Jen Barnett’s life has always been comfortable. She grew up in a community where people knew everybody. She has always lived in familiarity, until Parkinson’s shook up her life…
Her diagnosis became a catalyst for change to the life she always knew. Some days she was up, and on some days she was down. And losing her best friend, her dad, made it even worse. Depression consumed her in some seasons of her life, but it was also what pushed her to finally own herself.
In this episode, Jen takes us on a journey of how she found her second wind. From a life of familiarity to embracing change, from depression to owning her life, and from being diagnosed with Parkinson’s to venturing into the new and exciting world of business through LunchboxWax.
[2:53] Randomly meeting Jen Barnett in Starbucks.
[6:37] 2021,deciding to change and owning her second half of life, her second wind.
[7:10] Trimming the fat in a lot of different ways.
[7:57] Owning her pride...
[9:30] From growing in a perfect family to suddenly being imperfect.
[12:17] Starting in her late 20’s, Jen noticed a weird shaking feeling in her legs.
[13:22] After giving birth to two babies, her tremors were getting worse.
[14:18] Getting worse and being misdiagnosed with restless leg syndrome and essential tremors.
[19:13] Finally learning the right diagnosis, Jen has Dystonia.
[19:50] Life slowly goes back to normal with medication, however there were still random tremors in her body.
[21:00] In 2014, her neurologist retired and was referred to another doctor, Dr.Aldred.
[21:41] At 42, Jen tested and was confirmed to have early onset of Parkinson’s.
[26:08] Having to quit her job as a mortgage lender to give way for her surgery.
[28:46] In 2015, Jen and her family moved to a new place. Surgery was no longer needed, but her Parkinson’s was still present in her life.
[30:12] Moving made her Parkinson’s better, but being away from the life that she was used to made her feel like the dark days.
[32:01] Missing her dad.
[34:13] The bean bags that saw her depression.
[37:03] How meeting Mr. Lawrence, Hadley’s teacher, changed her new life in Eugene.
[39:32] Building a life in a new place.
[43:14] In August 2018, Jen’s husband called and said they can go back to Coeur d’Alene .
[46:39] On April 8, 2019, Jen lost her best friend, her dad.
[52:43] Going to the gym reminded her of her dad. Depressed, Jen gained 30 pounds.
[53:54] Her childhood best friend, Brandie, introduces her to LunchboxWax.
[58:14] Opening up her own LunchboxWax Franchise in Eugene.
[59:03] Learning the business, while still having Parkinson’s.
[1:00:33] Deciding to trim the fat, literally.
[1:02:33] Embracing change.
[1:03:17] Opening three franchises, and with a goal of having six.
[1:04:50] Freeing herself of fear, Parkinson’s and other people’s judgement.
[1:06:41] Owning herself and not letting the negativities own her.
[1:17:25] Good people will come into your life, and the best advice is don't have tunnel vision.
[1:21:17] All about LunchboxWax.
[1:24:38] Listen to yourself, listen to your body, listen to what's happening. Don't ignore it. Give and give in.
Jen Barnett is a wife, a mother, and diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Upon discovering her illness, Jen’s life has taken some twists and turns that took her from days of darkness to eventually owning her life. Now a franchise owner of LunchboxWax, Jen found a new found confidence and finally embraced Parkinson’s as a part of her life.
Resources mentioned in this episode: