Cadet’s graduation, Joy’s COVID experience, mid-life crisis and why we break down in airports!
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This is Joy & Claire Episode 132: She Moved On
Episode Date: June 23, 2022
Transcription Completed: August 8, 2022
Audio Length: 51:31 minutes
Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.
Claire: And this is Claire.
Joy: I don’t even know how to start this episode. I was really hesitant to be chipper because I had this feeling yesterday where I’m like, I think I’m in a midlife crisis, and I don’t know how to talk about it.
Claire: I don’t know what I thought you were about to say, but that is not it.
Joy: That’s not it?
Claire: Okay, let’s pause. Let’s give a little context into the last ten days of your life. When we last left our heroes, Joy and Claire, you had not even gone to Cadet’s graduation yet.
Joy: No. No.
Claire: You’ve been through a lot.
Joy: Been through a lot since the last recording. This is why I hate recording in advance when there’s a lot going on. So many reasons. Because so much happens, and when I listen to the episode, I’m like oh my gosh, so much has happened, this is old news. You can probably tell by my voice that I’m getting over something. I did have Covid, so that’s a fun news alert. Where do I begin? Where do we want to start?
Claire: Claire and Joy finally got Covid. That’s a good place to start. I wonder if this is how it feels for the Great British Baking contestants when they know how the season ends and we’re all freaking out about who goes home in week one. Old news, old news.
Joy: Yeah, that’s so true.
Claire: Pretty much the same. We’re pretty much the Baking Show.
Joy: I was over it. I was over it. Well… I don’t even know where to begin, but I will start with Cadet’s graduation. Alright. So we go to her graduation on Thursday. We leave Thursday, June 9. We get there. I’m so excited. It’s just the most amazing feeling of being able to be reunited with her. We had the agenda. They were like, get there at 9. You’re going to meet the graduate. You’ll have an hour with the graduate, and then you’ll have an hour with your dog separately. Then the graduation ceremony. So we were prepared for that. Scott wasn’t feeling great, but he tested every single day, and it was negative. We think it was allergies because we have two huge cottonwood trees in our backyard. Not to mention the neighborhood has a bunch of cottonwood trees. It’s a horrible time of year. It just looks like snow. It looks like snow is coming down from the sky because there is so much cottonwood in the air. So we’re chalking it up to allergies. Fine, fine, fine. And he’s worried because he’s like, “If this turns into Covid, I’m not going to go to graduation.” I’m willing this to not be Covid. And by the way, it was not Covid. So we thought. You can only test so many times. He tested every single day, sometimes twice a day because we were so worried about going to this graduation. We were wearing masks and clear face shields the whole time because the graduates need to lip read. So we had clear face shields. It was all protected. So he was able to go, spoiler alert. We were just worried the whole time he was sick. And I was worried, “Oh my gosh, I need to go to this wedding in two days.” So it starts out a little bit stressful. Bless Scott, but when he’s sick, he’s insufferable to be around. He’s just constantly – is Brandon like that?
Claire: You know that he is.
Joy: I mean, I know he stuffs tissues up his nose.
Claire: I mean, yeah, that’s really just indicative of the whole thing. If you’re new here and did not know this about my husband, any time he has a stuffy nose or is the least bit sick, takes wads of toilet paper, shoves them up his nostrils, and walks around the house with a blanket over his head moaning. Any time he’s sick. I’m like, if you’re going to suffer, can you go do it in the other room?
Joy: Do you have to be the ghost of whining, the ghost of illness?
Claire: Right. Do you have to be like the ghost of husbands past?
Joy: You might as well give him chains to shake around the house and be like [moaning].
Claire: Right. It was so great though. The other day, he did that. He had allergies, and he had these snot rags in. He walks out. And Evie had said she wanted to read a book, I think. Brandon was like, “Okay, hold on.” He goes into the bathroom to shove the toilet paper in his nose. And Evie goes, “Take that out.” I was like, “I agree Evie.” Brandon was like, “Come on, Evie. It’s time to read.” And she was like, “No, take that out.” He listens to her. I was like, yes. Evie is in control. She knows what’s up. Yes, he is insufferable. He tries not to be. He’s gotten better.
Joy: Okay. Scott has not. He just gets very whiny when he’s sick, I don’t know. Anyway. It started out kind of stressful because I was worried about that. But we got there, and I feel great. He was still kind of feeling so-so. We get there and our room wasn’t ready, so we had to wait a long time. The battery on my phone was dying, and I had food that I wanted to eat in the room. So the whole beginning of the day, we were just fighting and gripey with each other. I just wanted to go in the hotel room and sit and eat my meal. But it was a great hotel, by the way. The Seabird, it was wonderful. If anyone goes to Oceanside, it’s the cutest hotel. And they were really nice and gave us some upgrades because they didn’t have our room ready for like five hours later than we had checked in. So the graduation morning, we get there and we meet with the Canine Companions graduate coordinator. It’s so good to see people in person. A lot of these people remember graduated with a Canine Companions dog, so I knew a lot of the people going into this. Seeing them face-to-face – actually, it was a little bit bittersweet because flying in all I could think of was, the last time I was here we were turning Cadet in. So it was a little bit bittersweet, but it was so good to see a lot of familiar faces in person. So they gave us the rundown about the graduates and what to expect. So we walk in and we meet Amber, his graduate. Immediately – I don’t know why, but immediately she was not at all what I was expecting. I didn’t know what to expect, but she’s not at all what I expected. It was just like, oh my gosh, you’re not at all what I was expecting. She was so sweet. We immediately sat down and talked for like an hour. I was nervous. I think I had nervous energy because it was the most surreal feeling in the world to be there. I think I had a bazillion emotions going on because I was nostalgic for Canine Companions, which just has a special place in my heart from the history I have there with JT, turning in Cadet and having that memory, and then all of the sudden the overwhelm of being there. And we were with seven other teams. There were other people there that were meeting their dog. Everyone was just nervous excitement. I remember sitting down. We brought the baby book I’d made with all the photos of Cadet when she was younger. We brought Cadet’s favorite toys when we were raising her. So immediately instead of giving her the bag, I just start opening everything in the bag. I was like, “Here. Here are some things that we brought you.” So I open the baby book and just start going through the pictures and immediately start crying. It was so weird. I don’t know why I think that I’m going to be able to hold it together, but the entire time, I’m fine. Totally fine. People are talking to me about Cadet’s graduation. And I’m detached because it’s been six months since we’ve seen her. So I’m totally cool as a cucumber. “Yeah, it’s great. We’re going to see her graduate. She’s going to be a hearing dog. Wonderful.” This is the joke that I play on myself. This is where last year when I was turning her in, I kept saying “feel your feelings” because what I tend to do is stuff them down, and I’m like,” It’s going to be fine. It’s going to be great. It’s just a transaction, and no one is going to cry.” That did not happen. So immediately going through the baby book, I start bawling my eyes out. And I feel kind of dumb because you don’t want the graduate to feel bad. You don’t want the graduate to know be like, “Um, you know…”
Claire: I’m stealing your dog… sorry.
Joy: And I was not crying from that place where I was devastated and heartbroken. I was just more like, oh my gosh, just a happy…
Claire: It was more… what’s that word?
Joy: Oh, super nostalgic. And then I got to the picture – anyway. I can’t talk about it. And I’m going to cry. Fuck.
Claire: I will say by the way, I don’t think you were playing it as cool as you think you were going up to it. Maybe you thought you were imagining that you were projecting this cool as a cucumber, “Oh yeah, I’m just going to meet her and hand her off.” But, uh… I mean, you didn’t get that emotional. But I feel like every time you talked about it, there was this kind of nervous energy about it a little bit.
Joy: So going through the baby book and I start crying. I’m like, “Dang it, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to start crying.” I kind of apologize because I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable. But she was just so, so sweet. We had a lovely conversation. She talked about what led her to get to CCI and match with a dog and her expectations of what she thought she wanted in a dog and when she met Cadet. It was lovely. And then [tearing up]. Ah, fuck… ugh, feel your feelings. I’m so pissed that I’m still crying over this. I have to go back to work today. [pause] They put you in a room, and they’re like, “We’re going to bring your dog out.” And then I hear her name, and she comes up to us, and she’s cute and happy and smiley. I posted the video. She recognized us, and she ran up to us, but it was so clear that she wasn’t our dog anymore. And that was like… Sandy put it this way. Because I kept saying it was like a boyfriend that you have to let go of. She’s like, “It’s actually more like when you marry someone off, a daughter or a son.” And you have this very heartbroken feeling. You’ve spent your whole life with them, and then they’re gone. I immediately thought of Father of the Bride when Steve Martin is like, “Oh, it’s not my little girl anymore” and she gets married off. I don’t know how it feels to marry off a child. And you know how I feel about comparing children to animals, but that’s the closest thing I could think of. Because everyone is like, “Oh, did she recognize you?” And even the trainers are like, “They’ll recognize you, but” – and she did. But I was like, oh, and she’s moved on.
Claire: Did they tell you that that was going to happen?
Joy: No, no, no, they don’t tell you. And I don’t think people are analyzing it as much as I innately knew. She’s playing with us and being Cadet.
Claire: Right. She’s excited to see you, but she’s not like, “Oh my gosh, you finally came back for me.”
