Have you ever considered climbing that mountain, seeing that national treasure, or being spontaneous and jumping on an airplane to see a close friend? Most people say they have considered all of these things but doing them is something else.
Not for my dear gal pal Wendy Steinmetz. I met Wendy in college, and as long as I have known her, she has always been the first one in line for the next adventure. Wen is one of those friends that’s always hard to keep track of. She is always on the move exploring this wonderful earth God has created. Camping, hiking, skiing, boating, sky diving and Thelma and Louise getaways… you name it.
She is usually the one planning that next adventure. Still to this day, Wendy is the one who arranges most of my sorority sister girl weekends. These get togethers are never ordinary either. The weekends are packed with outrageous and fun activities. Nothing about Wendy is ordinary. That’s why I love her dearly.
Overcoming An Eating Disorder and Her Drive For Perfection
Although Wendy loves to focus on the positive, like all of us, she has been faced with obstacles, struggles and challenges in life.
One of her biggest challenges is letting go of that over-achiever drive and being ok with not having everything be perfect. In fact, a very wise pre-school teacher challenged Wendy and her young family to eliminate the word “perfect” from the vocabulary completely. The word literally became off limits in their family from that day forward and still is today. I think many women struggle with trying to be just so.
Also, as part of her people-pleasing desires, and her strong attraction to perfection, Wendy sadly wrestled with an eating disorder in college.
Thankfully, with her strong will, wisdom and loving family and friends, she was able to overcome the eating disorder fairly quickly and has gone on to have a healthy perspective on weight, food and exercise.
Wendy says keeping her body healthy is still a challenge for her, but she understands the big health risks of using unhealthy practices to try to control her body and her health. Educating herself on healthy living and really trying to practice self-awareness and self-love are key components to living a healthy life.
Embracing Life No Matter What
I have always admired Wendy for her fun spirit, warm heart, and the way she embraces the unexpected, struggles and venturing risk … it’s a breath of fresh air. She is good for my soul, and this is why I wanted to introduce her to y’all.
We could all benefit from deliberately releasing some control in our lives and welcome an element of surprise and challenge.
Research shows that people who partake in adventurous experiences are more likely to retain positive feelings than people who don’t Time reported. Additionally, even the small daily interactions can impact our joy — moments like an impromptu visit to see a friend or boat ride on the lake.
Wendy is also admired for her work in the radio industry and for her leadership at her family Thrift Town business that has supported local charities for over forty nine years. No matter how many hours Wendy invests in her career, she still makes time for her family, friends and adventures. It’s impressive.
On Living A Beautiful Life
What does it mean to be your authentic beautiful self?
This is a good question, as it does not always come easy to see myself as beautiful. It can be common to see beauty as only an outward appearance and sadly it is easy for us humans to focus on perceived flaws that unfortunately prevent us from seeing real beauty. I know my heart is beautiful.
If I focus on my heart, then seeing myself as beautiful is not as challenging. Being authentic is beautiful. Honestly, I try hard to see myself the way I know God sees me, beautifully imperfect yet perfect in His eyes, and that way it is much easier to embrace truly being beautiful. I guess what I am trying to say is that beauty comes from within and being my authentic, beautiful self is about truly loving, and accepting, the person God made me to be.
What is the best advice about life you have every received?
So many lessons and words of wisdom race through my mind with this question. One ‘keeper’ that comes to my mind is from my amazing mom. Life can throw some mean punches, and my mom was always good at reminding me that “this too shall pass”. . . and she’s right!
One piece of advice that lives in my heart always is from my “Grandby”. She shared an article with me written back in 1994 by Rev. Dale Turner, a Seattle Times Columnist. The article talked about how we will always be faced with many choices in life, and it is important always to find a way to choose velvet over sandpaper. Velvet is a smoother, kinder, and much more pleasant option. “Grandby” had a way of choosing velvet always, and those shared ‘words of wisdom’ have always stuck with me.
I find her advice especially helpful when I find myself smack dab in the middle of my own bad sandpaper choice! Thank goodness, it is never too late to switch over to velvet.
What age do you feel like right now?
35! I loved my 30’s! So much life had been lived and so much wisdom acquired over the years was being put into full use at that age. I was a young mom with a loving husband and two beautiful children. We were all about family adventures and making the best out of life.
Lots of fun, friends, and family all doing life together. I still feel all those blessings in my life. Hmmm, it seems my body is aging, but my heart, soul, and mind all have me living like I am still in my mid-thirties.
What is your beauty secret?
Oh gosh – should I answer with what I know should be my beauty secret or what is my reality? I know my number one beauty secret should be to drink more water and hydrate, but that is something I consistently struggle with for some reason. It is so simple! I truly believe that the best beauty secret is to smile. Smiles radiate beauty and that beauty secret is contagious and sharable. How cool is that?
Two “must-have” beauty staples I always keep handy are NUXE Huile Prodigieuse or (a multi-purpose shimmering dry oil that provides a natural healthy glow) and Peppermint Lip Conditioner by Beauty Counter for healthy, glossy lips. Both items are all about feeling good in a more natural way.
What woman in your life inspires you the most?
So many inspiring women in my life, but I must say I am most inspired by my beautiful daughter, Bridget. She is truly an incredible woman who has taught me so much about self-awareness, compassion, courage, strength, love, forgiveness, vulnerability and determination.
