COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.

S1 EP 35: JAN BREWINGTON

October 11, 2023 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS
S1 EP 35: JAN BREWINGTON
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
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COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
S1 EP 35: JAN BREWINGTON
Oct 11, 2023
NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS

Let me know what you think of this episode by sending me a FAN MAIL message!

Nicoa's long time family friend and client JAN BREWINGTON - two real Wilmington, NC OG'ers these two! Join them as they talk all things coaching, life, parenting,  and life lesson's learned on her LIFE BY DESIGN journey...most importantly how to QUESTION EVERYTHING!  Not just ANY questions, but THE HARD QUESTIONS! Jan is an amazing realtor, wife, mom and grandmother - she also owns her own business Dram Tree Realty Group.  Jan describes herself as "Positive & Youthful" and, like Nicoa, she knows how to have FUN and they recently went skating together at the local skating rink!! Karaoke is on the list for their next PLAY BY DESIGN outing!!

Follow Jan on her instagram accounts @janinwilmington @dramtreerealty AND @nccoastalgrandmother  

Buy your copy of YOUR LIFE BY DESIGN: A Coffee With Nicoa Self-Care Coaching Journal
on Amazon today! 

Support the Show.

Follow COFFEE WITH NICOA on Instagram @CoffeeWithNicoa for archived episodes & to see more of Nicoa's Life By Design! And now on TikTok @NicoaCoach


Want to have Coffee With Nicoa as a podcast guest? Or, do you know someone she'd love to have a caffeinated chat with? Or maybe a great ESPRESSO SHOT idea? Message her directly at Nicoa@CoffeeWithNicoa.com

Interested in coaching with Nicoa? Check out her coaching referral page here.
Interested in taking one of Nicoa's e-courses? Check them out here.

***BUY NICOA A COFFEE
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|| Coffee With Nicoa Copyright 2023 ||

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Show Notes Transcript

Let me know what you think of this episode by sending me a FAN MAIL message!

Nicoa's long time family friend and client JAN BREWINGTON - two real Wilmington, NC OG'ers these two! Join them as they talk all things coaching, life, parenting,  and life lesson's learned on her LIFE BY DESIGN journey...most importantly how to QUESTION EVERYTHING!  Not just ANY questions, but THE HARD QUESTIONS! Jan is an amazing realtor, wife, mom and grandmother - she also owns her own business Dram Tree Realty Group.  Jan describes herself as "Positive & Youthful" and, like Nicoa, she knows how to have FUN and they recently went skating together at the local skating rink!! Karaoke is on the list for their next PLAY BY DESIGN outing!!

Follow Jan on her instagram accounts @janinwilmington @dramtreerealty AND @nccoastalgrandmother  

Buy your copy of YOUR LIFE BY DESIGN: A Coffee With Nicoa Self-Care Coaching Journal
on Amazon today! 

Support the Show.

Follow COFFEE WITH NICOA on Instagram @CoffeeWithNicoa for archived episodes & to see more of Nicoa's Life By Design! And now on TikTok @NicoaCoach


Want to have Coffee With Nicoa as a podcast guest? Or, do you know someone she'd love to have a caffeinated chat with? Or maybe a great ESPRESSO SHOT idea? Message her directly at Nicoa@CoffeeWithNicoa.com

Interested in coaching with Nicoa? Check out her coaching referral page here.
Interested in taking one of Nicoa's e-courses? Check them out here.

***BUY NICOA A COFFEE
**COFFEE WITH NICOA MERCHANDISE SHOP
*SHOP NICOA'S COFFEE WITH NICOA AMAZON SHOP

|| Coffee With Nicoa Copyright 2023 ||

Nicoa Coach:

Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life. I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me, are creating a life by design. I hope it will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. Good morning, my sweet friend, how are you?

JAN BREWINGTON:

I am doing well. How are you?

Nicoa Coach:

I'm doing great. It's been a long time since we connected.

JAN BREWINGTON:

I know. I'm excited.

Nicoa Coach:

Everybody, I'm talking to my good friend Jan Brewington, who has not only been a friend of our family for quite a while, for years forever, I don't even know. Like,

JAN BREWINGTON:

before we were born, yes. Others knew each other.

Nicoa Coach:

Isn't that funny? I know that. We are original whelming Tony ins, which is really unusual. And we've evolved in our friendship and got to a point where you reached out to me and said, Nicoa, I think I'd like some coaching.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Yes.

Nicoa Coach:

How long ago was that?

JAN BREWINGTON:

That was two and a half years ago? And do you know why I reached out to you know, more people? Why? Well, one time we were having dinner, and we didn't know each other super well. But like you said, we have this background. And so we're talking about, you know, where do you see yourself in a few years and that kind of stuff? And I mentioned something about my home? And of course, you know, that's very important. And you said during this dinner? Oh, why is it important to have a home? And I was like, what a hill? Do you think you are? Like, this woman saying this to me while we're eating? And it really like really, like shook my, you know, my world for a minute there? And I always remembered that question, because it seemed like, like, who would ask something like that to really get to the bottom of somebody who have where somebody is. And so then when I decided I wanted to move to the next level in my work, and I didn't realize I wanted to move the next level in my, you know, personal life, as well. But when I realized I was ready to move to the next level, I of course thought of you because I was looking for somebody who would ask hard questions like that. That's awesome. And you have proved yourself, you know, to continue to ask those hard questions. And, and I think we need it because our friends, you know, other than you are, and our family or certainly our family is certainly not going to ask or something like that. So we need somebody who will ask us those just like hard questions. And that's why I came to you. And it really helped.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, my gosh, well, I remember learning to start asking those questions later in life. It was not something I was raised with either. I mean, no one ever asks you well, why are you going to college? I mean, you were just supposed to go to college in my house. I mean, or why are you getting married? Right? I mean, oh,

JAN BREWINGTON:

my God. Yeah. I do not advise you to ask people that do not ask.

