Mid-Year Life Lessons

Updated: Jan 14


6 months into 2019.

Warp speed.

I've always been HORRIBLE at journaling.

I buy pretty journals; they sit blank.

That's why I like chatting with you here.

I can sit and type my little heart out.

A reflective blog post that hopefully you'll find relatable.

Before heading into the next 6 months.

I want to pause.


What are life lessons I've learned thus far?

This has been a big learning year for me.

1. Weight

I saw a picture of myself at the beginning of June.

My heart sank.

The denial and façade that I'm not 'THAT heavy' completely shattered.

Harsh reality sunk in.


I've packed on some pounds.

Probably since 2014.

Dad's death. Ex- boyfriend cheating on me. Job transition.

Visiting 100 Wineries in 100 Days.

I want to love this picture. I love the people in this picture. Not loving how I look.

That'll do it.

Eating food is such a cozy comfort for me.

Plus, living in wine country is indulgence central.

It's been pretty shocking to learn the calorie impact of a 5oz glass of wine!!!

No way I'm giving up wine!

I'm just more aware and selective of how much is going in my mouth-hole.

Right now I'm keeping the specifics of my weight loss details private.

I've found that when I divulge too much I start to self-sabotage.

Talking about my weight journey slows my progress and momentum.

Good news is, I'm on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Slowly but surely.

Once I get to a part on the journey that feels solid...

I'll share more with you. Promise.

My go-to healthy egg scramble.

I really want to tackle the topics of:

Is it possible to indulge in the pleasures of wine life and have a healthy weight?

How can weight be less about wanting to be skinny and fit in cute clothes


more about

Walking into a day with less heavy energy

and more

'I take care of myself' energy.

Keeping my fingers crossed that I don't fall off the bandwagon.

Keeping my fingers crossed I can stick it out.

Life Lesson:

Denial about weight is not serving me anymore.

2. Unity

I've talked about a program called Alanon.

A support group for people affected by someone else's drinking.

My dad was an alcoholic. The disease took his life.

June sunsets are my favorite.

In Alanon we have guiding Steps, Traditions and Concepts that keep us rooted in healthy recovery so that we can live joy-filled lives.

So how does this relate to life lessons in 2019?

See, I've tried really hard to be a 'Yes' person.

Wasn't there a popular book called, 'The Year Of Yes'?

Don't live in fear and just say YES!

Part 1

I remember when I first moved up to Sonoma County;

I joined a local networking/volunteer group.

Every year this group has a national convention.

The convention happened to be in San Francisco.

I said YES to going.

I didn't think about the primary purpose of the convention.

Long meetings all day. Staying in hotel rooms with multiple people. Drinking.

Being with the group and participating in group activities.

Navigating around San Francisco.

A disaster. I went and was miserable.

My anxiety was crippling. The entire convention I sat up in the hotel room.

My anxiety worsened as I didn't get any sleep.

A few people on the trip were angry with me.

I invited a friend (not in the organization) to join so she could be my life-raft.

There is so much that goes on behind a photo. This was taken at the convention. I look happy but I was miserable inside.

At the time, I remember wanting to whine and complain about the organization.

I felt snarky towards the people who gave me attitude for not participating.

Alanon, and particularly my Sponsor, 'knocked me upside the head'.

See, in Alanon one of our traditions is:

The good of the group is placed over the good of the individual.

Alanon aims to help each individual, BUT

The individual will not gain by being a detriment to the rest of the group.

After talking with my Sponsor, I realized

by saying YES I was a detriment to myself AND the group.

I was being selfish.

Making everything about my needs instead of the group as a whole.

Part 2

Enter June 2019.

My boyfriend is a groomsman for a wedding in Cabo.

Back in December 2018 I said YES to going with him.

No thoughts about my fear of flying, my travel anxieties...

No thoughts about the purpose of the week-long trip,

and would my presence enhance the wedding extravaganza.

Just say yes and figure it out later, right?

Everyone is going and so can I!

Long story short,

I ended up not going on the trip.

An agonizing decision.

Another opportunity for me to realize that haphazardly saying yes to things gets me into trouble.

This meditation app is life-changing for my anxiety!

The optimistic version of me was like...

I can go on the trip.

Easy breezy.

I don't have anxiety.

I can be carefree and grounded and zen.

I knew if I went on the trip,

I'd have to work really hard to stay:



and grounded.

I knew my boyfriend would probably get the brunt of my travel anxiety.

Yikes! I kinda sound like a basket case. LOL!!!

Maybe I am.

Growing up in an abusive and traumatic alcoholic home had an impact on me.

PTSD that surfaces in small ways on a daily basis.

My brain chemistry. My mental health. My ancestral genetics.

It all plays a factor.

The lenses that I see the world through are unique to me.

Some may call it high maintenance.

I call it survival mode.

The purpose of the Cabo Trip was to spend a week celebrating a marriage.

Laying by the pool. Drinking. Sun. Late nights of dancing. Socializing.

A friend of mine looked at me like I had 20 heads.

I was stupid for not going on the trip.

I get it!!!!

It's baffling and frustrates me too.

Sometimes my spirit animal is that of an indoor house cat.

I want to conquer fear.

