We’re Back from Battling Cancer, Relaunching Careers & Missing Y’all!

January 11, 2024 / Mom &… Podcast Episode 132

Subscribe and Review wherever you listen to podcasts!

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherSpotifyPocketCastsYouTubeOvercastAmazon MusiciHeartRadioPandora

Show Summary:

In this comeback episode of the podcast, co-hosts Missy Stevens and Susanne Kerns discuss the importance of maintaining the balance between work, family, and health. 

The episode delves into personal challenges both women have faced, such as Missy’s recent breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and getting back to work after a break. Susanne shares her insights on freelancing, and the adjustments that come along with returning to work. They discuss their career paths, highlighting the need to assess skills and interests. The episode wraps with some conversation about what’s ahead for the show, along with Susanne and Missy exclaiming how excited they are to be back behind their microphones, sharing information and inspiration with listeners.

Topics From This Episode:

00:00 Introduction and Personal Updates

02:21 Welcome to 2024 and Podcast Plans

03:19 Missy’s Health Update: Breast Cancer Journey

09:28 The Importance of Regular Mammograms

13:05 Living Flat: Life After Mastectomy

16:44 Susanne’s Career Transition and New Job

25:51 Finding the Right Workplace Culture

26:24 The Impact of COVID on Workplace Culture

26:55 The Journey of Self-Discovery and Career Pivots

28:07 The Role of Volunteering and Side Projects in Career Development

29:13 The Diversity of Job Opportunities

30:38 The Importance of Exploring Interests and Passions

31:09 The Joy of Getting Paid and Future Show Plans

31:47 Changes in Show Schedule and Upcoming Episodes

32:28 The Challenges and Solutions of Freelancing

33:00 The Importance of Time Management in Freelancing

35:49 The Impact of Major Life Changes

44:28 The Struggles of Returning to Work After a Break

48:50 Closing Thoughts and Future Plans

Look, Listen, Learns

No LLLs this week.

Connect With the Mom &… Podcast

  • Please subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts! If you’re so inclined to give us a 5-star rating, we’ll love you forever. Who couldn’t use a little extra love?
  • Leave us a message – via voicemail or use our form – with your questions for experts, or suggestions for future episodes.
  • Check out our website, where you can find links to all the things!
  • Follow our Facebook Page
  • Join our private Facebook Group (All you have to do is ask to join, and then be nice once you’re in. So easy!)
  • Follow us on Instagram
  • Become a patron – check us out on Patreon!

Watch this episode on our YouTube Channel!

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] Missy: Welcome to the mom and dot, dot, dot podcast. The podcast that helps you make your ellipses count. I’m Missy Stevens, mom and dot, dot, dot, writer, foster child advocate, and this week resume getter togetherer.


[00:00:37] Susanne: Ooh, we know some people who could help with that.

[00:00:40] Missy: Thank goodness. I need some help. Oh,

[00:00:45] Susanne: I’m Suzanne Kearns, mom and dot dot dot writer, LGBTQ and sex ed advocate. And this week, I am counting down the days until my daughter goes back to college, but not in like the mean way, in the in the nice loving way, and that I do not want her to leave.

But man, we’ve had like Three weeks. I feel like college kids get a, get a good

[00:01:07] Missy: get a nice long break. Yeah. Have y’all had so much fun?

[00:01:10] Susanne: it has been wonderful. I think she’s probably bored to tears, but for the parents,

[00:01:15] Missy: at her? I’d just be like,

[00:01:17] Susanne: sometimes I do. She turns around and just like, Hmm.

[00:01:23] Missy: think I am going to be in Harvey’s hip pocket when he comes home next year and he’s going to love it. He’s gonna love it.

[00:01:28] Susanne: Okay, we’re off track already.

[00:01:30] Missy: I know it’s our gift

[00:01:31] Susanne: All right. Well, welcome to 2024. It is a new season of the MawMan dot dot dot podcast. We have been on hiatus for the last few months. so today we’re going to talk about where we have been and plans for upcoming episodes.

[00:01:48] Missy: because we’re back baby

[00:01:50] Susanne: Yay! Oh my gosh. And as both Missy and I have decided, it’s even though it’s just been a It’s Short break, kind of? Well, three months is a while.

[00:01:58] Missy: three months

[00:01:59] Susanne: We have apparently forgotten all of the things about how microphones work, and how Zoom works, and how to talk into a camera. And so, so bear with us as we do this.

[00:02:10] Missy: Yes. Yeah. This is like our dry run, our practice run, and then

[00:02:14] Susanne: And then we’ll invite guests to talk to you. But for just today, it’s just the two of us, a quickie on where we’ve been, and yeah, what we’re looking forward to the next couple months. Don’t miss it.

[00:02:24] Missy: months felt like three years.

[00:02:25] Susanne: Yeah, I know, but it’s probably the biggest news has been, everybody’s been very kind and checking in on you health wise, and part of the reason for our hiatus was, around health, so I’ll let you do a little update.

[00:02:39] Missy: Okay. Um, and I, I told you beforehand, like, I, I could do an hour long episode on this if anybody wants an hour long episode at some point, we can talk about it. People have questions. I’m happy to answer questions. Just if you have questions just because you’re curious, fine, reach out, especially if you are going through something like this or know somebody going through it, reach out to me.

I’m happy to talk about it. some people think, Oh, I don’t want to bring it up. Or does it, you know, just make you sad or is it stressful? And no, I mean, I have sad moments and mad moments. I’m angry a lot, which is a whole other thing we’ll get into. but. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk about it.

So I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August. and I was diagnosed with DCIS. We’ve talked about it before. So there’s an episode. We’ll link to it where we go back and talk about that. And I had some choices to make about my treatment. And I chose what is basically a one and done treatment if the pathology comes back clear, which mine did.