Joy: No. Which I think would be worse.
Claire: It would be worse. I completely agree with you. It would be so much worse.
Joy: I think it would be so much worse. But I didn’t expect that. And I didn’t get all these emotions I think until after we left. But it was really hard because you’re so happy, but also you’re like, she’s gone. The finality of it was really hard because she was gone, meaning she’s moved on. And throughout the whole training, you kind of see her progress and you know she’s still in training, so you’re still kind of the point person for her. You’re not the owner per se, but you’re the point person for her.
Claire: Right. You’re the emergency contact.
Claire: You’re still getting her reports. You’re still the person they call if something goes wrong.
Joy: Yeah. And so that’s kind of where it’s like, she’s a graduate. She’s a graduate dog. She was amazing, and she was so sweet and so loving. But that’s where I was like, she’s not ours. I want to be clear, it’s not like I was mad about it, but it just kind of breaks your heart at the same time. So we got to spend an hour with her. We took a bunch of pictures, and it was great. Then we do graduation. I think the coolest part for me – I mean, I cried through the whole graduation because it was so cool to just see how these dogs are going to change people’s lives. I think the coolest part was when – so people who watched it, you may have seen on the left side all the puppy raisers sat, and then on the right side all the graduates sat. And the puppy raisers and the graduates would meet in the middle, and the puppy raisers would turn the dog over to the graduate and pass the leash, so to speak, is the ceremony that they’ve done over the years. And they do this with every graduate. Service dog, hearing dog, whatever. The thing that I noticed is all the service dogs with the puppy raisers, when we were sitting on the left side, all the dogs were really squirrelly, and they were moving around. We noticed Cadet was walking around a lot and rubbing up against me. They kind of had this weird nervous energy. Not in a bad way, but I definitely noticed it. And the second they got turned over to their graduate, the dogs were just passed out asleep next to their person. I just remember thinking, oh my gosh, it’s perfect. Everyone has their match, and they’re comfortable and they’re settled. It was so cool. It was so cool to see. She was very in tune with Amber. The second Amber would walk by, Cadet’s head would perk up and she would watch her. It was amazing. But that was so hard to leave. And her family was so generous. They were like, “Any time you want to come stay with us, you can stay in our house.” Amber’s parents were there. They were so kind because they’re considered local. They’re only an hour away from Oceanside. So her parents were inviting us to stay with them. And they really meant it. They were so genuine. Her grandpa was giving me a hug, and her grandma was so excited and really spunky and said something funny that I can’t remember. She just made me laugh. It was all-in-all, that was so beyond perfect. It was emotionally so hard to just all of the sudden go on an airplane and fly to Arizona and then go to a wedding that weekend. I don’t think I would have done it like that ever again. Next time, don’t plan back-to-back trips. Not only that, Scott decided to stay home. For a number of reasons. Mainly managing all of our pets and the house and his work schedule. I’m like, “I’ll go to the wedding. It’s fine. I’m going to go to Arizona. You just please hold down the fort.”
Claire: So not stay home. He flew home from the graduation.
Joy: Sorry. Yeah, he flew home from the graduation, and I flew to Arizona. So we had this split up at the airport, which I could not emotionally handle either. The second he’s like, “Alright, you’ve got to go on this bus, and I…” All of the sudden being alone without him also made me cry. So I was just in the worst spot, and I just started… I think I posted about this. You have to laugh at some point when you’re just so emotional. He was flying United. I was flying Southwest. I remember talking about the San Diego airport in a recent trip we did or last year. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I love it.” No, I don’t. I take it back. I think the last time we flew, it was totally empty and not an issue. But I take back what I said. I do not love the San Diego airport. What happened was, I go through security and it is so busy. Just packed. Nobody is wearing a mask. I am wearing a mask the entire time I’m traveling, by the way. I couldn’t find a place to sit. I’m emotionally wrecked. Just so wrecked. So I can’t find a place to sit. I’m wanting to just sit in the middle of a restaurant and cry and drink myself silly because I don’t know what else to do. Oh, and my phone is dying. There’s no plugs anywhere because it’s that situation where everyone is sitting near a plug. People are sitting on the ground. Not one space to sit. I then think, I’m going to go look for some food. In my delirium, I start walking towards some other – it says, oh, you’re going to go to this gate. And part of me is like, this is closer to the gate where I’m flying out of. So I turn this corner, which basically just spit me back out into baggage claim. I am all of the sudden not near any gates or food. I’m back out near baggage claim.
Claire: Did you have to go through security again?
