Are you happy at the moment?
Right now, at this very moment, yes. I’m happy. I am easily stressed out by silly little things but when I sit down and count my blessings, I have everything in the world TO be happy: A wonderful, healthy and intelligent family, a roof over my head and food in my belly, amazing opportunities both professionally and personally.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
Giving my 16-year-old self advice might make me more comfortable in my own skin but I would venture to guess that (1) I wouldn’t listen to myself or (2) It would change how I felt or acted and therefore change my path completely. Everything that I have done and that has happened to me is what has made me who I am today. All the heartbreaks and ways I was mistreated along with the successes, accomplishments and failures. If I had to say something, this is what it would be: “You will never be able to please everyone but don’t let others derail you from being the best person you can be. There is nothing wrong with trying to be friends with everyone but there will be critics who try to discredit your sincere interest in being kind to anyone you meet. Realize those skills and traits you develop amidst the criticism are what help you be successful, both personally and professionally, the rest of your life.”
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I have come to the sad realization that I have many faults and that I need to overcome those because problems that arise from those faults impact the people I love.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
Personally, I want to finally reach my weight goal as well as run an official 5K. Professionally, I want to find focus, blog more frequently and grow my brand… all which go hand-in-hand.
What’s your secret to happiness?
My secret to happiness is the knowledge that I’m not alone in this world. I’ve been blessed with an amazing, supportive and caring husband who encourages me to pursue my dreams, lifts me up when I am down and carries or guides me across every threshold I feel like I cannot cross alone.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
My world is filled with clutter. Although I have trouble overcoming THAT, I find sanity where I can. Every day, I make my bed. On days that I’m rushed and can’t, I feel overwhelmed. It’s amazing that this one simple task that I do daily helps make me feel like things aren’t a total disaster.
What’s your biggest regret?
My biggest regret is asking my husband to relocate back to Iowa without giving him the opportunity to find somewhere else for us to call home. While there are many positive things about living here, there are also many negatives including the weather, the lack of things to do and lack of opportunities. I was very selfish about that decision.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
Friends will come and go. Material things will break, be outgrown or soon be forgotten. Family is the one thing that will be with you for the rest of your life and should be treated as the most important thing you’ll ever have.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
There are three (bad) habits that go hand-in-hand that I desperately want to fix but despite my efforts, never seem to manage to get past. I’m a packrat and have difficulty getting rid of things. I’m a procrastinator and let things just stack up. Between these two things, I’ve become very disorganized which I hate. I want to find a way to become both physically and emotionally organized. I recall a conversation two years ago (at DisneySMMoms) with a New York mom. At the time, I refused to part with the crib. I was emotionally attached. Space is limited there (unlike here in Iowa) and she explained that something like a crib isn’t important; it just takes up space. Within months, I sold the crib. While I was somewhat emotional, the resulting relief was overwhelming. I wish I could have a crib-revelation about everything else I own, touch or receive.
Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
From a young age, I worked for the construction company my family owned. I opted for a local college even though my older brother thought I should pursue an Ivy League school. My mom insisted that I had the talents to do something more with myself and urged me to utilize the vast contacts I had made as a chairperson for the small business committee at the local Chamber of Commerce. But I didn’t. I was comfortable where I was… status quo. So I bet you’re asking why I’m proud. Well, it was when I finally stepped outside my comfort zone and encouraged my husband to take a job he was offered in Los Angeles. We uprooted and new doors opened left and right. THAT decision to leave my roots and venture into the unknown is what I am most proud of because without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Even more, I wouldn’t be WHO I am today.
Who is your favorite Disney princess and what has she taught you about parenting?
For personality, I relate to Snow White. To quote Wikipedia: “Snow White is often described as a kind, optimistic, and happy person who sees the good in everyone.” Optimism and seeing good in people isn’t a bad thing… I try to teach that to my children!
What ten words best describe you?
Sociable, caring, intelligent, analytical, creative, optimistic, naïve, disorganized, sincere and last but certainly not least, blessed.
Nicole Brady is a Social Media Mom working with a variety of brands and agencies in various aspects of campaign outreach, including as a brand ambassador and campaign manager. She is mom of two beautiful daughters, wife of a wonderful husband, and, when she isn’t driving kids to and from *everywhere*, she’s publisher at SahmReviews.com.