The pathology came back and they got everything in. I had a bilateral mastectomy and had one lymph node removed on my right side, which is the side the cancer was on. I’m happy to talk to anybody who wants to know about my decision making process. That’s a long conversation. We don’t want to use this whole hour talking about it, but if you’re curious, I’d love to talk to you about it.

it’s a big decision, and I had options, and that’s where I landed. Um, and my pathology came back that they got everything in that surgery, so I did not have any follow up radiation or chemo. which I’m thankful for, but I had that surgery at the end of September. I was supposed to have it at the beginning of September, but I got COVID. So

[00:04:16] Susanne: Yes,

[00:04:17] Missy: a super fun month.

[00:04:19] Susanne: oh my gosh, that

[00:04:20] Missy: can’t believe I’d never had COVID. I went three years, never caught it. Got it in September. so I had to bump surgery, get over COVID and then have surgery. So I had about a three week window in there to get better and have surgery. so I had that done September 27th and then took a couple months to recover.

And I am now to a point where I I’m not fully recovered. It just takes a while, but I am pretty normal, as normal as normal can be. Um, like I have almost a full range of motion. What’s left is like this tiny bit and I’m going to therapy, physical therapy to get it. and yeah, so that’s where I have been.

And it’s been a crazy road and, um, maybe we’ll do an episode sometime on like what things I’ve learned. And, I’ve learned a lot about what not to say to someone who’s diagnosed with cancer. I’ve learned a lot about what is amazing. I mean, people, people showed up and just did things that I wouldn’t, I didn’t even realize were like, that I would need or want, you know, like they just, they just showed up They brought themselves to that and it would, I learned a lot about if someone else in my life is going through it, what mattered to me and what helped me and, yeah, so happy to talk to anybody about that too,

[00:05:40] Susanne: Oh, I think that’s, that’s such a good. Lesson to be able to share with people because I know I’m one of those people is just like kind of we talk about it all the time, but you’re not going to do it if you think you’re going to do it wrong. And I always think I’ll do something wrong. And so that stops me from doing things sometimes.

Just because, yeah, you’re like, I don’t want to make them sad or I don’t want to do this or I don’t want to give them this if that’s going to hurt their tummies or like, just like overthinking things to the point of not doing anything. So, oh, that

[00:06:09] Missy: And I will tell you, I think the thing to do is just do whatever it is you think of, just do it. the hardest is when someone’s like, what can I do? Cause you don’t know. I didn’t know what I would need from day to day. I didn’t know what I would want. I had, I was clueless. And so anytime someone showed up however they showed up, I was just grateful for it.

you know, it’s just, you just know someone’s thinking about you and it’s really nice.

[00:06:32] Susanne: Oh, I love that. Okay. So I do think we need to get something on the books and maybe bring in a co expert to, from the medical side, because, you know what, I think that Sadly, the statistics are to the point where if it’s not you, it’s going to be definitely someone in your close ring of friends who’s going to be impacted by this.

So it’s a, if,

[00:06:56] Missy: It’s one in eight women. One in eight. And I don’t know, as we’re recording this, just yesterday a CNN anchor whose name is escaping me. I feel terrible about it, but we will link to it. She announced on air that she’s going to be taking some time off because she was diagnosed with a stage three cancer, has a quite an extensive treatment ahead of her.

And she talked about that one in eight statistic again, and she asked everybody to just stop for a minute and think about. Women or seven other women that they know about those seven and yourself one of you is going to be diagnosed It’s a crazy statistic. She had no family history and Found herself the stage three cancer and she’s also a person of color and so there’s a whole aspect to that because I think it’s something like women of color or Black women in particular are 41 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.

It’s a whole shitshow with our medical system. Um, so there’s a lot there. I would love to bring on somebody who is not just regurgitating statistics but understands it and can speak to it. Because there’s a lot to cover.

[00:07:59] Susanne: But I think the most important thing is that you caught it early and

[00:08:05] Missy: my routine mammogram.

[00:08:06] Susanne: routine mammogram. So I know that we do a lot of stuff around October. Well, not we, the, the country

[00:08:13] Missy: Yeah.

[00:08:13] Susanne: we general public usually in October. Everybody does their, you know, their pink ribbons and all those types of things. Um, and then sometimes we tend to forget about it once the, all the pinkness goes away.

So we’re here to remind you that every month is a good month to go do your, well, don’t do it every month.

[00:08:34] Missy: It’s a horrible, barbaric process. You only want to do it when you have to.

[00:08:38] Susanne: I shouldn’t give medical advice. Um, but yes. Uh, if you have not and actually this is an interesting point because I think the last recording we did Uh, we were talking about it and I was like, oh and yeah, i’m up to date and blah blah blah And sure enough. I went and checked and I was not so here we had been it had been a central point in Having you going through this and talking about it, and I still, it’s shocking how much we can misremember time periods, like it felt like it was a couple months ago, but it had been, it wasn’t a long time, it was like 14 months, but it was more than a year, so, um, so I got on there, and you know what, I, even if you are not So, Do for a while, start scheduling now.

I noticed that the scheduling for it was a lot slower than in past years in the sense that, um, I think just medical things are backed up a little bit more than usual. So you,

[00:09:39] Missy: local to Austin, and a lot of people used to easily go to A. R. A. imaging, well, ARA has been bought and they’re not taking certain insurances that they used to take. And so they have such a huge, they can handle a huge volume of people, but now they’re not taking all these insurances.

So it’s harder to schedule because you have to find one of the other imaging locations that will take your insurance. They’re like, they’re not taking big, major insurances, and I think you might’ve run into that.

