How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career

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Episode 39: Lisen Stromberg

Becoming a mother was the defining moment for Lisen Stromberg. If you’re thinking, “well, duh” we implore you to listen to her story, and how Lisen’s entire perspective on work, ambition, and purpose changed when she looked at the situation with her children – and honestly, all children – in mind.

Lisen talked with us about the shift she’s seen over the last couple decades, from women feeling isolated, and like failures, to having open discussion about how to do things better. No longer are we trapped by the concept of linear careers. There are endless options, and we are better equipped than ever before to define success for ourselves.

Through her own research, including interviewing close to 200 women and surveying 1500, Lisen found that 78% of women who paused have no regrets. No regrets. How often can we say that about… anything? Such good news!

We talked about how to pause and make it work for you. One of our favorite concepts from this discussion was about liminal space: the time or space between two things. We also talked about being co-conspirators, in the most positive sense of that term. Women have to help and lift each other, especially those of us with privileges not available to other working moms. There are a lot of old ideas still controlling the narrative, but we have the power to change perceptions.

More About Lisen

Lisen Stromberg is a workplace culture innovation and leadership expert who works with clients to help them build next-in-class, 21st century cultures with the future-forward leaders their company needs to succeed. 

In her role as CEO of PrismWork, a culture innovation consultancy, Lisen and her team partner with companies to ensure their internal programs, policies, and practices align with their external branding so ALL stakeholders win. Rooted in quantitative and qualitative data, PrismWork’s culture assessments drive customized solutions to meet the unique needs of companies ranging from global Fortune 500s to tech start-ups. 

Through their 21st Century Leadership Lab™ workshops, training, and coaching, Lisen and her team provide today’s workforce with the necessary skills and insights to thrive in the modern workplace.

Lisen is also a widely regarded speaker who empowers people and companies to reimagine the future of work for today’s workforce. She has been on stage at numerous high-profile conferences including SXSW, PBWC, Cannes, and others.   

As an award-winning independent journalist, Lisen’s work can be found in The New York Times, Fortune, Newsweek, and other top media outlets. Her book, Work Pause Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career, reveals how trailblazing women disrupted the traditional career paradigm to achieve their personal and professional goals and how forward-thinking companies create workplaces that enable women to thrive.

When they aren’t traveling the world visiting family and friends, Lisen and her husband split their time between San Francisco and Boston. They can often be found kayaking on both coasts or skiing somewhere in between.

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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 transcribed by Descript – Please excuse any missed corrections.

 

 

EP 39 Lisen Stromberg / Work, Pause, Thrive

[00:00:00] Susanne: Welcome to the mom and podcast where our mission is to help moms figure out who they are and their ellipses, or the.dot dots beyond I’m a mom and. I’m Susanne Kerns.

I’m a mom and dot dot dot writer, LGBTQ ally, and this week a refreshed Austin Pets Alive volunteer.

[00:00:43] Missy: I can’t wait to hear more about that. I’m Missy Steven’s, a mom and dot.dot dot writer, foster care advocate, and this week, a comedy festival goer during a pandemic, so maybe crazy today. We are thrilled to have Lisen Stromberg on the podcast. Lisen is CEO of PrismWork, a workplace culture and leadership consultancy.

She and her team work with clients to help them build next in class 21st century cultures with the future forward leaders, their companies need to succeed. Lisen is also a best-selling author. Award-winning independent journalist and an in demand speaker.

She earned her BA at Dartmouth and has an MBA from , UC Berkeley’s Haas school of business, and an MFA from mills college. Welcome.

[00:01:28] Lisen: Thank you. It’s such a pleasure to be here.

[00:01:31] Susanne: So excited

[00:01:32] Missy: We are excited.

[00:01:34] Susanne: though. First of all, I just got to tell you. Your book Work, Pause, Thrive… for people who do not research this area of women and career, as much as I do, maybe don’t understand that before this book. I mean, I had read the feminine mistake, not the mystique, not that, no the mistake, the feminine mistake, uh, like the price of mother had really interesting books, but not super inspiring or a hope filling for a woman who has been out of the workforce for 15 years raising her kids.

So when I just want to make a poster of your stat from your study, 78% of those who paused and relaunched have no regrets. I’m

[00:02:20] Lisen: no regrets. In fact, the highest life satisfaction of anybody.

[00:02:25] Susanne: So amazing.

What a

[00:02:27] Lisen: are told like that, right. That narrative isn’t told. So yes, I know.

[00:02:32] Susanne: And I also came from an advertising background and at the time I left, I was working on apple. And my client that I worked with, there was three kids, , but I call, I literally called her. I had no shame and I was asking anybody who would come near me, like, should I, should I quit? And of course they can’t give you that answer.

And it was kind of ridiculous, but just even having this statistic that, you know, women who have paused, they don’t regret it. And I, you know, pausing can be a really great time of reflection and it doesn’t have to be the end of something. It’s the thinking point of

[00:03:08] Lisen: We’re all in a pause in some ways, right? I mean, look at what COVID has brought to us. We’ve brought this, the new term, the great awakening, right? I think motherhood for so many women is the great awakening and we’ve been doing this for a long time. So, um,

[00:03:22] Susanne: I like to call COVID our global maternity leave where we’re living. Like literally

[00:03:28] Lisen: exactly right. Well, so many men I speak to are loving this chance to be closer to their children and the way that they haven’t had to, which gives me great hope because it makes me think about all those men when they actually returned to the office, will they actually have shifted their narrative around being engaged with their children.

So I

[00:03:46] Missy: And understand what’s entailed in that.

[00:03:49] Lisen: absolutely, absolutely.

[00:03:51] Missy: not just going to the park, like there’s a lot involved.

[00:03:54] Susanne: Yeah. Such an appreciation for it. And I really think there will be, I’ve talked before about how my husband, after I did my maternity leave, our childcare still had not opened up. So he did a three month paternity leave, which has scarred him to this day. It is impacted.

[00:04:11] Lisen: I will say actually my husband was between roles. Um, I think our kids, I mean three kids, I think they were like maybe 10, seven and five. And we had a, you know, I wouldn’t call her a nanny, but she was a housekeeper helper. And then I was working in my husband’s working and he was pausing and he come home.

He came from home from school when then he says, this is more than a three person job. I was like, yes. And honestly it shifted his whole perspective

[00:04:38] Susanne: Yeah.

[00:04:39] Lisen: his role as a father and his role as a partner in the housework and everything else fundamentally shifted it.

[00:04:44] Susanne: Yeah. I mean, 15, 15 years later. And he’s still like, I mean, our kids are pretty independent, but he’s still like, do you need some time? Do you need some space? Why don’t you go the coffee shop to do your writing? I got this. Um, but also the relationship that, that gives them the opportunity to build with the kids is really special too.

So, okay. Well, I went right into this book, but I really wanted to start with you. Um, you’ve talked a little bit about your story, but so you know where your career started, how it’s progressed over the years and some of the things that have impacted decisions along the way.

[00:05:18] Lisen: you know, I was thinking about the, you sent me questions and I love it when that happens. Cause it gives me a chance to kind of remember and ponder and all of those wonderful things. So thank you for that

[00:05:27] Susanne: Oh yeah.

[00:05:28] Lisen: I would say that for me becoming the mother was the defining. Before that, you know, I’d gotten an MBA, I was a hard charging, you know, I was going to be in the corner office and I handle this kind of really deep ambition, but it was a vertical ambition.

