4 Transcript: How to Take Time for Yourself (and Not Feel Guilty) (with Stephanie Rogers)

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J: You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 4.

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories of vibrant women living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.

J: Welcome to today's episode of Vibrant Happy Women, I'm so glad you're here, and let me tell you why. I got to interview one of my very, very good friends, Stephanie Rogers. Stephanie lives 3 miles down the road, we have several kids, were the same ages, and we just have a lot in common. I've always admired Stephanie, she's so genuine and real and kind and giving, and I wanted to share some of Stephanie with you, so I interviewed her and I think you're really going to love what she has to say. So without further ado, I'll introduce her and then we'll jump right into the interview.

So Stephanie is a self-described southern gal and was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with a degree in early childhood education and taught first grade right after graduating. She eventually married her college sweetheart, Ben, and they settled close to me in Madison, Wisconsin where Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom for her 5 kids. In 2015, last year, American Mother's Incorporated named Stephanie as the Wisconsin Young Mother of the Year. When she isn't busy with her own family or with her responsibilities on the American Mothers Board of Directors, Stephanie loves gardening, serving in her church, and volunteering at a local halfway house for women; so we'll jump right into the interview and I know you're going to love it. I have given our listeners just a little overview of you, Stephanie, so take a minute and fill in the gaps and tell us about who you are personally. We want to get to know you.

S: Well, so they weren't too many gaps. I do… I have 5 kids, my oldest is 10 and he was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes about 2 years ago, so that… we have that fun little nugget at home now. And I have 4 other ones, their ages are 7 and 5… 5 year old and a 4 year old and a 2 year old. So we're busy, we have lots of fun.

J: Tell me a little more about being the Wisconsin Young Mother of the Year, how was that?

S: So that was a lot of fun. A really good friend of mine got me involved in that. She's the one who threw my name in that pot and it just… there's not a huge active chapter here so I've kind of been making that role up as I go and I kind of used that as a springboard to look around where I am and in my little sphere of influence and see just where I can serve mothers. And so, for me, that's been going to the halfway house here in town and helping out those women who… it's actually a special house for infants, mothers with infants and so up to 12 months. And so that's been a lot of fun to help them and encourage them and give them fun things to look forward to. But… but, yeah, it kind of threw me into a world of honoring mothers and kind of not being afraid to celebrate motherhood, which is a huge broad term, but also a really important term and one that needs to be, I think, a little more respected.

J: That's great, I love that you're doing that work. Snd what are your responsibilities on the American Mothers Board of Directors?

S: So that, I am actually officially the area 2 coordinators, so I have 11 States kind of straight across the Midwest where I work with… if States have a strong State chapter, then I work with those State presidents to help them with their service projects or kind of be their link between them and national. And then for the States that don't have active chapters, I help those mothers try to find service projects, get them involved on a national level, have them come out to the convention and see what it's like to be around hundreds of strong women who love being mothers and how they make that work in their own lives and hear from important people like that. So… so, yeah, I kind of am a liaison between a State chapter and the national headquarters.

J: Excellent, honoring motherhood like that; I really like that. So Stephanie, here at Vibrant Happy Women, we start every show off with our guest’s personal motto or an inspirational quote. So, Stephanie, what's your personal motto or a favorite quote and how do you apply it in your life?

S: So a motto that I really, really like is one that's really simple and not very profound, but it's one you hear every time you get on an airplane and that's, “Put your own oxygen mask on first.” And I really love that motto because it really speaks to almost every aspect of our life, it's the emotional aspect, the physical aspect, the spiritual aspect, that if we take time to really focus on us, you know, not the whole time because that's not good either, but taking the time to do just that quick, you know, if you want to use the metaphor more, put the mask on quickly, and then you can focus on others. So quickly you take time for your emotional, spiritual, and those kind of things well-being, because when you do that, you are so much more effective in serving others and you're a better mother, you're a better sister, you're a better wife, you're a better friend, you know, because you take care of your core and balance that out so that then you can expand and help others. And so it's kind of a balance of course so that you're not taking too much time for yourself, but I think as women, that's not really a huge problem.

