I’ve known this real life Wonder Woman for as long as I can remember. Kim and I grew up together–as classmates and friends. I have fond memories of making snow forts and and ice skating together during elementary school recess. I recall birthday parties, Cabbage Patch Dolls, and riding her pony named Roni. We shared secrets and dreams. And then both moved on to college, marriage, kids, and careers. And, as often happens, we lost touch.
But, as luck would have it, we settled down in the same state and were reunited a few years ago when our daughters’ tennis teams played against each other. And even though we’d missed a significant chunk of time, we were able to pick up right where we left off. One of Kim’s many superpowers (in addition to creativity, work ethic and trustworthiness) is her compassion. Kim is a servant leader, both in her professional life and in how she cares for her friends, family and community.
I’m honored to introduce you to this week’s #RealLifeWonderWoman…Kim Hanson!
KR: Please tell us about what brings you joy and fulfillment.
KH: I experience joy in many areas of my life. My family—kids and husband—bring me joy daily. Watching our kids grow and experience life is amazing and rewarding and heartbreaking all at the same time. These weeks of isolation have brought back familiar family dinners and recipes, nothing to do in the evening, puzzles, walks through our fields and at home workouts with my daughter. I feel a sense of peace in times of uncertainty.
I also find joy in my work in the mental health field. My work is all about bringing hope to children and families and the staff I supervise. When a family is feeling so defeated and alone, providing support and intervention gives them hope. Knowing that I can be a part of their recovery brings me joy.
These past few weeks at my employment have been extremely challenging. Fear, anxiety, worry are all emotions we have experienced as we have shifted, in less than a week, to telehealth; shifting from face-to-face, in person sessions to seeing them on a screen. But the joy that I, as a supervisor, get to experience are the successes. The funny stories from staff of meeting all of the child’s animals both stuffed and real, the faces that I catch a glimpse of on the screen during a session, the appreciation from families that we hear in times of isolation that they can see a familiar face. This brings me joy; this fills my cup.
KR: We all have inner superpowers. What are some of yours?
KH: Well, I am a doer. I feel best when I am completing tasks and moving things along. I find satisfaction in completing a task and seeing the end result; in helping solve a problem; in listening and exploring an issue. So I guess my superpower would be HELPER.
KR: Can you tell us about an influential woman in your life and how she inspired you?
KH: This is always a challenge for me as I really don’t have an answer. I find inspiration in quotes, books and actions. Currently I am a big Brené Brown fan. As I enter midlife—ugh—I find that being vulnerable and letting go of things are important in my own personal and professional growth.
KR: If you could have one super-human power, what would it be?
KH: Currently it would be to solve this virus issue, but a super-hero power….I think I would like to have the ability to take turn back time for just a few minutes. I really don’t want to go back to high school or my single college days. But there are moments I would like to repeat like a special moment with my husband, or a belly laugh with my kids, or a “win” shared with my staff. But then there are those missteps like a poorly worded response, an unkind statement, a “foot in the mouth” comment, or a painful time for a loved one; those I would like to take back and repeat so as not to cause unintentional hurt or disappointment.
KR: What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?
KH: I love to be outside whether it be planting flowers, walking or working out, hiking, fishing or being at the beach. I like quilting and hope to more as the days go on. I like to read. I like to spend time with friends and family.
KR: Knowing what you know at your current stage of your life, what words of wisdom would you give to your 20-year-old self?
KH: Let go. You do not have to be in charge of everything. Don’t have regrets. Have fun and enjoy every moment.
KR: After putting this blog together, I was inspired to go dig through some old (really old!) photos and came up with this gem from high school. Thanks for the memories, Kim.