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Are You Majoring In Perfectionism? | Jen Rogers with Recovering Perfectionist, Vivian Cummins #212

February 08, 2024 Episode 212
Are You Majoring In Perfectionism? | Jen Rogers with Recovering Perfectionist, Vivian Cummins #212
Time To Simplify | Leverage Your Time, 90-Day Sprints, Startup Christian Entrepreneurs
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Time To Simplify | Leverage Your Time, 90-Day Sprints, Startup Christian Entrepreneurs
Are You Majoring In Perfectionism? | Jen Rogers with Recovering Perfectionist, Vivian Cummins #212
Feb 08, 2024 Episode 212

What's your biggest challenge in conquering the clock? Message me!

What's one thing that you just 🛑stopped🛑 doing?

You know - you reached a breaking point and you said, "No More!"

When you stopped, did you do it cold turkey? Or did you create a game plan first? In Habit Loop Lingo, that'd be noting the cue and the routine to get the reward you want. 

Listen, overcoming perfection is not easy...but it is doable.  When we place our focus in the right space, we experience true freedom! 

Join me in welcoming Vivian Cumins, a military wife (retired), stepmom to two adult kids, Glammy to five grandkids, a career professional, and a Jesus follower since childhood. We've got a great episode in store for you.  Like sugar?  We got some!

Take Your Power Back & Reclaim Your Joy, FAST! www.stepfamilypodcast.com/WorkWithJen
📞Get Featured on the show! Ask Jen Anything

Next steps:
Step 1: Join the Empowered Community bit.ly/joyfulwithjen
Step 2:
BUILD BETTER BOUNDARIES! Powerful Free Handbook + Bonuses!
Step 3:
De-Stress Planning - Celebrations Guide! bit.ly/CelebrateWithJen
Step 4:
Top 10 tips to Regain Your Power & Prevent Burnout Free Download!
Step 5:
Peaceful Co-Parenting Strategies that Work-Mini Workshop $97

Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What's your biggest challenge in conquering the clock? Message me!

What's one thing that you just 🛑stopped🛑 doing?

You know - you reached a breaking point and you said, "No More!"

When you stopped, did you do it cold turkey? Or did you create a game plan first? In Habit Loop Lingo, that'd be noting the cue and the routine to get the reward you want. 

Listen, overcoming perfection is not easy...but it is doable.  When we place our focus in the right space, we experience true freedom! 

Join me in welcoming Vivian Cumins, a military wife (retired), stepmom to two adult kids, Glammy to five grandkids, a career professional, and a Jesus follower since childhood. We've got a great episode in store for you.  Like sugar?  We got some!

Take Your Power Back & Reclaim Your Joy, FAST! www.stepfamilypodcast.com/WorkWithJen
📞Get Featured on the show! Ask Jen Anything

Next steps:
Step 1: Join the Empowered Community bit.ly/joyfulwithjen
Step 2:
BUILD BETTER BOUNDARIES! Powerful Free Handbook + Bonuses!
Step 3:
De-Stress Planning - Celebrations Guide! bit.ly/CelebrateWithJen
Step 4:
Top 10 tips to Regain Your Power & Prevent Burnout Free Download!
Step 5:
Peaceful Co-Parenting Strategies that Work-Mini Workshop $97

Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

The Empowered Stepmom™| Biblical Boundaries, Habits, Mindset


212 \\ Are You Majoring In Perfectionism? | Jen Rogers with Recovering Perfectionist, Vivian Cummins


Jen Rogers, Host

What's one thing that you just stopped doing?

You know you reached a breaking point and you said no more when you stopped, did you do it cold turkey? Or did you create a game plan first In Habit Loop Lingo? That'd be noting the cue and the routine to get the reward you want. 

