We have never been more happy to say goodbye to a calendar year. See ya wouldn’t wanna be ya!!



email: thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com

instagram: joyandclaire_

Audio Length: 49:37 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. It’s the last day of 2020. Can I get an, “Amen”?

Claire: See you later, see you never.

Joy: See you later, see you never. See you, wouldn’t want to be ya.

Claire: It hasn’t been good, and it hasn’t been fun, and it hasn’t been good fun.

Joy: It’s been real – wait, what does it say?

Claire: It’s been real, it’s been fun, it’s been real fun. Or, it’s been real, it has not been fun. And you know, I feel like even though we all know that we’re not going to wake up in the morning and have the year 2020 get sucked back into the Jumanji.

Joy: Oh my God, don’t you wish though that you had the Dorothy episode where you wake up and everything’s in color all of the sudden.

Claire: Yes. Or like in 13 Going on 30 where she just wakes up and she’s back in her closet.

Joy: I really want that to happen.

Claire: Yes! 

Joy: I want something to happen and we wake up on –

Claire: Wake up in a closet. Well, not like, you know what I mean.

Joy: Right. You’re like, “I’m 13.”

Claire: Yeah. I don’t want to go back to being 13.

Joy: I really don’t.

Claire: But I also don’t want to have to relive 2020.

Joy: [laughing] Okay, we’re not going to wake up and nothing’s going to happen, we’re going to be the same.

Claire: I just want to wake up tomorrow and come outside and hear a parade and random be like, “Oh yeah, I got us these reservations tonight” just as if nothing ever happened, just be looking around.

Joy: We wake up and go to brunch with all of our friends like we used to do on New Year’s Day.

Claire: Exactly, and everyone acts like nothing ever happened. Even though we know that’s not going to happen, it does feel like – and we talked about this last week, we talked about this a couple of times since the vaccine started getting distributed – it feels like there is a small light at the end of a still pretty long tunnel. But at least it’s there and we aren’t feeling like we don’t know how or when this could end. So it does feel like 2020 we can close a chapter and we start to turn the page.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: On everything and just start imaging what life’s going to be like. Have you seen all those tweets though that are like, “It’s ten years from now. You reach into your jacket pocket and find a mask. ‘Wow, what a crazy year,’ you think to yourself as you quietly stalk around the forest avoiding the cannibal -“

Joy: With your big sword or something like that.

Claire: “- cannibal militia,” or yeah, “with your machete.” Or the other one is like, “End of 2020. Wow guys, we made it. August 2021.” What does it say? “The vulture rats have taken Chicago. Here’s what that means to the Ohio volcano refugees.”

Joy: I think , and it’s so obvious we are so desperate for good news in 2020 that I think we just have to go there, and that’s okay.

Claire: We have to. 

Joy: We have to go there.

Claire: If six months down the road, we’re saying like, “Wow, remember back at the end of 2020 when we all thought that we’re going to put this behind us.” I don’t even care. I don’t even care if I’m kicking myself in six months.

Joy: I don’t either. Let me be happy in this present moment.

Claire: Let me be happy. And I would rather have more optimism now and get kicked in the butt than the other way around.

Joy: Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. 

Claire: Yeah, I don’t know, I just can’t believe it. The other exciting thing about this episode is now we have completed a full cycle around the sun of This is Joy & Claire

Joy: I listened to the first episode of This is Joy & Claire today. 

Claire: Wow, how’d that go?

Joy: I rarely go back and listen. I think this year it was hard for me to go back and listen to the earlier episodes because I just don’t want to hear –

Claire: It’s like a different life.

Joy: Yeah, I don’t want to hear about life when we weren’t in this mess of a year. But it was kind of cute because we introduced ourselves and we talked about our resolutions. You were super into not doing Amazon, buying locally, and getting animals and sharing a cow with your neighbors or friends or whatever. And then we talked a lot about sustainability and putting so much energy into saving the planet and thinking about your choices. And I’m just like, wow, that’s still a priority, don’t get me wrong. But just the thought of how passionate we were about that one thing where now I’m like –

Claire: I know. 

Joy: Now we have to rebuild. I feel like 2021 is going to be so much like, hey guys, everybody out there, don’t make resolutions for yourself. I mean, you can. But make a resolution to rebuild the world. Rebuild the businesses, rebuild the arts, buy tickets to Broadway shows, all those things that people are just dying to get back into that world and they’ve lost their jobs. Anyways, you all know this. But yeah.

Claire: Yeah, and I think, I mean I tried with the pandemic still to be somewhat – like, if anything, when the pandemic first started and we couldn’t leave our houses, I was like, I can’t not. Amazon is something we really, you know, we’ve got to buy diapers and I’m afraid to go to Target. Back when that was still happening. But for what it’s worth, I think it’s more important now than ever to support small businesses. And I know everyone out there who’s going to say it, you can still support small businesses on Amazon. But guess what, you can also support small businesses not on Amazon, and I bet they get a lot more money if you buy from them directly than if you find them on Amazon. But I’m not saying that there’s no such thing as supporting a small business via Amazon. But let’s all be honest that that’s rarely what we’re going to Amazon to do. 

Joy: Exactly.

Claire: I’ll get off my soap box there. It is so interesting –

Joy: It’s kind of funny though because you actually got on the soap box the first episode of This is Joy & Claire. You were like, “I’ll get off my Amazon soap box.” You just got off another one.

Claire: it’s just my never-ending Amazon soap box.

Joy: Full circle.

Claire: And speaking of that, we, if you guys remember also from the different universe that was the beginning of 2020 when we had Dr. Mark Ritchie on the podcast to talk about regenerative agriculture. If you guys remember, he lives in Thailand, and one of his PhD students as well is a listener, and we are going to have them on the podcast at some point in the next couple of weeks to talk about what it was like to go through COVID in a country that did not –

Joy: Was so COVID-free. Compared to us, it was COVID-free.

Claire: Right. And just a completely different experience, a completely different type of country. So I will be very interested to hear that perspective. And if you have any questions about what it was like to go through COVID in Thailand. And again, as always, just one person or two people’s perspectives, but anyway. I’ll be really interested to hear that, especially from somebody like him to has a doctorate, right? In sociology. So that’s going to be fascinating.

Joy: Fascinating. We’re having a good conversation with them on that one, for sure. 

Claire: At first, he was like, “We should talk about this.” And I was like I don’t think I want to.

Joy: [laughing] Why?

Claire: I don’t want to know what it could have been like somewhere else.

Joy: Yeah, when anyone flies in, you are immediately shipped to a hotel to quarantine.

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: Like, you don’t have the choice of just getting of an airplane and being like, “I’m going to go to my friend’s house now.” It’s so strict. Why aren’t we doing that? Okay, no politics, no politics.

Claire: So anyway, here we are at the end of 2020, and before we wrap up 2020, we have been asking you guys a ton this month to just kind of reflect. We’ve been asking a lot about different holiday traditions and really trying to live in the moment and not get too crazy thinking ahead because we know that it’s been hard this year to look ahead, and making plans has not felt good. It’s felt uncertain and scary and stressful, and the idea of making plans has just really felt unproductive in the true sense of the term. Any time that you would make a plan, inevitably it would be changed, and you would be disappointed. But humans need something to look forward to, so then how do we reconcile that? But I think it’s been really interesting to hear the ways that people have really leaned into the traditions that they do have as a way to try and ground themselves in something. Our last episode came out on Christmas Eve, and hearing everybody’s Christmas Eve traditions and the things that they were looking forward to and then seeing all the posts and everything. People really got into it for those who celebrate Christmas, and it just seemed like we all needed that. And people, we still have our Christmas decorations up. We’ll probably keep them up for another couple of weeks, unless our tree starts to die. 

Joy: Unless it becomes a fire hazard.

Claire: Unless it becomes a fire hazard. But we have one real tree and one fake tree, so we can keep the fake tree.

Joy: There you go, yeah.

Claire: So it’s been kind of cool to see that. At the end of the day, people will really dig deep and figure out how to find a little bit of happiness.

Joy: Right, yeah. Because you have to, and I love the present moment thing. I read something today from Laurie Santos who’s the Happiness Lab podcaster and does the happiness course at I think it was Harvard. She had an article recently that was basically like the top things that will make you happier. And one of them really is staying present. And I know that’s not easy to do, it’s just easier said than done. But especially now, like we were talking about earlier, we have to just kind of fantasize about what we think 2021’s going to be. we have to just let that be for now. Who cares if it’s wrong? Right now, we just have to be like, that’s just going to be what it is. 

Claire: Right.

Joy: And we’re just going to be okay with it.

Claire: I think that’s so hard because we all know, every single person listening to this podcast has heard staying in the present moment is the key to happiness, and just being present and not obsessing over the past or obsessing over the future. But it also feels literally impossible to not to either of those things. I don’t know why, it just feels so impossible to sit in the present moment and be like, hey, this is what I’m doing right now, and I’ll figure out what I’m going to do next later.

Joy: Right. And there’s obviously some benefit to being like, I have to do something in a couple of hours. But there’s a difference between recognizing it versus obsessing over it versus worrying over it. But worrying over it or having a lot of anxiety over it – a lot of anxiety is from future tripping. But yeah, it’s not to say we’re all singing kumbaya every moment of the day, but it’s just really like, I’m acknowledging that later today I have to do this, but you’re not freaking out worrying over it. But it’s been so amped this year because we just needed some sort of control and we had none.

Claire: None, zero, zero control. And I think, too, it’s hard to distinguish living in the present versus ignorance of what’s going on around you and what’s the line between ignoring what you need to do and ignoring what you need to do to just be a functioning adult in this capitalist society versus trying to not be anxious and plan ahead too much. I know I’ve talked about this before when I did a NOLS course in my 20s and was out in the woods in the Yukon. I always think about that as probably the only time in my life when I will truly ever experience truly living in the present. Because you really didn’t know what was going to be around the corner. And literally around the corner. You could see only as far as you could see and that was it. We had a map, but it was super old and no one had been in the area we had been in like –

Joy: Why did you have an old map?

Claire: Well because no one had been there for a long time.

Joy: Okay, great.

Claire: The map had been created by loggers flying over the area who were sort of like, “Yeah, I think the river was here-ish.” But no one ever went down there, so they didn’t need a more updated map, so they only created one map, literally 50 years before we were there. We were like, well, we hope this is still mostly accurate. And it still was mostly accurate, but there were definitely parts where we were like, oh this is not what the map says at all. But it was to the point where you were so in tune with the things that you needed where I would eat a snack and then 20-25 minutes later I would feel the energy from that snack.

J :Oh wow.

Claire: I would have to really think, okay, I’m starting to feel a little bit low energy. I need to eat now because if I – you know. It was just that amount of being in tune with what you needed. But I also recognize that there was only one objective in that whole time. The only objective was get to the big river. We’re at a small river, and we need to get to the big one. I was not fielding emails or requests from kids.

Joy: Right, you weren’t multitasking at all.

Claire: Right. Scheduling the whatever pickup or whatever. There was one objective, and I think that that’s really the only way to be really present is to absolutely have a singular focus, which is just not reality.

Joy: It’s just not reality. And I think the thing that is important for us right now is we never have that luxury of just having one single focus. But can we just acknowledge our feelings and not go on the train of anxiety. I think presence so much is just acknowledging what you’re feeling in that moment about certain things. So if you’re all of the sudden having this anxiety thought, are you going to jump on the anxiety train and take it or are you just going to be like, oh, I’m kind of worried about that but right this moment I can’t do anything about it. So kind of just acknowledging that piece of the feelings you have in the moment. And I think that’s just easier to grasp than being like, I’m just in this present moment right now and I’m just going to stay here. Because that’s just not possible. But when you start to worry and take the train to either depression or anxiety or whatever other feelings that you have, that’s when it really helps to do the tactile, doing something, smelling something, tasting something to just put yourself in the present moment. I think that is just really simplifying it, but at the same time, realistically us as humans can’t do that every moment of the day. It’s just not how we live.

Claire: Right. You just have too much going on. And the other thing is when I experienced that trip, everyone was on the same page. Because that’s the other things, it’s also pretty much impossible to “live in the present” unless every single other person around you is in that exact same mindset.

Joy: You just made me think of Iceland. The moment we were in Iceland and we were standing around that fire, that huge bonfire. That was the moment when I was like, I will live here forever. I’m going to live right here forever. I put a screensaver at work. I was like, this is where I want to live. This is where I want my soul to be. If anyone wants to find me, I’m at that bonfire in Iceland. 

Claire: In a field with a bunch of sheep around me.

Joy: Yes. That’s what I think of. Everyone else was with us. Everyone else was 0-

Claire: Right, and you’re all in that moment.

Joy: We’re all in that moment. So great.

Claire: But I think that’s not, and you know, that was a, hey, we’ve all been together for a week, we’re going to have this intention in this moment.

Joy: Yeah, for sure. But remember when Jono at the beginning of the trip, he was like, “I want everyone to be present for this trip,” and I totally took that. Everyone really took that.

Claire: Totally. And I remember hearing him be that and being like, yeah, okay, uh huh, we’re all going to be present. But our phones weren’t really working. Well, yours was. Most of our phones weren’t really working. You and Scott got the international plan. Of course, Scott did. And I thought that way in Costa Rica too. Any time I think of a time where I really was able to be present, it’s because I had, honestly, A, little to no access to technology and then, B, didn’t have assignments due or have to worry about emails. I wasn’t on the clock for anyone else but myself. Unfortunately that set of circumstances is just few and far between for most of us. And that’s fine because we have to live in society.

Joy: We have to work. We have to get our responsibilities done.

Claire: We have to have jobs. We have to pay our bills. We have to raise our kids. So how can we find little moments of being present within that rather than – I think I personally at least write off the concept of being present because I’m like, I can’t do that, I can’t go be a shaman in a cave somewhere guys. That’s not my life. And so therefore I’m just not going to do any of it, as opposed to taking the other, probably more correct viewpoint, which is, okay, I have two kids, my husband works a lot, life is crazy, I don’t leave the house. So how can I find moments in that of feeling present in a world and a day-to-day life where I don’t feel like I have a lot of control over what I do, like over my daily agenda. Most of my day is pretty much dictated by work/parenting.

Joy: So let me give a suggestion because you brought up something that really sparked an idea for me. From what I understand, too, of presence and meditation and just kind of using that as a tool throughout life is throughout your busy day, presence can really be in between the moments of life. So you have a conversation with a coworker – I’m just using an example – or if I get an email that takes me up. Instead of going down the feeling pole, I’m just going to sit there. I’m going to be like, okay, I’m going to choose to not take that road. I feel like that’s presence, when you’re acknowledging that this is causing an emotion and you’re kind of taking a pause before you just react. I think there’s some beauty in that moment of just kind of contemplating, rather than just running through life without thinking.

Claire: Right, and I feel like I’m pretty good at that. I don’t really have strong –

Joy: You are good at that.

Claire: I’m not really a reactive person.

Joy: No, you’re not at all.

Claire: I mean, I am when I’m parenting. 

Joy: I think everyone is.

Claire: Small kids can be jerks. 

Joy: You don’t think there’s one parent that would be like, “Yeah, I’m super present when I’m parenting my kids when they’re running around the house like -“

Claire: I never scream at my kids ever. Said no one. Oh my goodness, in the parenting update world, Evie is sleeping better.

Joy: Oh good. Good, good, good.

Claire: Which makes me feel like we kind of have our eyes back. The hardest thing about her kind starting – not kind of. Just one day, the switch flipped and she started screaming bloody murder every time we put her in her crib. The hardest thing about that was almost every parent listening to this or anyone who’s ever spent any time around small children can definitely appreciate, them sleeping is the only time that you get. And they need to go to bed at 7 or whatever so that you can have some time to think your thoughts before you have to go to bed. And they need to nap in the middle of the day so that you can have some time to think your thoughts in the middle of the day for an hour. And Miles doesn’t nap anymore, but anytime Evie naps we just put on a movie for him and he kind of has low-key quiet time. That used to be my time to, you know, when I’m working and Maxine has the kids, but even then, that’s Maxine’s break too. And during the weekend or whatever, that was our time to maybe do a workout in the garage or just sit on the freaking couch.

Joy: Yeah, whatever you want to do.

Claire: Whatever you want to do. And Evie’s getting a little bit older now. She’s almost two, which is insane to me. To the point where I don’t have to be in the room with her every second of the day to hope she’s not dying. But I have to check in on her every five to ten minutes to make sure she doesn’t put something in her mouth or something. Or her favorite in this planet is to play in the kitchen sink. We just turn the water on, just a little dribble.

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: Hours. Hours of entertainment.

Joy: I used to do that with my nieces. Loved it. Like doing dishes, they would pretend to be doing dishes. It’s great, yeah.

Claire: And the whole floor just soaked with water every single time. I’m like, we’re going to have water damage in our subfloor, and I don’t even care because –

Joy: Because you’re busy and she’s having fun.

Claire: But more than once, I have turned around and she has been holding a kitchen knife.

Joy: [laughing] Oh my God. Oh no.

Claire: Yeah. Because it’s in the sink or something and I just don’t realize it and she goes over there, and I turn around and I’m like, okay, slowly approach the toddler and slowly take the knife out of her hand. And that’s the thing, you can’t freak out because then they freak out. You’re just like, la la la, it’s fine. Hand Mommy the knife. Thank you, I was looking for that. Yeah. Can I please have that giant kitchen knife?

Joy: Because the second your face gets like this, they’re like “Woah.”

Claire: Or they’re like, if you need this so badly that must mean it’s valuable, and now it’s mine. So now you’re wrestling with a toddler over a knife.

Joy: You do not want to get into a “this is mine” situation.

Claire: While they’re standing on a step stool. 

Joy: All red flags.

Claire: It just escalates so quickly. That is an example of, she has to be watched. Anyway.

Joy: [laughing] Example.

Claire: You know, because she will –

Joy: She’ll just grab a knife.

Claire: If you leave a knife out, she will find it. And I didn’t do anything different. I just think, somebody’s listening like, “Give me your sleep tips.” I don’t have any sleep tips. The thing that we did finally start doing that has made a difference is that when she falls asleep, we have to leave her door open. But she’s such a  light sleeper, and I’ve been saying this her whole life. She’s always been a light sleeper. So when she’s falling asleep, the rest of us have to be in the basement/

Joy: Oh, wow, okay. Because if she hears anything. And you said she’s at that age where she has the fear of missing out, a little bit of FOMO.

Claire: Yes, this is major baby FOMO. And so you have to leave her – anyway. But it’s just been so nice because it feels like, okay, we kind of have a little bit of that time back to be able to actually relax at night. Although all you people –

Joy: All y’all.

Claire: All y’all people. Do I have to say all people, or do I have to say y’all? Probably not. Somebody, y’all expert, please weigh in. Is all y’all people redundant? Paging [00:21:27.13 UNCLEAR].

Joy: Paging [UNCLEAR].

Claire: I need to know.

Joy: Sorry, I totally just off course.

Claire: That’s right. So the people who were like people who have their life together always do the dishes at night, because I talked about how I always do the dishes at night, I can’t do that anymore. It’s taken away from me. I can’t clean the kitchen. And loud noises. Cleaning the kitchen can be loud. And we have a metal sink. So if you drop something in the sink, it sounds like that part in Lord of the Rings where the hobbit pushes the suit of armor down the well inside the catacombs or whatever. You guys are yelling at me because I’m calling it the wrong thing. I’m sorry if there are any Lord of the Rings aficionados listening right now.

Joy: I can’t correct you because I have no idea, but yeah.

Claire: Absolutely not. But basically, you might as well be playing the steel drums. So we’ve been having to clean the kitchen, but you can’t get it all the way clean before you’re done eating.

Joy: Okay, so sleeping has improved?

Claire: A little more sleeping.

Joy: Good.

Claire: Have you seen the new Wonder Woman yet?

Joy: Yes.

Claire: How was it?

Joy: It was good because Kristen Wiig is in it, I love it.

Claire: I can’t wait to see it. I really, really want to.

Joy: Here’s the thing. You’re going to love it because it’s great. It’s a great action movie. It’s great girl power. It’s awesome, it’s well done. There’s some parts that I was a little bit bored, but whatever. Overall, I was very –

Claire: That’s okay. It doesn’t have to change your life.

Joy: Yeah, not life-changing, but your eyes are going to be like, this is great, I’m going to look at this. There’s beautiful people. There’s beautiful action scenes going on. 

Claire: Kristen Wiig is a villain?

Joy: She’s a villain, and she’s really good. She’s really good at it.

Claire: I’m obsessed with her.

Joy: Like, you don’t watch it thinking, oh my God, this is so Kristen Wiig There’s a couple moment where you’re like, this is what you did in Bridesmaids. But you know what? As a villain, she was awesome.

Claire: It’s fine.

Joy: I really cannot wait to watch Soul.

Claire: Oh, I did watch Soul.

Joy: Don’t give any spoilers, but you liked it?

Claire: It was pretty good. I would say, same kind of thing. I was ready to be blown away, and it was very good but not like best Pixar movie ever good. The thing about it is it’s a pretty heavy feat. The theme is all about finding your soul’s purpose. That’s a pretty heavy theme to tackle in a kids’ movie. And I don’t feel like they quite nailed it because I feel like they would have had – I mean, that’s like a post-doctorate theology course, right? Not like an hour and a half long Pixar movie. And unlike Inside Out where you’re like, how did they nail that, how did they make this super complex, abstract thing and turn it into a movie that is totally unbelievable. This one is like, okay, I see where they were going. They got there, but maybe not quite as elegantly as I was expecting. I don’t know how they could have done it better. I think they did the best they could have done, but I feel like the theme may have been a little big heady for a kids’ movie. 

Joy: Sure.

Claire: Which is fine. One of the main voices is Tina Fey, which I love. 

Joy: Of course we love her.

Claire: At first, you’re listening, and you’re like, who’s voice is that? Why do I know that voice? And then you’re like, oh, it’s Tina Fey. And there’s this one really funny line where – I won’t give too much away – where they’re talking. She’s one of the souls. And the guy asks her, “Why do you sound like a middle-aged white woman?” Like, aren’t you supposed to be this baby soul. And she’s like, “Oh, I can sound any way I want.” She goes through all these different voices. She’s like, “But I just pick this one because it’s the most annoying.” It’s so great.

Joy: I’m going to watch that. It’s next on my list for sure.

Claire: Yeah. It’s pretty good. And I think the other thing was, I was watching it with Miles and it’s definitely too old. Don’t watch with a 5-year-old. He didn’t get it. It wasn’t interesting to him, and he didn’t really like it. So many that’s another reason why I feel like it a little bit missed the mark because I had to spend the whole time explaining to him what was going on.

Joy: Right. It’s like a Pixar movie for adults.

Claire: I mean, it really is. But I think with older kids, it could really spark some conversations. Miles isn’t there. He’s barely turned 5. So I’m not going to sit there and –

Joy: And talk about a soul’s purpose. What is your soul’s purpose, Miles?

Claire: Right.

Joy: You need to decide. [laughing]

Claire: And at some point, he was like, “Is this movie just about souls?” And I was like, “Yeah.” He’s like, “Okay.” 

Joy: Where’s Frozen?

Claire: There aren’t a lot of falcons in this movie, I noticed. And then we watched this – we’re really into the Disney nature documentaries, which are all fantastic. And we’re watching one that just came out this year with elephants, and it’s narrated by Meghan Markle. She’s not the best narrator. She’s a bit over the top. But for example, the bear one, which I know I’ve talked about, is narrated by John C. Reilly, and it’s unbelievable.

Joy: If you ever want to just be in the present moment or at least feel like the world is so much bigger than you, watch a nature documentary.

Claire: Oh my gosh, but don’t watch –

Joy: Any time I want to feel really small, like I got to level down, I’m too big for my britches, I was a nature documentary because I’m like nature is so much bigger than me.

Claire: Yeah, 1000%. And so much smarter. Don’t watch the latest David Attenborough one.

Joy: Why not?

Claire: Because it will make you feel terrible about our planet.

Joy: Oh no, no. But we have to. It’s one of those things where you should watch, but –

Claire: But be ready. It’s not like a nature documentary. It’s basically a documentary about how global warming is going to kill the earth. Which it is, watch it. Just know that that’s what you’re getting yourself into. Because I watched it not realizing that’s what it was. And guys, that’s where my mind is a lot. This is not a shock to me that humans are murdering the earth – that was a little dramatic. 

Joy: [laughing] Murder.

Claire: Nonetheless, as I was watching it I was like, oh this is dark. [laughing] I wasn’t ready for this, David Attenborough. I thought I was going to get some shark narrating or something, but no.

Joy: So, Soul, not for the young kids.

Claire: Soul, pretty good but not for super young kids. Can’t wait to watch Wonder Woman. I’m like, this is our downstairs movie theatre’s time to shine, this frickin’ Wonder Woman thing. 

Joy: Oh my gosh, that’s going to be so awesome on that huge screen.

Claire: And I’m very excited that this could potentially be the future of movie releases.

Joy: Yeah, I think it’s amazing. You know what’s really weird? Not to bring it back to Amazon. Just kind of the future of where things are going. Scott was watching a football game this weekend that was only available on Amazon Prime. 

