Do you feel like you are surviving instead of thriving? It might be because you spend all your time doing: maintaining a full-time career, doing laundry, looking after your kids, and grocery shopping. On those rare occasions that you do have free time, you are still likely doing things, like scrolling on your phone and watching TV simultaneously. We know we are both personally guilty of this! Today’s hustle culture glorifies busyness. We glorify always being productive, always being on the go, but it can be important to take a step back for the sake of our mental health. In today’s episode, Kelly and Megan share five tips for how to be a human being rather than a human doing, from focusing on one task at a time and paying attention to what defines you as a person to making realistic to-do lists, taking non-negotiable daily breaks, and making time for the things you enjoy doing. This is an important episode for every woman living in the 21st Century, where you can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that you forget to look after the most important person in your life: you! Tune in for some relatable personal insights and valuable advice for rediscovering yourself, allowing yourself some joy, and living in the moment whenever possible.
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Key Points From This Episode:
Catch up with Kelly and Megan and find out what they have been up to recently.
How we personally relate to being human doings, with Kelly’s husband even calling her a hummingbird because she can’t be still.
Kelly shares her experience of living with her in-laws and the obligation she feels to clean.
Tip number one is to stop multitasking; focus on one task at a time.
Some of the multitasking fails we have encountered when trying to do too much at once.
Tip number two is to pay attention to what defines you, not just being a wife and mother.
Finding out what brings you joy and doing that, while also having a realistic timeframe.
Megan emphasizes that you don’t have to wait until your kids grow up to discover yourself.
How to ensure that your identity isn’t wrapped up in your social media presence.
Tip number three: finish the list and finish the day.
How Kelly separates her to-do lists into long-term projects and daily tasks.
Helpful tools and resources for to-do lists and scheduling, like Asana and Day Designer.
Find out why taking a non-negotiable 90-minute break every day is important to Kelly.
Especially if you are working from home, you need to assert your work-life boundaries!
Dedicating yourself to the idea of becoming a human being, rather than a human doing.
Why Kelly dedicates time to cooking a meal; how she has reclaimed it from being a chore.
Tip number four is to cool down; the benefits of being still and being present.
The importance of understanding that you don’t need to be on vacation to be still.
The fifth and final tip is to schedule fun; it helps to have something to look forward to!
How allowing yourself some joy can help you show up better in the areas you are needed.
How to be your own best friend; take the advice you would give your burnt-out bestie.
“Your to-do list is never done. You always feel like there’s something you’re supposed to be cleaning, doing, putting away, tidying up in those years when [your kids] are small and aren’t participating in that process. It’s a never-ending thing. You’re always playing catchup.” — Kelly Castillo [0:07:50]
“When you try and do too much at once, then things fall through the cracks easier, even when you feel like you’re fully prepared.” — Megan Block [0:12:32]
“We need to figure out what defines us as a human being. Being a mother definitely defines us, being a wife defines us, what we do for a living defines us, but there has to be something deeper there.” — Kelly Castillo [0:18:54]
“People wait until the nest is empty, and they hear the silence, and they see the empty room to force themselves to discover themselves. You don’t have to wait that long.” — Megan Block [0:25:03]
“We all need to find the key that unlocks our joy, and just stay in that place.” — Kelly Castillo [0:27:27]
“You don’t need to add all the things going on in your life [to your to-do list] because that will overwhelm more than it will help.” — Megan Block [0:33:40]
“You have to be dedicated to the idea of becoming a human being if you are currently not one.” — Megan Block [0:37:55]
“There is such a benefit to having time in your day that you’re not trying to fall asleep, that you’re being still, that you’re literally just being still, present in the moment.” — Kelly Castillo [0:44:57]
“You only have so much time and you really need to prioritize the things that make you happy. Make sure that you have that balance in your life, because it can’t just be about work, it can’t just be about caretaking. There has to be some slice of the pie that’s for you.” — Kelly Castillo [0:54:27]
“It’s going to feel weird and unnatural at first, but then you’re going to realize that you were not treating yourself very well for a really long time and you deserve better.” — Megan Block [0:55:35]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
[00:00:01] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to She’s a Full On Monet, a digital lifestyle magazine for women. Every week, our Editor-In-Chief, Kelly Castillo, along with Megan Block and special guests, participate in a deep-dive discussion about recent articles and topics we have covered. We invite you to become part of our community, where everyone’s welcome.
[00:00:27] KC: Okay, we’re back. I think this is Episode Nine. Is this Episode nine?
[00:00:30] MB: Yeah. That’s right.
[00:00:31] KC: Wow! Every week I have to ask you because I can’t believe it’s been nine episodes already.
[00:00:36] MB: For once, something in our life, we’re like ahead in the game, or on time or whatever, not like catching up.
[00:00:42] KC: No, that’s incredibly unusual for me actually. Right? One thing we’re killing it at.
[00:00:49] MB: One thing, just one.
[00:00:51] KC: Thank you, guys, for joining us. This is She’s a Full On Monet and I’m your host, Kelly. I have as always with me, Megan.
[00:00:57] MB: Hello.
[00:00:58] KC: How are you doing, Megan? What’s going on with you?
[00:01:01] MB: I’ve just been doing the usual mom routine. We went to a park. I had to go to two separate Target drive ups because they ran out of something I needed. Just normal mom stuff. It’s super lame, but also my life.
[00:01:15] KC: Yes.
[00:01:17] MB: I went to Orange County yesterday, which was really cool because I haven’t been — Orange County is my hometown. I haven’t been down back home in like 400 something days. I haven’t seen my dad in-person — well, I’ve seen him in between, but it was like very far away. It was just nice to go back and like see things that I recognize, and be home and be like — it was good for the soul even if it was just for a minute. But yeah, so that’s what I’ve been up to.
[00:01:43] KC: That’s nice.
[00:01:43] MB: What have you been doing?
[00:01:45] KC: We’ve been really crazy with meetings with builders, and engineers, and contractors because we have a bunch of construction projects going on right now. I mean, I had a meeting at 7:30 this morning and all day yesterday, so I am a little bit burned out on talking to contractors, and talking to designers and I don’t want to talk about construction anymore. I want to take a break. But we’re going up to San Francisco this weekend just to kind of hang out in the city, maybe do some shopping now that things are opening back up again.
[00:02:14] MB: That’s nice. That would be nice.
[00:02:16] KC: Yeah. Now that we’re both fully vaccinated, we feel a little more comfortable doing — going back to traveling. We used to go to places like every month. We haven’t been doing that. This will be our first little trip like that and I’m super excited.
[00:02:27] MB: Are you at all like anxious about it?
[00:02:31] KC: I’m not. No, I’m not. I feel like it’s such a huge relief to be vaccinated, because I was always so concerned for his health. But now that we’re vaccinated and I feel like — maybe not the majority of people are, but a good percentage of people are. I feel like it’s just a huge relief. I don’t feel like it’s as risky and we’re not flying commercial, so I don’t have to worry about like sitting in a plane with 300 people or something or going to the airport. I know my daughter and her fiancé got COVID in the airport during the holidays.
[00:02:59] MB: Really?
