What does it mean to reach milestones personally and professionally? The show has been on for 200 episodes now, but to Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen, it seems like it was only yesterday when they capped the 100th. With Wellevatr’s third anniversary and Whitney’s birthday on the horizon, there is much to unpack when it comes to milestones. Is there are deeper significance to these markers aside from just being arbitrary measurements? More importantly, is there a real benefit in ascribing value to milestones or does it just mire us deeper into contextualization, comparison and ultimately status anxiety? Join Whitney and Jason as they share their thoughts on this and a half dozen or so of their famous tangents that you should be familiar with by now after listening to the last 199 conversations.
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Milestones: Is There More To Them Than Just Being Arbitrary Markers?
In the short but exciting history of this show, we have had a few milestones that I feel like I’ve been excited about and proud of. This episode is a fascinating thing. I was having a tough time getting out of bed because I was surrounded by animals. My girlfriend let all of the animals in before I got up. I was greeted by a paw to the eyelid and a wet nose to the cheek. As I was trying to wake up slowly, although the animals wouldn’t allow me to do so, I was reflecting in that in-between state of wakefulness and sleep on, “It’s our 200th episode and it’s such a bizarre thing.”
On the one hand, it feels like we arrived at 200 episodes very quickly in terms of the perception of time. On the other hand, it also feels like we have been doing this show a lot longer than we have been. It’s a strange way to feel about it because it’s like, “Two hundred episodes is arbitrary measurement.” Everything is an arbitrary measurement. It’s the meaning we assign to things. We always talk about this, how events, accomplishments, and things in our lives are inherently neutral, but if we assign meaning and value to them, then they’re meaningful and valuable to us. I feel like we’ve been doing this a lot longer than we have. It’s interesting.
I was reflecting on how we felt on our 100th episode and it did not feel that long ago, which is weird to be doing the number 200 with you. It feels like 100 was the other day. I’m reflecting a little bit as we’re doing this episode on where we want to take this in terms of our topical matter and the guests we have coming up. One little preview for you, reader, is we do these episodes in advance. If you’ve been with us a long time, you know that we have a little bit of a lead time. We’re not doing and releasing these episodes on the exact same day. Whitney and I have a whole litany of fascinating guests that we’ve booked through the summer. When we have guests that reach out to us and say, “Can we get on next week and our episode goes live fast?”
We’re like, “Sure. If you want to throw in another French Bulldog puppy or a year’s supply of chocolate, we’re available to be bribed.” Readers, if you want to be a guest on our show, we will accept bribes so long as there are things that we enjoy. I wanted to kick this off, Whitney, by reflecting on how far we’ve come in such a short period of time and how quick it has felt in the same time, too, of like, “Here we are at 200.” I feel like there’s a lot of interesting milestones coming up for us. We have this. We also are celebrating the three-year anniversary of our brand, Wellevatr, that we officially launched in the spring of 2018.
We’re going to be celebrating our three-year anniversary of Wellevatr in addition to these 200 episodes. You also have a birthday coming up. I feel like there’s a lot to celebrate coming up, which is cool. Given everything we’ve been through, I’m reminded that it’s important to celebrate things, and oftentimes, I will put my head down and not celebrate certain accomplishments or milestones, but it’s important for us to do that. For me reclaiming my joy in my life, it’s been difficult with my depression to feel a lot of joy. These may be arbitrary milestones, but I feel like they are worth celebrating. Even that little bit of joy in the day of like, “Look what we did.” It’s important to take note of that. I’m saying that for my own mental health. I hope you feel the same way, Whit. I’m reflecting on what we’ve done and how far we’ve come.
It’s interesting because it reminds me of a lot of elements of life when you’re anticipating something and what it feels to look forward to something versus what happens when it finally happens and what the aftermath is. I remember thinking, “200 episodes.” As I reflect on it, I remember putting it into our spreadsheet. We have a spreadsheet on a program called Airtable. We used to use Google Sheets, but I switched over to Airtable because it’s got some features that make it a little bit easier for something like this. I highly recommend that. Also, I considered using Notion. For any of you that are podcasters and are curious about the behind-the-scenes of our brand and how we do this show, a huge thing that we’ve learned is how to stay organized.
