Do you thrive off of productivity? How do we manage uncomfortable feelings? And what ah-ha moment did Joy have while watching the Victoria’s Secret documentary? Tune in to find out this and more!
This is Joy & Claire Episode 136: Bottleneck Situations
Episode Date: July 21, 2022
Transcription Completed: October 10, 2022
Audio Length: 51:07 minutes
Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.
Claire: And this is Claire.
Joy: And this is Joy and Claire.
Claire: This is Joy and Claire. Here we are again.
Joy: Hi. Howdy.
Claire: Thursday morning, Thursday evening, Thursday day.
Joy: Or Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. So many people save these episodes too. We appreciate that wherever you are. Hello, we’re glad you’re here.
Claire: Hello, hollo.
Joy: Bennifer got married. Let’s just go right out of the gate –
Claire: Let’s just jump right into it. Yeah, I found that out like five minutes ago when you said that – Joy was talking about JLo, and I had no context. So congratulations to them.
Joy: Yeah, I was like, you have no opinion. My first reaction was, really? So soon? That was my reaction. Really? So soon? Did you have to just do that right now?
Claire: I mean, I don’t know. Weren’t they together for a really long time before, and then they broke up?
Joy: Yeah, but then she just left what’s his name? You know? Whatever. That was my own projection. I just feel like I would need more time before jumping in.
Claire: You would need more time. You would.
Joy: Apparently JLo and I don’t share the same –
Claire: Don’t have that in common. I also just feel like if you’re JLo, YOLO.
Joy: Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. And did you see the Instagram post where Britney was singing “Baby One More Time” in this dark sultry voice?
Claire: No, but I want to.
Joy: It was really great. I’m going to play it for you.
Claire: It was like Goth Britney?
Joy: We can play it, right? She posted it on Instagram. Oh – probably not.
Claire: Let’s just imagine it. Let’s just close our eyes.
Joy: Everyone, just pause. Go to Britney’s Instagram. It’s probably last week. She posts every single day, so just go to the one where she’s standing in front of a mirror and she starts singing “Baby One More Time.”
Claire: That’s like 90% of her Instagram is here standing in front of a mirror.
Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. She’s in the dark. You can’t really see her. She starts singing “Baby One More Time” in this very dark version. Acoustics in the bathroom, she sounds great. And I was just very happy for her. Any time she posts something where she’s putting herself out there a little more. Well, let me rewind that. With her talent. I feel like she’s been hiding her singing. She’s been not really talking about music, which is really what she’s known for. Dancing on the other hand, we’ve seen lots of that. So much dancing. I feel like every time she puts her singing out there, even a little bit, I feel really happy for her. It’s almost like an angel gets its wings.
Claire: Reclaiming it?
Claire: She’s reclaiming her Britney-ness?
Joy: That’s the two things out of the gate that I wanted to cover real quick.
Claire: The two celeb moments that we had to cover off on. I don’t have any celeb moments to comment on.
Joy: I have one more.
Claire: Oh wait, I did get a new cookbook by Paul Hollywood. That’s my celeb moment.
Joy: Tell us about the inspiration to buy that book.
Claire: I saw a cookbook by Paul Hollywood, and I bought it. It’s pretty new. I went to the Boulder Book Store. If you guys are in Boulder, the Boulder Book Store is just a real gem. They have at the front of the store, the first three whole shelf section are staff recommendations. And they are the best because people really write out long, thoughtful recommendations. And yeah, Paul Hollywood has a – I think it’s pretty new. Somebody wrote a comment and said, “Is this really intimidating? He really intimidates me.” And it’s actually not pastry as a category of baking that’s difficult. Flaky dough. Pastry is just a name for any type of flaky dough. But other than that, it seems pretty straight forward.
Joy: What are you looking at right now?
Claire: His brownie recipe – okay, first of all. Let’s take a step back and realize that if you, anyone out there, here’s the thing. They probably have finished already filming the upcoming season of Bake Off, do you think?
Joy: I hope so. And I’m real excited. If anyone has insider insight, please let us know. By the way, we didn’t get any responses to sending us some videos of Mary Berry. I’m really disappointed in you guys.
Claire: Not pirating Mary Berry. But literally, if you ever are going to go on the Bake Off show, you’ve got to memorize this cookbook.
Joy: It’s like an insight into his brain?
Claire: Yeah. Here’s how he does stuff. Like his brownie recipe is in there. There’s one that I’m really looking forward to. It’s his blondie recipe with freeze-dried raspberries and pistachios. I’m very into backing with pistachios. There’s also an individual lemon sponges one that I bookmarked and a pear and almond slices one that I bookmarked.
Joy: What was the first one again?
Joy: Blondies. Scott loves a blondie. Scott loves a blondie.
Claire: Does he love pistachios?
Joy: Sure. He’ll take a pistachio. He’s not opposed to the nuts.
Claire: Okay, okay.
Joy: Whoops, yeah, sounded weird.
Claire: Yeah, we’re just going to cruise right by that one. Good thing Scott doesn’t listen to the podcast. Okay, go on. You were going to say something else about someone else, another celebrity.
Joy: Oh. It was a one degree, two-degree situation because I posted about this movie that I’ve been wanting to watch forever and ever, I don’t really love scary movies –
Claire: I saw this message. I laughed.