J: (Laughs) So give us an example of how you apply that motto in your everyday life.

S: So as a practical thing, I've been doing this for about a year and it's really awesome, is that I have started getting up early, which I didn't really like at first. So 6 o'clock is early for me, so those of you early birds are probably laughing at me, but I've started getting up at 6:00 because my kids don't really wake up till about 7:00. And so, from 6 to 7, it's kind of ‘me time’ and I… it's completely guilt free and I definitely do not do chores, I don’t clean the kitchen or do anything silly like that, I just focus on me. So I'll do an exercise video if I want to, I read my scriptures, I focus on the day just kind of take time to meditate if I need to, but mostly, it's like working out, drinking water, you know, making it healthy shake, like just ‘me time’, you know? And so even if the kids do wake up, they know, “You got to leave mom alone, it's not 7 o'clock yet,” you know? And so I just… I don't feel guilty about doing that and so it also makes the time even more rejuvenating because it's… it's okay to take time for me. And so then, once I’ve done that, I'm so happy to make your breakfast, I am so happy to help you find that lost shoe, you know, because I've already taken my ‘me time’ and kind of recharged at the battery.

J: I love that, “If it's not 7 o'clock, you can't talk to mom.”


S: Leave her alone.

J: So let's delve into our next topic, your lowest moment. At Vibrant Happy Women, we delve into the journey of our spotlighted woman, and for all women, somewhere in that journey lies struggle. So, Stephanie, tell us about a struggle in your journey, starting with the events leading up to this low point.

S: Well, I love the word ‘struggle’ because I feel like struggle is good, you know, I feel like that's kind of a good term to make it sound productive even. I've actually, you know, kind of had a lot of opportunity in my life and so I haven't had anything really terrible to overcome, but I have just kind of… my low point for me was when I… it was right after my last baby was born, and I just kind of realized over a couple months that I had put all my eggs in one basket. So it all kind of came to a head when I went to the American Mothers Convention and I spent a weekend with women of all kinds, they were stay-at-home moms like me, but they were also career women who had big, big important jobs and kind of somewhere in between. And so I was just kind of faced with these other women who felt as strongly about motherhood as I did, but who would kind of kept their foot in other doors. And, for me, I had spent 10 years at home with my kids thinking, because I wasn't the one providing financially for our family, then I needed to do everything I could to compensate for that, you know, and I needed to focus on my kids, and if I was… if there was… if I was doing anything else besides that, then I wasn't doing a good job.

J: Hmm.

S: And so after 10 years of that, I was getting a little bored, you know, and then boredom kind of turns to frustration and then… then it all just kind of oozes out into everything, you know, your feelings of being suffocated, of being, you know, not fulfilled, it just kind of oozes into everything you're doing whether it's the dishes or helping your kids with your homework or like your husband's… your relationship with your husband, you know, just kind of everything starts to feel not quite right, you know?

J: Uh-huh.

S: You just had to. And so I realized I had put all my eggs in 1 basket and I hadn't done… hadn’t really taken… made an effort to do anything else. And so going to that convention made me realize, “I can still be a good mom and do other things besides what's in my 4 walls,”

you know?

J: I like that.

S: Yeah, because you get really caught up in those 4 walls. And so there's so many things tied up in that of course, but… but so I just woke up one… it was probably a couple months after American Mothers and I was just… it had been, you know, probably a few weeks of just kind of seeing my life and comparing it to what I had seen in DC and wanting something different. And I had to struggle through whether I could be the mom I wanted to be and still hold on to who I was. You know, I've so just got done reading a book that, Kelly, she's the main character, separated herself, she was mother or she was her name; so in this case, it would… for me, it would be mother or Stephanie. And I thought that I could… well, I’m a stay-at-home mom and I don't have like a ‘real job’, (I'm using quotation marks with my fingers) then I can't focus on Stephanie, I can only be mom, you know? And I think anybody would tunnel vision, it's just not healthy, it's not fulfilling, it's not doing anybody a favor because eventually, for me, it took a decade, you know, eventually you're going to get tired of that and, you know, when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, you know?