[00:03:00] KC: Yeah, during the holidays, which is crazy. Because he’s a fireman, an EMT, so he had been treating people with COVID, did not get it. Followed all of the protocol, PPE, all of that. Then they came home to see family for the holidays, even though we saw them from a distance and like they didn’t stay —
[00:03:17] MB: Even though you followed all the rules.
[00:03:18] KC: They didn’t stay in our home because we were so nervous about it, all of it. Then flying back home to Georgia, they got COVID in the airport.
[00:03:26] MB: That’s not right.
[00:03:26] KC: Yeah, thankfully it was a very mild case and they were totally fine. But it’s just — now, airports kind of freak me out. They’re germ zones.
[00:03:34] MB: I know. I’ve noticed — I’m fully vaccinated too, and I just noticed that like, we’re going to have to retrain the brain to not see things as like freaky. Even if we were all vaccinated, I would still see a crowd of a lot of people, my brain, my first reaction is to go, “Oh my gosh!” Like startled.
[00:03:50] KC: Yeah, it’s going to take a while to go back to normal.
[00:03:53] MB: It’s going to take a while to get back to –
[00:03:54] KC: To feel comfortable like hugging, and shaking hands, and like sitting in a concert, sitting in a movie theater.
[00:04:00] MB: Or just like being close to someone and not wanting to like be freaked out by that. I’m so used to like, “Hello? Personal space. Hello? Pandemic.”
[00:04:07] KC: Six feet, yeah. We used to go to concerts and be like pressed against other people and even like amusement parks, everything like that. So close together, standing so close in line, and now, you just can’t even imagine it.
[00:04:19] MB: I have to retell myself, “It’s okay. You’re going to be okay. You’re fine. It’s going to be fine. Anyway, yeah. Well, that would be nice. That would be a nice little getaway for a little bit.
[00:04:28] KC: Yeah, I’m excited. Okay. So today, we’re going to talk about a topic I thought was really interesting when I saw the article. One of our writers had suggested this article and when I read the headline, I thought, “Oh! I’ve got to read what she wrote because I’m not 100% sure I get the concept.” But once I got it, I think it’s fantastic. We’re talking today about how to be a human being and not a human doing. This is a tough one for me. I have a really hard time not being productive. Alex says I’m a hummingbird because I can’t be still. Even if I’m watching a movie or something, I’m also doing something on my phone or reading a book at the same time. I don’t know what’s wrong with my brain, but I’m always, go, go, go.
This is, I think, important for me personally, but I think it’s important probably for everybody in this culture that we’re living in right now. We really glorify being busy, we glorify hustle culture, we glorify always being productive. I think, for everyone’s mental health, we kind of need to take a step away from that.
[00:05:31] MB: I agree. I’m the same way. I love the hummingbird reference too, because like I’ve never heard that, but I’m totally that way. It’s like, everyone will be chilling and watching a movie and I’ll be like folding clothes. It’s like, why? You should just lay down and watch the movie, like enjoy yourself. But no, my brain is just — well, this is a moment where I can get things done in this space, it’s like my — you’re missing life and it’s really sad. It’s something that I’m, at the moment, currently working on. When I heard we want to talk about this topic, and we were going to be talking about it, I was like, “Yes.” Because it’s something that I have –
It’s a constant reminder to be in that moment, and enjoy life, and be a human being and not just constantly be doing one thing or the next thing. It’s about stopping sometimes and just being in the moment. It’s so hard to do, but also — when you do it, like when I see people do it, I’m jealous. I’m like, “How can you just lay there with all this stuff laying around to do? Like how?” My husband’s amazing at being a human being. He’s so great at it. Human doing, not so much. I have to actually like tell him to — it’s not like he’ll look around and go, “This place is messy, I should clean it.” He’ll totally be like, “I’m tired. I need to take a nap.” I don’t know how it happens.
[00:06:45] KC: Yeah. I know exactly. Even when we’re entertaining, if we’re having a party or a dinner party or something, I’m walking around, I’m picking up trash. I’m picking up dishes. I am straightening up. I’ve had guests actually be like, “Can you just sit? You’re actually making me nervous. I feel like I need to either get up and help you, or something. So, if you could just sit and so we could all just enjoy our time together.” It makes me realize, “Wow! Okay, yeah.”
[00:07:12] MB: I also want to add that you have hired staff to do the things you are doing. I’ve been there, things you do in parties. You are cleaning while you have other people who are there too and being paid to serve and clean.
[00:07:24] KC: I know.
[00:07:25] MB: I get it. Like you see a napkin and you want it to be in place and you’re hosting a nice party. It’s just ingrained in your DNA to do so. I do the same thing and it does make people really weird. They look like, “Should I be cleaning to? I don’t know what to do. She’s cleaning.”
[00:07:40] KC: Yeah. I mean, I’ll preface it by saying that between my husband and I, there are seven kids and three grandkids. I mean, I had four kids in a span of seven years and your to do list is never done. You always feel like there’s something you’re supposed to be cleaning, doing, putting away, tidying up in those years when they’re small and aren’t participating in that process. It’s a never-ending thing, you’re always playing catchup. I think that got ingrained in my head that I should be catching up when I have a moment, because as soon as the youngest one would go down for nap, I would run around the house and try to straighten up, knowing it’s just going to get trashed again that same afternoon.
[00:08:16] MB: Hundred percent. [inaudible 00:08:17]
[00:08:17] KC: Yeah. It’s in my head that, if there’s downtime, I need to be straightening up, but I’m getting so much better at that, I have to say. I’m getting much better at it. Some of these tips that we have today hopefully can help everybody get better at that, because I know, it can’t just be me and you. It’s got to be everybody.
[00:08:34] MB: Oh, it’s everyone. It’s everyone with a child. Because you’re right, the minute that we have the downtime, we see it as time to catch up and that honestly doesn’t ever stop. It’s sad because it’s just like once they’ve left the nest, you’re still seeing that downtime sometimes as time to catch up.
[00:08:51] KC: Yeah. I don’t have children living at home full-time with me anymore and I’m still doing it. I’m picking up dog toys. I’m just cleaning up after myself and my husband, and all the animals in this house. There are so many. I’m still doing it and I’m getting better, not because I’m training myself to get better, but because I’m simply running out of things that need to get done in any given moment. Hopefully the forced relaxation from running out of things to do will help me make that a new normal for me.
[00:09:25] MB: That’s good to hear. I’m currently in a unique situation where we live with my in-laws, and so it’s not my actual space. I have two kids that are young, but generally kind of old enough to do definitely more. But as they rightfully have the right to, they want their space a certain way, my in-laws do. I’m constantly walking around cleaning, because it’s constantly dirty. I feel like if I were to lay down and watch a show, or read a book, or do something while it’s dirty, that’s just being disrespectful to my in-laws when I should be cleaning. But, at the same time, I’m also a human being and I clean 90% of the time anyway, I do deserve to relax. It’s like, when do I find that time when I’m living in a space that’s not my own. I don’t get a right to look at the space and go, “Okay. It doesn’t have to be done right now.”
[00:10:16] KC: It’s not your space and it’s —
[00:10:17] MB: It’s not my space.
[00:10:18] KC: Right. That makes perfect sense.
