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Hey all it’s Laura Folos takin’ a seat in the Life Lessons corner today. Laura and I had a chance to hang out at Blogalicious late last year and we had a blast! We follow each other on Twitter and recently she went through life-changing surgery. Read more about what makes Laura tick and remember if you want to take part in our little exercise, drop us a line, we’ll shoot the questions right out to you.

Are you happy at the moment?

Yep. It’s nice to like where you are at this moment in time. There’s a lot of change going on right now, but I’m embracing it and laughing through it.

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

Stop thinking about ways to get out of town after high school and enjoy the ride. Seriously. There’s plenty of time to go and do and you will. Just enjoy the ride and just do your dang homework!

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

Be Fearless. Things in this world are scary. Change is scary, but if you are fearless and just close your eyes and trust that there will be a net under you-jumping is easy. It won’t be as bad as you think it may be. I’ve also learned that the people holding the net are the most important people in the world for you. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without my “net holders.” If people don’t want to hold your net for you, fine. Don’t stress about those people.

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

Seriously – I can’t look 12 months ahead. I find that insanely overwhelming. I tend to do this in small 3-ish month increments.  So, right now, I just want to pass a few classes and lose a total of 60 lbs by my birthday. If you put that all together, then, I would guess my 12 month goal would be to graduate school, pass the boards, and get to my goal weight.  When I look at that now, I’m a bit twitchy, so I try and keep the goals small. Helps keep me motivated.

What’s your secret to happiness?

Remembering that almost everything in life that happens isn’t fatal. You just need to keep a sense of humor about things and realize that there is something hilarious in every.single.situation. When you find that hilarity, you automatically stop stressing and laugh at yourself.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Coffee. Lots of coffee. Some days, it’s not even worth it until I’ve got some of that in my veins. Sadly, that’s one of the holdovers of being a Barista! Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of meditation and yoga to really get myself grounded. School has a meditation room that we can all use for a quiet space, and I’ve taken advantage of that in the time I’ve been there.  It has really, really helped with the grounding and focus.

What’s your biggest regret?

That I never went away for college. Looking back now, I needed to get out and away, but I stayed close because I was afraid of not being able to be back for holidays. Now, I regret that fear and not leaving the area sooner.

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

Own it. Own your successes, failures, mistakes and great things. Own every decision you make, good or bad. Owning doesn’t just mean taking responsibility.  Owning means really internalizing it and making sure you learn from each one.

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

My need to procrastinate. I always say I work better under pressure, but there’s something about leaving things to the last second that just doesn’t work so well.

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

Having the guts to walk through the orientation session for Bariatric surgery. It took me two years to get to that point, and when I walked through the door, my whole life changed. I started looking at things differently and decided not just a body reinvention was needed, but a full life reinvention.

When were you happiest?

I think right now.  It’s a good space to be in.

What ten words best describe you?

Zany, fun, smart, sensitive, creative, intense, driven, geeky, coffee-addicted, Mami

Laura Folos is a hockey mom, massage therapy student and gastric bypass patient with a penchant for all things geeky. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband and son and zoo (cats and guinea pigs and frogs, oh my!) She blogs at My 3 Ring Circus of a Life about everything that makes her life a circus with the clowns running the show.