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About 4 hours after last week’s guest, Jennifer Allain left my house, an uninsured motorist totaled our car. My reaction told me how far I’ve come on my journey seeking joy, grace, and forgiveness.
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About Jen McFarland
For over 12 years I’ve tackled business problems and provided simple, powerful solutions. I’ve led 7-figure projects and helped entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.
I teach women how to build their business, not around spreadsheets, bottom lines, and formulas, but around equity, leadership, mindset, courage, and resilience — you know, the things we are born to do.
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Transcript: Happy Accidents, Grace & Forgiveness
About four hours after last week’s guest, Jennifer Allain left my house, an uninsured motorist totaled our car. My reaction told me how far I’ve come on my journey seeking joy, grace, and forgiveness.
All that and more, here on Women Conquer Business.
Hi, my name’s Jen McFarland. For over 12 years, I’ve tackled business problems and provided simple, yet powerful solutions. I’ve led seven-figure projects and helped entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive. I teach women how to build their business, not around spreadsheets, bottom lines, and formulas, but around equity, leadership, mindset, courage, and resilience. You know, the things we were born to do. You can learn more at Jen McFarland.com. And now, here’s Women Conquer Business.
It’s my belief that we are all on our hero’s journey story all the time. There is no arrival at a final hero’s journey destination.
We just reach different levels, different peaks, and then we begin to climb the new peak. So much of my journey — I don’t know if you can relate to this or not. But so much of my journey has been about grace and forgiveness and giving myself both of these gifts. For years, I beat myself.
I used to use beating myself up as motivation, constantly putting myself down so that I could motivate myself to build myself up, and I didn’t like the way it made me feel. And as you might imagine, and I decided to make a change. And I did so much work, and I still continue to do work around forgiving myself for things and allowing myself time and space for love and growth and joy because when you beat yourself up for everything, you’re missing out on joy. Because there’s no joy in beating yourself up and focusing on perfection. And even though we all know you can’t achieve perfection, some of us still try and try.
Test to the Journey
So recently, something happened and after the fact, I realized that my reaction to it was a new peak in terms of joy and grace, not only for myself but for others as well. And so I thought I would tell you about it. Most of you don’t know me. For those of you who know me and follow me on Facebook, you’ve heard some of the story if you’re on my personal Facebook page, but maybe not all of it. So, I don’t know, maybe two and a half weeks ago, I had a friend over at the house. She parked in our driveway. My husband came home from work parked on the street which should be fine [laughter]. The friend left. I looked at the car parked in front of the house, and I said, “I should really move that, but it’s just one night. What could possibly happen?” My husband goes to bed with Booker, the doggie, and I was sitting at the dining room table working far too late on I don’t even know what. And in front of the dining room table is a large picture window, and I could see the car sitting under a street light out front. And I kept looking at it and saying, “I should really move that. Eh, it’s just one night. I should really move that. It’s just one night.”
The Car Accident
And then at about 9:30 that night, I heard a loud crash, and someone plowed into the back of our Toyota Prius parked in front of the house under the streetlight. I slammed my hand down on the dining room table, and yelled, “God damn it [laughter].”
And ran like a shot out in front of the house because the headlights of the car that hit us started to back up, and I didn’t want hit-and-run. I wanted to go. So I did probably something that isn’t the most intelligent thing [laughter] and ran out the front door [laughter] and stood in the street. And he was actually pulling his car back, and he did park his car. My husband actually didn’t hear the crash.
Time to Handle It
He heard me slam my hand down on the table and yell. And him and Booker who was no help who had to [laughter] put back in the house, but they both ran out. And the police came. It turned out that this driver was uninsured. He had left [laughter] after a couple of hours with the police, he had left his driver’s license in the street. I called him, and that was when I realized that he had other problems. I had his number because of the police report, and I called him and said, “Hey, you left your driver’s license. Why don’t you come and get it?” And he proceeded to call me like seven times, and he came. And I saw him, and I thought, “Yeah, maybe perhaps this person is on drugs.”
But he kindly took his driver’s license and went on his way, and when I told the police officer that he wasn’t insured and that he had come to the house [laughter] to pick up his driver’s license, the police, I could tell was concerned for my safety for having done that. Thankfully, nothing happened. And I took from that, that I did need to be a little more and continue to need to be a little more concerned with that. I just have a kind heart and a belief that everything is going to be fine, and it was. So there’s that. I think that the thing, aside from slamming my hand down and cursing, there was no other anger that I felt, and I think that that was the first sign that my journey of grace and forgiveness has taken a significant step forward.
I was unhappy that the car had been hit. Mostly because it was a hassle, although, I didn’t like the Prius, so there was that. And that maybe helped with not being angry [laughter]. But in terms of my journey, there was a time of my life when I would have been really, really beating myself up over the fact that I didn’t move the car and pull it in the driveway. I didn’t do that, and I didn’t have a lot of anger about an uninsured motorist hitting the back of the car. It was just a hassle and an unfortunate situation. So fast forward [laughter] not even that far, just a few days, and we find out that it was uninsured. We further find out that the car’s totaled, which is a super bummer, or was a super bummer, because we still owed some money on the car. So it was now a hassle, and with not just insurance companies, but with needing to get another car.
My husband was having a bad week, and this was at work. And so this was a bad week at work, plus a hassle, and now the car’s totaled. My husband is the most laid back, chill person that I know. And when he starts to get amped up and fired up, I know that it’s time to take action because it just is. When somebody who’s super chill starts to ramp up and be unhappy, it definitely [laughter] is a good time to take care of things. It’s a real sign that something has changed and shifted in my partner.