[00:10:21] MB: I’ve been living this problem for the last couple of years and, luckily, we’ll be moving soon. I’m okay with having to be a little bit messy, but at the moment, it’s like — I don’t. It’s hard. It’s really, really hard, especially when you have young ones and you just want to chill, you don’t have a choice. I’ll be using these tips as well as best as I can apply them when they can be applied.
[00:10:41] KC: Yeah, I understand that. Okay. The first tip on the list is to stop multitasking. This one, I actually don’t have — I multitask to an extent, but not overly so because I have learned through the years of trying to balance having small kids at home and working, and working from home, I have learned that when I’m trying to do too many things at once is when I make mistakes. I make costly mistakes. Some of the things I’m in charge of for our home and our household are things that are very detail-oriented, dealing with the contractors, vendors, investments, banking, things that – contracts, so many contracts every day. So, I can’t afford to make those mistakes and I know for myself that when I’m doing a task, I need to sit down and I need to do that task from start to finish.
Because if I try to do other things at the same time, even listening to a podcast, listening to the radio sometimes can be too much of a distraction for me. I really need to kind of focus when I’m doing something that detail-oriented to make sure that I don’t make mistakes. That took me some time to learn, but I have learned that I have to do a task from — if I stop and say I’ll go back to it is when I forget things. I forget where I left off, I don’t get back to it, something like that. I have learned not to multitask. But when it comes to relaxing is when I have a problem with multitasking. I’m walking the dogs, I usually am listening to a podcast on my headphones, or a book on tape, or something like that. If I’m watching movie, I’m on my iPad or my phone. Relaxation multitasking is a problem for me. But task multitasking, not so much.
[00:12:19] MB: Yeah. It’s funny. I watch the show Parks and Recreation, a lot of people used to watch it. There’s a guy named Ron Swanson on it and he had a saying like, “Don’t half ass a few things, whole ass one thing.” It’s true, because when you try and do too much at once, then things fall through the cracks easier, even when you feel like you’re fully prepared. Sometimes like I’ll have a list and I’ll be like, “Oh! While I’m doing this. I can do this.” It’s like, “No, just focus on one thing, get the task done.” It is true. It’s like, when I’m walking their neighbor dog or something like that, when I’m walking my in-laws’ dog, I’ll put headphones in too, then I’ll be like, “Man, I wish I like had time to listen to the birds.” It’s like, I had the time, my brain just went, “Oh! You have this. You can do this and this at the same time.” You just have to like be able to just fully focus on one thing and be in that moment for that one thing. Because you’ll have the most success if you just focus on that one thing.
Multitasking is hard, especially — you’re right, downtime multitasking is also a thing. I’ll also be guilty of like, playing on my phone while the TV is going. It’s like, why do I need two sets of screen entertainment going at the same time? It’s like, because I’m so used to multitasking. My brain just automatically goes there. I feel like I’m not the only one who does that.
[00:13:39] KC: No, I think we all do. I’m used to a lot of information coming at me at once. If there’s less information coming at me, I start looking around for something else I should be or could be doing. But I had this happen just last week actually, I was in the kitchen and I was organizing – once a week, I organize all of Alex’s medications for the week. He takes a lot of prescript and a few supplements. I have this big case that I separate it by day, times of day. It’s detailed work, but I do it every week, so it’s kind of routine to me now. But he had sat down at the kitchen counter and proceeded to have a conversation with me while I was doing it. The conversation he was having with me was something that I needed to really focus on, because he was giving me instructions on how to respond to somebody we’re having an issue with.
What I didn’t realize until three days late is that I had missed one of his prescriptions, so he hadn’t taken it for three days. He came to me and he said, “I don’t know what’s going on with me. I’m having this symptom that I used to have,” and we looked and, yeah, I had missed one of his pills. Thankfully, it wasn’t something for his heart or something, but it was enough that he was having uncomfortable symptoms and I felt horrible. I felt absolutely horrible. But at the same time, I told myself, I said, “This was you, because you could have told him, ‘Hey, honey. Like I’m doing this right now. Give me five minutes and I’ll be with you.’” Because I know that those medications, some of them are life or death for him, so I can’t do anything else at the time that I’m doing that. But that’s a problem for me.
That was a multitasking fail for sure and thankfully, it wasn’t more serious than it was. But for three days, he had symptoms he was trying to figure out what was going on and it was a prescription I missed.
[00:15:20] MB: Ideally, we all want to be Wonder Woman or Superwoman and be able to do it all, like four things at once, because like heck, we only have so many hours in the day and we had this impossible to do lists of life. If we can knock off four at once, like let’s do that. But at the same time, no one’s coming out a winner when we try to do that. Just like you just proved.
There’s more mild parenting fails I do all the time. Like I’ll skip a snack in the morning when they used to go to school, skipped putting a snack in because I was trying to do four things at once in the morning, or her homework didn’t go in her folder. It’s like, okay, it’s because I didn’t really focus on the task at hand and getting it done or sometimes prepare ahead, I don’t know. But, it’s tricky.
[00:16:04] KC: It is.
[00:16:05] MB: It’s also very natural and human, but there are things that you can do to minimize these situations coming up and be more of a human being than a human doing.
[00:16:15] KC: Yeah. I think doing one task from start to finish is a big one. You have to learn what makes you feel that kind of anxiety of needing to do a million things. I have on my computer like I don’t know, 20 tabs open. But those are sites that I need to access every single day and it’s tedious for me to sign back in every single day so I just leave the tabs open. I group them, which I just learned how to do, like a month ago. It’s very cool.
[00:16:41] MB: That’s cool. I didn’t know you could do that.
[00:16:42] KC: Yeah. I have all my email accounts in one group, all the stuff for the site on one group, and other investment stuff in one group. I only open the group I’m working on and then I close it again so they’re not in my face, but for some people having multiple tabs open is very, very stressful and gives them anxiety. I think you just have to kind of learn what works for you when it comes to that kind of thing. Just whatever causes you the least anxiety and helps you to focus on the task at hand, that’s what you need to do. It’s different for everybody I’m sure.
[00:17:11] MB: Yeah.
[00:17:12] KC: Okay. The next item is to pay attention to what defines you, and this is very interesting to me because Alex and I were at a company retreat a few years ago now. We were sitting at a table with a lot of people from his company nationwide that we hadn’t met before. They asked everyone to go around the table, introduce themselves, and share what they’re most proud of. Every single man at the table said something related to his work, what his team goals were that year, or a big sale he just finished, something like that. Every single woman at the table said her children. I was just like, “Blah!” Not because I’m not proud of my children, my children are the greatest thing I’ve ever done with my life.
[00:17:55] MB: But what else? You know.
[00:17:57] KC: There’s got to be something.
[00:17:59] MB: There should have been those rules, saying like, “You cannot talk about work or children.” People would have been like —
[00:18:03] KC: What do I say? Yeah. I know, we all do this. We introduce ourselves and say what we do for a living. I know I do this or I did for 20+ years of my life. — I introduced myself, instead of even with my name, by saying. “I’m so and so’s mom.”
[00:18:19] MB: No. I don’t do that, but I do notice it when I get together with other moms or other parents, all I do is talk about kids stuff or talk about parenting, like it totally defines the conversation a lot. Although, yeah. But if I’m in a school setting, totally, like, “Oh! I’m Emma’s mom,” because it’s just easier.
