up in big trouble.

My first child died in my womb when I was almost six months pregnant. They called it a miscarriage. I never have.

Sometimes I say bad words. On purpose. Like they don’t just slip off my tongue. I give ‘em a hard shove.

I’ve sold over a million books. You’ve probably never read any of them.

I love to laugh. I love to hear other people laugh.

I fall asleep in movies.

If you’re my friend, you’re my family.

I’ve read the Quran, the Talmud and the Tao Te Ching, and my favorite book in the world is the Old Testament.

Duolingo says I’m fluent in Spanish and French, and mostly fluent in Russian and Italian. I think Duolingo is very, very wrong.

I believe in miracles.

I’ve been the victim of a violent crime.

Most of my prayers have been answered with, “No.”

Sometimes when the house is empty, I cry because I miss the days when my kids were little and needed me.

Last week I ran a race (“ran” is a gross exaggeration). I’m not fast but I finish.

I worry about making enough money to meet bills.

Sometimes I don’t make enough money, and I blame it on that cursed law of scarcity that slithers through my veins.

I’ve been kicked by a horse, bitten by a goose, scratched by a raccoon, clawed by a hawk, kissed by an owl and a dolphin, and charged by a hippo. I once brought home a kangaroo.

I once pissed off a monk because I tried to hug him.

I started my own business and it succeeded. Until it didn’t.

I’m a hard worker. Not necessarily a smart worker.

I whine too much, but inside I overflow with gratitude.

I make a killer Kim Kardashian cry face. Hers is prettier.

A guru in India taught me a few words in Tamil that I used to chase away a cobra.

Photography is more than a hobby.

I’ve sat through oodles of football games not being able to identify which kid on the field was mine. Same with ice hockey.

I was in an earthquake. In Haiti.

I love to hike. Love everything about it except the rocks and the bugs. Oh, and the snakes. I hate snakes.

I’ve survived a plane crash landing. Twice, in fact.

Sometimes I hate myself even more than I hate snakes.

I nearly drowned—first, in the ocean and second, in a swimming pool—so I didn’t learn to swim until I was 51.

Frequently, I shatter the eleventh commandment.

The power and beauty of nature steals my breath and leaves me amazed.

My mother was an alcoholic. She was also my world.

I graduated college, but took my sweet time doing it.

I think I’m apt at forgiveness. Which means I’m not.

I’m very proud that my father’s father was a farmer.

I dress up at Halloween and scare my grandchildren. Even the wee ones.

I’m trying to be a better listener.

I can milk a cow and shoe a horse and ride a camel.

I’m damn patriotic. War hero blood runs in my family.

I’ve cried bathtubs of tears on a therapist’s couch.

I can’t sing though that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Fear used to stalk me. Then I made friends with fear. Ha.

I can’t dance, though when no one is looking, I do a wicked Electric Slide.

I spent one Mother’s Day in jail; I still don’t know why.

My great joy is in bringing people together. All kinds of people.

An elephant once stepped on me. It wasn’t the elephant’s fault.