Joy: Oh, it was so funny. So there’s a new movie out called The Black Phone. Ethan Hawk is in it. It’s really the only reason that I wanted to see it. I don’t love scary movies, but this one looked like this was scary enough but not gory to where I’m going to be eyes closed the whole time. I love a good suspense. So I posted about Ethan Hawk and this movie I wanted to watch, and we had an Instagram follower write us and say, “Oh my gosh. I just saw him the other day walking his dog. We both put our dog poop bags in the same garbage can. I feel like I’m one degree separated from him now.” I’m like, “You’re basically best friends.” But she saw him walking his dogs in Brooklyn. She’s like, “He’s a real good looking man, and he has really cute dogs.” I’m like, yeah, yeah. And his daughter is in Stranger Things. She’s so cute. She looks exactly like the most perfect combination of Ethan Hawk and Uma Thurman. It is adorable. So that just makes me want to be a part of their family. They are so cute.
Claire: My current celebrity crush is Chris Pine. He’s a dreamboat.
Joy: He is a dreamboat.
Claire: I saw somebody – I think it might have been Betches or somebody posted something recently that was like, “We’re not arguing over which Chris is best.” Who are the other Chrises?
Joy: Chris Pratt.
Claire: Chris Pratt. Who is the other one?
Joy: Famous Chrises.
Claire: So they were like, “We’re not arguing over which Chris is the best Chris because it’s Chris Pine.”
Joy: Chris Rock. None of these are the ones we’re even looking at. None of these. A power ranking of famous Chrises. None of these guys. Google did not – who is the most famous Chris in the world? Chris Evans.
Claire: Okay, Chris Evans is who I was thinking of.
Joy: Chris Hemsworth.
Claire: Oh, that is also the other person that I was thinking of.
Joy: [laughing] All these Chrises. Chris Pratt –
Claire: But Chris Pine, I think he’s at the top of the Chris list right now.
Joy: Yeah, yeah.
Claire: I think that’s enough listing Chrises.
Joy: Oh Chris Pine, and then Chris Rock, and then Christopher Walken. Now we’re starting to get weird. Now it’s Christopher Lee. No.
Claire: No, no, no.
Joy: Who is Chris Brown? Cut that, cut that.
Claire: Cut that.
Joy: Okay. So famous people. Anything else? See anyone in Boulder?
Claire: Any famous people? No. No famous people in Boulder this week. I didn’t really do anything this week. This has been one of those weeks where it’s felt really frazzled, but also nothing has gotten done. You just feel like you’re spinning your wheels. At my job, we work in seasons. We’re working on the fall season. For those of you who don’t know, I work for an apparel brand. It just feels like things are ramping up. I get confused about what year it is constantly because we’re talking about spring 2023 collections and fall 2023` collections. I’m like, it is 2022 right now? I either think that 2022 is next year or that 2023 is this year.
Joy: Yeah, that’s really confusing because you’re constantly living in the future. I’m kind of excited for fall. It’s been so hot everywhere.
Claire: It’s so hot. And I know it’s only like July.
Joy: I know.
Claire: But I want it to be here. I’m so excited. Oh, I don’t think I talked about the surfing trip last week on the podcast. My new surfing trip. I posted about it on Instagram.
Claire: The only reason I’m bringing it up is I feel like it’s going to expedite my arrival of fall because I’ll be in Ireland at the end of August.
Joy: It’s going to expedite fall. But really, truly, I get really excited about fall for you because it’s like, this is your moment.
Claire: I love fall so much.
Joy: Your birthday is in November.
Claire: Okay, do you do this? When you have a trip coming up, do you add the city that you’re going to to your weather app?
Joy: Oh, totally. All the time, yep.
Claire: So I did that. I’m looking at it, and today was 80, which I think is an outlier. But even in the middle of July, it’s mid to upper 60’s, cloudy. Sounds like a nice break. I don’t think I’d want that all that time. This is my challenge. I think we’ve talked about this before.
Joy: Not too hot, not too cold.
Claire: I want cooler weather, but I require at least 300 full days of sun.
Joy: [laughing] Is that too much to ask?
Claire: Is that too much to ask? I just want to be able to wear pants and a sweater and eat soup for dinner every day for the rest of my life. But I also require at least 300 full days of sun. I have yet to figure out where that is. Except that I think my best bet is going to be staying in Colorado, but just going up in elevation.
Joy: Sure. That’s a good point.
Claire: But it’s really expensive up there.
Joy: It’s expensive up there.
Claire: Unless I move down to Westcliffe with your mom.
Joy: My parents would welcome you. There is an empty lot next to their house. Build a house right there. Ronnie Z will plow your driveways. He plows the streets. He is the neighborhood –
Claire: Maybe he’ll build my house.
Joy: He really would do that if you asked him to.
Claire: That’s ideal.
Joy: Alright, so speaking of – oh, your trip. Wait.
Claire: Oh yeah. So I’m going on a surf trip. So Burt, who I followed for a long time, she was one of the earliest surfers I remember being aware of back in my high school surf craze days – that I never grew out of. I have been following her on Instagram, and she posted about this surf trip to Ireland that they were doing at the end of August. It was advanced beginners and up. I’m not an advanced beginner, so that rules me out. I kept seeing the post and seeing the post. And finally I was like, I’m just going to reach out and find out what does it mean to be an advanced beginner. Because as we all know, I have only been surfing a handful of times, and only once in the last eight years. I am not like a never, ever. Like, I can paddle out on my own. So I reach out and I’m like, so here’s the deal. I can paddle out on my own. I can catch small waves on my own. I can’t always stand up on the waves, and I don’t always catch them. But do I qualify? And she’s like, “Oh yeah. We really are just making sure that people can handle their own board safely in the water and that you can paddle out on your own.” I took it to be the skiing equivalent of you have to be able to load and unload the lift on your own and stop before you run into another person. I’m like, yeah. Actually, I would consider myself to possess that amount of surfing experience. To where I can keep myself out of imminent danger and I’m not going to drown for no reason.