[00:18:37] KC: Yeah, because I mean, they’re not probably —
[00:18:38] MB: The kids say their TikTok handle, we talk about being like so and so’s parent. That’s what it is.
[00:18:43] KC: Out of all of the parent friends that I have from all of the sports, and schools, and everything else, I could tell you all their kids name and I can’t tell you half of their actual first names. But I think we need to figure out what defines us as a human being. Being a mother definitely defines us, being a wife defines us. What we do for a living defines us, but there has to be something deeper there of who we were before all of those things, and something about ourselves that we’re proud of that isn’t related to anyone else if that makes sense.
[00:19:17] MB: Makes total sense. It’s hard to do. You have to purposely — I’m talking from a parent’s perspective for sure, or even like a workaholic’s perspective. You have to purposely have a conversation with yourself and admit that you don’t really know who you are outside of that. Then, have an actual separate conversation and go, “Well, who do I want to be? What do I want to be? What brings me genuine joy?” Then you go do that. Because, I personally have — when you have young kids especially, you had four kids in seven years, that’s crazy. If that doesn’t define you, I’m sorry. Like that does define you because it’s 90% of the time you’re awake, and the time you’re alive and doing things. It’s like all you do.
As much as you’d like to be able to be like, also a salsa dancer, you may not have the time for it. You know what I mean?
[00:20:08] KC: Yeah. I was barely keeping my head above water and the things that I had, if somebody ask me, “Hey! How’s your day going?” Everything that happened to me that day would have been related to the kids.
[00:20:17] MB: All kids related, and it sucks. Sometimes that’s just like — but there are, I’m sorry. There are times when they go to bed that you can explore the idea of learning an instrument, or painting, or figuring out what are you about. Be realistic also with your timeframe. Like obviously, it’s not going to be the same for everybody, but we all need something that is outside of what has been defining us and the environment that we’ve been put into. Who were you before that?
[00:20:48] KC: Right, and who I was didn’t change, it just got put on the back burner.
[00:20:52] MB: Or it might have evolved into somebody different.
[00:20:55] KC: That’s normal too,
[00:20:57] MB: Even before that and see who that is, because that person — who you were before you had kids and now they’re out of diapers, that was five years ago. Even without kids, you’re not going to be the same person you were five years ago. You need to like reintroduce yourself to yourself for a minute and figure out, “Well, who am I now and what brings me joy now?” Maybe it’s hiking, maybe it’s painting, maybe it’s trying something that I’ve always wanted to try, maybe it’s going out. Like, I don’t know what it is, but it can’t be your children and it cannot be your work as much as you want —
[00:21:28] KC: That’s one of the things that we talked about in past episode, was this normalization of having hobbies that aren’t monetized and not having a side hustle in order to be seen as valuable and productive person.
[00:21:42] MB: That’s still work. That’s still bringing you stress. That’s not bringing a smile to your face like it is when you accomplish something just for you and no one else needs to like — you don’t need to post about it or make money off of it. It’s just doing you for you. You don’t have to be good at it. You just don’t go — go find who are you.
You may not be able to answer that. The fact that you can’t answer that is a sign you need to spend some serious time there. That’s coming from somebody who really just went through that and found something that like — I found something that brings me joy and I really like it. I do it just for me, and I prioritize that, and it seriously is great. I’m in that moment, doing that thing, and it makes me feel more of a human being.
[00:22:27]: That’s so important and I think a lot of women go through this really difficult adjustment period when their kids grow up and move out of the house, because it does define the majority of your day when they’re home, even when they’re teenagers. They need to ride somewhere.
[00:22:41] MB: We don’t have a choice. We don’t have a choice at all even if you don’t want it to be defining your day, they are in your 24/7.
[00:22:47] KC: We do go through this adjustment of having to rediscover ourselves when our kids move out. I think it’s a really healthy thing. I know for some woman, it can really trigger a depression and I see how that can happen. But I like to see it as an opportunity, an opportunity to revisit who you were before and who you are now.
I know when my kids stopped being really small and like riding in the car with me all day to work, I would take them to work with me every day and they would be in the car. We’d be in the car for a long time. I always had the radio on Radio Disney. Then I changed jobs and I was commuting by myself in the car. I realized I didn’t even know what kind of music I liked anymore.
[00:23:27] MB: Or what station played what.
[00:23:29] KC: No. I honestly did not know, and I had to take some time and listen to different channels and figure out, what do I like? That was — I remember my — I had the radio stations on my car all set to what my husband liked, what my kids listen to.
[00:23:44] MB: It was your car.
[00:23:45] KC: My car.
[00:23:46] MB: Like tuned to everyone else’s aesthetic. That’s nice.
[00:23:49] KC: Yes.
[00:23:50] MB: That’s very sweet of you, mom.
[00:23:50] KC: Because if I was in the car by myself, I was catching up on phone calls, I was doing —
That, I remember it really stuck with me because I realized, oh my gosh, I don’t even know what I like to listen to and I figured it out. But it was a wakeup call for me. I think now that might kids are out of the house, I’ve had the opportunity do a lot of things that I didn’t have time to do before and figure out what I want to do. I know my husband went through that when he started semi-retirement. He’s still not completely retired, he’s away at work today, but he spends most of his days at home now and he really, he tried a bunch of different activities to figure out something to fill up his time, because he felt — the way he put it, he would say, “I just don’t feel relevant anymore.”
[00:24:34] MB: You feel like you have fulfilled your purpose. Like Woody after Andy went off to college, he’s like, “What do I do now?” It’s like, you got to fill your time. He’s a theory I have, is that if you don’t wait until they’re gone, you won’t have that panicked depression. If you start to discover what you’re about before they’ve left the nest, so to speak, then you don’t have to have that real big moment of like, — and you’re already caught up on some years of like extra happiness, PS. But I feel like people wait until the nest is empty and they hear the silence, and they see the empty room to force themselves to discover themselves. You don’t have to wait that long.
[00:25:12] KS: You don’t.
[00:25:13] MB: Do it like now.
[00:25:16] KC: I wish that when the kids started to become teenagers, and the oldest two had started to leave the house, that was really the time that I have the opportunity to kind of dig deeper into my friendships with other women, and to be part of some of the groups that I had seen and wanted to be a part of but hadn’t had the time. Or to start a new fitness regime or whatever I wanted to do. Instead of doing that, I kind of you held on tighter to the girls who were still at home.
I wish I hadn’t done that. Not because I didn’t love having that time with them, but because, I would have been a more well-rounded person when Gabby left and I wouldn’t have felt kind of so unanchored. I don’t think I had as hard of a time as some people, but it certainly wasn’t easy.
[00:25:59] MB: Yeah. Now, we live in a day and age where also your social media can sometimes define you. I am like a mom blogger, mom Instagram, and I see a lot of my friends and a lot of the people I socialize with, their entire world is wrapped up in their social media presence and their social media presence is wrapped up in their children. I just keep thinking, when your kids are too old to be photographed and they no longer want to do that, or they’re not so cute, like what is going to define you then and are you going to be okay?