Nicoa Coach:

They're already engaged. But I worked at Thermo Fisher Scientific for a while and they had a cultural shift. And they before I even got there, they had started a campaign that said question everything. Oh, everything. And I remember really learning. You know, why do we do what we do? Why? Why am I the way I am? It's really consciousness at its best. And I really pride myself in my coaching work to ask those who do a great job.

JAN BREWINGTON:

And you know, that question everything. You know, I grew up in high school years in the early 80s, with the punk thing and everything. And I actually had a friend who would say question everything, but he didn't ask me why I needed a home.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, what did I say Home is where the heart is. I mean, so ultimately,

JAN BREWINGTON:

you carry it with you. And I mean, I have really thought about that. Well,

Nicoa Coach:

everybody this is kind of an ironic conversation, because Jan is a realtor.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Yes, I know. And you know, what is funny with the real estate, I, I am interested in helping people get what they want, and I'm interested in the business of it. You know, and I'll just tell you, I am not curious about houses. Like, you know, some people say, Oh, I'm going into real estate because I love houses and I love to watch HGTV. No, I'm trying To help people get what they want, or they want to be, you know, fulfill their goals, and I don't care about the house, and I don't care where you put your TV. Exactly. But

Nicoa Coach:

yeah, well, it's about a life by design. I mean, I think that's exactly right. And you're helping them find their happy helping them find their place their home. Right, exactly.

JAN BREWINGTON:

They don't happen to have it in their heart.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, you were in real, you've been in real estate for a long time. Is that right? Why don't you kind of talk us through that life path.

JAN BREWINGTON:

So when my kids were little, I worked a lot of like nonprofit jobs that would allow me to be at home a lot, and worked on some political stuff and everything. And then I found real estate, because I saw, you know, other people who had the same skills, I did have, you know, talking to people and making things happen, making a lot more money than me and my nonprofit. And so I got into real estate in 2003, did really well, I was like, you know, really, like knocked it out of the park first year and worked really hard. And then 2008 came, and I looked around, and it was like musical chairs. I had worked on this big deal. That was the largest sale at Wrightsville. Beach. To date. At that time, it was like four and a half million dollar house. And so that took a lot of energy. And when I looked around after that deal was over, there was no chair behind me and musical chairs. Yeah, it had wiped out. And I mean, so, you know, I continued to try for a little while. And then I took a job back in nonprofit and applied for one here and Wilmington, they had already filled it. So they said, Well, you go to Charleston. So I'm like what the heck, you know, I mean, I'm not making any money here. So I went to Charleston, and when that Job was over, came back and went to graduate school, and really, really had a wonderful time. In graduate school for two years, met some of the best friends I've ever had a group of women, it was probably like the first real women friend group that I've ever had. And we're so close. Yeah. And so that was worth the student loans. But when I got out, I took this job that was in nonprofit management, which I was now you know, qualified for. And it was horrible. It was like, it was, it was like putting a round peg in a square hole. Literally. You know, I was in a small room with no windows. I had to report at eight o'clock in the morning, even though my work never started till 10. Yeah, so it was just like, all these arbitrary rules. And I was used to political campaigns and real estate and everything like that. And it just didn't make any sense to me. And I mean, like, you know, rules about what we could wear Nicola, there was a clear rule. There was actually a rule in the book that said, we could not wear rainbows. flops. Flip Flops were mentioned by name. Oh, my God, you know, we're, we're beach girls. Yeah, we got rainbows. And now, I'm wearing no shoes right now. Like by design. But um, yeah, the um, yeah. So it was horrible. And I figured out a way to get back into real estate where my freedom was,

Nicoa Coach:

you now own your own real estate agency dream true. Yeah, that was where you already worried when we started working together. But I'm gonna back you up, you just gave us a really quick summary there of a lot of what I would say are some life by design decisions, starting with the fact that you had two children, and you weren't able to adapt that but home with the kids and you said, What do I need to do to supplement this family dynamic? I mean, maybe the question really isn't how you made that decision. I wanted to to answer what, how, what kind of a life by design mindset. Have you had over your lifetime so far? Or did you really recognize it back then?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Right. I have always known that if you're not happy with the way things are going, you need to change it. I mean, I you know, you're not making enough money, do another job. And, you know, I just, I don't have any other way to think about things. You know, I was just like, here come my kids getting ready to go to come College, they're in high school or approaching high school, I can see down the road where I'm not going to be able to afford this. I'm going to make some changes. And, you know, that comes easily. To me, I am very fortunate in that, because I've seen other people who have a real struggle with just, I guess I have a high tolerance for risk. And, but that can be a good thing and a bad thing, because I haven't always set myself up to win I have sometimes, you know, jumped in, and then figured it out later. And that has helped me and benefited me a lot of times, but but sometimes, you know, be nice to, you know, such things out before you jump in. But

Nicoa Coach:

well, is there an example that you could share where a real lesson learned?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Oh, oh, yeah. The Well, my first marriage. I mean, the writing was on the wall, this cannot win. This is an unwinnable situation, and I just did it anyway. Yeah, that was one of the things and I won't say regrets, because I have zero regrets in my life. But that was one of the things I if I had had a panel of advisers, they would have said, This is not a good idea.

