Rural women who are new to town or who may not feel like they are living their best life can feel lonely and unfulfilled. Is this you?
If so, you must get to know Rebecca Undem!
Rebecca is from North Dakota. Rebecca is a speaker, author, mom to three and farm wife. The title of her book is “How Mommy Got Her Groove Back” which I think is amazing. Her purpose in life is to inspire women in small towns to live their best life as well. She also has a radio talk show where she interviews guests and highlights rural life, but to the same way that I do here on this podcast.
Rebecca’s story is that she actually returned to the same hometown she grew up in and went through a transitioning period with her family. So we’re going to talk about being accepted in rural towns and communities, finding relationships and the feeling of being alone and also being inspired to do all the things to live your best rural life.
In this episode you’ll learn:
- Rebecca’s B-I-G concept
- How she’s navigated moving back to a small town
- What she’s looking forward to
How She Got Started
Rebecca and her husband decided to move back to her small hometown of Oaks after more than ten years away which ended up sparking her own business as an author and speaker. Now she connects with other rural women in order to help them honor and care for themselves.
Before moving back Rebecca worked at corporate in communication and leadership training which taught her the skills needed to found a successful business model. She enjoyed having those achievements but moving back to a small town and becoming a mom shifted my perspective on who she wanted to have an impact on.
What She Wants You to Focus On
Rebecca created a concept called “living BIG.” She wants you to be B-old, I-inspired, and G-rowing. When you’re approaching various aspects of your life be sure they align with your values and goals. Which means you’re going to need to learn how to say “no” to the things and people who aren’t serving you. It’s a matter of asking yourself if signing up for another event is really what you need right now. Rebecca feels strongly about giving back and being involved in your community but not to the detriment of yourself.
She recommends doing a gut check every six months to make sure the things you’re saying yes to are in alignment with the things we care about. Take the time to ask yourself how does _____ make you feel? If that relationship or position within your community makes you feel fulfilled and valued then great! If not then you need to realign.
The Comparison Game
Rebecca and I both agree that there can be valuable relationships from social media. We’re both in a Facebook group called “The Rural Sisterhood” and it holds a lot of value for us.
However what we need to be mindful of is when it starts venturing into comparison territory. You can look at another woman and be inspired by them, by looking at their systems and seeing if there’s a way to make them work for you. But, when you look at someone on social media and begin to compare yourself to them and begin feeling bad about yourself, then that’s when you need to take a step back.
Keep in mind when you’re looking at someone’s social media you’re looking at a feed that is edited and curated, you’re not seeing everything about that person or their life.
Challenges Rebecca Has Faced
Moving back to her hometown and becoming neighbors with her parents is definitely challenging. They used to live 110 miles away so they would come up for the weekend and all hang out, drinking beer, playing cards, and having a great time. Now they’re 110 steps door to door and being that closely involved in their relationship has been hard. Her husband and her dad work together on a daily basis which means they’re more involved with the inner workings of her parents. In a way it’s been good because it forced her in some ways to grow closer to her husband.
How her husband and her dad manage their businesses was different as well. So navigating that and making the effort to understand that it’s just different and not get frustrated about it and to appreciate those differences.
What the Future Holds For Rebecca
She made it her goal to speak to at least one small town in every single state by the time she’s finished with her journey. There’s nothing better than going into a small town that she’s never been to before, getting to know the women that live there, and understanding and supporting their businesses. She has such a passion for local, small businesses and always makes a point to support those businesses in the towns she’s speaking at.
She’s also excited to just continue building the legacy she’s created for herself and to teach her children about it as they continue to grow up. She struggled with her mom’s job, working at the local assisted living facility, growing up but now she sees the importance of it. Her mom planned a party for the 15 residents there and Rebecca and her family attended. She really saw and appreciated the impact her mom has on those residents. She wants that type of legacy of her own for her children to witness.
Her Advice for You
Be gracious. Extend grace to others in your community, whether that’s a newcomer or the veterans, everyone needs it in some way, shape, or form. Be sure to extend that grace to yourself as well. We talked a lot about relationships but Rebecca was adamant about taking care of the relationship with yourself too.
One Thing Rebecca Does to Make Her Day Better
She focuses on at least one positive thing that happened to her every day. She’s working on writing them down every day as well. So that positive thing is acknowledged and she remembers to look for the beauty that’s around her. She believes that you will find confirmation of whatever it is that you’re seeking. So she actively chooses to find the good and the beauty in every day.
The #1 book she recommends is “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown. Her favorite concept from the book is it’s hard to harbor negative feelings for someone you’re close to. So start getting closer to people, take the time to get to know them.
The best advice she’s received is when a friend told her that someone else’s opinion of her is none of her business. She is a natural people pleaser but when she realized that she wasn’t starting certain aspects of her life or business because she was worried about what other people would think she had to ask herself if that was okay.
At some point you have to become comfortable with the fact that you’re not going to please everyone and you have to remain authentic to yourself.