Joy: Oh yeah, I did. But here’s the kicker. I was in the wrong terminal. Southwest has two terminals, and I just wasn’t paying attention. The guy who was checking and saying this is B10 to whatever… I wasn’t listening. Because I was just, again, not in my right mind. I was like, screw this. I’ve got to go get some food. Got some food, sat and ate. And then I look up at the TV and it says your flight it delayed. And I cannot. It said 10 minutes. I said, 10 minutes I can do.
Claire: It’s never 10 minutes.
Claire: I feel like 10 minutes must be the default that they put in before they have the details. It’s like what shows up while it’s buffering.
Joy: Totally. Or they’re like, we’re just going to give you a heads up that this flight it cancelled. We’re going to start with 10 minutes. So I look up and I’m like, ugh, it’s delayed. I see it go from 10 minutes to 30 minutes to an hour. I’m like, this ain’t good because if I’ve learned anything from Scott Parrish, the travel pro, is that they are just trying to delay the fact that the flight is going to get cancelled. I immediately start panicking. I can’t sit in this God forsaken airport one more hour and just wait for a flight while I am emotionally breaking down. You guys, I understand that this is very drama filled. This is just the reality of where I was.
Claire: I also feel like nothing is as dramatic… how am I trying to phrase this? The most dramatic feelings are felt in an airport. I feel like if you are in an airport and you are by yourself and the world is buzzing all around you –
Joy: So many things are out of your control.
Claire: I’ve told the story before of when I broke down ugly crying in the security line at LAX because the security guard took away my snow globe when I was traveling. I was in New Zealand when the 3 ounces of liquid rule happened, and I flew home with this thing in my carry one. It stupidly counted as liquid, even though it was a snow globe. They took it away, and I was sobbing because my boyfriend had broken up with me in New Zealand. And I also have spent a lot of time sobbing in the Vancouver airport in a corner. Where else? Oh, the Seattle airport. That’s when that lady came up to me and gave me a hug. I know I’ve told that story. Because a boyfriend broke up with me again. In Vancouver, I was just having a nervous breakdown because I had just been in the woods for 30 days and then I had to go to the Vancouver airport and couldn’t cope.
Joy: Airports are where a lot of things happen.
Claire: It’s a lot. There’s a lot going on. There’s a lot of feelings.
Joy: So many feelings.
Claire: And you cannot be alone. Maybe this is just people who… flying does not make me nervous inherently. Being up in the air in a metal tube, I’m fine with. But the process of flying puts me on so much edge that I feel like I’m already right at my limit just being a part of that activity. Going to an airport, I’m already at my limit.
Joy: Yeah. This is where I was like, I will do anything to be wealthy enough to have a private jet. That’s the thought that was going through my head.
Claire: One million percent.
Joy: At this point, [UNSURE 00:21:24.07] is there a 40+ accounts for OnlyFans because I’m ready.
Claire: Who wants feet pics? You can have them. I don’t think you’re going to get there through our Joy and Claire Patreon that we never activated. But hear our plea listeners. Joy and Claire need to fly private.
Joy: We will come and pick you up, I swear.
Claire: We will come and pick you up. There will be a platinum membership you can have on our plane if you donate more than like $30. That is a steal.
Joy: That is a steal. And you get to ride with us. I don’t know what else to tell you.
Claire: The problem is that we’re going to need 100,000 of you to donate.
Joy: Oh God. But that was literally going through my mind. You know what, I will do anything. I will sell and do anything to not sit – I was in such a place, guys. Where am I? What did I leave off?
Claire: Hold on. I would just like to make a callout for anyone who has a dramatic airport story. We all have the airport horror stories of things going wrong and people being horrible logistically. I am more interested in, have you experience an emotional crisis in an airport? The thing is, people travel during very tragic times in their lives. If there is an emergency in your family or someone suddenly passes away, you have to use an airport. A lot of big transitions happen right before you fly. Whether you are moving somewhere or you are leaving for college. Tell us about an interaction that you had in an airport that should have been benign but was so emotionally charged that you just broke down in tears.
Joy: Yeah. Well I’m about to tell you mine that continues. It just keeps unraveling. So I get some food, I eat. I’m eating outside of the terminal watching the delay just continue. So I’m like, well I have to eat this food before I go back through security because can’t bring the drink. I got a beverage. Can’t bring liquid. That was a dumb choice.
Claire: At that point, if they try to take your beverage, it’s going to be over.
Joy: Oh, over. So I eat my meal and go again through security. I have to throw away my beverage because I am just not in the mood to sit here and down a soda. And I wanted to get closer to the gate to see if I could get any information about how long it was going to be. If you have not yet gotten on the website, I think it’s called Flight Tracker or flight something, you can actually see where your flight is coming from. I do that all the time, just to see is the plane that I’m actually supposed to be on even leaving from where it’s coming from.
Claire: The United app has that in their –
Joy: The United app does. Southwest does not, so I had to get on Flight Tracker or whatever. So I see that it’s not leaving – I think it was Tahoe. But anyway, doesn’t matter. It wasn’t leaving. So I go through security. I go through again to see if I can get more information. I sit at a chair for a while, and that’s when I’m doing Instagram. I’m answering questions because I have all the time in the world. Then I see the flight is pushed out another hour and a half, I think. So at this point, I’m in the airport for four hours total just sitting around. With elbow to elbow, shoulder to shoulder people. Here’s where I lose it. I then realize I’m not going make this flight tonight. This flight is very at risk of being cancelled, so I’m going to try to get on another flight that’s leaving around the same time. It doesn’t matter now. This flight is leaving at 7pm. There’s another flight that’s leaving at 6:45, so I’m going to try to make the 6:45 flight. So I get to the gate agent and talk to her. We get the flight switched. So goes, “Oh actually, you have to go through the other terminal.” This is the third time I go through security. “You have to go to the other terminal because it leaves out of B2.” I’m like, okay. So I forget that while I’m sitting in that terminal, I had filled up my water bottle. I’m having a nice little drink of water by myself. Not even thinking that I have to go through security the third time, and I have water in my water bottle. I also get checked through the third time through security. I also get checked for a random scan of my electronics because I have two laptops. I need one for work and one for the podcast. So they check my electronics. And the guy is like, “Oh, you have water in here. You can either go through security again and drink it all or throw it away.” I don’t know the other option he gave me. You can either go back, empty it, throw it away, or there was a third option I don’t remember. Maybe there wasn’t.
Claire: Throw it in my face out of pure rage.
Joy: Yeah. Part of me wanted to be like, “Is there an option C where you just turn the other way?”
Claire: Right. Is there an option C where we just know this is fountain drinking water and this is the stupidest rule?
Joy: And thank goodness for TSA. This is not a TSA thing. I know they are doing their job. That is the first thing I go through my head. Every person is a terrorist in their mind. I know that I can’t fight them on this. I did not even try to, but in my mind I’m like, please just have mercy on my soul. I just have to say, I actually did start crying behind my mask. Thank goodness I had a mask on because they probably would have been like, woah, this lady is actually at risk for doing something. He starts going through my laptops. He’s checking my laptops, and he’s giving me a lecture about not carrying water through security. I did tell him, “Oh, I am so sorry. I just came from the other terminal. Totally forgot.” Normally when I come to the airport, I’m not filling up my water bottle.
Claire: I’m not an idiot. Right. I have in fact flown since 2006. Spare me your lecture.
Joy: Yes, please spare me the lecture. I am a seasoned traveler sir. I have a husband who would probably lecture me for you.
Claire: He would die of embarrassment.
Joy: He would die of embarrassment. I’m sitting there going, I was in the other terminal. I just wasn’t thinking. My brain is not even working guys. He is giving me a lecture and then he goes, “You know, next time just put ice in there.” I’m like, “Ice is water, sir.” I didn’t say this. But, ice? He goes, “You can bring in ice and just fill it up when you get past security.” I’m thinking, so not the point. I don’t care about your lecture about water. Please give me my computers.
Claire: I am not crying out of fear of dehydration.
Joy: No, no, no. And he said it probably five times to really nail home the point.
Claire: Got it. Got it. I got the ice.
Joy: “You can put ice in there, and next time you just can’t bring water through. But you can put ice in there.”
Claire: Got it.
Joy: I’m like… mamma. The guy says, “Do you want to throw it away, or do you want to keep it?” I said, “Just toss it.” Immediately regretted my decision as I watched him carry my water bottle. It was a nice, whatever those metal ones are. Nice. It’s a small one. [sigh] But we’ve had it for ages. It had a Canine Companions sticker on it, and I just thought, I’m never going to get that back. I start crying. Not in front of them, but I start crying behind my mask. I take my bags and I go up the stairs. It was ugly cry. Not even a mask will save you.
Claire: And the more you try to resist it, the more it’s bubbling up.
Joy: Totally. It’s the word vomit of cry, and I just start sobbing and tears are squirting out my eyes. People are walking towards me, totally looking at me like, “Oh no. Is she okay?” I wish someone that saw me would have given me a hug. And then I go into the bathroom, and I sit in the stall, and I just bawl. Just get it out. This is so dumb. You’re going to laugh at this one day. But you’re just so emotionally raw that you have to get emotional over losing a water bottle that you could easily replace. So finally get to Arizona, finally get to my friend’s house. We have a good laugh over me losing the water bottle. I told her the story on the drive home. I’ve never been so happy to be out of an airport and into a house and a home. So let’s take a quick break. [laughing] My story.
Claire: Let’s take a breather. We still have to hear about your midlife crisis.
Joy: Wait, you have to hear about my what?
Claire: Your midlife crisis.
Joy: Oh my gosh.
Claire: You forgot already that you opened this whole episode with you’re going through a midlife crisis.
Joy: Yeah, I’m just leaving everybody hanging. It’s probably no surprise at this point that something is going on with me.
Claire: I was about to say, maybe we should wait another week and see how you feel.
Joy: I don’t know. It’s been lingering. Maybe Ned can save me.
Claire: I know, if anyone can. So we want to tell you guys about our favorite CBD company, Ned. Ned is the maker of our favorite CBD products and also some of our other favorite botanical products or mineral products. I love their Mellow drink blend, which I take every night. As well as the Daily Blend, which is their full-spectrum hemp tincture. The way I use it is I take the CBD right after I brush my teeth. I take the mellow probably about an hour before I go to bed. So it’s like Mellow, hang out for a minute, and then CBD right before bedtime. It does taste a little skunky, but I have come to enjoy it. It just really helps calm me down. The magnesium is actually also something that my neurologist suggested for my migraines. It also helps me. I have restless legs and restless arms. Obviously, this is not medical advice. This is just the way that I use it. But a lot of people reach out to us and say, “Hey, can you tell us exactly what it is that you’re doing with it and exactly what you use to find it effective?” So that is how I love to use it. Those are my favorite products. I just got a new batch, got delivered last week. It was so exciting. When it shows up, you’re just like –
Joy: So excited.
Claire: My little allies are here.
Joy: I know. I’ve got to over mine. I’ve said this before, but the Mellow Magnesium is so helpful when you really need to feel calm. The second I drink it, I’m like [sigh].
Claire: And it tastes good. It’s this nice little ritual. Now I feel like when I start to drink the magnesium – maybe this is a placebo effect – but it feels like my body is like, okay, it’s almost bedtime. You can sort of start to chill. And it signals not just the ingredients but also the ritual of drinking it and making it tells my body, okay, it’s time to wind down.
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Claire: Alright. So to recap the following couple of days. You went to this great wedding. It was fantastic. And then you’re feeling a little under the weather, tested for Covid just to be sure but were pretty sure you didn’t have it, and then lo and behold it’s positive.
Claire: You found your way back to Colorado as safe as you could. You have just emerged from the Covid timeframe.
Joy: Yeah, just emerged from the Covid timeframe. Which thank goodness, this is where I’m like, for the two years I have dodged Covid somehow and who knows where I got it. I don’t think it was at the wedding. It could have been at the wedding. The numbers didn’t add up as far as when I started having symptoms. It really could have been anywhere, to be honest. At this point, everything seems to be risky. And I think what really hit home for me with this experience, I just have to say, is how important it is to still be careful and get vaccinated. I am so grateful that I have the vaccine and the booster because my symptoms were pretty darn mild. I attribute it to the vaccine and the booster, but you just never know. It hits people so different. Every single person that’s had Covid has told me a different version of what they experienced. I was just grateful that my symptoms improved pretty quickly, meaning they say after day five that you’ve tested positive that if your symptoms are improving, continue to wear a mask but you can go out. I’ve just been more on the careful side of only going out if I have to grab groceries or food or something. But it was pretty darn mild. I was just terrified because I was around my family. I made sure everyone tested to make sure they didn’t get it. It kind of ruined the trip from the standpoint of I had to cut it early to get home safely so I wasn’t around the people I was staying with. Because they have elderly people in the house. It was all around a very bad situation. So I don’t know if I’m going to be traveling any time soon. That really freaked me out. But where did I leave off? I feel like this whole episode is just me yapping and trapping.
Claire: Well, we were going to talk about your midlife crisis.
Joy: Okay. I’m going to gloss over it because here is what I want people to weigh in on. I kind of tongue and cheek say midlife crisis, but I would say in the past six months – four months, I don’t know. Four to six months. I’ve been feeling kind of chronic doom and gloom. At first, I was like, maybe this is still seasonal affective disorder. This is just the state of the world. Maybe it’s a lot of things. And it very well could be. I see a lot of people in practice in therapy where the daily drains of the pandemic and the state of the world, they kind of chip away like a death by a thousand paper cuts kind of thing is finally starting to kick in. At least for me, that’s what it feels like. I’m starting to get into that mode of, are things ever going to get better? You start kind of catastrophizing the world. I know everyone can kind of relate to this on some level. But it’s affecting my mood so much that I just can’t get into a happy place. I’m like, am I just experiencing a midlife crisis of existential “what am I doing with my life?” Or is it the weight of the world, just so freaking heavy right now, that it feels like nothing is getting better? So I kind of joke midlife crisis, but maybe there’s more to it. If anyone out there is experiencing that ongoing doom and gloom from what we’ve all collectively experienced the past few years especially, it’s just been a lot. So I didn’t want to put on this happy face that things have been going well, because they haven’t felt good. I know you mentioned that on the last episode of how you can’t even think about the current events because it’s so much. You just can only focus on dealing with what is in front of you with your family. I think what I came to realize is I was pushing so hard to get to a point of feeling okay, and I’m like, I don’t feel okay either, and I don’t really have the energy. All I can do right now is focus on raising these dogs. That’s the only thing I can focus on that gives me a little bit of joy and hope. That’s a little bit scary because that’s a whole thing that I talked about last time. Don’t get to the point where you’re almost giving up in a way. But I don’t know how to course correct. So that’s where I’m at. That’s all.
