Friendship in Midlife – With Guest Kat Vellos

October 27, 2022 / Mom &… Podcast Episode 94 / Guest: Kat Vellos

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Show Summary:

Kat Vellos helps people make and maintain connections. In a time where we have access to numerous methods of communication, many people still struggle to develop lasting, meaningful friendships. We had such a great conversation about modern friendship, packed with actionable ways to improve your relationships.

Kat has done a lot of things, from editorial design to non-profit work to user experience design, and now, connection coaching. She says they may seem unrelated, but in her mind, all of these experiences string together to inform her work today. No matter what she’s doing, Kat strives to make a positive difference, and incorporate service in all she does.

Topics From This Episode:

Look, Listen, Learn




More About Kat Vellos:

Kat Vellos is the author of We Should Get Together: The Secret to Cultivating Better Friendships and its short addendum Connected from Afar: A Guide for Staying Close When You’re Far Away. She is a user experience designer, speaker, and facilitator who helps others transform disconnection and platonic longing into authentic connection.

As a user experience designer, she’s worked for Slack and Pandora, as well as with the creators of Siri designing the first iteration of Samsung’s Bixby. Kat has been profiled in Forbes and quoted in FastCompany for her work as the founder of Bay Area Black Designers which was a professional development community for Black designers and UX researchers.

She’s researched, designed, and advised on the user experience of apps and websites that serve millions of people worldwide. She’s now turned her UX expertise towards combating the loneliness epidemic, by helping people cultivate thriving friendships and community.

Her experience with facilitation and interpersonal dynamics runs deep. Over the last twenty years Kat has created, run, and mentored a variety of communities focused on everything from spoken word poetry to photography to digital design to authentic connection and friendship. Her most recent are Better than Small Talk and Connection Club.

She’s facilitated for numerous organizations including Adobe, UC Davis, The Power of Hope, and Young Women Empowered. She’s spoken at Design for America, UX Week, Social Good Tech Week, San Francisco Design Week, Lesbians Who Tech, the Transforming Loneliness Summit, and more. She’s also been a guest on numerous podcasts including The Good Life Project, Hurry Slowly, Rosenfeld Review, The Design of Business, Masters of Community, and Revision Path. Her interviews can be found in a variety of media outlets including The New York Times, Real Simple, Forbes, NPR, Communication Arts, The Good Life Project, Hurry Slowly, and Parents Magazine.

Kat’s mission and legacy are to be a driver of creation cycles that educate, inspire, and empower others to live their best lives possible.

Connect with Kat:

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Musical Notes

Our delightfully happy intro and outro theme music, “We Will Get Through This” is performed by Young Presidents, and used under license from Shutterstock.

Transcript is auto-generated by a robot. Apologies in advance for misspellings or errors.

[00:00:00] Susanne: Welcome to the mom dot podcast. I’m Susanne Kerns mom, dot writer, LGBTQ and sex ed advocate.

And today I am an ACL music festival, Counter downer. I think it’s two more days. Yes. I’m not very good at counting down two days.

[00:00:43] Missy: Well, and who knows what day it is because we had a day off and

[00:00:46] Susanne: I know. And you know what? Zoe’s home today. I just scared the crap outta myself. I forgot because the, the lower grades are taking PS SATs today. So they sent the seniors home to do, I don’t know what

[00:00:58] Missy: Oh, that’s nice. They made them go at our school.

[00:01:00] Susanne: Well, they’re making ’em go back for like an hour this afternoon, but I totally forgot.

And I was like, Oh. She left her light on and I opened her door and I was like, Her backpack, her backpack is here. How strange. And that I look up and she’s just staring at me to bed. I’ve almost screamed. So yeah, I do not know what day it is or which children are home.

[00:01:18] Missy: Hey guys, there’s not more than two to keep track

[00:01:20] Susanne: I know exactly.

[00:01:22] Missy: Right. I’m Missy Stevens mom and writer, foster child advocate. And this week, doctor Mom, I just sent one back to school today and hoping the other one doesn’t fall. Uh,

[00:01:33] Susanne: flu be gone.

[00:01:34] Missy: that’s Seriously, and this week we are so excited to be talking with Kat Vellos.

Kat is a speaker, facilitator, certified coach, and the author of, We Should Get Together, The Secret to Cultivating Better Friendships, as well as connecting from afar, A Guide to Staying Close when You’re far away. I love that one. Since the early two thousands, Kat has been designing and facilitating transformative programs to help adults cultivate a greater sense of belonging in their personal lives, and she helps companies retain staff by supporting them to find a belonging and connection at work.

In her former career as a user experience designer, she worked for Slack and Pandora and was profiled in Forbes for her work as the founder of the Bay Area Black Designers, which she ran from 2015 to 2020. She’s the creator and facilitator of better than Small Talk, an immersive experience of authenticity and connection that’s been held in Seattle, Oakland, and Berkeley, and is now available as a set of conversation starter cards that we are ordering.

[00:02:31] Susanne: Well, I already ordered the calendar. I’m so excited. Yeah, it has a, a conversation starter a day. I’m so excited to get

[00:02:38] Missy: I know, I love it. I’m getting it from my husband for his stocking because that’s his like biggest anxiety thing is how do I start conversation

[00:02:46] Susanne: Yes.

. Welcome. We are so glad to have you here.

[00:02:50] Kat: Thank you so much for having me. It is great to be here with.

[00:02:53] Susanne: Thank you. And now, as impressive as your bio is, we know that there is even more to cats. So can you share a little bit about where your career started and how it’s progressed? And I’m sure there’s been some things that have impacted your choices along the way.

[00:03:08] Kat: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I’ve definitely, had a, a varying thread of things I’ve done in my career, but they all, uh, in my mind really do string together. So I got my degree in graphic design and I started out right after college doing editorial design in the publishing industry, working for an alternative news weekly in North Florida, which I’m proud to say was the only source of progressive news in, uh, an entirely generally conservative area.

[00:03:34] Susanne: Yes. Flo. Flo, we’re in Texas, but Florida kind of out. Texas is Texas. Sometimes

[00:03:40] Kat: Yes, Yes. So it was a super, super rad, very, um, progressive, very forward thinking, award-winning news weekly, and I was really, really glad that I started my career there. It really, that was one of the things that definitely impacted me along the way, and it’s something I think about almost every day. And then after that, I, I decided to leave that job and do a year of AmeriCorps.

And after that I got involved with non-profit work for several years. Um, mostly working with youth, doing non-profit, youth empowerment, creative empowerment programs. cuz at one point I thought I wanted to be a teacher and I was like, No, I don’t really wanna be a teacher, but I, I enjoy giving back in this way.

And then after that I was like, I wanna go back to design. But the world had changed dramatically in seven years. And so the type of design that I was really drawn to was user experience design, which is a combination of, research and, really investigating like, what is the problem someone’s trying to solve and how can we help them meet that need? Uh, it was, it felt like a mix of service and design. Um, and there is a thing called service design. But anyhow, yeah, so I did user experience design and product design here in the Bay Area for the last seven years or so.

And so, I think that one throughline in all of those things, even though they might not seem connected, the thing that is clear to me is that they were each connected to my wish to make a positive difference in the world, to be creative, to be useful, to be of service, and generally just not feel like I’m wasting my life

And that was the way that I wanted to, to be of service in the world.