We mainly use Google Documents and Airtable, plus Calendly and Google Forms which is also part of Google Drive, to organize everything. We have the spreadsheet in Airtable that has a list of all of the upcoming shows, previous shows, the status, what dates the episodes are coming out and notes on them. We use that to plan the episodes and submit the episodes to our editing team. It’s all the coordination of it. I remember plugging in the 200th episode and thinking, “That’s so far away.” I put that on our spreadsheet a few months ago and now it’s here. It’s fascinating because that reminds me of anything that we look forward to that is in the future. For example, I have a trip coming up, and it’s going to be here before I know it.
I also have a tentative trip of driving cross-country again in 2021. I was talking to somebody about it who said, “That’s far away.” It’s at the beginning of March 2021 that we’re doing this episode and the trip that I’m planning would be at the end of August or early September 2021, but I know, as many of us do, that it will be here before I know it. I’ll be looking back and thinking, “It’s here.” Shortly after, it’ll be over with and I’ll be looking back and saying, “I remember when I was planning that trip.” It’s interesting for me psychologically as human beings how that works in our brains. Sometimes the anticipation, it feels like things are taking so long to happen, but they don’t take that long.
It also reminds me of things that I’ve purchased. I remember my headphones. I was excited to get Apple AirPods Max. I had been thinking about getting them for a while. I finally decided to and I remember placing the order, and it said it was going to take like two weeks for them to arrive. Those two weeks felt like an eternity, but now that I have them, it felt like it went by fast. As I’ve said in other episodes, it’s important for us to become very present to not just the anticipation, but the experience once it’s happening and then the experience after it’s happened, because those are equally important.
It also reminds me of a statement that was brought up. I’m getting excited to know your perspective on this and I hope I can do it justice. I saw this on TikTok and this guy was talking about time traveling but in a unique way. He was saying that our memories are our equivalent of time traveling where we can go back in time and almost relive experiences that we had. I don’t know why this is making me excited. Maybe it’s because I love this concept. He said since he was a kid, he’s been creating active thoughts and experiences in the present moment so that his future self can easily come back to the past memories.
I heard that was such a brilliant idea. In a way, we can do this at any point in our life. We could create a touchpoint, but it’s something that becomes a vivid experience in the present moment that we could potentially come back to. It’s almost like if any of you have played Super Mario games or any Nintendo games, a lot of them have flags in the middle of the game where once you get to the flag, if you die as Mario when you come back to life, you go back to that starting point, as opposed to the beginning. Donkey Kong and a lot of those games have that.It’s important to be present not just in the anticipation of something, but in the experience itself once it’s happening. Click To Tweet
It’s designed so that you don’t have to start over from scratch completely, but in my head, you could almost do that with your memories. It’s not quite the same because it’s not like you’re coming back to life, but you’re going back to revisit something. If you are intentional about it, you’re giving your future self something that stands out in your memory as a positive experience, hopefully. For us, we could sit here and savor the experience of doing 200 episodes. We can do that by taking in what it feels like to have accomplished this, not to pat ourselves on the back necessarily, but to use this as an example.
It is quite an accomplishment that we have done 200 episodes. It’s important for us to acknowledge that because it’s a lot of work and sometimes we don’t take the time to acknowledge the work. We keep moving to the next milestone and the next one. If we sit here and savor it, it’s almost like our future selves can come back to this moment anytime we want and revisit that experience of recording this because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, and we might need this moment for something else.
Sometimes you’re lying in bed or on the couch or taking a moment, and your brain will go back to something that happened in the past. Sometimes it’s a positive or a negative thing. For example, you and I had our road trip in 2019. I think about it a lot because I’ve been editing the video for that. I’m getting closer to feeling ready to publish it. Readers, it will be available at some point. Whenever I watched that video, I feel grateful for it because the process of creating that video gave us that touchpoint, touchstone and deeply embedded memory. Now, I can visually and auditorily go back to that experience of us on that trip.