Nicoa Coach:

They would have questioned everything.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Exactly. Question everything, truly question everything. And then I bought a house once in Rose Hill, North Carolina, spent a bunch of money, renovating it, and then I was gonna rent it out. And, you know, I didn't think things through. I, I fell in love with this little house. And there are no jobs in Rose Hill, North Carolina, especially back then before internet was everywhere. And I couldn't keep it rented, you know, people would live there three months, and they'd lose their job. And they'd have to move and I'd be right in there cleaning it again for another person. So that was another one. But I have had a lot of luck with my attitude to the house I live in now. I bought for a very low amount of money. It had all kinds of problems. And now it's worth like, you know, literally 10 times what I paid for it.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, yeah. Sometimes it works out. And sometimes it doesn't. And it doesn't. Yeah, you said a key word, their attitude. Right. Yeah. And yeah, you know, the energy leadership work that you and I do together as well. That's an attitudinal assessment. So we're actually giving people a snapshot as to how they view the world. How do you think you gained that ability to have the attitude of kind of that resilience and, and stick to itiveness that you've had in your life? Did you learn that from your family?

JAN BREWINGTON:

I think I learned it. Well, you know, my mom always told me, I could be whatever I wanted to be, but I think a lot of moms say that. But you know, um, I guess I took it seriously, but, but I also, I probably learned it from them without intention. Because I, I was, I saw a lot of people in my life. And we're really lucky here because we have people move here from other places, who try things and, you know, they they start a new persona here and Wilmington or at the beach, and, and they just open up worlds for themselves. And I think I just saw that a lot when I was a kid, and I believed in it, and I still do that's ever too late to change your life.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, I agree add a new persona. I mean, I never really thought about that. But it is about these lives that we're creating are about identities. Yeah. Yeah. How would How would people describe Jan brewing tins persona?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Oh, well, you know, we've been working on this branding for quite a while. And that's interesting, too, because, you know, you can't take your branding too seriously. Right. But I do think that people would describe me as a person who you know, I'm open to diverse opinions and and perspectives and I am grounded in Downtown Wilmington and New Hanover County whether that's a good thing or bad for me, it just seems like that. That's where how people see me. And I think I'm positive and useful. Yeah, I, I do I just think that um, you know, I, I just wake up every morning in a good mood, and I've really never had a bad day other than, you know, a couple of personal family tragedies and things like that. I can literally count my bad days on like one hand.

Nicoa Coach:

So what is a bad day, a bad day that you're, I mean, you just shared when we kick this off your sweet husband, so you're remarried and you have a blended family. And we can talk all day long about things like that, too. And your grandma now amazing eight, but you just share to me that your sweet man had a terrible mountain biking accident, and he's all bedridden in the other room with a broken rib. And I mean, it might have been a bad day. Was that on your your hand? Your lists are?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Absolutely absolutely not. No, I've had some really, really bad days. Actually, you know what, when Jim, we were in a family vacation in the mountains, and you helped me in coaching to learn how to enjoy my family vacations. And so Jim, and two of the boys were mountain biking, and he had a terrible Spielberg, his clavicle and all this and, but you know what it made our family vacation. It just gave it a whole new nuance. And the kids came together and helped each other and helped us and our youngest Jack, who is in college now said, you know, I think we got closer over this vacation. We definitely did. And, you know, the kids had to take some of that ownership of, you know, what's going to be for dinner and stuff like that. And so, you know, even though gyms and a lot of pain. It was it was part of it, you know, was just really part of it. And yeah, so yeah, that was a bad day.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, it's a silver lining. I mean, what you're describing here is a growth mindset, you're open minded to what's possible, you're not stuck in your thinking, you have this positivity and this playfulness, this usefulness that you've continued to carry. And yet, you still saw the silver lining, it sounds like you've been seeing the silver lining for a long time. But I want to take you back to the comment you just made you during the coaching helped me have a better time during my vacations. So So I love this example, for the podcast, because a lot of people are like, I don't need a coach, why would I need? I mean, you, you're happy, she's happy what she need a coach for? Right? If as long as I'm happy and satisfied, I don't need a coach. But what do you think it was when you said I wanted to take it to the next level? And then let's dig into some of those examples that we ended up finding ourselves focused on like, being settled at the family vacation or the family. All?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Right. So when I first came to you, I thought that I was coming because we'd had a really good year. And I wanted to capitalize on that in the business and like, how do I want to grow this business, and I'm gonna talk to Nicoa because she's got all kinds of ideas and things to ask me to get to the bottom of this. But what I found when we were coaching was that I didn't need to work on the business, I needed to work on my own satisfaction, so that everything else can grow. And that is exactly what happened. And one of the one of the many things that we worked on me being satisfied with was my family vacation, and we I'm like, you know, I I plan this great trip for everybody. Everybody has a good time. But I secretly do not have a great time. And I want a good time. So you and I actually worked on that we like came up with strategies for me to have a good time. And I will tell you, it took time and this year, I I specifically said and I think this is something that we worked on, I specifically said to kid to the kids and to gym at times. Okay, today, you know, there's mountain biking and whoever wants to go needs to say they want to go and I'm going to leave it alone. You know, if you want though, you're going if you so I didn't have to be the cruise director, you know, and just micromanage everything, which helped me be satisfied. I was like, I'm gonna sit here on this porch and whoever wants to go mountain biking and go. And, you know, I mean, that took a lot for me because I am you know, I do own my own business and I am in charge and I am my business really. I mean yeah, it's a small business and you No, in my name is on it. And I have to manage details. But I don't have to do that in every aspect of my life.

