Blessed to Be With OH

Blessed to Be With OH
Name: Danella Barnes-Penman
Pronouns: She/Her
Instagram: Danella Barnes-Penman

What do the words "only human" mean to you?

We are each imperfectly perfect creatures. There is no right. There is no wrong. There is no normal.

What are you passionate about?

I’m a now 59 year old woman who is a retired educator. I moved with my wife to a small nor cal town on the Pacific Ocean five years ago. My passions include volunteering in my town, helping out at our schools, and giving back to the community in different ways.

I am a passionate wood turner and am back in to walking and hiking as well.

What makes you the happiest?

I am happiest when I am with my wife. She’s the love of my life. She and I have a dog called “Xanax” who is, I’m afraid, 15 years old and had heart failure. The three of us have a special life together. We are blessed beyond measure and living out our dreams of retirement, travel, volunteering, and puttering in our respective hobbies.

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

Believe it or not, even as an “older” person, it’s only recently I’ve found my voice for speaking up about injustice and the impact hurtful words have on others. Somewhere along the way, I mustered the courage to say something when people say hurtful things or use slurs toward others. It began when I identified with the #MeToo movement. I finally had the courage to tell my story. And then that courage rose! It’s never too late to learn!

How do you keep yourself positively inspired during overwhelming times?

I love walking. I also love reading, music, and long purposeful conversations. It depends on what kind stress I feel that drives the perfect outlet. I live almost on the beach, so it is easy to go stick my feet in the sand to feel grounded again. If I feel angst, creating a wooden plate or bowl on the lathe works wonders. But there are also perfect songs or perfect books which can drive me back to center better than other coping tools as well.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?

I’d love to walk in Kamala Harris’ shoes. God! That swagger when she wears her Chuck Taylor’s! I’d love to feel that confident. Or is it really confidence? I’d love to know. I’d also like to know what it’s like to be in her First Woman Vice President shoes. What an exciting and wonderfully promising time for her and all of us!

What book (or books) have greatly influenced your life?

There are many:

1- Leo Buscaglia “The Way of the Bull”

2- John Bradshaw “Homecoming”

3- Eckhart Tolle “A New Earth”

These three the most.

What’s your favorite quote?

“It is what it is until it isn’t. And the only way becomes different is for me to, either, wait until some force changes it, or until I change the way I perceive it.”

What is your most-used emoji?


What would be your advice to a human who just graduated from high school and was about to enter the "real world"?

Every day one must:

Show up. Pay attention. Learn. Give back to the world.

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