And once I got pregnant, literally I remember I was jogging. I was about five months pregnant. So kudos to me,

ladies

[00:05:51] Susanne: Yeah. Good for you.

[00:05:52] Missy: I know.

[00:05:53] Lisen: but I’ll never forget this moment. Yeah. Oh, wait a minute. If you’re not paying me fairly, you’re hurting my child. And all of a sudden I became this kind of, I wouldn’t call it a tiger mom, but, but cause it wasn’t about the baby.

It was about you hurt me. You hurt my children. You hurt me. You hurt the world and that’s not okay. And I got really clear about what I wanted to do in the world. And my ambition became much less vertical and much more horizontal. I was much more opening my eyes to the impact on the world to legacy, to impact in my own life.

It was a gift. I, I, I think motherhood made me a better human I’m so grateful. And we don’t talk about that enough. Right? So

[00:06:37] Missy: and nothing changes your perspective, like a human

who’s completely reliant on you at all times.

[00:06:44] Lisen: Exactly. And it’s not just them, it’s their friends. And then the community they’re engaged in and the liberal that large it’s sort of this concentric circle of impact and legacy. And all of a sudden you realize it’s not just about me. That for me was a clarifying moment, a clarifying reality.

And since then, everything has been kind of in relation to that in so many ways.

[00:07:07] Susanne: kids will, they’ll bring you back. We say that, you know, when you do pause, one of the dangers is this loss of identity

[00:07:16] Lisen: completely. I really felt that.

[00:07:18] Susanne: Oh so much. And, and you know, this loss of you’re not getting praise, you’re usually just getting complained at or cried or yelled at, which can really tear you down to a, a whole new place.

So, you know, one of the things that we’ve really tried to focus on getting our listeners is to either keep that identity. If it’s one that they feel is working for them or to explore and look at, you know, redefining who you are and really taking that time to think about who you are. Um, is that something you went through or that you also

[00:07:51] Lisen: Oh, deeply can relate to that. So after my first child was born, a son. Um, and I was on kind of the fast track of my company. I actually got promoted when I was on maternity leave and that was a big deal. I was like, oh yeah. Right. And I got back to the office and they put me, , under two men who had stay at home wives and my son was primie.

He spent, he was six weeks early and there was a lot of, kind of drama around his premie-ness and every day they would ask me don’t you want to be home with your baby? Doesn’t your baby. Need you? And you know, of course I’m already struggling with this and everything else. And.

[00:08:24] Missy: All

[00:08:24] Lisen: And I was just so struggling and I, and I really loved what I was doing, but that pressure and I was also finding myself, not getting invited to certain meetings and of getting sidelines.

And I didn’t understand the term motherhood bias, but boy did I experience it. And I got recruited , into a role as a vice president of advertising agency. And I bought this is awesome because I get out of working with a woman and I just lost my get out of that. And I got pregnant with my second child and of course two weeks before I was supposed to come back to, to work , our caregiver quit.

[00:08:58] Missy: No.

[00:08:59] Lisen: my husband, you know, we couldn’t figure this out. I couldn’t get them into daycare. There was nothing I could do. And I said to my boss, I, you know, I need a little bit more time. And, you know, it’s kinda like you’re either in you’re out, you know, there was no, it was just, it was so binary at that point in life.

And this was, you know, 20 years ago was 20 more, more than 20 years ago. I was like, if you’re either in, you’re out and you’re not working with me. And by the way, I’m the one who drove all this business. I brought in all these clients while I’ve been on maternity leave, I’ve still been navigating all this.

I’ve got a team and you’re just like giving me this binary option. I am out, I’m taking my human capital elsewhere. And I sort of took about three or four months to sort of figure out what I wanted to do. And, , I kind of put a little shingle out and I ended up making more money that year, working fewer hours on my own as a consultant, the marketing and strategy consultant and realized there’s another way to do this, but it didn’t even dawn on me.

I could do so for me, the gift of saying you’re making me choose and I choose me and I choose my family and it created abundance in a way that I never anticipate.

[00:10:09] Susanne: yeah.

[00:10:09] Lisen: So I share that, but I will say the crisis, the crisis of identity that I went through because I thought I was a failure. I thought everyone else could figure this out.

I didn’t realize that all of us were struggling because, you know, we didn’t have wonderful podcasts like you have, we didn’t have the stories. We weren’t collectively sharing our experience. And so we were still isolated. And that to me was heartbreaking in the book I write about, the not so new mothers club, which is what we call it

now.

But at the time we were all new moms, we actually met at Stanford hospital. We all gave birth within six weeks of each other. And we joined this, um, kind of mommy and me class that Stanford offered. And this group I’ve stayed with all of these years together. And these women have done such compelling things and almost every one of them have navigated going in and out of the workforce.

They’ve taken pauses. They’ve I mean, we’ve got. Two hugely successful female venture capitalists in Silicon valley, we have a repeat CFO. We have a very successful journalist. We have under their list, goes artists and, and I mean, huge success stories. We have a woman who paused and became a math teacher, but she found her true calling.

I mean, the

[00:11:26] Susanne: Oh, bless her.

[00:11:27] Lisen: don’t hear these stories, right. Bless her is right,

[00:11:30] Missy: Yeah,

[00:11:32] Lisen: but we don’t hear these stories because the narrative we’re sold is your career has to be linear. And if you pause, you’re going to be completely derailed. And it was that to me, that’s when lean in, came out. I’ll just keep talking.

That’s

okay, ladies. I don’t know.

[00:11:48] Susanne: love,

[00:11:49] Missy: and you go

[00:11:50] Lisen: Once I get started, I get so excited when lean in came out, I was just like, wait, ’cause. I literally remember reading the book and going, oh, this is great. This is great. Where’s the chapter on motherhood? Well, walk it up and close the book and it’s like, wait a minute. Love you, Sheryl.

But you missed something really important.

[00:12:09] Susanne: I love the quote from the book where I think it was another woman who said it was a forget, lean in, stand up.

[00:12:17] Missy: Yeah,

[00:12:18] Susanne: I was

like,

[00:12:18] Lisen: exactly right. Stand up, look around. Right. And bring in, bring in together. So I, just felt the story wasn’t being told. And so, I ended up going out and starting to meet with people and start, you know, I had my circle of people. I knew. I said, well, maybe we’re the exception. Maybe our story is this exception.

And I don’t know, oh my God, I ended up getting so excited. I ended up interviewing 186 women and about 40 men, I couldn’t stop. Finally, my editors said we don’t need any more stories

[00:12:50] Missy: but I can’t stop.

[00:12:52] Lisen: because they were so compelling and so inspiring and hearing these women who just kind of figured out how to do it, but how they didn’t have support and they didn’t know how to do it.

[00:13:01] Susanne: yes. But we need, we

need those stories.

and we need the examples because we don’t know what we don’t know. Like I quit. And at the same time a neighbor down the street, um, I met her And then the next thing I know she’s talking about how she’s, you know, she’s had the baby, she, um, started her own LLC to basically do the job that she was doing.

But as an independent contractor from her home, she had a nanny. So, but she was working from home and had all this flexibility. And I just was like, what’s an LLC.

[00:13:36] Lisen: Yeah. Right. Well, that’s.

[00:13:39] Susanne: I that’s an option. I didn’t even know.

[00:13:41] Lisen: That’s what I lucked into. So it was really interesting. I started them doing real research. Right. First there was the interviews, excuse me. And then I started doing research kind of secondary research.