[00:05:06] Missy: Oh, we love that. We talk about that all the time. How Nothing we’ve learned is wasted. Nothing we’ve done is wasted. There’s so much to pull from.

[00:05:14] Susanne: Yeah. Zibi Owens really was talking about that a lot when she was on as far as nothing goes to waste it all. It all serves you somehow

[00:05:23] Missy: Yeah, it all informs everything we’re doing. and we really loved the intro to We should Get Together. It’s really relatable for a lot of adults. So why, why this topic and why did you wanna write it?

[00:05:35] Kat: Yeah, that’s a great question. Um, you know, when I moved to the Bay Area, and I talk about this a lot in my TEDx talk, one of the things that was kind of, um, Interesting in a confusing way is that I was meeting lots of cool people all the time, but I was having a hard time holding onto my friendships. So it was very easy to meet cool people and be like, Wow, this is so great.

I’m like meeting all these new people. But then when I wanted someone to hang out with, it was like, Oh, I needed to make plans six weeks in advance if I wanna see somebody. And that’s not to me what friendship is all about,

[00:06:08] Missy: No.

[00:06:09] Kat: And so I started digging into this topic using, uh, the same process I was using at work, doing user experience design and research and, and investigation and qualitative interviews.

I started doing the same thing with friendship and I started doing that around 2015 to say like, why is it that so many adults that I meet say they have the same problem I’m having, which is like making and keeping their friends after they turn 30 basically. Um, and so it was popping up all over the place.

I was studying it, I was researching it, and it. Troublesome to me that I didn’t find a lot of resources available on this topic. So for example, uh, one time I walked into a bookstore here in Oakland, a locally owned bookstore. And I, and I asked the woman at the counter, I said, Can you point me in the direction of your books about friendships?

And she was like, We don’t have a section for that. We don’t have any books about that. And she was like, We have a section about romantic relationships. We have a section about family relationships, but we don’t have any books about friendships. And I was like, Is this a problem? And so then I went to Barnes and Noble, which is like big store, right?

And same thing. I was like, Where are your books about friendship? And they were like, You can look in the psychology section. Like there wasn’t really a clear place to go, even though

[00:07:19] Missy: knew what you were talking about.

[00:07:20] Kat: And there was a really small number of books out there and you really had to like dig and dig to find them.

And so I was like, Fine, I’m gonna write a book. And so it really felt to me like a conversation we needed to be having, not just because friendship is an important thing, but it is connected to the loneliness epidemic and the. Like far reaching public health impacts that actually has on our society. If we have people in a state of chronic loneliness for a long time, it’s really, it’s not good for them.

It’s not good for our society. So, um, I felt like this was a conversation we needed to be having. And I, because I’d been looking into it for years, I also felt like this is something that’s gonna come to the top of people’s awareness. Like, this is a topic that’s gonna blow up. I don’t know what’s gonna bring it to people’s minds, but it’s gonna happen.

And it just so turned out that the pandemic is the thing that brought it to people’s minds when, oh gosh, we’re in lockdown. What does it mean to be truly disconnected? What does it mean to really not see your friends? And how important does it suddenly, become to you when you are in that situation? So, that’s a very long answer.

[00:08:18] Susanne: No, we,

[00:08:19] Missy: an excellent

[00:08:20] Susanne: there’s so much to think about there, and part of me just keeps going back and forth as far as like almost the pop culture feeling of friends. So even though there’s not a section of Barnes and Noble, thinking about friendship and really having a smart discussion about it, I mean, half the books out there, half the movies, you know, are about these friendships.

even the show friends, but it always, the pop culture or the old TV sitcoms we used to watch are always just like these friends popping by, you know, or they just, you know, the doors open literally and they just kind of come in and out of each other’s lives. And I think a lot of us hold ourselves to that.

Definition of a friendship and feel like failures because I can’t think at any other time. Cause except for maybe in college when literally like we had a door open, People might just pop in. In fact, like I get, I get a weird, like, ye like my whole body tenses up when I think of the idea of just someone popping by.

So, So I’m just curious, like, is there this disservice with this way that, you know, pop culture or whatever defines friendship and what that actually looks like in someone’s day to day life? A meaningful friendship?

[00:09:30] Kat: Yeah, that’s, I I love that you said that. I have a, a section in the book where I’d talk about how different the pop culture representation of friendship is. It actually looks like in our real lives. And what does it mean that we, you know, whether it’s the show friends or, you know, For me growing up it was also like, Melrose Place and like 9 0 2 oh and stuff, you know?

And I was like, growing up, I was like, that is the ideal of friendship is like you’re in this place. Your friends are in and out of your life and your apartment all the time, and that’s just normal. But in reality, that’s not real for many people either, because like you, Suzanne, they either feel like they would be uncomfortable with that, or it’s just truly not possible because your friends are a 45 minute drive away.

You gotta look for parking and all these other things, right?

[00:10:16] Susanne: Or even if they are across the hall, I wonder if anybody did a pie chart of the amount of time the friends hung out to with each other in each other’s apartment. Like that’s probably half of their lives. Like how did they even like go to work? Like

[00:10:27] Kat: right?

[00:10:28] Missy: I

[00:10:28] Kat: That’s a whole nother, We

[00:10:29] Missy: that’s the whole like fiction tv. So much wrong with that, but , Yeah.

[00:10:35] Susanne: there’s only so much time in the day, but I love how this book is so actionable and it’s so smart and It’s just a friendly, a friendly way of, you know, helping us, holding our hand along as we try to have these adult relationships. And I hate to jump to the end of the book. We’re gonna, we’re gonna jump all over the book, but I mean, Missy and I talk about this all the time and I’m really relieved to see it’s not just a stay at home mom thing where so much of us try to start those friendships with that.

Well, what do you do? Like, you know, we meet someone at a party or at a whatever. And so what do you do? Which is just the shittiest question to get asked when you have no income. And like you checked all your career skills at the door 10 years ago. And so I go off on a soapbox on this about every 10th episode, how we are gonna revolutionize the school pickup line, because that is seriously where we all just talk about like, what did you pack in the lunchbox?

You know, which, so which field trip are you going to?

[00:11:33] Missy: you had this teacher? How’s your kid doing with this? All about the

[00:11:36] Susanne: Yeah. And it’s all about the kids and we never talk about ourselves. And Well I think we’ve even talked about, we’re like, we’re gonna do like a great big list of all these things that you can ask instead of what do you do? And then we did not do it and I’m glad we didn’t do it cause it would not be nearly as good.

There’s literally 20 pages at the end of this

[00:11:55] Missy: Yeah. We’re just gonna point people there.

[00:11:58] Susanne: That’s what you do. Um, so I’m just curious, like the feedback that you’ve heard from the groups you run and just in your own life, are there any top questions that have led to the most interesting conversations or to interesting friendships?

[00:12:13] Kat: Yeah. Yeah. Um, I love questions as you may, uh, be able to tell. Um, and some of my favorite questions that I think Spark, kind of surprising depth of conversation are like insightful conversation. one that is in that category is what’s in your tabs, like on your computer, like what’s in your

[00:12:32] Susanne: Oh

[00:12:32] Kat: Because if you wanna know where someone’s mind has been lately or like what’s really present and top of mind in their life, it’s probably the things that they’re leaving open in their browser. Um, and it’s also a bit of a confessional cuz it’s like, Oh, what are you looking at ? What are you doing on the internet? kind of

a fun

[00:12:53] Missy: in your private window?