J: Right.

S: So, yes. So I’m at that point was just, you know, just… I wouldn't say I was like couldn't get out of bed because I was crying all the time, but… but it was love for me and so I had to do something to fix it. So, yeah, that was…

J: So you said you learned that you can be Stephanie and mom and that you could start finding fulfillment outside of the walls of your home. So what did that look like when you started making that transition?

S: Yeah. So, for me, like I realized that I had to do something that mesh well with both though; so I had to be able to be mom and Stephanie. So if I was going to find something outside the house, you know, I couldn't… there's actually… they were hiring at my husband's work and so I realized I don't want to go get a full-time job and work a desk job, for me to feel fulfilled, I need to be able to do both; and so I just started looking around for things. So I actually was not on the Board of Directors yet for American Mothers, I wasn’t doing anything, and so I kind of got the ball rolling with that. I called around to a couple of the women that I had met and bonded with and kind of put feelers out to see how I could help, how I could get more involved and then… so then, they asked me to be on the Board of Directors and so that was a huge step because I can go to those meetings, I can take my kids if I want to take my kids, you know. So, to me, that feels like a good mesh of both those roles and then here in Madison, I just tried to find things where I could take my kids, you know, and I realized it's okay for my kids to see me as Stephanie, they don't have to just see me as mom it's not…brought down my authority, it's not going to make them think less of me, it's actually going to, I think, enrich our relationship, you know? Because even, you know, silly things like they love to hear stories about when I was a little kid, they eat those up, you know? So I think they want to know who Stephanie is, not just mom, you know? And so anything that I can do around here to help them see who I am because it helps them see who they are and where they come from.

So, yeah, so I've been taking my kids with me to the halfway house and letting them hold babies or make hair bows or whatever it is we're doing. We started a little food pantry and I've been getting a whole, whole ton of food every weekend on Saturdays and taking that to the halfway house…

J: Nice.

S: … and giving it out people, to the homeless people we see on the side of the road, all kinds of things, you know? But I realized like, if I want to do something outside the home, a little bit I can do without them and I can still not feel guilty about it. But if I do too much outside the home without them, I do start to feel a little guilty, and that's just me, I don't think anybody should feel the same way I do. But, for me, I can do a little bit outside the home and feel okay with it, but the rest of it, I really need to try to find a way and do things that include them so that they can come with me.

J: And your kids are going to have so many amazing memories of serving all these people and realizing that there is a life outside of that bubble and…

S: Exactly.

J: … some people have suffered. So many of our listeners are struggling with the same thing, not feeling fulfilled, struggling to be a person and a mom, what advice would you offer them?

S: I would say, you know, as a mom, especially, you know, as a stay-at-home mom even, you get really caught up in your 4 walls; I call it like your trees, and so it's really hard to see the forest. And so you just have to take time to get out of the trees, you know, you got to find a way to be able to see the forest. And whether that's getting up at 6 o'clock and, you know, doing the morning thing or if it's taking a weekend trip with your hubby or with your girlfriends, you just kind of need to take time to focus on who you are so that you can be a better mom. And whether you’re a stay-at-home or working mom or something in between, we all, I think, have guilt whenever we take time to focus on ourselves. But I just can't say enough that if you take time to do that, even just a little bit, it will make you better at whatever you do, and especially better as a mom because it recharges your battery, gives you more patience with your kids, and makes you appreciate your kids more because you're more fulfilled and more content with who you are. And so got to take time to take care of yourself and let yourself be okay doing what you need to do.

J: Mm-hmm, I love that, “Get out of the trees so you could see the forest,” excellent.