Claire: Totally.

Joy: And then all the commercials were for Amazon. I’m like, oh my gosh. Part of me wants to be like, this is brilliant. Part of me wants to be like, they’re just taking over.

Claire: [singing] Buy-n-Large, da da da. This is the beginning of WALL-E

Joy: Oh my gosh, it’s WALL-E

Claire: “B is for Buy-n-Large, your very best friend.” I mean, and also, again, to take it back to Amazon. I know and fully accept that Amazon makes all its money from its cloud streaming services, which every streaming service hosts their content in the Amazon cloud.

Joy: I really do feel like we are just recapping so much of what you said on the first episode of 2020. It’s so funny.

Claire: I know. We’re talking about streaming. We’re talking about the future of cinematic releases. It’s very interesting how it all really does come back to that. Okay, we didn’t get too many voice memos this week to hear about your 2021 goals, aspirations, dreams, visions. And a couple of the ones that we did get, the audio quality was not awesome, so we’re just going to kind of verbally recap them. But we did get one that we can play for you.

Joy: Yes. And I think a lot of this too was from the holidays. People are just busy.

Claire: And I’m not mad about it.

Joy: Not mad.

Claire: I think this is great. I love when you guys participate, and I totally understand when you participate less because the week between Christmas and New Year’s, as we all know, is no man’s land.

Joy: And you should be with your families, and you should be doing things that are not with phones. Unplug. It’s great. Okay, this one is from Cassie.

Cassie [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, it’s Cassie from Long Beach, California. What I’m looking forward to most in 2021 is actually being able to take my right now 9-month-old sweet little baby girl down to meet her grandma and family in Brazil. My husband is from Brazil, and she was born literally the day the world shut down. It’s going to make me cry. For this pandemic, she didn’t get to – we were actually supposed to be in Brazil right now, celebrating the holidays with them and letting them hug and meet her and snuggle with her and feel her joy. But we’re hoping that next year is out year. She’s going to get down there, and she’s going to meet them, and they’re going to spend all the time in the world with her that they can. And then other than that, he has his interview for his green card on January 11th. So he will then become a lawful permanent resident and life will be great and he can have so many more freedoms offered to him. Another thing I want to say for New Year’s traditions. Claire asked Maxine what Brazilians do. It’s something about wearing colored underwear with white clothes on top. And what color you wear is what you want to happen in the new year. Like your wealth for green or something like that. I think it’s such a cool tradition. And tonight for Christmas, my husband is cooking us a Brazilian feast, and I cannot wait to get home and eat it. Alright, thank you guys. Sorry this is so long. Merry Christmas! Love you, thanks for everything you do.

Joy: I love that tradition. You have to ask Maxine.

Claire: I do have to ask her, and actually Maxine has one au pair friend who I’ve talked about before, who is sort of in our bubble. She came over for Christmas Eve, and they made a bunch of Brazilian Christmas traditional dishes. And so I wonder if I had some of the same foods? I probably did. I had this potato salad that they make for everything and farofa. I’m pronouncing that wrong. Which is like a – what’s that non-gluten flower that starts with a “C”?

Joy: Cassava.

Claire: Cassava. They use cassava as like a side dish, almost as a grit type of thing. But it’s not cooked. It’s dry, and you warm it up and add stuff in it. What else did we have? Oh, they made lasagna but with ham in it, so it was like a ham and cheese lasagna. You know. There was one other thing. Oh, and then the dessert that she made was so funny. It was a Jell-O salad. So every dessert that Maxine has ever made or her friend has ever made for us has condensed milk in it. And I don’t know what in my mind I ever expected Brazilian home cooking to be, but I did not expect it to have nearly as much mayonnaise as it does. Or nearly as much – every sweet thing has condensed milk.

Joy: That is so clever.

Claire: So it was Jell-O. Like, she made all these different flavors of Jell-O and then was supposed to cut them up into different shapes, but they didn’t quite solidify, so she kind of just did them in little chunks. And then a condensed milk Jell-O around them. So it was like these colorful pieces of Jell-O –

Joy: It sounds like Great British Bakeoff.

Claire: Yeah, it was these colorful pieces of Jell-O in like a base of opaque condensed milk Jell-O. 

Joy: Wow.

Claire: It was very sweet. Yeah, it was intense. But I also have to ask her about the underwear thing. We are going to go on New Year’s Eve to that drive-thru lights thing. 

Joy: Oh, so are we.

Claire: Oh, we’re going at 5:30. 

Joy: Which one?

Claire: The Water World one.

Joy: Oh, we’re going to Bandimere. I was like, we’re going at 5:30.

Claire: Oh, you are. That would have been so fun. No, we’re going to the Water World one because it’s a little bit – I mean, Bandimere is pretty far from us.

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got really excited. I was like, am I going to see you on New Year’s?

Claire: I know. No, sadly. 

Joy: Dang it. What if we went to Water World and were like, “Oh, we just went to the wrong one. Will you take us?”

Claire: I know, right. You should.

Joy: But Cassie, thank you for that voice memo. That was really great, and I love that you get to see your in-laws this year. And for your husband and his green card, that just sounds great.

Claire: That sounds like a huge deal. I mean, it is a huge deal. But I can’t imagine what that would feel like to be so close.

Joy: For sure. And the other thing that I just loved is her voice memo – whenever people send us voice memos, for the most part, it will automatically name it for the street that you’re driving on. And so she was driving on Pacific Coast Highway. And I was like, she’s on Pacific Coast Highway. She’s on PCH, and she lives in Long Beach, can I please go to your house?

Claire: It does that? That’s kind of stalkery.

Joy: It’s not all of them. Some people I think will name them. It just maybe depends on how they’re recording it. But almost every voice memo they send, it just says the street that they were driving on.

Claire: Wow, so heads up.

Joy: Heads up. If you’re sending a voice memo to someone that you don’t –

Claire: We see you when you’re recording a voice memo. 

Joy: We’re after you. Little did you know that we’re a podcast, we’re actually just spying on you.

Claire: Yes.

Joy: Oh gosh. This next one is from Hayden. It’s a little bit hard to hear, but I really wanted to play this one. And her note says, “I hope I didn’t miss the deadline. Just wanted to say thank you for being my weekly study break. As you will hear in the voice memo, I am a medical student, so I spend the majority of my time confined to a computer screen. Every week I go for a walk on a trail near my house, catch up on the latest episode, and connect with nature. I always appreciate the candid conversations as well as living vicariously through your lives in Colorado, which is where I hope to relocate someday.” Thank you, Hayden.

Hayden [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Hayden. I’m a long-time listener and first-time caller. I’ve listened to you guys since the Girls Gone WOD days. But I wanted to call because I wanted to share my goals for 2021. So I’m a second-year medical student, so you can imagine that this past year my medical education has looked vastly different than what I had anticipated, and I’ve had to adapt a lot. Especially because at the beginning of 2021, I will be taking the biggest exam of my life, which is step one. It’s one of the first board exams that you take to become a doctor, but it’s also the one that right now holds a lot of weight in deciding what kind of doctor you can become. This is a pretty big goal, but it’s an even bigger milestone for me because I wasn’t someone that just went straight from undergrad into medical school. It actually took me four years to get into medical school, so this is a pretty monumental goal that I have. I’m also looking forward to starting my third year and working with patients. I just want to wish you guys a merry Christmas and happy New Year. Also, fun fact. Ryan, who you had on the podcast a few weeks ago, she’s actually a really good friend of mine and introduced me to you guys. Alright, bye.

Joy: We have podcast friends in the house.

Claire: Podcast friends. Oh my gosh. I have had some friends, and I’m sure you have too, who’ve gone through medical school, and I remember the stress of that big first exam.

Joy: Yes, oh my gosh. Thinking of you, Hayden.

Claire: It’s intense. Yes, you can do it.

Joy: Crush it.

Claire: I’m curious what she is hoping to go into.

Joy: Yeah, I’d like to know that too. Write us and tell us. We got an email from Emily. It says, “I have two things to look forward to for ’21. First, a baby due in July. And while I am slightly panicked COVID won’t be gone, we are so excited. Professionally, as a principal I am looking forward to hopefully welcoming kiddos back to school full time at some point. We’ve gone back and forth between hybrid and virtual since last March, and I’m just ready for consistency and to not be on Zoom all day ever again. Also, as an addition to the people who have their lives together” – her afterthought – “people who remember to start assembling Santa gifts before Christmas Eve. Wow, what were we thinking not starting that shit earlier.” 

Claire: [laughing] Yeah. I 1000% can relate to that. Yeah, and you’re like, this won’t be that bad. And you have it hidden wherever it’s been hidden, kind of out of sight, out of mind. You forget that it has like 6,000 pieces and you pull it out, and you’re like, oh no. 

Joy: This is going to take me until 2am.

Claire: I’m going to be up until 2am, and how do I not wake anybody up while I’m doing this. Remember last year, Santa brought Miles a climbing wall? And we had to figure out how to get that into the house.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: It was very… it was an experience, yeah… I can’t believe that worked.

Joy: So do we want to talk a little bit about any thoughts for next year for you? I want to share Scott’s because I asked him before we started recording.

Claire: Yes. So again, just to reiterate you guys, we did get a couple more voice memos than that. We’re sorry if we didn’t play them because some of them the sound quality was pretty bad that we couldn’t really even hear what you were saying. I can’t like recap.

Joy: Yeah, so if you want to maybe resend it, we’re happy to replay it. Just make sure you’re recording in a very quiet place. Cars are great. Cars are the best place.

Claire: But not while you’re driving. 

Joy: Not while you’re driving.

Claire: That’s the thing that I think was actually the issue with some of the ones that we got is if you’re driving in the car, you need to be parked because otherwise we can hear all of the traffic noises. It can just sound really loud. I mean, it sounds like you’re driving.

Joy: Or go in your closet. It’s great a sound-free –

Claire: Yeah, hide in the closet.

Joy: Yeah, hide in the closet, record your voice memo. We would love to play them on a future episode.

Claire: Yes.

Joy: But yeah, for the resolution – I guess we’ll call it resolutions, it’s fine. I said, “Scott, what is your resolution for 2021?” And he’s like, “I don’t want to wear a mask in 2021.” Like, I want to get a point where we don’t have to wear masks. Where you talk out the door –

Claire: At some point arrive in 2021 at a point where –

Joy: Yes.

Claire: My sister-in-law sent a message the other day. I post Instagram memes all the time on my personal account in the stories, and she replied to one of them and was like, this is going to be like that thing that says one day your parents set you down and never picked you back up again. She was like, that will be like this. One day you take off your mask and never put it back on again. I think it was that I had one where I was like, “When this is all over, I’m going to throw my mask in the air like I’m graduating.” But I was like, that’s probably not going to be it. It’s probably going to be, one day you take it off and you put it on your pocket and you just never have to put it back on again.

Joy: Yeah, it’s going to feel so weird.

Claire: It’s going to be amazing.

Joy: I was shopping the other day. I had to return something – [laughing] I returned something.

Claire: Oh my gosh.

Joy: No, it wasn’t me. I was with Scott returning something, so I have to give him credit. He returns things the day after he buys them.

Claire: I’m sure he does.

Joy: I was going through the checkout line, and you know how they have the little doodads on the way out or make you buy little, I don’t know, nail polishes or whatever, phone cases. And there were these masks and headband sets, and I was like, this is a thing. 

Claire: Totally.

Joy: But it was like super sequined headband set with a super sequined mask. And for a mere moment, I was like, this would be perfect for New Year’s Eve. And then I was like, I can’t believe I just said that. Where am I going to go? 

Claire: Right.

Joy: I’m going to wear a sequined mask in my house?

Claire: Nowhere. Yes, you are. I saw something at a Target. They had this really cute display of these – there was like a unicorn and these little kid of keychain things. I was like, what is that? It was a hand sanitizer case.

Joy: Oh, okay. Have you seen the things that look like a key but actually will be –

Claire: Yes. And it’s like to poke a touch screen with it.

Joy: Yeah, touch screen with it, or you can open a door with it, or you can touch an elevator button. I was like, what? That’s crazy.

Claire: Yeah, I have seen those. They make one now that’s a phone case with a little pointer on the tip of it on one of the corners. I was just trying to show you my phone, it’s plugged in. It’s on the corner of your phone and then you can just tap the thing with your phone.

Joy: Oh, that’s crazy.

Claire: I know. But yeah, there were these cute silicone key chains, and I was like, wow. Like, how much longer is this going to be relevant that you need a hand sanitizer case? Like a personalized – hopefully not that much longer. But you know what, hand sanitizer –

Joy: Is always a good thing.

Claire: Has always been and will always be a part of our lives. Like, I always traveled with hand sanitizer.

Joy: Yeah. I just think of, even now when I go to the store and I see hand sanitizer, I always have that moment of thinking, oh I need to buy one before they get sold out. I’m like, it’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen.

Claire: Yes, yes! I still have that too. I have that with hand sanitizer and hand soap. It took me a while to get over that feeling for butter.

Joy: Oh, butter! Remember, and flour? Wasn’t all the baking stuff was all out?

Claire: Yeah, you couldn’t get flour. They didn’t have bread flour at Whole Foods until halfway through the summer.

Joy: I remember that. That’s what I remember because you were trying to make all of the spread.

Claire: Yeah, and I had to buy this 50-pound bag of flour from some granary in Arizona. I mean, it was great. I was able to support a small grain mill.

Joy: For sure.

Claire: But yeah, I’m looking forward to hot having to ever do that again. Do you have one? Are you going to make one?

Joy: So I have two really quick ones. One is a joke one because Scott and I were just kind of joking around.

Claire: Okay.

Joy: One is that I want to keep my day clothes on until 6 at night. Because I come home and I put on my pj’s and sweats at like 4:30 or 5. I’m like, that’s not healthy, I need to actually have my real clothes on. I can’t give up at 4. Scott is always like, “Wow, you’re in your pj’s already.” It’s like 4 in the afternoon. But the real one is I want to only take feedback – okay, let it get on me. Meaning like, this year I’ve gotten a lot of feedback that I’ve taken it personally when I shouldn’t. So in 2021, I want to only take feedback or advice from the people who are on my square squad. Or that I want to go to lunch with or breakfast with or dinner with or whatever.

Claire: Right.

Joy: Because I just have this really bad habit that someone will say something to me or about me or whatever, and I’ll just –

Claire: You take it a little too personally.

Joy: Very personally. I’m pretty sensitive that way. And it’s not that I’m all the sudden going to be insensitive, but I just don’t want it to get me down.

Claire: Yes. I think that’s a good one. I haven’t really thought of any. Of course there are things where I’m like, oh I want to do more. I really want to have more of a routine of any type in my life. 

Joy: Would you like to have a skincare routine?

Claire: I would like a 12-step Korean skincare routine. I just want to have a rhythm to my day, which right now I really don’t. Back at the beginning of COVID, I really did. I saw this tweet that was like I’ve been in isolation so long that I got into and then back out of shape. And I was like, oh no, it’s me. But for me it’s not really about being in shape. I really had a routine where I would have my day kind of structured out, and I really don’t have that anymore. It really fell apart at the end of the summer when Miles stopped going to summer camp, and then he’s home so much more, and anyway. And I think it fell apart also a lot more when it got – because I also had a little bit more of a routine in the fall when I would go to CrossFit at 5:30 in the morning. But I’m sorry guys, I cannot go to CrossFit at 5:30 in the morning if the sun doesn’t come up until 7:30. 

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I can’t do it. I’m not –

Joy: Did you notice this morning the sun didn’t come up until like 7:15? 

Claire: Literally. I am not exaggerating about that 7:30 in the morning time stamp. That’s a real thing. I went on a sunrise hike with my friend Heather for the solstice, and I was like, let’s meet at Chautauqua at 6:30, and I texted her and I was like, “Hey, I’m running a little bit late.” She was like, “It’s fine, the sun doesn’t come up until 7:20.” And I was like, “Oh.” Probably should have checked that. But I can’t work out – like in the summer, or even August/September, and even I guess into October, it was okay for me to go to the 5:30 because at least by the time I was leaving the sun was coming up.

Joy: That makes a huge difference.

Claire: But I can’t drive home from the gym in the dark, guys. I’m just a human woman. This is not –

Joy: I’m just a human woman.

Claire: I can’t do it. 

Joy: Yeah. Alright.

Claire: So I’m hoping that I can come up with –

Joy: Some sort of routine.

Claire: Just anything.

Joy: I think this is the year we’re going to use planners.

Claire: It’s really not. But I will hope. I did get a Garmin recently. Did I tell you about my Garmin?

Joy: Cool. No.

Claire: My dad for my birthday gave me a gift card, and I used it to get a Garmin because I used to have an Apple Watch. And I didn’t like it because I didn’t want to have all my iPhone notifications on my wrist all the time. I was like, my phone at any given moment is within arm’s reach. I don’t also need to be getting my text messages on my watch.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: But I liked the tracking component. So I was attracted to the idea of a Garmin because you can sync it with your iPhone but you don’t have to. Whereas an Apple Watch, I guess you could turn off all the notifications, but then what are you left with?

Joy: Yeah, I know a lot of people who like the Garmin watch. Scott actually almost got it too last year.

Claire: Well, and I got the one where you can download Spotify onto the watch, download an offline playlist, and then you can go on a walk without your phone and just play music from your watch.

Joy: Oh, awesome. Like into your headphones?

Claire: Yeah. So it will Bluetooth to your headphones and then you don’t have to have your phone with you.

Joy: Oh, that’s great. That’s a really great one. 

Claire: Yeah, so I’m hoping that that will give me some opportunities to have less time with my phone in the new year. Maybe that’s my resolution I’m making is to spend less time with my phone.

Joy: I like “no phone” time. You know how this week we’re kind of off Instagram?

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: I took it a step further, and I just completely have been ignoring my phone. And it’s great.

Claire: It’s great. I want less phone time for sure.

Joy: Less phone in 2021. Alright. 

Claire: Yes.

Joy: What’s our question for next week? And we want voice memos.

Claire: Please send us your voice memos. This question is completely random, and I’m so excited to get to ask you guys this just at my whim. This is a time where I’m like, man, I’m so glad I have this podcast where I can just do whatever I want. You don’t have to like it. I was in the shower this morning, and I was realizing that I have these habits that I do in the shower, or just self-care habits, that I have subconsciously been doing since I was in high school for no other reason than that I read about them in a magazine once. I mean, I’m not completely sure, but I’m pretty sure there’s no science to back these up. But it was like some beauty editor who was like, “Oh yeah, that sounds good, put that.”

Joy: Oh, totally.

Claire: Like for example, mine is that I wash my body after I’ve rinsed out all of the product from my hair for fear of getting backne. I’ve never had backne. Maybe this is why, but I doubt it.

Joy: The tip worked.

Claire: Either the tip worked, or I’m just not genetically predisposed to backne. So that’s my question to you guys is, what self-care habit do you do that, now that you’re thinking about it, you’re like I have no reason that I’m doing that except that I read it in a magazine in the 90’s and I just never have questioned it since then. 

Joy: Like, does it really work? I rinse my hair with cold water at the end because it closes the cuticle, I don’t know?

Claire: Right. Or it’s like when you wash your face, you’re supposed to start with warm water but then rinse it with cold water because it closes your pores. That can’t be real.

Joy: They’re not like one of those things on the Disney movies where they just close up.

Claire: Right, the little thing in The Little Mermaid. I mean, maybe if you’re a dermatologist you’re going to write in and be like, “It is real.” But I just don’t think it can.

Joy: And then we will be like, great, then we’ve been doing it right all along.

Claire: I just feel like it’s the 1200 calorie rule of skincare. So I would love to know what, if anything – now you guys are all sitting there like, what do I do that’s totally –

Joy: Like nails or moisturizy –

Claire: That doesn’t make any sense except that I read it as a hot tip in a Cosmopolitan in the 90’s. So please send us your voice memos to thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. Record them in a quiet place. If you are in your car, if you could do it while your car is parked that would be ideal. If you’re in your house, try to find –

Joy: Sit in your closet.

Claire: Sit in your closet, or even throw a blanket over your head for a second. Don’t overthink it you guys. We don’t need perfect sound quality.

Joy: You don’t have to be a professional podcaster.

Claire: But I will say, it just is hard for us to hear it when you are driving in your car. Or when you’re on a walk. 

Joy: Windy.

Claire: It can really get picked up. But we’d rather hear from you with imperfect sound quality than not hear from you at all.

Joy: Bonus if you have a page from a Cosmo magazine that you can share with us.

Claire: Oh my gosh, if you can dig us up and be like –

Joy: Oh, can you imagine if someone had an old one?

Claire: Amazing. You can also, as always, go to our Instagram which is joyandclaire_ and click on the Contact Us button. it will take you to a Google Voice mailbox where you can leave a message. We can’t wait to hear from you. You can also always just email us and we can read your email on the show. We love hearing from you guys, and I can’t wait to hear what very amazing silly things you all have been doing that now you’re like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe that I’m still doing this. 

Joy: I still use Lip Smackers chap stick. No, I don’t, but that would be funny. Well you guys, we made it. It’s 2020, we’re closing the chapter. We’re moving onto another chapter.

Claire: And it might not be a better chapter, but it’s going to be a different one.

Joy: It’s going to be different, and sometimes that’s better.

Claire: Alright guys. Thank you for hanging in there with us this whole year. Thank you for a year of This is Joy & Claire. It’s been really fun to have this and have this community and we will talk to you next week.

Joy: Happy New Year.

Claire: Happy New Year! Bye.

Christmas Eve traditions, people who have their life together, Brandon’s COVID vaccine experience, and listener Christmas traditions!



email: thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com

instagram: joyandclaire_

Audio Length: 45:14 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. Merry Christmas Eve!

Claire: Merry Christmas Eve!

Joy: I wish I could sing a song right now, but that wouldn’t be fun for you. 

Claire: Thank you.

Joy: Thank you, thank you.

Claire: I love Christmas Eve. Do you love Christmas Eve?

Joy: I do. You know, I was thinking about Christmas Eves past, and I have this really great memory – I think so much of Christmas as an adult is being nostalgic about Christmas as a kid.

Claire: 1000%.

Joy: And also reliving it with your children. I was thinking about how we used to go to midnight mass. We would go to mass either on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, or we would do midnight mass. So as we got older, we were like, “Let’s do midnight mass!” because we thought that was really cool that we got to stay up so late and be at church at midnight. I have memories of coming home and we’re all so tired and passing out and waking up in the morning and opening presents. But that feeling of going – it’s like what Casper would say about rituals. That is such a fond memory in my brain.

Claire: Yeah, that’s a lot. Would Santa still come after you got home so late?

Joy: Yes.

Claire: Oh wow. Good for him.

Joy: Yes, good for him. Warning alert, I’m going to say something in case there’s some kids around. Fair warning. Three, two, one. My mom would put the presents out and then she would bite into the cookie. So we went out, we were like, “Oh my gosh.”

Claire: But at 3 in the morning she would do that?

Joy: Right, totally.

Claire: Bless your mom.

Joy: I know, my mom’s the best. And we’d be like, “Oh my gosh, he bit into the -” whatever that we made, cookies or treats or whatever we made, but it was just so cute.

Claire: She’s so cute. Warning over. So Miles, he just turned five. He is in prime Santa age, and it’s so fun. He’s so excited for Santa to come. We’re all very excited for Santa to come of course.

Joy: Of course, we’re all excited.

Claire: And he’s really excited. Last year, he had just turned four. He kind of understood about Santa but was just starting to get it. So this year is our first year of the Santa hype.

Joy: Really getting into it, yeah, that’s really cute.

Claire: And, you know, I’m kind of glad that we didn’t have to deal with the “let’s go visit Santa at the mall” sort of situation. I’m also glad that we hadn’t set that as a precedent, only not to be able to do it this year. So I feel for you families out there who that has been a big part of your tradition for your kids and you weren’t able to do it this year and had to explain about that. But I also love that they have been really clear, like Santa is immune to COVID. We don’t have to worry about it. He has the antibodies, aka “Santabodies.” 

Joy: Oh I love it so much.

Claire: I love it so much. I mean, he’s magic, right? Santa’s magic, so we don’t have to worry about it.

Joy: He’s magic. Oh, it’s so great.

Claire: Yeah, we’re like full swing Santa over here. So on Christmas Eve, we’re going to make tons of different types of cookies and do the whole thing, so that will be fun. Evie doesn’t know any better. She doesn’t care or know what day it is, but I’m still excited for her. We have two Christmas trees, which I also am loving. We have a fake Christmas tree, which we’ve had for a couple of years. And we’ve always done fake. And then this year, our au pair was like, “Have you guys ever gone and cut down your own Christmas tree?” It’s something that she really wanted to do because she’s from Brazil.

Joy: Yeah, I love that she’s getting you guys to do stuff that you’re like, oh it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s such a big deal to her.

Claire: She’s also obsessed with Christmas lights. She is so disappointed that we didn’t go hang Christmas lights, like we have one string of Christmas lights on our fence, that’s it. She hasn’t been like, “I’m disappointed in you,” but I can tell. 

Joy: [laughing] I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.