What else is out there? Who else is out there? And I was so shocked to learn that no one had done longitudinal studies on women’s careers, professional women’s careers.

[00:14:02] Missy: Why would they.

[00:14:04] Lisen: Why would they? Right. I mean, it was really shocking to me. Um, the one study that was done ended in 2008 and basically the story was, oh, it was curse and it’s a nightmare.

Nothing goes on,

[00:14:15] Susanne: I read that book.

[00:14:16] Lisen: Right. Exactly. Am I said, wait a minute. That’s not what I know to be true. Maybe that was true, but I’m not sure that is true. So I ended up hiring a market research firm. I had no money by the way. So I’m like trying to like, okay, like, you know, actually the woman was amazing. She actually volunteered much of her time, but the point being, I ended up meeting with a woman, who’s a professor at hunter college and asking her, okay, what is a great research?

What would be a, you know, statistically viable research. He goes, if you can get 200 women to respond to this, that is statistically, you know, meaningful.

[00:14:48] Missy: Yeah.

[00:14:48] Lisen: 1500 women responded and we actually had to stop the survey. Cause again, my editor was like, we gotta start, you know, we got a deadline

[00:14:56] Susanne: eventually you got to write the book.

[00:14:57] Lisen: It just sparked people wanted to tell their stories.

And the data that was coming into me was fascinating as you quoted 78%, no regrets for their pausing. Now to be clear, the women who paused the longest without any kind of, , Uh, it can be unpaid, but without really keeping their careers alive in some way, shape or form. Right. So let me talk about that in a second, those would pause the longest did have the most regrets and the, and had the hardest time trying to reenter the other group that really struggled with women who, , face true financial difficulty, either through divorce or their loss of their partners, , jobs, you know, the financial impact.

I mean, it’s a real hit financially and that’s the conversation that no one talks about. I actually, by the way, Susanne, I don’t call it. I quit. I say I started because I didn’t quit. I started a whole new journey, so

[00:15:54] Susanne: you. That is an important distinction because it really is. I mean, the whole thing is your career. It’s just a matter of what you’re doing with it

[00:16:02] Lisen: Hello, if you’ve gotten an invested in your college degree, you know, and the women I wrote about was that was the one distinction I was looking for. High potential high co you know, women who got Nichols straight, not to say that, not having a college degree isn’t, but these are the ones that we expected to lean in. If you’ve spent the money to do that, you’ve committed your life to actually having a career, whether you’re in the paid workforce or not. And let’s be very clear. Our economy relies on, on the unpaid skills and talent of women. So as the COVID has taught us. So the fact that we aren’t tracking the, contributions that unpaid labor hour unpaid labor does to schools, to caregiving to all of it,

[00:16:43] Susanne: Oh yeah. Your section about how the GDP is figured. Oh,

it’s just like seriously.

[00:16:50] Lisen: It’s so frustrating. That was the thing for me that was writing the book is, you know, it started out with this. Wow. It literally started with, is this my problem? The only one, you know, what’s going on. And then you kind of peel back the onion and you start seeing kind of what it looks like and what, what, you know, I’m a total capitalist.

I got an MBA. Look, I’m not put like how American capitalism is different than other kinds of capitalism and what we’ve taught ourselves to believe success looks like. And the lack of governmental support that we families get in this country relative to other countries, it just blocked my world.

[00:17:27] Susanne: Oh

[00:17:28] Missy: It’s mind blowing what we can do with more support.

[00:17:33] Lisen: Exactly. Exactly.

[00:17:36] Missy: getting there, but maybe I’m being overly optimistic. I don’t know. I don’t

[00:17:40] Lisen: Well, no, I actually do have lots of optimism, , Missy right now more than I actually ever have. Um, we’re seeing a real commitment , to paid leave. Um, , I don’t vote Republican always. Sometimes I do, but I didn’t vote for Trump. But I will say he provided, paid leave to government workers.

So for the first time, and it wasn’t just for women, it was a men too. That’s the first time we’ve had paid leave in this country , on a federal level. And that’s something we need. And so let’s actually honor that. We’ve got that finally. And the fact that Republicans were able to come together and support that is amazing because then we can create this coalition to actually provide the support in our country.

What a difference we could make together. Oh my gosh.

[00:18:22] Susanne: Yeah. Talk about supporting family values. I mean, that is literally supporting the family.

[00:18:28] Lisen: Right.

[00:18:28] Missy: Oh. And allowing a family to function in a healthy way

[00:18:32] Lisen: That’s exactly right. And so

[00:18:34] Missy: when you’re stressed about money. Function.

[00:18:36] Lisen: no, that’s exactly right. That we’re seeing more and more things, more realization. I, again, back to COVID we were talking about, I am hopeful about the impact on men in COVID and what they’re learning about, caring for families the home responsibilities and how that might change the narrative.

When we go quote, unquote, back to work drives me crazy when we say that we’re all working like

[00:18:59] Susanne: I know. Well, when I see all these reports about like people not wanting to go back to work and I really like you, you get it now, you get like this. I, I used Originally I wanted to call the podcast The Stay At Home Mind f-*-c-k because it really is. It just does this number on you and on your identity and on

[00:19:20] Missy: value.

[00:19:22] Susanne: And you feel like nobody understands it and nobody cares. And now the entire world, this universal simultaneous maternity leave that we’ve all been on for the past year. Everybody everybody’s had a little taste of what that is like, what it’s like to be stuck home, what it’s like to not have control, what it’s like to have this daily fear about the safety of your children.

Cause that’s a lot when someone’s at home with their baby. I mean, a lot of the lockdown that you experienced is like, don’t touch my baby. I can’t go here. We need to do this. I need to make sure that they’re back in time to have like the perfect nap. So, and so, I mean, just this idea that your, your career needs, your personal needs are not the priority right now.

And so I’m really hoping that that has been internalized on a global, non-gendered way

[00:20:13] Lisen: because of it. , well, I, it was interesting. , the women who had. Never paused their careers, the ones who had , the cross tab of never paused my career had highlight life satisfaction, where the ones who actually had what I call time mastery, they’re the ones who had bosses or companies or colleagues that didn’t care when they got in the office didn’t care.

You know, wasn’t looking at FaceTime, you know, it didn’t have productivity bias, right? We call it FaceTime bias, who just said, Missy, Suzanne, they get their work done. And I don’t care where or how they get it done. They deliver. And I can count on them. Those women were really, really, those are the ones who never paused, who were really, really, really happy.

So that to me was that like, when I talked to employers and I say, what could we do the number one. Answering, this is pre COVID was, empower your employees and not just women, men too, with time mastery, don’t assume that they’re only productive when they’re sitting right next to you.

They’re adults assume they’re going to get their work done , and support them for that. And of course, employers are now forced into that because they don’t have their employees next to them. So they have to trust their employees to get their work done. , although I have to tell you, I just got, I was being interviewed by a financial services firm for another event.

Do you realize that they were actually tracking keypad strikes on their, on their workers

[00:21:43] Missy: Yes. I saw that people were setting up their computers with like rigging it to make it look like they were moving. So they could go get a cup of coffee or go to the bathroom or take a nap or whatever it was. And it blows my mind.

[00:21:59] Susanne: God. Okay. I thought you meant keypad. Cause back in my advertising days, like you had to like itemize, you know, for certain clients, so you’d have to use a keypad to be like, oh, I’m doing this for this client. No, you mean like

keep keypad on their

[00:22:12] Missy: working.