S: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

J: So in the beginning you mentioned that you have a son with type-1 diabetes. Tell us how you were able to get through that low point and… and what you learned from that.

S: So, yeah, so he was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes 2 years ago, and if that's not a huge mom guilt kind of thing, like, “What did I do?” or, “What could I have done better?” kind of thing. So, yeah, that was… I was actually 6 weeks away from having my number 5 baby when he was diagnosed; so that was ‘real fun’. But that one, you know, I spent… my husband took the other kids and it was just me and my oldest in the hospital for 4 days, and it was peaceful and it was wonderful and I just focused on him and I focused on what our life needed to be like after that, and that's how I got through it. You know, of course, I was on my knees a lot and saying a lot of prayers, but, you know, I kind of let the world slip away and just focused on him. And then… and then of course, when I got home 4 days later with him from the hospital, we just had so many wonderful people come in and take care of us, bringing us dinners, offer to help, that kind of thing. And so I had really wonderful friends to come and help me get through that. And I think part of that comes from me and my kids doing the same thing for others when that happens, and so my kids have been able to see how that really helped him, and when he got diagnosed, how that helps on our end. So, yeah, that was… that's an ongoing struggle that helps us to be… he helps us to eat healthier and be more conscientious about what we put in our bodies; so that's forest healthy, I guess, is maybe we needed that so it's a good thing.


J: And even though that was a struggle for you, it's kind of a beautiful story, the part about you being alone with him in the hospital and really focusing on him and then all the service you received.

S: Yeah, yeah.

J: I love that. So you made it through your low points in life and learned to start being Stephanie and mom and to get that fulfillment outside of the home, seeing them the forest, like you said.

S: Yes.

J: What does living a vibrant and happy life look like for you today?

S: So today, it's just filling every day with something that is outside of me, you know, definitely outside of the home, you know, and finding something to go… go be helpful, go do something. It seems like there are always people whether in your church community, in your neighborhood community, somebody always needs to talk, needs a friendly smile. I guess I'd really like you to have great neighbors who I know and how about relationship with and so there's always somebody around. So just getting out every day and doing something for somebody else because, of course, as soon as you start focusing on other people, your life gets so much better, your problems are so much smaller because, the more people you know, the more you realize there is always somebody who has it harder than you, you know, which is unfortunate in a way, but is also healing for you because then you can realize that you, you know, can take what you've been given and help those people.

J: Nice, that’s great.

S: Yeah.

J: And what is one thing that is really exciting you about life today?

S: So I don't know, I've already talked about this, but I really kind of eat, sleep, and breathe this mother-infant halfway house we have right now. It's just amazing program that takes women who would otherwise be going to jail, they can… they have this option to go to this home and they do a 6-month program take helping with life skills and coping skills and that kind of thing and just how to be good mothers. And so I go to that place, Jen, and I just… I walk away and I can't stop thinking about it. I think of all the things that I can do with them and teach them how to do because a lot of them… you know, I was blessed to have it an amazing mother who taught me how to be crafty, how to cook, how to do the garden, like all these kind of things, and most of these girls don't have that and so of course I can do that. You know, I'm kind of a hands-on kind of person, I'm more… you know, I think I'd rather bring you dinner than send you an email, you know?


J: Uh-huh.

S: I'm kind of old soul in that sense, but…

J: Oh, nice.

S: So I just… so I just love, love, love going to that place, and I love that I can take my daughter with me and she goes with me and she has a great time. And so that is really kind of a single focus for us right now, it's really working on that and getting those girls in a happy place. You know, and who knows what'll happen when they leave? But while I've got him in the little bubble, I feel like I can really help. And so that just really gives me energy, it makes me… you know, it's kind of silly, but when you're excited about something, you know, doing the dishes isn’t a big deal because you've got something else to look forward to, you know? But when you don't have that piece to look forward to, everything is kind of drudgery. You’ve got to have something to get you through the rest of it and give you energy to get it through.

J: I agree, something to be excited about; I love that.

S: Mm-hmm, yeah.

J: I can tell you're really a service minded person and I think that's fantastic; your kids are going to learn so much. And really, I can hear through your voice how much you love it and it's given you so much meaning in your life as a mom and as Stephanie; so well done with that.

S: Well, thanks. Well, I do… you know, because I am talking a lot about service, but I also don't want to come across as like, I'm not a Florence Nightingale or anything like that, you know, like I also have my bad days of course and I… it's always about… and I'm not perfect, you know?

J: Right.

S: And sometimes I just want to stay home and watch a movie on the couch.

J: (Laughs). Don’t we all.

S: I know.

J: So alright, Stephanie, we have now reached my favorite part of the show where we talk about a few of your favorite things. Are you… are you ready?

S: I'm ready.

J: Okay. Number one, share your favorite personal habits that contributes to your success.

S: So it is definitely getting up early before the kids go to bed to have ‘me time’. S that first hour right in the morning when everything is fresh and nobody's awake, then I can just focus on me. That has really, really made a huge difference in my well-being.

J: Okay, number 2, share your favorite easy meal that you like to eat regularly.

S: Okay. So my favorite easy meal, it's a Southern Living recipe it's called spinach black bean lasagna. It's actually one of our… the few vegetarian recipes that I have that my kids will eat, you know, without complaining. And I love it because it's healthy. We, of course, we use whole wheat noodles because of diabetes. You can make it ahead of time. It's such a big recipe that you can divide it up into 2 and you can either put 1 in the freezer for another day or you can take it to somebody. So I make it about every other week and I love it, so that was one that everybody should… should do.

J: That sounds so yummy, but I'm honestly sitting here thinking “Is that an easy recipe?” (Laughs)

S: Lasagna, you just throw a whole bunch of layers together, you know?

J: That's true, that's true.

S: So you can't mess it up, you can't even burn the stuff on the bottom of the pan, you know?

J: (Laughs). Okay, yum, I might have to give that a try. So, number 3, what's your current favorite household object?

S: So my favorite household object is… so I have just been introduced to the show on HGTV called Fixer-Upper, so I don’t know if you know that one, but I'm a little bit crazy about it; I love it. It's a very farm style kind of program. Anyway, she taught me how to shop at an antique store. So I was there a few weeks ago and I found this bench, it's an 82 inch bench, and I bought it, brought it home and kind of strapped my kids to the side of the van so I could fit it because I didn't want to wait 2 weeks to get it delivered. And so I strapped my kids in, strapped the bench in, and I brought a home and I've chalk painted it this really pretty white and then just dressed the corners. So anyway, it’s this wonderful bench in my house that makes my house look a little more designed and less kid friendly.

J: (Laughs)

S: So that’s in a good way, in a good way, you know?

J: Ah, that’s great.

S: I still (unclear) [22:10] it, so it's a balance.

J: That's great. A little more designed and a little less kid-friendly, that's great. Okay, what's your favorite book that you'd recommend to the Vibrant Happy Women community and why?

S: Okay. So this book it's called ‘The Invention of Wings’ by Sue Monk Kidd; she's the author of ‘Secret Life of Bees’. So of course, being a southerner, I love southern lit and so I'm kind of biased in that way that, but I think other people would like it too. It's about these 2 sisters who grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, but it was during, I think, the 1820s, like very early 1800s, way, way before civil war kind of thing. And so it's their struggle with slavery and they were actually one of… and they’re real characters, I should say, real characters, real names, and the author even used a lot of dialogue from their own journals. And so it's very accurate and it's just these women and the lengths that they will go to stand up for what they believe. And so you kind of walk away from the book thinking, “Would I have done that?” you know, “How strong am I to stand up for what I believe, you know, in anything?” And these women, they were… they were practically the first feminists of their time too and they just kind of had to barrel through all these barriers and, you know, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't, but their struggle is amazing and so the author of course really brings those characters to life and makes you want to get to know them and to be strong like them and have courage like them. So it's a wonderful book that everybody should read.

