Aww, look at that smile, folks! My friend Krista Swan is in the Life Lessons Hot seat today. I met Krista after my speech at the Disney Social Media Moms conference last summer. I was making my way back to my room, tired and a little spent. Krista, clearly in tune to body language or maybe a mind reader, invited me to her room around the corner. Why? because she had all the fixin’s for a Sea Breeze right there in her room. She and her hubby made me a drink and that’s when I realized this was a woman after my own heart. Read more on Krista now, in her own words and if you’d like to take part in our Life Lessons, drop us a line; we’ll shoot the questions right over to you!
Are you happy at the moment?
I really am! I feel like I’ve reached a place of good balance in my life, and that makes me happy. Plus, I’m generally a happy person – while I can get in a funk with the best (worst?) of them, it is usually short-lived.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
You can accomplish anything you want to, don’t let anyone discourage you! Travel the world, take a chance – there will be plenty of time to settle down and be an adult later.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
That if I want something to happen, I need to make it happen. Before this last year, if I had a good idea, I assumed someone else had thought of it or that someone else could do it better. If Jane Goodall had waited for someone else to save the chimps, it might never have happened. I’m really inspired by this quote from Thomas Jefferson: “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I’m launching a cool new website, I’ll tell you more about it soon! (see question #3 above!)
What’s your secret to happiness?
Balance and gratitude. Also, reminding myself to be happy. I’m serious. Sunshine helps quite a bit, too!
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Grounded? Probably talking things through with my husband. He’s so wise and practical, and also incredibly supportive of me and my crazy ideas. What keeps me SANE is running every morning with my girlfriends.
What’s your biggest regret?
That I didn’t do whatever I needed to do to travel the world after college. Why didn’t I go get a job on a cruise ship for heaven’s sake? I was too worried about those dang student loans.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
“I’m OK!” When they fall down or hurt themselves, they shout (or sometimes whimper), “I’m OK!” and then get up and keep going. They’re both also really affectionate, but I’m not sure I get to take credit for that.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Procrastination! I’m getting better, though, because I’ve realized I have to if I want to accomplish my goals.
Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
That I’m great in a crisis. When sh*t hits the fan, I keep my head, organize people, make things happen and solve problems – all while staying calm. It really comes in handy sometimes.
When were you happiest?
In my mid-20s, when I realized that I didn’t need to be anywhere else, or know anyone else – that I can create my own happiness and that I am all I really need. Deep sense of peace followed, it’s changed my life and I’ve been happy ever since. Before that, I always worried that I was missing out on something, and that made me anxious and fretful and insecure.
What ten words best describe you?
I just asked my kids this question, and they said: “Men (WTF?), Smaller than daddy, Love, Flower, Long hair, smart, friendly”. Then I asked my husband: “Motivated, Intelligent, Pretty, Kind, Sexy, Confident, Sweet, Silly” And I think I’ll answer: “Confident, Creative, Kind, Smart, Optimistic, Self-absorbed, Shoe-lover, Fashionista-wannabe, Tree-hugger, Mom”
Krista Swan is a Portland, Oregon blogger with two kids (6 & 4) and a full-time day job doing marketing and events for Oregon Zoo. She is on a mission to change the perception of “Mom Style” from frumpy and frazzled to fabulous and organized, and she celebrates local moms with good style on her blog. She believes in the power of good shoes and wine, is inspired by nature, by women who make fitness a balanced part of their daily lives, and by anyone who *does something* instead of just thinking about it. Krista is the creator Cascadia Connect, a network for Portland-area bloggers. You can read more about her adventures at her blog MostlyMommyhood.com.