I had a lot of the people that I socialize with are very theme park oriented. When the theme park shutdown. Oh my gosh! Like their whole existence, like they had major identity crisis. It’s like because you put your whole being into this fake world that isn’t real.
Now, we live not only like who I am in real life and who am in like the social media world? I just got tired of it, honestly, that I was just like — I don’t care about the numbers, I don’t care about the followers. I just want to do what makes me happy. If you want to follow me, like there’s this thing, like, “Well, who’s your audience?” Like, “I’m my audience now.” If you don’t think it’s an interesting thing, you can go follow someone else, but I’m not going to wrap my existence, define who I am, define what is based on my children, what social media is about. Like none of that. It’s like, what makes you smile? What makes you happy? That simple. You don’t need to over complicate it.
[00:27:26] KC: Exactly. I think we all need to find the key that unlocks our joy, and just stay in that place.
[00:27:32] MB: And don’t worry about what people think.
[00:27:34] KC: No. And I have a lot, I had a personal blog for a long time. I have a lot of friends in the blogging world. In that world, you end up with a lot of acquaintances that you feel friendly towards, but they’re not close friendships and everything is done online. You’re chasing algorithm, you’re chasing numbers. It becomes such a misrepresentation of your actual life. It can be very disorienting. I get exactly what you’re saying.
I think, whatever you guys decide to hold onto as what defines you, just make sure that it’s not something completely external of you. Make sure that it’s something that actually brings you joy and that is authentic to who you are and not whatever you’re trying to portray.
[00:28:18] MB: Exactly. Yeah, because that’s a weird thing too, now. Now we have to think about like there’s a lot of people whose social media literally defines them now, because it’s so part of them that it’s like, what would you do if it went away? How would you handle life? Do you have something else? Are you also a painter? Do you have something else that brings you just as much joy as those numbers, those projects, those collaborations do? Because that should not define you either, and it defines a lot of people and it’s kind of freaky.
[00:28:50] KC: It’s a validation that people are getting externally and we’ve become, kind of, to the point where we just all feed off of it and it’s not great.
[00:28:59] MB: No, it’s not good. That’s a whole another —
[00:29:02] KC: That’s a whole other — we could do a whole podcast.
[00:29:04] MB: That’s like a series.
[00:29:06] KC: Seriously.
[00:29:08] MB: Yeah, that is a whole another thing that defines people.
[00:29:11] KC: Okay. The next thing on the list is to finish the list and finish the day. I know you and I are both big on to-do lists. That is something that is very important for both of our everyday lives. My to-do list pretty much never gets finished. I feel like I — I rewrite it every morning, adding the things from the day before that I didn’t finish.
[00:29:31] MB: Yeah.
[00:29:32] KC: But I have gotten better at prioritizing the list, so that I make sure the things that are most important that get done that day do get done, so it doesn’t cause me too much stress. I can see how that could really stress someone out, not finishing the list. But for me, it’s something I’ve just — it’s part of my world. It’s never going to be done.
[00:29:51] MB: Is your work and personal bleed together into one list or do you have separate ones? Because like, I’ve tried both. I noticed that when they bleed together, the list is like, “I might as well be ready in like the next big novel.” I’m like, “What am I doing?” That just never going to happen for anyone, even if they knew how to stop time. But then if I separate it, because, some of it, you have to do. Then some of it is stuff that’s like you also have to do, but you won’t get fired for. It’s like, I don’t know whether it’s better to separate them from work and personal or just to throw it all together. But yeah, sure, write the list and get it done. Good luck. [Inaudible 00:30:30] it just seems so impossible.
[00:30:33] KC: Wishful thinking, right? I have a long-term to do list, which are projects that I would like to do or I’m in the process of doing. That’s separate. If I looked at that every day, I would hyperventilate.
[00:30:45] MB: It would make you hurt. Like you don’t just keep moving that over every day.
[00:30:49] KC: No, it would hurt my heart. Then I have my daily to-do list, which is a work/personal merge and that’s because my work and my personal life are merged. It is impossible to separate the two. I also have a lot of stuff on there that are for the kids or for my husband, because I handle everything for everybody. We don’t want to get into that, but that’s how my life is.
I have a to-do list that is all-encompassing. Then, what I do every morning is I transfer yesterday’s tasks onto the new sheet and I add to it what is on the schedule for that day. I don’t add in things that get done every day. I don’t try to do that to myself. I know what needs be done. I know the dishwasher needs to be emptied. I know that’s there’s always laundry. I mean, just the daily stuff, I don’t bother with. It’s things that I need to try to accomplish that day, most of which are time sensitive.
Then I do have help so I’m not by myself, thank the Lord. Then I go down the list and I put an initial next to each thing of who should be responsible for that task for the day, because I can’t do everything myself. It’s actually not physically possible.
[00:31:53] MB: I know. I’m like, “Dude! I need help. I cannot. It is impossible.” But there are things that are more like high priority than others, and you just — I write my — well, I’ve tried all kinds of lists. I love that the Day Designer style, where you have to write in, sometimes like what’s for dinner and you get to see a gratitude. Like that’s helpful, because it’s also in my head of like, “Okay.” But then it’s just like, it gets too much. Sometimes I’ll see like my grocery list is also in my to-do list, it’s also — because dinner will spark, “Oh! I have to go to the store. Well, where do I write that down.” Are you one to type it out or write it out?
[00:32:31] KC: I write it out, but it’s very neatly written. If it’s not neatly written, I will literally just start it over again. If I start scribbling like side notes, like I’ll be on the phone and I’ll right side notes on it, someone’s phone number, and appointment. Then I look at it and then it’s messy, and that stresses me out, so I rewrite it. It takes a second, but I like having a really clean to-do list.
[00:32:52] MB: Yeah, me too.
[00:32:52] KC: Not to mention, since I’m not the only one working off of it. If I have like weird phone numbers in the margins and notes to myself, then my assistant will be like, “Is this something I’m supposed to know that it is or how to handle this?” What does “blue 1:30 on Tuesday” mean? I don’t know what to do with that. I do definitely get the to-do list pretty much done every day, unless we decide things either — we’ve try to do them and they’re not going to happen that day for whatever reason, or we decide to de-prioritize them and move them to the next day.
I also use — I know I’ve mentioned this before. I use Asana for my personal calendar. Like appointments that are on Asana, if I have actual appointments for the day, like today’s appointments start at 7:30, and the podcast recording, those are not on my to-do list because they’re on Asana.
[00:33:40] MB: You don’t need to add all the things going on in your life, because that will overwhelm more than it will help.
[00:33:45] KC: I don’t clutter it.
