Hey y’all! So take a look at the woman in the photo. Does she look a little familiar to you? Just a little? Like maybe you know someone related to her?

Yep, that’s my baby sister in the Life Lessons hot seat; she is going to KILL me for using the above photo.  Anyway, I’ve been wanting to feature her in Life Lessons for a while now. She’s overcome some pretty tough stuff, raised two AMAZING boys on her own and rebuilt her life and career after her first  marriage broke-up. She’s remarried to a wonderful man, her boys are both going to college, her career is cooking with gas, and through it all, she learned about life, love and herself. So, read more about my little sister, Tracy Syler-Jones and remember, we want to hear from you too! Drop us a line if you’d like to be featured in Life Lessons; we’ll get the questions out ASAP! 

Are you happy at the moment?

Yes, but I think it’s bigger than that. Happiness comes and goes. I would choose the word ‘satisfied’ because that word feels stronger and less fleeting than happiness.

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

I would tell myself that you must always watch out for and take care of yourself. No one else will do this for you.

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

Relaxation. But I have to admit that it’s not something I learned in one year and I have to keep reminding myself to do it, year in and year out.

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

Good grades in my Executive Master of Business Administration program, which starts later this year.  So, I’ll be a TCU (Texas Christian University) student just like my boys!

What’s your secret to happiness?

I love the scene in the movie Parenthood where the father, played by Steve Martin, is watching one of his children in a school play. Everything’s going wrong and suddenly, he pictures himself on a roller coaster. As he experiences the dips and curves on the coaster, he suddenly realizes that this is what life is all about. We all have ups and downs – the trick is to enjoy the ride!

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Absolutely hands down my relationship with God. Every morning, I spend time reading The Bible, praying and meditating. It settles me for the day ahead.

What’s your biggest regret?

No regrets. Life is life and I believe each lesson teaches us something that we would never have learned before. So no regrets, just lessons learned.

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

To be kind to other people and to think about others and be thankful for what they have.

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

Negative thinking. It’s always easy to think that someone is smarter, more talented or just more loved than you are. I have to work through those thoughts and remember that I am special to God and that He created me for a special purpose and that is to be me, not someone else.

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

I’m most proud of my career because it’s an example of hard work meeting opportunity. It’s been a wonderful ride for me with many chances to advance in one place, something that doesn’t come along very often.

When were you happiest?


What ten words best describe you?

Peaceful, Loving, Strong, Thoughtful, Smart, Healthy, Joyful, Inquisitive, Explorer, Leader.

More from GEM:

Life Lessons: Bee Quammie

Ask the Good Enough Guy: She’s on the Pill So Why is Her Dad Pissed?

Ask Rene: I Don’t Trust My Mom’s New Boyfriend

Tracy Syler-Jones is TCU’s Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communication. As the chief marketing and communication strategist, Syler-Jones oversees the development of integrated marketing and communication plans for the University to advance TCU’s reputation and visibility among key audiences.

She is actively involved with CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) is a regular speaker at its conferences and serves on the CASE Commission board. She is a member of AMA (American Marketing Association), AAF – Fort Worth (American Advertising Federation) and PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) Greater Fort Worth Chapter.