[00:22:13] Susanne: that they

[00:22:14] Lisen: he’s right. Shocking to me that even in this day and age they’re doing that. I’d like to believe in a few short years, that’ll be a Relic and people will boycott those environments. And we’ll see mass Exodus for environments that are like that. I mean, we’re hearing about the great resignation, right?

And we joked, it’s the great awakening. I am going to take my talents elsewhere because this is not working for me. And I want to be in a place where I’m supported and trusted them. I can thrive and you can thrive and I want to be productive.

[00:22:42] Missy: Which large whilst I think it was a wall street firm. It was a really large firm, made a big stink, a big stand of like, you have to come back in the office. And if you don’t come back in the office, your fire, who

[00:22:51] Lisen: Yeah, that?

would be , Jamie diamond at JP Morgan where he said hustlers want to be in the office.

[00:22:57] Missy: Right. And, if you don’t want to be in the office, you just don’t count.

And I just thought

[00:23:01] Lisen: yes.

[00:23:02] Missy: so broken. He learns nothing from this.

[00:23:05] Lisen: He learned nothing. And I think that a lot of the work that we do at PrismWork is actually working with leaders to help them unpack their biases around what success looks like around productivity.

So they can actually support the new world of work. They’re struggling because they came of age. As I did, when we all had to sit at our desks and you grind away, not kind of giving us the chance to, to, I mean, look, we’re all working, you know, We’re an all weekend. Like I work on Saturdays and Sundays it’s like, but I love it.

I’m willing to do it. But I also, at two in the afternoon this afternoon, I’m getting America finally.

[00:23:39] Missy: Right,

[00:23:40] Lisen: so so it’s like, you know, I just doing what I need to get done and that’s time mastery and we need to, we need to move to that. And I think we see less, fewer women pausing. , again, no judgment on wanting to be home with children.

There’s a lot to be, we should talk about that, but I, I think we’re going to see fewer women pausing at least for extended periods of time when we actually have time mastery. So it’s actually better for women’s careers, better for the economy. And arguably perhaps hopefully better for families when they actually can respect and honor the need to go to Joey soccer game or whatever your needs are, right.

His dentist appointment.

[00:24:18] Susanne: just to have options and choices and feel like you have some power over that goes along with.

[00:24:24] Lisen: I

[00:24:25] Missy: I want to talk a little bit about the pause. Um, I think I love calling it upon. I love the idea of I’m not quitting, I’m starting, but I think the pause is in a lot of ways, a foreign concept to many women, because they think if I’m not forging ahead and keeping this job or in this field, I’m doomed.

So can we talk a little bit about what a pause can look like and why it might be valuable?

[00:24:54] Lisen: So let’s do everything I didn’t do.

[00:24:57] Missy: Yeah.

[00:25:01] Lisen: So I quit with no plan. Or I should say I started with no plan. Um, right. Don’t do that. Have a plan. I didn’t tell anybody. I was so ashamed that I didn’t say to the world, Hey, I’m taking time to be with my children right now. This is what I’m going to do. But you know me, I’m ambitious. I’m going to figure this out.

I’d love your help or whatever it is. I was so ashamed. I just went inward. Don’t do that. So don’t, don’t quit without a plan. And even if your plan is, I’m going to pause for two years and I’m going to let everyone know if I had done that, which some of the women I spoke to did, which I so impressed by, um, I wish I had, , had a plan was clear and was empowered lunch.

Which I wasn’t, I wish I communicated to others. I really need to spend time with my children right now. It’s really important to me, but you know that I’m very ambitious and I want a rich, rewarding career and a rich warding family. I’m hoping you’ll support me when I, you know, want I’m ready to reenter the paid workforce.

Um, by the way, can I make a side note? I hate the term working mom. Hello?

You’re it’s it’s unpaid mom. Not, not working. Mom do not say working

[00:26:17] Missy: there are no working dads.

[00:26:19] Lisen: When you ever hear that term. I mean, hello.

[00:26:23] Missy: husband, he’s a working dad.

[00:26:24] Susanne: But I just want to pause. I want to pause on that pause for a second. Um, because I feel like I did a disservice to myself and my daughter. I got a little better with my son. Um, I think a little bit of it was. Post. I almost said, post-menopause, you know where I am

[00:26:42] Lisen: Yeah,

[00:26:42] Susanne: I am now. Uh, the postpartum, I think I had a little bit of that going on, but I think it was just not letting myself fully enjoy and like own that stage. And I think I did a disservice to her, whereas I’m thinking of, oh, I’m staying home. I’m I’m doing this for my daughter. This will be so great.

But I don’t think, I think it could have been better. I think

I

[00:27:04] Lisen: Last night, my daughter, 25 year old daughter, and I were sitting out on our front porch and, um, having a lovely conversation about her attachment to productivity. And she was observing that when she’s not productive, , it makes her feel unworthy and I’m like, oh God. I screwed up

[00:27:23] Susanne: Oh

[00:27:24] Lisen: I realized, I mean, I don’t want to pick all of take ownership for all of her wonder she’s wonderful.

Do not get me wrong. She’s amazing. Um, she really is. And, uh, I feel so lucky, but I have a productivity bias in myself. I find not doing something. It makes me question my value. And that is, I think my next book might be about that because there’s something around toxic productivity that keeps us from being able to connect with each other.

And , if you’re really gonna pause, if you’re really gonna take this time , to be present, I just invite every woman who is currently pausing out of the paid workforce to really, truly honor this moment and hear the. That you can watch the butterflies. You know, I write in the book about my five-year-old son and he was kind of looking at this beautiful butterfly kind of, flying around us.

And I was like, my head was down and I was anxious about something and not focusing on what he was, mom, mom, mom. I so think of that as this seminal moment where I just could have been present and I wasn’t

and you know, but yes, I was, you know, making sure he was fed and clothed and loved and you know, all those things, but I wasn’t dancing with the butterflies.

And that’s that pause that I wish I had, I want to share with you a term. I just learned, which I really wish I knew it’s called liminal. Have you heard of the

word

liminal

[00:28:51] Susanne: space. Yes.

[00:28:53] Lisen: you know, it, liminal is that time between it’s the time between working and thriving, it’s pausing and liminal is essential.

When you look talk to psychologists, when you talk to sociologists limo times are when great growth happens. And so if you think about this, this pause is your period of cocooning because your butterfly is going to happen. That’s the gift you give yourself that, of course, again, I’ve never gave myself, but I really wish I had, and I’m learning I’ve I recently paused again, my mother was very ill and I recently, I took six months off and spent time with her to help her pass and what a gift.

And I just am so grateful and I was present and I learned my lesson. Um, so, so yeah,

let’s do that

[00:29:43] Missy: I think there’s a lot of fear around

fully pausing and being, cause if I’m in this moment, what am I missing

[00:29:51] Lisen: Hmm. Hmm.

[00:29:52] Missy: that? Or what am I not preparing myself for? We’re fairly fear-driven society. I think.

[00:29:58] Susanne: As

[00:29:58] Lisen: true MSI. So I would say that there’s reason to be fearful because again, there’s a Uber narrative of, you know, careers are what matters being paid is what matters. Caregiving doesn’t matter. I mean, there is all of that, that, that is how we are trained and socialized , in our country. And so, so there’s a reason to be concerned and there’s a way to navigate it.