J: Hmm, great. I haven't read that one yet so I'm definitely going to go get that.

S: You should, it’s really good.

J: Great. Book club time, Stephanie.

S: Yes, it is definitely a book club book, yeah.

J: (Laughs)

S: But I will warn you (unclear) [23:52] because it's very empowering, you know, as a woman. And so like I kind of took it a little extreme and was like fussing at my husband. Like one of the quotes is, “Don't… stop stepping on our necks,” which is a real quote from one of the sisters in the book. And so I would tell my husband like, “Don't you step on my neck, you know, you let me do what I want to do,” which he would never do that, but I just got really into the book and stuff.

J: (Laughs). And he… and he looked at you like, “What are you talking about?”


S: I was just feeling a little too feisty after that book.

J: I love it. Okay, so another question, what's a favorite item on your bucket list and why?

S: So a favorite item on my bucket list is to go… this is kind of silly, but I need to go up to Prince Edward Island. I grew up reading ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and I just have in my mind that the perfect place to live is between the ocean and the meadows, you know? And so…

J: Aww.

S: I just… you know, I grew up with my nose in those books and so that's my bucket list to go. But the funny thing, Jen, is that it's going to be the very last thing on my bucket list, you know, because I'm kind of torn that when you grow up with things as a child, seeing it in real life can never be as good as seeing it in your mind, you know what I mean?

J: Yes.

S: And so… so that's kind of a funny bucket list item, it's probably like… it's one of those things that makes me who I am today because I read those books so much, but I don't know if I want to see it in real life and destroy the dream. So…

J: (Laughs)

S: … it’s kind of a pessimistic way to look at it, isn't it? But… but, yeah, that's a funny… a funny item on my bucket list because… because my… you know, like I said before, I'm kind of an old soul so I don't have a very exciting bucket list. We lived in Europe when I was little so I've done all that, I did a study abroad, I did all that, so it's the old lady things that are still left.


J: That's great; an old soul. What is the best advice you've ever received?

S: The best advice I have ever received is from my mother because, I think, like I said before, I was… I have an amazing mother. She… when I got married, she said, “Stephanie, don't do anything now that you don't want to do for the rest of your life.”

J: Ooh. (Laughs)

S: And… you know, and I think going into a marriage now that I've been in one for 13 years, that is so true. She's got the same kind of personality I do that our love language is, you know, serving other people like doing for others like actions, you know? And so, in a marriage, that can be very, very…

J: Dangerous. (Laughs)

S: Dangerous, exactly. Because after a couple decades, then you end up doing everything because that's… you know, at first, you were showing him that you loved him by doing his laundry, but now 20 years later, “Would you please help me with the laundry?” you know?

J: Right.

S: So I… yes, so I picked a couple of things that I tried not to do and have him still do. And so I saw my mom and what she still did, and was like, “No, maybe I don't want to do all the ironing, maybe I don't want to do all of the laundry,” you know, so all the dishes. Anyway, silly, silly things like that, but, you know, in a marriage, that needs… you know, marriage always needs lots of work and so I think little pieces of advice like that really help.

J: Hmm, I love that; establish the baseline from the get-go. (Laughs)

S: From the get-go, yeah, which, you know, who knows what your life is like every 10 years in your marriage, you know? It's so different. But it's a good way to… to balance things, I think…

J: Yeah.

S: … from my love language. (Laughs)

J: Mm-hmm.

S: Some people might have that problem.

J: Final question here, Stephanie, looking back on your life so far, share a favorite memory.

