"Interview with Fam" Series – Judy Vennes (aka Momma)

My mom.

Judy My Mom

She is an incredible woman who has taken many different paths, sometimes the hard way and sometimes the easy way, but she always seems to come back stronger than ever. She raised my sister and I in Baltimore, MD (amongst a few other places), and did an unbelievable job. We were never uncertain as to whether she loved us or would be there for us.

She is a searcher, and whenever she finds inspiration, she makes sure to send it our way.

She’s the best woman I know. But I’m a bit biased. She’s my mommy.

Here is her version. Enjoy!

1. Where did you grow up and when?

“I grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore in a middle/upper middle class area in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  It was an era of “baby boomers,” kids who were born of parents who had lived through World War II and the Korean War.  It was the beginning of suburban living in neighborhoods of mostly tract housing.  I lived in the town of Timonium for the first 8 years of my life and then we moved to Lutherville into a home that my father and grandfather built together on the corner of York Road and Haddington Road.  My father was a professional photographer and he built the home on York Road because it is a major thoroughfare and the intention was that it would be good for his business to have a commercial location on the edge of a residential neighborhood so that we could have the best of both worlds, a combination business/home building .  I don’t think he or my mother thought about the constant noise of traffic or the dirt it would produce inside the home, but it was home to my parents, two brothers, sister, me and my paternal grandparents during the summer months as they escaped the Florida heat for the summer.”

2. You’ve had many careers in your lifetime. What spurs you on to keep recreating yourself in business as you do?

“Great question!  One that I have asked myself many times.  I think because my father was an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember and always had his own business, he modeled for me the concept of being my own boss.  I guess the bottom line is that I keep searching for a career where I feel that I can not only make a contribution but also be able to pursue something that I am passionate about.  Ah, my life quandary, I believe!  When I began working after high school, I fell into the insurance industry.  I went to work for a local insurance agency and within the first year I had studied for and passed my property and casualty insurance license so that I could be promoted within the agency.  I stayed in the insurance industry with several other agencies over the course of the next five years.  It was mundane work and I knew that I would not stay in this industry for very long.  The predominant portion of my working years has been office/administrative even though I was never really happy with any of those jobs.  Secretarial skills are what I learned in high school, so it was what I did.

When I decided to become a custom picture framer, it was at a time of my life when I knew I would have to become independent again because my marriage at the time was failing and I knew I didn’t want to go back to office work.  So, I found a custom picture framing school, learned how to frame and then opened my own business which I ran for about 10 years.  It was fulfilling because I was able to take a piece of art and enhance its beauty by matting and framing it.  I used my hands and my creativity which made me happy.”

3. What made you decide to enter healing as a profession?

“After so many years in the corporate/business arena and feeling unfulfilled, I knew I needed another story.  Then I attended the Hoffman Process in 2003.  Everything changed for me after that experience.  I reconnected with Spirit, remembered why I was here and knew that whatever my chosen field was going to be, it would be helping people.  I began seeing an acupuncturist, who is also a Hoffman graduate, and I had great experiences during our sessions and I loved the whole process of our sessions.

“I decided that I would finally declare a college major since I had begun taking a few classes in 2001 and accelerate my studies by becoming a full-time student so that I could more quickly become an acupuncturist because I needed to complete my bachelor’s degree and then on to acupuncture school.  Along the way, I realized that I could incorporate a massage therapy degree and begin to practice sooner rather than later in the healing arts as a massage therapist while continuing on towards my master’s in acupuncture.  But somewhere along the way, I decided that if I loved massage that I would give myself permission to stop and pursue that career.  And that is exactly what happened.

“I loved massage and am now beginning to pursue a full-time career in that field.  Again, I am using my hands in this career, and also my intuition and knowledge of the body and creating a style that is my own.”


4. You decided to go back and get a University degree recently. What made you decide to do that and since receiving it, does it feel any different?

“It was a lifelong dream of mine to be able to go to college and obtain my bachelor’s degree because I was told that the only reason to go to college was to find a husband, so I wasn’t exactly groomed to head in that direction after high school.  Once both of my daughters were raised and attending college themselves, I thought that that would be the time for me to get the rust out of my mind and head off to college and take some classes, still not knowing what I wanted to study.  I knew I liked art and had always wanted to see what medium of art would resonate with me so I decided to take one general studies class and one art class each semester.

“After a few years of attending college on a part-time basis, I then had the goal of fulfilling my bachelor requirements much more quickly as I stated above.  Since receiving my double AA degree this past May, one of which was my massage therapy degree, I have stopped attending classes but expect to finish sometime in the future.  It feels really good to have finished at least my AA degree but I now do not feel compelled at this point to go and finish my bachelor’s degree; although I know I will graduate with that degree sometime in the future.

“I now know that I can complete anything I set out to do and that is the biggest, most fulfilling lesson that I learned.  I had never really completed anything like that before in my life and the fact that it had been something I had wanted to do all my life and then was able to realize that dream was an amazing feeling.”

5. You’ve had both your children move out of the country at some point. Was this something you’ve ever considered doing?

“No, it isn’t.  I have never considered moving out of the country as a conscious thought, but I have always believed that if the opportunity presented itself, anything is possible.  As much as I love to travel and explore different countries and cultures, I have never thought about moving to another country, other than maybe Canada some day since it was just brought to me attention that I qualify to be a Canadian citizen since my father was born in Montreal, Canada.  So, I am pursuing that option at the moment but have no concrete plans to move there.  I think what would ultimately keep me from moving to Canada would be the winters.   BRRRRRRR!!!”

6. What’s it like to be single and in your 50’s? Any advice you’d like to give other women who are single and your age?

“I truly believe that the 50’s are the best years of my life so far.  These years have been about knowing myself, trusting myself and not depending on a man to take care of me for the first time in my life.  That is not to diminish however for even one minute the years of childbirth and raising my two beautiful daughters!!  The only advice I can offer to other single women in their 50’s would be to not settle for less than you deserve, not to take yourself seriously and not to take anything personally.  When you can let go of expectations and outcomes, life is so much easier and less stressful.”

But then, that could be advice for anyone at any age!

7. If you could leave one legacy or lesson about life, what would it be?

“To love unconditionally, live from your heart and to be joyful as often as possible.  To live in the present moment as often as you can remember to and remember that when you are present, everything is perfect.  I have been very blessed with many lessons throughout my journey and as the years pass I realize there is not too much we need to be happy.

The other lesson I have learned is that if we can remember that we are one – one with each other, one with nature, one with Great Spirit – it is that connectedness that allows us to love unconditionally.”

Thanks, Meggers, for allowing me the forum to express this to you and anyone else who wishes to read this.  Namaste.Mom and Me

Thank you Mom!


  1. Okay, you stole my mother and I want her back!!!
    How lucky are you Meggers? (glad I have a new nickname for you)
    I'm just starting to get back into spirituality myself so you mom is an inspiration to me.
    And as someone who has been going to college since 1993 (literally) I can so relate to your sense of pride and all I can say is "You go girl!".


  2. I was all smiles again this morning when I realized I would get to meet another member of your amazing family. Your Mom sounds wonderful and wise ! Being single in my 50s myself ( shhhhhh I didn't just admit that–just delete – lol ) I loved her advice to let go of expectations. She is right — it is good advice for anyone of any age!
    More family members on this blog please & thank you 🙂
    PS to Mom: You look amazing as does your daughter !


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