Joy: Yeah. They want to know that you’re going to be okay.
Claire: I think they just want to know that you’re going to be safe in a group and they don’t have to give you one-on-one attention, that you have some ability to do it on your own without one-on-one. So I was like, alright, well this is something weirdly specific that I’ve always dreamed of doing, which is surfing in Ireland. I kind of thought that this idea for me was a few years out. I kind of assumed that I would have to come up with my own trip. So I just went for it. Bless Brandon for being totally on board with me leaving for another surf trip four months after the last one that I did. So it’s going to be the last week of August. It’s in Sligo, which is not Northern Ireland like the region, but the northwestern coast of the Republic of Ireland. Turns out, Ireland is quite small. You can drive across the whole thing in like four hours. I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do because the one big hitch is that they want you to bring your own board.
Joy: [laughing] I’m just like, international travel with a surfboard.
Claire: So I don’t own a surfboard because of all the aforementioned factors. And I’m like, also, turns out there’s not that many places in Ireland to rent a surfboard from. And also, if I were to rent one, what would I do with it? How would I get to the rental place? Would I rent a car in that scenario? Does the car have a rack? Just a lot going on. So I think after pricing out all my options, I think I am going to buy a surfboard. Which feels crazy. And try to fly with it, which feels crazy, especially because on the way back I have to go through Heathrow.
Joy: You are absolutely insane.
Claire: Literally, this is where I’m at. That feels like the most simple option because otherwise what I have to do is –
Joy: Alright, do we have any listeners in Ireland who can drive you?
Claire: Seriously, can you pick me up with my surfboard? I will pay you to drive me to this place.
Joy: We actually did have a listener who reached out and wants to meet up with you in Ireland.
Claire: Oh really, where?
Joy: I think it was on our email.
Claire: I didn’t see that. Maybe she’ll help me.
Joy: Or it was DM’s. Who knows? Guys, just email us.
Claire: if you’re listening, please email us. email@example.com
Joy: Things get lost in the shuffle.
Claire: I am really at a loss – so I think what I’m going to do is buy a board, fly with it, take the bus or the train to the town where I need to be. And then once I get to that town, just hope someone can pick me up who is going to be on the trip. Because I don’t want to rent a car. That’s really what I’m trying to do.
Joy: I don’t blame you. Now there all of the sudden all these steps that you’ve got to – yeah, I don’t blame you. It’s getting too complicated. That’s where I’d be like, I’m out, too many steps.
Claire: I literally at one point was almost like, maybe I’ll just go and just not surf.
Joy: The whole point of the trip and you’re like, never mind.
Claire: I’m like, I’m good. I’ll just watch.
Joy: Can you Amazon it to your hotel?
Joy: And just hope it’s in one piece.
Claire: So here’s the other thing. It has to be under a certain size, because on the way home I’m actually going to Jackson, which is a long story that I don’t need to tell. It’s considered an express flight, so there’s a limit on the size that your baggage can be.
Claire: In a perfect world, I would get an 8.5 or 9-foot board, but I can’t get longer an 8-foot and bring it on the plane. There.
Joy: Can you ship it in cargo somehow?
Claire: It would be so expensive to do that.
Joy: Yeah, that’s true. This is why we need a private jet.
Claire: Add it to the list of reasons.
Joy: So mad.
Claire: Because there’s just so much going on.
Joy: So many steps that we would have to do.
Claire: So many steps. There’s a lot of steps. So anyway, all that to say, I’m going to Ireland. I’m trying not to let this surfboard logistics problem overshadow my excitement. I have been to Ireland one other time. I am also not really going to have a lot of time outside of the surf trip. I get there the day before, so I will have a little bit of time. But I’m mostly planning to use that to navigate across the country with my board. And then same thing on the way back. The retreat ends on a Friday, and I leave on Saturday. But if anyone has any tips on where to stay in Sligo, just tell me because I do need some lodging. But I’m very, very, very excited. And also, I’m very, very, very nervous. Hopefully I don’t make a fool out of myself in front of this longboard celebrity who I have followed since I was 14.
Joy: I wish I could do one of those sounded out things because – oh, Sligo.
Claire: I mean, it’s pretty phonetically spelled, but you just never know with Irish words.
Joy: It really inspired me. I saw one of my friends – speaking of surfing, but this is not surfing – standup paddle boarding. It’s adjacent.
Claire: It’s definitely adjacent. Oblong board on the water, standing on it. Yeah, very adjacent.
Joy: My friend has a boat store. It’s friends from high school. They have a store that’s on a boat. She was posting some videos from her store on the lake, and someone was paddling by on a paddle board, but like an elliptical on a paddle board. I was like, “What the heck is this?” And she wrote me back and she was like, “Oh, I have a feeling that this is going to become your new workout obsession.” [laughing] I was like, this looks amazing. So it is. It’s basically a paddle board. Instead of a standup paddle, it’s elliptical peddles in the board.