00:22

Today's episode number 212 of the empowered Stepmom podcast is littered with powerful examples of what happens when you decide to change one thing. First, let's go back in time together. Imagine colorful fall leaves, decorating the trees, cooler temperatures and planning a gloriously magnificent meal for Thanksgiving. Why are we time traveling? Well, I'm so glad, you asked when I chatted with today's guest, my new friend Vivian. We were approaching the Thanksgiving holiday season. Last, you think this episode is solely about gobbling turkeys, savoring yummy herb-flavored stuffing and upcoming festive celebrations. Let me clear that up right away. It's not. It is, however, worth sharing the one thing Vivian stopped doing. Can you guess what that one thing is? Let me give you a clue. Well, no, wait, I know that wouldn't be fair. I mean, you don't even know her yet. I haven't introduced her, you haven't heard anything. So let me just share this one thing she stopped doing. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest01:32

Well, about five or six years ago, I stopped cooking. I just did. I said I'm done with that. It had just become so stressful to do all the things. 

Jen Rogers, Host01:41

This woman right here. She inspired me to think about what it would look like for me and my routines if I just stopped cooking. If you are like some of my friends who are more like five-star chefs who create miracles in the kitchen, be still your heart. I'm not asking you to stop cooking. I am inviting you to think about that one thing. God may be calling you to stop doing stat. Do you have that one thing? If you need some ideas, here are some. Do you consider yourself to have perfectionist tendencies? Perhaps you lick a few too many ice cream cones and your genes are not lying to you. Or you might really crave connection with your kids, but you don't know what to stop doing to bridge the gap. You're in exactly the right place to learn how you can move beyond the now and get to the not yet faster. 

02:39

This week's podcast brings together all those triggers, behaviors and outcomes we've honed over the last several weeks. Will you join me on a delightfully fun filled conversation with a recovering perfectionist with a sweet tooth? No matter what that one thing is you said you want to stop or the one outcome you want most. You cannot outrun the power of habit. The things you do create the life you have. Look around Do you want the life you have or do you want to change your life? When you know what you want, you've solved the first problem of a problem Identifying it. When we call things out by name, when we give ourselves permission to be curious about those things that aren't working, instead of judgmental towards ourselves, we're operating from a position of higher self-awareness, and that's exactly what we've been working on the last few weeks. Have you ever felt like you climbed the ladder of your dream success and when you arrived, the experience left you wanting? 

03:46

Meet Vivian Cummins. Her need to be perfect and in control led to an unbalanced lifestyle filled with work, self-inflicted stress and illness, depression and anxiety. In 2020, after years of striving and mental exhaustion, vivian rededicated her life to the Lord and vowed to relinquish control and submit to God's will. Her newfound faith and commitment were immediately put to the test when she had to trust God to provide healing from stage 3 melanoma. That wilderness season, she says, delivered her from a prideful spirit and set her free from captivity. Now you know that when you walk through difficult seasons with the Lord, he wants you to use what you've learned to inspire other women, and that's exactly what Vivian does. She encourages busy women to actively seek balance In her professional life and here on today's podcast, vivian shines a light on the importance of finding time for God, for self and some good old-fashioned fun. 

04:56

The mission of the Empowered Stepmom podcast is to encourage you through your wilderness season and set you free from the devil's snares in everyday family life. You can experience balance when you are willing to do the work to create the life you want. Stat. Hey, there, I'm Jen Rogers, certified professional life coach, keynote speaker and ongoing recovering control freak, who loves the idea of just saying no to cooking and yes to being the benefactor of my friends' creations. Hey, if you're local and you want to cook for me, I'll swap and clean for you. 

05:31

I'm leaving this journey because I believe in you. I believe God's word when he says there is freedom in Christ. We do not need to be chained to the mistakes of the past. No, no, no. Instead, we are future focused, leaning into the unique calling God has given and entrusted to us. 

05:52

My mission is to help you take back your power and reclaim your joy in your businesses, in your relationships and at home, when you apply key strategies I share in this podcast to your everyday life. You will experience the power of how one small change you make ripples across every area of your life. As Vivian and I both know, it isn't about control. It's about empowerment seizing God's power in your life every single day, moment by moment. If you find yourself, as you look around, wanting more and you're done, struggling in your own strength, I can show you the way. You don't need to stay lonely, disconnected, resentful or in active avoidance mode. All it takes is one small change reaching out to get help in community. That's why I'm here. I've been there in the dark hurt of feeling unheard and unseen. Now I know how to stand, firmly planted in the grace and wisdom of God, a place of true freedom. 

