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After I divorced, I returned to my maiden name of Jurkovich.

If you’re familiar with the southeastern part of Europe, you might recognize that family name as coming from Yugoslavia. Or Jugoslavija.

In Jugoslavija, you might spell my name “Yurkovich” or “Jurkovic” or “Jurkovich.”

Which is why I go by Janie J.

I figured if I was going to have to reinvent my life, I was going to reinvent my name too.

My Married Life... and Unmarried Life

My former husband and I traveled extensively for his military career. Most notably, we spent 3 years in Germany and 2 years in Turkey. That’s where we adopted our son, Bradley, after 10 years of marriage and years of infertility treatments.

Right before my former spouse retired from the military, we intentionally came back to Fresno for his last assignment. I started to help my parents with a property management business specializing in commercial warehouses. Then my Dad and I started building them. I built five warehouses and got my general contractor’s license along the way.

I was managing $6.6 million in properties when my husband left. But it didn’t mean I had access to that kind of cash.

Due to great advice and encouragement from friends, I got my finances in order, paid off the debts accumulated during the late stages of the marriage and earned my real estate brokers license. (It wasn’t as simple as all this sounds - you can get the full story in “Single and Sixty” and it took a few years.)

When I decided to get in shape, I joined a boot camp. Then I started walking because I couldn’t even jog. Eventually I was able to jog - you don’t come out the first day and start running ten miles - and then after I competed in a few local 5k races, I got recruited into a masters track club. At age 65, I ranked in the top 10 in a national competition for two events. 

While I traveled a great deal with my former spouse for his work, I travel now for my own enjoyment. My first and scariest solo trip after the divorce was to San Francisco, which might sound a little weak sauce to some of you, but I had never driven to or in the city by myself.

Since then I’ve solo traveled to North Carolina, South Carolina, a dude ranch in Wyoming, Tennessee, Hawaii, and Arizona (where I bought a warehouse).

I’ve also been to Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Egypt, France and Italy with groups or on tours. I went to Croatia for a month in June 2019 (my first solo international trip).

Solo adventures have continued and include western USA (Arizona/Colorado/Nevada/California), and Maui, Hawaii. In 2022, she went on an overseas tour of religiously significant sites in Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Vienna with a group. More recently she has been cruising to Mexico and the Mediterranean! When Janie J isn’t busy traveling, she enjoys life with her dogs, chickens, and sheep on her small farm in Central California.

The Future

While it might sound like I have “arrived” somewhere, I know it’s an ongoing journey and there is still much for me to do.

I continue to write and share about this journey to continue to encourage other women to live THEIR best lives.

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  • “Janie has been an inspiration to me. Her no-nonsense, no-fluff approach to finding the most important ways to make the biggest impact on her own life has helped me grow in my life too.”
    Beth Bridges
    The Networking Motivator
  • “‘Live the Life You Have Imagined’ covered everything I needed to be reminded of as I continue life's journey in an easy, concise format that will allow me to go back to it over and over for direction and inspiration.”
    Pat Birkle
  • “Janie, You are my inspiration! I have enjoyed watching your life grow as you share your best life with others and I can hardly wait to read your next book.”
    Karen Bowser
  • “Janie's writing is engaging and entertaining from the start. She challenges you to reflect on daily choices and make/or remake future decisions.”
    Susan Zumwalt

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