Claire: And then it has a little boat motor thing under there? Like a little rudder?
Joy: And then you hold on to a bar that’s popping up. It’s genius.
Claire: So I’m imagining those elliptical scooters where you’re doing the elliptical but it has wheels.
Joy: Exactly. Yes. And the arm bars don’t move.
Claire: Got it.
Joy: It’s just you’re paddling with your feet, standing up on a paddle board. It looked amazing. Standup paddle boarding takes forever to really get into the groove, and you have to be really strong. Even at my strongest, I would have a hard time getting momentum going. It is quite the workout. You’re just holding on for dear life the whole time. Well, that sounds fun.
Claire: Don’t worry, you guys will be hearing so much more about it. But the real important thing is that I am purchasing sweaters for this trip. And I bought this freaking ginormous freaking wetsuit. I had to put it on. And good Lord, by the time I got it on – it was 100 degrees the day it came in, and I wanted to try it on right away in case I had to return it. I put this thing on in my kitchen. I strip down to my underwear, pull this thing on. As soon as I get it on, I immediately start to panic because I am already sweating so much. Really cold-water wet suits, the neck gasket comes over from behind like a hoodie. You pull it over.
Joy: No. This reminds me of Carrie on Sex and the City when she has a panic attack when she puts the wedding dress on to go to marry Aidan and she breaks out in hives, and she can’t get the dress off because there are so many buttons.
Claire: Yeah, but imagine that but the process you have to go through to get it off is like being born out of a neck gasket.
Joy: Oh no, no, no.
Claire: So Miles had to help me get out of it. Thanks, Miles.
Joy: Thanks, Miles. You’re having a panic. You’re like, “Get me out of here. Just get it off.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a dressing room where I’ve been like, let’s take a gamble with these shoulders. And I’d pull something on and be like, “I can’t get it off. I can’t get it off. I’m stuck.” That’s always my problem, guys. You know dresses that just pull over? Just a pullover dress. No. Pullover dresses are not a pullover dress on me. They are like, let’s push it over the rib cage and the shoulders. They never just slip on. There is no slip on dress situation. And then I can’t get it off. I get so nervous.
Claire: Yeah, that’s how I feel about anything that you have to step into and then pull up. I have a similar bottleneck, but it’s my hips.
Joy: [laughing] Bottleneck.
Claire: Trying – just like please, please, please, please, once we get over, it’s fine. And we’re through.
Joy: It is a bottleneck situation.
Claire: [laughing] Oh no. Okay. So you were telling me that you had an interesting conversation about productivity and worthiness. When you were describing it to me, I was like, we could definitely talk about this for a long time. So tell me more.
Joy: I was talking with a client this week. We were having this conversation. I feel like this comes up a lot, so it’s not this one person. I was like, wow, this is probably universal to a lot of people, is that productivity and value are very synonymous. People put a lot of value into themselves when they can be productive. Whether that be school where someone is like, yeah, I was the high achiever in high school, did all the things in college, and then you kind of settle into a job in your 20s, 30s. And you’re like, what do I do with all my time? I’ve talked about this a little bit before where I feel like sometimes with age – I feel like in my 40s now, goals are very different. I hit this weird spot in my 30s where I was like, why do I feel like I have no goals? I have no direction. Well, because it changes, right? You’re not moving at the same pace as you were in your 20s. For a lot of different reasons. Anyway, the whole conversation came up of, do you put a lot of value and self-worth into productivity? And are you the type of person that doesn’t like idle time. Because I like structure, but I also love free time, so I have to be really careful how I structure my weekends too. If I do too much planning, it kind of freaks me out. But at the same time, too much idle time creates a lot of anxiety. So I’m curious to see where you stand on that spectrum.
Claire: I’ve definitely talked about this with you. We’ve talked about this a lot on the Girls Gone WOD podcast. When you were in this in real time where you were having these little mini crises around, I just feel like I’m supposed to be doing more.
Claire: And I need to have a goal. I think that also comes up for people particularly around fitness. I did a post about this on Instagram last week about being a recovery PR chaser. When you step away from trying to push yourself to that level all the time, you kind of have this withdrawal of – wait a minute, then what am I supposed to be focusing on if I’m not constantly trying to chase after something? I think this is all various sides of at the same coin. I would say that I used to be very much like that. I think having kids sort of solves that problem for you. For me, it did anyway. I don’t want to speak for everybody who has kids. I think it was easier for me to be focused on my own productivity before I had kids because I think I was just more focused in general on my own plans. And then when I had kids, I had to let that go because some balls had to drop and that was one of them. But I think that it shows back up in my life when I feel like something is not going the way that I wanted it to. Or if Brandon said he was going to do something and forgets, I feel like I have to run around behind him scooping up whatever it is that the forgot to do or whatever. It feels like, okay now the list has just expanded to my whole family. We have this level of productivity that we need to maintain. We can sort of keep it at a hum, but if things start to drop, then I feel like I have to be the one to go and scoop them up to maintain that sort of hum. It’s a little bit less focused on my own self-worth, but it definitely contributes a lot to my day-to-day stress.