I want to challenge myself.

I want to cope.

I want to do it all perfectly.

I also need to take care of myself.

I also need to consider UNITY!

Consider the greatest good for the group.

Key question:

Would I be able to contribute to the group's purpose as the highest version of myself?

This time, my answer was NO.

There are plenty of times where I DO push myself out of my comfort zone.

At the same time, I'm SO OVER trying to keep up with the Millennial Aesthetic.

Look at me.

Always on the go.

Saying YES to life!

Pretending I can conquer it all.

I can't keep up.

Life Lesson:

It's ok to be high maintenance.

Especially when I want to maintain group unity and most importantly maintain my personal wellness.

3. A Heaping Plate

**Read only if you are curious about behind the scenes Sonoma Wine Life.

I've got a lot of ideas.

I'm incredibly inspired and stimulated by the Social Media and Entrepreneurship energy that is swirling around the world right now.

Since 2008 I've been swept up into the current of:


Website design



You Tube

Live Video



I want to have my hand in ALL OF IT!!!

My creativity comes alive just thinking about the possibilities.

I LOVE when opportunities fall into my lap without my meddling. Like this photo shoot I did with the Grape Leaf Inn!

Sonoma Wine Life, at first, was a way for me to explore Sonoma County.

It has morphed into so much more.

Because of Sonoma Wine Life, I've launched a local Social Media Coaching side hustle.

I also LOVE being invited to super cool events and networking in the wine industry.

Much more glamorous then when I was a teacher.

NOT knocking being a teacher... it's just facts.

Playing in the wine world is a TON of adult fun!

Did I really start Sonoma Wine Life way back in 2014?!?!?

Over the years, I've kicked around ideas of how to grow my presence.

How to be DIFFERENT than other Instagrammers in the space.

Should I....

Blog more?

Post more on FB?

Start a You Tube Channel?

Start a Podcast?

Post to Instagram Stories all the time?

Send multiple emails a month to subscribers?

If time allowed, I could spend days just developing content.

I often forget to take pictures of myself wearing my cork earrings! I LOVE making cork earrings. I want more time on my plate to grow my cork earring business!

Problem is....

I have other jobs and commitments.

At least once a month I panic.

I whip myself into a tizzy.

I'm not doing enough.

I'm not consistent enough.

Sonoma Wine Life is slipping through my fingers.

I push myself to do MORE.

More blogposts, stories, emails, podcasts.

I pencil these new tasks into my calendar.

They never get completed.

I feel guilty.

All or nothing thinking kicks in.

Days pass and I stop posting all together.

I needed a shift in perspective.

This pic didn't make the Insta cut! Pure laughter with a double chin. It reminds me how much fun I have brainstorming ideas for creative content. Outside of the box ideas like a hot tub wine video!

What if....

Instead of trying to do ALL THE exciting social media things,

I choose a few and put the rest on a back burner?

Once I can prove consistency

Over time

THEN I can add more to the mix!

This may seem so obvious but it has been HUGE for ME!!!

Instead of writing 4 blogposts a month, why don't I commit to ONE!

Hold myself accountable.

Keep up the consistency.

One a month.

Once I have proved consistency, I can add something new into the mix.

I used to think, if I didn't tackle an idea pronto, then Social Media would leave me in the dust.

Not the case.

I have to believe that quality, passion and consistency are more sustainable than a more, more and MORE mentality.

Life Lesson:

I'll never have Social Media completely figured out.

I don't have to be the first to jump on every trend.

Consistency and quality are top priorities.

Be different.

Try new things BUT

Add them in to the mix sloooooooowly.

4. Thank You, Next

Last year someone that I respected, admired and looked up to

unfollowed me on Instagram.

Not going to lie.

I cried. I fretted. I analyzed. I groveled in a DM to find out why.

This wasn't like an accidental unfollow.

They never acknowledged my message, but re-followed me.

THEN pretended they didn't know who I was at a function.


Months have passed.

Low and behold. They have unfollowed me again.

This is not an Instagram bot situation.

It's an unfollow.

I can say with confidence that I honestly don't give a FUCK anymore.

My mom will be livid when she reads this.

Not a fan of my swearing.

Sorry mom.


I don't give a FUCK about social media politics, social climbing and petty stuff.

This time... the unfollow was a victory!

Thank you, NEXT!

The pitiful me, who would be torn up about wondering why... doesn't give a FUCK anymore!

I unfollowed this person right back.

Not with a tinge of drama or hate.

Ok, maybe there was a smidge of sassiness in my finger as I pressed the unfollow button.

I unfollowed out of pure empowerment and trust.


This situation and person is a total BLOCK!

Life Lesson:

Trust that when someone unfollows, it is meant to be. Trust that there is abundance in this world. The right people will find you. The right people will join you. Your energy is valuable. Don't waste energy fretting over what's meant to be blocked out of your life.


I start these types of blogposts and have no idea where they are going.

This one was a doozy.

Breathing in deeply the zen smells of lavender.

Please note.

I don't have it all figured out.

I'm taking 2019 one second at a time.

I do see the progress though.

Little by little.

Many mistakes lead to a smidge of clarity.


© 2020 Sheila Jane Co.