One of the things I was so impressed by were the women who were wanting to get intentional about their pauses, but also to using that time to develop either new skills or pursue new interests which , led into Greek or other. Shifts. So that was one thing I found so inspiring. The other thing I found so inspiring were the women who really were out and proud about their pauses.

Like I’m pausing right now because I’m going to spend time with my children. I really value that. But Hey, Susanne, in a year, I really would love to connect with you because you’re doing some amazing things and I’d love to learn how to be a podcast, or perhaps I can take you to lunch. And they were very, very clear and intentional one woman I write about, oh my God, she’s so impressive to me.

She took a job as a PTA fundraiser. She was running some fundraising for them. And she did that because she knew she would , have access to men who wanted to give money to the school. And she wanted to be in front of the men because she figured they would help her re enter the workforce when the time was right.

And sure enough, it was one of the men. Yes. Who’s that strategic? I was

[00:31:27] Susanne: oh my

[00:31:28] Lisen: girlfriend. How did you figure that out?

[00:31:30] Susanne: And that’s what our whole podcast is about, is really trying to get moms, get women, to be strategic, to be intentional about that pause to, you know, and I wouldn’t say that first year that your baby’s born, that I don’t, nothing’s intentional that year. You’re just survival mode, survival mode, but , there comes a time when your kids start to become more self-sufficient and you start to have some time.

And I feel like we just naturally we call it back feeling the busy you start, you start painting the insides of cabinets. You start reorganizing spice doors. When you should be arranging some of those lunches, you should be going to some conferences and those types of things. So I love how I, that PTA creativity.

That’s a master, that’s a master class on, on really being intentional about this time. I love that. Love it. But, okay. We’re getting awful close to the look, listen, learn time, But one of the things that we try to be really conscious of when talking to our guests and talking to listeners is the privilege that comes around the pause.

I mean, even just having the choice to pause or not to pause, and we’re seeing this through the lens of two white women who have husbands who are supportive of our pauses, who have the income to allow us to do it. , but also just being white in today’s world, um, in any day’s world, , We have some privileges that a lot doubt.

, so I’m really curious through your work at prism work. , I mean, there’s just so much intersectionality when it comes to motherhood, racial, social injustices, , , you are another white woman. So I know you’re also seeing it through a similar lens, but since you are in it day in and day out, , I want us to be thinking about things that we can do to be allies and accomplices for other moms.

We’re so about moms supporting moms. So what can we do to maybe help someone who does want to have a pause or who’s trying to relaunch, , who is facing racial social issues that maybe were not as familiar with.

[00:33:39] Lisen: Thank you for asking and being present with what’s really powerful and important. And I want to deconstruct this in so many levels. Let me start with something. That, to me was a real aha that I didn’t understand because of my privilege. Um, economic privilege, as well as being white and being married and, and everything.

Why is it that we expect white women to pause their careers? And that’s what makes them good mothers? Why do we expect good mothers are white women who paused their careers, but bad mothers are women of color who are pausing their careers because , they’re socioeconomically challenged.

Why are they bad mothers when they’re caring for their children? But we’re good mothers when we’re pausing, because we actually are as a society supporting financially the mothers, arguably who are, , economically challenged. So you may recall Ronald Reagan came out with welfare Queens, right?

And that was apparently the black woman who was kind of relying on welfare and having lots of babies, wrong welfare. That is a toxic. Way of looking at motherhood, and that is a punishing way of looking at motherhood. There’s an organization that, , I love that provides diapers to under-resourced mothers because welfare, doesn’t pay for diapers because that’s not a necessity. Apparently you can’t put your child in daycare. If you don’t bring your own diapers. So, so many under-resourced mothers literally cannot get jobs because of diapers. That’s crazy. So these are just systemic things that I learned that to me were so shocking, this kind of, we don’t support mothers to actually be in the paid workforce.

We don’t support them at every level. Right. We don’t support them with parental leave. We don’t support them with, you know, the things that under-resourced mothers might need, like diapers. We have an unwillingness to spend our tax dollars on caregiving in any way. So at a systemic level, you can lobby and work and, you know, vote in.

politicians who are actually going to support those things. And that can happen at the local level, right? Local state, local and city and states are actually now looking at disrupting parental leave. And these diaper initiatives literally diaper initiatives because they know how fundamentally , critical those are.

So I would start at the political side and say, what can you do to look at what the politicians are doing to actually support caregiving? So that’s one thing. And then on a person to person level, the thing that I find so fascinating is interestingly women of color told me that it was men white men who helps support them get back in the paid workforce. So many, many women of color that I interviewed who had paused, they found their biggest allies were white men, white women said men or women were their supporters. So because there’s a belief system that there’s only so many seats at the table for women.

We women typically fight each other. For those things. And white women will definitely not the, again, the data shows and my research re reinforced it to a certain degree that we’re not actually supporting beyond our other white sisterhood, if you will, that’s not acceptable. So that’s one way you can immediately disrupt the narrative is to say, how can I support you with your career?

If you have a colleague of color , or a friend or neighbor or whatever, that’s one thing right away. Um, the other thing that I, that I we’re right now at prison work, doing some exciting research. That’s going to be coming out in November and I can’t wait to share it.

We’ve interviewed scores of women of color and surveyed over 1500, a thousand women of color, , 500 white women to understand what does the future of work look like if we centered around women of color, what does it look like? And here’s, what’s fascinating to me, women of color. It’s like they’re leading the way in the workplace.

They’re so innovative. There’s so like collaborative, we, white women are often trained to believe it’s a meritocracy. And then if we individually succeed, it’s because we’re so great. Not because there’s a collective system that’s actually supported us to succeed. So the other thing I would say is really kind of.

Join arms and figure out how , we, women together, all of us can actually change the policies and programs and practices. So I think this we’re at a turning point moment back to Missy, your optimism, which I do share. I also am a glass half full gal, but I do share because we’re having conversations in a way that frankly, we, you know, conversations through silos. Um, so I think that to me, those are just a few of the ways that we can support each other is recognize. We white women do have privilege and we have, I think, a responsibility to, I call them. I actually don’t like the term allies because to me allies reinforce the current power structure. I like the term co-conspirators because we disrupt it.

We co as women are co-conspirators that actually changed the narrative. So we actually all went, not just women, men, mothers, non mothers, you know, all of it. Like, let’s do that. Let’s be co-conspirators

[00:39:00] Susanne: I

[00:39:00] Missy: Oh, I love that. I’m adopting that.

[00:39:02] Susanne: Yes.

[00:39:03] Lisen: spread that, spread that word.

[00:39:05] Missy: Yes.

[00:39:06] Susanne: my gosh. Oh, I love, I love ending on that, but before we go into the look, listen and learn. You talked about the research that’s coming out in November. Do you do speaking engagement? Like, are there places

[00:39:16] Lisen: I love to, I love to speak about, , um, PrismWork, we do three things. We work with companies to help them look at their culture and their, their policies and programs and practices, their employee experience and their leadership. We call it the workplace prison and we assess them to help them really figure out how can they be best in class in this new world of work?

What do they need to do that? Of course, leads into a lot of leaders. Reframing. And so we have a whole leadership training and development program that we do with more senior leaders. And that’s really exciting because we help them see it’s just not that hard. And if they reframe their thinking, if they reframe some of their actions, they can actually be co-conspirators.

