I Knew You’d Know

Z ~ photography

I sat here trying to think of a way to describe what summer time is really like when you’re working two jobs and have two kids that need to go back and forth to camps, activities, and work all day.

But, I knew you’d know.

Then I wanted to tell you about that argument I had with someone.  Anyway, I tried to find the words to explain it all fairly.

But, I knew you’d know.

I’ve been trying to clean up my food this summer, and I was searching for a way to share with you how difficult it is to find constancy with that.

But, I knew you’d know.

My center son goes back to college in less than two weeks, and this is probably the last summer he will spend at home. I have such mixed feelings about the whole thing. Pride at who he is becoming. Sadness at what I am losing. I tried and tried to find the words that struck just the right balance between that pride and sadness.

But, I knew you’d know.

My youngest starts high school in a few weeks. As far as parenting goes, I can see the light from the empty nest just ahead. Again, I’m so proud of my boy and I feel so guilty for wishing it would hurry up and get here cause at the same time, I’m celebrating every little thing I can.

I tried and tried to find the words to accurately describe this paradox.

But, I knew you’d know.

I tried to tell you about my worries. About the others I care for who can’t find their way to sobriety. About the sadness I feel at the sadness of those I love.

I searched and searched for words to portray what I feel without making you lose faith or confidence in me. Anyway, I tried and tried to find the words that struck just the right balance.

Finally, I just gave up.

Because I knew you’d know.

And I knew that you would be here anyway.

I feel so proud to be the trusted servant leader of this beautiful online community. I don’t know how it has happened, but we have blossomed into a small but powerful global tribe of women supporting each other through the transitions of middle adulthood.

I tried to find more exquisite words to demonstrate just how much you mean to me.

But, I knew you’d know.


Love, Jen

photo: Z ~ photography, flickr

P.S. Would love it if you decided to join our community. Just let me know how to reach you below.

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Work After Tampons

Sean MacEntee, work

Wanna hear something crazy that I finally accepted? Remember when I “quit” Life After Tampons? If not, here’s that post (our second most popular post of all time, by the way.

Anyway, I quit Life After Tampons (except for writing for Beautiful You, of course.) but I quit and took time off from the work part to figure out the work part.

And when I analyzed who was hiring me and why I discovered that nearly every single one of you didn’t want to solve problems related to Life After Tampons.

You wanted to talk with me about WORK after Tampons.

Holy guacamole, Batman – how did I miss that?

Well, I did miss it. But then I fixed it. And I launched Rock Bottom Consulting to discuss the issues we face in our Work After Tampons. If that interests you, you can sign up for those posts below (look for the P.S.).

In the meantime, for the rest of the summer, I’m going to be writing here about the specific challenges (and some solutions) that face us as we face Work After Tampons.

Today, I begin with a piece about one particular marketing tool that I absolutely LOVE. If you have to attract clients, and you really want to ROCK at it, take a look at the number one success tool of all Entrepreneurial Superheroes here.

Let me know what other issues you face with Work After Tampons in the comments below. I’ll pick a few and jam up some answers for Beautiful You.

Love, Jen

P.S. Here’s where you sign up for the Rock Bottom Consulting updates.

photo: Sean Mac Entee, flickr

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A Long, Slow Summer

cc Robert Couse-Baker

I wish for you a slow, slumbering summer (or winter, if you’re on that side of our planet). A time of deep rest and recuperation. If that isn’t possible for you right now, I hope that you can take the moments when you find them, and allow them to bring you a deep peace.

I find myself moving more slowly this summer. And, even though I launched a new company, I’m not rushing anywhere.

Every weekday morning begins with swim team. I’ve been a swim team mom for seventeen summers now, and my last teenage son is still hanging in there. But I’m very aware that this could be his last summer on the team, and so I’m particularly relishing the early trips to practice and the driving from pool to pool.

I sense that this is the last summer my middle son will want to spend at home as well. He has rented a year-long apartment for college this coming year and wants to stay on campus next summer and find work in town.

So, this will be the last summer of figuring out interesting ways to feed my vegetarian middle child and cart him from place to place. I have to admit it’s been a colossal pain in many ways, but as the weeks have rolled by, I find myself becoming more mindful and deeply appreciative as I do my mothering chores.

It’s all gone by so quickly.
And there just isn’t that much work left to do.

I also have a grown son who is grown, so I am aware that the mothering job is never done.

But it shifts.
Everything shifts.

Everything beautiful shifts. Everything difficult shifts.

If. You. Let. It.

Holding on is what causes the pain in our lives.
So, today, on this gray summer morning, I invite you to take a good look at your life and see where you struggle to hold to what you hold dear when what you really need to do is let it go.

It’s a risk, I realize. It might not come back. Or, it will come back in a new form and maybe that frightens you a bit.

But letting go opens beautiful space in your life, love. And blessings are waiting in line to find a path to Beautiful You.

So, if you can, let us know what you can let go of today in our comments below.

With deep love and appreciation,


photo: Robert Couse-Baker, flicker

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A Report from the Bottom

Fran Taylor

I’m changing my life. I hit bottom a couple of months ago with my “business” and gave myself notice.

I quit.

I couldn’t take the pushing.

I love Life After Tampons, and I know that you do, too. But all the shape-shifting in the world was not going to make it my life’s work.

I think it’s supposed to be something different than that.

Now, as far as life “bottoms” go, this was a blip. I mean, truly, I’ve held one of my children while she died.

Nothing trumps that.

And that, my love, is the first gift of Rock Bottom. When you hit the bottom, you got nowhere to go. There is no bargaining, deal-making, or manipulating that you can try that will “get you out of it.”

You have to sit with the suck.

But, if you do that, if you have NO OTHER CHOICE than to do that, you get the greatest gifts you can imagine.

You get the gift of the RISE.

And, here at Life After Tampons, we are Women Who Rise.

I allowed myself the “failure,” I allowed myself the death of my dream, I cried a lot, but I also made space for hope to reappear.

And, of course, it did — because the roots of hope are firmly planted in the bedrock of your greatness.

And your greatness begins at the bottom.

Here are some things to try when you hit Rock Bottom:

  1. Stay There – Don’t try to move too quickly. Actually, if you’re truly at Rock Bottom, you won’t have any other choice. You will have been slapped into stillness.
  2. Take Care of Yourself – Breathe. Eat well. Move your body. Restt.
  3. Wait for It – Slowly inspiration will appear. In my case a whole lot of “coincidences” came together. I had subbed for a flute player in a local orchestra and that turned into a full time gig! Now, playing in an orchestra has been a life-long dream of mine. Forty-two years after first putting the instrument together, my dream has come true!
  4. Accept Yourself – As much as I want to be a delicate flower of a “spiritual” person, it seems that my truest gifts are just kind of completely earthly. I’m a genius in the kitchen. I’m pretty good at putting ideas to paper. And, if I get up on a platform to speak, I’m gonna take you on a magical roller coaster ride through laughter, tears, and back.


But I’m NOT a tiny little yogini radiantly gliding through life.

I’m more of a blue-collar guru. My Pop Pop was a butcher. I’m the first person in the history of our family to go to college. I have size 10 feet.

I’m kind of clunky.

And I’ve survived an awful lot. I’m far from the most-damaged person who has ever lived. But I KNOW about the fall – and the RISE.

And that is where my new work seems to be taking me.

More on that soon.

In the meantime, I did want to share that I’ve created a new little offering for people who want to troubleshoot an area or two of concern in their lives. If you got trouble, you can check it out over on my Jennifer Boykin site.

Here’s the link.

Love, Jen

photo: Fran Taylor, flickr

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