[00:33:46] MB: Just focus on the —
[00:33:48] KC: These are the tasks for today that need to be handled. Then I look at them and say, “Which of these tasks must be handled by me and which of these tasks can be handled by others?” Then I go through it and I delegate. That also gives me a little breathing room, because otherwise, I probably would hyperventilate. But I handle anything that is really supersensitive, or needs like a phone call where they won’t talk to anyone but me, something like that, anything financial or investment related. But if it’s an errand, if it’s something – a bill that can be paid online, anything — I try to delegate all of that stuff, so my to-do list doesn’t get super crazy overwhelming to me. But yeah, I do make sure –
For me, this is what has made my life manage manageable because other people externally see — again, I’m not glorifying being busy, I really am not. Other people see my life and my daily schedule on what’s going on that day and they go, “Holy shit! Are you okay? How are you doing this?” I hear people tell me all the time, “I don’t know how you do it.” I’m like, “I don’t know that there’s a choice.” But I do – what saves me, is that I do have a pretty well set time where I stop working for the day. That’s usually around 3:30 or 4:00. I usually stop and I don’t start again until 5:00, and that’s when I start dinner. I do take that hour and a half, I could take a hot bath, I could go outside, and lay in the sun and read a book. I can scroll mindlessly —
[00:35:24] MB: That’s like non-negotiable.
[00:35:25] KC: Yeah, scroll mindlessly on social media. Some days, all I can manage to do is watch Tiktok for half an hour. But I do clock out in my brain of my duties for the day. Even if Alex comes and says, “Hey! Can you order this for me? Hey! Did you call this –?” I will make a note of it to be added to the next day’s to-do list, but it’s not negotiable to me. I need to decompress. Then in the evening, I’ll make dinner. Sometimes we discuss things over dinner that I need to go handle that are urgent. But other than that, we have family time after dinner if the kids are over for dinner. Or right now, Gabby is home from school for the summer. We watch a movie together, we play game, we go for a walk. Whatever we’re doing is our family time. If it’s just Alex and I, then it’s our couple time.
I might finish up a couple other things before bed, but that’s it. Like I really, for the majority, kind of clock out in my brain around 3:30. That’s also when my assistant leaves for the day. When she arrives and when she leaves are like — my brain shifts into go, go, go work mode. Then she says, “Okay! Are we done for the day? I say, “Yep. We’re done for the — and we are done for the day.” That is important to me.
[00:36:36] MB: Boundaries. Boundaries are very important, especially more people now than ever working from home and they do not know boundaries sometimes. So you got to like do that and allow yourself the time to figure out what you wanted to do. Because if you don’t allow yourself the time to be a human being, then it’s never going to happen. You have to actually carve it out and be like — it’s a non-negotiable thing. Like when I started working out more, I knew that it was going to take a certain amount of time and a certain amount of energy. It’s like, after it became a habit, because I had to train myself to say, “It’s okay to do this.” Then I had to train the people around me to know that this is now a priority for me and they had to understand this was also happening. Then it became a habit, and now it’s like a non-negotiable.
That’s like, the amount of time that I take is a good chunk amount of my time to where I feel like that’s a good, legit amount of time where I could have taken that time and driven to a Starbucks and scrolled on my phone. It doesn’t matter. That’s my time that I’ve carved and they all now know. That’s like the other thing, is you have to let also your environment know. I’m going to start being a human being now. I’m going to learn how to play the ukulele, and from this time to this time, you’re going to hear it, and don’t ask me to do anything, because you have to be dedicated to the idea of becoming a human being if you are currently not one.
[00:38:00] KC: I agree. When it comes to exercise and working out, it’s one of those things and I’m bad at this. I’ll tell you right now. I used to be on a schedule. I’d go to kickboxing three time a week. But since COVID, I’ve totally fallen off of it. When our kids are in a sport or doing an activity like if it’s dance class, soccer, basketball, whatever it is, we take them — that time is designated for their exercise activity and that is what you are doing. You don’t say, “You know what? I don’t feel like it today.” No.
[00:38:26] MB: No, you don’t.
[00:38:29] KC: If they’re like, “Ugh! I don’t really want to go today.” We’d give them a discussion about how they made a commitment and their team is counting on them. Why don’t we do that for ourselves? Why don’t we show up for ourselves in the same way?
[00:38:39] MB: That’s a very good point. That’s a very good point. Yeah, I agree.
[00:38:43] KC: Yeah, it’s rough.
[00:38:43] MB: Well, you can’t use the excuse. Well, you throw money at a gym membership and you never go to it or you throw money at a trainer and you always cancel because so and so. It’s the same thing, you just got to look at it that way.
It’s important to also let your environment know if they’re used to you just being a straight human doing, that you’re going to try this human being thing out again. It’s been like a long time since you’ve done it and it’s going to make everybody else happier when you’re a human being. Because you can’t tell me that when you clock out at 3:30 versus clocking out at like 8:30 at night that you are now a better human for —you just show up for everybody including yourself, but everyone will benefit if you take that time to become a human being again.
[00:39:28] KC: Yeah. One thing I’ve noticed is that like, when the kids were growing up and I would get home from work like 5:30 and I would rush to get dinner on the table in half an hour, and feed them. I was just, literally — what do I have that’s fast? What can I get them. They’re hungry, I just got home. Or I’d pick up something on the way home. I had always loved cooking is one of the things that was my favorite thing to do when we were on vacation, is to cook these elaborate meals or for holidays and things like that. Then it became a chore, it became — oh my God, I got to feed these people again, what can I do? I’m exhausted. As they got older into like teenage years and I had more time, that was one thing that I really wanted to go back to loving again is cooking. I wanted to go beyond mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. I wanted to like cook food again.
I did take like home chef classes at a culinary school and one of the things, besides learning a lot about cooking, I felt like I was already an okay cook. I learned a lot about like the science in cooking. But more importantly, I learned that when you are cooking in a professional kitchen like that, cooking is the only thing you’re doing. You’re not also on the phone, you’re not also on the computer, you’re just cooking. If you’re a chef, you’re just being a chef that time that you’re there. Clocking out in my brain at 3:30 or four o’clock allows me to have some time to kind of switch modes. Then around five o’clock, I usually turn on music in the kitchen. I like to cook to music, and I get all my stuff out and I have everything preprepared just like you would in a chef’s kitchen so I’m not stressing out, I’m not rushing. I just cook a meal.
Whatever I planned on cooking that day, it’s not rushed. I take my time. I’m enjoying the process, again, where I hadn’t for years. We’re eating way better, healthier, and eating at home is always healthier, but I’m also really plant forward in the way that I cook. But I’m just taking the time to actually be present in that process and it’s something that I enjoy doing and I’ve kind of reclaimed for myself. That went from being a chore to being something I actually enjoy.
[00:41:38] MB: Yeah, that’s really cool. That’s like something very important to remember that you can also rediscover. Like we talked about, rediscover things that you always loved or wanted to try or loved at one point, but then kids or stuff got in the way and you want to — because yeah, you’re right. Cooking for people every day and they all are like whining about what they want, like it really can like suck the joy out of cooking.
[00:42:01] KC: If you’ve ever spent 30 to 40 minutes making a meal just to have nobody eat it or everybody complain about it.
[00:42:09] MB: — mad and yeah, it’s the worst.
[00:42:13] KC: You’re like, “Why even bother? I didn’t even want to make this. I’m not even hungry.”
[00:42:17] MB: Yeah, it happens all the time, right? I can totally — I’m now hearing this, I’m like, “Oh, yeah! I totally want to rediscover all of —” I didn’t really love — I’m more of a baker than a cooker, but I also — I’m only a baker because that’s just like something I’m slightly better at. I think cooking is like you said, there is a science to cooking and I think that, once kids are gone, like that could totally be something I would embrace and want to take on. Because then you have the time to really like – I can have music on. Somebody will hit someone and I need to hear that in the next room. Like I can’t enjoy that, like you can. That’s totally inspiring. That’s cool.