And they went to, by the way, they’re not losing power, their businesses get better, you know, that they are able to retain employees better. So there’s all these economic benefits that we do. And the third line of business is really doing impact research. We really want to find out the stories and tell those stories in a new and different way.

And so that’s kind of what we do, and I love. Love going out to talk about what we do. I talk about the research I’ve done we’re right now in the midst of a really exciting program where we’re actually piloting a 21st century lab for men to help them figure out how they can be co-conspirators. And I’m loving the stories that are hearing and their vulnerabilities and , they want to make change and they don’t know how.

So for me, I, again, back to Missy, I just feel I’m feeling hopeful.

[00:40:42] Susanne: I am too. I just feel like. The working world has put these gender stereotypes that have done a disservice to everybody. I feel like we need a major Ted lasso, Wayne of the entire

[00:40:54] Lisen: God,

[00:40:55] Susanne: universe.

[00:40:56] Lisen: we all want Ted lasso

[00:40:57] Susanne: Oh gosh.

[00:40:59] Missy: yes.

[00:41:01] Susanne: Oh my

[00:41:02] Missy: it’s just beautiful. And the relationships between all of them and I love what they’re doing for women’s relationships in the

[00:41:08] Susanne: Yes. But the fact that men love the show too, shows that it is touching a truth of

[00:41:15] Lisen: thank you, Suzanne. Who’s touching a truth. It

[00:41:18] Susanne: is.

something that they are feeling and that they want to do too. But we’ve got these gender roles that everybody feels like they have to be in line with. I do feel really good. I, I am a co-conspirator for LGBTQ students in our community.

Um, and I just love to see. Even the labels. I mean, there’s what like 20 something labels that people usually try to put around gender . And like, and there’s, they’re like, no, there needs to be like millions of them. There’s it doesn’t even need a label. I’m this person,

[00:41:47] Lisen: Exactly.

[00:41:48] Susanne: who I am in the world and I don’t need to name it.

I just

[00:41:53] Lisen: know. I just am. I know,

[00:41:56] Susanne: And that’s enough. and so now, where can people find you online, your website and all that good stuff?

[00:42:02] Lisen: Sure. So, , prism work, P R I S M w O R k.com. If you go to Lisa stromberg.com, it’ll direct you to prison work. After we do my website, I just haven’t done. I’ve been so busy.

[00:42:13] Missy: Yep. We get that.

[00:42:14] Lisen: Um, you can find me on LinkedIn. If any of your listeners want to connect on LinkedIn, I’m always willing to, to connect.

I think it’s really important to support each other. LinkedIn is a really great place to do that. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram, less so on Instagram, just because I’m so busy. Um, and Twitter, I love to just kind of stock. I’m not that active, but I do sometimes take a stand and just say really so sure.

Here’s another way of looking at it.

[00:42:40] Susanne: Oh, I love that. Yeah. I just want you to go update my website. The other day in my, about me page had my kids, like three years ago. I was like, yeah, I think it’s sort of like, it’s time for them to refresh.

[00:42:51] Missy: I haven’t looked at mine and.

[00:42:54] Lisen: I

[00:42:54] Missy: I need to add that to the list of

[00:42:55] Susanne: Yeah, go look at your about me. You’ll be like that. Isn’t about me anymore.

[00:43:00] Missy: Who is she?

[00:43:01] Susanne: It’s not, that is not it. Oh my gosh. Okay. So yes, let’s jump into the look, listen and learn segment. So for anybody who’s. This is their first episode. Welcome. Thank you for joining us. Uh, but the look, listen, learn segment is time when we each share something, it could be all three categories or just one looking at it can be anything from like reading, watching a piece of art, anything, or just the butterfly that you could have been looking at, something you’ve been enjoying.

Um, and then listening to you could be a podcast or a great song and learning could be anything from a class to really great shade of lipstick that you found. , so Lisa, would you like to start?

[00:43:41] Lisen: . Um, I’m going to do many, many things. Um, I will start with, you asked about how, uh, white women can support women of color and a really amazing woman who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to a number of times, Dr. Ella bell wrote a book years ago called our separate ways and , it went on a print and then, , there was so much of a call in the last year. They’ve reprinted at Harvard business review was just reprinted it and it’s called our separate ways. And I think it does a brilliant job of highlighting the experience of white women and black women in corporate America and what we learned.

And it was from Ella that I learned about kind of how white women privilege the whole concept of meritocracy individualism, and how women of color, particularly black women support collaboration. And if we white women can learn about collaboration, that actually we’d be so better off. So that’s kind of a wonky thing I’ll add, but it’s a beautiful, beautiful kind of.

, awareness for me of learning things about the privilege I’ve had that I think that would share. And then I’ll give you a fiction. I read a lot of fiction and I, um, I’m just been listening to books on tape and I just read, so the, the book I just read literally came out last week. It’s called assembly.

And if anyone read Mrs. Dalloway, um, you’ll know that the story of kind of a woman’s life in one day and all the things she journeys. So this is a story of a young woman she’s, , from Barbados, she lives in Britain and it’s a story of her one day in her life and all of the ways that she experiences being a woman of color, she’s dating a white man.

He has privileged, she doesn’t, you know, she’s very, very successful professionally and you sort of see it through her eyes, but you never see her. And it’s this really tiny, thin book. And I’ve read it now three times because it’s. Like, oh, the writing is brilliant and it’s beautiful. It’s called assembly.

And then the last thing I listened to was, , the midnight library. Has anyone listened to that? You Missy, have you

read it or listened

to it? You listened. Yes, but

[00:45:49] Missy: It’s so

[00:45:50] Lisen: a good. job. It’s kind of the, I love it as a book for women who are pausing because it’s all the lives we might’ve led.

And I think the story of all the lives we might’ve led and making peace with the one you’re living right now, we’re experiencing right now. That to me is the journey of a pause. And I think if there’s a gift you can give yourself, I would love to invite your listeners to listen to that.

[00:46:13] Susanne: oh, I love

[00:46:14] Missy: I second that it’s a great lesson.

[00:46:16] Susanne: Like the, like the sliding door. I tell, I think I told Jeremy, I just put it on social media. My son last week, he said 11. , they were talking about that in his English class. Like it’s small, decisions that have big impact and just small things that you do in your life.

And so we were talking about the, what if series that Marvel has and like all these little things. And we talked about how, oh, well we moved from Seattle to here. Like, what would have happened? Like what friends would we have not made or made? And, and I was like, well, what was, so what are you writing your paper on?

What’s your, what’s your little, little moment. He’s like the moment that Zoe introduced me to Phineas and Ferb,

[00:46:55] Missy: Any some from is pretty fabulous.

[00:46:57] Susanne: I was like, okay, that’s that really just changed the trajectory of his little 11 year old life, but

it at least got to my Halloween costume. That’s pointed him in that

[00:47:10] Lisen: And he’s still doing Halloween. My niece and nephew are still doing Halloween. They’re 11 as well. And we’re going to host some, I can’t wait.

[00:47:18] Missy: It’s so much fun to do that. I think it’s more fun to do Halloween with other people’s kids like now.

[00:47:24] Lisen: Exactly right.

[00:47:25] Susanne: Yes. Oh

[00:47:28] Missy: worries. I mean, you just enjoy it all. You’re not like, oh, we have to deal with our over candy monsters tomorrow.