Joy: Yeah, it’s interesting because the people that I’ve talked to about this, it’s a wide range. It’s people in their 20s. It’s people in their 30s, people in their 40s. Dads, moms, single people, married people. It’s all across the board. I feel like too there’s just this inherent need – I feel like social media just makes it all really bad too. Oh, we should all be doing this level of things. If feel like that still really influences us. But how much we feel like we have to keep doing something or producing something and chasing something to feel like we’re worthy. I don’t know, it’s very odd. I’d be curious to see what people say. I want to hear if listeners have that experience around productivity, self-worth. Are you the type of person that really likes to be productive and doesn’t like to take a break? Or are you okay with taking time off and just laying on the couch all day? Glennon Doyle’s podcast We Can Do Hard Things talked about this a little bit with her and Abby. Because Abby is the type that I can just lay on the couch all day and do nothing. And Glennon is like, I don’t even know what that is. I don’t even know how to do that. They have a really cute conversation about some of that in their episodes. I just want people to weigh in. I think it’s an interesting personality trait. I also know that there’s stuff tied to it. Some people are like, well, when I was a kid, I had to work all the time. You kind of get that ingrained in you.
Claire: Right. What I immediately start to think is seeing that as a negative trait that you can’t stop yourself and it almost becomes the Fantasia skit where you’re just dumping out buckets of water as your house floods. But if you have the ability to have a lot of self-awareness around it and you can direct it, I don’t think it necessarily has to be negative if you can set healthy expectations around it.
Joy: Right. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing either. I’ve told a couple of people I work with, this is actually a strength. It’s just a matter of how much it is interfering with your relationships or your life or your daily life.
Claire: And if it’s adding a lot of stress to you, then that’s obviously something that you want to look at. What do you tell people who – people who are listening and are like, yeah, yeah, I definitely have this, and it makes me miserable. The problem with this is it’s totally a catch 22 that you’re really stressed out by having these expectations to yourself that you have to be productive, otherwise your self-worth suffers. But the problem is that the remedy is to try to tone down your expectations, which then can very easily backfire to make you feel more stressed out because you’re loosening your productivity. So how do you manage that?
Joy: I’m a big fan of exposure therapy with pretty much everything. So I always tell people, just start one weekend with doing – if you’re super, super productivity mode, start one weekend by doing a little bit less. Just see how it feels. You’re not going to burst into flames. And I also have this theory that so much of what we do in mental health is to help people learn how to tolerate uncomfortable feelings. So you just have to learn how to tolerate. You increased your exposure to something that’s uncomfortable, and you learn how to tolerate it a little bit better. So if you kind of walk into a weekend being like, “I’m just going to make my list,” and what do I have to get done or else we’re not going to eat this week? Okay, of course, we have to do grocery shopping. But what are the things that maybe would be nice to get done but doesn’t have to get done? And you leave things on your list that you don’t accomplish and see how that feels. So much of what we deal with in life is the story in our head of rules that we don’t know where they came from. They were made up when we were younger or whatever. And that if you actually let one of those rules go, you’ll realize it really wasn’t that big of a deal. It was just a big scary monster in the closet that’s actually the cute monster from Monsters, Inc. You make a really big deal out of something that’s not.
Claire: It’s just silly.
Joy: It’s just silly. And he’s so cuddly and cute.
Claire: So cuddly and cute.
Joy: That’s what I say. See how that feels. One step at a time. Because you can’t just tell someone, “Just stop being productive.” Because a lot of times, it does bring people –
Claire: Just relax.
Joy: Just relax. Just think positive, you guys.
Claire: Don’t be so hard on yourself. It makes me crazy when people are like, “Just be gentle with yourself.” I freaking hate that advice. I think I’ve talked about this. “Just be kind to yourself. Just be gentle with yourself.” F that. I hate that advice so much.
Joy: No, it can turn into toxic positivity real quick.
Claire: One thousand percent. It feels so toxic. “We just need to be gentle with ourselves.” What does that mean?
Claire: I hate that advice. But what you said a couple of minutes ago I think is worth reiterating. You said being comfortable with uncomfortable feelings. I think that that is at odds with what most people try to do, which is end the uncomfortable feelings as quickly as possible.
Claire: And it’s like, actually, uncomfortable feelings aren’t inherently bad. You just have to learn how to tolerate them.
Joy: You just increase your tolerance. It’s like running. You don’t start running right away. You just start doing a little jog here and there. So it’s the same concept, and it’s very much like, okay, this is really uncomfortable for me. This is the same thing where people have a hard time with public speaking or going out in public or crowds. Some people have major social anxiety. So we start small. I’m like, alright, well I want you to go to the grocery store. Do you feel uncomfortable going to the grocery store? On a scale of 1 to 10, how uncomfortable is that for you? And they’ll be like, “It’s a 2 or a 3.” Okay, great. We’re not going to throw you into a 9 situation. You’re going to go from a 2 or a 3, and you’re going to walk around and be like, if it gets to a 4, I can tolerate this. But if it gets to a 6, I’m going to leave. So you kind of start to play around with that type of thing to make sure that no one is going to be thrown into a situation where they are like, “That was horrible.” You want it to be positive to be like, you survived that. You got back in your car. Everything is okay. You’re not having a panic attack. That’s kind of what we want. And then you start building off that confidence. Because it’s building confidence too. You’re building confidence that you can do these things. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people about others worrying about what they’re thinking of them. I’m like, I guarantee no one is thinking about you. Sorry. But they’re not thinking about you.
Claire: I think that’s huge.
Joy: They’re thinking about themselves.