Claire: She’s not mad, she’s just disappointed. But we got a permit to go cut down a tree. We all drove out and did that, so now we have two Christmas trees, which I’m never going back to only one Christmas tree. Even though our living room is quite small. We literally just have a Christmas tree on either side of our couch, and our couch is only like 8 feet long.

Joy: So your living room is one big Christmas tree?

Claire: Our living room is nothing but Christmas trees, it’s so great.

Joy: It sounds fantastic, and I’m sure the kids love it.

Claire: It’s wonderful. And honestly, I feel like we love it even more than they do because they’re like, “Whatever, I don’t care.” We’re like, “More Christmas.”

Joy: Yeah, more Christmas. Speaking of multiple trees, we’re going to get to some more voice memos you guys sent in. We have so many that we’re going to spend the majority of this episode listening to your voice memos. But I just want to call out someone who called in and said that her wish and aspiration is to have a Christmas tree in every room.

Claire: Yes, that’s a great aspiration.

Joy: It’s so great. And to have a huge house, I mean I guess you don’t have to have a huge house, but you know those houses where you feel like someone’s –

Claire: Like Mariah Carey’s house?

Joy: Right. Or you specifically have someone hired to put up your Christmas decorations.

Claire: I don’t know though. I love decorating. So before we get full-on Christmas mode, let’s talk about some other exciting things that have happened this week. So right now we’re recording, the sun is setting on the shortest day of the year.

Joy: [cheering] Woohoo!

Claire: So goodbye.

Joy: Goodbye short days and depression.

Claire: Welcome to our very, very slow, gradual turn back to the sun. Very excited about that. You don’t have any solstice rituals, do you?

Joy: I don’t.

Claire: I woke up this morning, and I was like, “I should get some solstice rituals.” And I was like, “Oh, it’s today. Okay, next year I’ll have solstice rituals.”

Joy: I know, it just sounds so lovely. I had a bunch of friends who used to do it, and they had people over for dinner, and it was just a big to do, and that does sound lovely. Everyone is getting up to watch the Christmas moon. I think that’s beautiful.

Claire: Yeah, that alignment of the stars? That will be really cool, the Christmas star. When we get to the summer solstice, I always am like, “Wait a minute, we just go there. We can’t turn back our – ” But in winter, the six months between June to December feel so much longer than the six months between December to June.

Joy: 100% agree.

Claire: I’m so glad that we’re turning back towards the sun. The other really exciting thing about this week was that Brandon got the first dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine.

Joy: So cool.

Claire: On, what was it, Thursday morning of last week. So I posted some updates about his side effects. A lot of people reached out and asked me to share about those. I was very, very happy to because I know this is a completely new experience and everyone has some questions and fears around it. His arm was sore the first day. He got it at 9 in the morning and worked the next two days, like full-on on-the-floor shifts. So his arm was sore the first day, and the second day in the afternoon around 30 hours post injection, he had all the sudden just got hit with some body aches and some chills. He took some ibuprofen, and it went away and never came back. Then the next day, on day three, he felt totally fine. He is the type of person who almost always has side effects from the flu shot. I almost never have side effects from the flu shot. And he was like, “I’m not trying to have the “manflu.” I’m just trying to let you know because you’re updating all your people.” 

Joy: Very important distinction.

Claire: Important disclaimer, very important disclaimer. So we were really expecting that he would have some side effects because it’s really common for him to have side effects. Which, just as a note, when you’re a healthy person, it’s very common and normal to have some side effects like that from any vaccine. So it was pretty anticlimactic. He gets the second does in about three weeks. The data that they have shows that the second dose tends to have a higher rate of side effects, so we’re expecting that that will happen again and hopefully he can schedule that vaccine on a day when he’s not working that day or the next day potentially. So, we’ll see how that goes. That was really exciting. I knew that he was going to be in the first round, but when we found out the actual day that he was getting it, I was just crying the whole day. I really did not expect myself, I mean you guys know I’m not really a crier. I really didn’t expect myself to have that reaction, and I just think I didn’t realize how much I had been holding onto the, oh my gosh – there were days back in March/April where any day Brandon went to work, I got up in the morning at 5am and would just sit in the kitchen with him because I truly thought this might be the last time I see my husband. We didn’t know. That was true for a lot of practitioners out there that got COVID and passed away. I just had this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. We just don’t know. What happens if he goes to work and gets COVID, dies alone? And that was what so much of my time in the spring was taken up thinking about. And then to have this feeling, like, wow, we’ve come so far.

Joy: It’s like we’ve been holding our breath for so long.

Claire: Yeah, and I just didn’t realize how much I had been holding my breath. So then, when he got the vaccine, it was like, oh my gosh. We still have a long way to go, and I am fearful that people who already just don’t give any f’s already, a lot of people.

Joy: Wait, don’t give any f’s about what?

Claire: COVID.

Joy: Oh, oh, like the anti-masker people?

Claire: Right. Who are like, “It’s my choice.”

Joy: “It’s my choice.”

Claire: “I’m an adult, I can make the decision.” I’m so happy for you. 

Joy: I just need to say real quick, that is the most selfish thing. Let me remind everybody, not about you.

Claire: Not about you. [singing] I bet you think this song is about you –

Joy: [singing] Don’t you –

Claire: Oh, we can’t sing songs.

Joy: I’m cutting that out. [laughing]

Claire: But I just think that I realize how much I had been holding onto. And we have so far still to go, and this is only going to work if as many people who can get vaccinated get vaccinated, who can will. But to feel like help is on the way, it really felt like that moment when the city is burning and the superman thing flies overhead. Where it’s like, okay, the city is still burning, things are still going down, but help is on the way.

Joy: Help is on the way.

Claire: So that’s been huge. I’m really, really, really, really grateful.

Joy: How is Brandon feeling? Not just physically. Is he just –

Claire: Yeah, same.

Joy: – super grateful that he goes into work and he’s like, “I feel protected.”

Claire: Yes.

Joy: I know they wear PPE. But that’s not 100%.

Claire: Right. No, it’s not 100%, and it’s dirty. They’re still reusing masks for days or weeks at a time. I think for most healthcare practitioners that I’ve heard from too are basically saying this is the first moment of hope that I’ve actually had for this situation this whole time. We’ve just had to put our heads down without any end in sight and without any idea how or when this would resolve. And now for the first time, we actually feel like we have something on our side and we actually have hope and we actually have the confidence that this isn’t going to be forever, and this isn’t just our lives now.

Joy: And not only that, I just feel, at least from my experience and what I see in the news, of course they have to report top stories, but we are not recognizing the amazing work that our healthcare providers are doing day in and day out. There’s people every single day that are exhausted dealing with this, in their face, 100%. Those are the people we should be listening to.

Claire: 1000% yes. Those are the people –

Joy: I don’t care if you walk around and you’re like, “You’re taking away my freedom.” Then go talk to a healthcare worker.

Claire: Right. Go talk to somebody who has seen this up close.

Joy: Until you do that, then you have no right to say that.

Claire: And I also think, it’s like, you know, everyone’s had a hard year, some more than others. I wrote a post about this on my personal Instagram. We’ve forgotten who the enemy is. We’re so quick to jump down each other’s throats that we forget that the enemy is COVID. The enemy is not each other. The enemy is not mask regulations or people who don’t wear masks even, although those people might be aiding and abetting the enemy. The enemy is COVID. And also, to an extent, the lack of support that we’ve gotten from our government to allow people to safely not work. Most other governments around the world have had ways to pay people to stay home. And whether, I’m not saying other countries are perfect, but our country around the world is being looked at as a failure to support our citizens. And not just citizens but all the people who live here. And I think that that’s a huge thing that we tend to lose focus on is that, yes people are being put into absolutely horrible lose-lose situations. That’s not the fault of the people who wear masks any more than it’s the fault of people who don’t wear masks. It’s the fault of the virus. And it’s the fault of the people who had the opportunity to help us and didn’t in politics and in our government. And that applies to people on both sides of the political spectrum as well. I’m not saying certain people did or did not or could or could not have.

Joy: Can I ask you a kind of controversial question because I want to hear what you would say.

Claire: Please.

Joy: What do you say to the argument when people are like, “It’s China’s fault. It’s not Trump’s fault.”

Claire: I don’t get that.

Joy: I don’t get it either. Okay, so if a volcano happens and something –

Claire: What I just don’t get about that is, what good does it do for you to point your finger at China? What good does it do for –

Joy: It does nothing. It’s like there’s a car accident – 

Claire: Right, it’s like if a Toyota rear ends you and you’re like, “Toyota did this to me.”

Joy: Yeah, so it’s Toyota’s fault. It’s so dumb.

Claire: Maybe could they have handled it better in the early days? We’ll never know. And that’s really what it comes down to. It’s like, let’s focus on the things that we actually… let me put it this way. Most countries in the world were dealt the same hand when it came to the virus showing up at their doorstep. And we can go back and say, well this never would have happened if X, Y, Z had or hadn’t taken place in China. I think the focus is on, how then did your country react to the hand they were dealt. That’s my opinion. Sure, if I could go back in time and go seal the borders of China in November 2019, I think we all would go back and do that. It just to me feels like a fruitless argument.

Joy: It’s fruitless. It’s like one of those things where, crap happens and you’re just going to sit there focusing on crap happening versus how we’re all dealing with it.

Claire: Right. And what we can do to deal with it and what we could have done to deal with it. And I think it just doesn’t, I don’t know. I think that’s important that we keep in mind going into 2021. This isn’t over yet, and the enemy is not one another. The enemy is the virus, and we need to do everything we can to combat the virus, not to combat each other.

Joy: Yes, I love that so much. That’s a good reminder for me because another article came up that made me thing about that as well. I believe it was New York Times opinion, and it said something along the lines of, “Shaming people for their behaviors in the pandemic doesn’t change their behavior.”

Claire: No, right, exactly.

Joy: But it’s so easy for us to be like –

Claire: You want to, right.

Joy: “I can’t believe you,” “I dare you.” I mean, we’ve said it before on the podcast. I’m guilty of it. I need to have that reminder. I cannot try to change someone’s mind, and shaming people for their decisions does absolutely nothing. So that’s something that I need to work on for sure.

Claire: I also think there’s a point where it’s like, listen, there are clear behaviors that we know that medical data shows up are making things worse and that increase transmission. And if we’re truly seeing the virus as the enemy, then increasing transmission is only aiding and abetting that enemy. So in my mind, that’s part of fighting COVID together is doing everything we can to decrease transmission. Like wearing masks, especially wearing masks indoors. Doing all those types of things. So I’m not saying this is a free pass to everyone to just go out and do whatever they want and be like, “You said don’t call people out because the real enemy is COVID.” Call people out if they’re doing things that you know the data says are going to increase that transmission. This isn’t a free pass. But at the same time, I just think we are so quick to jump down each other’s throats when we realize we’ve all been put into a tough position this year. The one thing that just makes me crazy, and we kind of go into this on Instagram with some people last week, is when people – to me, what you said earlier of we should be listening to the healthcare workers, I completely agree with that. And the people who are like, “Well, were they forced to become healthcare workers?” It’s like, listen up a-hole. People who sign up to be healthcare workers sign up to help people. They go into that profession to help people. And they didn’t “sign up for a pandemic” any more than anyone else did. Were small business owners forced to be small business owners? Were CEO’s of huge companies forced to be CEO’s of huge companies? No one in this country is forced to do anything professionally. We could go down the rabbit hole of, what is forced really mean, because people have fewer options. But healthcare workers did not sign up to put their life on the line because they couldn’t be protected from a global pandemic virus. Absolutely, they did not.

Joy: Absolutely not.

Claire: That’s not an argument that I will ever listen to, and I think it’s wildly disrespectful to insinuate that.

Joy: Absolutely. So disrespectful.

Claire: That is where I very much draw the line of, hey, we’re all in this together. So anyway, I don’t want to get too much on that soap box. But I am really, just to take it all back, I am so grateful that Brandon was able to get the vaccine, and I will let you guys know how the second dose goes. And also, still do what you can because it’s not over yet.

Joy: Do what you can. It’s not even close to over. It’s so tempting for us to be like, oh my gosh, we have the vaccine, I want to go book a trip. Everybody, just cool your jets.

Claire: Oh, here’s something else. Somebody messaged us in our DM’s, and I had read this following some comments I made last week about, oh I just can’t wait to hug my family or see my family. And they messaged us just to clarify this, so I wanted to bring it up. This is someone who is a medical student and who works with a lot of infectious disease experts. We don’t know for sure that being vaccinated can keep you from asymptomatic transmission. I don’t fully understand how those things are different, like how can you have asymptomatic transmission if you test negative for COVID. I don’t know. Don’t ask me those questions. I don’t understand it. But I do think it’s important that we realize that we don’t know for sure, that just because you’re vaccinated against COVID, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t still transmit it. So until as many people as possible can’t get it, these people are putting on bullet proof vests but they’re not necessarily unloading the gun. We don’t know for sure. I don’t understand that science behind that, but I just wanted to bring that up. Anyway. the other thing – this is completely unrelated. Are you ready for a massive turn?

Joy: Right turn, let’s go.

Claire: I really want to talk about our post about finishing the sentence, “People who have their life together always blank” from last week’s episode. We put it out on Instagram, and we got so many good ones. So I want to start with mine. People who have their life together always blank. Always remember their reusable shopping bags. I never do that. Know their rising signs. I feel like people who are like, “Oh yeah, I’m a Libra rising, Sagittarius moon.” Wow, you know stuff about yourself. Wake up early for fun.

Joy: You’re describing me. [laughing]

Claire: You know your rising signs?

Joy: I don’t know my rising signs, but I bring my bags –

Claire: Do you bring your reusable grocery bags?

Joy: Always.

Claire: So proud of you.

Joy: I keep them in my car.

Claire: But here’s the thing. I will put mine in my car. I’ll take them to the grocery store, and then I take them inside to unload my groceries and they never again make it back in my car.

Joy: Oh. See, I always, always put them back in my car.

Claire: I never have, literally never. Can maintain a conversational running pace. I think that’s a myth. I think a conversational running pace is a myth.

Joy: I can do that. Not right now I can’t.

Claire: No, it’s a myth. And then my other one that I just thought of the other night was, people who return things before their return window closes.

Joy: Oh my God. But that, that’s different from, I just don’t like returning things. I get really –

Claire: Yeah, people who return things. People who have their life together return things, whether it’s remembering to do it on time. For me, it’s a combination of not being organized enough to do it on time, but also just not being motivated. So those were my things. What are yours?

Joy: Mine are, I just think of Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere, so I’m going to describe her. She has a specific movie night where she sits down and makes her own martinis and makes her own pizza. So people who make their own cocktails or have cocktail shakers and mixology and all that type of thing. People who decorate really well on their own. Like, you just walk in and everything looks so perfect, and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, where’d you get that?” “Oh, I just found it on – “

Claire: Oh my gosh, I had a friend like that. She has cute measuring cups. Who has cute measuring cups?

Joy: Right. “I just found it in a thrift store” and everything’s so well put together. How do you do that? I feel like those people have their life together. And then I think of Jenna Lyons where she is just so perfectly put together with an outfit every single day of her life. And has pretty plain hair and makeup but just looks fabulous. Those are my top –

Claire: Totally.

Joy: There’s many more. And when you guys were writing in, I was very much identifying with everything that you said. So let’s read some of them.

Claire: Okay. So Crystal – hi Crystal – who is a great listener, who’s been listening forever. Again, it was fill-in-the-blank. People who have their life together always blank. She said, “can gather 6+ friends for a girls trip and look nice at the airport.” 1000%. Who are these people with their massive friends who travel together. “People who can pack a normal amount of clothing for a trip. Unlike me” – this is someone else – “unlike me who practically packs an extra set of clothes for every day.” Totally agree with that. “Get up in the morning and go for a run or workout.” That’s you. 

Joy: I like the one that says, “Doesn’t wonder how much market price is on a menu.” Oh my gosh, that’s such a good one. Just order whatever.

Claire: I used to work with a private jet company. And they were always like, “If they have to ask how much it is, they can’t afford it.” I want that to be my life.

Joy: Yes, I want that to be my life.

Claire: “Always remember to defrost their meat in time to make dinner.”  “Fold their laundry the first time it’s done drying and don’t have to fluff up the wrinkles multiple times.” Oh, this one I loved. ” Own and use the very specific crockery, like sugar bowls, milk jugs, and butter dishes.” 

Joy: Oh, that is a good one.

Claire: “Stay organized by writing in and using a planner.”

Joy: Oh, I always want to buy a planner.

Claire: I know, I just buy a planning. I never use it. “Resist the urge to make frivolous purchases.” “Have to-do lists to manage their to-do lists.” “Send holiday cards.” This one – we normally send a holiday card, and I’ve been so frustrated because I ordered ours forever ago and they’ve been sitting in the Denver post office distribution center for like a week. Because the post office is so backed up. I get it. I’m not blaming the postal service, but every day I check it and it’s still sitting there. I could have walked there by now. “Remember to take the trash to the curb for pick up.” Somebody else said, “Bring the trash cans back in the same day they get picked up.” That’s tough. A lot of people said this. “Have a clean car.” So, you guys should know that Joy’s car feels like a rental car every time you get in. It’s been vacuumed recently. I try to keep my car –

Joy: I can’t stand having a dirty car. I can’t stand it.

Claire: I try to keep my car somewhat clean, but when you have kids, it’s like shoveling during a snow storm. It’s not worth it. But “timely eyebrow maintenance.” That used to be me pre-pandemic. “Do their hair and makeup.” A lot of people have said that. Do their hair and makeup even when they’re not leaving the house. I feel like people who have their life together don’t feel the need to do their hair and makeup if they’re not going to leave the house. 

Joy: Okay.

Claire: I’m more like, if you have your life together, then you don’t give two craps about looking good for anyone.

Joy: That’s fair. It feels good to put energy into your look. But if you’re just staying at home the whole day. I get dressed. Like, shower, get dressed. 

Claire: Yeah, I don’t care about that stuff.

Joy: But I’m not going to stay in pajamas.

Claire: I would stay in pajamas. “Meditate.” A couple of people said meditate. 

Joy: That’s a big one. “People who remember birthdays and take time to send cards and recognize the celebration.”

Claire: Which, we’ll plug for – what is that thing that Sandy always uses? 

Joy: Oh, [00:23:31.03 UNCLEAR].

Claire: [UNCLEAR]. You can just put in all your birthdays and all your address books and they’ll automatically send it for you. “When they bring a mug in the car and bring it back in the house on the same trip.” That’s funny.

Joy: There’s a lot of things that are like bringing things back after you do it.

Claire: Yeah, totally. “Meal plan and grocery shop according to that meal plan and then execute said meal plan.” “Don’t use the snooze.” I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use the snooze button. Except for you who you just wake up on your own.

Joy: I just wake up. I haven’t set an alarm for probably the past six years. It’s sad.

Claire: I don’t set an alarm because I birthed my alarms. “Keeping emails deleted, being organized.” Yeah, people who have folders for their emails and actually sort them.

Joy: I do that at work.

Claire: All of them? All the time?

Joy: Not all of them, but I have important things.

Claire: I’ll have a folder where I keep travel reservations and stuff, but I used to work with somebody who categorized every single email she got. And I was like, this would take me more time than just finding that email.

Joy: No, that’s a waste of time.

Claire: Waste of time. Yeah, a lot of laundry ones, a lot of clean car ones. 

Joy: There’s one that made me laugh so hard, and I’m trying to find it.

Claire: I like this one. “Wear lipstick to non-casual things or when just out and about. I even have a friend who is an exception and does but does not have their life together to prove it’s an actual rule.” “Wear matching underwear.” I totally agree with that one.

Joy: I do too. That’s commitment. That is so much commitment. It’s just so much planning.

Claire: Yeah, so much planning. These are just all so funny. “Wear statement accessories.”

Joy: Where’s the one where she says – maybe it’s not showing up for me. Where she says something like, “You walk in their house and they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s just messy.'” Kind of like, “Oh, this old thing.” Their house is immaculate.

Claire: I don’t think I saw that one, but yeah, when you walk into somebody’s house and they’re like, “Sorry for the mess,” and you look around and it’s absolutely glittering.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: What mess? So these were hilarious. I hope that some of you guys – I kind of liked to read through these because I was like, hey, I do some of these things. Maybe I do have my life together.

Joy: Totally. Maybe listeners out there are like, “Oh, I do some of that, I do have my life together.”

Claire: Right. I said, “Wake up early,” and someone commented, “Especially to go hiking on the weekends.” That’s the only reason I wake up early. And they were like, “Yeah, but you have your life together.” And I was like, ha. I do. You mean I’m nominated?

Joy: That makes me think too of the assumptions and the projections people make about us. It’s so funny. If they sat in a room with us, they’d probably be like, “Woah, I had no idea.” 

Claire: I know.

Joy: Because they just hear us from the podcast.

Claire: Even Brandon, he’ll say something or make an assumption about you, and I’m like, “No, that’s not what Joy is really like.” 

Joy: You have no idea. You think you know, but you have no idea.

Claire: You think you know, but you have no idea. Joy just wants to go to bed almost –

Joy: Almost all the time.

Claire: Almost all the time. She just wants to go to her room by herself and watch TV with a dog. 

Joy: I read another one that just says, “Have a ‘night time routine.'” Like, you have a night time routine.

Claire: Yeah, I think people who have a skincare routine. I have skincare products. 

Joy: Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere has a skin routine, and she gets ready every single day, and I’m sure she wears matching underwear.

Claire: She totally does.

Joy: These are so good. This just makes us think we’re all the same. We’re all just trying to do the best that we can. Oh, I found it. It wasn’t about the house. Did you already read this one? I just love how she put it. “Wear statement accessories.” But then, “Maintain a neat ponytail during a workout,” and in quotes, “whip together dinner.” [laughing] I love that. I just whipped it together. I’m just whipping something up. It’s like a gourmet meal. I love that one. That’s the one I wanted to read.

Claire: It’s like a beef wellington. Slip together this beef wellington.

Joy: That’s what it’s like going to Sandy’s house.

Claire: Oh my gosh, that’s totally what it’s like going to Sandy’s house. She’s like, “Oh, I just whipped together these lobster tails,” and you’re like, “What?”

Joy: The most amazing meal you’ve ever had. 

Claire: River mouse ravioli. 

Joy: It’s like a four-course meal, that’s so great. Oh, it’s so great. So let’s move on to some voice memos that were equally fantastic. I just wanted to play all of them, so we’re going to try to get to every single one. This person is from Jay.

Jay [recording]: Hi Joy, hi Claire, this is Jay. So one of the things we started doing when we started having kids is, we started having family photos and we started doing Christmas cards and sending them out to our friends and family. And this year was actually really cool for us because we just moved to Corpus Christi and it’s just one long beach, and so we got to take pictures along the water. My kids enjoyed it, and it was awesome. One of the other things that is more of a tradition for myself is that I enjoy watching Home Alone 1 and 2, whether it’s Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, December 1st, all the way every day for the entire month of December. And one of the traditions that we aspire to is to always start Christmas Day at our house. So I believe actually last year we got matching Christmas pajamas. And so now when we start Christmas Day at our house and we all wear matching pajamas and take pictures, videos, and do the whole nine yards all Christmas Day. But that’s one of the things that we wanted to start with our kids being little. But anyway, love the podcast, been a longtime fan, and merry Christmas to you both.

Joy: Thank you, Jay. Okay, Jay is my dream Christmas family.

Claire: I’m sorry, did he say he watches home alone every day. 

Joy: No, no, every year he watches Home Alone 1 and 2, but it doesn’t matter the day. That’s how I’m understanding it where he’s like, December 1, it doesn’t matter, just watch it throughout the month. At one point throughout December.

Claire: Got it. I thought he meant that he watches it, well that is a lot of McCulley Calkin.

Joy: That’s a lot of Home Alone. But I love Home Alone.

Claire: It’s so good. We’re going to show Miles it for the first year.

Joy: It’s so good.

Claire: I also love that we can just create our own traditions. Like, I want to be the type of family that has – I mean, I don’t – but people out there want to have matching pajamas. Just go for it. Buy those freaking matching pajamas. 

Joy: Love it.

Claire: Somebody sent us a picture, and they were like, “This is my family with our dog in matching pajamas,” and their dog looked so mad, which made it so much better. The dog was a small dog that was looking like, why are you doing this to me.

Joy: I love it, I love it, I love it. Okay, this next one is from Riley.

Riley [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Riley again. So my Christmas Eve tradition that my family has is my great-grandfather built a small chapel and it sits on my parents’ land. So every Christmas Eve, my mom hosts a very small ceremony. The whole town is invited, but really, it’s just close family and friends. And this is a very small chapel. It has seats for the twelve disciples. So you can imagine all our close family and friends squeezing into this little chapel. I usually bring my dog. There’s usually one or two dogs and kids, babies. And I have four sisters, so usually at least two of the four are having some kind of altercation with one another, and it’s just a lot of good memories about fighting with your sister but then you have to sit next to her. And we’re not all super religious, but it brings us all together and makes us laugh. And it’s just a really nice tradition that I look forward to.

Joy: Thank you, Riley. I love looking back at times where you’re like, oh my gosh, we fought like cats and dogs, but you look back at it with such fondness.

