Happy to be content

A few months ago while interviewing designer and friend TC Alvarez of Two Chic for Modern Living TV, something went “click” in my brain. We were talking about balancing work and motherhood and how she expertly manages to do it all. She said something that struck a chord in me, that made absolute perfect sense. “We have handful of loyal clientele, we have just this one store and have never really wanted to expand. My sister and I are both mothers and we consider ourselves lucky to pursue our passions, make a business out of it and still have time to be moms.” Isn’t that all one can really hope for anyway? It dawned on me that today we are hardwired for insatiable ambition. We are taught that we have to keep moving upward, we must reach the top, be the best. It was then I realized that rather than move upward I would rather move forward, and instead of being on top I should always be on top of my own game. I no longer need to be the best but to do my very best.

In this day and age of social media, it seems that we are always whether consciously or unconsciously comparing ourselves with others. That person has more followers, she’s always at these events, what a body! There was a time where I was a bit confused and in fact rather insecure. At one point I was no longer the it girl, no longer qualified for the “bagets” category but not quite in the “young mom” category. I no longer had a food business so then I was no longer in the foodie box. I had failed miserably at my restaurant. And well was feeling quite worthless and sorry for myself. Then I became pregnant and everything was put into perspective. Pregnancy and being a mother became a constant reminder for me to count my blessings. To live everyday in gratitude.

It’s inevitable that there will always be someone that’s done better than you in this or that but ultimately we all have something that we are grateful for. Luckily, when the TV show fell into my lap it opened a whole new world of possibilities for me. Not because it put me on the small screen, I don’t even know who watches the show, I can’t because I don’t even have cable at home. I watch online every once in awhile just to see where I can improve. But the truth is I love my work as a journalist and TV host so much because of the people I meet, the crew I work with and the things I learn. It’s at that very moment when I’m taping and on location that I enjoy. Perhaps I could “do more” to build my “brand”. Attend more events, be more visible but I am so satisfied after a day’s work and all I want to do is come home to my son and my husband. Spend time with them during that golden hour right before dinner and bedtime, then cradle him to sleep in my arms before enjoying a relaxing evening à deux with the hubby. It’s really hard to pull me away from that. All of that is more than enough for me and I’m extremely grateful for it all.

When I started living like this it’s made me happier. I’m about to post a rant on Facebook then I think back on my son laughing and dancing that morning and I think – there’s no need to add more negative energy to the world. When someone else gets perhaps a hosting gig instead of me, I have learned to be sincerely happy for their accomplishments and relish the extra time I have at home in pajamas watching our favorite series with the hubby. And what keeps me moving forward or evolving are the people I meet who inspire me to do better, not in comparison to others but to better myself. Whether small goals like sticking to a healthier diet or heftier ones like learning a new skill or language, it’s all about moving forward, not upward. Moving forward in love and gratitude.

Watch the complete interview here on MLTV:



  • Nicole Ortega

    October 8, 2015 at 5:55 am Reply

    Great interview Stephanie. With one of my favorite people to boot! TC is always so calm, stylish and real. Really enjoyed this post.

  • Jill

    October 8, 2015 at 6:18 am Reply

    It’s a rat race out there and some women drown and loose hold of their priorities because of their ambition to be on top. This article is a breath of fresh air 😊✨

  • Star

    October 8, 2015 at 8:10 pm Reply

    In my humble opinion, the statements “perhaps I could do more to improve my brand” and “I don’t even know who watches my show” are highly irreconcilable. The most meaningful “brands” are the ones that know their consumers/audience most intimately. This is non-negotiable if you, as a brand, are aiming for relevance (and why wouldn’t you?) Something to consider. All the best to you.

    • Stephanie Zubiri

      October 8, 2015 at 10:19 pm Reply

      Hi! Thank you for your comments. I think you didn’t understand my point when I said “perhaps I should do more to improve my brand” it was meant to be rhetorical because well I don’t really see myself as a brand and actually when I say I don’t know who watches my show, it’s because I’m not concerned with being famous or being on every magazine cover. But I understand your point about being relevant which is one of the reasons why I put up a blog – because the online world is a two way street – it’s here where I can get to know better who I reach out to. Through comments and statistics like knowing what posts people like the most or are interested in. TV and print is just a one sided platform. The whole point of this particular post is to say that it’s ok not to be all about ambition, to be happy doing what you love to do and to choose your family over fame and more conventional success. Success for me is measured not in how many material or career achievements I have but if I came home that day happy and satisfied that I did a good job in the work I love and still can relish the time to be with my son and husband and all my loved ones. Success to me is a goal that you can get to at the end of every day and every little battle by living life gratefully and in love.

  • J. R. Fabella

    May 18, 2016 at 8:43 pm Reply

    Your article should put into perspective what really matters in life for a great many of us: family, love, friendships. In this day and age of social media when we are more connected with gadgets rather than people around us, when “substance” takes on a new meaning, your article is a breath of fresh air. Kudos to you for valuing what really matters in life and not being caught up in the “bandwagon” of “success for the sake of success”. Authentic life is all about knowing what your essence is, following your passions and doing the best you can. Whatever life brings one depends on how well and how meaningfully one lives one’s life.

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