Claire: They’re worried about what you’re thinking of them. I feel like that’s cliche. We’re hearing that more and more. “No one is thinking about you. They are too busy thinking about what you’re thinking about them.” But it is honestly so true.
Joy: It’s so true.
Claire: How much time do you actually spend thinking about other people? And holding judgement against them. Not just thinking about them because that can entail a lot of things. But how often do you sit around thinking, “God, I can’t believe that person did that. I can’t believe they did that. I still can’t believe they did that.” Unless they really personally wronged you, you’re probably not sitting there being like, “I can’t believe that person took their whole lunch hour. Can you believe they took their whole lunch hour? Oh my God, they took their whole lunch hour.” No. Why are you so obsessed with me. If somebody is acting that way towards you, that’s a them problem, not a you problem.
Joy: You might be hanging around Regina George.
Claire: You might be hanging around Regina George. I think it’s just important to have those reminders that being uncomfortable is okay. A lot of us were raised in a generation where the go-to was fix the feeling, make it go away. That we were all just striving for positive emotions all the time. And if it wasn’t positive, then we had to make it go away. And now we’re finally opening up into an era where negative emotions are normalized and they’re talked about more. The solution to a negative emotion is there doesn’t have to be a solution. It is just a feeling like anything else.
Joy: Yes. And I am so against the whole “let’s fix negative emotions.” I will say we have so many colors of the rainbow of emotions. Every single one needs to be recognized. Happy is happy. Sad is sad. Let’s not judge the emotions. We can’t just all of the sudden “fix” and have this attitude that negative sad is a bad thing. And let’s get yourself in a positive mindset. I hate that. It may work for people. From my experience, it’s not sustainable because you’re not really addressing what’s underneath it. You’re just putting a Band-Aid. And I think it gives people this false sense of hope that if you just say enough positive affirmations, you’re going to be happy, and it’s bullshit.
Claire: It’s also not realistic. It’s not the way the world works. You can’t just set up your life to only have positive experiences, and then you’re spending all of your energy trying to reframe things and trying to ignore reality in my opinion.
Joy: Right, right. You’re ignoring reality, exactly. So that’s just my one viewpoint from one therapist is I don’t believe in positive thinking your way out of things. I think there’s certainly mindsets you can take to be like, alright –
Claire: Right, we’re not saying to go out and have a toxic negative –
Claire: Perspective is important. Mindset is important. We say that all the time` with comparative suffering. I was about to be like, “What’s that word where you compare your suffering to other people?” Comparative suffering.
Claire: Where it’s like, hey listen. Perspective is important. It’s always good to recognize when things could be worse. But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to experience a negative emotion because it could be worse. Sorry I cut you off. Go ahead.
Joy: I was just saying, for example, going into a job interview or going on a first date. You’re going to be nervous. Don’t try to not be nervous. Just be like, alright. So practice that too. There’s a lot of times I’ll talk to people and be like, unfortunately I can’t help you with this until you actually get into a situation. There will be people who went through a bad breakup, and they want to start dating again and they want to be better at relationships. I’m like, call me when you’re in a relationship. Because I can’t tell you how to do that until you actually go through that experience. We will talk through a lot of things and perhaps learning from your past relationships, but so much of life is you’ve got to get in there. You’ve got to mix it up, and you have to fall on your face, and you have to learn. But the whole “thinking positive” thing, yes, it’s great. It maybe gives you some warm, fuzzy feelings every once in a while when you see something that’s positive. But you’re really doing a disservice of actually doing the work. I kind of equate this to working out because you’re working out your brain, you’re working out your emotions. You’re getting better at them. You’re getting stronger. So that’s my therapy hat moment.
Claire: Okay. Speaking of positive emotions, let’s take a quick break and talk about our sponsor, Ned, who helps us feel, if not more positive, at least way more balanced.
Joy: And way more calm.
Claire: Calm. Relaxed. I also feel like being relaxed should be a neutral experience. It’s not always like, oh I’m relaxed because I’m happy. I’m just relaxed. I’m okay with whatever is going to happen. So you guys know Ned. They are the makers of our favorite CBD products. I love their Daily Blend and their Mello Magnesium blend, which is a magnesium drink powder that also has some other minerals and botanicals in it. It tastes delicious. I love the Myer lemon. I take it before I go to bed. And I also take my Daily Blend before I go to bed. I use the 750 mg blend. I do a full dropper full under my tongue every night. It just really helps calm me down a little bit. It brings down my baseline just a little bit. It helps me get to sleep, stay asleep. And it also does feel like it helps me have a more even keel throughout the day. Whether that’s the CBD on its own or whether that’s because I’m getting awesome sleep, I don’t care. I think sleep is by far the most important thing that we can do to maintain our health. That is why I really love CBD and I’ve really gotten into the habit of using it. I’ve noticed if I don’t use it, I definitely have much shakier sleep, much less reliable sleep.
Joy: If you want to support the podcast, you can go to helloned.com/JOY to get 15% off your first order. That’s helloned.com/JOY. 15% off your first order, or you can use discount code JOY. Please support the podcast and support our great sponsors. Thank you so much, Ned, for sponsoring our show. Well, I want to talk quickly about the Victoria’s Secret documentary I watched this past weekend. I didn’t know it existed. I was just browsing Hulu and was like, “Oh, angels and demons? Victoria’s Secret? I’m in.” So my first question to you is how prevalent was Victoria’s Secret in your life? I feel like I was in the perfect age range for it to be a big presence in my life.
