Computer and coffee cup on table in front of window with amazing mountain view

I had a hysterectomy on June 5th.

The night before the surgery I sent an email out to my family and closest friends who wanted updates. In that I email I shared that I was worried about the surgery.  The type of surgery I would have was dependent upon the size of my fibroids and whether they could do a “Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy.” I didn’t want them to have to make an incision (no matter how small) and asked everyone on the email chain to share my intention that the surgery be done laparoscopically.

My cousin, who is a nurse in the practice responded: “Don’t worry Cousin! You are in the hands of a very skilled surgeon. If anyone can remove a load of crap from your vagina it is her!” I shared this with my doctor before surgery and we had a good laugh.

I’m excited to say that my doctor was, indeed, able to pull a load of crap from my vagina.  My uterus was 4x the average size and weighed 851 grams. The average uterus weighs 60 grams. Yeah, you can pick your jaw up off the floor.

I’m very happy to say I FEEL GREAT. The surgery went great, my recovery is going great. Every day I feel more like myself. Even the lower back pain I had experienced for months has disappeared.

I knew I’d feel much better physically after the surgery, but I had no idea about the emotional transformation I’d experience – the new view I’d acquire.

Here’s What I’ve Learned That I Wanted To Share With You:

I’ve always been a people pleaser. I love taking care of other people. But when I was the one that needed to be taken care of, it was hard for me to articulate what I needed and even harder to ask.

I did get better and better as the days went on. But, just yesterday I had lunch with a good friend. It took me 5 minutes to convince myself that it was okay to ask her to take me to the pet store to buy pet food and carry it upstairs for me since I’m not allowed to lift anything heavy.

Yes, I’m still struggling with asking for what I want. I simply realize this is a new muscle that I’m learning to exercise.

I’ve always been a perfectionist.  It has been a great motivator when I was on the campaign trail, or creating a new company or new project. It doesn’t work so well when other people just want to love and care for me in the way they want to show it.  I never saw how much of a straight-jacket this was until I completely lost it with a truly great friend that had stopped by to check on me.

After she left, I spent the day thinking about my behavior, what had motivated me and how that scenario had played out so many times in my life. Thankfully that truly great friend is also truly gracious. We talked. She forgave me. Then I forgave myself.

I’m Sure I’m Not Alone As A “People Pleaser” Or A “Perfectionist.” 

But I Wasn’t Born This Way And Neither Were You. 

We adopted these new behaviors to adapt to situations when we were kids. If one of your parents withheld love or you felt like you never fit in, then pleasing people is the perfect anecdote.  We become perfectionists to avoid the experience of failing. If you ever brought home a bad grade, struck out at baseball or were simply picked last for team, it would’ve made sense to your young mind to be perfect next time.

Perfectionism and people pleasing in and of themselves are not problems. It becomes problematic when we are unaware that we are fueled by these habits. When that happens, we become like hamsters on a wheel. Always trying to get somewhere and never going anywhere.

I’m Happy To Say I Got Off The Wheel.

I Realize There Is No Place I HAVE To Get To; No Way I HAVE To Be; And No Way Anyone Else In My Life HAS To Be.


I can just nestle in, right here in my little hamster cage, all warm and cozy in the shredded newspaper and let the people who love me take care of me, just the way they want to. Isn’t this little hamster cute? We’re adorable when we are being ourselves, fat cheeks and all.

I’d love to hear your feedback and comments. 

If you’d like a free coaching call to help you better understand the habits that have you on your own personal hamster wheel, reach out to me at

With Love and Gratitude

Brand Category: 

About The Author

Jen Coken's picture

Jen Coken is an author, life coach, and comedian who wants to live in a world where you’re free to be yourself and achieve your soul’s purpose—a vision that has driven her work as a Coach, Speaker, Author, Comedian for more than 20 years.

Drawing on three decades of experience as a non-profit leader and grassroots organizer, Jen helps CEOs and entrepreneurs overcome their self-made limitations and do their heart’s work.

But Jen’s impact doesn’t end there: She spent six years on the Denver stand-up comedy circuit and brings a sense of humor to every topic she addresses, including the experience of coping with her mother's diagnosis and death from ovarian cancer.

Jen’s book, "When I Die, Take My Panties: Turning Your Darkest Moments into Your Greatest Gifts" chronicles that experience and shares Jen’s core message that everything that comes our way is meant to teach us about ourselves.

When she’s not crafting bestselling books or speaking to audiences around the country, you can find Jen eating Nutella by the spoonful in the nearest grocery aisle.

Add new comment

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
1 + 9 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.