Claire: I know, it’s so funny. That just sounds like the cutest great-grandfather chapel, like with the seats for the twelve disciples. That just sounds great. I love that so much. But I laughed a lot when she said that she has four sisters and there’s always fighting.

Joy: Okay, this one is from Heidi.

Heidi [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, long time listener, first time caller. I just wanted to share something in response to your question last week about Christmas traditions. So we’re not big on Christmas traditions in our family. We don’t typically give too many gifts or anything like that, but we did start this tradition a few years ago and we really love it. So while no one in our family is Icelandic, we did adopt one of their traditions that I can’t pronounce the actual name of it, but it does translate to “Christmas book flood” in English. And basically on Christmas Eve, we gift everybody a book and we spend the evening drinking hot chocolate and reading our books. And we really love it because it makes the whole gift giving thing a lot less stressful, and it gets us some quality time away from the electronics. It’s nice and peaceful. It’s good time with our family, and we have two teenagers and a toddler, so it can get a little bit crazy in our house. But we love it, and I definitely recommend other people give it a shot and see if it sticks. Anyway, that’s all. Thank you so much for putting out such a great podcast every week.

Joy: Thank you so much. That sounds so lovely and peaceful.

Claire: That sounds very lovely.

Joy: That sounds like something Oprah would do. 

Claire: People who have their lives together read books together on Christmas Eve.

Joy: Oprah also has a farm. She has her life together. People who have a farm has their life together. This is from Desi.

Desi [recording]: Hi girls, this is Desi from DC. I just wanted to say a quick hi. It’s been a long time. With regards to the things that we do for the winter solstice. For me, I guess it’s Christmas. So, I’m Porto Rican. I did not marry somebody who’s Porto Rican. My husband’s from Nebraska, and it’s really important for me to carry on our Porto Rican traditions. What we’ve done is for Christmas every year, I cook a traditional Porto Rican meal. I pull out all the stuff. It’s pretty time consuming, and I’ve already started cooking for next week if that tells you anything. But the big thing is, it’s what we do every year. And our son, and if we have another kid, that’s what they’re going to grow up with every year. They’re going to know Noche Buena is when we eat our big Christmas meal that takes days to prepare and that celebrates through Three Kings Day on January 6th. Alright, bye girls.

Joy: Love it. 

Claire: Oh my gosh, I want to eat a traditional Porto Rican meal that takes a week to cook. I also feel like Nebraska might be the polar opposite of Porto Rico. 

Joy: Yeah, it’s really, really polar opposite. Okay, this is from Cheana.

Cheana [recording]: Hi ladies, my name’s Cheana, and I wanted to share with you my favorite Christmas tradition. So I have a big family. I have 6 siblings, and there’re 17 grandkids in my family, 5 nieces and nephews. I don’t have children yet, but that leads to a lot of gift buying and really fun, crazy gatherings, which we all love. So in the effort to save money and have a little bit of fun, on Christmas Eve every year all the adults they’ll bring a gift exchange of shit you don’t want. So we all pick something from our house, usually kind of something funny and garbagy that we no longer want, and we bring it to the exchange and everyone plays kind of like a stealing game to see who gets the worst gift of the year. It’s a thing that always makes us all laugh, and I really look forward to it. I guess it will look a little bit different for everyone this year now. My family won’t be able to get together, but I hope everyone can enjoy the holiday season. Bye.

Joy: I love the gift exchange. That reminded me, we used to have a white elephant gift at Christmas with my office with my team, and it was so much fun. We would have so much fun. We would just exchanging presents until you get – you have to swap with the one that you liked and you get stuck with the – it’s so fun. It just makes us laugh. I miss that, I’m going to miss that this year.

Claire: Last year, we did a white elephant with my office. And everyone else brought, not like really amazing stuff but pretty cool stuff and I didn’t know that it was kind of a gag gift but kind of not gag gift. So I brought a cup of frozen yogurt. And everyone was like, “Is that someone’s frozen yogurt?” and I was like, “No, that’s part of the gift exchange.” People didn’t think it was funny. They were like, “Claire, that’s not -” Okay, next year I’ll bring quirky wine glasses. No one told me.

Joy: You can bring a cup of yogurt.

Claire: Cup of frozen yogurt.

Joy: Next one is from Angela.

Angela [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, my name is Angela and I live in Boise, Idaho. I love your podcast and have listened since Girls Gone WOD days. Our family holiday tradition is to make these giant, Swedish dumplings that my late grandma called dookies, which may or may not be the actual Swedish name. It might be something that her or her family just made up. We’re still unsure. Anyway, they’re essentially boiled potato dumplings the size of softballs with about a tablespoon of salted pork in the center. We serve them with gravy and butter, and they’re just the epitome of something that you think of your ancestors eating in the middle of a cold, hard winter. They’re just potatoes, mostly potatoes, and a tiny bit of meat. They take all day to make, and it takes all hands on deck to get them prepared. And they leave everything they come in contact with in the kitchen with this kind of starchy residue, and clean up takes forever. But they are our Christmas Eve tradition. My mom, my brother, and I all think they’re delicious. I mean, they’re covered in gravy. What’s not to like? But this may or may not be genetically predisposed in us. Because anyone that marries into our family tolerates the dookies but doesn’t truly love them and appreciate them the way we do. But anyway, they are a tradition in our family and we’ll continue to make them and enjoy them and think about our grandma as we do so. So thank you guys for having such a great podcast. I hope you both have a happy and healthy holiday season.

Claire: That’s so cute. I love that she really goes into the detail about how this is kind of a pain in the butt to do, but they do it anyway. They love it, even though objectively speaking they may not be that good based on what everyone else has to say. But that just sounds like it would really stick to your ribs, just a giant wad of potato dumplings.

Joy: Oh for sure. That would last you for a month. Okay, our favorite Mira is back. Let’s hear from Mira.

Mira [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Mira. Just wanted to share a Christmas Eve tradition from my family. Whenever we were in town for Christmas Eve, we would go to our church for a Christmas Eve service, and at the end of the service almost every single year we would sing “Silent Night” and everyone would get a candle and everyone would light their candle one by one off of each other’s candles. And it was awesome because by the end of the song everyone’s candles would be lit, the lights would be turned off, and if you looked around the room it was just a sea of candlelight. It was so magical, and it always will be a cherished memory and tradition from Christmas Eve.

Joy: That sounds amazing.

Claire: That does sound magical.

Joy: I feel like I’ve done that at some point in church where you just start with one candle and then it kind of spreads, and it’s just the coolest thing ever. Alright, let’s read one from Jessica. She wrote in and said, “So for the question this week, something my partner and I have always done is celebrate the solstices. Over the last few years, we’ve made a point of watching the sunrise/sunset, and we go for a sunrise/sunset swim. For the winter solstice, Yule, this is often in the snow.” She attached a picture from a previous winter swim. “We’ve always wanted to do more for the pagan holidays, and this year, partly inspired by the podcast episode with Casper from The Power of Ritual, we’ve really leaned into them, which has been great. Especially because there’s a holiday every eight weeks-ish. It’s been a great opportunity to create our own non-theistic traditions and take away a positive from 2020. Thank you and happy Yule. Merry Christmas.” The swim that she’s in looks so cold.

Claire: Yeah. A couple people said that they do that. Sandy I think also said that she does this swim on the Celtic new year, which is Halloween. Which I applaud you guys for being able to do that. I guess also, I was talking to Brandon about this the other day because we went and cut down this tree, and our Colorado tree that we cut down, it’s not shedding its pine needles really at all. And everyone always says a real tree sheds so much, I don’t want to get one. And we were kind of reflecting on the fact that Colorado pine trees are kind of used to draught, and so maybe this tree is actually doing kind of fine right now because it’s used to draught. And we were talking about how I’ve only ever lived somewhere – because I’ve only ever lived here – where we don’t have really big trees and we don’t have bodies of water all over the place where you could just go hop in a pond. And so, you know, I think it would be fun to do something like that, but I’m like where am I going to go? The Boulder reservoir? There’s not a lot of options in Boulder County for just a casual open water swim in the middle of the winter.

Joy: Like, what are you doing, what are you doing out there? Okay. Let’s do one more. I want to say thank you to everyone who submitted your voice memos and emails. There were so many, and I wish that we could have two hours to get through all of them, but I just want to say thank you to everyone for just sharing, sending your life with us. I just feel so grateful. So, here we go. This is Natalie.

Natalie [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Natalie from Riverside, Washington, and I wanted to tell you of our holiday traditions. So on Christmas Day, we wake up and we have breakfast sandwiches made on English muffins. It’s very specific. It’s something my mom always used to do for us, and so we always do that. And then we eat Christmas cookies that we have made the night before. So it’s a morning of opening presents with our breakfast sandwiches and sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies, which is just so fun because when else do you eat cookies in the morning. My other tradition that we do is for winter solstice,  I do a meditation with a group of people who I love, and we reflect on the year that we had and we set our intentions and our goals for the year in advance. And then every year right before our solstice gathering, we get our last year’s intentions mailed to us so we can reflect and see how it went. Those are my two things I wanted to share. I hope you guys have a great winter.

Joy: Thank you Natalie, that is one of my favorite things to think about but I never do is that whole thing of mailing yourself something later. That sounds so cool. Thank you guys again for all of your Christmas traditions, winter traditions, holiday traditions. Very, very special, and maybe some of you have some ideas of what you can start doing, make your own little traditions. So what do you think of the question for our last episode of 2020, Claire? I feel a lot of pressure to just go out with a bang.

Claire: Our final voice memo question for 2020 is, what are you looking forward to most about 2021? It could be a resolution. It could be a word for the year, which is something we’ve done a lot in the past. It could be a goal that you have. It could be just an amalgomous feeling of positivity surrounding any idea. Just when you think about what you’re excited about for 2021, what is it? Share it with us in a voice memo emailed to thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com or you can use the Google voicemail thingy on our Instagram @joyandclaire_. Go to the contact button and it will go to a voicemail box where you can leave a message. What are you looking forward to about 2021? Is it a resolution, is it a goal? Anything. We want to hear about it, and next week we will be finally kind of reflecting on 2020 and talking about 2021. Looking forward for the first time, it feels like we can actually look forward. I am not even planning on recapping what our words were for 2020 because I don’t remember them because they stopped mattering as soon as the pandemic started. But I am excited about 2021, and I am looking forward to hearing about what you guys are excited about. And I’m also looking forward, honestly guys, to hearing the different – because I know there’s going to be a really wide range of how specific people are going to sort of feel like they want to get about setting a goal or an intention or whatever for a year that still has a lot of unknowns and that this time next year still, this time last year we didn’t know how different this year was going to look. But we do know that this upcoming year is going to probably have a lot of unknowns and probably we’re all going to have to be really flexible again. I’ll just be really curious to hear how everyone approaches that differently as they are looking forward.

Joy: That’s good. Very exciting.

Claire: Very exciting.

Joy: The end of 2020 feels big.

Claire: It does feel big, and I’m really ready to see it go.

Joy: Great. Sayonara. 

Claire: So happy Christmas Eve, merry Christmas Eve, happy, congratulations, I don’t know. 

Joy: Congratulations, you made it.

Claire: Congratulations, you made it to Christmas Eve. If you celebrate Christmas, then merry Christmas Eve. If you celebrate something else, happy something else to you. Happy festivus to the rest of us. Happy holidays. We’re so glad that you are here. Whatever you celebrate, we hope that you go eat some cookies. Because that’s what I’m going to do on Christmas Eve.

Joy: Go eat some cookies. Alright, cheers.

Claire: Alright, talk to you next week.

Joy and Claire: Bye.

Big vaccine news, Joy’s weight lifting comeback, graves’ update, and listeners tell us which new year’s habits actually stuck.



email: thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com

instagram: joyandclaire_

Audio Length: 50:47 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys. This is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire. Still.

Joy and Claire: Still Joy and Claire.

Joy: This is Joy and Claire. Claire, I was thinking just mere moments ago that it’s almost been a year when we transitioned from Girls Gone WOD to This is Joy and Claire.

Claire: I know. The crazy thing about that to me is that we still get pitched on Girls Gone WOD – 

Joy: Yeah, you want to talk about that?

Claire: – people who are emailing us they’re like, “Hey” –

Joy: “Hey girl.”

Claire: We got one the other day from someone who was like –

Joy: “I love your page.”

Claire: “I love your podcast, and I listen to it all the time, and we were wondering if you would want to have this person who –“

Joy: Knows how to nip and tuck and juice cleanses.

Claire: Yeah, so many juice cleanses, so many get-abs-quick. And who was the latest one had some connection to Girls Gone WOD?

Joy: Yes, I need to pull that one up. That was classic. Because I’m like, well you want to get us on with Gwyneth Paltrow, we’d gladly talk to her.

Claire: Yeah, I’m okay with that.

Joy: Oh my God.

Claire: We’ll revive the feed for Gwyneth because she’s a Martian, and I’m always interested to talk to people from other planets. Oh my goodness. Yeah, so thanks for hanging with us for the first year of Joy and Claire. And also the wackiest year possibly in the history of humanity.

Joy: Who would have thought when we started this new podcast journey that this is where we would end up.

Claire: Right. No one, most likely.

Joy: Do you ever miss doing a CrossFit-focused podcast like Girls Gone WOD?

Claire: No, because we can just talk about CrossFit on this podcast if we wanted to. And if we wanted to, we would, but we don’t want to which is why we changed. 

Joy: I’m just nostalgic for how we were back then. The newness of being in the podcast world. I don’t miss only talking about that, but I think that’s just the nostalgia of being really the only female-hosted CrossFit –

Claire: So fresh faced.

Joy: So fresh faced. And going to the CrossFit Games and being recognized, that was awesome.

Claire: I still miss that. I will always miss the CrossFit Games. I can’t wait for the CrossFit… like every year we would talk about, are we going to go. And this year we didn’t get to go, and I really missed it. So next year, I really want to go.

Joy: Yeah, for sure. That would just be – hey, everyone out there that still does CrossFit and wants to go to the CrossFit Games, let’s all meet there and have a dance party. Wherever we’re going, I just want to have a dance party. 

Claire: In 2021 after we’ve all had out vaccines.

Joy: Yeah. Speaking of vaccines. Today – was it today that they…?

Claire: Today was the first one. So today is Monday, the 14th. The first non-trial vaccines in the US went out today.

Joy: This is a moment in time.

Claire: And, you know, we’ve talked about this before that we’re not going to change anybody’s mind who is anti-vax as a methodology. But I definitely have learned a lot in the last few weeks about the safety and effectiveness of the trials that this went through and the process that this went through. Which I think most people who are typically, I don’t want to say “pro-vaccine” because I don’t personally think it’s a belief system.

Joy: It’s not like you’re pro-gravity. You just believe it.

Claire: Right. I know there’s a lot of reasons that people do or do not get vaccinated, sort of speaking to the otherwise-healthy, not contraindicated group here. I know there’s a lot of reasons that people don’t get vaccines. But people who are otherwise fully vaccinated are still wary of this vaccine because of the timeline, a lot of them. And I’ve just learned a lot in the last couple of weeks that made me feel a lot better about that, and I would encourage you to go out and find some information. There’s a ton of people online everywhere right now, putting out, kind of debunking that and saying, here’s exactly, like it’s so easy to explain exactly why it went so fast and be like, here’s exactly everything that happened. Here are the things that are normally sequential that happened at the same time. Anyway. So there’s just a lot of that going around, and I really appreciated that because it’s made me feel better. And Brandon being on the COVID floor is likely going to get the COVID vaccine within the next week.

Joy: Which is so cool. Holy cow.

Claire: It’s so cool. And I’m pretty sure it will be the Pfizer one, which I think is a two-dose, right? And I just want, not only is Brandon on the COVID floor as all of you know. And he goes back and forth. He’s in the OR sometimes. He gets floated to the COVID unit a lot. But my mom is otherwise totally healthy, 64, not in a high-risk group, but she is the caretaker for my 94-year-old grandfather. And my dad is 75 and is in remission for lung cancer. So all of the people in my immediate family around me are really high risk. And given that we’re really high risk from being exposed, it’s just felt like that much more isolating for us. We are the poster family for the devastating, asymptomatic spread. People in our next circle are very high-risk. So we have just not really seen people for more than a couple minutes, and we haven’t been in doors with them now for like a year. And I’m just really looking forward to, once Brandon gets vaccinated, once my grandfather does, once my dad does – and my grandfather and my dad will be in the second round – it will just feel like… we’re not going to just go back to normal, but it will just feel like we’re not playing with fire anymore.

Joy: Exactly. 

Claire: And I’m really looking forward to that.

Joy: This is such a huge moment. I feel like, because we’re in it it’s hard for us to realize how momentous this whole experience has been. This is really going to go down in the history books, but we don’t think about it because this is just our daily life. But to be alive in the world when there is a huge pandemic that hasn’t happened in years and decades, and then experience the magic of a vaccine for this disease. I had to take a moment today. I was like, wow, when I saw the picture of the first, I think it was an ER nurse that got the vaccine. It’s just, I don’t know. Like we were talking about about a month ago about the light at the end of the tunnel. We have this almost road to the end of the pandemic. I wrongly immediately was feeling, “Oh my gosh, now we’re free.” And that’s really not how we should be thinking because not everyone is going to get the vaccine and how we can mitigate that. Anyway. It’s just important to continue to follow the leadership of your state. Even if your leadership is not doing the right thing, do the right thing as a human. You know what that is. But it’s just so exciting.

Claire: And I think, too, it’s like – you and Jess and I were talking about this earlier. That it’s not a neutral choice. It’s not like, get the vaccine and you know, guys again, obviously we are pro-vaccine. We are pro getting the COVID vaccine.

Joy: I mean, I’m for science. 

Claire: I’m for science. And I’m not going to tell you what to do, but these are my beliefs. And not even beliefs. 

Joy: I just, no. It’s science, please, it’s science. Let’s not argue about science.

Claire: Whatever, you know, I’m not sitting here trying to convince you if you’re anti-vaccine to get a vaccine that you truly feel is unsafe. That’s up to you. But the choice is not, get the vaccine or nothing. The choice is get the vaccine or eventually get COVID. This is a highly-contagious situation. I was talking to somebody about this the other day. I was almost comparing it to chicken pox where it’s like, if you’re a kid and you get chicken pox, if you have a healthy immune system it’s probably not that big of a deal. A small percentage of kids end up with life-long complications from chicken pox, and a small percentage of immuno-compromised kids end up with really terrible chicken pox cases. But the older you get, the more extreme it can be to the point of causing blindness and things like that. And obviously being on a ventilator is that realm of extreme complications. And that’s kind of how I think we will get to the point of viewing it, of like, nowadays we vaccinate our kids for chicken pox. I had chicken pox. It was fine. I mean, it wasn’t fine, it was a pain in the butt. But it was chicken pox.

Joy: It’s so funny because I don’t have kids. I didn’t know that they had a vaccine for chicken pox. I was like, really? Kids don’t get chicken pox anymore? Because I got them late in life. I got them when I was in 8th grade. It was so painful.

Claire: Right, but even that is, like I got them in 2nd grade. But even that, you’re still a kid.

Joy: Yeah. But just typically little kids get it.

Claire: Right, like elementary school kids get it. I’ll be interested to see if COVID sort of becomes that for the next generation. You can get a vaccine for it. If you get it as a kid, it’s not that big of a deal, but you get vaccinated because you don’t want to expose the adults in your life. And you don’t want to set yourself up to maybe in that minority of cases that do become more intense and more extreme. But most of the data we have is that healthy kids aren’t really affected by COVID that much. So it’s just interesting. And will this kind of become like that where one day we will look back and, “Remember when we didn’t leave our houses for a year because of the COVID and now it’s just in our flu shot every year?” 

Joy: It’s so weird to think about that. It’s so weird to think, too, that even maybe five years from now – I’m so glad that we’re recording this and just having this time capsule – five years from now, “Woah, I almost forgot about 2020.” I don’t think we’re ever going to forget, but to a point where it’s just so far behind us, it’s just kind of this blip. I just hope it’s that. I hope it’s that. I know it’s not like that for everyone. But there’s a part of me that’s like, I just kind of want to erase this year. Not really, there’s some good lessons, but whatever, let’s move on. There’s a lot of good lessons, but I’m not down for looking at the silver lining.

Claire: Yeah, really exciting week, really historic week. But whether or not, again, you have questions or doubts about the vaccine, it’s definitely a very historic week.

Joy: For sure.

Claire: And I’m really glad it’s here. So let’s talk, just give a little update about your health if you want to. 

Joy: Yeah. I can’t remember when we recorded the last episode. I want to say it was before – was it right before I went to the gym? I think it was. Right before I went to the gym when I was like, “I’m going right now.” And I really had a hard time. I walked in, and I went in to pick up a barbell, and I just didn’t feel good that day. I was kind of shaky. And picking up a barbell felt momentous to me. So just kind of doing some minor movements just to see how my body felt. I didn’t have any specific program. The first day I was going into open gym, I was not like, “Oh, I’m going to do this WOD” or “I’m going to do this lift.” I was like, I just need to know how I feel. I need to know what movement feels like in this body right now. I just tried to do some back squats to see where I was with that, and it was so, so low for me. I know some people when I posted it messaged me and was like, “Oh, that’s where I’m at right now.” Yeah, but for me, I was really, really, I was back squatting 180 just fine. And so when I was leaving the gym, I saw some people that I used to work out with. And they were like, “Hey, how are you doing?” and I just started bawling. And they were like, “How are you? What’s been going on with you?” And so of course I’m a terrible liar and I can’t just be like, “Oh I’m fine” and I just started crying. And I couldn’t stop crying. I was just sobbing as I was telling them what was going on with me and just pointing at the pullup bars and being like, “God damn it, I used to be able to do a pull up, but now I can’t do a pull up, and I just feel so weak. But this is what’s going on with me,” and da da da. And they were just super kind. These are girls that I don’t really hang out with or talk to every day at the gym, so I felt kind of stupid because I was like, sorry guys. You asked me a simple question and I just lost it on you. But since then, I’ve just been going a couple of times to the gym just to do open gym. I haven’t really done the barbell club that much, which is the more structured weight lifting class that TJ runs. I kind of chickened out last week because I was like, I just don’t feel comfortable and confident enough to go to an actual class yet. I just want to go do my own thing and see how it feels, kind of watch my heart rate. Which is kind of what I’m the most worried about. It gets really high sometimes. It almost kicks you into a panic attack because your heart rate’s so high that you’re like, am I going to faint? What’s going to happen? So that’s kind of where I’m at. I think I’m feeling more confident after this weekend working out. Overall, I feel better. I’m not going to be like, oh, I’m just so much better. I feel objectively better, and after seeing my naturopath the few times that I’ve seen her already. And at our last appointment, she gave me the results of one of the tests. I’ve done a ton of tests for her, and they’re still coming back, so I don’t have all of them yet because it takes a few weeks to get each one back. And the one that she got back was the food intolerance test. The intolerance that she showed for me was dairy – just straight dairy – and then a combination of foods, which is a little more complicated to explain, and I certainly don’t want to go into the weeds with this because I’m not a doctor and I don’t’ really know the science behind this. Two foods she says I can’t eat within four hours of each other is sugar –

Claire: Like, sugar, sugar? Like synthetic sugar?

Joy: Yeah, she gave me a list of all the “bad sugars.” You can go into semantics about all sugar is bad sugar, but whatever. Not good sugar and fruit. She was like, your body can process these, and I don’t want you to eat this type of sugar within four hours of each other. She’s like, sugar, objectively is just not good for you, period, but this is something that you have to work on. Well, I think this part is harder for me to talk about, only because I’m just so new at it that I don’t really know how I feel about it. I don’t know what this is going to look like for me. I don’t know if this is going to have to be forever. I didn’t really ask her that. And I will. Like, “Do I have to do this forever?” 

Claire: And I think also, it’s not necessarily, like every single detail that you’re going through, it’s a hard situation to talk about on the podcast because on the one hand we spend so much time and will continue to spend so much time encouraging everyone listening to not label foods as “good” and “bad” and to not move away from entire food groups or whatever the case may be. But I posted about this on Instagram and it’s true just to say again here that there’s a really big difference between treating a diagnosis and “going on a diet.” I don’t want anybody to hear this and think, oh well if Joy is not eating sugar and dairy, then I should stop eating sugar and dairy. Joy has an acute diagnosis that she’s working through, and you can guarantee that once this is back under control and as soon as you have the buy-in from your medical team, you will be eating sugar and dairy again.

Joy: Oh, yeah. Right, I’ll be eating all the things.

Claire: Right, this isn’t like these foods are bad and you can never eat them. There’s a diagnosis here. You’re trying to treat it, and this is one of the tools.