[00:12:54] Susanne: uh,

[00:12:55] Kat: Oh, hey. Um, another one that I think, um, has sparked a really beautiful conversation I think about a lot with a friend of mine is, what’s something about the natural world that fascinates you? Or tell me about a time when you felt awe in nature and that can really spark really beautiful reflections as well.

Um, if you wanna go deep, you can say, you know, if you could change one decision in your life, what would it be? And, um, something else that’s kind of lighter, not in, not in that deep, deep category, but like, what’s a boring fact about you? Like, I really don’t like the question. What’s a fun fact about you? Uh, particularly in group settings because it can get really competitive and then you have to like, have a cool thing to say.

It’s like my mind looked blank when someone asks me for like, what’s a fun fact? But I have tons of boring facts. And I think the boring facts are where we see each other’s humanity and we actually are very relatable. And so what’s a boring fact about you is one

[00:13:49] Missy: Oh my gosh. I love that. One of our guests, and I do this every time, I can’t remember which guests, and we have to go track it down, But she was saying like, in Europe, no one says, What do you do? Nobody asks that. If you’re in a social setting, they’re like, where’s your favorite hike? What did you do today that gave you joy? What do you, how are you spending your time in a more, in a deeper sense, not how do you spend your time earning money, but what is your favorite thing to do outside of your job?

And I think we are just culturally, we are so wrapped up in what people do.

[00:14:23] Kat: I know, I know. It’s, it’s one of my least favorite questions, and it’s one of the reasons why I included it in the Better Conversations calendar that we talked about earlier, because I was like, We need a month of alternatives to this question. I like, do not like this question. I have never liked this question.

There, there are better conversations we could be having than just like, what do you do for money? Like it’s kinda invasive, actually. Like, I don’t know,

[00:14:46] Missy: it is, and I think that that part, that, what do you do for money? The for money part is really key because that is, that’s what we’re doing to live, not how we’re spending our life. And for some people it is definitely intertwined, but I think we’re trying to go beyond that and reach outside of that a little bit.

[00:15:06] Susanne: Yeah. Yep.

[00:15:07] Missy: we wanted to talk some about the RSVP and vanish.

[00:15:10] Susanne: Oh, I’m so

[00:15:11] Missy: Uh, I know, well, I have been thinking, I have been thinking about this even before the book. There is a trend and everybody knows I spend too much time on TikTok, but there is a trend going around TikTok where people are saying, when you have protected your space and your boundaries so much that you now have two friends and you’re in bed by 9:00 PM. And so I really relate to that because Suzanne and I have been working hard for a couple years to set boundaries and understand what boundaries are. but we’ve been there. We’ve been on the receiving end. That feels terrible. But we’re also worried are we creating some finishers in this idea of reclaiming our time?

[00:15:49] Susanne: And for listeners who haven’t read the book yet, you can probably tell from the term RSVP advantage what it is, But it’s basically, so you send out a thing a week in advance or whatever, and like, Hey, we’re all gonna go out. And you think everybody, you know, 10 people are on board, but then the day of you start getting these texts like, Sorry, you know, something came up.

Or, Oh, I’m just not really feeling it tonight. Or there’s an emergency. And so, I mean, we’ve, we’ve all been on both sides and it just, it feels gross on both sides in different ways, but.

[00:16:21] Missy: had to bail on a lunch last month and it just felt awful, but I needed to do it. I

[00:16:26] Susanne: So yeah, the, what is that balance of like having our boundaries and enforcing those, but also not being a shitty friend and, Cause

I think sometimes it is one of those things, and you know what? I was feeling it yesterday. I, I don’t know. I’ve, I’ve become complaining about my vertigo for the past month.

It has now evolved into, whenever I work on the computer and things are scrolling, I make myself sick. Like, I literally made myself sick the other night. And so, I was supposed to meet up with my sons. His former, third grade, second grade teacher who I just adore, bought a bunch of candy from his, uh, His fundraiser that he was doing.

And I have not seen, I have not seen her in years. And I was so looking forward to it, but I was feeling kind of gross and I was like, uh, uh, do I, don’t I do I don’t, I, And I just knew, I was like, If I do, I’m gonna feel so great after it. This is not a boundary that I’m enforcing. It was more of just, uh, eh, do I wanna just rest?

[00:17:23] Missy: Put the

[00:17:24] Susanne: there’s nothing against re I mean, rest is a good thing, obviously, but this was not, rest to, it was, I don’t know, it was lazy rest. It wasn’t restorative rest. It was more of just like, eh, it’s too much effort to get my car. Um, and so I was, and I did, I went and we had a lovely coffee and caught up and I, I did, I felt like re-energized the rest of the day because of it so much more than if I had just like stayed home or laid on the couch or just scrolled through Facebook.

So, yeah. What, what do you see with people you work with on along that.

[00:17:59] Kat: Yeah. Very, very great question. and super real. You know, I, I think it’s useful that there’s been a resurgence in, um, Appreciation and awareness of the fact that we need rest and we need time alone and we need to protect our peace and all of those things. So important. I’m like in that train, I’m in the nap ministry, I’m in it

[00:18:16] Susanne: Yes. Oh, I love following that. I can’t, We’ll put a link to that.

[00:18:20] Kat: but also, you know, there’s something here about respecting your friends, right? Don’t R S P P. Yes. If you know you are not gonna follow through, I think it’s important to be honest with yourself and to be honest with the people around you, because we’re not doing our friends a favor. If in the immediate moment we’re like, Yeah, I’m gonna do that thing, and we choose to disappoint them later, like delaying that disappointment is not a favor to them.

It’s actually, I think letting them down worse. Cuz first they get their hopes up and then you let ’em down rather than just being really clear up front with like, you know, I’m out of bandwidth and I’m not gonna make it, but I would be happy to like, share it with other people or spread the word if you want other people to come.

Um, and so be honest with yourself and to understand like, , it’s okay to be clear up front about those boundaries and about what your time is. And then to the second point, you, um, mentioned Suzanne, of like, am I just copying out? I say, Oh, I need to stay home. that’s a good one because, one of the things that I have found, particularly in interviewing people for the book around awkwardness and avoiding awkwardness and being afraid of awkwardness, is that sometimes we will say we’re doing something cuz like, Oh, I need to rest.

But really underneath that, there is a fear that if I go I might feel awkward or I might not know exactly what to say or, or something that is outside of my control might happen. And I, I’d rather just avoid that. So I’m gonna choose my rest. I’m gonna choose, you know, scrolling Instagram, I said, So I think we need to know ourselves and to be clear with ourselves too, when maybe we’re making that choice.

And it would be better to, like you did. Take like 10% more effort and go to the thing. And you had a really lovely time.

[00:20:02] Susanne: Yes.

[00:20:03] Missy: uh, that’s really convicting as an introvert and. awkward person, . Like, I just, like, I cannot tell you how many times I have failed on something or flat out said no, just because I, I knew I wasn’t gonna be comfortable or, or I was afraid I wasn’t gonna be comfortable. I think I should say that. Um, cuz you never know.

Things, things turn out way differently than you think they’re going to, but, Oh,

[00:20:30] Susanne: But I mean, I’ve, I’ve used this example a million times, but Missy knows that the parking lot can be the biggest barrier to me. Like, it literally can be like, we were gonna be meeting at a different coffee shop than I’ve ever been at before. And part of it in my head was I don’t know where I’m gonna park when I get there.