[00:10:07] Susanne: Well I did run into that. And then I got a bonus trip to go see Missy out of it because I had to drive away out of my neighborhood to But so yeah, that was the reason that I had to book it so far away from my neighborhood place that I would usually go to for it. And I had to wait a certain time period. So even

[00:10:30] Missy: I do believe,

[00:10:32] Susanne: okay.

[00:10:32] Missy: can leave this in, but I believe, and I will confirm it, you do not need a doctor’s order to schedule your annual screening mammogram. That is a test that you can call and schedule yourself. You don’t have to go see your doctor. Now I recommend going to see your doctor. Because they do a lot of other things that you need to have done.

But, if you’re dealing with some anxiety around that, and you’re putting off going to the doctor for some reason, at least schedule your mammogram. You can call and do it yourself. And, I mean, it saves lives. Mine was really fast growing. It wasn’t there the year before. It had gotten pretty sizable in a year.

And I feel like had I let it go, it could have escaped. It was still stuck in those ducts, but it could have

[00:11:11] Susanne: Mm hmm.

[00:11:12] Missy: gotten out, you know, so I do it. Just call in schedule.

[00:11:16] Susanne: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Okay. Let’s see. What else do we want to talk about that? I mean, I do think it warrants its whole, whole episode.

[00:11:25] Missy: I mean, I think it could, we can talk about, you know, I had to make a decision whether or not I did any kind of reconstruction, which I chose not to, I left it kind of open. I could do it later. And now I’m, what is this a little over three months out, right? No, not quite. Where am I? I don’t know where I am.

Yes. A little over

[00:11:44] Susanne: Three months. I think

[00:11:44] Missy: What day is it? And I think I’ve decided I will never do any kind of reconstruction. So I am now part of a growing number of women who choose to stay flat, which comes with its own set of crap. You know, like it was a choice I made. I’m glad I made that choice. I have to learn to dress myself again, not as in physically how to put clothes on, but what clothes do you put on?

Um, everything looks weird and different. And, the other day I got like a huge pit in my stomach because I thought, well, I figured out winter pretty well. I can layer. It’s pretty great. But now I have to figure out summer and swimsuits and all that. But there are, I mean, there are Facebook groups and there’s all kinds of people that, you know, dedicated to this.

So it’s not like I’m out here alone doing it. But, um. It’s a choice that gets some pushback from surgeons. Not mine. Mine was great, but sometimes people have trouble. Their surgeons do not want them to make this choice. Um, it’s a choice

[00:12:44] Susanne: That

[00:12:45] Missy: to women since. Yeah, I’ve talked to women since who get pushback from their partners.

It’s just,

um, you know, but it’s a big decision and it does have a lot of repercussions in your life as you go along and every day something new occurs to me and every once in a while I’m like, holy crap, I don’t have any boobs. It’s weird.

[00:13:04] Susanne: Like you were just saying, you were cold today.

[00:13:07] Missy: Yes. Cool. I lost a lot of padding. I lost five pounds in one day and, um, that was a lot of padding that I was used to having. And, you know, I mean, it’s, it takes a while for your brain to wrap around it, even though I was very certain that was the decision I wanted to make at the time of surgery. And as the months have gone on, I’m still really certain that that’s what I’m sticking with. I feel good about it. It is the right decision for me. I don’t have any regrets. Just a great thing to be able to say. Like, I feel super confident with this decision, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t moments of like, huh, interesting.

You know, it’s just, it’s weird. I mean, it’s weird. I’ve had boobs since I was like 10. There’s a lot of decades to carry those around, and they’re a part of you, and it’s a big part of your life in a lot of different ways, and I’m having to learn to be without, and I would, I’d be happy to talk to someone if you are trying to make that decision, because it helps, like, I listen to a lot of other women’s stories that made, you know, the gamut of decisions, not necessarily that ended up in the same decision I made, same, I’ve shared my story with a lot of women who are trying to make a decision, and it, It just helps.

You just need information and you just want to hear other people’s experiences. And so, we can totally do an episode on it. Or if you just want to reach out to me and talk, I’m here.

[00:14:24] Susanne: That is very generous and very helpful. And yeah, I think that’ll be a really valuable, this is a valuable episode, but I think the additional information that we’ll have on that dedicated episode will be really, really important. So stay tuned for that and, and many other exciting episodes coming up.

[00:14:43] Missy: Well, now we get to talk about what you’ve done for the last, well, three months, but six months really. And it’s way more fun than breast cancer. So. No. No. No. No.

[00:14:53] Susanne: is for sure. I mean, it has its days, but, um, no, it can’t even compare. Uh, yes, my new, I, I would call it my new job, but as we were just saying, I just had my six month anniversary, which, which is really funny because I remember, gosh, one of the episodes back when I started, I was feeling bad because it had been like three weeks and I didn’t feel like.

I was caught up to where I needed to be. And we talked to someone who’s, or no, I had, I think I just Googled like how long to be ready

[00:15:26] Missy: Yeah, you did. You

[00:15:27] Susanne: like you’re working

[00:15:28] Missy: Mm hmm.

[00:15:29] Susanne: Um, and they said at least three months and, you know, usually like closer to six months. And there’s still stuff I’m learning on a daily basis.

I’m sure that there are still people at my office who are like, okay, new girl, like, that’s not how you do that. but as far as like getting into the swing of things and feeling like I’m really steady with what’s going on, I got to say six months is a really nice milestone. Um, it’s, well, it didn’t help that, was it two months ago?

Like around September, October, um, I took on a new client. So that was also, every time you take on a new client, it’s almost like starting a new job in terms of learning about them and all

[00:16:11] Missy: Mm hmm.