Claire: The beauty standard.
Claire: I would say it was still pretty prevalent. I think between that and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. My friends would watch the Victoria’s Secret runway show. Everybody wanted to get their first thongs at Victoria’s Secret. I kind of feel like if you grew up in a mall, Victoria’s Secret was very much a part of your body awareness at a young age.
Joy: Yeah. So if you haven’t watched it – I don’t know, I feel like it was good entertainment to be honest. I think it’s called Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons on Hulu. I believe it’s a five-part – I don’t know. Maybe it’s three or four episodes. Anyway. It brought up a lot of emotion that I didn’t expect because I realized – and this is so one of those situations where you’re like, “Duh,” but when it is actually played out in front of you, you’re like, “Oh my God, I need to go to therapy.” Why are you laughing?
Claire: Because I think that’s a moment. Can we just take a break real quick? People, please send us the ah-ha moment where you realized, “Oh my God, I need to go to therapy.”
Joy: It was.
Claire: Was it when you were watching the Victoria’s Secret documentary?
Joy: It was. I was like, oh my God, this is the root of so many of my issues. And I think the Abercrombie documentary is kind of a little bit like it. But I was not a fan of Abercrombie. I was just past the age, maybe a year older than when it was really popular. And the perfume or the cologne just completely turned me off from the stores. And when I would go in there –
Claire: You would get a migraine from the –
Joy: Yes. But I had the wherewithal as a young woman to be like, “I’m not wearing this crap.” I remember the shorts just being so tiny and being like, “Who’s going to wear that?”
Claire: I was definitely in the Abercrombie.
Joy: You were?
Claire: I would say Abercrombie was more prominent for me than Victoria’s Secret.
Claire: But different sides of the same coin.
Joy: Yeah. But I feel like people who are in their 30s and 40s I would say is kind of that generation of The Limited, Express, Abercrombie, Victoria’s Secret, all of those chains. And Gap maybe. Gap was a little bit more in the 90s. But anyway. This documentary. I’m watching it, and it hits me of how much of an influence it has on me as a young woman growing up in my teens and 20s and what I thought about myself and the beauty standard. Again, there’s a little bit of “duh, how did you not realize this?” But I think when it was all woven together, I saw how much influence it really had and the beast behind this whole machine of what they really wanted to do and the messaging that they wanted to put out to women. It was just like holy cow. That’s all I could think of. I had these flashes where I remember going into Victoria’s Secret in my 20s and being like, this is what boys want. And the catalogs I would get. Looking at the bodies of – in my mind, perfect bodies. 0% body fat, huge boobs, whatever. That’s the standard that was fed to us. I’m not saying that’s what I want now. But at the time, that’s what was fed to us. It goes through this whole documentary of how it was born. The CEO Les Wexner who is a complete piece of shit and how he kind of created this juggernaut of stores and messaging and the models. It blew up. For being an asshole, he was also a very, very smart businessman. It’s really interesting. And then he’s got ties to Jeffrey Epstein. It’s disgusting. There’s sexual abuse allegations. Just trigger warning if you are going to watch it. But it talks to some of the models who are like, “Yeah, these are the things we had to deal with. This is the messaging.” Some of the models, oh my God. It just broke my heart. One of the models actually says, “I didn’t have an eating disorder. I just didn’t really eat that much.” I was like, oh honey. Now she’s probably my age, and she looks fine. She was like, “I didn’t have an eating disorder.” But people were encouraged not to eat. And they showed pictures of how much they Photoshopped those girls to where they are taking inches off of their body for the catalog. I know we learned about that. I know we learned about airbrushing. I know we learned about editing photos. But it just brought a lot to light around your self-esteem. It really hit home of what we put in front of us is what we aspire to be. When you look at the standards, the beauty standards. Especially for women. I think for men too. Whatever gender you identify with, I think it’s for anybody who is trying to be desirable. He created all of these chains. But they talk so much about how social media – this is where I was very, very grateful for social media. For all the shit we talk about it sometimes, social media completely obliterated Victoria’s Secret and took it down. Because all these other brands were starting to push against the beauty standard that Victoria’s Secret was setting. No diversity in their models. No body diversity, no BIPOC. It was just so white, thin privilege. I feel like once the brand started noticing that, they were like, “We’ve got to take this down.” That’s when social media was building. It completely took them down. That’s when they stopped the fashion shows. That’s where I got really grateful that social media was – remember when we talked about cancel culture last week? And how everyone is just waiting for a take down? But you don’t have the power to take them down because you’re just one voice. But when there’s an opportunity to take someone down, everyone is coming for it because they’re like, this is our opportunity. That’s kind of what it was. Everyone just started clobbering on Victoria’s Secret. It’s interesting hearing some of the employees talk about how Victoria’s Secret did start to include more body sizes, more people of color. But a lot of the previous employees are like, it’s not really –
Claire: Right. Too little, too late.
Joy: Exactly. We don’t think it’s changed. We don’t think it’s changed at all. It’s just a face to save them. So yeah, that is all I have to say about that. But too, it just made me sad for the teenage girl of me where I had pictures of them in my bathroom being like, this is what you need to aspire to be. Before I realized that you can’t change your body, really. You can’t make your shoulders smaller. You can’t make your boobs bigger.
Claire: Well, you can, but it’s expensive.