06:58

Want me to help you create your future Stat? Head on over to stepfamilypodcastcom. Forward slash work with Jen to get started. Stepfamilypodcastcom. Forward slash work with Jen. I can't wait to connect with you. All right, let's get started with today's delightful conversation with my beautiful new friend, vivian Cummins. It is a week before Thanksgiving and I have no idea where I am cooking my turkey yet. Not here, not in my new teeny tiny oven. That's not happening here, but I'm determined to have a turkey, somewhere. How about you? What's happening for you? For? 

Vivian Cummins, Guest07:40

Thanksgiving. Well, about five or six years ago, I stopped cooking. I just did. I said I'm done with that. I usually have to work the day after Thanksgiving, and so it had just become so stressful to do all the things. My husband and I, we have a tradition either we take a trip, we go somewhere, or we have Thanksgiving at a resort or a restaurant or some place that offers it. Here in California there is a place called the Flamingo Resort, and we went there last year and it is amazing. You can have anything that you want. I don't have to cook it, I don't have to clean it, I just have to eat it, and we go home and watch football. 

Jen Rogers, Host08:25

That's really wonderful, wonderful. I really need to adopt this philosophy of no cooking anymore. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest08:32

Talk about yeah, it takes the pressure off. I love it. 

Jen Rogers, Host08:36

So, speaking of taking the pressure off, you are a woman who has often had the pressure on. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest08:42

Oh my goodness. Let me just say it's all self-inflicted. By the way, I've had a life of striving for perfection to be perfect. It goes back as far as childhood. My first memory of this notion of perfectionism was in kindergarten. I was five years old and I remember. I remember we used to have nap time during the day at school. I don't know if it's a thing anymore, but I totally think we should bring it into the workplace. But we had nap time and we had these little blanket things and I remember fanning mine out. It would never lay straight. It had ripples in it and it drove me crazy and I kept fanning it and trying to get it to lay straight and my teacher got on to me eventually and said if you do that one more time, you're going to get a spanking. I remember laying down on it, that being very frustrated and annoyed with her that she made me accept mediocrity. It was just. That's my first memory of needing to be perfect. 

09:39

And it just bled over into lots of other things throughout my life and to my career, and then just in every little nook and cranny of my life it's found its way in. 

Jen Rogers, Host09:49

But I am recovering. We so appreciate that it's one recovering control freak to another. How? 

Vivian Cummins, Guest09:55

are you doing today? I am a work in progress and God is so patient and so kind and so gracious that I stumble from time to time. But the thing I've learned when I start having those feelings that I'm becoming overwhelmed or stressed or anxious or nervous, I know that I'm striving and that I need to take a step back and recalibrate. So I've learned those things. Those are things that God has taught me, specifically the past three years. 

Jen Rogers, Host10:24

We've been on a journey, the last three years, not that long ago you did a blog post about running your own race and how to stay focused on really what you're called to do. One of the things you had written about was cultivating a spirit of gratitude. Can you share how gratitude and anti-perfectionism go together? 

Vivian Cummins, Guest10:47

When you feel like you have to be perfect all the time for one thing, that there is no such thing and the sooner that we can grasp that I think, the better off that we will be. 

10:57

But I've learned to embrace that imperfection. There's some things about me that I don't necessarily Like that I'm working on one of it being I like sugar a lot and that's one of those things that that I can become very unbalanced in if I'm not careful. But I've just embraced that's part of who I am and not be so hard on myself and just be grateful that I have the ability to recognize now when I start going into those extremes and such just not being so hard on myself. 

Jen Rogers, Host11:29

When I'm working with women and they talk about how they're feeling or what they're experiencing, I asked them to describe it to me as though I were following them around With a video camera. So if I'm rolling the videotape, what would I see? When you're getting triggered, when you're starting to recognize I'm moving into overwhelm, what's happening? 