Nicoa Coach:

Right. And this is a really profound conversation because women out there are really carrying, they continue to carry and be Julie, the cruise director, and they think they're doing it. I don't know, why did they think they're doing it? Maybe they think it's, well, it's my responsibility, because nobody else will do it. That's probably the first thing I would have heard from somebody. And then they if they, we talked about martyrdom this week on the espresso shot, you're like, well, if I'm doing everything, but then nobody seems to care, or nobody's engaged or thanks, me. But what is it that you had to tell yourself, to give yourself permission to stop taking control of everything?

JAN BREWINGTON:

I had to tell myself that I wasn't doing myself any favor by going on these vacations and not having a good time. I mean, you know, I'm paying for it. I'm making all the arrangements. And, you know, when does I mean, I really have to make an effort to make myself a priority. And I do make that effort. I, I do you do? Yeah, yeah. Sometimes I just have to, when we were coaching, I learned to like, hold out my hand, like a stop, you know? And just be like, nope, stop. And I have to make boundaries like that for myself, because it doesn't come naturally to me. And I just have to, I have to do things like that. Or else, you know, I won't be happy. And if I'm not happy, you're just gonna have a good time?

Nicoa Coach:

Well, it's interesting to think about that. How long do you think you were unhappy before you really realize that?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Always, yeah, always, I really did not. And I mean, I was a good mom, for my kids, I won't say I was perfect, because I've given up saying I was perfect. And that's a recent thing. But I was a good mom. And I felt that that meant creating opportunities for my kids, you know, helping to make things happen for other people. And I And when I say I enjoy that, I got satisfaction out of it. But doesn't mean I enjoyed it in the moment. Right. And I have come to realize, partly through coaching, and that enjoying it in the moment is important. Where I didn't grow up realizing that enjoy and things in the moment was a value that I needed to have.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, I wish we could all recognize that. That's the only point of frickin being here is to have fun and enjoy the moment. I mean, I can't remember what quote, reposted the other day. If it was, it doesn't matter. The point was, we're just kind of here to fart around.

JAN BREWINGTON:

And I mean, really, you do? I mean, you do just have one life. Yeah. And, you know, just enjoy it. Because you don't get a redo.

Nicoa Coach:

How do we help those people listening give themselves permission to have fun, right? I think I even do a podcast coming up. When I talk about it. It's okay to be okay. I mean, we've talked a lot about it's okay to not be okay. But yeah, we're not really taking it to that next level. Because the truth is where the mind goes, energy flows. So if we're going to sit around, go, it's okay. I can be upset, I can be sad, I can be anxious. I'm gonna just sit here and do all that. And then I'm like, You got to foster the good, right? Yeah.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Well, I think for a lot of women, especially, and maybe men too, because of the obligations they feel towards your family and other people around them. You know, one thing that they might think, right to begin with is, well, if I'm not happy, I can't help my family. That's not really true. We really, really, really can, you know, so don't do it for somebody else. You know that? Yeah, yeah. Don't do it for somebody else. Because if you're trying to act happy and be happy, because you think it's better for your kids and all that stuff. Your kids don't care if you're happy. They don't. Honestly, they just want you to keep doing what you've always done.

Nicoa Coach:

And they want your presence. I mean, yeah, and they do care if you're unhappy, because that does because it affects it affects Yeah, But recognize the power of happiness affecting them, and positivity and satisfaction if at a minimum, maybe the word is more accessible. The feeling and the way of being is more accessible if we use the word satisfaction. You know, Am I satisfied right now? I don't have to be statically happy. But am I okay? Right now can I be okay? Can I relax my body? Did you notice a big chip? Tell the story about Christmas.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Oh my god. So I am Christmas, Jan. You know, Jim calls it Christmas Jan and, and that can become vacation Jan as well, if I'm not careful. I just have an extreme need to have a perfect Christmas every single year. And, you know, it's, you know, probably from childhood, my dad had the same thing. My dad was depressed and he had clinical lifelong depression. And I think that people who have that really put a lot of stock in holidays, because they think that they can fix it, you know, and they can be happy for that one day. So I inherited that obligation. And so it's been very difficult, you know, for me to step back and enjoy Christmas even more than than family vacation because family vacation is a new construct in our family. But Christmases. Oh, yeah. Did I tell you the story about when Jim accidentally ate the the candy? No, tell me. Oh, my God, I nearly had a stroke. It was our first Christmas together. And we had gone to world market because that is where the candy must be purchased for stockings, and got all the stuff had a big grocery bag full of the candy for stockings. And he was out doing work and driving around that day. And I called him and said, What do you think you want to eat for dinner? And he said, I'm pretty full. I ate two of those Toblerone bars from the thing from the bag. And like, I mean, I was speechless. It was, you know, incomprehensible that somebody would eat this cake. And I mean, Nikola, to the point that I was going to Harris Teeter on the way home and he was coming out of Harris Teeter with two Toblerone bars, which he told me he could replace but I didn't believe him. I didn't speak to him. We pass each other walking. He was walking out of theater and walking in. And I just looked at him like it was somebody I didn't even know. And that was that is how freakish I was. Yeah, and and I've gotten better. I've gotten better because of our coaching. Well,

Nicoa Coach:

I know that feeling. I know that. I love this example. Because so many of us can relate. And yeah, and I am sure that Jim was like What the freak are you talking about?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Oh, we thought it was crazy. And he's Oh, that's what Yeah. How's it going?

