My side of the story.

 

When I was a freshman at The University of Michigan, I met this handsome cool dude with long hair and a wardrobe I immediately recognized from The Buckle.  On our first date he brought me a rose and we talked all night as if we had known each other for years.  I fell instantly.  Beau is an idealist, he is artistic, he is spontaneous, optimistic, and the perfect antidote for my neurotic, anxious, worrisome ways.  The yin to my yang.

Me and Boba Fett(aka Beau)

Twenty years later, we have arrived here.  Through many financial highs and lows, what became increasingly clear to us was being exceptionally wealthy was not our goal.  What was more important was having ample time to be together; to be with our kids.  We wanted the freedom to leave work in the middle of the day to watch a Kindergarten Christmas Program.  Paying the bills is important, and so is having enough money to travel and give our children experiences outside of the comforts of their home, but most people who are exceptionally and independently wealthy can not afford all of those amenities.  I’ve worked with those people before.  They miss a lot of life’s moments, in exchange for a giant paycheck.  It’s just not our style.      

Honestly, I never had the desire to own my own business.  I have never felt an impenetrable drive to succeed.  Maybe I’m just lazy.  Strike that; I went to school for Classical Voice.  Trust me when I say, that industry is not for the faint of heart.  It’s cutthroat, expensive, and you have to want it, breathe it, eat it, live it.  I realized it is truly a self-indulgent career, and that is such a turn off to me.  *More on that at a later time though….* Luckily, the fifteen years I spent exploring that career, yielded a plethora of experience that would later help shape my role at Tee See Tee. 


Working the Lansing Gift Show I think it’s more a matter of wanting my life to be as stress-free as possible.  My biggest life goal has always been to live stress-free.  Yoga everyday, deep breathing for the hell of it and not into a paper bag, and to be one with the wind.  Relaxed and centered.  Grounded.  

I experienced more stress in my life by the time I was 18 years old, than most people do in a lifetime.  I’m still trying to master living a stress-free life with four children in a seven-year span, while simultaneously running your own business. 

Any day now...    

No, wait a minute.  Stress management is a subsequent goal derived from a stressful life.  The only constant life goals I have ever had were: to have a big family of my own, a solid marriage built on mutual trust and support, and enough money to travel.  Big family? Check.  Solid Marriage?  Nailed it.  Money to travel?  Success!

Good times in Boston

So here we are, owners of a small business, parents to four amazing kids, and living an extremely stressful life.  But here’s the thing, I couldn’t be happier.  I am challenged every single day.  I am rewarded every single day.  I am stressed out every single day, and sometimes all I look forward to is that moment when the kids go down and I get to pour myself a glass of wine and cuddle with my hubby while watching West World.  But also I am learning that stress is self-inflicted.  And so is happiness.  So with Beau’s unwavering optimism, I have realized this is The Dream, and we are living it.   

How lucky are we?


Jennifer Warren
Jennifer Warren

Author