[00:42:56] KC: Well, I’ve been used to cooking for a big family. So relearning how to cook just for Alex and I and figuring out what we enjoy eating and what I enjoy cooking and going to the Farmers Market and getting ingredients. It’s a time intensive process —
[00:43:12] MB: Very time consuming.
[00:43:13] KC: But I’ve made that time because it’s important for our health, it’s important for us as a couple to actually sit down at the table and have a meal together most evenings. Before COVID, we were eating out a lot, way more than we should have been. During COVID, I also had more time to do that and it’s something that I found that I really enjoy. I couldn’t do that if I didn’t clock out and give myself time to switch modes.
[00:43:37] MB: To put on your chef’s hat, because that’s all you’re doing. They’re not doing all the other things you were also doing, so you cannot expect to do that.
[00:43:44] KC: Yeah, the other — what would have happened if I don’t have that time in my head to clock out is that, I would look at the clock and realize, “Oh my God! It’s already 5:30,” and I would run down the stairs and I would look at what’s frozen that I can just heat up and that’s not good.
[00:43:59] MB: You’ve already taken the joy out of the cooking and so the point has already been squashed.
[00:44:04] KC: Yes, exactly. Yeah. Okay. The next item on the list is to cool down. The analogy that she’s using here is, at the end of — if you take yoga classes, at the end of yoga practice, usually do, I think it’s called the shavasana or the corpse pose, where you just lay basically in silence and you just take that time. It’s like two to five minutes most of the time. I have to admit that when I’m doing a yoga video, I love doing yoga videos on Amazon Prime. They’re free and there’s some really good ones on there, and I have a big TV in my gym. I will turn on a yoga video and roll out my mat and do some stretches. But I will skip this part. As soon as she says we’re doing that, I turn it off, because I’m like, I don’t benefit from it. And that’s not true, you totally benefit from it. I think, okay, I’m not burning calories, I’m not stretching, I’m done.
But there is such a benefit to having time in your day that you’re not trying to fall asleep, that you’re being still, that you’re literally just being still, present in the moment. You could be laying outside on the grass, you can be laying on your yoga mat, you could be sitting — I love to sit outside in the sun. Just taking a few minutes where you’re just like slowing down your body and being still. I don’t think very many people do that every day or on a regular basis, unless they’re actually trying to fall asleep.
[00:45:28] MB: No. I accidentally do it when I’m at the park and Kenzie just wants to lay up and look at the clouds and look for shapes. I noticed that like, I can hear the birds, and I can feel the sun on my face. It’s like, I haven’t felt those senses in been moment and then present and knowing that I’m feeling those senses since I was a little kid when [inaudible 00:45:55] and do nothing. As adults, we just —
[00:46:00] KC: Fill every moment. We must fill every moment.
[00:46:01] MB: Every millisecond and, heaven forbid, if you’re laying on the grass and feeling the sun hit your face and listening to the birds for more than two minutes, you naturally just start to feel —
[00:46:12] KC: Guilty, yeah.
[00:46:13] MB: And it’s just, it’s gone. Like the joy, like believing in Santa, it’s gone forever. Being able to just be still. Because I was aware that I was noticing those things and then I was aware that I hadn’t been aware that I had noticed those things in so long, that I made a point in that moment that I was like, “I’m just going to do this more.” Because I just want to be aware that I’m alive. Even if it’s just for a minute, I just want to be like connected with the fact that I’m alive and that’s my purpose for that moment. Not to go do, or go see, or go think, or go hear, but just to like, “This is all that I need to do” and that’s enough.
[00:46:56] KC: Yeah, kids naturally do this and we somehow lose it as we get older. But if you think about the vacations in your life that you’ve taken, the times when you felt most refreshed, recharged, relaxed are usually vacations where you’re either laying on the beach, laying on a pool chair, just being still and enjoying —
[00:47:16] MB: Enjoying birds.
[00:47:18] KC: The birds, the oceans.
[00:47:18] MB: All of that.
[00:47:19] KC: Feeling the sun or —
[00:47:21] MB: That’s what life all about. It’s like, none of these other things.
[00:47:26] KR: Or you’re camping and you’re laying in a hammock, and you’re listening to the mountain sounds. The times that we think of as vacation are times where we’re allowing ourselves to be still, but there’s not rule that it has to happen. Only, we can go and spend two minutes, five minutes a day being still in our own environment. You don’t have to go away to do that. That is literally free everywhere.
[00:47:46] MB: It is free and it is okay, and it’s a sin that we don’t — that we rip that from ourselves, like naturally. From the first moment that we have the first bill that comes into our life, like, “Oh! I’m a grown up now, I can’t. There’s no time to be alive anymore.” I just, go, go, go, go all the time. Even when we’re sitting — even when my kids are doing sidewalk chalk, like I’m not just in that moment, I’m also like, “What do I need to” — like I’m thinking about stuff that I need to do when we’re done with that moment. I’m not allowing myself to be in that moment ever. I totally love this one because it’s so important because we just — we disconnect from the world and we never return to it, and we need to return to it, even if it’s just for a minute every day to remind ourselves that we’re alive and we’re a person.
[00:48:39] KC: I like to take my dogs sometimes to walk around this lake that’s near my house and it’s a very popular place for people to walk their dogs, ride their bikes. Every time I go, I notice that there are always older people, senior citizens who are sitting on the benches that face the lake. They’re literally just — they’re not on their phones, they’re not scrolling, they have no headphones on. They’re just sitting and looking at the lake. Every time, as I’m rushing by with my crazy dogs, I’m thinking how nice that looks. But there’s nothing stopping me from doing that. I can totally do that.
[00:49:13] MB: And we’re all on the other side going, “Man, I wish I could do that” when we’re looking at our kids doing it. It’s always the people that just come into the world or the people that are on their way out of the world, so to speak, that are really living. Because we don’t know what we’re doing in the middle, we’re just like chaotic messes.
[00:49:28] KC: Fast forward.
[00:49:29] MB: They’re just watching us going like, “Why are they doing this? They’re missing the ducks. The ducks are awesome.” It’s so true and they get it. We somehow lost the message in between and then we get to revisit the message because everyone, the chaos leaves the coup in our lives and we’re left with just ourselves, and we get to realize that like, “Oh! None of that was actually worth anything.” Really, this is what life is. You have to allow yourself to be that guy on the bench that’s looking at the lake, and the ducks.
[00:50:04] KC: That guy’s on to something then.
[00:50:06] MB: Is on to something. That doesn’t mean just like sit there and be like, “I’m here.” You have to like turn your brain off too. You have to —
[00:50:16] KC: Yeah, listen to the sound of the wind, and the trees. Listen to the birds, watch the ducks doing their little thing. There are some older guys that go to the lake and they bring this like model boats, and they race them around the lake. I think that’s so fun to sit and watch. I wish the dogs would let me, but they’re so excited about all the ducks and the geese, that they pull me around that lake at full speed.
[00:50:35] MB: My kids love cloud shapes. Cloud shapes are where it’s at. You have to really sit there and like —
[00:50:41] KC: You have to focus on the clouds.
