Every month, our co-founder will be sharing behind-the-scenes realness. Her experience running a business, raising a family and attempting to stay sane—all told from an honest and unfiltered perspective.
This is my first note to you all and—prepare yourself!—I’m starting with a bang. Because if I’m being honest, and honesty is the driving force behind this recurring monthly column, the idea to launch this is rooted in a few very difficult months for me personally and professionally. I find that we, as parents, struggling to keep our heads above the water, find so much solace in each other’s successes, triumphs and struggles. So what better way to connect with you than to share the struggle? And the triumphs? And hopefully hear yours. Please feel free to share!
So let me start with a story (or series of stories, as it turns out).
This past March I had a very scary near-car accident on a highway headed to Washington DC for a trade show. The van that I was driving lost control and we spun 720 degrees at 70 - 80mph. We avoided a metal median wall, semi trucks and on-coming traffic as we spun. I was driving and able to steer into the spin. Feeling in control of the car, it was still a miracle we didn’t get hurt. I came out of the experience anxious, however, about everything: Trees falling on our house during a storm, a car accident en route to the grocery store… On and on the list of worries went.
In April, JPMorgan Chase Bank literally brought us to our knees and closed all our bank accounts due to a clerical error. However, when it all came falling down, we had no idea it was a simple mistake. We hustled to reopen with other banks and fight Chase tooth and nail, while still trying to run a business. It was paralyzing in the fact that we could not cash checks nor access our cash. Everything had stopped. We gained some control through the media (this article in particular), saving our accounts and recouping some of the damages it caused. In the midst of the chaos, no one offered us an explanation and certainly no one was willing to talk or offer us any information about what to do. I felt exhausted afterwards having to be in flight & fight mode for weeks and undertaking an "us against them" mentality. But what else do you do when someone tries to snatch your baby?
May came and my health went down the tubes following an emotionally difficult situation that affected both me and my family. What was I to learn from all of this?
Throughout the last three months, I have experienced three separate incidences where my life, my business or my family were at stake. I've had a real moment to wrestle with working, living and being. In each situation I had varying levels of control but all were centered on some kind of loss.
This pain actually worked to transform me—to force me to get healthy, uncover a new focus and work at it steadily. My summer list (sharing with you in hopes that this may resonate if you are experiencing loss or need a reminder to love yourself).
Listen to my body. Make the doctors appointments that have been on my to-do list for far too long.
Eat good food and often. Nourish myself. (If you take nothing from this blogpost, at the very least stop reading and pick up a piece of fruit!)
Sleep when I am tired, eat when I am hungry and move when I am anxious. (As mothers this is such a tall order but so important.) Sometimes we have to be our own mother.
Forgive myself and move on when I mess up. After I committed to eating healthy, spending more time with my boys and enjoying the summer, sooner than later, I was back into old habits and thought patterns. It wouldn’t be okay if I let it get me down. I had to stop and realize what was going on and control it. Pour myself a glass of water, lay on my bed and stare at the ceiling to catch my breath or simply write down a sentence that sums up my frustrations.
I’m grappling with this idea of Integrity and trying to commit to it. To mean what I say, and say what I mean.
Download Headspace and meditate for 10-minutes a day. It feels like therapy, a nap and a run, all in one!
Invest in my children: Look into their eyes when they are speaking, play with them (even if it bores me sometimes, to be honest), and ask them what they think about things. I know I’ll never regret it but if I don’t, I absolutely will. That is perpetual truth.
Sign up for Healthy Turtle, a personal nutrition and life coach available via text (a real person on the other end) who coaches you to eat, exercise and sleep—but with plans that are supportive, gentle and perfect for a woman who has no time but to text. Having a real person on the other end completely concerned with your health and well-being is such a feeling of being cared for and safe. I’m convinced that this will actually change my lifestyle for the good… damn it, it’s actually going to work!
Read a book every night in bed versus scrolling Instagram. Even if it is a paragraph. Doing something that I want to run to feels like this wonderful little gift to myself. Do everything I already do, but with the thought that it is intended to be loving towards myself and not a mundane task that needs to get done.
Ernest Hemingway dictated these haunting words when asked at a dinner party to write a novel in 6-words or less.
“For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn.”
Doesn’t that summarize a person, their life, the lives around them and the heaviness of living? What are your 6-words that will tell me who you are right now?
I truly believe, now on the other side of these events that self care and love is the medicine which must be prescribed daily if we are going to be present and enjoy what we already have.
I’m learning that’s where the real soothing happens.