If I had been conscious of it, I might recall some of the smells as well. Now I’ve got visuals, audio, the memory of the smell and anything else that we’ve created either that was filmed on camera or that was put in our memories. It’s common practice for us to do that on vacations, but maybe we don’t do that enough in our day-to-day lives. Maybe we don’t stop to not only appreciate the big moments of our lives and the milestones in our lives but what if we became more present and did a little bit more frequently. We find the joy and all sorts of moments of our day, so that if you’re going through a depressive episode, it’s like, “I can time travel back to the past and put myself in a place that was wonderful or comforting.” That could be a coping mechanism or a tool that you use when you’re struggling as a reminder that you’ve experienced joy in the past.
There’s a lot of value in that and in looking back on previous challenges or struggles that I’ve survived when I’m in a moment of feeling stressed, anxious, depressed or lost. I do think back on other times in my life that I felt that way and go, “You felt this way before. You made it through that and this.” Not only reflecting on the joyful moments of the past but reflecting on the resilience and the ability to survive painful, confusing, anxious and scary moments in life. There’s a deep value in that for me as well. The other thing too, you talked about this idea of the future self. In 2010, I remembered having a conversation with a friend about these elements of quantum theory and the time that were coming out. The theory that time is this non-linear schmear. Time and space being these quantum aspects of our reality as we know it.
The theory in this idea of quantum time was that our past selves, all these versions of who we were, who we are in this moment, and our future selves are all existing simultaneously. The whole idea was that the choices that we are making in the present moment are not only rippling backward in reality to the previous versions of who we are. Our future self that we have not yet lived or embodied at least consciously, but on some dimensional reality, is living whatever they’re living, is making decisions that are rippling “backward” to the present moment.
That whatever decisions our future self is making, quantumly are affecting the moment. Not only is the present moment affecting the past, but our future decisions that we don’t even feel we’ve made yet, but in quantum mechanics, we have made them are affecting us now. That’s the fascinating thing. It’s like, “What is my future self doing quantumly speaking that’s affecting me at this moment?” I trip on that, literally on psychedelics, but sometimes in the middle of my day, I’m like, “If that’s true and versions of us are existing in past, present and future simultaneously, then what the hell is my future self up to that’s affecting me now?” I daydream about that. I stare out the window sometimes when I’m taking a work break, and I’m like, “I wonder what I am going to be doing 1 or 2 years from now?” Who the hell knows? I don’t know but what you posited, Whitney, makes me think about how much pressure we put on ourselves with time.
I do this too. “I’m too old to do this. I shouldn’t be doing this. I’m running out of time. I’m going to be 50 years old soon.” What does all that mean? You and I talk about arbitrary measurements that we use to gauge our value in society as human beings all the time. Our relationship to time is a fascinating thing because, on one hand, the idea of death can be a very motivating thing. We’ve talked about that in previous episode, our relationship to death and losing people.
Death is also something that’s related to a time–bound mind that I have a finite amount of time in this body, in this reality. I wonder sometimes what the balance is of feeling motivated by the fact that we’re not going to be living in these bodies forever and we’re going to experience a physical death at some point versus not taking time seriously that, “What if we are infinite beings? What if once we exit these bodies, our energy, souls or whatever you want to call it, go somewhere else? Maybe we embody somewhere else? Maybe we don’t embody somewhere else? Maybe we stay disembodied?”
I’m going on a massive tangent, but here we are at episode 200. We do tangents and we do them well. We’re known for our tangents here on this show, but it’s all just to say that I’m curious what your relationship is to time and age now. I mentioned you have a birthday coming up. I feel like birthdays are often a time where we reflect on these things, on time, on accomplishments or lack thereof and on what I ought to be doing at this age. I’m curious if any of that’s coming up for you as you approach this milestone for yourself?