I don’t know how I’m going to find it. And literally, I almost need to go through the motions of like the Google Earth of Okay, if I park here, then I can get to it from here. Or there’s the this and it’s so crazy that that can be, that’s my barrier and I know that about myself. And I did recognize that it was kind of like a, oh, is it that, am I gonna have to parallel park and you know, where is it gonna be?

And you know, do I know how to do this meter? Do I need an nap for it? And it, so I know that about myself and I was able to recognize that.

[00:21:14] Missy: the same way.

[00:21:15] Susanne: But I just encourage people to as they’re feeling that hesitancy, really dive into like, what, what is my sticking point? And I know, I know that that’s mine and it’s taken, what, two years of doing this podcast, Missy, For me to realize that that is my weird glitch in somewhere in my brain.

In a past life, I must have got lost a lot. I don’t know, but I just know and, and

[00:21:40] Missy: were a failed adventurer.

[00:21:42] Susanne: yeah. But I think about all the things I’ve missed out on because I was like, Whoa, I don’t, I don’t know where I’m gonna park when I get there. So I

[00:21:50] Missy: Oh, I mean, my husband’s the same way. And I think one of the things I’ve learned by living with somebody like that, not that I don’t worry about that as well, but uh, one of the things I’ve learned is that there is no shame in reaching out to someone else and saying, I’ve never been here. Have you been here?

Do you have a recommendation? And people are nice about it because for years in my head I was like, Oh, I’m just gonna have to figure this out on my own. Cuz it is so embarrassing to admit that I’m scared to drive to this place.

[00:22:17] Susanne: Yes.

[00:22:18] Kat: Yeah. People are really willing to help. people are really willing to help, you

[00:22:22] Missy: people are.

[00:22:24] Kat: Yeah. And I think, you know, whether it’s a, a concern about transportation and figuring out the parking, which can be such a nightmare sometimes, or whether it’s, um, as you were sharing that story, I was thinking how, like, how does this show up in my life?

And like, I realized one of the things, for me is like around food, like around if I’m gonna be hungry, um, cuz I have low blood sugar and sometimes if I get woozy I get really weird. And so, um, one of the things I, I learned was like, I need to eat a really good snack or a meal before I go to something.

Even if they say there’s gonna be food there. And you get there and it’s really like two pieces of broccoli and like some ranch or whatever.


[00:23:00] Missy: there. Yeah.

[00:23:01] Kat: so like sometimes to feel really ready to go somewhere, I need to like, make my tummy happy and then I can show up and be in a good mood to hang out with people rather than like stress about that, you know.

[00:23:12] Missy: Huh.

[00:23:13] Susanne: Yeah. And it’s just those, and I’m sure that there’s probably a hundred different reasons or little things that people use as, I don’t wanna say an excuse cuz it’s legitimate. I

[00:23:23] Kat: Mm-hmm.

[00:23:24] Susanne: a, it’s a concern. Um, but it’s just that one little barrier to maybe going and doing something that would be that next step of building a meaningful friendship.

Meeting someone who could be a meaningful friendship. So yes. Oh, okay. So I told you I was gonna be hopping around a lot. So we went to the way end of

[00:23:42] Missy: We

[00:23:42] Susanne: Now we’re gonna go way back to the front of the book. Um, cuz you talk about being in the Bay Area, which is when you started to encounter some of these issues.

And I lived in Seattle for

[00:23:51] Kat: Hmm.

[00:23:52] Susanne: I don’t know. And um, and they have this ice. Nice. In fact, there was an article about it. I’ll see if we can link to it, where they had this ice, nice reputation where they were rated one of the nicest cities as far as like people will open the door for you or if you drop your wallet, they’ll like bring it to your house.

Like there’s some nice, nice people, but they will not let you inside their house. Or, I mean, I have friends that I was friends with for years. I could not tell you what their living room looks like. Um, even if you were to go do something together, you might pick them. And they are, they’re coming out the door to like, meet you and get in your car.

Like it’s the weirdest thing. And like after moving to Texas, I was like, Ooh, yeah, we were kind of weird. So can that be a, can that be a geographical thing?

[00:24:38] Kat: Yes, it can, and I can completely validate that experience. I lived in Seattle for almost eight years, and the Seattle Freeze as it was called when I was there, is a for real thing like.

[00:24:51] Susanne: is it?

[00:24:52] Missy: interesting.

[00:24:53] Kat: Yeah, it’s a thing. It is a real thing. And not only that, you know, it’s not only Seattle. I don’t just only wanna be like, oh, like let’s like dump on Seattle.

But like, it, cities and regions actually do have personalities. And this is a topic that’s fascinating me, you know, for a long time. I like, when I lived in Florida, for example, and then moved to Seattle, I was like, What is this? It’s so different. People are not warm and friendly here. Um, although there are, there are some, and for a while I thought maybe it has to do with the weather, right?

When you, when I was living in Florida, like, we’re outside all the time. It’s hot, you don’t have a lot of clothes on cuz it’s a hundred degrees and a hundred humidity. And so I was like, maybe people are just more open there because like, they’re literally more open. You’re outside and your body is out a lot.

And in Seattle it’s like there’s a cold drizzle. I have to like stare at the sidewalk. I gotta hunch over. And maybe the cold is what makes people closed off because our bodies are in a position all the time with holding and closing in. And then when I was researching for the book, I found another really fabulous book that if, if listeners are interested in this topic, I highly recommend, uh, it’s a book called Who’s Your City?

And it’s by Dr. Richard Florida. And what they did in the book was, him and a bunch of psychologists and analysts use these huge data sets of, psychology information and regions to find clusters of where people with certain kinds of personalities tend to gather. and so it’s, it’s not, it would be too simplistic to say that a whole city has a single defining personality trait.

Obviously people are different. There’s all kinds of people everywhere, but there are absolutely clusters and it is so fascinating to read about. So for example, you mentioned the Pacific Northwest, right? Which ranks really high for introversion and that might be part of the ice. Nice thing. Um, and in the Bay Area where I am, It ranks really highly for, creativity and openness to experience also introversion.

but it ranks really low on things like duty or valuing social capital. And so what we end up with is like a place where a lot of innovation happens, but people aren’t not necessarily the most neighborly. Um, and it’s also an extremely transient area, which is another thing that leads to feeling like is what is the neighborhood vibe here?

And it’s like, I don’t know, every six months it changes. And so that can affect that. Um, the Midwest, as we all know, like the Midwest has a personality for being, really nice as well. And it ranks really high on traits like duty conscientiousness. Being agreeable is a trait that clusters highly in that region.

And so if, someone’s listening and they’re like, Wow, I’m, I’m planning to move to a new city, Where should I move? You might wanna think about if you don’t feel like you fit in with your current city. Think about what are the traits that you have and the traits that you value in others, and then check out this research.

Um, there’s a whole list in the back of the book, where they actually show by region and by city, like how they rank. And it is really fascinating because the plates that makes you happy might be the place that has the clusters of traits that you tend to value most highly. So, um, that is super nerdy research.


highly recommend

[00:27:53] Susanne: we’re

[00:27:53] Missy: and really speaks to like knowing ourselves too, you know, like, Yeah.