Claire: I mean, I think midlife crisis is a little bit of it. But maybe if it’s not going to get better now, when is it going to get better.
Joy: Well, let me add to this too, now that I think about it. A lot of mental health professionals are getting super burnt out. Luckily, I work for a company that is so good about taking care of mental health workers. They do a good job. But I don’t know any amount of caretaking you can do to not make it really emotionally draining on you. So I’m starting to see the effects of that, and that’s concerning to me. I hope if my current employer is listening to this, it’s absolutely nothing to do with them at all because they are amazing. But there is a part of me sometimes that wants to be like, can I just go work at Whole Foods and bag groceries? And these moments are fleeting, I get it. But sometimes you want to not have to take on so much – and I’m sure nurses are feeling this way. I’m sure teachers are feeling this way. I’m sure doctors – I mean. [sigh] So it’s a lot.
Claire: I know. As you were describing that feeling of being at a point where there is just so much going on or it feels like it’s relentless or endless, and is it every going to get better, what I was thinking of – and we don’t, again, ascribe to comparative suffering on this podcast. But I think that what you’re describing is something I have heard people, regardless of their career, regardless of their situation really describe it at varying points in the last two years. For some people, it was right away. For some people, I think especially people who had young kids at home or who were not able to keep working felt it immediately. And then maybe it was when the vaccine came out and you had to go head-to-head with people you were close to about their beliefs about the vaccine, and that’s when you started feeling like “I can’t do this anymore.” Or maybe it was when your office opened back up and you had to be back in person. You had to really question the priorities that you had to that company. Maybe that was when you thought, “I can’t do this anymore.” There has been a different breaking point for everyone. I don’t think I know a single person… I think you had a similar thing last year when you were recovering from your job situation. Part of me wonders if the fact that you had that happen sort of covered up a lot of the stuff from the pandemic because you were so focused on getting over that.
Joy: Yeah, and I was like in survival mode. I have one sole focus, which is what am I going to do next with my life. And that can be very true, for sure.
Claire: I think what you’re describing is a really shared experience. I was about to say, midlife crisis might be part of it. Maybe that adds into the factoring of just pondering your mortality, but I think that this is a really universal limit that a lot of people have reached at varying point. And maybe your breaking point was going to the store and for the fifth time they didn’t have the brand of cream cheese that you really wanted. It doesn’t have to be something monumental, but like you were saying, death by a thousand paper cuts. Whether you did have a huge moment of trying to work from home with three school-aged kids and tried to homeschool them or whatever, or whether you got to this point of I just can’t trudge through the mud anymore, I think that what you’re experiencing is so common right now. Not to minimize it at all. Instead to say –
Joy: No. I think that’s where I’m just kind of voicing it. I’m the type of person that tends to be like, “I’m going to handle it. I’m going to be the helper. I’m going to be the one that’s got the crap together.” It’s just exhausting. Will it get better? I think so. But I think I don’t do a good job of acknowledging when I’m in a bad place. Because it kind of scares me that I’m not going to get out of it.
Claire: For sure. I think that also is common – maybe not common, but it’s not like you are broken for feeling that way. There’s nothing about what you’re saying that’s like, “Wow Joy, I really don’t understand where you’re coming from.”
Joy: That’s so weird. I’m over here watching Wizard of Oz and eating popcorn.
Claire: I’m just sitting on the couch eating bonbons all day.
Joy: Which by the way, I know that I tend to do this too when I’m in this sad place – you know my favorite @cupcakesandcashmere account?
Joy: Her Instagram is constant like living in Los Angeles. Every day she’ll go to a bakery.
Claire: She lives your dream life.
Joy: She lives my dream life.
Claire: She goes to Nordstrom like five times a week.
Joy: Shops. Wears cute clothes. Has beautiful, cute family, beautiful home. And I tend to do that cycle of idolizing where I am just like, oh man, my life just totally sucks. I don’t have this. That’s when I know I am in the danger zone. I’m like, stop idolizing someone else’s life.