I don’t talk about my age that much because I feel like ageism is such a big issue that we have, especially for women. I don’t want to be part of that. I feel not quite neutral about age, but I’m on the side of the age doesn’t matter perspective. I do find myself being curious about other people’s age. I use that as an opportunity to reflect on that and then be less concerned. There are moments where I will try to compare myself to someone based on their age. I think that’s why we have an interest in age. There is the health and longevity side of it. We love to put things into context in terms of how old someone is. I’ve noticed that when somebody brings up their age, I don’t generally want to know what it is. When somebody asks me what my age is, I don’t want to share my age.Just because some people are keeping score in your life doesn’t mean that it matters. Click To Tweet
I do find myself sometimes being curious about other people’s age still, which is a bad habit per se. I don’t think it matters that much. Age matters sometimes in terms of access to things. Age will sometimes matter in terms of experience, but in general, age doesn’t matter in terms of your health because somebody can be healthy or “unhealthy” which is a term I also don’t enjoy at any different age. There’s this mindset of like, “Somebody’s doing well ‘for their age,’ or someone’s not doing well for their age.” That does us a disservice. That’s one of the reasons I don’t go out of my way to share my age to keep people guessing. If it seems relevant, maybe I’ll bring it up.
I don’t even think about it. In fact, I have started to lose track of exactly how old I am, which might sound funny. I’ll have to do the math. For my upcoming birthday, I have to keep pausing and like, “I’m turning that age. Interesting.” It’s like one of those ages that’s in between the big numbers. It’s also fascinating to me that we tend to celebrate certain numbers. When you’re a teenager, you’ll celebrate turning double digits, and you celebrate turning 16, 18, 21. After that, you start to celebrate 30, 40, 50, etc. It seems strange. It’s also interesting because my mother is similar, but a little bit more extreme. She never talks about her age. She will completely go out of her way to avoid it.
My sister and I don’t know how old my mom is. We found out how old my dad was because he had some health issue and there was some contextual reason, we wanted to know his age. Although ultimately, it didn’t matter. It’s not an important thing in our family. I also forgot my sister’s age. I do the math every once in a while. I’m like, “I know that she’s X years younger than me,” and then I’ll remember how old she is. It’s interesting because, in our family, age was not something that was discussed that frequently. I think that was kind of cool. I find that irritating when TV shows or articles put somebody’s age on to contextualize them. In an article, they’ll put them in parentheses. Especially reality TV shows like The Bachelor, for example. They will say the person’s name, underneath it’ll say their job, their age.
What is the point of that? You can say, “I didn’t know she was that young. That makes me believe something about her.” If you didn’t know her age, then your beliefs are less meaningful or something. That’s the whole point. If we step back and look at it, age truly doesn’t matter. It’s rare that it matters. It also reminds me of things like once a child is born or something, there’s so much emphasis on constantly asking how old the child is and also talking about a child’s gender. I wouldn’t be surprised if, over time, age becomes less of a deal or shifts its whole dynamic as we’ve seen gender–changing. We’re still in that weird time where people like to know if their child is a boy or a girl.
It’s born in gender is still a big deal. Even when I saw my friends, it was only the second time I had seen their child because their child was born during COVID. Their daughter was born on my birthday, which I completely forgot. We share the same birthday. When I was visiting with them, they were talking a lot about the child’s behavior and the child’s clothing in terms of gender. I had to bite my tongue because I don’t want to push my beliefs onto my friends, but I found it fascinating how much they were contextualizing their child’s gender in terms of the way this child dresses and the way this child acts and behaves.
These people are around my age. It’s fascinating how we’re still in that strange time of being more open and fluid in terms of our belief systems, yet we still cling on to traditional things like gender. We still are in the old habits. I’m curious, as our habits changed around gender, will they also change around age? Will age becomes less of a factor or will it stay a big factor in our lives even as we continue to evolve and become more open-minded about how we perceive other people?
There’s a lot of subjugation in society, in general, that people want to know descriptors of who you are. What do you do for a living? That’s the typical question when you meet someone new. What do you do? The age, gender, religion, and politics thing. We, as humans, are obsessed with contextualizing other people we meet. First of all, to suss out if they’re safe on a very fundamental primal level, “Is this person safe?” On a much more subtle level, it’s like, “Do I want to relate to this person? Does this person have something of value in this interaction that I can get from them?” We’re sussing each other out on all these levels all of the time. The concerning thing for me is there seems to be a growing movement.