Joy: We’re trying to treat it. Yeah, this is one of the tools. And she truly believes, and again I’m not a doctor. I don’t know a ton about naturopath doctors. I should back up. I don’t know enough about the work and treatment plans that naturopaths use to be like, “Yeah, this is why she’s doing it.” I’m just like, yeah, this makes sense to me. When we sit in an hour-long conversation, and I’m almost ready to start taking notes, because she takes an hour for each appointment and she says so much during that appointment that I can’t remember half of it. Like, I remember, but I don’t remember it well enough to repeat it and sound like I know what I’m talking about. You know, like the diet stuff is truly, she’s very focused on treating the whole body. That’s what naturopathic doctors do. And kind of getting your gut healed and all these things. Dairy is out. I think that was probably the easiest – not easy. If anyone has suggestions for quick and easy meals for this type of eating, I am struggling with what to bring to work because I’m so used to my snacks and the daily things I bring to work for food. Because I always eat at work because I walk JT, so that’s my lunch break. Anyway. So those are the things where I’m like, my usual routine foods that I would usually made for myself are gone, so I kind of have to start over again. And I was eating a lot of dairy or things that I didn’t realize had dairy, so it’s kind of – not to quote a diet – but back when we did the Whole30 where you just have to read all these labels to be like, “What? That has sugar in it?” It was like. Like, this has diary in it? What are you talking about? And then, so the sugar and fruit thing is something I’m really having a hard time with because I’m like, oh I want to have this food but it has sugar in it, and then it also has fruit in it. Or those types of things where I just have to be so careful. And I’m giving myself grace. I’m not being strict about it at first. I know that this is something that will help heal me, so I’m not beating myself up over it if I’m like, oh crap, that had sugar in it and I had fruit an hour ago. 

Claire: Right, it’s an art, not a science.

Joy: Right. Even my doctor was like, don’t worry about it. Do the best you can, let’s start moving towards it.

Claire: I think one thing too that you said that I really liked was that you actually said, hey, you know, I’m considering pushing back on this a little bit. This doesn’t feel sustainable to me. And recognizing that all of the advice or all of the medical directives in the world aren’t going to help you if they’re adding so – especially for something like hyperthyroidism – if they’re just adding all this stress to your life, then the outcome of that is potentially going to be a wash because you’re adding… yeah. So I think it’s interesting too that even when you really trust someone or even when you really have a doctor who you know is in your corner, to still have those conversations and advocate for yourself. And I feel like that’s the name of the game of this entire diagnosis is really putting yourself first and saying, I hear what you’re saying, but this is not working for me. This is making me crazy stressed out thinking that I’m going to mess this up. I think it’s also interesting for people like us who have lived in the health and fitness world for so long and are so sensitive. And you in particular are so sensitive to being told what to do and what not to do when it comes to your diet. We’ve talked about this a bunch, that as soon as somebody says, “Okay, Joy, go on this diet,” you’re like, “No.” You just immediately, your gut reaction is just like when you pick up a cat and they just thrash out of your arms immediately. That’s like you when someone tries to put you on a diet. So to have to go against those instincts. Finding out that you’re allergic to dairy. I’m also technically allergic to dairy. And I remember finding out I was allergic to dairy when I was 15, and I cried in the car on the way home because I was like, I love mac and cheese so much. 

Joy: Everything I’ve been eating lately has dairy in it because I’ve just been enjoying all the dairy. That’s what I do.

Claire: You were even joking about it. You were like, “All my body wants is cake and ice cream, and that’s great.”

Joy: Totally.

Claire: And it’s just hard to be told you can’t have these things that you like. And even though you fully understand why and you fully understand the long-term game and you understand that there are far worse things on this planet than being told you can’t have dairy, it’s just so hard to hear, “Hey, you know that huge category of things that you really enjoy? You can’t have them.” It sucks.

Joy: Yeah, it totally sucks. And here was my first thought when she said it. I remember, she’s so cute. She has these papers, and she has them on her desk. She has this cute little office, and she kind of holds up the paper. And she’s like, “I have your nutrition results.” Or, it’s an intolerance test.

Claire: Your throat’s not closing up if you have –

Joy: 100%. Which she says, “Just for ease, just say you have an allergy because there’s sensitivities, there’s intolerances, and there’s allergies. You don’t need to be worried that you’re going to go to the hospital if you have dairy, but you just need to know that your body is not doing well on this right now, and this is contributing to some of your issues.” So, yada yada yada. My first reaction was, woah, we have answers. I get excited for answers and results and the data to show what is going on with me and maybe what’s contributing to all this stuff. So at first, I was like, oh yeah, that’s fine. I go into this A-student person that wants to do well. I’m like, okay, so I’ve been vegan before, so the dairy thing’s not going to be a big deal. So in her office, I’m planning all these things. Okay, I have some vegan cookbooks I can go back to. I kind of know what non-dairy products are out there, blah blah blah. And then the whole fruit-sugar thing I didn’t really grasp how fucking hard it was going to be. Scott and I were at the grocery store this weekend, and I was just like, I’m so sick of – I’m going to talk to my doctor and be like I’m really having a hard time with this. Can we start with one of these? But that’s something that she and I will discuss. But I started reading labels. And it just bothered me that I had to read labels to put something into my cart. And if it had something I didn’t really know if it was dairy or not, I just wouldn’t get it. And then all the vegan – I can eat meat, by the way guys, that’s fine. It’s easier for me to understand the non-dairy products. I was looking at some of the vegan cheeses and yogurts, and the vegan yogurt’s so soupy. I had a minor meltdown. I was like, I can’t eat anything. Scott was so cute. He started going around and looking for things that were vegan, that didn’t have dairy in it. He starts grabbing these crackers and these cakes and these blondies. I’m like, I can’t have a diet of blondies and crackers, Scott. It was just so funny. But it was just so cute because he was like, “This is vegan.” Yeah, I get it, and I love you for trying. So anyway. That long and longer short of it right here is I’m taking steps every single day. I do have a long-term goal of just being passed this and starting to feel better. The stuff that she has me on right now, I am feeling better. I’m taking those little wins. It’s not like I’m extremely 180 doing great, but I notice my symptoms have reduced significantly since seeing her and the things she has me on. I hesitate to – I’m going to talk about this just to stop putting a stigma on it, but I lost a significant amount of weight. I’m not going to say how much weight because I don’t want to get stuck on numbers.

Claire: And it doesn’t matter. Your body is your body.

Joy: It doesn’t matter. I’ve noticed in the past week I’ve gained some of that back, and that’s been so – for someone my whole life who’s trying to be in shape. Lose weight and lose ten pounds. I can’t tell you the mind fuckery around when I was losing weight to be like, oh wow, I must be just losing muscle. It must be the running, oh my gosh. And then when it was going down more and it kept going and then when I found out I had this diagnosis, I was so pissed. Every time I would get on the scale and it would drop, I’d be like, “Dang it.” To have that totally flipped in my brain now, to be like I will never, ever take for granted my health and being at a healthy weight. When I get back to that weight because I want to get back to that weight, I will never have a day – sure, I may have a day where I don’t feel great – but I’m never going to be like, “I want to lose weight.” We all have those days. I’m not saying we’re all perfect and we never think about that. But there’s certain days where I’d be feeling crappy in my skin. I just feel like now I have such a perspective. And it’s not to say, oh I had this great “ah ha” moment.

Claire: Right, love your body 100% of the time, all the time.

Joy: No, it’s just such a weird experience to go through this. Getting mad because I was losing weight. And obviously I have a diagnosis that causes that, and I think that’s why I was so pissed. And now being like, this week I’ve gained some of the weight back. It’s working, this is so exciting. So that’s just been something I’m celebrating too of just like, I want to be the weight where I know my body is the healthiest. And I think that’s something we all need to celebration. We all know where our body is the healthiest and where it should sit or where it feels its best naturally. Not saying, oh I lost 10 pounds and I feel great because whatever.

Claire: And I think we always kind of remind ourselves that we come into this conversation from a place of thin privilege for lack of a better way to put it. And I always try to remind myself of that. Any time I try to say, “I just want to be a healthy weight,” that’s just a loaded term for so many people.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: But I think what you’re saying is basically like –

Joy: Here’s what I mean by healthy. Let me define healthy for me. Healthy for me is where I know I just sit. Does that make sense? Healthy for me is, I know that my body is, for most of my life, and again that’s just me. I have sat at this place where I pretty much know that this is where my body wants to be. I guess, yeah, I see what you’re saying. We could go into so many weeds with that conversation about –

Claire: Totally. Where does your body want to be and what does that mean. I think for you to have that identified, and this is something that is a benchmark for you that you feel like is useful and is something that you want to go back to.

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I mean, right now, my body is not healthy because of this shit that’s going on with me. So I want to go back to be like, I could do a CrossFit workout. In my own world, in my experience, that’s what that definition means to me, just to make sure people aren’t taking it to be like, “You mean to be healthy.”

Claire: Right, “Go lose weight.”

Joy: No, no, no, no.

Claire: Gaining weight, losing weight. Your weight is your health. I think a lot of the things that you’ve been talking about, and a lot of the things that you’ve been saying about how it feels good to go back in the gym I think are very analogous to the way that it feels to go back to the gym postpartum or after a significant injury or surgery where you really feel like you don’t have a great baseline for expectations on your body. And that is really a jarring experience, and it takes a long time to gain that confidence back and self confidence in thinking, “My body will do what I ask it to do.” It’s so easy to take that for granted, and then when you lose it, you’re like, oh my gosh, it never occurred to me that one day my body wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do. I think that for somebody like you who’s been very physically active and physically identified as being an active person –

Joy: Sure, like I’ve always identified as being like, I’m really strong, and I’m, you know, super identified. 

Claire: Yeah. And to lose that, it’s like you really have to think to learn again how to value your body in a way that’s not outcome based. You hear that all the time. Like, “Oh I finally learned to love my body for what it could do.” But what if your body also doesn’t do what you wanted it to do?

Joy: Right. It’s hard not to compare what I used to do. It’s so hard not to compare to that.

Claire: Right, and so it’s like, that’s the narrative. You’re not supposed to love your body only because of how it looks. You’re supposed to love it for what it could do. What if it stops doing what you want it to do? So now what are you left with? Just loving your body for the sake that of the fact that it – we talked about this, what was the line where it’s like, I love my body just because it holds my organs in place most of the time.

Joy: Most of the time it holds my organs into place.

Claire: Thank you, body. Thanks for doing that. Thanks for holding my organs into place most of the time. That to me should be the bare minimum of things that we – you know, there are people out there whose organs are out of place, and that’s fine too. We have these imperfect meat bags that we are forced to walk around with. And for some reason we think our bodies and our identity are intrinsically connected, and they just aren’t. And it takes going through stuff like this to realize, you know, that stuff is so fleeting. And the less you can manage to have your identity be tied to what your body looks like or what your body can do, either of those things, just your body period. No matter what the metric is. I think that it’s something that none of us are ever going to get away from in the US, living here and sort of western society. But it is interesting when you have this experiences that sort of make you realize, oh wow, I didn’t realize how much I was relying on my ability to lift weights or X, Y, Z.

Joy: Yeah. And I feel like this whole year has been a flip upside down. I wasn’t even going into the gym. I guess I wrongfully assumed that I could just go back in and be like I could get some strength back pretty quick. That’s just how I’ve always been. It’s a process. I’ll keep sharing. I hope you guys find this helpful if you’re going through something similar or even just going through a setback like this and struggling with going back to something that you used to love and trying to get back into it and it feels like it’s brand new. It feels like you’re starting all over again. And that’s fine. Someone in the comments in our Instagram once said, “Oh, I’m so excited. You get to start all over and have PR’s again.” And that’s a great way to look at it because I’ve done the same stuff for so long with CrossFit, and I kind of hit a point where I didn’t get that much stronger unless I started really training hard core. That’s such a good way to look at it. Even this weekend I went into the gym, and I felt this – you know that moment where you start to get into the groove with something. You’re like, oh, this is how this feels. Or I’m confident even just picking up a barbell and cleaning it. I remember how a clean feels. I felt this motivation come back of, oh, this is what it’s supposed to feel like. Not that I was throwing tons of weight, but just that feeling of, this is what I know how to do. That felt really good. Thank you guys for just sharing your own experiences because I know I said that before. I can’t thank you enough for just sharing and being open to sharing what you’re going through because it really helps, and I hope that even just sharing the stuff that I’m going through helps someone out there. Because even if it helps one person, it sucks, and I don’t want anyone to feel alone. As always, that’s kind of the goal of our podcast. I’ll keep sharing, and I just appreciate you guys very much.

Claire: So other things going on in the world. Let’s see. We’ve already talked about the vaccine. We’ve talked about your thyroid. 

Joy: I have some pop culture stuff that I’m very excited about. If anyone has HBO Max, they have this new show called Stylish with Jenna Lyons. Scott and I binged it in a weekend. It is so good. If you don’t know who Jenna Lyons is, where have you been? She was the head of J.Crew. She worked at J.Crew for like 30 years, but then she became the head designer at J.Crew. I think she did that job for six or seven years and then she left. But she like dressed America. That was kind of her label was she was the woman who dressed America. She has this show. It’s a really cool mix because it’s like reality show, competition show, and then it’s also beautiful things, beautiful architecture. Because she’s starting a new business and she wants to do more interior design, which she’s amazing at. So they kind of show some of her designs, she does all these different jobs, and then she hires a team for each job. So over the time, you kind of get to see these new people that she hires. It’s such a good show. She’s such an interesting human. Watching her, I’m just like, oh my gosh, she is someone I would definitely want to go to lunch with. So if you are into cool things, watch Jenna Lyons’ Stylish on HBO Max. That’s something I really was excited to share with you guys this week. Anything else pop culture?

Claire: Trash Truck came out with a Christmas episode.

Joy: Yes!

Claire: It’s actually so cute. If you have kids who are probably six and under or maybe seven or eight or under, they probably would love Trash Truck. It’s about this little boy who’s friends with a trash truck and a bear and a raccoon and this friendly rat lady, and they just go on adventures. And they just came out with a Christmas episode, and it was lovely, and I would recommend it. That’s my pop culture.

Joy: Oh, that’s so cute, that’s so cute. And Taylor Swift came out with her second album this year.

Claire: Oh my gosh.

Joy: What was the tweet that you posted that was like, “Have you accepted the lord and savior…”?

Claire: Yeah, “Have you accepted our lord and savior Taylor Swift into your heart?” My favorite, too, right now is, “Can’t believe we’ve gotten more Taylor Swift studio albums than government stimulus checks in 2020.” 


Joy: It’s so true. It’s so true. That’s good pop culture. I love her new album by the way. It’s so beautiful, it’s so beautiful. Those two albums saved us this year, at least for me. It was great. Okay, the question from last week was a resolution – would you say resolution and habit both?

Claire: What resolution have you made in the past that actually turned into a habit that stuck?

Joy: Yes, thank you.

Claire: And I’ve always just been curious about this. So one thing that I thought of was several, several, several years ago, like in 2012 or 2013 I made a resolution that I was going to try and Zone diet. And I completely stuck to it.

Joy: [laughing] The Zone diet.

Claire: Do you remember that? 

Joy: Yes.

Claire: But I loved it. At the time, it was exactly what I needed. It was perfect. I’m sort of a chronic under-eater, and it was exactly what I needed. And just for some reason, I’ve tried doing so many, like macros, since then and nothing ever clicked as much as the Zone diet did in January 2013. 

Joy: It’s so funny,

Claire: And I’ve tried the Zone diet again, and it never clicked the same way. I don’t know what it was, but it’s just going to live in the past as this moment in time where the Zone diet really clicked for my life.

Joy: Okay, that was when Jennifer Aniston made it all popular I think. Like, she was on the Zone diet – 

Claire: No, it’s because that’s what we learned in our L1 is to do the Zone diet. 

Joy: Okay, hold on, hold on. I’m going back to like 1997 because the Zone diet was created forever ago, and I remember the… it was like, “Jennifer Aniston on Friends is doing Zone diet.” So it became super popular, Barry Sears, whatever. And I remember buying the book. This is how entrenched in diet culture I was. I bought the book. I didn’t have any money, I don’t know how I bought this book when I was in college. Took it home and did nothing with it. That’s my whole, like, [sigh] this is too much work. [laughing]

Claire: That’s your experience. I listened to it on audio book when I was driving. That’s my example for a time when for some reason everything came together and I just go so into the Zone diet.

Joy: Public service announcement to our listeners, please don’t do it.

Claire: I mean, I don’t know. I had a great experience with it. 

Joy: I’m just saying, don’t get entrenched into diets. Okay, this one is from Emily. Emily says, “Hello Joy and Claire, another fun and thought-provoking question. I had to do some digging for this one. Attached is my voice memo. This is from Emily.”

Emily [recorded]: Hello Joy and Claire, this is Emily from Fort Collins again. And I was really trying to think of a resolution or goal that I made that stuck. So I guess two of these was I actually in my notes app every year I write down all of my New Year’s intentions. And I have a little check mark next to them if I completed them or not. So I started this in 2017, so I was able to go back. And that’s something I’ve carried over that’s actually been super fun that I love. But one of those that I saw in 2017 was I wrote and checked off if I can do a task in two minutes or less, I do it in that moment. So that one came about because of dishes in the sink. I would always pile up dishes in the sink and hand wash dishes and they just stack up over time, and then I’d always be stressed out in the morning and put it off. And so whenever I would do them, I’m like, this takes me, well sometimes, this takes me two minutes. So that kind of came about is, if I see my dishes in the sink, I’ll ask myself, if I can do this in two minutes or less I’ll do this now. And then same thing with laundry. If I can do this two minutes or less, I’ll do it now. So even like, I’ll fold like half my laundry and then go back to it the next day. So I just found myself that, I adopted that habit, so I’ll ask myself that all the time. If I put something on my to-do list, does it really need to be on my to-do list for the day, or can I just do it now. That’s something that I didn’t even realize I adopted from 2017, so I’m so glad you asked this question and I’m looking forward to hearing everyone else’s.

Joy: That’s a good one.

Claire: That’s really cute. I like that a lot. And actually, that reminded me. I don’t think it was a resolution, but it was a specific, okay, we’re going to start doing this now. A couple years, ago, we were like, okay, for whatever amount of time we are going to clean the kitchen every day before we go to bed. And now it’s just a habit. We never, ever, ever go to bed with a dirty kitchen. And if you out there are listening and you want a way to make your life smoother, clean your kitchen every night. Because waking up to a clean kitchen –

Joy: Is the best.

Claire: – is the best. I don’t care if it’s going to take you 30 minutes. That 30 minutes at night is going to save you from having to forget about your dishes again the next morning. You just start with a clean slate.

Joy: You totally do, yeah. It’s like staying ahead of the game. 

Claire: And there’s something so cathartic about starting the dish washer and then going to bed.

Joy: Yeah, like the hum of the dishwasher. It’s so great. I agree. Okay, this one is from Kelly.

Kelly [recording]: Hey, this is Kelly from Knoxville, and my New Year’s resolution win was three years ago I wanted to be someone who flossed. I feel like people who floss have their life together, so I decided to floss every single day for a year. And not only did it stick and I still floss every single day, I have a favorite type of floss and I haven’t had a cavity since. So I don’t know if my life is together, but I am somebody who flosses. Have a good day.

Claire: Oh my gosh, I love that. Okay, this is not the official question for next week, but I would love for people to send us an email or DM and tell us, what is that thing that you are convince people who have their life together do “X.” 

Joy: Oh, people who have their life together, oh my God.

Claire: Finish this sentence based on your personal beliefs: People who have their life together always do “X.” I think that I think people who have their life together always have regular hair and nail appointments.

Joy: The second you said that, I immediately thought of Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere because I’m like her life is so perfect.

Claire: People who have their lives together have pasta night and pizza night and sausage night and – 

Joy: I know her life is not perfect. Every time I see her Instagram, it’s one of those things where I’m like, my life is in shambles.

Claire: I mean, it’s perfect on Instagram.

Joy: It really is. Okay, this is from Jenny. She said, “Ladies, love this prompt. Hope a minute and 41 isn’t too long. Love the pods. Love hearing the listener memos, definitely makes this feel like a community. Thanks for letting me share mine with you.”

Jenny [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Jenny in Richmond, Virginia. Something I picked up a few years ago that’s been really transformative was budgeting. It wasn’t something I picked upon a whim. I picked it out of a complete necessity to get on top of my financial situation. I was 40 with no retirement savings and a lot of student loan debt that I just couldn’t seem to make any headway on. So I just started Dave Ramsey’s book and methods, and the Budget Mom’s methods and began really working at being an effective budgeter for the first time in my entire life at age 40. And it has been transformative. I was able to pay off my $28,000 in student loan debt in nine months, which is huge. I’ve been able to have a savings account that has actual savings in it. I’ve been able to cash flow all of our Christmas spending since that time for the last few years, all our vacations, pay off our car, and finally get to that retirement saving and planning that is so important that I was putting off. And it feels amazing. Budgeting has become a way of life. And to have a handle on my money is something that was not in my family tree or my family legacy, and it feels really good to be on top of that. Anyway, thanks for letting me share. You guys take care and have a great holiday.

Joy: Oh, I want her to like, how did you do it? Everyone’s going to be like, how did you do it?

Claire: Oh my gosh, we need a budget so bad.

Joy: Jenny. 

Claire: Okay, she said Dave Ramsey, Budget Mom. Got it.

Joy: That’s amazing. 

Claire: I feel like a budget is the number one thing that people know that they need but don’t know where to start. But that’s empowering to hear that she didn’t make it happen until 40 and still was able to get her crap together.

Joy: You know who’s good at a budget? 

Claire: Scott Parish?

Joy: Yes. 

Claire: I had a feeling.

Joy: Can I tell you, the man, he’s good at spreadsheets and he made a spreadsheet for Christmas gifts every year, and he logs them all of what he buys for each person.

Claire: Wow. I need a Scott Parrish in my life. Can Scott Parrish just become like, I feel like he needs to start a personal services brand. 

Joy: He does, he really does, and he doesn’t even know it. He has no idea how good he is at it. Scott Parrish needs his own advice podcast.

Claire: Seriously. We need to have him on. I mean, we do and we don’t.

Joy: We do and we don’t, yeah. That’s so funny, oh my gosh, yeah. Okay, this is from Riley. It says, “Hi Joy and Claire, I’ve really been enjoying these voice memos. Long time listener, first time caller. What I didn’t get to say in the short memo is that Joy you also influenced my education path. I now am getting my master’s in psychology, and I believe listening to you put your therapy hat on for so many years really got me.” That’s so cool! Okay, this is from Riley.

Riley [recording]: Hey Joy and Claire, this is Riley. I just want to tell you about the new year’s resolution that stuck for me. I want to preface that it’s a little bit diet cultury, but it does end well. So about nine years ago, I was 15 and my mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and I found the Whole30 through PaleoOMG. I love following Julie still, she’s awesome, and it’s eventually how I found you guys. And I’ve been listening to you guys ever since. But it really kickstarted this learning curve for me and my family about how what you eat impacts the body and eventually went to nutritional therapy school, and then I found out I had an eating disorder. I finally realized that after, anyways. So you guys have just been really, really influential and so helpful in getting a good relationship with food again for me. And I can’t tell you how good it feels to have that healthy relationship and how much you guys have helped. I love just everything you guys do. I have enjoyed listening to you over the past several years. You guys are great.

Joy: Thank you so much. 

Claire: That always makes me feel like, “You mean I’m really nominated?” That was cute. I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face. I have had a good experience with things like Whole30 and macros, from an educational standpoint, and I think that those tools can be amazing tools for things like realizing, wow, the food that I eat has a huge impact on how I feel. I think that’s the lightbulb moment for a lot of people, and that’s why I’m actually grateful that Whole30 has become so mainstream is because it gives people this moment to be like, oh my gosh, I had no idea that I don’t have to have headaches every day and all of these things are so impacted by your food. For me, if I wake up in the morning and the first thing I eat is a pancake, like a really high, really carby – what’s that word?

Joy: Starchy?

Claire: When it has a lot of sugars in it. You know how you’re supposed to eat fat things with carb things. What’s that called? It was a buzz word in the diet culture not too long ago. You guys are all screaming at us right now.

Joy: I don’t want to know.

Claire: Glycemic index.

Joy: Oh geez. 

Claire: I know, it was right there. So if I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is I only eat something with a super high glycemic index, I will have a migraine that day.

Joy: Oh, yeah.

Claire: And if I wake up and have pancakes and that’s all I eat and I don’t also have bacon or something else with it, I will have a migraine that day. That doesn’t mean that I never eat pancakes or that pancakes are a “bad” food. But it means that this food causes me to have a migraine. And it’s really liberating to know that “X” equals “Y” and I have control over that.

Joy: Yeah. And I will say, the thing that I will always be grateful for the Whole30 – I’m not saying go on a diet you guys – but I am grateful that I learned so much that I had just bought thinking there was no sugar in it had sugar in it. I was really grateful for that. Objectively speaking, it doesn’t make me feel good to have a crap ton of sugar in my diet. That is just objective, right? Not labeling for you. I feel like we always have to have disclaimers when we talk about diet stuff. But you guys know us hopefully. That we want everybody to just feel confident and do what makes you happy. The second you go on some diet and you start feeling restrictive and miserable, run, run, run away. Okay, let’s do two more. This is from EJ. I love EJ. It says, “Hi Joy and Claire.” We met EJ at the games. “Here is my voice memo response to the question you asked in Episode 52. Can’t wait to hear the new episode. I’ve been loving listening to the podcast on my drives home from work. Cheers.”

