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Planning the Future

Have you ever had such an intense month, that it’s taken you another whole month to work through what happened and the impact it had on your life? The past two months have been like that for me. The experiences I’ve had has changed my brain - for the better. Still, it’s been difficult, especially since our brains don’t really want us to change how we think, or take risks. I must admit, I’ve been a little more emotional than usual. Have you been feeling that way too? I don’t want to bore you with the details of all the events that have deeply impacted my life lately, so I’ve picked the top three.

My trip to Birmingham, to hang with my National Federation of Press Women loves, along with the Civil Rights pre-tour and Alabama writers post-tour was inspirational and intensely emotional. I learned so much from the trip and my talented women writer friends, especially the lesson to remember to cut loose from time to time, have fun and celebrate being together.

Two weeks later, the Know Your Worth Women’s Leadership conference I helped co-chair, was an even more intense experience - and an incredible one. I was inspired by the brilliant women I worked with to put the event together, and the ambitious women who attended. Although it was a lot of work, the most important lesson I learned is that some things are too important to say “no” to, especially when saying “yes” can change your life and make meaningful connections with likeminded women. (By the way, mark your calendar now for September 14, 2018. We’re doing it again!)

My intense month wrapped into the beginning of October, as I helped produce the Besties: Fashion for a Purpose fundraiser for Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center. I can’t even count all the fashion shows I’ve helped put on throughout my life, and I still love it so much. (Even after working on the ArtAID runway show for 20 years!) From all the fashion shows I’ve ever been a part of, the lesson that always holds true is “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Things are going to turn out differently than expected, there will be snafus, and it will always be frantic right before the show starts. But then, that’s all part of the fun of it!

Looking back at this, I can see why I’ve been so worn out, emotive and, maybe a little cranky!

Now, I don’t want you to think I’m complaining, because I’m not. I’m glad I had the opportunity to be a part of so many projects I love and believe in with my whole heart. I also realize that in 2018, this same scenario is going to play out again. Hopefully I’ll be readier for it, training in advance for next year’s marathon.

Wondering why I’m recapping my crazy life for you? Because all of this has got me thinking and asking myself important questions. Questions like “Am I being too stubborn?” (I have to ask myself that a lot.) And “Am I sweating the small stuff?” (Another frequent one.) “Are there smarter ways to do what I’m doing?” I’ve decided the answer all these questions are YES!

This introspection has helped me make some big realizations, and inspired new ideas, which has led to the development of fresh strategies.

I’m excited to announce that in early 2018, the Finishing School for Modern Women will offer online classes! Don’t worry. This will add to, not take the place of, the classes we hold at the Finishing School. There’s a powerful magic in coming together to share our knowledge and experiences, and I value that too much to stop. I’m on a mission to help women own their power, and I’m excited for that mission to expand beyond Wichita. I have a lot of other excited plans for you in 2018. I’ll fill you in on them soon.

In the meantime, I need your help! I’m working on classes and other ideas for next year and value your opinion. Can you please take a few minutes to help me understand what you would like? To entice you, I’m giving away a pair of passes to use on the class of their choice to three lucky survey filler-outers. Just fill in your contact information at the end of the survey to be entered.

Another way you can help: If you’d like to help me with opinions and advice on our new online classes, send me an email. I’ll add you to my list to contact with questions and focus groups. Of course, you can opt out any time. This is going to be complicated and I sure could use some more braincells on the project.

Good thing the Embracing Change class is this Thursday! I sure do need it.

Thanks for your help!

Headmistress Jill

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