This makes sense because, in my belief system and a lot of my spiritual practices, I believe in something called the second force. That when you energetically initiate something that is infused with a lot of intention and energy in the world, the enthusiasm and excitement and joy that you will initiate this thing into the world with will be met with a second force, which is challenged and resistance from outside forces. You talked about the whole movement of people re–evaluating their gender and the titles in which they refer to themselves and the pronouns. We have an episode on this.
One thing I’ve been seeing popping up on social media a lot is resistance and a push back. There was a video that I saw in the vein where it was showing images of celebrities, musicians and artists dressing in “women’s clothing.” There was a shot of Harry Styles in a dress. There were David Bowie, Prince, and men that are well-known celebrities or artists that were dressing with makeup and androgyny in women’s clothing. The whole thing was like, “Where are all the real men?” It was this diatribe that I’ve seen different versions of saying that, “We’re killing off the real men in society by feminizing them, dressing up in women’s clothing, having makeup, androgyny, and men exploring their femininity is a ‘bad thing.’ It’s killing off the real ‘real men,’” whatever the fuck that means.
It rankled me because, on the one hand, I love my feminine side and the fact that I’m an extremely sensitive man in the world, which has disturbed, interested and intrigued people my whole life for a variety of reasons. This pushback against what you’re saying of us combating sexism and I don’t even know if it is genderism, sexism or ageism, the things that you and I were discussing. There’s an equal amount of pushback as people are expanding their minds in their hearts to realize, “Maybe we don’t have to be subjugated to this binary system of identification. You’re a success. You’re a failure. You’re a man. You’re a woman. You’re hetero. You’re gay.” Everything’s binary.
You’re in one bucket or the other. People are getting disturbed by the fact that people don’t want to assign themselves to one bucket or another. They’re like, “Maybe there’s a spectrum. Maybe there is literally a whole schmear of choices and I don’t need to pick this one or that one to make you comfortable.” I’ve been seeing a lot more of this pushback from people trying to uphold some old–school idea of what masculinity is. That if you wear a dress and wear makeup, somehow you’re not a man anymore.
This is fascinating as the world, people’s minds and hearts are changing. There’s a group of humans that don’t want it to. They’re like, “No. We want things to stay the same way. We want things to stay the way they are. This is a man. This is a woman. This is hetero. This is gay. This is good. This is bad.” The binary way of relating as humans disinterest me more and more as I go on because it’s so fucking boring. On a deeper level, it’s oppressing to people because if you want to paint outside the lines or live outside the lines, people criticize you. They hate you. There’s violence against people who choose to do this.Every birthday should be a true celebration of your life continuing, not a milestone of dread. Click To Tweet
We’ve talked about this, but you sparked something in me because I see this backlash coming more and more. It’s like, “What is threatening about a man wearing a dress? Let people wear what they want to wear. Let people do whatever they want to do as long as it’s not harming you.” I feel like I’m an alien sometimes because I look at this stuff and I’m like, “Why can’t you let people be the way they want to be? Why is it so threatening?”
It brings up a larger question of, “Why do we feel the need to oppress and subjugate people? Why do human beings feel the need to do this? You’re in your 40s, so you should have this amount of money saved. You should have this level of wealth. You should have this level of career success.” It’s a fascinating thing. I don’t know that I have a question to bounce back to you, but I’m reflecting on to say that as humanity is evolving, there is a group of people who don’t want humanity to do what they want. They want us to stay exactly the way it’s been and maybe because it’s benefiting them in some way. Maybe that’s why certain people don’t want us to evolve as a species because if we stay the way we are, they keep benefiting from us staying the way we are. I personally am not interested in that. It’s dreadfully boring.
It’s an answer that I don’t have because it takes a lot of research into human history. I have been wanting to go back and reread the book Status Anxiety because there’s a lot of interesting data in there about human behavior and how we’ve evolved over time to view status in many different ways. Age, gender and income can be a status. There are many things that are based on status. I can’t remember all the details about the psychological reasons that status is important. When I revisit that book, I think that would be an interesting thing to reflect back on.
