Are you happy at the moment?

I think ‘happy’ is really relative.  Overall, I’d say yes.  There are definitely things giving me more grief than others at the moment, but that’s just life.  I’ve spent a lot of time in the last two years trying to focus my energy on the good, and spend less time dwelling on the bad.  That’s not to say I don’t think about those parts, but rather I try to look at them from a analytical standpoint and find a way to work on them rather than wallow in them.

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

Gosh, this one is hard.  I think I’d tell my 16-year-old self that it’s ok to not have a boyfriend and that focusing on being happy on your own is important.  If you can’t be happy on your own and are always relying on someone else for your happiness, you’re setting yourself up for potential disaster down the road.

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

I’ve learned a lot this year, but I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that true friends are worth more than anything else you will ever have in your lifetime.  They will lift you up, carry you when you can’t walk on your own, and be there long after any money you have is gone.  Don’t take them for granted.

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

I think my perpetual goal will always be to find balance.  Sometimes I feel like I’m part of a circus act and my juggling skills just aren’t up to par.  Being wife, mother, employee, boss, webmaster, chef (so on and so forth) is oftentimes overwhelming and I’d like that to be more of the exception, rather than the norm.

What’s your secret to happiness?

Don’t set your expectations too high. We don’t live in a perfect world… no one does. We can spend all day comparing our lives to someone else’s, but all you end up with is disappointment. Set your expectations and goals based on what’s achievable for you and your particular situation, not someone else’s.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Weeding. Yes, weeding my flower beds. That’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Anytime I’m feeling a little extra crazy, I can head outside and something about such a menial task is exactly what I need to clear my head and bring me back to center.

What’s your biggest regret?

This one is really hard for me. I could probably write an entire book about it. Two years ago, my best friend made some decisions I didn’t agree with. In the end, I ended up walking away from our friendship because I couldn’t separate the decisions she made from the person she was. The specifics don’t really matter anymore. She passed away suddenly in May, and even though we had recently talked, we never repaired what was broken and now we’ll never have the chance. This is easily my biggest regret.

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

You mean they are actually learning things from me? *Gasp* I hope that my children have learned/are learning that there is beauty everywhere and in everything. Nothing should be overlooked because of the initial view of the surface. Nature, people, things… they all have their value and beauty.

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

I have a habit of talking to myself.  I know it can be annoying for the people around me.  Talking to myself has always helped me work through things logically quicker than just ‘in my head’.  Now it’s become a habit to talk to myself all the time.  The ladies I work with are constantly asking ‘are you talking to me?’.

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

I’m proud that I chose my own path.  I didn’t follow the example that my parents set (one that sometimes was less than stellar) and I made my own way.  I suppose that’s my independent streak showing, or maybe just my common sense.

When were you happiest?

I’d say that I was probably happiest late summer/early fall of 2005.  Hubs and I had been married for almost 6 years.  We’d moved out of the city, we got to travel some that year and it was probably the most financially stable we’ve ever been.  Then we had kids, the housing and financial markets (which we worked in) went downhill and the rest is history.

What ten words best describe you?

Stubborn, Southern, Domestic, Feisty, Honest, Strong, Loyal, Short, Curious, and Organized.

Jamie is the 30-something, totally stressed out, in-over-her-head, professional nothing who’s cooking, taking pictures and blabbing about her kids at Mama.Mommy.Mom.  Connect with Jamie on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.