EJ [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, it’s EJ calling from Houston. The most surprising thing about habits is that I have any at all because I am absolutely terrible at maintaining new routines. But the one that I have actually started and kept is that I stretch when I brush my teeth. I love it so much because it is a great way to get in some quality stretches after a tough day at work or a big workout. And it gives you a way to know that you’ve brushed your teeth for long enough. Anyway, can’t wait for this new episode so I can hear all of the awesome habits that I will think about doing and never start.


Claire: Oh, that’s amazing. Great, stretch while you brush your teeth. I love it. 

Joy: I just love the visual. I love the visual EJ of just being like, “I’m going to do my stretches.”

Claire: But I can just see them brushing their teeth with their foot up on the counter, reaching over their head, a little Jane Fonda action.

Joy: That’s so good. Oh, I love that one. I’m excited to listen to all the habits that I’m never going to do.

Claire: That I’m never going to pick up. Absolute best.

Joy: Okay, last one. This is from Lindsey.

Lindsey [recording]: Hey Joy and Claire, this is Lindsey. Love you two so much. So the habit that I started when I was 22 was running. I had a friend who wanted to train for a half marathon. And at the time I thought she was nuts, but I thought, hey why not. And seriously the only thing I did was the elliptical for 30 minutes at a time. We started training together, and I remember the first time I ran two miles in a row and I was so floored. I thought it was so awesome. And our schedules never kind of worked out, so she ended up not continuing to train for it. She didn’t do it, but I did. Took me like 2.5 hours. It was raining. It was gross. At the end, I told my boyfriend, I said, ‘I’m never doing that again. Never let me do that again.” But then the next year I signed up for it again, and I really liked running because it gave me a schedule. It gave me something to work towards. And since then, I’ve completed one marathon. My boyfriend, now husband, has done one marathon, and it led us to CrossFit, just working out and exercising, and that led me to you two. So that is my habit that I still do today. Love you, bye.

Joy: Love you, too. That’s so cute where she’s like, “and then running led to CrossFit and then led me to you guys.”

Claire: Oh my goodness.

Joy: Yay running, leading you to CrossFit, leading you to us. I kind of like stories hearing about how people found us, so great. Well that’s all the voicemails. What’s our question for next week?

Claire: So next week when you year this, it will be Christmas Eve.

Joy: Oh my gosh.

Claire: So for those of you who celebrate Christmas Eve, I would love to hear – and it doesn’t have to be Christmas if you don’t celebrate Christmas. If you celebrate another, if you celebrate Equinox or Yule or Hanukah or Kwanza. Whatever you celebrate, I would love to hear, what is a tradition for the winter solstice holiday time period that means a lot to you that you think is fun and/or I would love to hear a tradition that you aspire to because I feel like a lot of people out there listening probably are aspirational traditioners. And I would love to hear if you’re like, I have always wanted to go look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve, I never have.

Joy: I’m going to say mine right now. I aspire to be the person that (a) does holiday cards with cute pictures on them. I get them every year from all my friends, and they’re so cute, but I never do them. But fun fact, when I was in my 20s and living single, I used to do a newsletter to my friends for the holidays.

Claire: Yes. I used to get a newsletter from some of my friends’ moms.

Joy: I used to do a newsletter, and I used to put pictures on them. So funny. Anyway, and I also aspire to be the person that has the family that does matching pajamas every day on Christmas.

Claire: Oh my gosh. I mean, they make dog pajamas too. 

Joy: But I’m just saying, wake up and everybody gets the gift of the same pajamas. I think that’s a cute idea. I love seeing families have the big – [sigh]. I’d love to know if you’re that family.

Claire: Is that your tradition, that you love getting on your pajamas? There was a great awkward family photo fail where it was everyone sitting in front of the Christmas tree in their matching pajamas, and the dad was just naked and shirtless, and it was like, “Amazon didn’t bring dad his pajamas.” It’s like, oh no, oh no. So please tell us. It doesn’t’ have to be Christmas, but in the spirit of Christmas Eve, I’m just curious what are your traditions that you like or what are your traditions that you aspire to have. 

Joy: I have two.

Claire: So you can send us a voice memo. Use the voice memo app on your phone. Hold it up to your face like you’re making a phone call. Send it to thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com or you can also just write us an email and just type out what you want us to say and we’ll just read it on the podcast. You can also go to our Instagram @joyandclaire_. Click the contact us button, and it will take you to the Google Voice voicemail box that you can leave a message. Try to keep it to around a minute to a minute and a half tops. That lets us play even more voice memos, and we love hearing from you. Thank you guys for playing along. This has become one of my favorite things.

Joy: I know, I love it, I really do. Keep them coming. And if you’re hesitant, just send it. Don’t even think about it.

Claire: Just send it, right. Alright guys, well we will talk to you next week.

Joy: Love you guys.

Joy and Claire: Bye.

This year…what can we say? We’ve all had ups and downs this year, and this week we hear your losses of 2020.



email: thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com

instagram: joyandclaire_

Audio Length: 53:37 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys. This is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy & Claire.

Claire: Hello.

Joy: We’re in the second week of December already. 

Claire: How? How?

Joy: Time happens.

Claire: I know, it’s amazing, every time. Every year happens the same. We were talking last night about our garden. For those of you who don’t know, I live in this very standard, kind of 1970’s suburban ranch-style home. We’re on a corner lot, and the corner chunk of grass we took out a couple of years ago and put in mounded row beds for gardens. Mounded bed is just literally what it sounds like, just a pile of dirt. We don’t have boxes out there. And it’s a pretty good amount of space. It’s about 30 feet wide by about maybe 80 or 100 feet deep. Over the last couple of years, the mounded beds have sort of spread. The dirt doesn’t stay in its little line, and then we bring in some new dirt. So we have weed cloth down, but the dirt that has escaped from the mounded beds has created its own new ecosystem. We have so much bindweed. Like, Colorado bindweed is so, so, so, so, so, so pervasive.

Joy: What does that look like again? It’s hard to describe a plant but…

Claire: It looks cute.

Joy: Is it that light… is it kind of dainty looking? Because we have a shit ton of that too.

Claire: Yes, dainty looking vine, small vine, and it has little white or light purple flowers. 

Joy: Yes, we have that too, it drives me crazy.

Claire: It almost looks like morning glory, if you’re like, “Oh, this is so beautiful.” 

Joy: So pretty.

Claire: It’s like, “Get out of my way!” And it will choke out. You can’t get rid of it. It’s impossible to get rid of.

Joy: Impossible.

Claire: It’s like the roots – and I know the name for this, it’s just not coming to me – where one plant has multiple root system point, multiple anchor points. And so you could pull up a 10-foot-long piece of bindweed and never get the main root. 

Joy: It’s like the glitter of plant life.

Claire: Oh, it’s the worst.

Joy: Get rid of it.

Claire: It will just take over. Anyway, the point of the story. We were thinking about, like, oh, we really wanted to put in raised beds because that will help contain everything and help us keep in front of the weeding a little bit. And we were like, well maybe we don’t have to worry about it until January. It’s like, oh my gosh, it’s mid-December practically. January is not this far-off land. We need to come up for a plan for this. What’s the plan for this?

Joy: What is the plan for this?

Claire: I don’t know. 

Joy: How was your taco date?

Claire: Oh, it was great. Last night I hung out with a friend who she used to be one of Brandon’s coworkers. And then we serendipitously moved in literally next door to her in the apartments we lived in in Golden. It was right when Miles was born that we lived there. 

Joy: Totally remember that. By the way, when you posted that picture of Miles the other day. I think, I don’t know, he was brand new –

Claire: He was little, yeah. Like two months old.

Joy: And I just remember going over to that apartment when you had Miles, and I have that specific memory of sitting with you and your mom was there.

Claire: That apartment was not a place to have a new baby. That place, it was like living in a dog kennel. Like every time you make any noise, like every single dog in every single apartment would start barking, which made all the other dogs start barking. It was terrible. But anyway, so this friend, we’d been friends for a while and she and her husband had moved to Memphis for a couple of years for his job and they just moved back like a month and a half ago. And between COVID and moving, we hadn’t had our chance to really get together yet. And so we went out to tacos last night and sat outside. And actually, the taco restaurant we went to is in Longmont called Jefe’s, and we didn’t realize this until we got there that they actually weren’t even doing outdoor dining. They were only doing takeout. But they had the tables set up as if they were doing outdoor dining. They had the heaters and everything. They were like, “Yeah, we just couldn’t maintain the staff to do full outdoor dining. There’s only five tables out there. It wasn’t worth it, so we’re only doing takeout.” And they’re like, “But if you want to, you can just order takeout and just eat it at the table. We’re not going to ask you to leave if you want to sit out there.” So we kind of did this like, we’re eating here but we’re not really eating here. But it felt like I was going to prom. I blow dried my hair. As I was leaving, Brandon and the kids came and waved goodbye to me from the yard as if I was a ship across the ocean. That’s how infrequently I leave my house guys. And I hope that’s how infrequently you also leave the house.

Joy: Seriously, yeah. But to get ready and go somewhere feels like a big treat. Well, for me, that’s not work. 

Claire: Right. I mean, I don’t even get ready and go to work. Leaving the house for something that wasn’t an errand. The last time I left the house for something that wasn’t an errand, sometimes I go on walks with my friend Heather. Hi, Heather.

Joy: Hi, Heather.

Claire: She listens to the podcast. But like, I haven’t really gone to the gym in a really long time because –

Joy: Oh yeah, I was going to ask you about that. What’s the gym situation? Because you’re still tied to Roots.

Claire: Yeah, we still have our Roots membership. Actually Brandon ended up getting a membership in September that he has practically never used. I feel like he used it a little bit in September and October, and then in November – because Brandon and Miles visited Brandon’s family in Wisconsin. Brandon’s family just had some stuff going on where Brandon felt like he really needed to go out there and kind of assess some things. So we completely locked down our family for the ten days before they left. And then I obviously didn’t go anywhere while they were gone because I was taking care of Evie by myself, obviously with Maxine’s help while I was working. But didn’t go anywhere while he was gone. And then when they got back we locked down again for another two weeks in case they had brought anything back with them. So for the whole month of November we didn’t go anywhere at all, and I didn’t feel like I could go to the gym and that point. Just not knowing the exposure. And now, all of the sudden it’s December. So I haven’t been to the gym in a while because we were effectively locked down for all of November in preparation and then reaction to Brandon and Miles having gone to Wisconsin. So haven’t been working out, which is also the worst. How was your workout? You worked out yesterday, didn’t you? No, today, you’re going today right after this.

Joy: Yeah, I’m going right after we record here. So it was funny because last week when we talked about it, I was like, “I think I’m getting back into barbells.” I was just kind of tossing it around. Well, I just kind of hit this windstorm of motivation last Wednesday. I think it was right after my appointment with my naturopath, which was just amazing by the way. It was really cool. I’ll tell you about that in a second. But I contacted the gym owner. I was like, “Hey, here’s what’s going on with me.” I think I said it last week. I, for my personal you, just had to tell him what was going on with me, that I’m not going to be going in crushing WODs. I really am kind of a little baby bird starting over. And so I went to the gym. I stopped by. He was like, “Why don’t you just come over and let’s talk?” Because he’s like, “It’s easier to talk in person.” So I went over to the gym on Thursday morning, and I just kind of told him what was going on with me. He’s like, “Yeah, let’s just set you up with some open gym time and maybe do some barbell club.” They have a barbell club on Tuesdays and Thursday’s nights. Which is really cool because TJ teaches that. 

Claire: Oh, throwback.

Joy: Yeah, throwback. I was like, I haven’t seen TJ in forever.

Claire: Not to be confused with your dog JT.

Joy: Exactly. But TJ also used to live right around the corner from me, and they have since moved, so it’s just been this total disconnect where I look back at this whole year and I’m just like, wow, I just kind of plucked myself from my routine. I mean, everyone can relate to that obviously. But especially CrossFit being such a routine for me, and all of the sudden I was just like, “Done.” Gone. And then everything that happened with CrossFit this year just kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. That kind of reinforced my decision to not go back.

Claire: Your saltiness about it.

Joy: Right. And I think someone mentioned this a long time ago where it was like, “Why are you taking it out on your gym? You should be supporting local businesses.” That’s not it at all. First of all, my schedule was crazy. Blah, blah, blah. It kind of was just thing where I didn’t think twice about it, and then after all this year and then my health issues, I felt so good walking into that gym. The second I walked in, Coach Mike was there. Which if you guys don’t remember us talking about Coach Mike –

Claire: We had him on the podcast.

Joy: Yeah, like really early Girls Gone WOD days, and he’s just one of our favorite people. He’s such a good person. And I walked in, and Coach Mike was right there. I don’t think he recognized me because he probably didn’t expect me to be walking into the gym and then everyone has a mask on. And he’s probably like, “Oh, who’s that girl with no muscles? It can’t be Joy.” 

Claire: Oh, give me a break.

Joy: I’m just kidding. But he definitely was like, “Who is that?” And then after he realized it was me, he was like, “Oh my gosh.” So it was really good to see Coach Mike. It felt so good to sit in that gym and kind of see –

Claire: Yeah, like go back to it.

Joy: Yeah, and just kind of see, all the time you spent in that gym. So anyway, I’m going to start doing some open gym and light barbell work, and I’m going in this morning. I’m really excited about it because…

Claire: Yeah, that’s exciting.

Joy: I just miss picking up a barbell. 

Claire: Coach Mike, for those of you who are like, “I feel like I remember Coach Mike,” Coach Mike is the one who told me, “Claire, you’re going to get a muscle up today” when I didn’t even have pull ups or ring dips because he just believed in me so much.

Joy: Remember I think one of his answers was, “Just pull harder.”

Claire: Yeah, “Mike, how can I get better at weight lifting?” “Just pull harder.” That was like deadlifting. I couldn’t get my deadlift, and he was like, “Just puller harder.” Oh okay, thank you, thank you for that. You’re not wrong. 

Joy: The best. And he loves CrossFit. 

Claire: Loves it so much.

Joy: So excited about it. So that’s really a good step. It felt so good. I just, I don’t know, I just had this wave of positivity on Thursday and Friday that I was just like something feels good. I feel like taking these two weeks off has been really good for my health, my mental health. And getting back in not only just the gym and picking up a barbell, but just being around people. Obviously in a safe way. The gym’s following all the protocol, and you’re taking somewhat of a risk even just stepping into a gym, stepping into any type of public facility. But we always have to weigh the pros and cons of your health, your mental health, and the risks of spreading COVID to someone else. That’s always in the back of my mind of course, so we do everything that we can. I’m not going to be stupid. I’m not going to be standing right next to someone. I’m not going to be not wiping down my equipment.

Claire: We dropped our car off to get some work done at a mechanic that’s literally next door, like the true next door over, from a different gym in Longmont, across a gym in Longmont. And there was a class going on when we dropped it off, and not a mask. Which is illegal, technically, for them to be doing that. But I was shocked. Come on guys. Not a mask. Still happening.

Joy: In a gym.

Claire: In a gym, indoors, completely closed, with probably 10 people in there working out hard. I hope that nothing bad happens. 

Joy: Because here’s the thing, we’ve seen that graphic where it’s like the bubble you think you have is a small circle. But the bubble you actually have is a really big circle because you don’t think about how – I know, this is stating the obvious. But going from that gym with no mask going to your family who they have interreacted with so many people, you’ve interacted with so many people.

Claire: Well, and everybody I think thinks, “Well, I’m only seeing two or three people.” Well if everyone is only seeing two or three people, your two or three people have to be the same two or three people. We’re preaching to the choir here, we know we’ve talked about this a million times. 

Joy: You know what I just thought of? It’s like – I was hesitant to say this, but I have to say it. If you have sex with someone, you’re having sex with every single person that they’ve had sex with.

Claire: Yeah, that’s such a 90’s or 80’s health teacher.

Joy: It totally is. Alright. So, that was good. 

Claire: Need anything… snacks, condoms?

Joy: That’s my story. Getting back into the gym, getting some muscle back hopefully. 

Claire: Love it.

Joy: That’s the other thing I’m kind of scared of is what if my muscles don’t come back? What I lift weights and my muscles aren’t going to get bigger again?

Claire: I mean, you know, biologically that’s unlikely. Just based on science.

Joy: This is true.

Claire: So, you know, similar to the way that your homeopathic doctor was like, “Joy, you’re not going to be the only person that this doesn’t work for,” I think I should probably speak to that here. It’s unlikely, based on what we know about you, your body type, your past experiences, and the science of weight lifting that your muscles will not come back. It’s unlikely. I’m not going to say it’s impossible.

Joy: I know, I just think the fear is, what if this diagnosis prevents me from putting on muscle, and that’s kind of silly. I actually don’t know the answer to that. But in my head, I’m like, you know what, it’s…

Claire: Yeah. But I don’t think that there’s anything that’s a part of this that, yeah, it’s probably not going to be the same as it ever was for a variety of reasons. But I don’t think you’re just going to waste away with no muscles. Okay, so last week we asked you guys for some voice memos, and we’re going to start with them because we feel like they are a little bit heavy and we want to give ourselves time to actually listen to them and not feel like we’re rushing through them. And also, so give us some time to then talk about some other things at the end of the podcast so that we don’t end on such a heavy note. But mostly because we want to be able to have some space for these voice memos the way that we said that we would. So the question for last week was, what is something that you lost this year? And share with us what it was and what it meant to you. Let us just kind of hold a moment for that thing for you. And whether you’re doing this out of a catharsis, get it out there so you can move on, or whether you’re doing this as a moment to honor something that was really important to you that you no longer have that you can share with this community and now we can all carry that with us and help you carry that. So we received some really beautiful voice memos.

Joy: And emails.

Claire: And emails. Thank you to everyone. I know this was a really vulnerable question to ask. So let’s get started. 

Joy: Alright. I’m going to start with an email from Kelly. She says, “Hi Joy and Claire. I am a registered dietician from Knoxville, Tennessee, and I work in a small community hospital. The biggest thing I’ve lost this year is my peace of mind when working with my nursing home residents. They haven’t been able to see their family members for the majority of the year and on and off have not even been able to leave their rooms to see any other residents when we have to quarantine for positive cases internally. To watch their mental health decline to rapidly and their dementia accelerate for the lack of social connection, human connection, and inability to anchor themselves in time has been heartbreaking and something we have to consider with everything that we do now regarding their care. I really miss just caring for them and walking them through their dementia journeys at a normal pace. I would love for you to hold space for these people, their families, but also us healthcare workers who are the ones that have to hold witness to these individual’s lives for the past year because their families and friends are not able to. Love the show and the freedom to express this hardship I’ve been through. I couldn’t put it in a voice memo because I’d become too emotional. Kelly.” Kelly, thank you. I think about that all the time, about the people who are working in the hospitals or in these healthcare centers witnessing patients struggling with this. Or even healthcare workers who are holding their hand when they pass away because their family can’t be there. Those are the things that I think about all the time. It just breaks my heart.

Claire: Oh yeah. Those are the moments that have kept me up at night this whole year. To think that that’s, like that was what kept me up at night in March and April when Brandon was on the COVID floor before we really knew anything about it. All we knew was that if somebody passed away from this they die alone basically. Now that’s not necessarily no longer the case. I mean, I can’t speak to every single hospital policy, but I know that some will let their family in towards the end if they know it’s the end. I think in this situation that she’s describing, it’s not just for COVID but for people who have dementia and now those healthcare workers and those caretakers at the facility have that huge burden of being there for them throughout that whole thing and feeling responsible for that entire process and seeing them through that entire process that sounds really heavy. So thank you so much for sharing that with us. We are thinking about you, and we are thinking about all of those people who are going through that. They’re really lucky to have you, but I know that that doesn’t make the load any less heavy for me to say that.

Joy: Yeah, for sure. Thank you, Kelly. This is from Katie.

Katie [recording]: I just want to thank you, first and foremost, for holding space for all of us to share these tough parts of the year. I actually have two if that’s okay to share. The first one kind of comes with a trigger warning. But I lose my 21-year-old cousin to suicide in April. And as everyone who has lost loved ones during this year knows, it really sucks to not be able to be with your family and to mourn together and to lean on each other. And figuring out how to do that when you’re alone, I was just so grateful to have my dog around. He really got me through. And the other one is unknowingly I was living in a house that had toxic mold, and it had been slowly making me sicker and sicker. I was losing all of my energy, and the brain fog was crazy, and just this huge list of symptoms. I finally figured it out thankfully, but I’m on this long road of recovery and healing. I had to get rid of everything that I own, and it’s also a really expensive journey. This is not really the year where there’s all those extra funds hanging around. So it’s just been a lot. I appreciate you guys holding space, so thank you.

Joy: Oh, that’s so hard. I think it goes without saying that everything this year that happens that feels very negative or that’s covered in grief is a million times harder because of everything else that we’re dealing with.

Claire: Yeah. And I know I talked a little bit about that with my grandma passing that the hardest part about it was just not being able to go through the normal rituals of what you do when you gather with your family and can have that closure. Whether if you’ve lost someone it’s been due to COVID or to anything this year. And I think in a way those kind of… I don’t want to say “normal” because I think losing someone never feels normal. But those things that happen that are part of the course of life. And of course, losing someone to suicide doesn’t really fall into that category either. But you haven’t been able to have those normal rituals of closure and rituals of passing, and that’s made it so much harder. Those sorts of losses are already so hard to process. But then when you don’t have any of the things that your brain searches for to go through.

Joy: It’s kind of like that ritual that Casper talks about of the things we anchor ourselves to feel whole, to feel like we have some type of circles of completion, the things that we’ve done throughout the years. And to not have that, especially for something that’s really, really difficult I think it’s just really sad. You know, it just made me think also, working in mental health, and I know a lot of people have kind of – I think with the post that you shared yesterday. You can talk more about that in a second, of just having a family member who works in healthcare is really, really hard. And a lot of people I saw just kind of mentioning working in mental health or working as a social worker. Mental health, I think there’s an extra layer to that too just because it isn’t physical health. But watching people really struggle. Like depression or any type of eating disorders, anything that thrives in isolation, this year has been so, so difficult. So I know what suicidality is high and people struggling with suicidal ideation. If someone in your life, if you feel like they’re struggling, just please reach out to them. Check in with people you know maybe have a history with that.

Claire: As always guys, you can always, always, always email us at thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. As a reminder, Joy is a licensed mental health therapist, and we can – obviously she can’t provide you with mental health services via email, but we are always ready to send you the resources –

Joy: Point you in the right direction.

Claire: Point you in the right direction. And Joy knows all the places to point you.

Joy: Yes, I’m happy to do that. This next one is from Sarah. She says, “My maybe slightly small COVID loss described in an exactly one-minute voice memo.” I know this was a really hard one to put in a minute, so we thank you guys. But this one’s from Sarah.

Sarah [recording]: So I’m a really huge NBA fan and a huge Houston Rockets fan. I’ve got season tickets for the Rockets and have just been wanting to go see an away game for years and years and haven’t been able to do it. So I finally decided that over spring break I was going to go to LA by myself as my first post-divorce solo trip to go see the Rockets and the Lakers play at STAPLES Center. And I was so excited. I got there a few days early, got to do a couple other things. Got to see The Price is Right, got to see James Corden, all kinds of stuff. But the game was on Thursday and they suspended the NBA season on Wednesday. So I was really thankful I got to do a lot of the other stuff, but that being the highlight of my trip and something that I looked forward to for so long. That was, you know, it seemed kind of petty but it was hard. And then of course coming back after spring break to all this virtual and remote learning that we’re still all dealing with. Alright, thanks Joy and Claire. Love y’all.

Joy: That sucks.

Claire: I’m grateful for that one too because I think the first two that we heard are really, really heavy, like very intense life pondering sorts of things. And those are of course very important. And also, I think that a lot of times people this year have done that comparative suffering of, well, you know, I’m not dealing with loss of life therefore what I’m going through isn’t valid. And you know those moments that are important to us that we missed out on this year, it’s just been so compounding that I think those are very important too to recognize. Like man I had this thing I was looking forward to so much and I didn’t get to do it and it got cancelled the night before. Brandon and I back in March had tickets to go see Iliza Shlesinger on his birthday. I had bought the tickets six months previously. I got them on a pre-sale. We had these amazing seats. And it literally got cancelled, it was like March 13th we were supposed to go. It got cancelled that day. And I still think that would have been so fun.

Joy: Like we had Mean Girls tickets. I had Lion King tickets for my mom and I to go. Scott and I were going to go to New York City this September to see a show on Broadway, and we were just really, really excited for that. And I’m so bummed. So last episode’s discussion about what we would do in 2021 and seeing somewhat of a light at the end of the tunnel really made me be like, oh my God, I can start fantasizing about places I want to go and trips I want to take.

Claire: I know. I was looking at real estate in Maui last night, and not that that’s going to be what I do, but I was like, “I got to look.”

Joy: Isn’t Zillow just a fun pass time to browse through?

Claire: Oh my gosh. It is, and it isn’t. This could be my life, but –

Joy: I know, I look at some of those houses and I’m like, who lives here?