Saving the Weekend
So I said, “Okay, yes, we have to buy another car. No, it doesn’t have to ruin the weekend.” Which was really the big thing is, I’ve had this terrible week, now we have to buy a new car, it’s Friday, and it’s going to ruin the weekend because we have to take care of it this weekend. Because we only had the rental for so long, all of the hassles that go with your car being hit.
So I was like, okay, and I looked at the list of tasks that I had to do for my business. And I thought about my spouse, and I was like, you know what? Twenty [laughter] years of marriage way more important than anything on this business list [laughter] that I have to do. So I put the business list aside and said that can wait. So I showed myself some grace on the list, and I put the list aside, and I started looking for cars on a Friday at about noon on Friday. And I looked at cars, looked at the budget, considered that we needed to use the insurance money that we were going to get for both paying off that loan and also putting a downpayment on a car. I did the math on everything, spent a little time, and then just started looking at cars.
Finding A New Car
And in about four hours, [laughter] [I?] emailed my husband and I said, “Okay, I have a test drive scheduled.” It wasn’t even four hours, two-and-a-half hours. I said, “I have a test drive scheduled for 3:30 about a mile from your work. I’m test driving this car. You can come or not come, but I am probably leaving with a car, one way or the other.” And [laughter] I think he was floored, because it was like a moment of, oh my god, now I have to deal with this from my husband at the same time as, possibly, it’s not going to be as big of a hassle as I thought it would be.
So, [laughter] of course, I didn’t find a practical car. That would be the sensible thing to do, but I found a fun car. I decided that when something is a hassle and doesn’t make any sense and is completely insensible, not just– yeah, doesn’t make any makes sense that sometimes you need to take that and have a little fun with it. And given all of the budget and everything for this thing that we hadn’t planned for, I started looking at sports cars because we don’t have any kids, and sometimes you can’t be practical. When the car got hit, it was very impractical.
“Why do we need a practical car?” was what I said. So Jon was like, “Wait. What? You looked at a Mustang? We’re test-driving a Mustang? I don’t know about that [laughter].”
At the Car Lot
So we get to the car lot, and he’s still very uncertain. And we’re waiting for them to pull the car around for the test drive. And the car comes around, and he’s like, “Oh. Oh, I kind of– well, that car’s kind of pretty.” My husband’s favorite color is purple, so I always look for things that are kind of purple-y, especially if it’s something that I kinda want, like [laughter] a sports car or– I don’t know.
We have a purple couch, which maybe doesn’t sound lovely, but it actually is very lovely and beautiful. And so, whenever possible, I try to find something kind of purple-y. So this is actually a deep blue Mustang, but in certain lights, it can look purple. And so this car comes around, and my husband is like, “Oh.”
And we test drive it. And he can see that it’s a car that meets all of the– checks all of the boxes and is also fun to be in. And so we test drive that car. It’s the only car that we test-drove. And I looked at him, and he’s like, “Well?” And I said, “Well?”
And that’s how we went from having a Toyota Prius to having a Ford Mustang, which is the most insensible, impractical thing ever, especially considering [laughter] gas is almost $4 a gallon again here in Portland, Oregon. But it’s fun.
And my husband, who has never cared about cars in his entire life, was texting all of his friends and taking pictures of it and sending them out. And we have conversations every morning about who gets to drive the car because we have two vehicles, then we have this fun car.
And it all happened because I was able to show grace. I was able to look at a situation and not be angry, not place judgments on myself for not moving the car, not place judgments on the person who hit us, although I do think everybody needs to have car insurance. This person was uninsured, I will just sidebar that.
Well, my point is that, sometimes, you need to put the business list aside. Sometimes, you need to show yourself grace and forgiveness. Sometimes, you need to take a time out and say, “What’s really important here, and how can we get through something?” because we got our weekend and we got a car.
So we got all of the boxes checked and got to relax. And now we have something that we, surprisingly, have conversations about who gets to drive it while still being on-budget and being together. And we’re getting ready to take a road trip.
First Road Trip
It’ll be our first road trip in this cute little Mustang. And I’m excited about it. Not just about the trip – I’m always excited about the trip – but for the first time, I’m excited about the drive. So I just wanted to share this with you so that you knew a little bit more about me and about– we have this phrase that is, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” and I feel like, for me, this thing that happened was one of the few times that I was able to take the lemons, make lemonade, and spread a little joy within my family. And it’s a lasting joy. So, for you, I hope that you get the same, that you get to spend time and spread joy and give yourself grace. And if you don’t get to your emails or you don’t get to your top tasks, show yourself a little grace.
Spend a little time with your family, think about what’s most important, and focus on those things because some of those things have longer-lasting impacts on your life than whether or not you get to everything on that business list. The business list is always going to be there. It’s always [laughter] going to be waiting. It’s never going to be done.
Thank you for listening.
[music] Thank you for listening to the Women Conquer Business podcast. You can find us online at www.jenmcfarland.com/podcast. You can also connect with Jen on social media at jensmcfarland on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. This show was produced in Portland, Oregon by Jen McFarland Consulting. Women Conquer Business is available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and many other podcast apps. [music]
Jen McFarland ditched her comfy C-suite tech project management job in pursuit of freedom. Jen’s goal is to help business leaders like you vet ideas, take ownership of their projects, and incorporate digital marketing from day one.
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