[00:27:58] Susanne: Well that dude, that is it. I mean, you really, again, back to your core values and stuff. Well, again, I’m, I’m referring to like 10 episodes ago again from then, 10 episodes

[00:28:07] Missy: But we always talk about values. Like if you don’t know yourself, you could ne you could read that book and be like, This does not help me. Like, you have to know how you relate to the world and what it is you’re looking for and what, like what matters to you. I think that’s,

[00:28:23] Susanne: Well yeah. So a along, you know, my Seattle experience later on top of that new mom.

[00:28:31] Missy: Crazy.

[00:28:32] Susanne: and isolation. When my daughter was really young and I got to the point where we had moved to this neighborhood in Ballard, so you, I’m gonna say Ballard cuz you know where that is.

So we’d

[00:28:42] Kat: know where that is.

[00:28:42] Susanne: in Ballard. Um, and so I was like, okay, I’m tired of not knowing neighbors and stuff and this is gonna be our forever home. It lasted about four years, but at the time, it was gonna be our forever home. So I went and took plates of cookies and an invitation to a holiday party, literally to like 30 houses.

and I think about five families RSVP’d and showed up and another one RSVPed and they weren’t gonna be able to make it. And she actually ended up being one of my best friends, um, because she was having a baby at the time. So she did not, she did not show up. Um, but, and even one guy, as we were bringing the cookies, it was me and my daughter.

Like we were in a little wagon of cookies and he like did a U-turn when he saw me and went back in and closed the door. So I was like, Okay, enough of this stuff. I decided not to give up. And when we moved to Austin, literally we are like, we are going door to door. Like it’s not, we’re not dropping off cookies.

Like they have to look us in the eyeballs if they’re gonna reject us. And we do. We just go door to door and be like, Hello, we’ve moved over here. Nice to meet you. Meet and, and again, geographically, we got two doors down and we met some of our, who ended up being some of our best friends. They were like, Come on in, we’re having barbecue tonight.

Like, just it, like I have now seen more of your house than I’ve seen, you know, of all my friends back in Seattle. So, But like, how do you give up if you were the person who is try always trying and, you know, you get the five RSVPs from 30 people and people are, you know, RSVPing and then not showing up, whatever.

Like how do you keep going? How do you

[00:30:19] Kat: Yeah. Well, what I think what your story illustrates Suzanne, is that it’s not personal, is completely not personal. Like how could it be personal when these people don’t even know you? You know, the dude who turned did the U-turn and went back in his house like that has a lot more to do with him than you because he didn’t even know you.


[00:30:38] Susanne: That’s true. Oh my God. It’s taken me like 20 years to come to that. That, Yeah. I still take, I still was taking that personally until right now. You’re right. That was,

[00:30:50] Missy: It’s a whole thing off your

chest right now. Like you’re gonna, You don’t have to carry that anymore.

[00:30:54] Kat: let it go.

[00:30:55] Susanne: I.

[00:30:56] Kat: And, and the other thing too is like if one thing doesn’t work, maybe you try another. so, I’m thinking about like, one time I, I lived in an apartment building. I tried to get. People to come out and, and hang out and it like didn’t work right? But then I moved to another place living in a neighborhood and uh, similarly like just put a few invitations on the front doors of like the closest places and was like, Hey, like we’re gonna have muffins and lemonade.

Like come literally hang out on the sidewalk . And like people came, right? They didn’t come for the muffins and the lemonade. That’s just a show of hospitality. They came cause they wanted to meet the other people there. And they were like, who else lives here? No one has ever done this before. No one’s ever invited us to talk to each other.

And so if you extend an invitation, you never know. Like it might be the thing that people who’ve been there for years kind of wish for, but aren’t gonna get up the motivation or the energy of the courage to do it themself. And it takes courage. It really does take courage to extend an invitation and put it out there.

But it really can change your life. It can change the lives of the people around you. Um, try not to be frustrated if you don’t get that reciprocation back. they may not throw a party and invite the whole neighborhood to come.

[00:32:04] Missy: Yeah.

[00:32:05] Kat: I think it takes this kind of special person who’s willing to do that. but I think also when we’re specific and generous, people are drawn to that, people are drawn to that.

So one story that I think of that I love, happened during the pandemic, and it happened actually here in, in San Francisco. And it was a guy named Curtis Kimball, who felt like his neighborhood vibe had really taken a nose dive during the pandemic, like was really not close. And people were like ignoring each other, avoiding each other.

And he, uh, I think it’s a chef or something. So he just hung up flyers that were kind of funny, like a joke on the, on the telephone poles that were like, my wife says I need friends and I don’t know how to make friends, but I know how to make pancakes, so I’m gonna make pancakes from 10 to 12, the corner of Beda Street and this other street come on out.

[00:32:52] Susanne: Oh my God. I

[00:32:53] Kat: people came. 70 people pay. There was like a line down the block and like kids dancing in the street. Like it was just this joyous thing. And he’s like, I’m just gonna give away pancakes. And so like, you can be quirky, you can be creative, you can be yourself, and people are, will usually jump at the chance to come.

[00:33:11] Susanne: That is

[00:33:12] Missy: convicted to do something in my neighborhood. We used to be really tight, but I do think the pandemic changed some of that. The ages of our children have changed, people have moved. Our big ring leader of neighborhood activities moved. Um, it just, but the pandemic really did, just squashed that.

And, um, I feel like we have new neighbors in, one of the statistics in the book is 30% of people in the US have never interacted with their neighbors. And I have to wonder if some of our new neighbors are in that 30%. And I would like to get back to how, I mean, our street just used to hang out together all the time.

Um, but since the pandemic, I mean, it’s not that we’re not outside, but we’re outside doing our thing. I don’t know. It’s very.

[00:33:56] Susanne: Yeah.

[00:33:57] Kat: Yeah. Something else I just recently learned about that was so inspiring, it like made me kind of misty, was, um, there’s this thing called Gor Fest. It’s been going on since 2007. It started in Ithaca, New York, and it has spread to over 150 cities in the country where a community gets together, it’s all volunteer run, and they agree to offer up their porch or their Fred lawn for musicians and bands to play on and on a certain afternoon or through a weekend or whatnot.

all these musicians will just like play music at different houses, front yards or front steps or whatever, and like kids will make lemonade stands and you just walk around and listen to music and meet people, and it happens all over the place. And even if your neighborhood doesn’t have one, you can organize one or you can field trip to another neighborhood and go to theirs,

[00:34:45] Susanne: Gonna go hang out at a better neighborhood. Oh my God. And I know, you

[00:34:49] Missy: gosh, I want to have one.

[00:34:51] Susanne: and Seattle used to do that. I think other cities do that too. It used to be a, there was a certain night of the year, A neighborhood night

[00:34:58] Kat: Night out. Yeah, Night out. It’s a national thing.

[00:35:00] Susanne: yeah, and it, I think actually was, I just realized it was a couple weeks ago. I was like, Oh,

[00:35:06] Kat: Missed it.

[00:35:07] Susanne: I missed it. Oh well next time.

[00:35:09] Missy: was a couple weeks ago.

[00:35:10] Susanne: But, so, okay, so say we do, do a neighborhood night out, or you got the band out there, the people are coming by for the lemonade. Like how do you then take that little single dose interaction and. Build off of that. I mean, do you hand out business cards or like , This is my friendship business card.

Like how do, how do you then turn and take that to the next level?

[00:35:32] Missy: That’s a great question.

[00:35:33] Kat: You could make a friendship business card. There’s really nothing stopping you. You could be like, Hey, I wanna make friends in this neighborhood. If you wanna reach out to me, here’s how. Um, And I think that there’s also ways, So I think about one space I’ve been to that does this really quite well are meetups where they don’t necessarily want people to only talk on that one occasion and then never communicate again.