Bridget has taught me about the real joys of life and the importance of self-reflection and really getting to know one’s own self. I have always loved that even as a little girl, Bridget questioned everything, but now that she is a grown, independent woman I love that quality even more.
I love that she cares deeply and takes the time to read, to dig deeper, to ask questions, to listen, learn and love and to share open conversations in order to give reason, purpose and meaning to everything any anything. Bridget is an inspiring woman, a most radiant light; a gift to our world. I am so blessed to be her mom.
What the three events have shaped your life? Good and bad.
Oh boy, this is a tough question. #1 The day I married Lane on July 25, 1987 has to be at the very top of my list – a most magical day of true love and great celebration! #2 The birth of our two children truly life-changing in every way possible! Who knew my heart was capable of such a deep and unconditional love times two?
#3 The day that I literally heard God’s voice tell me to “be still and know that I am God”. Gives me goosebumps to think back on that day and definitely changed my life forever.
What drives you?
I have a deep desire for connection and an overwhelming sense of community. Sometimes those passions can be overwhelming and exhausting, as I tend to over-program and over-commit in the spirit of bringing people together and building community. I am learning to balance my energy more and spend more time in quiet self- reflection and less time on always ‘doing’. Work in progress for sure.
What does grace mean to you?
Grace is something we get to give and receive – there is a sense of peace knowing that grace is available to us all. Unconditional acceptance and love. Being able to look at yourself and others and know that God meets us where we are, and He loves us all.
What issues and missions do you hold close to your heart?
Growing up I had a 10-year subscription to ‘Ranger Rick’ magazine, so I will always do everything possible to care for and protect animals. However, my servant heart is all about people. Growing up around, and then eventually working for over 30 years in a family business that was fully dedicated to making a difference to people with developmental disabilities, I will always do everything possible to empower and respectfully support people with special needs.
With my more recent volunteer commitment with a local nonprofit organization, Compassion Planet (https://www.compassionplanet.org/), I have become very passionate about supporting and empowering aged-out foster & at-risk youth. I love this organization and all that they do to provide job training, resources and mentorship to these young adults as they begin a new, and important, chapter in their lives.
I am also very passionate about being a part of the fight against human trafficking and protecting innocent children from this most tragic form of abuse. We have got to do all we can to #SaveOurChildren!
What brings you the most joy in your life?
Spending time with my family and seeing their hearts happy and full bring me the greatest joy of all! Thankfully, in addition to that great joy, I have also learned (through my spiritual journey) that I can have joy in my heart regardless of any and all circumstances, as my real joy comes from knowing I am loved.
Being outdoors brings me joy as well. I grew up camping, skiing, white water rafting and adventuring outdoors whenever possible. When I was in college, I decided on a whim to jump out of an airplane on a solo parachute skydiving experience and also decided, somewhat on a whim, to grab four girlfriends and move to Sun Valley, Idaho to be a ski bum for a season during my senior year in college. Crazy fun!
I married Lane right after college who also had a great sense of adventure, so on our two year anniversary we sold our house and backpacked through Australia, New Zealand and Fiji for six weeks! Time of our lives! Our shared loved of skiing has had us on the go quite a bit during our 33 years of marriage. By the time I was fifty, I had skied 50 different mountains representing 11 states and 4 countries.
One of my biggest joys in life is sharing adventures with family and friends . In fact, when I realized I was born during the ‘year of the dragon’ according to the Chinese calendar, one of my friends said ‘Well, that is no surprise as you are always draggin’ us here and draggin’ us there”. Since then, I have had a fondness for dragons and many of my friends call me ‘dragon lady’ as there is always another adventure on the horizon.
What keeps you up at night?
Worrying keeps me up a night. Worrying about my family, my friends, my work, my country, our world . . . worrying gets my head spinning and my heart racing. The best way for me to stop the worry spin is to pray. Let go and let God.
What is the daily routine that brings you joy?
Yeesh – another tough question! I try and try to create routine in my life, but it is just not in my DNA. I have come to accept that routine does not come easily for me, which is nuts because routine can bring such a sense of comfort. The one thing I try to do every day is find time to count my blessings and remind myself that gratitude changes everything. Making this a daily routine grounds me.
Where is your happy place?
Lake Sammamish – a most beautiful and magical place that has been a part of our family for over 70 years. I love listening to the cadence of the waves, seeing the magical colors on the water, feeling the sand between my toes, smelling bonfires and hearing the sounds of eagles singing, boats cruising and children laughing. Stress level goes down ten notches at the lake – truly a glimpse of Heaven on Earth!
Tell Us About Your Sense Of Style
I wish I had a sense of style! I guess you’d call it super casual with a little bit of sass. I don’t like to fuss much, and I am not a big lover of designer brands, but I do love to feel comfy. If I can feel cute along with comfy, even better. I tend to live in jeans often paired with a cute top and bare feet.
What are your favorite fashion and beauty brands? Well, gotta say I do love thrifting! So much fun finding unique, fun fashion in a thrift store! I am not much for malls or department stores, but I do love shopping in local boutiques! My go-to boutiques are Button Up in Roseville, CA and Horseshoe in Ballard, WA.
I tend to love brands like Michael Stars, Joes Hudson, Sanctuary and Rails. And for fun, I love to add a little animal print to my wardrobe to embrace my inner wild child. Currently loving my new snakeskin sandals from Tory Burch.