[00:16:12] Susanne: So it was almost like starting two jobs a little bit, um,

[00:16:16] Missy: Well, you and I had lunch or brunch recently, and you were, we were talking about how different things, like, things work differently than the last time you had a job like this. Like, the world has changed a lot, so you just have that learning curve

[00:16:30] Susanne: Yeah. Yeah. And I, it’s so much of it is okay. So I’m working at an agency, which actually I want to have the CEO Tracy come on some time because I love the philosophy of the agency is called Creative Noggin. And the whole reason she started it. I mean, gosh, was it 12 years ago, 13 years ago, it has always been a digital or not digital agency, but, uh, yeah.

Remote agency. Everybody works from home. And the idea, and I think pretty much all of us except for one, uh, are, women, and so very much this idea of being able to, if you want to care for kids or have some flexibility, with Child care, home, or whatever other thing that you need to have flexibility with, you can do that.

And not necessarily time wise, I’m the only one who works on a contract basis. most people are full time, but it’s flexible in the sense of I need to pick up my kid from school this time and no one gives a shit about it. Or

[00:17:35] Missy: as it should be.

[00:17:36] Susanne: It’s just completely expected and it’s very flexible on the, Oh, I’ve got this dentist appointment.

I, and you know, people say, I’m going to be here these hours instead of these hours. So it’s just very open that way. No one would ever think twice about someone going to pick up a kid or leaving early for a game or leaving early for a recital. It’s just. It is woven into the fabric of the agency, which I just love so much.

Uh, mine is extra flexible because I do freelance work and so, I just work for the hours that I’m contracted to for my clients. So I’m even, I’m able to hop out and do a podcast recording in the middle

[00:18:17] Missy: Thank goodness. Thank goodness. Yeah. I was so happy when you got your job, and I’m not going to lie, there was part of me that was like, Oh no, like, what if we can’t podcast anymore? And I’m working actively towards going back to some more hours, like, kind of like you have something a little more permanent and steady.

And same thing, I want to make it so that we can, I still want to do this.

[00:18:41] Susanne: Yes, I love it. I love, well, I love talking to you on a regular basis, and I love talking to smart women on a regular basis about their expertise and all the things that they can help other people

[00:18:52] Missy: It’s so much fun, like we’re the luckiest.

[00:18:55] Susanne: I have missed it so much,

[00:18:57] Missy: Me too.

[00:18:58] Susanne: Yay, we’re back. Um, but yeah, so what about the job? It’s Ugh, I should have a whole episode on that too.

[00:19:07] Missy: Well, I think we should. I think we should have your boss on and I think that we should talk about everything that’s entailed because it really dovetails with what we do here,

[00:19:16] Susanne: oh, it’s it’s everything about what we do. Yeah, I mean, that was really the point. It’s, it’s It’s been very interesting how it’s all kind of, not consolidated. What is it? It’s kind of crystallized in this idea of like everything that we’ve learned about. It hasn’t been like one episode was what changed my life, although you could probably I would argue that Breyer did a big,

[00:19:41] Missy: changed a lot of people’s lives. I think I have another friend who just used her teachings. Yeah.

[00:19:45] Susanne: oh my gosh, Breyer’s amazing. Um, but I think it’s just, it was taking a little bit from each episode and pulling it together and having it repeated and smashed into my head a few times about, I think especially the idea of. What is it called this skill blocking or something like that? Obviously it really stuck with me, but I can’t remember the name of it.

Well, there’s upscaling, but there’s also this idea of breaking down what your skills are. And also breaking down what the things that you like are and then taking a look at different jobs and saying what, what elements of these jobs do I like that matches up with each of those things, my skills and the things that I actually enjoy doing because I spent probably the first year of this podcast.

Being pretty sure that I was never going to go back to advertising and I probably, I hope none of my clients start with the first few episodes because I

[00:20:52] Missy: in there. I come around to it.

[00:20:54] Susanne: oh my gosh, no, I mean because it really was, I, it wasn’t necessarily that the Career wasn’t what I was interested in. There’s very many parts of it that I’m interested in.

I love the data analytics part of it. I love the clients and interacting with the people. I love the project management aspect of it and managing the schedules and stuff. So those are things that I really, really enjoyed. The elements I did not like in the previous iteration of my advertising job was all of the travel and it was, you know, the 70 hour weeks and it was, you know, XYZ, other elements

[00:21:30] Missy: we are right now.

[00:21:32] Susanne: Yes, that do not, the big long drives to work, those types of things. So it, when I actually broke down the pieces of different jobs, I realized. Wasn’t necessarily the quote unquote job that I didn’t like it was this part of it and not necessarily All jobs are created equal in a particular field. not all agent ad agencies are created equal to

[00:21:55] Missy: Absolutely not. No.

[00:21:58] Susanne: mentality of And like I was just saying, the culture at Creative Noggin is very much, if that would have been what I had, you know, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, I, I may have not even left work in the first place.

Right. so

[00:22:15] Missy: all have. We carry the past traumas of workplaces. Like, we’ve all had bad experiences. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t had at least one horrible job. And you carry that with you. And so you had to do the work to figure out, like, to unpack that and then figure out where you could go from here. And I think that’s so great. And I think that’s something we’ve learned. I’m doing, that’s what I’m doing right now is putting on paper, like, what have I done? What are the skills I’ve gotten from there? And how do I want that to translate to what, what I’m doing going forward? It’s a crazy process to try and sit down and remember all the things you’ve done,

[00:22:52] Susanne: And I remember we’ve had a few guests who have told us to do that. And I was like, no, I just know I don’t, I don’t want to do that. I never want to do that again. And I’m glad that it took a few coaches coming on and, you know, repeating the same thing for me to be like,

[00:23:08] Missy: Mm hmm. Okay, I have to do that.

[00:23:11] Susanne: Um, and I probably, you know what, I probably, I don’t know.