And so there will be generally towards the end of the event or whatever in the middle, some kind of clipboard going around. That’s like, if you like this and you want to get together again with these same group of people or whatever you wanna be reached out to, when we’re gonna do more stuff, write down your name or your email or your phone number or your, whatever it is, contact information you’re willing to share.

And then, it’s an opt in, right? It’s an opt-in. So people can say, Yeah, I would love to talk to you again. I would love to hang out again and readily open to, to being contacted. And so that kind of thing takes away some of the mystery of like, So can I talk to you again? You know, you don’t have to do it one by one.

You know, if you’re willing to make like. An email thread with a bunch of people’s emails on it. Generally people are like, Yeah, sure. Tell me about stuff. Mm-hmm.

[00:36:40] Susanne: Yeah. Oh, I love that idea

[00:36:43] Kat: and then follow up

[00:36:44] Missy: a lot and. Like, Suzanne and I haven’t done it. Like we, we reach about it, go do a meetup. But that’s a great suggestion.

[00:36:53] Kat: Mm-hmm.

[00:36:54] Susanne: Oh my gosh. I’ve got so many more things that I wanted to talk to you about. So now I gotta pick my favorite one, , because we only have a couple more minutes before look list and learn. But let’s see. Okay. Oh, I wanna talk about microdosing friendships, but you, y’all are gonna have to read the book. You gotta

go by the book so you can find out about that.

Cuz I mean, microdosing friendship, that sounds interesting enough to go by the book. Just, just to learn. You can incorporate that in your life. But I do think that so much of like why we are not nurturing the friendships we have and why we are not feeling like, you know, we have space in our room to bring new friends in is busyness.

And we talk about we’re so busy and don’t have

time. And I love that the book used the example of Nixon. We had a whole episode, uh, episode number six,

which I

[00:37:38] Kat: was so good.

[00:37:39] Susanne: I just discovered last week, was I, you must have listened to it on your computer. Cuz for some reason all of our services decide to cut off episodes one through 10.

So I’m very, But I found ’em. They’re back. They’re back. If

[00:37:51] Kat: Yeah, I listened on the website. It was a great episode.

[00:37:54] Susanne: Oh yeah, Ol and

[00:37:55] Missy: I love.

[00:37:56] Susanne: Olga is awesome. And this idea of Nixon, which is, you know, doing nothing on purpose basically. And so that’s just one of the many ways to banish busy. But you had also mentioned this idea of using a time use assessment to actually get a handle.

And like, are you busy? Like, really? So can you just, uh, wrap up our conversation with like, Okay. That, let’s take that one more excuse off the board.

[00:38:19] Kat: Yeah, so the time use assessment, uh, which I provide a guide to in the book, it’s sort of like having a couple’s therapy session with your phone and your phone’s, digital wellness stats. It’s like, let’s talk about what’s happening in this relationship and if you get clear about how you’re using your time.

So on my phone, I use the digital wellness app. Most of our phones have some kind of tracking thing like this. It’s quite sobering to look at when you add up the minutes of how you’re spending your day. and so when you, when you literally just sit down and put it in black and white on a piece of paper, things get extremely clear.

So, for example, if you spend one hour a day on social media, which sounds like a lot, but it actually happens very quickly. You go on to check for five minutes and then 30 minutes go by not even thinking about it. If you do that five times a week over the course of a year, that adds up to 10 days. A little over 10 days, 10 solid 24 hour days.

Mind you think about doing that, and it seems kind of bananas, right?

[00:39:18] Susanne: my

[00:39:18] Kat: Um, if you,

[00:39:20] Missy: a little nauseated.

[00:39:21] Kat: if you watch Netflix a couple hours a day, say like four days a week, maybe you watch a movie two hours, right? If you do that for an entire year, that’s 17 solid 24 hour days, 17 days straight of just staring at Netflix. Um, and that, that’s actually a, a very low estimate.

According to Nielsen, uh, the average American

watches five hours a day of tv, uh, which adds up to 77 days in a year. So when you look at that and you’re like, How am I spending my time? Whether it’s TikTok or social media, or Instagram or Netflix or whatever it is, if you don’t like the facts about how many days a year you’re actually giving to that stuff, then you can say like, I wanna change how I’m doing this.

I have time actually to text my friends back. I have time actually to make a cute, uh, invitation on Canva, to invite my neighbors to something that takes maybe 30 minutes maybe instead of going on Facebook for 30 minutes, you do that. And so you find the time because you have it, you’re just using it in probably a different way.

And when you notice those changes, you can make that decision a lot more with a lot more conviction because it’s clear to you that you have that space. And there’s a really great reframing here around how we use our time and how we use our life that I really like. I saw it the other day online. it’s from more Morgan Harper Nichols, who’s, uh, an amazing illustrator artist.

She does poetry, like, it’s amazing. and she had a post the other day about replacing the question, What do I wanna do with my life? To, what do I wanna do within my life? And it’s just a nice reframing to think about, Well, if your life isn’t something that you like, Manipulate or move around that’s outside of you, but it’s actually something that you inhabit and like, what do you wanna add within your life?

What do you wanna do within your life? Then it’s this more, um, creative space to say, Well, you can do, you can, you can rest within your life. You can be invitational in your life. You can be playful in your life. You can be experimental within your life. and then it’s, it’s, it just feels like this huge opening up.

And so that’s a nice reframing, I think is useful to add. When you’ve done the time use assessment. Ask yourself that question, journal on that, and see what answers come out.

[00:41:30] Missy: Oh, wow. It’s very convicting and also inspiring and so simple.

[00:41:37] Susanne: Yeah.

[00:41:38] Missy: Really, it just requires sitting down and being a little honest with yourself, which I, I don’t know if I wanna do that today, but I, I think I’ll do that tomorrow.

[00:41:47] Susanne: put some time in your schedule. I dunno. I’m way too busy to do that,

[00:41:51] Missy: I’m not sure if I’m ready to be that honest with myself today.

[00:41:55] Susanne: Oh, we know what our problems are. It’s just a matter of doing something about it.

[00:41:59] Missy: for sure.

[00:42:00] Susanne: Oh my gosh. Oh, I love that. Okay. That’s a beautiful place to leave, but uh, actually we need to let people know where to find you before we jump into our look list and learns.

[00:42:09] Kat: So I am online, um, a few places. I try not to be online too many places cause I try not to be online too much Overall. Um, my website is we should get People can subscribe to my newsletter there, which is the best way to keep up on events and, and news. And I also share friendship tips every couple weeks, on the newsletter.

So subscribe there. It’s free. You can cancel whenever you want. Um, also, right now I just launched the 2023 Better Conversations Calendar, which is available for pre-order. If you want to get that, I suggest you get your orders in quickly. It did sell out last year. Uh, and it is a full year of better conversation starters to use throughout the whole year to replace normal, uh, small talk questions like what do you do?

Or like, where are you from or how are you better? We can, we can go more. We, we, we can go beyond that.

[00:42:58] Susanne: Oh, I’m so excited for mine to come. I already pre-ordered last week, so I’m so excited.

[00:43:03] Kat: Yes, and folks can certainly invite me to stuff, whether it’s podcasts like this one or I’m also booking paid speaking events in 2023 and forward. I’m kind of booked out the rest of the year, but I would love to connect with you and, uh, you have service in some way.