Nicoa Coach:

Crazy Christmas.

Jennifer Gardner:

We hope you're enjoying listening to this episode of Coffee with Nicola. Make sure to subscribe so that you never miss an episode and follow Coffee with Nicoa on Instagram to find inspiring content that will help you begin creating your life by design. Yeah,

Nicoa Coach:

well, let's look at that. Let's dissect it for a minute. Because what were you making it mean?

JAN BREWINGTON:

I made it mean that he did not care about my perfect Christmas. And that my perfect Christmas was the most important thing at that time. And that's kind of crazy. Because you Christmas is supposed to be a time when the family is happy. And boy, I tell you at my house a family could not be happy unless I was happy. And me being happy meant that everything had to be perfect. Yeah. That's really hard to do is make everything perfect. It

Nicoa Coach:

really is and because everything already is perfect. Yeah, yeah. And we forget that's

JAN BREWINGTON:

what you taught me. And that was so hard for me. Nicole when you said you're perfect. Everything's perfect. In the back of my mind, I was like yeah, I'm gonna say yeah, I get it but I'm gonna I'm just gonna reserve this 2% of me that doesn't believe her.

Nicoa Coach:

Exactly, because you had been brainwashed and yet in trained to believe that you are an ally. To be happy unless everything external to you is perfect, and therefore you weren't perfect because everything else was imperfect. So the next level of that root cause analysis around your reaction was, oh my god, he doesn't care about Christmas being perfect. And then the next level would be, and if he doesn't care, what would you make that mean? If he doesn't care about Yeah, he

JAN BREWINGTON:

doesn't care about me. He

Nicoa Coach:

didn't care about me. And if he doesn't care about me, then what's the point? Why are we together?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Why are we together? I won't even talk to Peter.

Nicoa Coach:

I'm not even gonna talk to you. I'm gonna give you the silent treatment, which you learned somewhere to probably so

JAN BREWINGTON:

mad I couldn't speak.

Nicoa Coach:

Isn't that funny? And just talking about it. Now? We're like, Are you freaking kidding me people? Like, Jim went in and bought two more Toblerone bars who gives a shit?

JAN BREWINGTON:

No, he said he could do it. And I didn't believe it. I thought that Toblerone bars, for perfect Christmas had to come from World Market

Nicoa Coach:

all of these restrictions and these rules, and if you don't start questioning everything, you can't parse it out. And, like, untangle it, it is a right angled mess of belief systems, meaning interpretations limiting, limiting us. Yeah, having a fulfilling and satisfying life. Well,

JAN BREWINGTON:

and that has, has spilled over into the work, because into my, you know, career work. Because like today, for example, I have two or three tasks that I have to do. And because of you know, Jim's accident, everything I'm kind of running behind. But I was able to ask myself, just before we got on here, what if I don't do? Oh, yeah. What if I, what if they never happen? What if ever happen? You know, what if? How bad can things really be? And you know, there's at least one of those three things that I might just decide not to do?

Nicoa Coach:

Yes, ma'am.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Do you have to ask yourself the hard questions, which is what you you know, that's your specialty. I appreciate it.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, it's a life by design. I mean, if it doesn't feel good, then why am I doing it? And it doesn't mean, cut it off, like just quit or willy nilly don't show up to your appointment. It means if I'm not wanting to do this today, what message is that sending me? Maybe I'm just tired. And I need a nap today. And I'll do it tomorrow. It doesn't mean it doesn't have to be anything dramatic than happy. Drastic, you know? Yeah. As I always say, you don't have to quit your job in the middle of a meeting like I did. But that's fine. But it did. Yeah, it was for the first six weeks that I had massive panic attack. But that was normal. But you can begin to redesign your life. If you realize, wow, every time I have that meeting on that topic, I don't like it. I should outsource that. Maybe? Or maybe I don't want to be doing this anymore. Maybe it's served its course.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Right? Yeah, it's gonna it's winnable situation. You know? That's right. Yeah.

Nicoa Coach:

Let me stick to Christmas for one more minute. Okay, there was this really great story you shared right after we started coaching. And it was Christmas Eve, I believe. And people, the kids were there. And you are maybe you just told me the story about sitting there. And not being able to even literally physically relax in your chair. And somebody's gone into the kitchen, or you had to let tell you remember this example. Remember that mug, it was something about you carrying it like you will try to facilitate the conversation amongst people in there. You are carrying everyone. You know

JAN BREWINGTON:

what that is? So yes, I do remember, and especially I think for those of us who have blended families, and the mom is like, I'm the glue, you know, between these kids, and they use kids and the husband and your kids and a half to make sure that everybody's happy and that they understand each other in the conversation. Oh my gosh, yeah. That feeling

Nicoa Coach:

you'll notice your definition. Naturally. You would feel overwhelmed if that was how you defined your role in the family. Yes, yeah. I mean, I have the same experience. I have done exactly what you've done. I've got the six kids three and three and I am trying to make sure there's something for them to do and they come in the house before we make that enter to make sure that they're not uncomfortable trying to Oh, Pippa Did you know that Kate blah blah blah, holy crap. If but guess what? It Jan no one told us we were the glue to the family. Why is it the dad the freakin glue?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Oh, because they, you know what? Cuz they don't. They don't realize like the conversations I'll be later. Did you hear what this one said to that one? What do you think that means? Oh no.