Vivian Cummins, Guest11:49

Hmm, oh, that's such a great question and most of it happens at work. There's some home life that I can get that way too, but it's mostly in my work and what I start seeing is that I'm doing like five or six things all at once. I'm answering email, I'm doing a text, I'm talking on a team's chat, I'm searching for papers, I'm I'm thinking ahead to the next meeting I have, and I become frazzled, I get heart palpitations. I I'm getting better at this because I don't have sugar in my house. I try not to have sugar in my house, but I work from home. Now there's been times where I'll get up and go look for something to snack on, something bad. I've since removed those things from the house because I know that when I do get triggered, that's one of those things that I still tend to to gravitate towards. I'm still work in progress. 

Jen Rogers, Host12:42

Yeah, yeah, I think that's really a good word. Oftentimes, particularly step moms would think I should have this nail by now. And yet, if you've never done something before, or if you're new to really practicing Self-evaluation or self-awareness, to say, hey, I recognize I have these heart palpitations and that's a sign I recognize that I'm doing all of these things. It's at once. I'm not focused on what, where my hands are, I'm not being where my feet are. I'm worried about where my feet are going to go. Yeah, we are not Perfect. We are made in the image of perfection. We are not perfect, and isn't it a good thing that we have a Heavenly Father who is, yes, very much. So sugar cravings. So when did these start? You give a great example. So in kindergarten you had a flatten out the mat. So sugar cravings, what don't start I? 

Vivian Cummins, Guest13:35

I to look back in my childhood we didn't eat a lot of junk food like that sugars and sweets and stuff. My mom didn't bake a whole bunch of stuff. So I can't say that happened in childhood, but where I will say that I've actually gone out and bought stuff and took it home and ate it. That Started around age 35 when I really started to climb the ladder in my career as I started having more Responsibility and I became an executive. That's really when that started coming. 

14:06

So I a lot of my career has been in the human resources field and when I have worked the HR staff had candy on their desk. Every desk had candy on it and it would go and just search to see you had the best candy and then go eat it. I would be at my colleagues desk M&M's. I love peanut M&M's. She would have a beautiful bowl filled with peanut M&M's and I just sit there and pop them. I just pop them and I'd get my fix and then I would calm down, I'd go back and I could go work and that's been about, like I said, since about age 35 and I'm in my 50s now, so that's a long time. 

Jen Rogers, Host14:44

So if a 35 year old woman came and was sharing with you, hey, I am struggling with Self-medicating, whether it's with sugar or alcohol or something else. Is it okay if I call it self-medicating? 

Vivian Cummins, Guest14:56

It is. It's an addiction. It's an addiction. 

Jen Rogers, Host14:59

It certainly is what would you share with that woman who came and said I'm struggling. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest15:05

Yeah, so the things that have really helped me. Number one is I now that I'm able to Understand when I'm in those triggers is I immediately reach out to God. And that took time. Like I said, it's been three years. I've really been in this journey where I have Of rededicated my life to Christ, so you got to get to that place where you have that really close personal relationship with God and Reach out to him first and foremost. That's what I always do. The other thing that I do is I get my mind off myself. 

15:35

Get my mind off those cravings. There's a funny example I've had cravings for cake, coconut cream cake. I have gotten into the car, gone to the store, got the cake, ate it in the car with my hands, I mean I've. And so get your mind off of yourself, off of that, go for a walk. That's the thing I do a lot now too, is I just get up, go for a quick walk around the block. Like I said, I work from home or go walk up down the street or something, but do something. The other thing that I do it's weird I'll fold laundry. I don't know what it is about folding laundry, but it just takes away the craving and Then I get my laundry done. So find that something to take your mind off of it. 

Jen Rogers, Host16:15

But you need to barter laundry and cooking with the name. I know I do, I totally do Give your mom of littles and do all the laundry and she can cook for you, because she's cooking for some wood love that. Oh, you put an ad out? 

Vivian Cummins, Guest16:31

I think I will. Yeah, hey, ladies, somebody to barter with? 

Jen Rogers, Host16:38

Something else that you mentioned in on your website in relation to running your own race is setting goals. So I read that and I thought I'm a woman after my own heart. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest16:56

I love that. 