[00:50:43] MB: Focus on the clouds, and then you’re like, you’ve been there for a minute and you realize, “Oh! This is better than anything that was on my list anyway. What do I need to go do that for.”
[00:50:50] KC: Yeah, because you always feel better when you do stuff like that. The last thing on the list is to schedule fun. I know that sounds counterintuitive because fun is supposed to be spontaneous, but you don’t have to schedule necessarily a specific activity every day, because forced fun is rarely actually fun. But scheduling yourself downtime, scheduling yourself moments of levity in the day. If you have a particularly challenging day ahead of you, and you look at your to-do list and there’s some really things you’re dreading doing on there, it helps if you have something to look forward to.
Even if you tell yourself, “Okay. I’m going to be done for the day at this time and I’m going to listen to this book on tape that I’m really enjoying,” or “I’m going to watch this show that I love. I’m going to watch a couple episodes of this show that I absolutely find hilarious, then it’s going to shake the day off.” Or it could be anything, you go for a walk, you could color an adult coloring book. I don’t care what do you do, whatever you find that’s fun for you and it’s like a reward.
[00:51:56] MB: Try to make sure it’s in there.
[00:51:57] KC: Yeah. You have to make sure that there’s time for that, because if you don’t schedule it, it’s a thing that will get pushed back every time. The same with self-care always gets pushed back. But if it’s something that isn’t a to-do list item for you and it’s something that you just really enjoy, it’s sad that we have to kind of trick ourselves into doing the things that we enjoy. But if you get through your day, then you absolutely deserve to reward yourself. You absolutely deserve to do the thing that makes you happy. I don’t think we should feel guilty about that and I don’t think it’s something that we should postpone or say I don’t have time for. We should always have time for ourselves. I don’t see the benefit in thinking that we have, we’ll do it later because —
[00:52:38] MB: It will also help you show up all the things you have to do much better, because you show feeling a bit more refreshed, a bit less like there’s an elephant on your shoulders. It weighs you down having to do all these obligatory things day in and day out all the time and not even thinking about yourself. Or, say you work all the time and you don’t even make time to go spend any of that money on yourself. You haven’t bought yourself anything nice in forever, but yet, you’re the one showing up to work all the time.
You’ve got to allow yourself some joy every now and then. Also allow you to show up for the things that you find super important at the moment better, because you lost some steam a little bit, or you went and did something or bought something, whatever it is that’s just going to like bring you — spark a little joy.
[00:53:23] KC: I always tell my husband that, because he started working in his early 20s when they came to this country from Iran. It was a pretty difficult situation for his family. He worked six days a week, 10, 12 hours a day, until just a few years ago. He didn’t ever have a hobby. He missed all of the things with his kids growing up, he missed all the holidays, he missed all of it. He never allowed himself to do anything for himself that was fun.
Even all of the trips that he would take were basically work trips, but I always tell him that he was so busy making a living that he didn’t make a life. He’s trying to make up for that now, but it’s hard to do that when you get older and you can do a lot of the things that you wish you had done when you had time to do them. I’m trying to — he is 20 plus years older than me, so I’m trying to learn from the example that he — the regrets that he has, so that I don’t make the same mistakes, because you only have so much time and you really need to prioritize the things that make you happy. Make sure that you have that balance in your life, because it can’t just be about work, it can’t just be about caretaking. There has to be some slice of the pie that’s for you.
[00:54:42] MB: Yeah, totally. It’s going to feel weird at first and it’s going to feel like abnormal and not right, and you’re going to feel selfish and guilty. But then you’re going to realize, it’s going to click one day that you’re like, “Why on earth did I ever feel selfish or guilty about this and why did I wait so long to start this?” Because I have literally let everybody else run all parts of my life and now I am just like —
When I started to feel like the robot from the Jetsons, when like my whole purpose was just to serve other all the time and I had no other purpose but to serve literally others, that I was like, “No. No more.” I’ve got to do something that’s just for me so I don’t feel like my whole purpose on this planet is just to do things for everyone else. It rips you of your happiness and you got to take that back. It’s going to feel weird and unnatural at first, but then you’re going to realize that you were not treating yourself very well for a really long time and you deserve better.
[00:55:43] KC: Yeah. We should all be our best friends, our own best friends. If we would give – whatever advice that we would give to our very best friends that’s feeling run down, that’s feeling overwhelmed, that’s feeling over-scheduled, we need to take that advice for ourselves. We’re usually much kinder to others than we are to ourselves, and it should be the other way around or at least it should be equal. At the end of the day, you are the only person that you live with for your whole life. That’s it. You are the person who you’re left with.
It’s very important that we take care of our relationship with our own selves and we put as much value on it as we do with our relationships with anyone else in our lives because we’re in it for the long haul. We can’t escape ourselves. It’s you.
[00:56:29] MB: [inaudible 00:56:29] if you don’t, if you think that you can just like do it for a while, you’ll burnout.
[00:56:35] KC: You’ll burnout, you’ll build resentment, you’ll end up having a lot of regrets. I can’t stress this enough. It’s very important that we all practice being human beings.
[00:56:48] MB: [Inaudible 00:56:48]
[00:56:49] KC: It’s a weird thing to say, but yeah.
[00:56:53] MB: Very true. Well, good topic.
[00:56:56] KC: I think so. Hopefully we helped some people. I know this is going to be a good reminder for me. I still have a ton of stuff to do today, but I’m definitely going to try to schedule something fun. It’s been a heavy last couple days for me with some pretty intense meetings and appointments. I am hoping that I’ll be able to find something to reward myself for sticking through it today, do something fun, so I’m really looking forward to it.
Actually, I did yesterday, I can say that. Gabby and I went and got massages last night.
[00:57:24] MB: Oh good! But the stress is now back on.
[00:57:28] KC: We haven’t been to like our local massage place since before COVID, so this was that first time that we were back.
[00:57:35] MB: Some stuff to work out there.
[00:57:37] KC: But you know what? The only reason I went was because Gabby had a migraine and I thought it would help her. I didn’t do it for my own self. But once I was there, I was like, “Why do I not do this?”
[00:57:46] MB: Hello?
[00:57:46] KC: I could do this whenever I want, why don’t I do it.
[00:57:48] MB: 2020. Get those knots out of you.
[00:57:52] KC: Yeah, but why do I have to wait until she —
[00:57:55] MB: Until someone else has like a problem for you to go, yeah. Retrain the brain.
[00:58:00] KC: Exactly. I’m working on it. I’m a work in progress. I’m being reformed, workaholic reformed. That’s what we’re trying to do. Well, it’s was nice talking to you as always. Thank you all for joining us. We really appreciate your support always. We love that you guys are enjoying the podcast and coming back from week to week. Please, if you are enjoying this podcast, tell a friend. We appreciate any support we got from all of our readers and listeners, and you can join the Facebook discussion group if you guys want to talk about this on your own.
We will have an article on this topic coming out, so you definitely don’t want to miss. It will be on the homepage and you guys can read the writer’s take on this subject as well. All right. Well, thank you very much and we’ll see you next.
[00:58:48] MB: Bye.
[00:58:48] KC: Bye.
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