Board of Life Directors

You are the Average of the 5 People You Spend the Most Time With ~Jim Rohn


As a self proclaimed introvert with extrovert tendencies, my ‘work from home’ environment can feel isolating but also rejuvenating. My communications with colleagues, friends and family typically occur via writing (chat, email, text) or phone. Very little face to face interaction occurs. Isolating for someone who needs human interaction to feel stimulated, but rejuvenating for an introvert who craves thinking, processing and visual learning.

So when I came across Justin & Mary’s (a husband/wife duo of incredible photographers, and also genuinely, GOOD people) post  about Board of Life Directors–which was inspired by another photography couple, Liz & Ryan…well, I was pretty thrilled with the idea that we are the average of the 5 (or 7, or 10, or 2) people you spend the most time with.

Before I go on, take a second to click on over and read more about what Liz & Ryan wrote. It’s good stuff, people.

And it spurred me to think. {which I love to do}

Who are my Board of Life Directors?

As I was thinking that day, the emails, texts, chat messages, phone calls trickled in…and I paid attention. Who do I interact with the most? Who do I look to for guidance and advice? Who do I look up to? Who has the same values and beliefs as I?

And are these people a positive impact on my life? Do they inspire me? Push me to thrive? Encourage me? Respect me? Make me happy?

Luckily, it was a resounding–YES.

And as I consciously, thoughtfully, and meticulously add to my Board of Life Directors–I will continue to look for these characteristics to surround myself by.

My list is small for now, but it will grow with time and life experience. And each person will be put there for a reason and possibly a season. I would hope my Board will perpetually grow, but I know that life changes.

Without further ado, the beginning of my Board of Life Directors.


Easily at the top are the two people I have the most to give thanks to. Thank you for giving me life. Instilling in me a desire to make this world a better place, as you do already. Raising me to appreciate and respect the Earth we live on. Always being there for me. Setting an example of the life and love I want to surround myself with. And easily, the people I talk to the most on the phone…with over 7 hours in just 3 weeks. While a 5 hour car drive separates us, a piece of you is always with me–in my heart, thoughts, and dreams.

{Proud Alum of Medical College of Wisconsin}


The person I spend the most time with. My work from home companion. My better half. My doggies’ daddy. The realist to my optimist. My encourager. My support. My jokester. My happy maker. My passion. My love. My Matthew.


Newest to my life, but not to my soul, I have been blessed to have this incredible colleague put into my life. Not just a colleague, but a friend who feels like a sister. The big sister I never had…until now. Sent from around the globe, this Aussie is inspirational, encouraging, and reflects values and beliefs that I strive to have. A strong woman who is dedicated, passionate about education, believes in standards and honesty, respects science and faith, and has a marriage that we all dream of. A colleague and friend that will spend hours on the phone, computer, sandy beach, chasing chirping frogs, watching the stars, dressing in the same outfits (which was not planned), sharing knowledge, encouraging, and installing apps. 😉 The person I didn’t even know my soul was missing.

As I continue to add to my Board of Life Directors, I would challenge all of you to think about who you spend the most time with.  Are you surrounding yourself with amazing people? If not, why? And maybe, do you need to let go of some?

Our choices are the only thing stopping us or allowing us to have an amazing, incredible, wonderful life. Let’s make good choices, people. Spread the happiness. Be positive. Make a difference in someone’s day.

It just might change the world.



Mary Marantz - October 12, 2012 - 6:18 am

Love love LOVE this Annika!! Your Board looks like it is already off to an amazing start!


Liz and Ryan - October 12, 2012 - 3:08 pm

This is fantastic!!! This make our heart smile!!! We are so honored to have been able to inspire you to create your own Board of Life Directors!!!! Cheers to changing the world!!! 🙂

My Favorite Things | Vol 2 – 2 November 2012 » Driftless Living Photography | Southwestern Wisconsin Lifestyle Photography | Annika Swenson - November 2, 2012 - 5:38 pm

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