Jen Rogers, Host16:57

I love that just makes me happy, very, very happy. But goals some people say I don't really set goals, they don't really work for me. What would you say in response to that? 

Vivian Cummins, Guest17:09

I would say that I am learning to set realistic goals. I have always been that person that sets the high bar and I've never been able to reach it. I've come very close, but then I reach burnout before I reach the top of my goals. I think it's really important to set goals, but to be realistic and for me I only set a couple of goals for myself at a time, because if I set too many of them, I'm not going to excel or do well in any of them, because I'm going to strive to try to do all three and it's just not possible. So I try to do maybe one or two and meet that one and then go to the next one, and that way I'm not overwhelming myself, because I can get very overwhelmed and I think a lot of times it's especially people who do perhaps have the stronghold of perfectionism in their life. They're going to set those goals so high that they'll never attain them and then they're going to feel like a failure and then they're just going to be in this constant cycle. So just set a couple of very realistic we've all heard of the smart, specific, measurable, all of those things that smart goals. Set a couple of them, achieve those and set new ones. So what are you working on right now? 

18:19

As far as goals, yeah, I have a goal. I'm actually working with a writing coach. I have a goal to write 365 day devotions and get a book published. That is my goal, and we set little ones and she is learning. She's learning my personality and we take what they say. How do you eat an elephant? Take one, one bite at a time, or something like that. That's the way that she's working with me is. We're working on it little bit by little bit. We're working on the proposal little bit by little bit, and that's my goal. I want to have something ready to pitch by March, which is when I'm going to a writer's conference. That is my goal. 

Jen Rogers, Host18:59

Okay, that's such a great example, too, to say I have this long-term goal, that I want to have this devotion out here. So thank you so much for sharing that, because it definitely models. Okay, I can't get the book out first, I have to do all of these other things. And you mentioned hiring a coach. So I'm very big on coaching in this community, because it's so easy to get stuck Not just perfectionism, but doubt and fear and limiting beliefs, and when you hang out with too many naysayers, you start to believe what they say, so there are a lot of things that can derail us. 

19:36

Can you share what you've learned about overcoming some of those things, as you've been achieving your goals. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest19:46

Yes, I've had a few coaches over the last. I started writing a book back in 2018. I've since laid that one down. Didn't feel like God was calling me for that one yet, but I did have a couple of writing coaches with that one and two different personalities for those, and I got such writer's block in working with them. Great coaches, great people not a fit for me and again, as a perfectionist, I'm looking to them to be the perfect coach for me and they just weren't. It's not anything necessarily against them, but you have to be really careful and take feedback. If you're going to work with a coach, stick with that coach. Be careful about going out to like writer's groups or friends or family. Goodness gracious, don't have friends or family. Read your manuscript. That is some big advice. If I could give anybody advice, stick with your coach For me. 

20:49

I prayed for Rachel. She's my coach. I prayed for her. Lord, send me the right person that can deal with me. First of all, my husband has a tendency of saying I'm a bit much, babe gosh, you're just, you're a bit much and you're something else. And finding that right person that knows how to deal with my personality, my perfectionism, my confidence, issues that sometimes I have, and so God sent me Rachel and she's just been phenomenal, and so I really just stick with the advice and counsel that she's giving me, because I believe that our relationship is Christ centered, and just tune out some of that other stuff. You know what they say about feedback either take it or leave it, and folks that, other folks that provide feedback. I've just learned to tune those out and trust God that if he needs me to know something, it'll come through the right channels. That's really good. 

Jen Rogers, Host21:38

It also points to having going back to that personal self-awareness of knowing who you are and knowing sugar cravings. Please don't hire a coach. It's got candy everywhere, Right. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest21:50

That would be bad for me, that's right. 

Jen Rogers, Host21:53

If you love candy, I can't hire you. At least you can't have it out. But knowing that about yourself or understanding it doesn't mean that I think we're quick to assume that we have failed or that there's a wall with us. When a connection with a person isn't working out and I know, especially for step moms with teens it's very challenging because being a teenager, it's challenging for the teen just as it's challenging for the step mom and there's this disconnect there. 