We have talked about it a bit off and on throughout the show. If you search for Status Anxiety on our website, you can find all the little nuggets and which we’ve referenced books like Status Anxiety. I’m fascinated by this. This is the part of history that piques my interest because I’m a big why person. I like to understand the reason in which we do things. I would think a simple explanation for your question is that we are looking for ways to stay safe. It makes us feel safe when things stay the same, when we have control when we understand somebody, and we have context. That’s one of the reasons that it’s hard to shift a lot as human beings because we come to become very used to them. Tradition is very appealing as a result.
The comparison side of age can make us feel very comforted or safe for better or for worse. We might be able to have more context like, “Approximately how much time do we have left to live?” We don’t like to think about it very much, but there are averages in which human beings will live. On this note, to go off track from the human experience, it’s also true with our animals. This has been coming up a lot recently because my dog Evie is twelve years old this 2021. It’s interesting because a lot of people love to know how old your animals are. That’s one of the first questions that we ask when we meet a new animal.
What’s the animal’s name and how old is it? We put that animal into context too, which is also such a hard question. I met a seventeen-year-old dog at the grocery store. I could not believe how old this dog was because I thought for sure it was a puppy. It was interesting to hear that the dog was old because seventeen years is a long time for a dog to live. Perhaps that makes it impressive or a helpful number but at the same point, if I saw the dog and never found out how old the dog was, I assumed that the dog was young because it was lively.
What if being full of life does not have anything to do with how old you are? In a way, the term full of life means that you’ve had a lot of life in you. Wouldn’t that mean that you are older? We associate being full of life with being younger, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s the same thing. We love to judge people based on their appearance. Whether or not they have wrinkles or gray hair. I’ve been having gray hair sprout out of my head for a while now. I remember when they first started coming up, I thought, “Am I too young to be getting gray hairs?” If you look it up, women get gray hairs at all different ages. I don’t know the youngest in which somebody will get gray hair, but women in their twenties get gray hair sometimes.
Gray hair also is different for every hair type. It looks different. My sister has very blonde hair. I feel a little envious of her because you’ll probably never notice her gray hair. It’ll take many years longer than someone like me that has dark hair. We think about wrinkles, but women get wrinkles at all different ages. It depends on their sun exposure, on their genetics and on how well they take care of their skin. It’s all of these little factors that we use to evaluate age that is very meaningless. The biggest reason that I don’t like it is beyond judgment, there’s so much time that is wrapped up in anxiety, fear and pride as well. Coming back to the whole reason we started discussing this was around our 200th episode.
Perhaps we have some pride around it. It gives us experience. There’s also the bonus of it. If we come back to the age side of things, sometimes things that are older, like a podcast, for example, are taken more seriously the older that it is. At the same time, there are podcasts that are incredibly successful, and they’re brand new like Barack Obama’s podcast. Someone who just started off could be a massive success. Why? It’s because they have all this other experience beyond their podcast. All this stuff doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t mean that much. We use it because, as human beings, we feel safe having contexts that make us feel like we have a better grasp and a better understanding of things. At the end of the day, it’s all BS.
You could say that about a lot of life. It’s a lot of the BS, worrying about things that we don’t need to worry about and stressing over things that are completely arbitrary measurements. Whitney and I laugh because I have to laugh at myself for how much BS I stress over and how many times I need to stop myself and go, “What’s real here? Does this even matter? You’re stressing over something, why?” It’s important that we ask ourselves that. In the process of mindfulness and the process of self-awareness, to stop ourselves if we feel that we’re spiraling, whether it’s the comparison trap, someone judging us, rude comments on social media or comparing ourselves in our own minds to someone else.
That’s my thing. I’m like, “Stop. What’s real here? Does this matter? Do you even give a shit?” Most of the time, it doesn’t matter and I don’t give a shit. That’s not to say that I’m nihilistic or detached, but most of the time, when I’m stressed or worried or anxious about something, it’s like, “You’re bleeding out energy that doesn’t need to be bled out over this thing.” When we talk about time, age, accomplishments, we’re going to have lots of opportunities if we’re sensitive to those things. I’ve been sensitive about my age, thinking about my birthday coming up. The only reason I’m sensitive about it is because I “thought” I’d be in a different place in my life by this point.