Nicoa Coach:

Maybe these men are actually role modeling for us just a way of being that is more organic and allowing things to unfold. And I bet if so, I think sidenote, y'all, they need a support group for step moms.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Yeah. Yeah. Especially

Nicoa Coach:

perfectionist that moms like us who are always trying to carry everybody. But if we were just relaxed, maybe it would organically unfold as it was intended.

JAN BREWINGTON:

And that's why this accident that Jim had was a blessing because it was absolutely literally something I cannot control. So I had to stop. And I, you know, had already gotten a lot better about trying to control the whole social situation in our family vacation, but when somebody is in the hospital, and you can not control where the kids are going together and what they're saying to each other and all that stuff. Yeah, I'm like, you know, I don't even need to be here. I'm glad I'm here. I'm happy to be. But these people don't need me to have a good time. Isn't that an interesting concept?

Nicoa Coach:

That's beautiful. And the real question that I would invite you to ponder is what do I need to have a good time?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Right, exactly. And that's what I'm continuing to work on. You know, I, I literally set aside dates for myself to do things to have a good time, even if it's just walking around Walmart. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah,

Nicoa Coach:

I prefer to target that.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Well, we can debate on.

Nicoa Coach:

But you also have been fostering your creativity. So I want to move into that stage of your evolution as this beautiful, dynamic woman who runs her own business and has this beautiful plant family and, and is is a recovering perfectionist right around controlling her external world? And how have you begun to give yourself that permission to foster that creative side of you?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Wow. So you might say, Where does she find the time? It's difficult to make time for myself, but I do it, I absolutely just refuse to say, I will do this when I have the time anymore. I mean, if there are dishes in the sink, or whatever, I will just, I have to make myself do it. And so I always wanted to so I mean, I guess it was in the back of my mind for a long, long time. And then over the past few years, I have started to, to carve out time for myself to do it. And you know, I have to come upstairs and shut the door and give myself time because sewing is not something that you can just do it for 15 minutes, you have to really, I mean, two hours at a time is kind of minimal to accomplish anything. So it's very difficult for me and I, I do find that most of my hobbies or things that I want to do creatively do result in a finished product. So I'm not completely reformed. But I do have finished products that I work on and, and it's really very, very relaxing and meditative for me to get in and sewing is something that you have to you have to focus on. Like there's math involved, and there's creativity involved, and there's beauty involved and so a lot of different things. And I really have to make time for myself. I you know, don't wait until you retire to do things you enjoy. Because you might not make it that

Nicoa Coach:

far. Now, I know it this is the life now we're supposed to be living it now. Yes, you did something unique to when you said you go upstairs and shut the door. So you created a sacred space for yourself, right?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Yes, I did. Yeah, I did. And I'm still working on creating it. I'm gonna make it an absolute, you know, haven for myself. And yeah, you have to have a sacred space for yourself and I was you You know, I what I do have a therapist as well. And recently, my therapist said, you know, you really need to carve out time for yourself more time, even more time. And so I said to Jim, after that therapy session, I said, my therapist needs said that I need to, you know, I don't know have more fun or something like that. And he started to say, okay, we can and I was like, stop my therapist, and say we can my therapist that I need to, and I mean, he's wonderful. And I hate to tell him stop. No, this is for me. But he respects that. And I, I do I have to say, No, this is for me. And, you know, he does things for himself. He's a peloton, nut, he gets on that thing and just rides and he goes to the gym, and he does his thing. But he

Nicoa Coach:

doesn't ask you permission to do those things does he? Ever? Let's pause for

JAN BREWINGTON:

a minute. And I'll be at the Y for two hours.

Nicoa Coach:

Exactly. This is consciousness at its best if you if you can really back up and say, Wait, what do we want as a couple of what do I want as an individual? I mean, usually ladies, it's anybody out here that's listening, that happens to be on in one a relationship where you're with a man, men have been raised to do their own thing. Why them they are role modeling for you. This applies in the corporate world as well. I mean, they do not apologize for the time they know they need and want, they might just want to play. No.

JAN BREWINGTON:

I know. So we're still learning. Right? When you did tell me, You did tell teach me not to apologize. And to say instead, you know, where work is involved. Thanks for your patience. That's right. Yeah. And I use that all the time. That's right.

Nicoa Coach:

And yeah, yeah, I remember talking about that. Because you were like, oh, yeah, I got there. And my client, I had to wait for me. And I was like, I'm so so sorry. And I was like, Well, sure. You wish you could have been there on time, but just thank them shifts the whole energetic dynamic of the interaction, right when you walk in the door.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Exactly. Thanks for your patience. Um, you know, paperwork. Maybe they were expecting it two days ago. They get it today. Hey, thanks for your patience. That's right. Yeah, yeah, I mean, apologize if you hurt somebody, like you really personally hurt somebody intentionally. But yeah,