[00:47:32] Lisen: know, I know. Oh, no. Uh, listener, listener, Hey, moms listener tip the Halloween wish. Did you guys not have the Halloween, which

[00:47:41] Susanne: Oh yeah, we did that. The Halloween

fairy and we take all

[00:47:44] Lisen: was a wet, she was a farrier nicer. Yeah, no, no. She would take the candy and leave you a gift. And so for years I would like the kids would get to choose 10 or 15 pieces of candy. Then they’d get like a special gift, but they want it. Oh, it was brilliant until I got busted because I forgot to put the candy away.

They found it like two months later, less this,

[00:48:04] Susanne: is there a bag of my candy in your room, mom?

[00:48:06] Missy: Cause that’s what I eat in the afternoon when I’m about to lose my mind.

[00:48:10] Susanne: I take all the peanut butter cups out and those are for mommy.

[00:48:14] Missy: I used to tell my, when they were really little, that it went bad after awhile.

Like we would pick out our favorites that like in the week after, and then at some point I’d be like, it has all gone bad. I don’t remember how long I

got away with that. What a lie, what a horrible lie.

[00:48:28] Lisen: Cause it’s half-life is usually what, 30 years from?

[00:48:31] Missy: Right? Like it actually never goes bad or changes in any way because

[00:48:35] Susanne: From, from the lady who has a little OCD over expiration dates, shame on you.

[00:48:43] Missy: I can’t believe I live like that. And I can’t believe I just admitted

[00:48:46] Susanne: Oh, I’m just teasing. I am sure.

I have told, I have told my share, like, don’t eat that. That’s gross. Do you want like that? That’s my cake.

[00:48:55] Missy: Yeah. Yeah. It’s terrible. It’s spicy. I just tell them things for spicy it’s spicy.

[00:49:03] Susanne: In the meantime, I can’t get my kids to eat, catch up. Cause they’re like, well, it’s going to be spicy. No,

[00:49:09] Missy: It’s actually all sugar. You

[00:49:10] Susanne: You’re in Texas. Eat the catch-up. Um, oh, well, I’m glad to have some okay though. So that’s a few new, um, action books I need, I’ve been so in nonfiction land, I need to, and I’m still trying to get through Searcy and my,

[00:49:23] Lisen: oh,

[00:49:25] Susanne: did you okay?

I,

I

[00:49:27] Lisen: to that one too,

[00:49:28] Susanne: I’m listening to it and it was making me feel dumb. Cause I don’t, I didn’t recognize a lot of the names of

[00:49:33] Lisen: but there’s such minor characters. Yeah, exactly.

[00:49:36] Susanne: like, I apparently my Idaho education did not prepare me for Searcy. And so I was really nervous until I heard Medusa. I was like, yay. I know one. Um, so, so I’ll dive back into that, but then I’m going to read some of these, but I’m continuing my.

Things from 20 years past Missy is familiar with the fact that I’ve been watching the Sopranos they have the new movie coming out

[00:49:59] Lisen: oh, I didn’t know

[00:50:00] Susanne: watched, we had watched it so long ago back when Netflix was the Netflix DVDs and that’s all you get. Um, and so we’d watched it so long ago and they had this new movie coming out, so they were like, oh, we should watch it again. Don’t remember a single thing.

Oh my gosh. I don’t know what was, I mean, you know what that was, that was when I guess Zoe either right before Zoe was born, yeah, I think I was just in work. I, all I was thinking about was what’s Disney doing what’s apple doing my brain can not take in what Tony

[00:50:26] Missy: Yeah. I don’t remember much about it at all. I feel like you’re kind of encouraging me to rewatch it.

[00:50:31] Susanne: It’s really good. It is so timeless. I mean, it could, it could have just been released this year and it still would have been like, kind of groundbreaking. It’s really good. Um, but yeah, so, but we’re also now watching the Simpsons because, because I just want to relive the eighties and nineties there’s as much as I can.

Um, so yeah, we’re watching it because the kids just discovered the Simpsons. I’ve been trying to get them to watch it for years and they’re like, man army. And so finally we’re like, just sit down and just watch one. And, and now every night they’re like, can we watch the Simpsons? So now we’re we’re into that.

[00:51:06] Missy: It’s a hard thing to start though, because there’s so many, like you can’t.

[00:51:10] Susanne: there

are

[00:51:11] Missy: Then through it, like it’s years and years and years.

[00:51:14] Susanne: and I think I told you, Missy, I’m trying, to be more transparent with our kids about our failures and our wins. And so. , my husband and I went to the Texas, , writers conference this weekend. And my husband for the second year in the row won the manuscript contest for the thriller category.

I know it’s amazing. But then my, but then my sons, as I was tucking them in and we got back from the conference and he’s like, well, what did you win? Like, well, I was like, I didn’t win anything. I was like, but in my defense, I also didn’t submit anything. He’s like, that’s a good lesson, mom. You know, if you, if you don’t try, you can’t lose.

I was like, okay,

[00:51:49] Lisen: your 11 yard is giving you life

advice. I love

[00:51:52] Susanne: he’s being all sarcastic about

like,

[00:51:54] Missy: don’t try

gamblers.

[00:51:56] Susanne: Um, so I’m like, well, I’m going to try something. So I’m submitting to the Erma Bombeck. Um, they have, uh, like I’ve not a fellowship, it’s a writer

[00:52:04] Missy: It’s like a writers in residence or writer

[00:52:06] Susanne: Yes. But the judges of it are the voice of Bart and one of the writers of the Simpsons.

[00:52:13] Lisen: oh, that’s

[00:52:13] Susanne: my kids this, so I I’m telling them in the sense that. The competition stiff. I’m not expecting to win this thing, but just so they know, Hey, I’m, I’m doing something. I am now going to give my chance to fail or to win because before I wasn’t even trying. So that was a little lesson I learned from myself, I guess I had to learn.

That was my learn.

[00:52:34] Lisen: And then if you don’t win that time, you’ll reapply. You maybe

[00:52:37] Susanne: yes.

[00:52:38] Lisen: Right. It’s like resiliency. Right. We keep trying.

[00:52:41] Susanne: Exactly. Okay.

[00:52:43] Missy: What have I been? Okay. I have been why I watched this weekend. I had a little bit of downtime and, , decided to just watch some TV and actually had a ton of guilt about that and then had to work through that. So that was a whole learn of like I have downtime.

Yes. I need downtime. This is fine. So I binged on the verge. It’s a new show on Netflix and it’s maybe 10, 12 episodes. I can’t remember. I’m like 20, 30 minute episodes. It’s middle aged women like women it’s right in our wheelhouse, Suzanne, all trying to

figure out what’s next, all trying to deal with life at this, like they’re on the verge of something.

It might be on the verge of a meltdown. It might be on the verge of a career change, but they’re on the verge and has a great cast Elizabeth shoes in it. And I’ve always loved

Elizabeth Shue, um, to really good cast and, uh, not a perfect show, but enough great moments that I highly recommend. Giving it a watch.

So that is my recommendation there. And, um, this is not a look, listen or learn, but I’m crowdsourcing. So I’m supposed to go every year. My brother and I attend a local comedy festival here, it’s called the Moontower comedy festival. And of course it got postponed last year and it was rescheduled for this weekend and we have our passes, all the venues are inside

and I have a lot of anxiety, like, do I go, do I not go?