What does that mean? We thought we’d be more successful. Successful how? Richer, more financially stable, wealthier, more influential? What did you think you’d be by this point? I have to be mindful because I use that to beat myself up. Some arbitrary measurement in my head fueled by society, social media and a million different sources of, “By this point of this number assigned to you, you’re supposed to have X, Y, Z and you don’t, so you’re a loser.” I have to be super mindful of that because if I go down that rabbit hole, it’s a dark place for me. It’s like, who’s keeping score? Is my mom or my family keeping score?
Is there some whiteboard somewhere of like, “Jason’s turning whatever this year. If he doesn’t have X, Y, Z, what a fuck up he is? We’re sure going to give him some shit next time we see him?” There’s not any point on any birthday where I’ve ever had anyone say, “Jason, we thought you’d be further along at this point.” No one’s ever said that. I’ve said it to myself. I’m the cruelest person in myself, which I’m working on, but no one’s ever been like, “Damn, J, number 40. We thought you’d be doing better.” Even if they think it, fuck them.
Lucky you. I can’t say the same because those are things my mom says to me. I don’t beat myself up in the ways that you do, at least not consciously. I’m certainly going to reflect on it. Some people are judgmental. Maybe they don’t say it to your face, but in a way, it’s a gift when someone does and maybe that’s why it’s easier for me, Jason. I can realize that because my mom was hyper fixated on my age and what that means for my life doesn’t mean that I need to be. Perhaps, it happens in the opposite way when somebody says something to you enough, it affects you. I think about things in context to what my mother has shared with me, but that is more empowering because I realized like, “Do I need to think that way? No. Is that true for me? No.”
I love your questions that you shared about what’s real here and who’s keeping score. The truth is some people are keeping score, but because somebody is keeping score in your life doesn’t mean that it matters. I love my mom, but her opinions of me don’t matter. They’re just her opinions on me and her perspectives on life. The older I get, the more I can distance myself from that. I’ve also learned over time. Noticing my reactions to my friends showed me my practice because they have different opinions and feelings on gender, I don’t need to disagree with them verbally. I can observe it and reflect on it quietly and move on with my life. I’m not somebody that wants to debate somebody about their beliefs on age, gender or time and all these other factors that we have.
It’s such a healing process to become more aware and through that awareness, we can examine how we want to live in our lives and what matters to us. The final thought I’d love to share is I do think it’s cool that we hit 200 episodes because 200 episodes for me means that we have worked hard. We’ve been consistent with something and that’s important to me. The more that you do something, oftentimes, the results will come with it. The results that we’ve received with our show are incredible feedback from people. That has increased. The more that we have released episodes of the show, the more feedback we’ve received. That is a wonderful blessing. It’s not necessarily a correlation. Just because you do something a lot of times doesn’t mean somebody is going to like it or somebody who’s going to notice it.
For us, we have been blessed with amazing readers and feedback. We want to acknowledge you, the reader, for being part of our lives, being consistent in reading and sharing your feedback. Maybe this is the first episode you’ve read and that’s a gift as well. In terms of age too, it’s a gift to get older. Every birthday should be a true celebration of your life continuing, not a milestone of dread. My grandfather was always proud of his age. He would not just mark the years, but he would mark all the little progress that he made because he was grateful to be alive.
If somebody asks, “How old are you?” He wouldn’t just say 97. He’d say 97.5. I remember doing that when I was little, but as adults, we don’t usually do that. We’re more apt to round down than we are to round up. We go through transitions. It doesn’t matter. My personal relationships or how I publicly speak about age, but I thought that was cool. When you look in the future, towards the end of our life, we start to want to live longer and longer. I can’t speak for everyone, but if you’re enjoying life, you don’t want it to end. Every single day is such a gift. I’m grateful that my grandfather exemplified that because when I think of him, I think it was a gift to have him live that long. That’s a good thing to reflect on for me as my birthday comes up.