Joy: Yeah, you can. If you want to pay a lot of money. Yeah, let’s be real.
Claire: I think we’ve talked a lot about how I had slightly fewer external awareness of body standards, like beautify standards.
Claire: But I definitely think that no one who came of age in the 80s, 90s, or early 2000s were really immune to that tall, thin, big boob, long hair, white, unwrinkled, undimpled, hairless skin. Really, Barbie beauty standard. I actually was just thinking about this a couple nights ago. I remember sitting at my kitchen table in middle school or high school feeling cellulite on my legs and literally having no idea what it could be.
Joy: Oh interesting.
Claire: Thinking that I had like a tumor.
Joy: Oh interesting.
Claire: I had no frame of reference for cellulite.
Joy: Oh, that’s interesting.
Claire: We didn’t really do tropical vacations when I was a kid. My mom is very, very petite. And also, when you’re a kid, you don’t look at your parents’ bodies that way.
Joy: No, not at all.
Claire: Not at all. I just remember sitting at the kitchen table and feeling cellulite on the back of my thigh and thinking something is wrong. Now, I see that babies’ butts have cellulite. For all the products that say cellulite is caused by X, Y, Z. You’re born with cellulite.
Joy: I love that babies’ butts have cellulite. It’s so cute.
Claire: Like Evie had cellulite. She’s 3.5. And that’s eye-opening to me to be like, I probably had that my whole life, and I just didn’t have the body awareness to notice it when I was a teenager. It’s not even like, oh this happens in puberty. No. Kids have cellulite. This is a natural thing that most bodies have. We grew up only seeing airbrushed images. Only.
Claire: I was just thinking about that the other day and how much better it will be for Evie’s generation to grow up and have this – I mean, I’m not saying that representation in the media is perfect. But compared to what it was in the early 90s, it is a world away. It’s also the quantity that people are exposed to now, which I think is its own problem. We used to pretty much have Abercrombie catalogs.
Joy: Right. J.Crew, Victoria’s Secret –
Claire: Catalogs and magazine, and that was it. And billboards. There obviously wasn’t the internet, let alone social media. Sometimes quantity over quality at the same time. But I do think it’s really interesting to see how that has expanded. I think it will be interesting to see that extrapolated into the entertainment industry. Honestly into politics. You look at the political playing field. The vast, vast majority of politicians are – racially, obviously it’s very white. But apart from that, very European, Euro-centric standards of facial features, hair, socioeconomic groups are all very homogenous. The look is very homogenous. It’s very “country club’ to put a label on it. But it’s also very similar – straight sizes. It’s all very, very able-bodies. It’s all just so homogenous. It will just be interesting to see as the next generation comes up and is more familiar with and exposed to and aware of and comfortable with that wider variety, if we’ll start to see that shift throughout the entire public experience, I guess.
Joy: It really made me think about the power that brands have. The absolute power that brands have. I mean, this brand and the other brands he created was created by all white men. How much of that was their idea of what the “attractive woman” needed to look like? There’s so many things wrong with it, but it just really made me think, okay, thank God for brands who came along and refused to be like – and obviously, I look at this and am like, “good for them.” But they were probably like, oh, we’re taking a risk here. They probably felt like they were taking a risk because they’re going against the grain, and is this going to be successful? And it was because everyone was so fed up with Victoria’s Secret standards that they were waiting in the wings for someone to come along and be like, yes, I see you. Let’s show the cellulite because we all have it. I remember the first time I discovered my cellulite. I think we were on vacation. I think we were in Hawaii with my family or something. My family had gone to get something to eat, and I was putting my bathing suit on, getting ready to meet them. And I saw cellulite on my legs. Same reaction as you where I didn’t really understand what it was. But then I was like, oh my gosh, this is bad. And I started doing squats in my hotel room.
Claire: Right then and there?
Joy: Right then and there. Isn’t that sad? That’s you Victoria’s Secret. I blame you. All of you.
Claire: And now she needs therapy.
Joy: Yep. Now I need to call my therapist.
Claire: Alright guys, well thank you for hanging out with us for another week. We can be found online at joyandclaire.com. You can find us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can email us firstname.lastname@example.org Something I want to point out. This week on our Instagram, we are sharing the Amazon wish lists of some teachers in our community who could use a little bit of help building out their supplies for this upcoming school year. By the time you hear this, I will have added them to a highlight on our Instagram account. These are people who are active podcast listeners or Instagram followers of ours. We did this last year, knowing that the last several years have been particularly hard on teachers above pretty much almost any other profession. We just want to be able to help them out and let them know that they are supported and they are seen. So those lists will be on our Instagram highlights. If you are a teacher and you’re like, “Wait a minute, I want to do that.” We will be posting another round of links probably in about a month as we get closer to the start of the school year for most areas. I know it’s still the middle of July. You’re maybe not ready to quite think about what school is going to look like or you are working a summer job or whatever and you’re just not quite there yet. So we’ll do it again. If you want to participate in that if you’re a teacher or an educator of any kind, please feel free to send us your Amazon wish list. It does have to be an Amazon wish list that’s lists for people and shipping and contact information. We know Amazon is what it is, but it’s just the easiest way for us to try to support you. If you don’t know how to set up an Amazon wish list, just google it. It’s very straightforward. And if you are not a teacher, please check out that highlight and support some teachers in our community. Thank you, guys, for being here with us. We will talk to you next week.
Joy: Thank you, guys.