Lessons From 2017

 

I am not going to lie to you…I am really happy 2017 is in my rear view window.

 

You know—some years are better than others, but this last one I grew like a beanstalk, facing both the challenges of single motherhood and learning what it means to stand firm on my own two feet as an entrepreneur. That statement is code for—this girl needs a nap asap.

 

Please don’t hear me complain with a voice positioning myself as a victim. I love my life and all that God has revealed the last twelve months amidst uncharted waters. And thanks to my parents; I have slept in for seven days in a row at their home in Florida this week, so I am officially a well-rested camper.

 

But let’s all face it: Adulting. Is. Freaking. Hard.

 

Can I get an, “Amen??” And then wear this shirt if you agree…..

 

Can we also harmonize, in tandem to the mess and hardship we all face, this life holds so much beauty?

 

Let me expand a bit so perhaps all my imperfections and revelations from them will urge you on to something bigger and better than you ever thought possible for yourself. Taking an introspective look at myself has been a healthy exercise, so I pray you will garner some insight as you prepare your own clean slate for 2018.

 

When I got my initial footing in the fashion industry just four years ago thanks to my mentor and friend Lauren Lafevre {Edit By Lauren}, I had no idea how much the simple notion of “get your clothes on” {as stated in my tag line} would lead to profound personal truths that run deeper than just my wardrobe.

 

 “Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.” Ralph Lauren

 

Here are the lessons I will take with me into the new year:

 

 

1.} Attitude is Everything: Choosing a positive attitude and self-concept is paramount to combat all the negative input that can potentially sabotage your daily routine. My personal commitment is to bring light to a dark world…and that happens to begin with a thoughtful outfit, an intentional smile, and lending a helping hand. I also like to keep in mind the popular phrase that became a mantra in Facebook’s hacker culture, done is better than perfect. Or even better, acknowledging Voltaire’s statement, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Not to say giving something your all isn’t a worthy goal, but knowing when things need to take your time and when they don’t is also important.

 

My kids: Jackson (14}, Me {no age required}, Julia {11 going on 21}!

 

2.} My Children, Family, and Friends are my Greatest Resume: I think about the time I invest in my team members with Forever Styled {love you Shelby and Alex}, keeping my home organized and calendar oiled with kid/biz appointments, but nothing is more sacred than the moments I invest in my children, family, and friends–especially during technology free dinners chock-full of meaningful conversation. That means protecting this time is uber important. Who you surround yourself with on any given day also shapes who you become and the legacy you will ultimatley leave behind.

 

3.} I am NOT a Superhero: While I secretly wish I could clone myself, read the minds of my teenagers, or even be invisible for a day, I recognize I am not Wonder Woman or any other being that requires a cape. But knowing I cannot do it all, be all, for everyone liberates me. Becoming a master “time-blocker” of my calendar and recognizing my limitations as a person has saved me. Learning to say “NO” in order to give greater value to the things I say “yes” to has changed my life. Don’t be a slave to thinking you have to be a multiple plate spinner to be a success. Simplify your commitments and aspire for greatness at a few things. Invest in the philosophy that less is more. That includes the amount of stuff you have as well. To that point, stay tuned for a “full monty” view {kidding} of my own personal closet purge later this month.

 

My buddies: Shannon, Amy and I on a recent trip to San Fran.

4.} I Need Fun: Being an adult carries so much responsibility! I have learned that some of the my best original ideas for my business and personal goals have come out of weekend retreats with soul sisters or times when I just let loose and eat waffles with fried chicken. If you haven’t spent time laughing with your friends or at yourself for that matter…then get on it. You might uncover your greatest strengths by doing something out of the ordinary like saying yes to kayaking when you prefer to read a book at home. Staying stagnant is boring. Venture out and explore something new. You deserve a unique adventure that just might expand your territory.

 

5.} Health is so Important: As I have learned to take better care myself this year, by adjusting my workout routine {thank you Susan Stivers}, food and sleep plan, and getting more margin around my calendar, I am happier and wiser. I took baby steps toward life balance, but will keep pressing forward knowing this pursuit works. There are no medals for people who push themselves beyond human capacity warranting daily doses of Xanax. I am ready to be stronger and mentally clearer than ever this year.

You with me?

 

Blessings to each of you this New Year. What have you learned that you will take into 2018? Share the love….

 

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Cor 12:9

 

 

With Strength and Dignity,

 

Jen

 

 

1 reply
  1. Anonymous says:

    So very well-stated, Jen! May 2018 see the continuing of God’s blessings in both your business and your personal life. You are a precious treasure in His sight. Mine too.

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