If it would have been the same type of culture and the same type of processes of other places I’d been, then it probably would have just reinforced that nope, agency work isn’t for me. So maybe that was just a fact of really hitting the sweet spot of a workplace that shares my same values. Um, but then that’s all part of the, all the values exercises and stuff that we’ve talked about in several episodes too.

So. Yeah,

[00:23:41] Missy: hopefully it’s a sign that some of this workplace culture, I’m sure not everywhere, but it’s changing. And we’ve talked about it in many episodes, but COVID made a big impact on that and People are realizing there’s, there’s more ways to do this than just the traditional, you should live and die for this job and you should be here 70 hours.

And if you have a family, then you’re not any good to us. I think that I’m sure it exists in places still, but I think it’s maybe becoming less the norm. I hope,

[00:24:11] Susanne: I hope so. I

[00:24:13] Missy: or at least we know that that’s what we are looking for. We deserve it.

[00:24:18] Susanne: So, yeah, I’ve got to say that after what, two and a half years of doing the podcast and trying to figure out a whole, it was so funny because I mean, one of the points I thought it was going to be a pivot, like type pod. of like, trying to uncover this secret career route that, you know, was this ideal route.

And it was going to be a big surprise, you know, there was going to be this big reveal of like, you really should have been a neurosurgeon or, I And so it’s, I don’t know if it’s laziness or just serendipity that it all ended up coming back to, you were doing what you should have been doing all along.

You were just doing it at the wrong place, apparently, so, um, but

[00:25:04] Missy: mean, for some people, it may be a big pivot. That may be what comes out of the process of going through this. I’m finding, and I think we’ve found in some episodes, you know, the big pivot comes with There’s a lot attached to that. It usually requires some different education, at the very least a different kind of certification.

and that’s fine. I mean, if that’s, that’s where you’re led, like there are opportunities for that. Um,

[00:25:26] Susanne: and that being said, a lot of my pivots, which I still am exploring, so I mean, it’s not to say that, and who knows, I might have a different career in a few other years. I don’t know, but

[00:25:37] Missy: have to be one thing.

[00:25:38] Susanne: exactly, but a lot of the extracurricular, like volunteer work and other contract work and stuff that I have done.

Over the years that were not aligned with advertising, like my Informed Parents of Austin stuff, doing the podcast, all helped lead me to get this particular role because it happened to do with a client that was around Careers and coaching and those types of things. So it was just happened to be really aligned.

so I do say that just kind of explore what’s interesting and as long as you’re having fun with it and just like the podcast, we do not want this to end just because I have this job now doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue to help other people explore and can learn myself about interesting things that moms can do.


[00:26:26] Missy: lot of jobs out there. Do you think, you know, we’ve said this before too, but I think when we were out getting jobs for the first time, life was not presented to us that way.

[00:26:36] Susanne: yeah.

[00:26:36] Missy: And, and I have, I read a statistic recently and I won’t say it cause I’ll butcher the number, but it was something like if you asked high school kids, current high school kids, to name as many jobs as they could think of.

The average number was 12. They could think of 12 jobs and most of them were the traditional doctor, lawyer,

[00:26:55] Susanne: Oh, my

[00:26:56] Missy: they, you know, sales kind of job. But there are thousands and thousands of kinds of jobs. There are so many jobs that don’t even require a degree. Um, you know, there’s a lot of paths out there to success.

And I think we’re still kind of doing a disservice to kids if they can only name 12. But I know when I was going through school, I thought of a fraction of the things available to me,

[00:27:21] Susanne: Well, even six months into Zoe’s college planning, we had never even heard of medical illustration, and who knows,

[00:27:28] Missy: never heard of it until you told me about it.

[00:27:30] Susanne: know, but that may not, you know, who knows if that ends up being her career, but it’s her current major, and I mean, who would have thought, I know, I was like, what?

There’s something that like overlaps all her interests in this one field? Fascinating. Um, so yeah, so explore, Do all those volunteer gigs, do the, do, well, do all the volunteer gigs that you find really interesting and that excite you and that light you up, or invent your own, as the case may be for Foreign Parents of Austin.

Um, so yeah, everything kind of led me to where I am, which I’m enjoying very much now and that’s going to lead me to whatever the next thing is and it’s all just very exciting. And you know what? It’s awful fun to get paid. Ha, ha, ha.

[00:28:16] Missy: I’m real excited about that

[00:28:17] Susanne: Oh, my gosh, I’m

[00:28:20] Missy: having, like, you have a kid in college. I will have a kid in college soon, and, uh, I’m super, super excited, and that’s some of what we want to talk about in upcoming shows. Like, we’re in different places in our lives than we were. When we started this show during the pandemic, the height of the pandemic, a lot has changed since then.

And we have these different perspectives. And so now there’s a lot of different kinds of guests that we are looking forward to having on to talk about those

[00:28:48] Susanne: so excited. Yes. Well, and if we do have a, well, we should probably let people know, we’re going to be probably changing our pace as we are getting our momentum back after being off for a couple of months that we’re going to be doing every other week for the foreseeable future. We will see where that goes.

We’re going to see. See what brings us joy and we’ll, we’ll adapt and edit from there. Um, but super excited that some of the upcoming episodes and apologies to these guests whose shows have been in the hopper for months. And, uh, if any of their timely offers have passed by, we apologize.

[00:29:26] Missy: Do you have new offers? We’ll reach out to them if they have new offers.

[00:29:28] Susanne: we will,

[00:29:29] Missy: put those out.

[00:29:30] Susanne: but Emily Hay from Hay There Media was particularly helpful for me because she talks a lot about, especially around social media, but about the idea of freelancing, which is just a whole different conversation.