[00:43:17] Susanne: Wonderful.

[00:43:18] Missy: We always say we’re gonna have people back.

I think we’re gonna have like the next year of all the people we need to have back. I think we could talk to you Ka for several hours. There’s so many things we didn’t get to dive into. but now it’s time for look, listen, and learn. And our look, listen, learns are a few minutes at the end of every show we talk about something.

We’re reading, watching a new skill. We’re learning a new product we’re using, uh, and we do not like to put our guests on the hot seat. So Suzanne’s gonna go first. What are you up to this week?

[00:43:46] Susanne: Oh my gosh. I have been looking, I’ll have to include a picture of this, um, looking at like a million Legos because if people followed me back in my more blogging days, um, remember, gosh, almost a decade ago, I, I tried to give it a little cheerful title. It was called Lord Business Lego Camp. If anybody knows Lord Business from Lego,

[00:44:07] Missy: from the Lego movie.

[00:44:09] Susanne: it’s really like stuff to be together in their sets.

And so

[00:44:13] Missy: Mm-hmm.

[00:44:14] Susanne: my son had had like 30 Lego sets that then got destroyed and put into this giant pile of, you know, our original 20 pounds of just. Miscellaneous Legos and he wanted to buy, you know, get a new Lego set. And I had had enough and I was like, Okay, great. You have a whole summer. And literally we were doing like eight hour days for months reassembling these dang things.

And so again, he wanted a stranger things Lego set. He has not touched a Lego in two years, but for some reason he needed to have this stranger things Lego set, which is like $300. It’s crazy. I was like, What? Who are you that you need a $300

[00:44:52] Kat: That’s like a plane ticket.

[00:44:54] Susanne: I know. I was like, you know,

[00:44:56] Missy: we could go to Lego Land

[00:44:57] Susanne: like, you know how you can have $300 to buy Legos to sell some of your Legos?

So he had to put together this little, Oh my God. The whole, it’s our whole Peloton room thing. Like the little workout area is just filled with Legos right now. but we spent. I think about seven hours on Saturday shuffling through there and reassembling. And I did my like, ROI at the end, , and I was like, we’re gonna sell that set for like $25.

And I spent like two hours looking for, you know, this piece numbered 7, 4, 6 5 or whatever.

[00:45:33] Missy: God, that sounds awful.

[00:45:35] Susanne: yeah, so we put, we put a couple of those together. and, but you know what? It’s so funny, I kept on thinking is that that is the worst of times or it’s the best of times. It’s the worst of times because it was, I mean, it’s just the worst anyone’s who’s ever done that.

I stepped on so many Legos. It was just on a wood floor, the

[00:45:52] Missy: you were with your kiddo.

[00:45:54] Susanne: he did literally like every half hour, he would just be like, This is so fun. Isn’t this the best? This is the best day I’ve had in a long time getting to hang out. And so I was just like, that is just the best. And so, I mean, $25 for uh, seven hours of work is not really great on a as far as like what I was getting paid per hour.

But yes, it was priceless. And so there’s, That was what I’ve been looking, I mean, I literally can see them when I close my eyes still. And same thing, I can hear them. My listen has been the sound. Anybody knows that sound? I was kind of traumatized

[00:46:30] Missy: I can hear

[00:46:31] Susanne: camp. Yeah, it’s just that.

[00:46:33] Missy: mm-hmm.

[00:46:34] Susanne: But then my learn is much more, is much more motivational.

Um, and it really could be a whole episode. So, y’all probably remember, uh, Shelly Hayes McMahon, who we had on it was episode 63. She brought on Crystal Mason. The woman who, was charged with, what

[00:46:52] Missy: Voter fraud.

[00:46:53] Susanne: voter fraud. Because she had voted, um, not knowing that she was not eligible to vote.

Actually, it was a provisional ballot. She did not even vote. It was a


[00:47:01] Missy: didn’t even vote. Yeah.

[00:47:03] Susanne: Anyway, I could get.

[00:47:05] Missy: listen to that

[00:47:05] Susanne: It’s all about racial voter suppression. Voter intimidation. We got some serious elections coming up here in Texas. Don’t fuck with me about it. Like just get out there and vote y’all. Uh, but anyway, uh, Shelly being the lovely person she is, uh, texted on Friday just to check in and I was talking about this, this job that I’m interested in applying for and, you know, dusting off my resume, which I had not done since like 2017.

And it’s a whole different job. Like my job before was like marketing advertising Apple, Disney, and now it’s like sex Ed , you know, and it’s, so, it’s just every job that I talked about before is like work off the resume. Now it’s all my informed parents of Austin stuff and I was just getting overwhelmed with my resume and she was like, Can I gift you the resume services of my friend Dr.

April Willis, who we need to have on the podcast, by the way? and I just could not believe that after two years of interviewing, like inspirational women, Career coaches that, you know, are talking about how valuable we are and that we are worth investing in. The fact that I didn’t even think of paying someone to just take that resume off my plate.

And I, I am not gonna let Shelly actually pay for that, but the fact she made me remember my value by knowing that she saw enough value in me to be like, Let me just pay for this for you , so you can, you know, you have a fighting and chance again, this job. So it’s just a reminder. I mean, we do these interviews, y’all listen to these interviews every week and sometimes it takes another kick in the butt from a friend, um, to remind you that we are worth it and there’s no shame in hiring a professional to do what they do.

I’m not a resume writer. Let someone who can do it in like a fraction of the time, just do her job. And so yeah, that, that’s my learn. It’s my reminder. Learn for the

[00:48:58] Missy: Yeah. You’re relearn.

[00:49:00] Susanne: My relearn. What about you, Ka?

[00:49:02] Kat: Yeah, I love this segment and my look would be. It’s funny, I, I did something the other day that I haven’t done in a while, which is to just go on a photo stroll where I go to a neighborhood I’ve never been to before and my goal is to like notice, like, look around, notice the things and take some nice photographs and share them.

And so it was really, really fun and really playful. It’s like a, a cool thing you can do by yourself, you can do with a friend, you can do with kids, is like, look around you and notice what is here. And it was truly just delightful. The things that I saw, Like there was, a, somebody had a whiteboard nestled in their garden, like in front of their house and it had, they would, it seems like maybe they just write jokes on it.

The joke they had written down was, I told my friend about Cappi bears and she says, Oh, so they’re Guinea pigs, which if you don’t know what a cappi bear is, Google it. It is like a. It’s the largest Guinea pig in the world. It’s like 150 pounds anyways. Um, and like I wouldn’t notice that if it wasn’t intentionally being like, Let me look at the world.

Let me just use my eyes and see what I, what I can find here. And there were like little things, like there was a sculpture, like peeking over the side of someone’s fence of like a little man made out of wire. And there was, I love when people make little, dioramas with like, toys

[00:50:23] Susanne: Oh,

[00:50:23] Kat: on in the yard.

So there’s like Captain America and a little horse and a little pony and like, it’s, I just love that kinda thing. So yeah, just look truly, just look at the world. do a, do a walk, go to a new neighborhood. If it feels like you already seen everything in your neighborhood, you’re kind of like, it’s blur.

Um, do that feel alive, feel in the world. And then my listen, would be I just started listening to a new audiobook. I love audiobooks. By the way, my book is on audiobook if you wanna do that. I wanna make sure I get the title right. So I’m gonna look at it. I just started listening to it over the weekend, and I really am loving it so far.

