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Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!
I hope your holidays were as fabulous as you are and most importantly you were able to grab some quiet time for reflection and “white space”.
Mine was a hectic one with an unexpected move (a flood), business travel, great family time and all sorts of other wonderful chaos but guess what? As always, the good Lord helped me through it all and had my back big time.
Nonetheless 2016 went out with a bang. I attribute that to the most interesting business lunch of my entire professional life.
WHO IT WAS WITH:
I had lunch with Gretchen Carlson. Yes, you read that right. As part of a recruiting initiative, I flew to New York and had lunch with Gretchen Carlson, the uber talented, former Fox News Anchor who stood up to the infamous Roger Ailes and entire the Fox News machine.
HOW WE MET:
Gretchen and I, both former Minnesotans and fellow authors began a relationship on Twitter about eight months ago. Like most relationships, it grew from there. So on a freezing cold New York day, I flew to New York and we met “in real life” (IRL) for lunch.
Gretchen was humble and gracious without a bitter bone in her body. She is role model, shining light for our daughters, granddaughters, nieces and women everywhere.
Hello Readers! I’m so sorry it’s been so darn long. Life is never a dull moment around here~a good thing! Lots and lots of change and blessings in my life (all of it exciting which I will share in a new post shortly) but today, I wanted to share some of my own learnings on grief.
As many of you know our family has sustained some significant lossesl and thus significant grief, over the last 5+ years. My (now) husband lost his amazing wife of 42 years in a car crash and he almost didn’t survive himself. We lost our “remarkable-in every -way” 43 year old daughter-in-law to metastatic breast cancer and our 45 year old former son-in-law out of the blue. We lost our 28 year-old nephew to diabetes and we lost our over-photographed rescue dog, #theColonel, totally unexpectedly. We’ve watched our children and grandchildren loose pets and dreams. Grief has been handed to all of us here in the Adams family in over abundance.
Here’s where I found myself: I was a new wife ( now a wife of a whole 3 years) , a new “step-mom” (my husband’s 6 children are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s so it’s more about being Dad’s wife) to children suffering grief, a new grandmother to 13 beautiful grandchildren (Did I mention that they call me PattyCakes?) and bam!, the above happened. Needless to say, I was woefully ill- prepared.
So today I share some of my learnings and my mis-steps here with you. If they resonate great and if not, as usual go on and toss them
1. Some families/children handle grief privately not on social media. They may want and need privacy, not Facebook posts. I’ve been guilty of this one myself, have rethought that and changed my Facebook ways. Think about it, if you lost a parent/spouse would you want to be unexpectedly jolted by a Facebook post? I’m not in anyway saying not to share memories , pay tributes on birthdays, etc. That’s totally appropriate and appreciated. But before posting, think and be wise.
Learning: Put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic.
2. Most children don’t want to be called their “father or mother’s daughter”. They want to be and are their own person. They may be even hurt by such well-meaning but unhelpful comments. This doesn’t mean that they don’t love their Dad and Mom. They merely want to be recognized as their own person. Totally understandable, right?
Learning: Choose your well-intended words wisely.
3. Each person/child grieves differently based on their relationship with their parent/sibling/spouse. Assumptions should not be made. That doesn’t mean that they don’t love the heck of out their Dad, Mom, sibling or former spouse.
Learning: Give everyone some breathing room.
4. Not everyone wants to talk about it. If they don’t, don’t take offense. It typically means that their grief may have subsided and/or they prefer to talk to their friends or counsellors. When they do talk, I can assure that it will break your heart into a million pieces. It will also warm your heart and you will be bursting with pride. You will know that their Dad/Mom wherever they are, are immensely proud of them at that very moment.
Learning: Let them come to you.
5. I’m Christian and one of the things that drives me crazy is when faith-based folks of any kind tell kids “It happened for a reason”. I know you mean well. Please don’t do that to grieving children or adults. It’s insensitive and gives Christianity and other faiths a bad name.
And atheists/agnostics/whatever, you are in the hot-seat here too! Just because a sibling/parent was an agnostic or whatever, don’t you assume/profess that to children either. It’s equally as bad! Again, let them be their own person.
Learning: Don’t foist your faith or non-faith beliefs on grieving children.
I know you’ve sustained many great losses yourself. My heart goes out to you. I’m curious what learnings you’ve learned around loss and particularly watching children grieve. I hope you’ll share with our readers below so that we all may continue to learn and grow.
Ps. When I post topics on family, my husband always reads them before-hand. I want to get the tone and content right. This is another way I try to foster empathy 🙂
Statement jewelry is easily one of the hottest treds right now because of the ease in which these pieces allow us to pull an outfit together. Whether you”re looking at bling for your arms and hands, a chunky ankle bracelet or even something to wear in your hair, statement jewelry is one area you can’t go wrong in. In fact, one of the questions that I get asked about all the time is how to spice up an outfit using statement jewelry. Today, I am going to answer that question by spotlighting one of my favorite, affordable ways to do just that.
What’s so great about statement jewelry is that just about everyone carries it now. Target, Jcrew, Anthropologie, Amazon, major designers they’ve all gotten into the act making it affordable for everyone. Not only can you find these beautiful pieces just about anywhere but you can get them on a budget and still look like a million bucks!
Here are two of my ways to wear them:
The T-shirt: This is one of my favorites. I love it because the look is clean and the statement necklace does exactly what it’s supposed to. I don’t care if it’s a crew neck or a v-neck t-shirt. Statement necklaces look great. When pairing your necklace (or other jewelry) with a tshirt, be sure you are using pieces that are low on the bling but high on style. One of my favorite, casual looks is a pair of denim shorts or capris with a neutral colored tee and major pops of color.