22:20

And some things they don't fit. In some relationships it does take time, but in other relationships, what it really takes is this inner confidence and knowing hey, this is what's important to me and this is what I value, and this is an area where step moms often lose sight of themselves. So, going back, as you reflect on your professional journey for those times where you felt uncertain or unsteady, what kind of advice or things would you encourage women to take into consideration? Not giving them an answer, but encouraging them? Take this into consideration as you're making the decision about what to do next when you're in a difficult situation or a difficult relationship. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest23:03

You mentioned my professional background, but I too am a step parent, and I became a step parent later on in my life and the children were older as well. I had never had children of my own. That was definitely a territory that I had nothing. I knew nothing. And looking back now at my issues with perfectionism, if I were to have somebody come to me today and they were very much like me I would really just coach them on number one. They likely should receive some kind of I don't want to necessarily say therapy, but some coaching or something and how to deal with that perfectionism and learning how to be a step parent or a parent, cause that's one of the things that I didn't have available to me and I think that would have been really valuable to have somebody to talk to about, because I was feeling like I failed at everything because I was new at it. I had no coaching, I had nobody to talk to about it and, on top of that, my husband he's retired now, but he was military and he would deploy and that would leave me with my stepdaughter and I just didn't have any guidance. And so get the help that you need. Seek out the help that you need to get you through that. 

24:19

And the other thing that I mentioned to you earlier is I've since reached out to my stepdaughter. She's an adult now, she has a kids of her own. She's a step parent as well. And I've reached out to her and I said tell me what it was like to live with me as a perfectionist, as a stepmom and as a perfectionist. And some of the things that she said was I was like, oh, but just some of those things of I never felt good enough. She never felt good enough because things just were never good enough for me. Cleaning the room was never good enough, and it was never that she we've had that conversation. It's never that she wasn't good enough, it was all me. And in just circling back, the advice that I would give again is to take a step back. Look, self-awareness is huge. And then you know what ask the kids how, how, how'd they do it? I told her I told her. 

25:10

I was like what would that have looked like If I would have just came to you and said hey, I'm new with this. She was 11, I think when I became her bonus mom. If I could have just had the courage to say how am I doing? And had that open relationship, I think that would have been really valuable yeah. 

Jen Rogers, Host25:27

No, that's so good, so good. So military wife is a military veteran and a former military spouse. I'm familiar with some of the challenges. What would you say challenged you? One of the bigger challenges that you had is a military wife. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest25:44

Worry. That was probably my biggest worry and then, yeah, not being in control. Having perfectionist tendencies I think control goes hand in hand with that. I've done a lot of soul searching over the last three years to try to understand where this perfectionism comes from and I've learned a lot about just me needing that control over everything Comes from the fact that my dad was a perfectionist. My dad called all the shots in the family and I remember that drove me crazy. I just I wanted to call the shots sometimes and I never could. And you're definitely not in control when you are married to the military or your military, and you go where they say you go, or I guess you don't have to. I know many spouses that didn't go when their spouse got called to another duty station, but we never wanted to do that to our family. But, yeah, you're just out of control and I hated that. I hated that. 

26:46

There was a time where my husband was deployed and I vaguely knew where he was, but he had called me at work on a old one of those old dial up military phones that he had found because they had just gotten bombed and he said CNN was on the scene and he was afraid that I was going to see the breaking news. So he called me really fast and said I'm okay, just don't watch the news. And of course, what did I do? I hung up phone, ran to the break room, turned on the news, and so then I'm calling, like the first sergeants and the commanders what is going on? What is going on? And nobody would tell me thing. 

27:24

And just so out of control and not knowing. And then, which is typical when things like that would happen, they would shut down all the communication. And so there was no communication for two weeks, week or two weeks, so I didn't know anything and nobody could tell me anything, just totally out of control. And then, of course, that worry kicks in. I struggled a lot with that and my faith. I've been a Christian since I was 10 years old and I know better. But it was just that situation that, yeah, I forgot everything that I had learned about trust and faith. Trust certainly can be scary. 