Ball game for someone who is either been a not working or be working, you know, a 40 hour

[00:29:49] Missy: Right. A

[00:29:50] Susanne: quote unquote job, traditional role. Um, so it is a different, different animal. Um, in fact, I’m helping some of my friends and this is my shout out brought to you by Paymo. Paymo is my favorite app. I pay 5 a month for it and I would pay a million.

Don’t let them know that. Um, but it is, it’s my time. So for each of my clients, each of them probably have like 20 different tasks or billing codes under each of them. And so it’s not just a matter of like, Oh, I worked five hours on this client today. It’s like, no, I worked 15 minutes on this client’s emails and then 15 minutes on this one’s landing page and then 15.

And so trying to keep track of that is a monster and Paymo. Not only does it keep track of it for me, but then at the end of the month, I just. Click on the end of the beginning of the day and it spits out this beautiful consolidated invoice that I can send for my billing. And then it has all the backup information, however they want to see it broken down by day, broken down by client, breaking down by task.

so it’s just awesome. And I just have

[00:30:54] Missy: love that because that was my least favorite part of freelancing was tracking my time. And when you showed it to me, I’m like, Oh, I can maybe do that again,

[00:31:03] Susanne: Oh, yeah. It’s so,

[00:31:04] Missy: in my decision making process. That is one of the things where I’m like, I hate tracking my time.

[00:31:09] Susanne: mm hmm.

[00:31:10] Missy: And, but Paymo does make it look really easy.

It feels like a Paymo ad, but Paymo changed that forever.

[00:31:16] Susanne: I do love it. It’s the best. It’s kind of, it’s kind of like the canva of timesheets. It’s,

[00:31:22] Missy: Oh, Canva, another one of my favorite things.

[00:31:25] Susanne: uh, so

[00:31:26] Missy: Emily Hayes coming on. Bye.

[00:31:28] Susanne: Yeah, Emily Hayes, come on. And then we’ve got Anne Welsh is the episode after that. And so Anne was around, uh, the topic of parental leave coaching, which I was hoping

[00:31:41] Missy: wish I’d had.

[00:31:42] Susanne: right now. Well, first of all, I wish I’d had that, but then I also have a friend who just went on parental leave.

And so I was hoping I was going to have that one live for her a while ago. Sorry,

[00:31:52] Missy: have just centered the

[00:31:53] Susanne: I could have just sent her the tape. Yes, and I gave her some tips out of it too. So, yeah, that’ll be a really good 1 coming up here.

[00:31:59] Missy: Yeah. So if you know anybody who’s on the verge of taking parental leave, that’s going to be a great episode for them.

[00:32:06] Susanne: Yes. And you know what? I, I would say any kind of leave. So, even if

[00:32:10] Missy: Yeah. Really.

[00:32:11] Susanne: if there is no infant or child or elderly parent, or any special needs that are involved, if you’re just taking a break for your break, um, it’s helping you

[00:32:21] Missy: Good information.

[00:32:22] Susanne: Plan for that pause or for that shift in your life.


[00:32:26] Missy: Yeah.

[00:32:27] Susanne: highly, highly recommend both of those that are coming up. And then, yeah, we’ll just have to wait to hear about the rest.

[00:32:33] Missy: I think we’re going to have some business owners on talking about that and

[00:32:38] Susanne: Some midlife amazing women. Um, yeah.

[00:32:43] Missy: cool stuff. And then like we talked about earlier, some health and wellness, and I’m very interested in exploring some of this, like when your life is, I don’t want to say upended, that feels dramatic, but my life changed drastically, quickly. And, or not my life, my body, I don’t know,

[00:33:01] Susanne: That’s your life. It is your life. Yeah.

[00:33:04] Missy: lot happened.

And so I’m really interested now in, you know, coming back from that and what that looks like. And I know I probably haven’t done it all quite right, but we’re going to have some experts come on and talk to us about that mindset and the shift and how you, how you get back to whatever, I don’t know, I don’t like to say normal, but you kind of get back to whatever it is you’re going back to,

[00:33:27] Susanne: Yeah. And especially if where you’re going back to is a workplace, I’ve got to imagine that enters some, some other complications or just some nuances to think about. So

[00:33:38] Missy: And like, it’s like a phase, my phase of life is so different. I do not recommend, if you have a choice, I do not recommend turning 50, which I haven’t yet, but it’s coming in soon, um, turning 50, sending your first child off to college and having cancer in the same year. I don’t recommend it. Yeah.

Zero out of 10 stars in a real mind fuck. Um, so, yeah, it’s a lot. So we’re going to talk to some experts about what to do when everything just feels really different and trying to wrap your head around it

[00:34:11] Susanne: Yes. Oh, my gosh, I’m so excited. And you know what? We’re going to be kind of selfish this year about answering some of the questions we really want answers to and bringing on coaches for those. But we want you all to be selfish too. So definitely either in the socials or reach out to us, let us know, um, some of the things that you want to hear about some questions you want to have answered.

I know I’ve had a friend reach out specifically. She’s managing a team of people who work from home. so not even necessarily. freelancing part time, but a full time workers working from home and trying to navigate the ins and outs of that, the different ways of managing your time around that, how to avoid any pitfalls when you have two of you working from home, how do you divide the space or how are you managing the division of labor around the house?

[00:35:02] Missy: It’s just the bandwidth, like the internet bandwidth, like just as we started. I was like, Mark’s getting off any minute and he’s going to leave the internet and mine will speed up. How do you have enough juice coming into your house to do that?

[00:35:14] Susanne: Yes. So working from home is going to be probably something, again, kind of a new reality post COVID that people are running into more and more of like how to make this work for me, how to make your space work for you, how to make your time work for you. I spent two days last week cleaning out this, What do we call it, our closet office?