Claire: I know. I’m like, this could be my life, but it actually definitely could not because in no version of my future will I own a 20-million-dollar beachfront home in Hawaii. It’s just not going to happen.

Joy: Oh my God, when I lived in San Diego for a hot minute, I lived on Mission Beach and there was this almost like a boardwalk but more inland that they had these beautiful, beautiful houses. And I’d run on the bay, and the houses were so beautiful, and they all had open windows because you want the views. All the windows were huge, and you could see inside. And I remember just looking in there, and I would always fantasize like, “Oh, I would love to have a house like that someday.”

Claire: Yeah, I got to win the lottery, but it can happen. Someone wins the lottery.

Joy: Someone does, and it could be me. Yeah, it’s so fun to kind of fantasize about what your life could be like if you lived in a huge house like that.

Claire: Seriously.

Joy: Okay, this is from – I’m just going to read this. It’s one of the voice memos we got, but she said it’s from Ashley. And she just mentioned that they booked a venue because she had her first daughter in June and they had the venue booked out and they had to cancel it because of COVID. Things like that are so real. You have events.

Claire: The venue for what?

Joy: Baby shower.

Claire: Oh, baby shower.

Joy: Yeah, she’s having her first baby shower. And so that got cancelled. So I feel like that kind of goes along with people whose weddings had to be, like one of my friend’s weddings had to be postponed. Or she chose to postpone it because obviously she’s not going to make people sit in the crowd while they get married.

Claire: And I think other people had Zoom weddings, which I think was cute too.

Joy: I think it’s cute.

Claire: I definitely know a good amount of people who had the Zoom wedding. And that was special in its own way too.

Joy: This next one is from Brooke. And I love you guys so much. The title says, “Voice memo from NEW ZEALAND” in all caps. “Hey lovelies, sending in my voice memo for what you missed/had taken with 2020 all the way from New Zealand. Fun fact, any time a Kiwi reaches out we always like to point out how far away we are or how small our country is, haha.” [laughing] “Love you both and hope you’re keeping safe and well. Watch out, Christmas is just around the corner.” Okay, here we go. Brooke.

Brooke [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Brooke from New Zealand. Just calling in about what happened to you in 2020. I had a four-week trip around Europe planned with my fiancé. It was supposed to be our last big hurrah before we got married, settled, had kids. And due to COVID we couldn’t go. New Zealand is pretty shut off from the rest of the world at the moment, so there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to get there. What that means from me is that I’m worried in a few years I’m going to feel like I missed something that we saved so long for and was supposed to be before that next stage in our lives. So trying to look on the bright side of life. We’re getting married next year, and all should be good. Hope you’re keeping safe and well. Lots of love.

Joy: Oh, a big travel – that just sucks so bad, cancelling a four-week awesome trip.

Claire: Yeah. I like how she kind of put it in a context too of it’s not just about the trip. it’s about this was supposed to be this moment in our lives that got us ready for what was coming next, and now we don’t have that anymore. Am I always going to look back on this and regret? I think that’s the thing too about knowing that collectively we all are going to have this year of like, we’re all going to look back and be like we couldn’t because 2020. And then 2020 happened. It will be forever this collective event that happened to all of us that will always have this gap of what did you miss out on, what did you lose that year. Because everyone will have something. And I think that also speaks to why we wanted to ask this question this week. To know that this will be this unifying question in a lot of ways for all of us forever. What happened to you in 2020? What did you lose? What did you miss out on? Because everyone has something, if not many things. It’s sort of like, “Where were you on 9/11?” That’s the question you ask now. And everyone, the whole global community, has an answer to that. And now this is the next version of that.

Joy: We’ll always remember the night before we knew that the world was shutting down.

Claire: Right, what was the last thing you did –

Joy: Like, I always talk about Middleditch and Schwartz. I remember that was the last night out I had. I mean, I remember sitting in that venue being like this is weird, I wonder what’s going to happen. We knew something was coming. Not to that extent at all. But I just remember being like this is weird, what’s going to happen. Walking in a huge crowd outside of the venue. I’ll always remember that. I feel like this year, we can talk so much in clichés and how hard it’s been. But I was thinking the other day too about jobs and how much job loss has happened. If people want to share about that, you don’t have to in a voice memo per se, but what’s your situation with your job and job loss. How grateful I am to work in healthcare, but it’s also weird because healthcare’s a hot spot right now. But also being like, my work life hasn’t changed at all because of working in healthcare. I’ve gone to work every single day ever since the shutdown. Yeah, it’s kind of a weird thing to think about. This one is from Claire. She says, “Thank you for giving us space to acknowledge things we’ve lost this year. I know I’m over a minute and I won’t feel bad if you aren’t able to play it. I know so many of your community are struggling this year. I just really needed to get that out. We spend so much time just trying to be strong and put on a brave face and look for any positive in the moment, but really sometimes we just need a good cry. Thank you so much for the prompt”

Claire [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire. This is Claire calling from Australia. I’m just going to blast through this one really quickly because I don’t think I can do it without crying. This year I feel like I’ve lost my family. I immigrated to Australia by myself four years ago, and at the time my family was so supportive. They all used to say if anything happens, we can be there in 24 hours or less. And in 2018, I had a really bad cycling accident, and my dad was here within days of it happening. And the world just felt so small. And I feel like this year the world feels so big, and everyone just feels so far away. Australia’s borders are still shut. I had my son in May, and he hasn’t met his grandparents yet, and he’s now six months, and it breaks my heart. Because they won’t know him when he’s this little. And I know that he isn’t capable of making memories yet, but they are. And it just breaks my heart that they won’t know him. When is this year going to end? I guess I’m just sad because the borders are still shut and there’s no indication of when they’ll open again. At this point, it just feels like I’m never going to see them again because there’s not a date. And people say things like, “At least you have FaceTime” and “You’ve got Skype.” Yeah, we still do, but every time someone says that to me, it just breaks my heart. I just can’t wait for a little bit of normal travel to open up again so that I can see my family again.

Joy: Zoom does not replace in-person. I get why people are like, “At least we have Zoom.” Yeah, that’s definitely amazing. Back in the 80’s and 90’s we would not have that option. It really doesn’t replace – it’s not the same.

Claire: Especially with babies. Just that experience of physically being with a baby is so different. We had a little bit of that this year where, you know, Evie’s now been in lockdown for pretty much half her life, and Brandon’s family hasn’t seen her since January. Even though technically physically we could get there or they could get here, it just hasn’t felt like something that was safe for us to do. Yeah, it is hard because she was saying, they won’t have those memories. The kids won’t remember, but the family will, and that’s so true. 

Joy: Sending you lots of love, Claire. I keep forgetting that Australia’s borders are shut down and no one can go in or go out. 

Claire: Because we’re not people who do a lot of international travel, I don’t think about that a lot. Yeah, the borders are closed, that’s what needs to happen. And then you don’t think about the people who live very far away from their families.

Joy: We’re thinking of you Claire. This is from our lovely Mira. It’s an email. Hi, Mira. “Hi Joy and Claire. I just finished listening to the podcast. Thanks for also creating space for those of us who have experienced loss this year. I wanted to answer the question, but I can’t send a voice message because I know that I wouldn’t be able to without crying. So I’m writing instead.” Hey guys, as a mental health therapist, I just want to normalize crying. I know people don’t like to cry or others hear them cry, but we all cry, and it’s fine. I also honor people who just want to send an email. “What I’m mourning is that this is the first year that I’ll be spending Christmas away from my family. There have been years here and there where one person will be away, but this is the first time where I haven’t been with at least a parent. The whole year I’ve been super homesick and not getting to see anyone close to me has been very hard. My goddaughter was also born in January, and it has killed me not getting the chance this summer to meet and get to know her. My light at the end of the tunnel is June. I handed in my notice a month ago and will be leaving my job in Japan, mostly because being this far without the certainty of getting to travel in and out of the country is not worth it to me. I’m looking for jobs back in Europe where my friends are and where I’ll at least be in a similar time zone and closer to my parents in Uganda. So here’s hoping next year’s a better one. Love, Mira.” Congrats Mira though for taking that step to be like, hey, I want to set myself up for being able to surround myself with my friends and being closer to my family. On the other hand, I’m sorry because I’m sure you enjoyed your job there and living in Japan. And I know Mira’s also a world traveler, but I hope that this move is a good one for you Mira, and we love you.

Claire: Just got my coffee delivery.

Joy: Alright. In the famous mug that everyone always talks about.

Claire: In the famous mug. One thing that I’ve seen a lot this year too is people who, kind of on this theme of being away from your family, have moved back to be – especially within the States, if they’re living on one side of the country they’ve moved back to be closer to their family. I think a lot of that is also around, I’m working remote and my boss has said I might be working remote for a long time, so why wouldn’t I move. But also to say this has made me realize maybe that support isn’t just make a call and we’ll be there as I thought it was. This is obviously a situation that none of us could ever have foreseen or expected, to think that that type of access wouldn’t always be available to us. I personally know a lot of people who were living in Colorado who I worked with who maybe had family back east, and they all moved back to be closer to their families. Because they’re like, this has made me realize that I need that access to my family. I never imagined a world where just being a four-hour flight away would feel so prohibitive, but here we are, and I don’t like it.

Joy: Yeah, exactly. Before we do our last voice memo, let’s take a quick break to talk about this week’s sponsor. Guess who? It’s BluBlox. Have you done your Christmas shopping or holiday shopping yet? If you haven’t, consider supporting the podcast by supporting BluBlox, blublox.com. The discount code is JOY. They have amazing glasses for blue light blocking for the computer. You can get the Sleep+ which is something that will really, really calm you down at night. Have you experiencing wonderful, wonderful sleep. We all are starting at screens. We’re all experiencing all this added stress from looking at our phones and screens. A lot more this year. Maybe you want to give someone a gift this year. You can support the podcast. Again, it’s blublox.com. The discount code is JOY. Alright, one more voice memo, and then we’re going to wrap it up. This one is from Nina. She says, “I could have gone on for 20 minutes about how scary this year has been as a musician. I condensed it to a minute. I love your podcast so much and look forward to it every single week.”

Nina [recording]: Hi there, my name is Nina. I’m a classical musician. I play the double base. 2020 has been really rough for classical musicians everywhere. No one is playing live concerts. The future of classical music is uncertain, all of that. For me, this was supposed to be a really exciting year because I was moving to Baltimore to join the Baltimore Symphony after playing with the Oregon Symphony for five years. What I’m grieving is the loss of the last concert I was supposed to play with Oregon Symphony. I was supposed to have a few more months of rehearsals and concerts and going out with my friends after. And when I look across the stage in Baltimore, I’m so happy and I feel so fortunate that we are able to at least be recording some concerts, but I just miss looking across the stage and seeing my friends and I wish I had had the last few weeks of rehearsals and concerts to have some closure on that. But anyway, 2020 has been rough. I’m thinking of everyone. Hang in there. 

Joy: Hang in there. That is the motto of 2020.

Claire: I’ve been thinking of that type of thing too for high school seniors and anybody who was supposed to go through a transitional rite of passage in 2020 and now they were just sort of shoved into this next phase of life. Even if it’s a positive phase that you didn’t have closure on that previous phase. Again, that kind of goes back to what we were talking about with those rituals where you’re used to having this rite of passage to move through your life and to go from one phase to another. And if you don’t have that, there’s no closure. It just feels open, no closure.

Joy: Yeah, yeah. When everything opens back up again, listeners please, please rush to support musicians, artists, Broadway shows, plays, etcetera. Buy some tickets because I think that that’s one of the many professions that really are going to need our support when this opens back up again. So if you’re not a Broadway fan, become one. That’s your 2021 New Year’s resolution.

Claire: Maybe 2022.

Joy: Maybe 2022, you’re welcome.

Claire: So thank you guys so much for sending those in. We got a lot of voice memos and a lot of emails. We picked these ones. We feel like they kind of encompassed some major topics that we heard, and it has been a tough year. If you are not someone who sent one in, thank you for just listening. I kind of hate the phrase “holding space” because I feel like it’s so woo woo. Like, you guys know, it’s not me. But I think that that’s really what we’re trying to do here is to spread out the load a little bit. And just by knowing that your grievance and your story and your thing is out there, it can kind of help it feel a little bit lighter and know that other people are listening and know that other people are thinking of you and holding that in their hearts for you. 

Joy: And relating. Sharing your story really helps others because you know there are a lot of people who are going through something similar.

Claire: So thank you and we really, really don’t take for granted the vulnerability that you guys show us every week when you send in these voice memos and especially this week.

Joy: Alright, I’m going to read a quick email from Ash because we love Ash. I think Ash wrote or sent a voice memo a few months ago, and we’re like, we want to be best friends with Ash. I believe she’s in Austin if I’m remembering that correctly. I don’t know, Ash, I’m sorry if I’m totally messing that up, but she wrote a great email. It says, “Joy and Claire, I’ve written to you all a few times in the past, but I’ve switched emails since then. This is Ash, the cream of mushroom soup confessor.” That’s right. She loves cream of mushroom soup, and she’s like “I’m not afraid to say it.” “Joy, I wanted to thank you personally for being open on the podcast about seeking out your doctor’s advice about your recent health concerns. I imagine that’s a tricky line to walk of what you share about your personal self. I selfishly am very glad you did. You sharing that, particularly about acknowledging that something just wasn’t right gave me that tiny amount of space that I needed to consider that some concerns I’ve sort of been downplaying for a few months now weren’t actually something I needed to grit and bear. Without being too specific, I am a person on a medication who needs to have my bloodwork checked every couple of months. Not dire, but certainly necessary to be sure I’m good to go. In March, we had a tornado here in Nashville” – oops, sorry, Nashville – “that caused a lot of damage, and COVID really took off about two weeks later. My PCP’s office has been kind of scrambling ever since. Long story short, I reached out to my PCP and learned I was way overdue for labs, and they just never alerted me. And I was reminded that you have to look out for yourself. I love my PCP’s office. I’ve never had care I wasn’t happy with. And stuff falls through the cracks, and I’m the one who has to live in this brain and this body. Long story short, I got my labs run and actually learned that my levels for other things were off. Actually weirdly similar to your journey. I’m not as far along into figuring out what it is, so I don’t know exactly the culprit, but I’m already grateful for checking just to have the validation for, oh I’m not supposed to be this anxious or this tired or losing this much weight not on purpose or have these big swings of mood. And no, stress doesn’t typically take your sense of taste away. And no, you don’t have COVID, you’ve gotten tested multiple times. You should ask someone about that.” Like passing this off on stress or anxiety, right? “It’s not just stress about 2020 as the dumpster fire that it is or the election or COVID. It’s not supposed to feel this way and I deserve to feel better. So thank you truly. I have felt like such shit, and that feels so, so good to acknowledge and I guess was just going to live that way until who knows. What a radical idea if feels like that we are allowed to want to feel better. Peace and love. Grateful for your impact and wisdom. Ash.” Thank you, Ash. Big hug from afar. So if you’re feeling like, look, this year really is a dumpster fire. You may have a lot of anxiety. You may have a lot of feels of, I’m just exhausted. But if you know your body and you’re like I maybe just want to check, it doesn’t hurt to just check. Don’t be that person like I was where I was like, “I don’t’ want to waste my doctor’s time.” There’s nothing wrong with just going in, getting the answers, and like my doctor even said when I first got my blood test, she was like, “Let’s just see to give you a peace of mind.” Let’s just do an x-ray, just to give you a peace of mind. Let’s have the data to give you peace of mind. Now granted, my results were not what we thought they would be.

Claire: Right, it was a little more than peace of mind.

Joy: Right. But then we had to move forward and we got a plan. Thank God I did that because if I would have waited, I feel like this really could impact my help if I had waited much longer. So just a little lesson for y’all.

Claire: Amazing, thank you. I even have been like, okay, well I’m going to go – I don’t have a PCP that, I mean I have a PCP but it’s not someone that I see regularly. And this was, you know Claire, set up a new PCP. Find someone in your area. You need to have – just those little things that you put off and then when you do have some health problem, they’re like, “Oh well, our next new patient appointment is 90 days from now.”

Joy: Right.

Claire: It’s like those little things. I think this year we have all been told so many times, “Don’t stress out the system” To the point where –

Joy: Like the medical system.

Claire: The medical system. Where the death rates for heart attacks and strokes are way up because people aren’t going in for warning signs before times. If you had had chest pain, you would go in just to get it checked out. People aren’t doing that this year, and so they’re waiting until they collapse from a heart attack. And when they could have gone in a week ago for chest pain and had a cath lab procedure, now it’s too late. And that’s a very extreme example, but I feel like we are all doing that to some degree this year because we feel like the medical resources aren’t there. But you know what, if your family PCP office, they are and that’s what they’re there for. I know I’ve really been telling myself that a lot. “Oh I don’t want to use up the resources.” It’s like, no the family office resources, that’s what they’re there for.

Joy: That’s what they’re there for. You’re not going into an ER for –

Claire: And even if I were, the ER, it’s tough. And you know right now, Brandon work – as you guys all know, Brandon’s a nurse, works in a hospital. And he is in a very unique situation with just based on the timing of his experience. He’s able to work in his job in the OR, but then also is able to regularly float onto the COVID floor without needing any additional training. Because he had been in the OR for not that long, like less than a year when COVID started. So he’s been bouncing back and forth all year. They’re almost at capacity, and his hospital is considered one of the overflow hospitals. There was at the same time, a lot of times he’s working on the unit, and the patients that he does have aren’t necessarily COVID patients all the time because those sick people are still there and they still need to be taken care of. And that’s a whole other podcast topic. Alright, so we did spend quite a lot of time on voice memos, but I want to talk a little bit quickly and completely shift gears to talk about your hair cut.

Joy and Claire: [laughing]

Claire: Because you got this new haircut but also you talked about how it felt very cathartic.

Joy: It felt very cathartic. Well this is another thing. So we’re recording this on Sunday. But so this last Thursday was a moment of, “I need to do something.” Like I had this wave of motivation, so went into the gym. That felt good, and then Wednesday night I was lying in bed and I just had this claustrophobic feeling of I need to cut my hair off. And this is always how it happens, right? I just hit this point of I am so sick of washing my hair. I hate washing long hair. Short hair’s easier to wash. I was like sick of just putting it in a pony tail all the time, sick of, you know whatever. So I jumped online, happened to get an appointment with my hair stylist who I’ve seen forever over the years. And I went in Friday and I was like, “Please take this hair. I cannot, I need you to cut the COVID off.” I can’t take credit for that statement. I heard this from another LA hair stylist say it. She was like, “Cut the COVID off.” But I just kept thinking, to me hair is old energy and I just needed to get some type of symbolic, this whole medical leave and getting back into weight lifting and kind of taking control. You know how Claire you’ve said getting tattoos is a way of you having control over your body. For me, that’s kind of how hair is. I use it as this, I’m in control, I’m get rid of this energy –

Claire: Yeah, I think that’s common.

Joy: You know what I mean? I just needed to do something not super drastic like really, really short, but I probably cut a good five inches off my hair. I talked to my hair dresser. I hadn’t seen her in so long. We had caught up on life, and I was telling her everything that happened to me. So I could just tell that she was really wanting to give me that experience of being like, you can kick ass. You know, like moving forward. It gives you that confidence. And I think that was another thing of just this whole month and a half has kind of taken away my confidence in a lot of things, or like not being able to do the things I used to do physically has been really hard. So I just feel like that was a moment for me to be like, alright, I’m turning a page. Things are going to be different, I’m going to make it happen.

Claire: I get that. I think I can relate to that. I think so many people can relate to that. A haircut seems like such a simple thing, but you can put meaning into it if you want to. 

Joy: Totally.

Claire: It can be this cathartic, transformative turning point.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: A way to outwardly show that you are here to f it up. So you’re going back to work this week. And I know we’ve been talking the last two weeks about your medical leave. How was your second week of medical leave? It seems like it was really refreshing. You seem very much more –

Joy: It was very refreshing. I could not have done what I did for my health with just one week. I feel like this last week was just kind of this solidifying of everything I’ve been trying to do to calm down and get better. Spending time for my health, like taking walks, signing back up for the gym, getting my haircut, spent some time working with my naturopath to get a treatment plan going. I should have the results from my DUTCH test and this metabolic panel pretty soon, so I’ll know more. But I just feel like I’m going into work this detachment from the stress. And I’m one that tends to kind of go in, and once you’re in the hamster wheel you don’t really get off. Even if you’re off on the weekends, you’re still slowly going on the hamster wheel, and I feel like this was just such a good practice for me to completely unplug. And not only that, just reminding me to use my PTO. This year I really used PTO as like, “Oh I need to go on vacation” PTO because I don’t want to waste my PTO. I’m just staying home. But we can’t go anywhere if we’re being responsible, so I feel like that was a really good reminder that even though we can’t go anywhere, I really need to unplug from work because being on the hamster wheel even if you’re slow on the weekend is just… you know what I’m talking about? Where you’re just not, like you’re still on.

Claire: And I think you talked about this with realizing that you needed two weeks was that it takes several days for you to just get out of that mindset. Realistically two days – and for a lot of people, really a day and a half because by the time Sunday afternoon rolls around, you’re starting to think about work again. It’s not enough for you to actually detach. It’s not enough for you to actually break that thought cycle. 

Joy: No.

Claire: I totally know what that feeling that you mean, where it’s like –

Joy: You’re just still on.

Claire: Yes.

Joy: The flame is still on. I needed to completely turn it off and not even think about work. It’s so important. It made me think about a lot how you’re like – not in a bad way, but how you tell me I really identify with my hobbies or with my job. And that was really a good practice to be like, “I am not my job.” And I put a lot of effort into do a good job to where I feel like I always have to like – it’s a little bit egotistical to be like “I am so good at my job that they can’t function without me.” 

Claire: Yeah, totally.

Joy: They can, and the sun still rises.

Claire: Yeah, and I have a friend at work who is on maternity leave. She was freaking out about maternity leave before she went on it, and I sat her down. Not sat her down, but I was like, “I mean this with all the love in my heart. But we will be fine without you. I don’t mean that to be dismissive because you’re very good at your job and everybody loves working with you, but we will be fine without you.” I think that is hard for people to hear because they’re like, I don’t want you to be fine without me. I want you to need me. It’s not that you don’t make a great contribution. It’s not that you’re not great at what you do, but this is a job. The world will keep turning. Not to be a tweet, but I don’t know who needs to hear this, but if your entire work life comes crashing down if you leave for more than a day, that’s a toxic environment.

Joy: That’s a problem.

Claire: That’s a problem. It’s problematic, and you and everyone around you need to fix that because that means that you are shouldering way too much, way too much. I hope some of you just had a lightbulb moment. Alright. So for next weeks’ question because Joy has to go life weights now.

Joy: I got to go life, yeah.

Claire: We’re going to start talking a little bit about looking to 2021. And we have a lot of Thursdays I was realizing. There are five Thursdays in December. We’re only on the second one. So our last episode of the year will actually land on the 31st, which is going to be exciting. I’ll wait for our New Year’s resolution one, so don’t tell us your resolutions. Here’s what I want to know. What habits or goals in the past have worked for you that you are surprised by? Did you pick up bullet journaling on a whim thinking there’s no way this is going to stick and then it stuck and now you’re a bullet journal influencer. Like, did you think that maybe you were going to sign up for the New Year’s Day 5K and it stuck and how you’re an ultramarathoner. What thing did you pick up on a whim as a New Year’s resolution – because we always hear about the New Year’s resolution fails. I want to hear about the New Year’s resolution wins. What thing did you pick up on a whim as a New Year’s resolution that you were like there’s no way this is going to sick but I might as well at least try it. And it really stuck and how it’s your thing.

Joy: You started painting and all of the sudden you’re selling professionally.

Claire: I want you to write in even if it didn’t become a part of your identity. Tell us about a past New Year’s resolution when. For a habit or a goal or something that you really, you followed through on and maybe surprised yourself by how much you followed through on it. And whether it was a funny little hobby or something that was truly life changing, I really want to hear about it. So send us a voice memo to thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. You can record a voice memo on your phone. Hold it up to your head like you’re making a phone call. Please try to keep it under a minute as much as you can. It just lets us play even more of your beautiful voice memos on the podcast. Or you can just write it in an email. And then also we have our Google Voice set up at our Instagram, which is @joyandclaire_. You can click on the “Contact” button. It will send you to a Google Voice mail where you can leave a message, which is similar to, you know, just record your message as if you’re recording a voice memo. If it helps you to write it down ahead of time, just type it out as a text message or a little notes thing so you can get your thoughts in order and so you can feel like you’re a little more succinct. But you don’t have to. You can just go off the cuff if you feel like you want to. We can’t wait to hear about your things that have miraculously worked in the past. Your New Year’s resolution wins.

Joy: This time of year is always really exciting for me. There’s something really symbolic about the year ending, a new one starting. So I love hearing about this stuff. I love to hear from you about, even maybe a friend that gave you an idea that you were like, woah I want to try that and just was a huge success.

Claire: Alright guys, well thank you for listening again. Don’t forget to check out our sponsor BluBlox, blublox.com, discount code is JOY. Go get your eyes some joy with BluBlox.