Claire: She posted the other day. “I just want to be open that I’m going through something really hard right now, and I’m having a hard time.”
Joy: Yeah. She’s the first to admit. “I have panic attacks.” “I have major anxiety.” And I still will do that.
Claire: And you would hate that life. You would hate it.
Joy: Truly. But it’s a way for me to justify that I feel crappy about my life.
Claire: Because you’re not living in a mansion in LA.
Joy: You’re picking at a scab, like I just want to self-inflict this wound, this pain.
Joy: Guys, I’m fine.
Claire: This is not a cry for help.
Joy: No, no, no. I got to air it. We’ve got to let it out. And then we’ve got to deal with it. And we will. [sigh] This was a lot of my heaviness on this episode.
Claire: I cried in last week’s episode, so I think you’re in the clear.
Joy: This is just how it’s going to be.
Claire: You know, the best thing about it is this is Joy and Claire.
Joy: It really is. And life is just the way it is. But we are here for you. We’d love to hear your stories about emotional breakdowns. How are you doing?
Claire: In airports, out of airports. I read something the other day that was talking about summer break and how we’re all so conditioned to look forward to summer and see it as this big release. It’s supposed to be really relaxing and recharging. That’s actually not the reality when you’re an adult. It’s easy to set yourself up for failure when you are imagining the way summer is going to be. And you get halfway through summer, and you’re like, wait a minute. My life is actually kind of the same no matter what I do. Except now in the summer it’s harder to put my kids to bed because it doesn’t get dark until 8:30/9 and I have to pay for my kid to go to camp.
Joy: Well that’s the other thing. I’m glad you brought that up. When I started to feel that lingering sadness continue through the spring and then summer, I’m like, wait a minute. This is supposed to be gone after the winter. Having that expectation of summer to be this magical, fun, happy time. I was like, oh no.
Claire: The only objective thing that’s different is slightly more Vitamin D availability.
Joy: Slightly more. Which I actually was so desperate the other day. I went to Target and bought – I’m sure Laura Ligos would be like, “Joy, it’s not going to work.”
Claire: You bought what?
Joy: I bought Vitamin D dummies that were like happy something. The whole title was like be happy something. I’m sure I could eat this entire thing and it’s not going to fix anything. But the placebo effect. I needed something. And every once in a while, I will do a placebo effect of something.
Claire: Because serotonin is also real. There’s something to that. There’s something to believing that whatever you’re getting going to help and you’re taking actions to fix yourself.
Joy: And they’re delicious and I love gummy vitamins.
Claire: I love a gummy vitamin.
Joy: So my friend is an ER doctor, and she is really involved in Canine Companions as well. We were texting back and forth because she had Covid recently too. She said something about an IV drip for vitamins. I go, “Do those Vitamin D bars actually help?” She’s like, “I don’t see why you can’t absorb vitamins through your mouth.” Yeah, that’s true. Basically you pee the whole thing out. And anyway, I just thought it was funny. I don’t get why you can’t absorb vitamins through your mouth.
Claire: Right. Unless you are in a medical situation where you have to have things delivered in a certain format. Like go drink a Nuun tablet.
Joy: To be fair, I’ve done an IV drop before of those vitamins, just because I wanted a placebo effect. I will do stupid crap like that just to be like, this feels like a fun toy to play with. Anyway, let’s end. Let’s just take a pause on all this so people can chime in. I need some people right now. I need people to come in and say, “This is also something I’m going through.” I need some community support. Selfishly. Maybe it is a cry for help. [laughing]
Claire: We’re just going to leave all this drama – not drama, you know what I mean. We’re going to leave all of this strife here in the episode, close the Burn Book.
Joy: Close it. I love it. This is why that exists. Close it. Put it in the Burn Book so that we can move on. I feel better already.
Claire: Great. Alright guys, well thank you so much for hanging in there with us this week. You can find us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can go to our beautiful website joyandclaire.com. You can email us firstname.lastname@example.org. We know they are all different. We can’t do anything about it.
Joy: We can’t.
Claire: Choices were made long ago. Don’t forget to support the sponsors who support our podcast. Go to helloned.com, use discount code JOY for 15% off your order. Check out the Mellow if you’re not ready to try out CBD or if you’re just not into it. We love it. And it’s also tasty. It’s like Meyer lemon. It’s like a little cup of calm. And we will talk to you guys next Thursday, just like we have every Thursday for the last nine years.
Joy: And ever and ever again. We are still hanging on, even after today’s episode.
Claire: We appreciate you.
Joy: We invite you onto our private jet.
Claire: There will be a Patreon link sent out later. Alright guys. Bye.
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