[00:35:35] Missy: our Clawfice

[00:35:36] Susanne: And it’s so silly, I’ll just send a picture of it, one of the small things for the past three years, I have been balancing this laptop right here on a box. I think it was the box that my microphone came in. Yes, just in case I need to return it.

[00:35:52] Missy: by the

[00:35:53] Susanne: It is a good box. In fact, I may, now I did, I finally recycled it.

But I realized I’ve got this, I was like what could I put it on that’s a little more elegant and I put, oh actually I probably should, I was wondering why I’m a little off from usual, oops I gotta pull it up, but I’ve got a little cute wooden um jewelry box that was always shoved behind a bunch of like shirts and stuff in the closet and so I took the time to clean out and organize that and now My laptop sits on top of that, so when it’s not in use, I don’t have this microphone box just sitting on my dresser for an

[00:36:29] Missy: It

[00:36:29] Susanne: amount of time.

[00:36:30] Missy: my Clawfice is, oh. I mean, not to make excuses, but for a while, it was really hard for me to reach and lift.

[00:36:38] Susanne: yeah, that’s not an excuse. That is legit.

[00:36:41] Missy: I can’t even really do justice to what I did in here, which was just kind of throw things in places and I hung things like the easiest place to reach.

So my clothes are all crammed in weird places. And so now I can reach and lift and I need to come in here and just reset. I need a big reset.

[00:37:00] Susanne: Yes. You know what? I was just talking to a friend’s mom about She had had, uh, mastectomy years, decades ago, and that range of motion point, she’s like, she was so mad, she said, I can’t believe no one told me, how Big of a deal that was going to be that I can’t lift my arms more than, you know, a few inches for quite a long time.

And she was, so I do think, again, we keep on saying we need to have that dedicated episode, but I think there’ll be, some really good points that are brought up just so, cause I’m sure when that happened to you, you were like, well, surely something must be wrong. Like there, this can’t be something that happens.

[00:37:39] Missy: I was warned and actually I was, I was told my restrictions would be even more extreme than they were, but I was told to prepare to have T Rex arms

[00:37:47] Susanne: Yes.

[00:37:48] Missy: a while. And, um, I was terrified actually because it sounded horrible and my surgeon’s a little more liberal with that and as soon as she saw that I had healed to a certain point, she was like, you can’t hurt it. You need to go and do. And of course at the time I was like my, I could get my arms about here and she’s like, Oh no, you need to be doing more. But even so I had to advocate hard to get into physical therapy because she thought I could just do it on my own.

And maybe some people can, but I knew myself, I was going to be afraid to like do too much. And even though she said you cannot hurt it, do whatever. I still was afraid, um, so I had to advocate hard to get physical

[00:38:28] Susanne: Good for you.

[00:38:29] Missy: get into physical therapy, which is a whole other thing.


[00:38:33] Susanne: Yeah,

[00:38:34] Missy: I mean, it was stunning to not be able to do, like, I couldn’t wash my hair because I couldn’t get my hands up there. And guess what? Mark, not a great hair washer. Not so good at it.

[00:38:47] Susanne: Oh, I think we cut the part out earlier where we said our sons had such beautiful curly hair because of, because of not washing it. It’s so fun, the less they wash it, like the curlier and more beautiful it gets.

[00:38:57] Missy: So beautiful. Yes.

[00:38:59] Susanne: Doesn’t smell great. Looks cute though.

[00:39:01] Missy: Right. Yeah, don’t kiss him on the head, but it really looks cute.

[00:39:04] Susanne: It doesn’t work for us as well. Oh my gosh. Okay, so is there anything else we need to let people know about what’s coming up here?

[00:39:12] Missy: I think so. We’ll put it on the socials too, but for real, if anything we’ve said, like, sparks something in you and you know an expert or somebody that we should talk to, let us know. And if there’s anything you want us to talk about, Let us know, because we have an exciting year, it’s wide open in front of us.

We can do all kinds of great mom and dot, dot, dot things.

[00:39:33] Susanne: Yes. And if you do not bring it up, like I said, we’re getting selfish this year. We’re bringing in everybody for stuff that we specifically want to know about. So,

[00:39:42] Missy: I mean, if we want to know about it, surely at least a few other people want to

[00:39:46] Susanne: Well, certainly, cause you know what? I really do think once you get to kind of this stage in life We all have like the same six things we care about.

So I’m sure if we care about it, y’all care about it too. Sorry if you’re some 22 year old who just stumbled in here. All the lessons will be really relevant except for, well, you know what? You can never start planning for menopause too

[00:40:08] Missy: I was getting ready to say, the more knowledge you have before you get to that perimenopause place, the better, so if you think, oh my gosh, it’s so far away from me, it’s coming sister, and you need to know about

[00:40:21] Susanne: We’re going to scare them away.

[00:40:23] Missy: you know, it’s coming, and it’s great, it’s fine, you’re gonna like it,

[00:40:26] Susanne: You’re going to love it. It’s the best. You’re warm all the time. It’s cool. Okay. So I think that is it. We’re going to post this and then in, uh, we’ll see how ambitious I am. I was going to say it’s going to be two weeks after that. We’ll post the next episode, but it’s such a good one.

[00:40:44] Missy: our

[00:40:44] Susanne: Okay, every two

[00:40:45] Missy: should like get on our schedule, that’s good for everybody,

[00:40:48] Susanne: Okay, we’re getting on a schedule, you all. Thank you for helping me set boundaries. Look at me. I’m just so excited to share this episode with

[00:40:55] Missy: Which is a downfall we both have, like, we just get excited and we do it. But we’re gonna, we’re gonna stick to a routine so that everybody knows what to expect, including us.

