Are you happy at the moment?

As you know, happiness is relative.  And I am relatively happy.  We (my husband and two children) enjoy good health, my parents are still with me and I am happy and excited about my new blog, The Recovering Attorney.  So yes, I am happy!

If you could go back and say anything to your 16 year old self now – what would it be?

Wow.  I would say so much!  Where do you start?  Having the benefit of hindsight and being able to experience the adult that I have become I would say to my 16 year old self-“lighten up, let your hair down, be a little less conservative, and put down that textbook it’s Saturday night!”

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

The year is very young and no earth-moving lessons yet, so I will rely on 2010.  I learned that it’s never too late to re-invent yourself even if you are a woman of a certain age.  When I was in my early 20s my uncle, a highly successful studio musician in NYC, said that he still had “goals and aspirations” (he was in his late 50s at the time).  I laughed.  Now I get it!

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

I think by now you see that I have an ongoing theme here.  I want to step-out of my safe zone (wife, mother, the good daughter, and attorney) My son is a freshman at Dartmouth, my daughter is in the 8th grade and my husband has been grown (heck, my Lab mix is 8 years old).  I don’t have babies.  It is time for me to fully embrace me.  I am hoping that during the next 12 months and beyond, my blog will help me to achieve this goal.

What’s your secret to happiness?

To be honest, I don’t have a secret to happiness.  If I did I would be Oprah Rich. But what I do know, however, is that I try to appreciate and reflect on all of the positive aspects of my life —and I have plenty of positives.  Those positive thoughts take me to my happy place and I smile.  Oh, and Ms. Pat’s New York style cheesecake sweet potato pie!

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Here’s what I think is my first and hopefully only cliché:  I have learned (it was tough) to not take myself so seriously  (I did/do that by laughing and dancing with my 13 year old daughter) Yes, I have been blessed and I think that I am “hot.”  But I am not alone.  The world is full of blessed and hot women; they take their hits and keep it moving.  Why am I different?  I am not.  This insight keeps me grounded.

What’s your biggest regret?

I haven’t lived that regret yet (I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed).  I hope that makes sense.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

Well, I guess that the jury is still out on that one.  If we are lucky, some twenty-five years from now when our children are grown and raising their own families they will share with us the most important lesson that we have taught them.  What I can say for now is that we try to teach by example and I think that my husband (I can’t take all of the credit) and I are pretty good teachers.  We have resilient, ambitious, grateful (most days) children.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

I have no bad habits – just ask my husband.  Ha!  Seriously, I do have a theme going here.  Like many wives and mothers, I tend to not put myself first.  Bad habit. The entire family benefits when mom is happy.  And sometimes in order to be happy, we must put ourselves first.  I am working on it.

Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud off in your life?

I am proud of my professional accomplishments. . . law school, successful solo practice all without getting too dirty in the process.  Ha!

When were you happiest?

I have been happy (or perhaps just delusional) most of my life.   I will add that recently I experienced an extra level of happiness because this January my mother reached her 5th anniversary of being cancer (breast) free!   But I will say that now, being in my mid-40s, is the most liberating time of my life.  Things are just not that heavy.

What ten words best describe you?

This is sooooo hard—but here goes:  “Confident,” “chatty,” “intelligent,” “giving,” “opinionated,” yet “humble,” “witty,” “savvy (not in the social media way, yet),” yet “naïve” and extremely “grateful.”

Jaye Xn is a forty something year old 5th generation New Yorker (Manhattan, New Rochelle and a 4 year stint in Greenwich, CT – oh guffaw!) living in the suburbs of Atlanta with her husband (Mr. Recovering Attorney) two children (Precious Child I & II) and a neurotic, yet oh so loyal Lab mix (The Dog).

Though she’s an attorney by training, Jaye has decided to forego the “practice” of law – after growing tired of complete strangers walking into her life and  expecting her to solve their problems! Now she’s healing and recovering from her prior professional life.

Jaye’s blog, The Recovering Attorney is the un-lifestyle, un-mommy, un-interior design blog.  Subscribe, read it and let’s recover, re-invent and unwind together!