S: So one of my favorite memories is… I have to set it up a little bit. So I am really spoiled in the fact that, in 34 plus years of my life, I have had all 4 of my grandparents around. And just until last year, my first grandfather passed away last January, but we've really made it a priority in our family to… and we live in Wisconsin which is about 16 hours away from my family in the south, and so we've really made it a priority during holidays and stuff to drive down there so that my kids can see like where they come from, where they belong, that kind of thing; and we kind of joke that they're half southern, you know? But we… we go down there a lot. So the Christmas before last, my grandfather was in Hospice and… yeah, well, he wasn't technically in Hospice yet, but he was going towards it. And so we had this beautiful moment where we were all together and my grandfather remembered our names and he remembered who we are and he was telling us, you know, he's grew up in East Germany and so he was telling us World War II stories of crossing the border and in a POW; so anyway these just beautiful, beautiful memories, all of us together in the same room. And I was just giving that this… I was given this beautiful moment where my husband took all the kids down and it's just me and my grandpa, I was hold his hand, and he asked about my oldest son, Ellis, who has diabetes. Now, he has 22 great-grandchildren and so I never ever expect him to remember my kids names; he’d just call them 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, you know? But he remembered that number 1 is Ellis and he was asking about Ellis’s diabetes. And I just… I laid my head on the arm of his hospital bed and I held his hand and we only talked for like 5 minutes, you know, but it was such a gift to, 1, have my children know their grandfather, and 2, to be able to have this beautiful moment and it be the last time that I see him on this earth, you know?

J: Mm-hmm.

S: So right before he moves on, I got to have this beautiful moment with him that was regret free that my children could be a part of and it just kind of tied in the past with the future and all that good stuff, but that was like a really, really happy lovely moment for me.

J: That's such a beautiful story, and I think you have a gift for storytelling, Stephanie.


S: (Laughs)

J: So, Stephanie, now our final but most important question, we're going to end the show now with the happiness formula. If you had to create a 3 to 5 part formula of actions, thoughts or beliefs that maximize your happiness, what would that include?

S: So mine will include, 1, recharge your battery, take time for yourself. 2, serve others, focus on something outside of you. And 3, to have faith in God.

J: Nice, and so succinct; right there.

S: (Laughs)

J: That's the formula for happiness, everyone.

S: That is, that is, it’s very easy. Do all that and you'll be fine.

J: Nice, I like that. Great, thank you so much. Stephanie, I have truly enjoyed listening to your journey, and the stories and ideas you shared were so inspiring. Give the Vibrant Happy Women community one parting challenge and then share the best way we can find you and we'll say goodbye.

S: So to everybody listening, I just would encourage you over and over again to take time to find yourself. Take time for yourself and don't feel guilty about it, you know? Don't let it take all day, but let it take enough to give you energy to be a better mom, a better friend, a better sister, whatever role you are focusing on or need to be, take time for yourself. And I hope that you will do that in a simple, easy way, don't make it hard or complicated, just do it.

J: Great advice; take time for yourself and get in touch with the things that really give you that energy, mm-hmm.

S: Exactly, exactly. Well, Jen, I just have to say, I just love talking to you. You know, you're so complimentary on this end, but you're such a great listener. I feel like whenever I talk to you, I just ramble on and on because you're so easy to talk to and I just appreciate that.


J: Thank you, thank you. Well, Stephanie, the Vibrant Happy Women community is aware that they can find links to everything you talked about in today's show notes at jenriday.com/4. And I wanted to thank you for being so generous with your time and expertise and experience. Thank you for being on the show.

S: And thank you for doing all this, Jen, you're doing good, amazing work.

J: Thank you, have a great day.

S: You too. Bye, Jen.

J: Isn't Stephanie one of the most upbeat women you've ever met? And she helps everyone with anything. She's taken several of my kids many times which, with her 5 plus some of mine, resulted in at least 8 kids running around her house; a true saint. Stephanie had so many inspiring things to say in the interview today, so we created a free printable of Stephanie's inspiring quotes. Print it out and hang it on your bathroom mirror or kitchen cupboard to remind you to take care of yourself without guilt. You can get this free printable at jenriday.com/4download. Tune in next time for my interview with Carrie Hensley who left a world of alcoholism and pain to become a yoga teacher and the leader of a sacred community of women. Take care.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com.