[00:41:08] Susanne: Oh, I gotta tell you. Okay, so I do want to, this is my closing thoughts of like, for the years I had between career gaps or whatever, and the shock to the system of starting back up. Um, not that much more than the shock to the system of going back to after like a one and a half week holiday break like so just, I mean, just any kind of pause.

It is a shock to the system. So I, I just want to encourage people to just know that even people who are working full time jobs, they, they feel that same amount of like, do I remember like how computer works, like there really is, I mean, you don’t, don’t be too hard on yourself for thinking that you’re too far back there.

It’s just that period of adjustment that is a little bit of a shock to the system, but it. It, oddly enough, was not it’s like, gosh, this Monday was,

[00:42:09] Missy: Just as hard

[00:42:10] Susanne: It was, I mean, it felt like starting up a big long train.

Like, it’s just, you got to get the wheels started again. Then once you start cruising, you’re going fine. But it, yeah, it takes, it takes a minute.

[00:42:23] Missy: brain science, more around health and like physical fitness type stuff, but it applies to everything, of course. Our brains desperately want homeostasis.

[00:42:34] Susanne: Mmm.

[00:42:35] Missy: the brain is like a computer and it wants things to stay the same. And so. Even if the change is good and it’s a change you want and it’s in the changes, whether you’ve been off a week and a half and you have to go back to work or you’re changing the way you eat or whatever it is, your brain is like, No, we we do this now, like the last week and a half we’ve done this.

And so this whatever you’re trying to do today is too hard. And so you just have to be really conscious and be like, Nope. We know how to do it. We’re good. Here we go.

[00:43:05] Susanne: And it does not help when you have two teenagers who still have, like, two weeks of vacation left, just, like, leisurely doing the things that you were doing last week. I mean, like, wait a minute! And your brain’s like, well, why aren’t we still doing that? That looks fun.

[00:43:18] Missy: we just going on a hike or watching a movie and eating popcorn? Or, yeah, it’s hard.

[00:43:23] Susanne: nice. But yes, the boy went back to school today.

[00:43:26] Missy: Oh, good. Yeah, mine went back last week.

[00:43:28] Susanne: Saturday. Oh, really?

[00:43:30] Missy: Our district got out, like, Full week before Christmas,

[00:43:33] Susanne: Oh, wow.

[00:43:35] Missy: yeah, or a little more. So we went back last, on Thursday, and everyone else went back this week.

[00:43:40] Susanne: Oh, yes. And it’s, it’s nice. It’s nice to kind of, like you’re saying, your brain likes a little schedule. So I’m sure,

[00:43:47] Missy: quickly adjusts though too, which I think is amazing. Like in that week and a half, your brain went. This is how we do it now. So you just need a few days to be like, no, this is what we do now.

[00:43:56] Susanne: but you know what? This is a nice little reminder because he’s going to be coming from home from school in about a half an hour. And I’m sure that me being all revved up and ready and like have been doing my thing for the past week is going to have that expectation for him. And just, I know a little.

Reminder to be gentle to your littles who are heading back to school this week. And yeah,

[00:44:16] Missy: 17 year old came in yesterday. So day three of being back at school, but it had a weekend in between there. And he said this, it was such a hard day. Like, I felt like I had a little kid that he doesn’t, he doesn’t usually act like that. He rolls with things pretty well, but it’s hard to make that adjustment back.

[00:44:31] Susanne: yes. Especially cause a lot of them are changing classes to mid semester or

[00:44:35] Missy: Mm hmm.

[00:44:36] Susanne: but at the break between the two semesters. So, okay. Little reminder, I’m going to be extra nice.

[00:44:42] Missy: Be extra gentle with them because, yeah, and they hold themselves together all day long and you know, act like good, decent humans and then they come home to us and don’t have to do that.

[00:44:51] Susanne: Yes.

[00:44:52] Missy: It’s hard.

[00:44:53] Susanne: Good reminder to us all to be gentle to our children and gentle to ourselves when making these big transitions in life. So,

[00:44:59] Missy: Their little computer brains struggle.

[00:45:01] Susanne: yes. Oh, well, I got to do a transition back to work.

[00:45:06] Missy: All right. Have a good rest of your

[00:45:08] Susanne: I know I’m going back to work. and so, yeah, good. We’re so excited to be back with y’all.

[00:45:15] Missy: happy

[00:45:16] Susanne: So. oh, you know what?

Glennon Doyle has been saying this a lot. Apparently Apple did, Apple podcasts, uh, did some type of update over the past month or so, where sometimes the podcasts that you were following or subscribed to got, I think it’s like a pause.

I don’t know exactly what happened.

[00:45:38] Missy: I couldn’t find something the other day and I bet that’s why.

[00:45:41] Susanne: Yeah. Well, and Abby Wambach was like, I had to go unpause my own podcast. Like she wasn’t following her own podcast anymore. Um,

[00:45:51] Missy: do a big push.

[00:45:53] Susanne: yeah,

[00:45:54] Missy: Tell everybody we’re back because they might not be able to find us.

[00:45:57] Susanne: Yeah. So just in case you had been following or if you had not been following and this is your first visit, go follow, because we’ve got lots of good stuff coming up and while you’re waiting in between weeks, that gives you a ton of time to go and catch up on some of our past episodes.

Uh, so. We’re so excited to be back. We’re so excited to be with you. Go follow us on all the socials so that you can get all the good information and so you can reach out to us and let us know what you want to hear about this year.

[00:46:25] Missy: Yeah. Please do. Please tell us. Don’t be shy.

[00:46:28] Susanne: All right. I guess I better get back to work.

[00:46:32] Missy: Have a great rest of your afternoon and we will see y’all in two weeks.

[00:46:36] Susanne: right. Bye bye. [00:46:38] Missy: Bye