Howdy, y’all! This week I felt I was a cowboy on the back of the Bucking Bronco for a wild ride getting judged for how long I held on… and it was WAY more than 8 seconds! Thanks to Brandi Redmond organizing my 49th Birthday Party, a fun time was had by most aside from the judging that was not a part of the rodeo competition.
When I think about my future, it’s exciting and scary at the same time. To be completely transparent, starting my company over from the ground up is frustrating. I invested over $400,000 of my OWN money right off the bat. This wasn’t my mother’s money; this wasn’t an outside investor’s money, it was money I earned myself. While it’s difficult for me to learn to be more frugal while I save for my company, it feels really good to say that I am pulling myself up by my bootstraps.
Because of the fact that my mother and I are at a crossroads, and we don’t agree on the future of the company, it is almost impossible to imagine moving forward professionally with her. Hard Night Good Morning is a division of Ultimate Living: of which Mama Dee owns 75%. Because of this reality, I have to make some sacrifices in my current spending in order to keep my own company running and to start over. I have no problem making those sacrifices for my company’s future, but at 49 years old, I never thought I would be in this position. It’s basically like having a start-up. Though it’s a lot of hard work, I know it’s going to be 100% worth it to have something that is 100% mine.
Before I left for Beaver Creek, I made sure to move most of my money from my checking account to my savings account so I would not be tempted to shop! Unfortunately, I got carried away with my spitfire sister, Brandi and spent way more than planned on the company credit card because I had left my personal credit cards at home...I learned my lesson on that bad decision! What can I say? I am still getting used to this new me!
During my conversation with LeeAnne Locken regarding her discussion with Rich, at first, I was very happy for her! When she said she and Rich had a good talk about the wedding, I assumed she was about to tell me a date. When she didn’t, it worried me that he was telling her what she wanted to hear so that he could further delay the conversation and the wedding. It was sweet that he asked her to marry him again, and after watching that moment, I had no doubt that he really loves her. However, I am still not convinced that he wants to get married. I hope from the bottom of my heart, I am wrong. I have always wanted the best for LeeAnne and I want complete and total happiness for she and Rich.
As far as LeeAnne’s concern for my friendship with Brandi, I know she was being protective, but I thought the way the message was delivered was a bit strange. It was as if I was a middle-schooler and she and Kameron Westcott were my parents warning me of the dangers of hanging around kids who smoke pot! I am a grown adult and Brandi is harmless. She is one of the most fun and genuine women I have ever befriended, and I don’t regret our time together one bit. So far, Brandi has shown me nothing but kindness since we got past our former issues, and I appreciate her giving me a second chance without judging me or giving me parameters and rules for our friendship. That is the mark of a true friend. LeeAnne may be just a tad bit jealous since I have actually made new friendships this time around with the rest of the group and I am making my own decisions as I should have done in the beginning last year. You live and you learn.
One thing LeeAnne was right about, however, is that someone with the name Simmons in Dallas, tends to be held at a higher standard. What the rest of these women don’t understand and NEVER will because they didn’t have the experience, is that when you are introduced as a debutante in Dallas and are presented to Dallas society, you have to behave from then on and that pressure is enormous. It is even more pressure than marrying into a family and becoming a socialite.
Getting a little wild in public can really tarnish your reputation with socialites, as Kameron so sweetly pointed out. But to be frank, not even Kameron can understand that pressure because she was NOT a debutante. I have lived with that pressure for most of my life, but recently I have decided that I really just don’t care! I love my family, and I will admit that I love what being a part of Dallas society has done for me in the past and some of the women I met along the way will always be my closest and dearest friends, but all of its perks are truly not worth losing my identity for and following other peoples rules for me will never make me happy inside my heart and my soul...and that is the current path I am pursuing.
I will always be a true humanitarian and philanthropist at heart, and because of this shift in my thinking; I have channeled my energy from Chairing galas and society events, to traveling abroad to countries like Iraq and Lebanon to tell the stories of victims rescued from captivity during war, human trafficking victims and the refugee crisis with the organization Mercury One as its International Ambassador. We assist our nation's veterans (my husband is a proud veteran) to provide aid to those in crisis and rebuild the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious groups in the Middle East. I am in hopes that once I begin to turn a larger profit with Hard Night Good Morning, I will be able to donate even more time and money to this worthy organization and to others, when I am in control of my company and my life.
Becoming a more authentic ME has awarded me much more authentic friendships! When Brandi gifted me the necklace that I had really wanted in Beaver Creek, I was so emotional. For her to be that generous to me while our friendship was still new was amazing, but the most important thing was how much she paid attention, not how much she paid for the necklace. I didn’t just want that necklace because it was pretty, but it represented my husband who served almost 22 years in the U.S. Air Force. It is his proudest accomplishment professionally, and Brandi knew how much it meant to both of us.
The reason I told Brandi about LeeAnne’s concerns for our friendship is mainly because I don’t believe in saying something behind people’s backs that I wouldn’t say to their face. I am the truth-teller and the straight shooter of this group, and everyone knows that. I was just being honest. I also wanted Brandi to know that I was interested in moving forward with our friendship with a foundation built on trust, instead of gossip.
Tune in next week to see how gossip can destroy and rip away those strong foundations of friendship that LeeAnne holds so dear!