Jen Rogers, Host27:59

And, yes, all that loss of control. It's definitely a common theme here inside the empowered community. What we focus on is taking back your power. So I used to talk about control. Hey, how do you get your control back? And I realized you don't. Actually you don't. But what you can do is you can regain power. The thing is we most often give our power away because we're fearful, or we make assumptions about what somebody thinks about how we're going to behave or how we're acting, or we're not brave enough to ask our stepkids how are we doing, or we don't even know that we could get equipped in a way that could help us through the hurdles much faster than doing it on our own. So we really focus on regaining our power in being a woman of influence. Can you share a little bit about how you would describe yourself as a woman of influence? 

Vivian Cummins, Guest28:58

That's a really great question. I'm trying to be very intentional about leading by example. You mentioned my website and I write a lot about balance and I write a lot about how to overcome perfectionism and I want to lead a life that shows how God can come through and help you with those types of things. My biggest influence is just living that life. I'm very vulnerable. I'm very authentic. I share a lot of things. 

29:31

In a lot of these podcasts and in speaking things that I do, I tell on myself a lot. There's a lot of silly things that I've done, things I'm not necessarily proud of, but you know what I learned from it. I've grown from it. God has used it and I guarantee there's others out there that may have done the same thing. Maybe there are some other women who ate a cake in the car with their hands and then got rid of the evidence before their husband came home. It is what it is. That's probably the biggest influence I have on others is just being real and it is what it is. I'm human and I make mistakes and I learn from them, for sure. 

Jen Rogers, Host30:08

So what do you do for fun, besides not cook and go out for Thanksgiving dinner? 

Vivian Cummins, Guest30:13

Yeah, so it's really cute. My husband and I we grew up together in school we it's a whole other podcast but we were in each other's weddings. We were best friends for a long time in each other's weddings. Those didn't work out and then we came together years later. But he had an old high school pickup that was very well known in our town and he used to drag race it and do all the things and stuff and I remember double dating with him and his girlfriend in that pickup when he joined the Air Force. It had to be parked and so after about 24 years, I guess, my father-in-law brought it to him and he restored it and he took seven years and he restored the whole thing. So he rebuilt this whole truck. So it has a lot of memories for both of us. 

30:57

We live in wine country in California now and on the weekends that's our thing. He named it Maryland. He names his vehicles. He named it Maryland. So we take Maryland out on the back roads here in wine country and we just cruise wine country. It's so beautiful. It's every season here is absolutely beautiful. We go exploring in Maryland. There's a lot of great restaurants where we're at, so we like to explore new restaurants. 

31:25

As far as me personally, I enjoy riding. That's what I do on the side. I enjoy reading. I love walking in nature. I've had to stop hiking. I used to hike a little bit but my knees got bad so I'm like, okay, what can I do now? And so I try to walk flat surfaces, try not to go too high and just get out in nature and that's just where I just soak it in and try to be in the present. So low key stuff, low key stuff. But that's the season of life I'm in, I'm loving it. My kids and my stepkids, my grandkids they all live in another state now. So when we have time, we do get on a plane and we go visit them and they come out here and stuff too. So yeah, Fun. 

Jen Rogers, Host32:08

Thanks for sharing that so you mentioned that your stepdaughter is a stepmom, so has she called you and asked you for advice, and you realized she was asking you for something that you wanted advice for. Oh my gosh. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest32:26

Yeah, you know it's funny, she calls more to apologize than she calls for advice. So it's just funny. Every now and again she'll send me a text or she'll call and she's I just want you to know I'm sorry and I love you and I'm like what happened, and she'll tell me whatever it is and stuff like that. And so she has two children with her husband and two stepchildren as well, and so she's got four and every now and again, yeah, we'll have those conversations and it's just funny because she knows now it's not as easy as you might have thought to come in, and but she had a little bit more of an advantage, I think, because the children were very young. One of them, I think, was like two, and so she actually got to raise them from small, whereas I came in at she was 11. And so a little bit of differences there. 

