Jessica saw Rene speak at Type-A-Con and offered to share her Life Lessons with us (okay, so we tweeted and tweeted and we appreciate her answering the call). You, too, can be featured by emailing us. We’d love to have you!
Are you happy at the moment?
Last week I received a huge reminder that I am truly happy and must do what I can to protect that. Certain things in life are beyond our control but happiness is definitely worth coveting and protecting.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
I would probably try to boost her self-confidence just a little. Like most 16-year-olds, I was more consumed with what others thought of me than what I thought of myself. And for certain I would suggest a different hairstyle for prom night. Yikes!
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
By far the most important thing I have learned is that my career does not define my self-worth. It does not matter where I am employed or if I am employed at all. I am still worthy. I have struggled a lot with this over the past few years, but not anymore.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
This is a pivotal year because I am turning 40. (Gasp.) The thirties were life-altering with infertility, babies, career changes and relocating to a new state. This year I want peace and stability. Is that too much to ask? Seriously, I have some business and blogging goals outlined for the coming year. On a personal level I am determined to run a respectable 5k.
What’s your secret to happiness?
I always use the term “intellectual fulfillment”. When I feel fulfilled intellectually I am complete. As much as I adore being a parent, I crave that other fulfillment to be happy. Blogging has done a lot of that for me. With blogging and social media there is always something new to learn. That continual learning process fulfills me.
There’s a quote that I love which says: “Life makes sense when we are centered in our own hearts and embrace our own unique journey”. My secret is to center my heart and follow my journey.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Blogging, hands down. I write a lot about ways social good, companies and people who give back and ways to pay it forward. With all of the scandals, tragedies and stress around us, it feels great to write with positivity.
What’s your biggest regret?
It’s not that I don’t have any regrets, but I truly believe that if we trust our instincts and do the best we can with the information we have at the time then we have done our job.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
Whether it’s a sport, instrument, art or something else, I am a huge believer in letting my kids try any activity they want to, within reason. You never know what you are going to have a passion for until you give it a try. I want them to always follow their interests and pursue their passions.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I wish I could be that mom who never lost her patience or raised her voice. We tend to be a fiery group in our family. You should see me on the sidelines at a soccer game. Those poor, unsuspecting referees…
Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
My eight-year-old son has a rare disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis. It is a severe food allergy related disease. There are very few foods (very few) that are safe for him to eat. He is very small for his age and in September will have his 31st endoscopy. The grace and strength with which he handles his situation is by far the thing I am most proud of.
I have been through a lot of difficult times in my life. Having the privilege to watch the way he handles his situation encourages me to keep going and enjoy every day.
When were you happiest?
I am happiest now, I think. Are things always sunshine and roses? No. Yet when my husband and I catch our kids laughing together, that’s it. That’s all I need to be happy.
What ten words best describe you?
Strong, genuine, savvy, resourceful, honest, reserved, appreciative, hardworking and resilient.
Jessica Cohen says that it’s not about losing your marbles; it’s what you do once you find them that matters. She blogs at Found the Marbles, a look at social good, life and paying it forward. Jessica loves highlighting the people who overcome hurdles, who give back and who make others healthier in body, mind and spirit. Prior to blogging she spent 15 years in media research and strategy for several major consumer magazines. Today she ghost writes and works as a strategic brand and social media consultant. In her spare time Jessica runs a shuttle (also known as her SUV). Connect with her on Twitter @FoundtheMarbles.