Nicoa Coach:

you could thank your you know, your partner's you know, thank you, Jim, for wanting to create some more fun stuff to get together, we should definitely do that. But I really want this time for me.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Yeah, I don't get in the car and leave here. Because we work together, we live together, we do everything together, which really works out really well. And I do recommend it. But as sometimes I just have to get in the car and go to the Walmart. Exactly.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, that's a critical conscious coupling. awareness that people need to take away because as a as a second marriage, I got super caught up in the fun and the excitement and the honeymoon period of being with my partner. And then we got married. And I mean, we did everything together. And I lost myself in that with John. And it took me a minute to realize because I was just so happy and so excited to have reconnected with someone in relationship. And I was attached to that relationship. Right. And if you're not careful, you will lose yourself and not completely you just put her in the, you know, over here to the side for a minute and you're like, wait a minute, why? Why am I now annoyed with him? What happened? Right?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I definitely, you know, have to take time for myself and he does take time for himself and I don't even think he thinks about it. He just does it like you said, but I have to take time for myself. And you know, I was a full time mom for 20 years and I I forgot what food I liked. I I forgot what music I like to listen to.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, yeah, you guys are empty nesters. Now Jack's off playing the flute somewhere amazing. I bet what's he doing?

JAN BREWINGTON:

He is he's a student at Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh my god. So fancy. I played the flute for 10 years. I can't even remember my scales. Oh my god. But but then you guys have this empty nest will give me some advice. What advice do you have to parents and we are empty nesters this week, Jan this week.

JAN BREWINGTON:

The kiddos go off to Campbell's. When

Nicoa Coach:

everybody's at NC State we had three it's They two out work in or three out work and yeah

JAN BREWINGTON:

5050 family so I have to get that in there just to irritate you do not edit that out.

Nicoa Coach:

I'm sorry. Did you just say you're a Carolina family? Ooh. Go back.

JAN BREWINGTON:

So, um, I yeah, I will tell you tell you this because I was thinking about this this morning when I was getting ready. There's really no such thing as an empty nest. Nicoa. I have to tell you.

Nicoa Coach:

I know. You know why I already know this is because well, this is the weekend that we were going to celebrate being empty nesters. And Pippa messaged us. She's like, I'm flying in on Thursday for the weekend.

JAN BREWINGTON:

And they will bring people with them. Oh, god, that's right. Yeah. Yeah. So and they will have spouses, and they will have children. So don't get used to it. I mean, don't feel bad, because every minute that you and John have together is like a little a honeymoon. But it will happen, you will be all of a sudden, you know, two or two of the six kids will be there for the weekend. And then one of them is gonna have a spouse and then they're gonna have a kid. And it is a very brief moment that you will. Yeah. And also, you know, part of you goes with them. Oh, for sure. All right. And so, rather than contracting, when your kids move away, you're forced to expand, you know, because PIP is in DC, right? Yeah, so hardier home now is in DC.

Nicoa Coach:

It really is. I have to say, I totally see it, get it. And I cherish everything about all of it. Even I'm so excited. Pip is coming home this afternoon. I mean, I love my kids, all six of them. And I do I did say to John Omega will get like 10 years, he's like, your oldest is 26. There's no way we're getting 10 years, just to so be coming home with a baby before you know

JAN BREWINGTON:

that you're not getting 10 years. Yeah, just during COVID. We were getting bored. And I said, Let's go to the mountains. And Jim said, Great, just you and me. And we'll go to the mountains. And we'll have like a fun like, you know, honeymoon. And I said, every day I remember distinctly I said, Every day is a honeymoon for us. Let's take all the kids. And you know what, that was really the beginning of us having extended family time on a regular basis. And I don't think we've had a honeymoon ever since. I'd say us but

Nicoa Coach:

now you got a grandchild. So you stepped into grandmotherhood? That's amazing.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Yeah, it is. And what are you learning about

Nicoa Coach:

yourself as a grandmother?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Well, you know, I was never going to be one of those parents who was like pressuring their kid to have children because I feel like I got the I got the full experience, you know, if I never had grandkids okeydoke you know, I've done the kid thing. I love rollin and I, what I've learned is I want to continue parenting my children, and being supportive to them in their role as parents, I have no need to parent her. I want to be her grandmother who's you know, a special person in her life. But my real role is parenting my adult children, which I'm still learning to do.

Nicoa Coach:

What is that's beautiful advice. What is the best thing that you've learned about parenting adult children?

JAN BREWINGTON:

It's so there's this new thing that kids do now is called boundaries. Yeah, yeah, we weren't allowed to have boundaries, right. I mean, if they wanted to tell us something they would tell us. Right And nope, nope, there's a different thing is called boundaries. And but one thing I have learned about my kids with their boundaries is they respect my boundaries, too. Yeah. Um, so I don't get pushback from them because they're, you know, they're learning and growing and they understand their boundaries and what they will and will not accept and I have learned that they accept my boundaries as well. So kind of good.

Nicoa Coach:

That is beautiful because there's this element of respect that there's a fine line as I also have an aging mother. And she's 83. Now, as you know, my my beautiful family, and she is learning to set her boundaries again at a different stage in her life. Right all of us.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Wow,

Nicoa Coach:

to see that. Yeah, we got a real universe in the face slap, you know, if you will, right after my father's passing. And she finally was like, Hey, everybody, stop. I'm not going anywhere. Here I boundaries. This is what I'm going to do. I know y'all all three have three different opinions about that. Right. And I've made my decision and stop talking to me about it. And I thought, good for her. Yeah, really. And so I can see. I really glad you shared that though, about parenting adult children, because justice is good about his boundaries, too. And he'll say to me, I'm not going to do that. Once I tried to. I was like, Do you want to do this? And he's like, You know what, I'm not doing that in my life right now. But when I am, I will let you know. I was like, Oh,

JAN BREWINGTON:

I know. And that's very surprising at first, but you can try it too. Yeah. You know, I mean, you don't want to say don't come home for the weekend or anything crazy like that. But you know, you can you can say?