33:15

But one of the advice that I did give her when we had her baby shower and she had her stepdaughter there and I said the thing that I have learned being a stepmom is one of the best things that I can do for you kids is to love and respect your daddy, and that was the advice that I gave her was to just always love and respect their daddy, and I think that because that she has mentioned to me that one of the biggest blessings in her life having me join their family is how much I loved her dad, love her dad I still love them and brought just that harmony to the family where she didn't have that before, and so I think that's really a good thing for any stepparent to remember is just love that spouse, because the children are watching and they love their mommy or daddy and so, yeah, oh, thank you for that. 

Jen Rogers, Host34:04

That's wonderful. I think you and I would love to go touring around in Maryland with you and enjoy the scenery. We love one country for sure so beautiful here yeah. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest34:15

Yeah, the leaves on the, which I didn't know. We've only lived here a couple of years. I didn't realize that. The leaves on the grapevines, I didn't realize they would turn. I don't know what I thought actually, but they turn just like leaves on trees and the vineyards are just radiant. The plug for wine country If anybody wants to come visit, the wine might be good. I hear about the politics, so you know what. That's the thing. Here's the deal. My husband, he got a job out here. That's why we're out. We're out here. He's got a really great opportunity. Prices are tough and politics can be tough, but you know what we tell each other often whenever we get a little cranky, because he just got the oil changed in my car and I'm not even going to tell you all how much that cost. I'm not even going to tell you all, but it's somebody's rant and so we have to remind each other. It's beautiful here. God sent us here. We're here for a reason. Praise the Lord. And then we move on. 

Jen Rogers, Host35:11

There you go, there you go. That's great. That's great. I'm sure we could talk for a long time. It's really been delightful connecting with you. Your book is under construction and I'm sure you have some other projects going on and I know women would love to connect with you. What do you have going on where women can find you and connect with you? So I have a website and folks can reach me at. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest35:30

Vivian Cumminscom. I'm really into nostalgia and storytelling, so I'm a gal from Oklahoma. We love our stories. I developed a blog and website called memory blogger and the idea behind that was to connect with you, and I'm sure you have some other projects going on. The idea behind that was just to blog stories, nostalgic stories, memories, and invite others to do the same. I've recently rebranded and want to go more into the devotion writing and things like that, but I wanted to keep that too. Folks can go there and read great stories. I have a couple of contributors, but there's also an opportunity that if there's anyone out there that wants to share their own stories maybe it's a miracle they've experienced, maybe it's some advice, stepmom advice. There's categories. They can write their own story, submit it and I'll get it published for them. So just wanted to open it up to a community of just storytellers. 

Jen Rogers, Host36:25

Wow, that's really wonderful. People will be sure to put all of those links in the show notes so people can connect with you. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. 

Vivian Cummins, Guest36:33

Thank you for having me, thank you and thank you for your services as well. 

Jen Rogers, Host36:37

Oh, yeah for sure, being a military wife is service too. So even if you're not in, you are definitely in service. So thank you as well. God bless you very much. Thank you too. So are you going to stop cooking, stat I'm pretty sure I was serious about. If you're the cook, I'll do the cleaning and we can swap. So if you're local, well, you probably know it, we probably know each other already, so let's talk about what that might look like. 

37:07

Hey, if you are really into getting serious about habit modifications and really creating the life that you crave, it's up to you, sis. It's up to you to make the first move. This is not chess, no, no. What's a more collaborative kind of sport? Synchronized swimming, it's more like synchronized swimming. So if you would like somehow to create the life that you're dreaming of, oh my gosh, there are so many opportunities inside the community. Hey, if you are not inside our Facebook group, be sure to click the link in the show notes to join us inside of there, and if you want to reach out to me privately, send me a message at friends at stepfamilypodcastcom. All right, that's going to do it for today's episode. I will get you next week for episode number two hundred and thirteen. I cannot wait to share with you the surprises that I have coming up next. Be sure you catch next week's show.







The Power of Changing One Thing
Empowering Stepmoms
Realistic Goals, Overcoming Perfectionism for Success
Challenges, Control, and Empowerment
Stepmotherhood Advice and Nostalgic Stories
Create the Life You Crave