It’s called Divergent Mind, and it’s by Gena Nirenberg. And, uh, yeah, it’s about neurodiversity and we’re expansiveness. Um, and I’m, I’m very interested in listening to that. That’s also, I guess, part of my learn, but I have a different learn, which is something I love to do in my free time is to sew. And I, I like to make clothes.

I sometimes just wing it. I just like make it up. but I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos about sewing lately and learning proper techniques for how to do things like put a lining in a shirt or like do zippers or whatever it might be. and it’s, it’s just delightful

[00:51:39] Susanne: Oh, cool.

[00:51:40] Missy: I love to watch videos like that and I don’t sew, like I can watch. I love to watch people craft. I like to watch them bake. I like to watch them sew. I maybe I should stop so much watching and do some doing, but it’s really soothing.

[00:51:55] Kat: it is so relaxing. Yeah. And it’s very inspiring if you do want to do that thing. Um, and it’s just nice to know, like you can go back and pause and replay and, and I’ve done that a number of times with some of them and like, how did she do that again? And it’s just magic to me to make things by hand.


[00:52:12] Susanne: Oh, I tried to learn how to crochet that way. I made the mistake of buying this little, it’s a cute set of like, Star Wars characters that you do that little cute crochet character building with, and I figure it was in the toy section at Costco. It was like, well, certainly this must be easy. I’ve had those

[00:52:27] Kat: that sounds

[00:52:28] Susanne: years.

It is so hard. I think I have like a quarter of one character’s head I need to

[00:52:35] Missy: Yeah. I tried to teach myself to Kni that way, and I just kind of got to a point where I was like, I don’t understand. Like I need to do the slow down pause. I need to just dedicate some time to

[00:52:45] Susanne: Yeah. Thank goodness for the pause. Oh, I love that. Have you made anything new from it?

[00:52:50] Kat: yeah. Actually I made, um, I did learn how to put a proper lining in a shirt, which was like a big deal cuz for years I was just like winging it and making it up and like, anyways.

[00:53:00] Susanne: I don’t know if any of my shirts have linings. What?

[00:53:03] Kat: it’s just nice cuz some of the fabrics I like to get, um, they’re kind of thin, which doesn’t work in the Bay area where it’s often foggy.

And so an extra lining layer actually makes it a bit more cozy and, and more warm. And so, um, so that’s one thing that I did is I made a nice, like kind of lined. You know, just took a short sleeve shirt. Um, like boat neck is a very easy thing to sew cuz it’s like no collar, no zippers, no buttons,

[00:53:31] Susanne: ooh,

[00:53:31] Kat: are simple things.

I, I’m working up to, to doing this zipper project. Yeah.

[00:53:37] Missy: Yeah. The one sewing class I took that they sent me home and were like, Thank you for being here. Maybe don’t return . Seriously. I need to find out if my mom still has that shirt. For the longest time, she kept it just, I think when she needed a giggle, she’d pull it out of her closet and be like, I can’t believe you made this

[00:53:53] Kat: You can do it. It just takes time. It just takes

[00:53:57] Missy: It just takes


[00:53:58] Kat: always make a little doll version before I start is I make a little mini version

[00:54:03] Susanne: That sounds even

[00:54:04] Kat: small amount of fabric to make sure I know what I’m doing and then I make the big version

[00:54:09] Missy: That’s genius.

[00:54:10] Susanne: that’s so cute. Yeah. I got pretty good with the sewing machine when I was making like a hundred masks a day. At the

beginning of the pandemic, I kind of, Oh my God, I need to get rid of this pile. It’s like all our old clothes that we would turn into mass for, like nurses and stuff.

[00:54:25] Missy: I have many of your hands own masks. Before they told us to, like,

[00:54:30] Susanne: They’re like, Yeah.

[00:54:30] Missy: we couldn’t

[00:54:31] Kat: I

[00:54:32] Missy: And we couldn’t find the, the actual surgical masks at first. Like, I’m so glad you did that. In the mid, like in the between time,

[00:54:39] Kat: Yeah.

[00:54:39] Susanne: did nothing. It probably like actually exacerbated the germs and trapped them in there.

[00:54:45] Missy: made us feel better,

[00:54:47] Susanne: Oh my gosh. Oh, we’re running a couple minutes later. You, do you have time for misses? Or you can jump off if you need to.

[00:54:53] Kat: Go for it, Missy.

[00:54:54] Missy: All right, so

my, thing I’m just started reading is called See You Later, ov later

[00:55:00] Kat: Ooh.

[00:55:01] Missy: book for Women in Menopause. Um, I just, the title got me in a friend, a mutual friend of ours, Suzanne and mine recommended it.

Um, so I just started it. So I don’t usually recommend things if I haven’t finished them, but I am enjoying it so much already that I thought I would share it. It just arrived in the mail yesterday. Um, so, and then I’ve had a sick kid, so my learn is flu season is hitting really early this year. Uh, they said if the doctors, like 80% of the people they saw last week had the.

[00:55:32] Kat: Wow.

[00:55:33] Missy: It’s half of our swim team is out. I’ve heard half of the football team at school has it. So take precaution. That’s my learn. Go ahead and do whatever it is you do to prepare for flu season. Get your shot and stock up on the meds you need and be aware, um, maybe bust out your masks again if you’re going to be in public places.

Um, it is out and because I’ve had a sick kid, uh, I had some downtime the last couple days, so I watched, I’m so embarrassed. I watched the Midnight Club on Netflix, which it one of Mike Flanigans horror series, but they’re not really horror, they’re just kind of creepy. He did the haunting of Hill House, the haunting of Bly Manor.

Midnight Mass. Didn’t you watch midnight Mass,

[00:56:14] Susanne: I did watch Midnight Mass. Oh my God. I almost forgot about that.

[00:56:17] Missy: Yeah, same guy. Every fall they release something that’s just kind of creepy. Yeah, so Midnight Club is sort of a stranger things wannabe. It feels like it’s a group of kids. But anyway, it was an easy watch for a couple days and not scary. Just weird.

[00:56:33] Susanne: Oh, I don’t know. My husband travels too much for me to watch. Too many scary things. Then I

[00:56:38] Missy: There’s a couple jump scares and a couple, like there’s a whole situation that still it show ended, and I was like, What were those creepy people? Like, Why were they there? I don’t know why they were there, , so

[00:56:49] Susanne: they, they had just paid special effects for all the people and just

[00:56:53] Missy: Yeah. I’m like, who exactly were they? Anyway, so that’s what I’ve been watching.

I don’t know if I’m recommending it or not, but if you’re looking for a spooky, Mike Flanigan has a new one,

[00:57:03] Susanne: you go. For Halloween.

All right, well, we need to get you off to your

[00:57:07] Missy: you off your call. It was so nice to meet you.

[00:57:10] Kat: So great to meet you too. Thank you so much for having me. This was delightful.

[00:57:14] Susanne: Uh, well, and thank you for helping build friendships out in the world. I mean, what important, important work and so generous of you to share all your knowledge. Really, really appreciate it.

[00:57:24] Kat: Thank you.

[00:57:25] Susanne: Thank


[00:57:25] Missy: a great day.

[00:57:26] Kat: Have a great day, y’all. Take care.

[00:57:28] Susanne: Okay.

[00:57:29] Missy: Bye.

[00:57:30] Kat: Bye.