The Best Bowl



So, you know how, when you prepare food or anything for your family and most of it comes out really nice but some piece of it is a dud and you always take the dud for yourself and give your family the best bowl of whatever?

I’ve started taking the BEST BOWL for myself.


Selfish. Completely. Reversing a twenty-five year trend.
And you know what?

Not a single person has noticed or complained.

So my message for today, in love and work, is to STOP taking the very worst for yourself. STOP thinking (and acting as if) you always need to be last.

Put yourself first sometimes.

That’s it.

TTY soon.

Love, Jen

photo: flickr, Tony Alter

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Sobriety: Thank You for Another Year

Emergency Brake

Dearest Beautiful You,

Tomorrow I will celebrate 27 years of continuous sobriety.

It’s certainly been a full year.

• I let go of my fellowship and am working to create a new spiritual home for myself.

• I started a new website for my company and that is rolling along.

• The boys are one year further along, my youngest is about to get his learner’s permit and then he will be “free,” so, after 24 years of parenting, that role is on the downshift.

• And I decided to let Life After Tampons go for the coming year – with the exception of my Sabbatical folks. (Learn more here.)

For now, life in the forest is okay. We’ve had some challenges, but are working through those.

And I wanted to find some small way to celebrate. To say, “thank you” to all the Beautiful You’s who share this life journey with me.

So, thank you. I really mean it. Wherever you are, whoever you are, I honor and celebrate that we are sharing this life journey in tandem – you in your part of the world, and me in mine.

With love and Grace,


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Mostly, I’m Afraid


Mostly, I’m afraid.

The winter is coming and I can feel the sorrow starting to accumulate around the edges of my spirit.

Getting up is harder now. Getting dressed is harder now. Getting in the shower is a pep talk all of its own.

I’m doing it, but it’s still early days.

The words have been silent the past few weeks, and that’s how I know. But I have my Friendship Project and am working the heck out of it.

Just writing this to let you know I’m still here and I’m still with you. But, I’m still me and whatever chemistry I have is starting to shift toward the darker side.

I hate this feeling – this slow slippery downward slope of depression.

But for all those out there who feel it too, you are not alone.

You can be successful and have depression. You can write beautifully and have depression. You can raise amazing children and have depression.

You can make Sunday supper and smile and go to the coffee shop and have depression.

I’m okay.

But, mostly, I’m just afraid.

Love, Jen

photo: flickr, David Evers

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The Friendship Project is Launched!

flickr, pink sherbet photography happiness

So, I traveled last week (for work) and sometimes when I do that, I’m super tired the week after. Most of the time I just plow right through whatever I have going on, but this time, I’m taking a few days to get right with the world and myself.

It is October and the light is changing and I can feel internal shifts in myself that lean toward hibernating and hiding. As planned, I’ve launched the “Friendship Project” in full force.

Here’s what it involves:

  • Every Wednesday, from now until March 6th, I plan to have lunch with a different friend.
  • This will keep me from completely isolating and surrendering to mercurial moods that tend to mirror the sun.
  • This is also part of my business plan, cause I get to talk about my work every week to a smart woman who can give me feedback and ideas.
  • But mostly, this is about friendship.

When we moved to the forest, four years ago this December, I left all my goodest friends in Virginia, an hour away.

That meant, every time I needed a friend, I made a four-hour journey to get there, visit and get home. As business picked up and roads became wintery, I stopped going.

Basically, I allowed myself to get too lonely. And then I got too sad. Every winter. Since the move. Each one progressively worse than the last.

That’s three terrible winters in a row. (Yes, I know about light boxes, thank you.)

So, a few months back, I started calling all these fabulous women I have met locally through work and explained what was going on and asked, “Will you be my friend? Can I put you down for some Wednesday from October through March?”

And, of course, they all said, “YES!!!!!”

Some of them are my clients, and some are not. Some of them are networking buddies, and some are not. Some are in recovery, and some are not. Basically, the group of them is a mish mash from all the different sectors of my life.

And I’ve blocked the ENTIRE Wednesday for the project, just in case I need to drive to them. I know this seems like an exorbitant use of time, but it’s so much better than the corrosive time suck of depression.

I’ll spend the rest of each Wednesday playing or planning, getting a massage, or writing in my journal.

One day a week dedicated to wellness and happiness.

If you go through the go throughs during the winter months, I invite you to try your very own Friendship Project.

(Oh, I’m writing about it in my upcoming book and we spend a whole month on it in Sabbatical 2017).

Love, Jen
photo: flickr, pink sherbet photography

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