Over a simple white blouse: White blouses are my favorite (if you can keep them clean) and adding a statement necklace just sets it off beautifully. Here you can add some bling if you would like. Add a blazer or a chic cardigan and you look pulled together. This look is the epitome of business chic. Another fun way to spice up this look is to have your shoes that match your necklace.
So which necklaces should you choose? Here are three of my favorites that you absolutely cannot go wrong with:
Women Lady Fashion Crystal Leaves Rhinestone Statement Bib Necklace
Two-Tone Painted Chain Necklace
Rhinestone Crystal Reasin Flower Statement Fashion Necklace
Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry? What’s your favorite way to pair amazing statement pieces with your favorite outfits?
Until next time,
Reinventing oneself is something that is pondered at least once in every lifetime. With comparison everywhere, it’s often difficult to not consider what you should or could be. But is that really the reason you want to create a new you? Of course it isn’t. In fact, it’s probably one of the worst reasons you could give yourself to inspire a little reinventing of who you are or who you want to become. As I mentioned in my previous post on comparison (link above), we can’t keep wanting things we either cannot have or longing for things to be different. But sometimes the very real reality is that we need to spend a little time soul searching and deciding if a little reinvention is right.
The point of this post is not to tell anyone what to do. It’s not to say that everyone needs to reinvent themselves. And it’s definitely not suggesting that without reinvention, you can’t be successful or happy. Instead, this post is more of a guideline and inspirational post sharing some of the things I changed in my life about myself and how I took some time to reevaluate who I was becoming before deciding that reinventing myself was something I needed.
Reinventing Myself Was Not The Easy Road
And by not easy I mean, the soul searching, every dirty detail exposed, harsh reality and truth I had to face – hard. There were two big areas I wanted to change when I really looked at my life and today I am sharing with you what they were and how I made just a few changes to reinvent me.
I was happy but not full of joy.
For many years I considered myself to be successful in all ways. I was relatively happy with my law career and I was happy with my family and friends. However when I decided that my life was lacking a few things and I was going to have to overhaul, I realized that I was not full of joy. Practicing law did not bring me joy. I liked that I was making very good money but money wasn’t all that mattered to me. My relationships were good but not what I believed my “happily ever after” would be. My faith was present but not deep.
This “joy deficit” was the first place I needed to target before I could fully become who I wanted to be. After realy looking at my goals for my life and noting where I was on the path to reaching them, I realized that there were people I would need to remove from my life (for various reasons) and that maybe the career I was in wasn’t really right for me. I also began a deeper walk in my faith which has not been easy but has been worth the effort.
I was fit but not healthy.
Now when I use the word “healthy” here I don’t mean that I was sickly or that I was in any way ill. Healthy means a myriad of things and in this particular case I mean that I was in a place where I considered myself physically fit but that I was not setting myself up for health success down the road. Although I have never been (and in truth, likely will never be) a person who watches every calorie or how many times I hit the gym, I wanted to become at least a little more health conscious. When I really evaluated how I was taking care of myself, I realized that starting yoga and continuing pilates would be beneficial to not just my body but also my mind. I also realized that I felt better choosing the “healthier” options when I ate and stopped using food as a crutch. By changing just a few things I was able to feel better about myself and even began to see the results in the mirror.
In the end, life is what you make it. You can read a thousand quotes about change or inspiration on Pinterest but until you decide to really look inside yourself, you may never know just what you can be. Not everyone needs to change their career to be happy, not everyone will benefit from taking a yoga class. But my goal here at YNS has always been to share my own experiences and that if I can help even one person, I have succeeded in making the world a happier place.
But what about you? Are you going through changes in your life? What has been the biggest help in reinventing yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments here and be sure to follow along on Twitter to get the latest in fashion, beauty, career and inspiration from youreneverstuck.com!
Until next time,
Tanks aren’t something I have really touched on here on the YNS blog. I have talked a lot about style, fashion (yes, there’s a difference) and the various shops, items, etc. that I own and wear. As I was preparing for this post on using stripes in fashion I realized that I had yet to share my favorite piece of fashion with you all. Now, when I say “favorite” I mean favorite as in I wear these all the time and they compliment absolutely every look you could imagine. Trust me when I say that there are, quite literally, a hundred ways to wear this piece.
So what is it, you may be asking. Well folks it’s probably not what you think it is. The one piece of my wardrobe that gets the most wear and that I call my favorite is the Bordeaux Seamless Tank found here on Amazon! (The picture doesn’t do it justice.)
So why do I love this simple tank so much? A few reasons:
1 | The fabric is the perfect weight (not flimsy), hold its shape, hugs you in and it’s as seamless as it looks. This means that no matter how you wear it, you’ll never see (or worse, feel) any seams along the front, back or sides. Seamless is a huge win because I am so not a fan of the unflattering lines left by any clothing item with obvious seams.
2 | The Bordeaux Tank comes in so many color options that you could wear a different tank every day for a year and never run out of options.
3 | There are just so many ways to wear this tank! The most obvious way is as the above photo shows, by itself paired with some shorts or pants for a casual chic look or you can dress it up under blazers, dusters or layered under a sheer top. This tank is seriously so universal that you will never want to own any others.
4 | When washing, they come out silky smooth; however, I recommend not putting it in the dryer as they do shrink. They dry quickly!
As you can see, I can’t speak highly enough of these tanks, I own them in every color and wear one practically every day!
Do you have a favorite tank or are you on the prowl looking to add this much needed fashion item to your own wardrobe? Leave me a comment here and share your own favorites so I can check them out too!
*Disclaimer: Some posts contain affiliate links. Though I may earn a small income should my readers choose to purchase through the links I share, all opinions, reviews and product evaluations are my own. – Patty