Nicoa Coach:

Is there really? You could say that. That's my house.

JAN BREWINGTON:

That's fine. And you can say, You know what, you're welcome. But we had planned to go we're going somewhere else. Yeah, but you're welcome to come. Yeah,

Nicoa Coach:

that's what we do. Mostly because I do want my kids to feel like they have a safe landings. But oh,

JAN BREWINGTON:

my gosh, your kids need a home.

Nicoa Coach:

I feel like we got a plethora of homes right now. And at least we've gotten rid of the fleet of vehicles. Oh, my God. Good for you. And I got rid of my car. Did I tell you that?

JAN BREWINGTON:

I heard that you got rid of your car. So pinza, here's a

Nicoa Coach:

boundary is so excited. Dipa says Mom, I'm landing at whatever time today and I was like, oh, that's, that's awesome. And then she was like, Okay, pick me up. I said, well, actually Johnson, Raleigh, and I don't have a car. So

JAN BREWINGTON:

Oh, my God. So yeah. And I bet she said, Okay, right. She paused.

Nicoa Coach:

And then she was like, Yeah. And I said, maybe you could dial a friend. And she was like, oh, yeah, I'll dial a friend I'll tell a friend but she could also choose a job now she can Uber but anyway her

JAN BREWINGTON:

to call me I will

Nicoa Coach:

come get you the airport today. When your night when you're not going to those other three appointments that you're supposed to. Exactly. Jen, thank you for sharing your a little bit, just even a snapshot of your beautiful life and your life by design it. I want to ask as we wrap up, how does your current life by design serve you most?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Oh, gosh, it allows me to think of myself more expansively. You know, I am not just my job. I am not just a wife, or a mom or a grandmother, or a board member or any of those things. I am really me. And if that doesn't please, everybody all the time. It's okay, you know? And I am just learning more and more about who I am every day. And man, I'm starting to wear some crazy clothes Nicoa

Nicoa Coach:

You wear what you want, girl

JAN BREWINGTON:

so yeah, I am really yawning

Nicoa Coach:

very crazy. Right now. She's wearing pearls in a tank top or something.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Yeah. See pearls in a tank that I guess.

Nicoa Coach:

I'm not sure. Are you wearing pants? Girl? You I am

JAN BREWINGTON:

these crazy yoga pants. But yeah. Yeah, I am really, I'm so grateful that I have the time and the energy to really discover myself because not everybody gets that not everybody has time. Not everybody takes the time and I just really I wish I could give that to everybody. I know you wish you could give that to everybody. Why you do what you do. Yeah,

Nicoa Coach:

but you are giving it to everybody by role modeling it now and I guess my hope is that Uh, you know, we can role model it now. And I really hope if there's young, younger generations listening to this, that they, they say to themselves, Oh, I'm not going to be sitting there in my 50s. And you know, talking about that. I'm going to have done that right. The Freak now.

JAN BREWINGTON:

It has, right? Yeah, I

Nicoa Coach:

remember my mom when she and my dad were divorced, they were only divorced five years, they got back together. I know. I know. So we got remarried. They got remarried. But she was sitting on the we're at Wrightsville Beach. And I was sitting there and I was probably 1312. And she was with a girlfriend. And they were just talking about men and dating this and the other. And I remember saying to myself at that age, I said, that is not going to be me. Because that not that there's anything wrong with being single. But no, they were resent they were they were unhappy. Right, right. I remember thinking I am not going to be unhappy, unhappy at 40 and unhappily single, right. Yeah. And I wasn't, even when I was single for a hot minute. I was I was happy. I just knew that I was not going to ever be in that state of dismay. So we're always role modeling. So anybody's listening. Take what you will. What are you hearing a say? Yeah. What other words of wisdom

JAN BREWINGTON:

for young moms, your kids don't care if you're happy? It is not their responsibility to make you happy. It is your responsibility.

Nicoa Coach:

That is absolutely right. All right, my friend. Well, before we hang up, what is one thing you want to celebrate the most about yourself? I asked this to every client and you remember this conversation every time I ask you this question. What about that i

JAN BREWINGTON:

i want to celebrate my freedom. And I think that my freedom comes from honesty, and you know, health and just, you know, learning. So I just really celebrate my freedom because I feel very free.

Nicoa Coach:

Awesome. And that really is the ultimate way to live a life on this planet. So I am so happy for you and so grateful for you taking the time. I'm so glad that we reconnected in the coaching space. And then we continue to have our friendship so please send Best regards to Jim is he ringing a bell so you can come get him and help him?

JAN BREWINGTON:

Yes, sir. door knock our doorbell. We never get a doorbell. That's our ring doorbell. It it has a lovely sound. Oh, we'll

Nicoa Coach:

have to go see who it is. All right, guys. Thanks for listening to Coffee with Nicoa and Jan, we will talk again in Downtown Wilmington, I'm sure.

JAN BREWINGTON:

Okie dokie season. Love you. Love you.

Jennifer Gardner:

Thanks for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicoa for more stories from people living a life by design. You can also find inspiration on Instagram. Just follow Coffee with Nicoa and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N I CoA. We look forward to talking with you soon. And enjoy your coffee between now and then