It begs an obvious question as we’re coming to the finish line of episode 200 is in 2020, your birthday was about two weeks after the official shutdown here in Los Angeles and in most parts of the planet of COVID. Here we are one year later, at the time of this episode, still very much in the global pandemic, and your birthday’s coming up again. You don’t generally have the same kind of blowouts that I do or large crazy gatherings, many of which you have beautifully and skillfully organized. I’m curious if you have any intentions or ways that you want to celebrate under the limited options that we still have in having a birthday in the middle of a pandemic. You have two birthdays now that you’ve celebrated in the middle of a pandemic. Any thoughts or musings, or desires of how you want to celebrate yourself?
My Apple AirPods were a partial gift. I knew somebody, in particular, was going to want to give me something nice for my birthday. I thought that the AirPods would be nice, but we decided to split it because the AirPods are quite expensive. It was a gift to not have to pay full price for my AirPods. I was excited about that. I’m going to try to remember this very present to the present of my headphones. I don’t expect much more than that. I’m very content. Gifts don’t have a ton of weight for me. I’m very practical. If somebody wants to get me a practical present, I would much prefer that over something I don’t need because it feels like a waste of money, space and resources.
In terms of the other celebrations, I am considering the trip that I’m taking for my birthday. That’s one of my favorite things. One of my favorite birthday celebrations I did with you is when you and I did our drive in 2019, where we drove up to Santa Barbara and spent the day up there going to restaurants and going to the beach with our dogs. That was great. That type of experience was as much more meaningful to me than a birthday party or a meal. A lot of those are nice but not fulfilling. For me, the actual day of my birthday, I already took off on my calendar. It’s a day off. It’s luckily a Sunday. I don’t feel like I will need to do any work that day. The following week is when I do my next road trip. I intend on savoring it, reflecting on it, and enjoying the process of traveling, which is something that has an even deeper meaning for me during COVID.
Reader, if you want to share any birthday love with Whitney, you can always email us at [email protected]. That’s our direct email that Whitney and I respond to personally. If you want to send her any goodies too, we’re happy to send our mailing address. Maybe, Whitney, someone wants to send you some chocolate pudding or cool accessory for your Tesla, or maybe a nice sweater for Evie. If you guys want to send Whitney any kind of love, shoot us an email.
Remember, I don’t like gifts unless someone checks with me first or knows for sure that I want something. I don’t like cut flowers. It’s such a waste. If you want to give me flowers, they should be potted flowers. If you would like to give a gift, I’d so much rather someone spoil the surprise and asked me what I want versus, “I assumed that you want this sweater that you’re never going to wear.”
There you have it, people, send her an email and say, “Whitney, what do you want for your birthday?” Let her answer and then you can send us the gifts. In all seriousness, we want to hear from you. If you have any thoughts on the episode of time, age, and the way that we arbitrarily assess each other with these things, we always love personal emails. We’ve been getting quite a few deep, raw personal emails lately. We love the fact that you feel comfortable and safe with us to comment on the topical matter and share your life stories with us. It’s always deeply meaningful when we receive those.
We also have a great free resources section. If you haven’t visited our website yet, we have video training, eBooks, and guides. We have an awesome section full of freebies to empower you, help you achieve more balance and bliss with your mental health, your emotional wellness, and navigating social media. These are the things that we are extremely passionate about educating ourselves on in sharing those resources, tools and strategies with you. We love you. We appreciate you. We also have a YouTube channel, we’re going to be uploading a lot more video content on our YouTube channel and our Instagram Reels. Follow us there @Wellevatr. Next 200 episodes, here we come. Soon enough, we’re going to be at 300 or 400 episodes. It’s going to be like, “How did we do that?” One episode at a time. Join us for episode 201!
*We use affiliate links in our show notes. This means we receive a small sales commission if you purchase an item based on our recommendation.
- Gender Pronouns: The Fight Against Binary Assumptions and Language in a Nonbinary World With Dr. Melissa MacDonald – Previous Episode
- Status Anxiety
- Apple AirPods Max
- [email protected]
- YouTube – This Might Get Uncomfortable Podcast
- @Wellevatr – Instagram
- The Nature Of Death – Previous episode
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!