Do I abandon my brother? By the time this airs, I will have made my decision and it’ll be passed. But,

[00:54:13] Susanne: What

are their requirements? What are they requiring? Cause like

[00:54:16] Missy: just at proof of

[00:54:17] Susanne: hardcore. Okay. Proof of vaccine

and they’re

[00:54:20] Lisen: so people do need to be vaccinated to go inside,

[00:54:23] Missy: yes. In theory, people are, um, I haven’t seen anything about having to wear a mask. And these, I guess it’s probably up to each venue because it happens at clubs and things all over downtown.

And so it might be up to each venue, whether or not you’re masked, but a lot of these places are tiny and crowded. It’s not like we’re talking great ventilation. So I have a ton of anxiety about it. So that’s kind of where my brain is this week. Like in the midst of doing all my other stuff in the back of my mind always is, do I do this?

Do I not do this? Do I let my brother down? Will he be let down? I don’t know. Maybe I go and just

hope for the

[00:55:01] Susanne: it by year maybe, and see like, let your get listened to your gut.

See, see if you get that little Missy tingle, if you walk in there and you’re like, this didn’t feel right, or it just, it feels safe. We were really worried about the Texas writers conference cause we cause it’s taxes. Um, and it was the first time we’d been.

Together like that. And there was a lunch and we’re like, well, you can’t wear your mask while you’re, you know, lunch. And, and they did a really good job spacing people that, but that’s a different kind of venue too. Like they literally like they space the seats apart, um,

[00:55:32] Missy: Right, right. Like this will literally be sitting

the tiny tables or rows.

[00:55:37] Lisen: share with you with what happened to my son. He and my son, his boyfriend were in Provincetown for 4th of July. They had 10 people, 10 good friends. They rented an Airbnb. All of them were double Vaxxed. All of them took a COVID test before they were really trying to be responsible. They went to venues.

They wore masks the whole time when they went dancing, but they were inside venues, dancing with masks on, they left Provincetown and, um, eight of the 10 got COVID. So I tested positive for coven. My boy, my son, his boyfriend did not test positive for COVID. They don’t know. And they kept testing for like three weeks afterwards.

Maybe it’s just delayed. They never got it, but their eight friends did get it that they were staying with. And, um, all of them had been double Vaxxed and, um, all of them had very, very mild symptoms now they’re in their mid twenties. And so, you know, but it was, they were, you know, it was kind of concerning and scary.

And so they’ve kind of not gone back to any, this was in July, they haven’t gone back to any inside venues. Um, they prefer to party outside,

[00:56:44] Missy: I have not done anything inside like

that at all. So I think that’s part of my anxiety too. Like just being in a semi crowded room with a lot of people is also COVID aside. I’m like, Ooh, do I want to do that?

[00:56:56] Lisen: Yeah. Well, there’s that all the social anxiety.

Oh my gosh. Right.

[00:57:02] Missy: I’ve sorta forgotten how to do it. Some of it, and definitely going to a festival is way out of my wheelhouse all of a sudden. So I

[00:57:10] Susanne: Uh, pick, pick the events that aren’t as popular and maybe there won’t be as many people there.

[00:57:15] Lisen: yeah. Go to the bad comics.

[00:57:20] Missy: I’m so curious how many people will be there. I’m curious if any of the comedians will cancel so far. They haven’t like, I’m just shocked that it’s all happening. I keep waiting any day for them to be like, man, that happening. But now, I mean it’s technically starts tomorrow,

so I

[00:57:34] Susanne: Well, ACL’s requiring proof of vaccine for a while. They were going to say, even people with proof of vaccine had to do a negative test, but you have to have a negative test within 48 hours or something like that. So that’s going to be really interesting. Good luck. Walgreens of central Texas. You’re going to

[00:57:49] Lisen: right. Inundated, right.

[00:57:51] Missy: Moontower said, I guess it is Vaxxed or proof of a test, but I feel like that’s useless because I could test negative this morning and have COVID tonight, even as a vaccinated person.

[00:58:02] Lisen: That’s exactly right. That’s

[00:58:03] Missy: So I think that’s silly. I mean, I just don’t see how there’s not COVID floating around those rooms. I just seems impossible.

[00:58:09] Lisen: I’m sure there is. Sadly, I think there is

[00:58:12] Susanne: I feel like we’ve really not solved this problem for you, Missy.

[00:58:15] Missy: That’s okay. I mean, I knew we

[00:58:16] Lisen: or

[00:58:17] Missy: going to, I just, I just needed to talk it out a little bit. You won’t be the last people who listened to me go through this this

[00:58:23] Lisen: I guess the question really comes down to what are the consequences, right. If you’ve been double backs, the likelihood is you’re not going to suffer, but you, you will potentially be infectious to those you love around you and to the wider community. So it’s what you do afterwards, right? Can you kind of, can you pause, can you hunker in and, and, and just make sure you get through that?

What is it? 14 day window or whatever the date

[00:58:45] Missy: Yeah. They keep changing

[00:58:47] Lisen: yourself. They

[00:58:48] Missy: Like it’s five days. It’s seven days. It’s

[00:58:50] Lisen: still confusing.

[00:58:51] Susanne: Yeah. So maybe you just plan to coordinate.

[00:58:53] Missy: yeah. I should look at my schedule. Maybe I can do most of my life from home next week.

[00:58:57] Lisen: Yeah.

[00:58:58] Missy: That show on the verge that I was watching takes place in pre COVID LA, but they mention it a couple of times and I actually felt my stomach tighten and

[00:59:09] Lisen: like what? We didn’t know.

[00:59:11] Missy: And they’re having the conversations that we all had with everybody. Like, oh, there’s a few cases here. Oh, someone was traveling and her husband was like hand sanitize and wipe down the airplane.

And she was like, you’re so

[00:59:24] Lisen: have, I

have

A little thing when I’m driving in the freeway and you see bumper to bumper traffic on the other side, and then you get past the traffic and then you’re looking at the people on the other side, going your future is not

good. And I know what your future looks like. You’re going to get stuck about

[00:59:41] Susanne: I hope you went to the bathroom.

[00:59:45] Lisen: And I think about, you know, what, we didn’t know the little less back in 2019 and

it

all seems so different.

[00:59:51] Missy: It really,

[00:59:52] Susanne: but oh my God, I told you we were going to keep you after

[00:59:55] Lisen: That’s good.

[00:59:56] Missy: going to go?

You have a meeting.

[00:59:57] Lisen: I do. I do. It’s such a pleasure. And I’m so grateful you’re doing this every mother who has a chance to listen to you and being community with you, what a gift I didn’t have this. And so the fact that you’re doing this is such gift.

Thank

[01:00:12] Missy: you. Well, thank you for being here with us and everyone needs to read the.

[01:00:15] Susanne: Yes.

Thank you.

 For this book. I mean, it is such an inspiration after cause really 90% of the books around this topic are very

don’t don’t do it. You’ll be sorry. Don’t you stop working. , so it really does give another option and so grateful for you doing that for not just for women, for everyone.

 And everything that you do through your company, uh, really appreciate all that you’re doing with prism work for that. So yes. Thank you so much for taking this time out of your busy schedule and being

[01:00:44] Missy: Yeah. And enjoy your haircut later, too.

It’s the

[01:00:49] Susanne: you get the full wash. I hope you get the full wash.

That’s what I’ve really

[01:00:52] Lisen: I can’t wait. Exactly.

[01:00:54] Missy: feels

so good.

[01:00:55] Susanne: enjoy every moment of it. And thank you again for

being part of the show.

All right.

[01:01:01] Missy: Bye.