Ep 15 The Attorney That Cares, Jennifer Jackson, Joins Rachael to Talk About Balancing Motherhood, Billable Hours and Defining Yourself

Jennifer Jackson and I ran track together in college and now she and her husband raise three beautiful, athletic children while both pursuing professional careers.  Jennifer tackles social injustices through her career as an attorney and through the mission field.  She will encourage you to define your version of success.

 

Show notes:

Jennifer Jackson is an attorney who cares — about her clients and her community. Her professional and personal philosophy includes giving back in ways that make a meaningful difference to the local and global communities. Jennifer is a firm believer in Gandhi’s idea of “being the change you want to see in the world.” Being a mom of three provides critical time management and conflict resolution skills that prove invaluable in and meeting the needs of clients. Experienced in workers’ compensation, products liability, employment and trucking, Jennifer evaluates the case in order to provide early and efficient resolution. But litigation is not the only concern for clients so she provides a holistic approach with care and attention combined with loads of experience and knowledge. When not devoting her time to the practice of law since 2002 she is helping various non-profits offer free legal services to the underprivileged, rescue women and children from trafficking and connect kids with mentors to help keep them off of drugs and out of gangs.

3 Adjustments You Can Make To Shred Stress

Throughout my life people have always told me, “Wow, you sure have a lot of things going on.”  I heard it my sophomore year before I caught pneumonia from overexerting myself with school activities and depleting my immune system.  I heard it when I was teaching six Zumba classes per week and crashing from too many caffeine supplements and not enough rest.  I heard it when I was working 12+ hour days, mindlessly shoveling Van’s burgers down my throat, and experiencing intense, regular headaches and near blindness in my left eye.  I heard it when I was juggling work, fitness classes, a new business, band rehearsal, and play practice.

In fact, my therapist confirmed that I am better at “doing” instead of “being.”  For the most part, I am okay with this part of myself.  My energy, ideas, and work ethic have me floating on cloud nine most days.  Even when I do have time to relax, my mind and body fight it.  It seems like I am calibrated to a frequency where “calming down” is what requires the most work.

So why do it?  Well, because no matter how unnatural downshifting is to me, it’s going to happen one way or another.  I can mindfully pump the brakes slowly throughout the day or my keen biology will slam my butt into park until further notice.  According to research developed through the Blue Zones Project, communities that take time to downshift or shred the stress of the day live longer, healthier lives. 

So after learning everything the hard way, here are 3 adjustments that I’ve made to my routine to slow my roll:

1.  I have priorities… and no, not everything is a priority.  When reading the book, You Are Not Your Brain, I was encouraged to make a list of my priorities.  Webster’s Dictionary defines priority as “something that is more important than other things and needs to be done or dealt with first.”  So tell me why by the time I was finished, I had filled two pages.  Needless to say, when everything was a priority, my life was like the Tetris video game…eventually the pieces came too fast, piling on top of one another, until it was GAME OVER.  Today, one of my top values is MY Wellness.  Each day, I put items on the schedule that support this value and place all other demands, expectations, and obligations around it.  Balls are going to drop.  This time, it won’t be me.   

2.  My calendar has blank spots.  Just because I can say yes to something on the weekends, doesn’t mean that I should.  Sleeping in, cooking healthy food, talking with people that I love, and taking my time at the gym all have their rightful spot in my life today.  Sure, it sounds like I am still “doing”, but the pace isn’t harried or forced.  I experience peace and contentment.  It is not a check on my To-do list.

3.  I eat food that I have to cook.  Recently, I found myself very anxious in the evening.  With all of this “extra” time on my hands, I was restless and would wind up in the kitchen looking for something accessible to munch on.  This would turn into making poor choices and eventually getting down on myself.  I also realized that I wasn’t respecting the process of what it takes to harvest, ship, purchase, cook, and consume healthy food.  Therefore, I connected with individuals in my community that support a Plant-Based Whole Food way of life.  The process of chopping vegetables clears my mind and the end result nourishes my soul.  Sharing recipes and experiences connects me to a healthy tribe and makes me feel settled.

Honestly, There is never a good time to downshift.  You will most likely feel guilty and the people around you will get annoyed.  Things are never going to slow down.  The break is never going to come.  The light is not at the end of the tunnel.  No amount of better preparation or organization will keep the pieces from coming…faster.  The world will continue to take as long as you are offering.  Every time you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to another.  You can’t have it all.  What are you sacrificing… and is it worth it? Only you can make the change.

 

Bio picAlicja Carter, MHR, LADC, BHWC, has been working in the behavioral health and addiction treatment field for over ten years.  She is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Wellness Coordinator/Coach for Gateway to Prevention and Recovery in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  Alicja is passionate about pursuing a well life and collaborating with others for the purpose of stimulating positive change in her community.

 

The Interview Dance

While in college I attended a Presbyterian Church and later was asked to serve part time as their youth director. Growing the youth program over the years, the part time job eventually led to a full time position. [Two steps forward] After seven total years working at the church, it was time to move on and I needed to interview for a new job. The church had changed pastors and my youth program was not on her agenda. #ChurchLife

So I began interviewing for jobs, reading all of the Interviewing for Dummies types of books, and practicing my interview skills. I had researched the best questions to ask as a candidate that would demonstrate my thoughtfulness and desire to have the job. I was polished at answering all the, “Would you rather work by yourself or as a team member,” or the “What would you say is your greatest strength and weakness” type of questions. I would say I kind of became an expert interviewee. Unfortunately I was also interviewing for a few jobs I had no desire to have [One step backwards] for the sake of experience.

Over the years, I started getting the jobs I wanted, climbing the proverbial ladder and honing my ability to prove I deserved the next job, the better pay, or the promotion. I continued researching the best ways to GET the job I wanted. Then I bought my own business and now I needed to interview to find the perfect employee. And what seemed like, suddenly, I now had to evaluate the talent from the other side of the desk. Now I had to decide if the candidate was being honest, if they could work both alone and as part of a team. To be honest, at first I hated being the lead in the interview dance.

Continue reading “The Interview Dance”