Joy: [laughing] That’s a good one.

Claire: I went there. Alright guys, talk to you next week. Bye.

Hello December! Claire talks about Evie’s recent sleep schedule disruptions. Joy gives a health update and why she’s thinking about barbells. We dream about 2021 plans, and the light at the end of the tunnel. Chuck Klosterman Hypotheticals make another appearance and we end with answers to the question: what was your silver lining from this year?



email: thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com

instagram: joyandclaire_

Audio Length: 47:21 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. I mean, every time we try to make this really interesting. It’s just an intro. It’s just an intro.

Claire: There’s just only so many ways I can say, “This is Claire.” This is Claire. “I’m Ron Burgundy?”

Joy: Oh my God, can you imagine if we tried to say it at the same time? If you listened to our baking podcast, you know that we can’t.

Claire: We can’t. We tried.

Joy: It’s so hard. Here’s the thing. You guys. Recording on Skype, just a fun fact, is way different than recording in person. 

Claire: Yes.

Joy: So just a fun fact, it’s really hard to get things to say at the same time. Sometimes we cross talk. I try to edit that. Little fun facts about recording. Okay. So how are you doing? I just got up from another nap.

Claire: I haven’t taken a nap in a really long time. Evie has stopped sleeping. That’s pretty much the headline.

Joy: I saw that post. And what’s going on with her? She’s just being –

Claire: No idea. She’s almost two. There is a sleep regression that sometimes comes along with being two, which is basically them becoming aware that life goes on while they’re asleep and they don’t want to miss out.

Joy: They don’t want to miss out. Yeah, the don’t miss out thing is big.

Claire: Yeah. And you know, this is… let me be clear, Evie has been the easiest sleeper. I don’t even want to tell you how easy she’s been because if you’re a mom you’re going to hate me. And so, I sort of feel a little bit of this is karma justice for having this real easy sleeper, but it also just makes the fact that it’s come out of nowhere feel so much more like a slap in the face. She up until a month ago had been sleeping 12-13 hours a night and also napping 2-3 hours a day. And then around a month ago she started really fighting her nap, and it was like, okay, you know maybe she was only napping every, like she was literally only maybe napping one or two days a week. Kind of out of nowhere, I kind of chalked it up to daylight savings, which is really common. But then suddenly, a week ago, she started fighting bedtime, started waking up in the middle of the night, and started waking up super early in the mornings. So now she’s more getting like 8 or 9 hours of sleep and not napping and fighting bloody murder bedtime, which she’s never done.

Joy: Oh wow, yeah.

Claire: So what was this very well-oiled machine has now just completely shattered. And not only is it frustrating from a standpoint of it being annoying, but it feels like of all the things that are just balanced on this tiny needlepoint that this is really feeling like it’s pushing us and the stress of our family over the edge.

Joy: Oh sure, yeah.

Claire: Where now somebody is having to get up with her in the middle of the night and go lay in her room for her to go back to sleep. It took over two hours to put her to bed last night. She woke up at 6 o’clock on yesterday morning. This morning she only slept in because Brandon went in her room and slept on her floor starting at like 3 in the morning.

Joy: Oh, she wants someone to be with her?

Claire: Yeah, she wants someone to be with her. And she’s just so stubborn, and she’s always been very stubborn. And so there’s no way to, like a lot of kids you can kind of say, “Oh, I’ll be right back,” and then just never come back. She is not like that, I am quickly learning.

Joy: She knows. She remembers.

Claire: She knows. She’ll stand in her crib and just scream. Like the other day, she screamed so much she almost threw up. She worked herself up that much.

Joy: Oh bless her, yeah, so upset and just the coughing, begging.

Claire: Right, and some kids will scream themselves to sleep.

Joy: Yeah, not her.

Claire: And she is not like that, no, and she’s never been like that. We didn’t really ever have to do “cry it out” with her when she was a baby because she just never really had sleep issues, but even as a baby it didn’t work. Because once she gets going – for all kids, and if you’re a parent, you probably know what I’m talking about. For all kids and all babies, there’s a line that they cross where you know we’re not coming back from this without an intervention. There’s sort of an acceptable amount of fussing and crying, and then there’s something is wrong screaming. Her line from fussing crying to you’re not going to come back from this on your own is at the bottom of the scale. There’s almost no amount of noise she’s making that is not “I’m going to have to intervene here.” 

Joy: So what’s been working?

Claire: Nothing. Going in there. 

Joy: Just going in there.

Claire: Sitting with her. Which is like, I get it. And you read all these posts that are like, it’s a biological need for then to be with you. And it’s like, I get that, but it’s more the contrast of, a week ago she wasn’t like this. She’s almost two, so she’s not an infant who doesn’t understand. She’s not fresh out of the womb. She has been fine for almost two years, and now she’s not fine. So far, we haven’t come up with anything that’s working. I’m hoping – today she was kind of fussy and pulling on her ears, so I’m hoping, hoping, hoping she’s getting molars. 

Joy: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claire: Because not only would that explain it, but it would also mean it’s going to be an event that will end.

Joy: And pulling on the ears may be an ear infection, no?

Claire: Well pulling on the ears is classic molars coming in symptoms.

Joy: Molars coming in symptoms? Oh.

Claire: Because that’s where it hurts.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: And actually a lot of times, getting molars can result in ear infections, which is did for Miles when he got his two-year molars. He got a horrible, horrible ear infection. Do you remember that? And we had to go, we were flying to my grandma’s funeral and he had such a bad ear infection and his eardrum burst on the plane. It was so horrible.

Joy: So painful. It happened to me as a kid. It was so horrible. I get it, Miles, I get it.

Claire: It was oozing pus, it was horrible.

Joy: Oh totally, totally. So, so, so miserable.

Claire: But I mean, he’s not an ear infection kid. I know you had a lot. I had chronic ear infections. That’s the only ear infection he’s ever had.

Joy: Oh, thank God, yeah.

Claire: But it can cause that, and I think it’s just inflammation in that area. I’m not looking for advice because honestly –

Joy: Okay, moms calm down.

Claire: Moms, I know that you all mean very well and you also will appreciate it when I say that all kids are so different when it comes to sleep. I’m not really looking for advice because I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what our options are and those options – like this definitely feels like an acute event. It’s not like we’ve been struggling with this so long we’ve tried everything. It’s more like there’s clearly something going on here, and I think we just need to ride it out, but it’s just really tiring.

Joy: Right. And you know your child. I like the specificity of saying, “I don’t need advice. I’m just talking about the situation.”

Claire: Right. I don’t need advice, but if you want to send me sympathy in coffee, I will take that. How are you? How is week two of medical leave going?

Joy: Two is good. So we went to my parents for Thanksgiving, and when we got back, we got back Saturday, and I remember thinking, I’m so glad I took two weeks. Because when my doctor first said, “Just take two weeks. I think you really need two weeks,” I was like, “How about one?” because there’s just, like I said before, so much going on in the office. But I’m so glad I was just like, you know what, I really need to unplug. Because after the first week I feel like I really learned to unplug, and now I’m enjoying the unplugging. So I feel like the second week is just like really going to make me so much better going back to work and not having to take more work off in January, February if things go back downhill again. So I’m feeling good. Rest has been huge. I cannot overstate how important it is to just let your body heal. I’m not good at that. I’m someone who’s like I want to do. I want to do this, I want to do that, and always goes, so this has been a huge lesson for me. But I did Legos as my parents’ house and that was great. I did the paint rocks today. I painted some rocks. You guys, I’m not good at it, but I’m getting it. I am making it super simple. I’m so self-conscious about my artistic abilities. I’m just making it real simple, putting cute little messages on there, so I’m going to keep doing that. Those types of things are good activities for me because I feel like I’m doing something, but I’m not running ragged and making myself stressed out. So it’s been good. I just feel really lucky that I had people around me being like, “You need to take the full two weeks off” and pushing me to do that because I probably wouldn’t have if it was just me. I’m feeling okay. I think there’s times when I feel sorry for myself. And today I was feeling like I’m not as strong as I used to be. I’m not saying I’m not strong now, but I’m just not as strong as I used to be, and that has been really bothering me. So I’ve been thinking lately, I wonder if I started going back to my gym, my CrossFit gym, which we’re no longer affiliated but you know what I’m talking about. And I was like, what if I started going back there. Like, I miss picking up a barbell and doing strength activities. And I have dumbbells at my house, but they’re like 15 pounds. And that’s great, but I feel like lifting heavier weights might help me. And by no means am I thinking of setting a PR you guys. I’m just thinking of moving in way that used to feel good and I want to get back to that. So I might. I’m a little scared because it would be so weird to walk into a gym where I used to be killing it, to be like, I could probably barely deadlift 85 pounds right now. That’s how weak I feel. So anyway, that’s just kind of the thoughts I’ve been tossing around lately as far as movement.

Claire: I do think the nice thing about weight lifting, if you are truly just weight lifting, is that it can be metabolically lower impact, which it sounds like is what your body needs.

Joy: That’s what I need. I have to watch my heart rate so I’m not stressing myself out or that my body doesn’t recognize it as stress. Between 120 and 130 is my max right now, and if I get higher than that I just try to drop it really quick. That’s just something I’m doing real quick. My doctor hasn’t told me to do that necessarily, but I just know – well actually my naturopathic doctor just said, “Please just walk. You can hike, you can walk, but don’t run. Don’t do anything that’s super, super sprinty right now.” But I was like, weight lifting doesn’t really gas me unless I’m doing a WOD, which I’m not going to do. 

Claire: You’re not going to go do Grace.

Joy: No, If I was just to do strictly barbell stuff, then I think that would be really good for me. So I’m thinking about getting back into that. I’m probably just going to email the gym owner and kind of tell him what’s going on with me to be like, look, not that anybody cares but I’m going to be walking into this gym. I’m not the Joy I used to be. I’m not going to be ripping the barbell like I used to. Please don’t expect that from me. And I know they’re fine with that, but I feel like I need to set that, like my goals now –

Claire: Right, that’s more for you to not think that people –

Joy: Yeah, totally. My goals now are just to lift the barbell off the ground. I don’t care what weight is on it. I just want to walk into that gym and do some different movements. I think that feels good to me. So that’s the update. I see my naturopath tomorrow for our first official appointment of what’s going on and what I need to do. I’m getting more blood tests done, and I just sent in a DUTCH test, which is not the funnest thing to take. I thought it was just like you pee on a few sticks and you send it in, but the day that you take the test, first of all you have to take it a certain day in your cycle. And then you have to pee on a stick at dinnertime and then right before you go to bed and then if you wake up in the middle of the night, you can do one in the middle of the night. And then you take one immediately when you wake up, two hours after you wake up. That’s five of them. And you can’t drink caffeine, you can’t drink alcohol. Which I’m not drinking alcohol right now because it just doesn’t sound good to me. Which I think the body’s so smart. My body just is always like, this is not good for you right now. Which the only things I’m really craving, ice cream and pie works great for me right now. Real good. I ate so much of your pie. I was just like, so much pie. So I didn’t drink caffeine, and I was like dang it. Because that’s the one thing I love drinking right when I get up is a cup of coffee, so that was kind of rough. But yeah, so that’s a big hormone panel, and I think it tests your cortisol. So more to come on that, but I know a lot of people – or not a lot, but there’s a few people that struggle with the same diagnosis and are interested in what I’m doing, so I’d be happy to share. If you have any questions, just email us. So what else is going on with you?

Claire: Honestly not much. So my birthday was last week, and I’ve kind of been trying to think, like I feel like we usually do this big kind of wrap up episode, like what did you learn this year. And I feel like this year has just been such a crap shoot that I don’t even have any takeaways.

Joy: I was thinking about that. Like, the year in review for 2020 to me is just survival.

Claire: Yeah, I think that’s how it is for most people. We’re really lucky that for us we still both have our jobs. We don’t have anyone in our immediate families who have been impacted by COVID or who have, rather, had COVID. People have been impacted by it. But you know, obviously I lost my grandma back in May and that was really hard and all of that will be a defining factor of this year for me. But I kind of have been more just trying to think about, okay, going into 2021, this year has just felt like survival mode. Like we don’t know what it’s going to look like. And I feel like, and I hope that I’m not going to regret saying this, like I don’t want to jinx it. But you know, it feels like now is sort of the worst it’s going to get. What I mean by that is, it feels like we have a light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know how far away that it is, but we know that at some point in 2021 we will be on the other side of this.

Joy: I totally agree. I agree, I agree.

Claire: And whereas for 2020, we’ve kind of had to have this mentality the whole time of hunker down, stay hunkered down, stay hunkered down, stay hunkered down. And I know that I hope that one of the first things that Biden does in office is pass a restaurant stimulus. You can’t just keep expecting people to stay home and not pay them to stay home.

Joy: Exactly.

Claire: And you know that’s been a huge miss by the government. And the state governments honestly. I know that they only have so much to work with, but it’s just been something that I’ve been thinking a lot about, but I think that going into 2021, I feel kind of for the first time in 10 months or so that I can kind of set some goals and really let myself come out of just survive-the-day mode. And this next year is going to be a big one. Miles is going to start kindergarten. A lot of people have had questions about our au pair. Right now, she is here officially kind of just until January, but we are currently pursuing an extension for her. So ideally, she will be here at least through the summer if not longer. And there’s a couple different ways that you can swing that, but right now they’re offering an extension because of the impacts of COVID on the au pair visa program. I don’t want to get too into the weeds with that because I know that doesn’t really apply to a lot of you. But I have had some people who have reached out and said, “What agency have you used?” If you guys have any specific questions for me ever about our au pair experience, I’d be very happy to share them with you and how we went about selecting our au pair and how it’s gone and what recommendations I would make. Because I think people’s biggest concern is that it’s going to be awkward to have some random person living in your house. So if that’s something that anyone out there is considering, please let me know. But I won’t go into it a ton, just because I know it doesn’t apply to that many people who are listening. But she may or may not still be here for all of next year. Evie will be turning two in February, which is a big milestone, kind of leaving the baby nest behind. I think next year will be, who knows for sure, but will kind of be when we make a final call about whether or not we’re going to have a third kid. So there’s kind of a lot on the horizon, and it feels good to have a lot on the horizon of like, okay, stuff is actually going to happen in 2021. I don’t know. I tried to kind of sit down and do my normal “what do I want to accomplish next year,” and just nothing came to mind. It all felt so superficial. 

Joy: I was going to say, what goals do you have? When you say you feel like I can set goals. Have you thought about that much?

Claire: I mean kind of. I would say my biggest things is, like the biggest not necessarily goal but thing I want to get back into my life is just being back in the habit of movement. When we first went into lockdown, I was doing garage gym workouts literally almost every day, and it really helped me feel grounded. And I wasn’t making huge gains in my work just in my garage with some dumbbells and a jump rope.

Joy: #gainz

Claire: #gainz. I haven’t #gainz in like six years.

Joy: Gainz with a “z.”

Claire: Gainzz.

Joy: Gainzz.

Claire: But that habit just really grounded me, so I’d really like to get back to that. And I think that I definitely have some goals to get our budget back under control in 2021. We’re working with a financial planner. Now that we’re sort of leaving the financial survival mode of having two really young kids. Like once Miles gets into kindergarten, our financial situation will look a lot different. Yeah, I don’t know. It just feels like I’m looking around and taking a breath of like, hey, the future is going to happen.

Joy: Instead of like, there’s no end in sight and we don’t know if the future’s going to be good.

Claire: Yeah. And not from a doomsdayer approach, but I think more so I just haven’t been letting myself think that way because I didn’t want to get tired.

Joy: And not only that, I just didn’t see anything that felt hopeful. We were just so in it that we had to be present. I didn’t see anything in the news. We didn’t hear anything about a vaccine or anything. You just kind of have to get through the day. It kind of was that survival mode. So now that we’re hearing more about the vaccine and when that will be coming out and that looks promising, especially frontline workers, hats off to you. Get that vaccine. And people who are at risk, the more vulnerable population. That feels hopeful. It’s like, oh my God, take care of those people and we can move forward. And yeah, I feel like these things are so important to think about, especially with Biden coming into office. I’m already seeing Kamala and Biden putting out things that they’re working on. The cabinet and all the people on their team is like, oh my gosh this feels so good and really promising. So I feel lie that is so important, especially with COVID, that we have this leadership that’s taking it seriously and hopefully helping people like small businesses and restaurants and that type of thing. 

Claire: Right. And I think, you know, it will kind of remain to be seen how immediate those effects can be, and I really hope that they are. So, I don’t know. I feel like it has been weird. Because I am, I don’t love sitting down and setting super specific goals that I feel bound by, but I do like the practice of goal setting. 

Joy: I do too.

Claire: And we’ve talked about that so many times on the podcast.

Joy: So many times. Whenever I think about goals, I think about that one episode we did when we sat down and actually put them down. I think we even did it in a blog post where we put down our goals. And they were so crazy. They were so [CROSSTALK 00:18:20.10].

Claire: And we never did anything about them. But it’s always interesting to look back and be like, wow, remember when you were going to get your PhD and I was going to be a registered dietician. It’s this interesting snapshot into what your priorities are. I think that setting those goals – and we’ve talked about this a hundred times too that not achieving a goal can kind of be as enlightening as achieving it.

Joy: Yeah. And I just have to give a shout out to the community too because so many people in our podcast community gave me advice. I remember back when I was talking about getting a PhD or not getting a PhD, and so many people helped me with that decision. And I just want to thank you, you know who you are. This community’s been so helpful in a lot of the things that we do. I think one of the first things I want to do when we are able to do stuff again. I want to recreate the February trip to LA.

Claire: Oh my gosh, right, I know. 

Joy: I want to see the waiter, and I want to see Patton Oswalt. I’m going to tag Patton Oswalt and be like, “Meet us at Mozza.” 

Claire: But at the same time, part of me is like I need that moment to just live as is in a memory.

Joy: I know, I know. But can we go to LA at least.

Claire: Yeah, we can at least just go to LA.

Joy: I just want to go to LA so bad. If you’re in Los Angeles, will you send me some pictures of Los Angeles?

Claire: I know. Somebody posted something on my Facebook feed last night that was like, if everything suddenly went back to normal at 3pm today, what would you be doing by 6pm.

Joy: Oh my God.

Claire: I was like, I would go to a restaurant. I would just call all my friends. And you were kind of joking about that last week, you were like I’m going to go to – what were you saying?

J; A dance floor, a sweaty dance floor.

Claire: Right, five different bars, five different nights –

Joy: I’m going to rent a limo. That’s so 80’s and 90’s. I’m going to rent a limo, and I’m going to get all of my girlfriends. We’re going to get in the limo, we’re going to drive around to the bars, and we’re going to act like we’re 20. It’s fine. I’m just so excited to be around sweaty, dirty people. Get it out of my system.

Claire: Yeah, I want to go to five different restaurants with five different groups of people and just packed into some happy hour situation.

Joy: And I would just probably start hugging strangers. I did that in my 20’s, anyways.

Claire: Yeah, perfect. I know. You know, up until recently, that kind of thought of, “What would you do?” would kind of stress me out because I’d be like I don’t want to think about that. I don’t want to even open that door in my brain. I need to just be here now in this moment of not having those options and be okay with that. If I was constantly dwelling on the things that I wish that I could be doing, it really just made it harder. There were even sometimes when you and Jess and I got together in her yard that time over the summer and ate ice cream sandwiches. Actually the rest of that day was really hard for me because it was just this feeling of, it made me really confront how much I hadn’t been able to do that type of stuff. Or it made me confront how –

Joy: You’re not able to do that.

Claire: Yeah, how the stuff that I wanted to do was so not available to me. And at some point over the summer, too, Brandon was like, I was having a really hard week and he was like, “What do you need?” And I was like, “What I need is not something that I can get.” Like, I need to be in groups of people. And while that sounds very abstract and nonspecific, that’s truly what I’ve been missing is just this feeling of being around other people casually. 

Joy: And it’s community too. I was listening to a Brené Brown podcast episode, her Unlocking Us, which is great if you haven’t listened to it. She had this pastor on who was like, community, like that’s the whole point of church too. It’s going to church, it’s communing, it’s being with people, it’s worship, it’s faith, it’s all of that. The importance of being with people who are doing that is so, so important, and I feel like we can do that outside of a church building at a bar, where people are just enjoying life, enjoying friendships. At restaurants, people just enjoying company, enjoying a meal, maybe a birthday meal. Maybe you see someone get engaged. All these things of life that are so cool we are missing out on, we’re just so isolated. I know that’s stating the obvious, but I feel like that’s such an important thing that you’re saying, just the option to be around.

Claire: Just the option to do that and the option to do it without having to worry about it so much. And it’s like, even if you are doing that… I read this tweet that I think is a joke obviously, but it’s kind of true. “Going out during COVID is sort of like having unprotected sex. It feels good at the time, but then you’re worried for the two weeks after.”

Joy: Totally, totally. My favorite is the – have I said this recently? The one where it says, “Coughing in public is the new shitting your pants in public.”

Claire: I read one too that was, “You used to cough to cover up a fart. Now you fart to cover up a cough.”

Joy: It’s so good. 

Claire: I think that, all that to say, it does feel, even if we could realistically still be a year out from sort of enough vaccine distribution or whatever that people feel comfortable. And again, I know the vaccine, people kind of feel worried about it. I did some research – I mean, I don’t want to say research. My own research would be reviewing primary sources and analyzing them with scientific expertise. That, I have not done. I have reviewed other resources that I respect who have done research. And I think that’s really important because a lot of people say, “I’m going to do my own research.” Are you? 

Joy: Are you just reading a research paper?

Claire: Are you going to collect unbiased data and analyze it using the scientific method. Oh okay, if that’s not what you’re doing, then you’re not doing research. You can go review other people’s research, that’s fine. So I’ve reviewed other people’s research and had a lot of people point out some things to me on my personal Instagram about the timeline of the vaccine. Because that was my biggest question. I was like, do I really want to get a vaccine that’s been developed so quickly and feels so rushed? And a lot of people pointed out, actually, the normal timeline that we see of vaccines has less to do with the fact that you “shouldn’t be able to do it this quickly” and more to do with the fact that usually it takes year to get the right funding and grants and also to do the research. To get a vaccine for something that doesn’t have high community spread, it’s really hard to do the clinical tests because you have to wait for people to be exposed. When you have something that has a really high rate of community spread like we do with COVID, the clinical trials can obviously happen a lot faster. And then you know the people who are like, well, we don’t have any long-term data on this. That’s not something that they ever do for vaccines. They never look at long-term data before they release the vaccine. I’m not going to convince anybody who’s an anti-vaxer to be okay with this vaccine, and that’s not what I’m trying to do. But it was just very interesting to me as someone who generally accepts vaccines but had this question mark around this one of, is this something that I would get. I’m not in a high-risk group, but I spend time with people who ware in high-risk groups. What’s my comfort level with it? And that just made me feel better to realize that, you know, this is really a best-case scenario, not a suspicious situation. It’s that the funding was there, the global cooperation of pooling resources and expertise was there, and the circumstances for quick clinical trials were there because of high community spread. So once I kind of got more about that and read more about that, that helped me. So if you’re listening and you have those same questions, I recommend that you look into that as well. One of the people to follow is Science Sam on Instagram. I think she’s in Canada, and she’s a PhD, and she’s just really great at breaking things down into laymen’s terms. Okay, before we move on, let’s talk a little bit about our favorite sponsor BluBlox.

Joy: Favorite. It’s the holidays, you get to give the gift of BLUblox.

Claire: I thought it was so funny last time when you were like, “The holidays are right around the corner.” You know how you hate it when people say, “Let’s dive in”? I hate it when people say, “The holidays are right around the corner.” 

Joy: Can I say it again?

Claire: No. But the holidays are not far away. It’s almost [CROSSTALK 00:26:04.26]. It’s almost [CROSSTALK 00:26:08.17].

Joy: One could say it’s around the corner.

Claire: One could say, but we wouldn’t. One could, but we won’t. So, go to blubox.com. Do not pass any corners while you’re doing that. Don’t go around them.

Joy: Go immediately.

Claire: Pick yourself out some blue-light blocking glasses. Pick some out for your friends. Pick some out for somebody in your life you love, whose eyes and brain you want to help protect.

Joy: So great.

Claire: These are such great high-quality lenses, high-quality frames. There’s a lot of different styles to choose from. They have kids’ classes. You can send in your own frames if for some reason you just love, love, love your frames and want to get some blue-light lenses put in them, you can send them in. You can use discount code “JOY,” which will get you a discount off your purchase. And also for every purchase that you make, they will donate a pair of eye glasses to somebody in need through their non-profit partner.

Joy: It’s a win-win.

Claire: It’s a win-win. So go check them out. We always say this, that they are based in Australia, so it’s not like a two-day shipping Amazon situation. And you get what you pay for. They’re a little bit pricier than the stuff that you’re going to find at the drug store checkout line, but they’re wonderful. I wear mine all the time. We get posts from you guys all the time with how much you wear blue-blocking glasses, and you guys are always like, “I didn’t know what you meant when you said that theses BLUblox are you get what you pay for, but as soon as I put them on I realized what you were talking about.” So blublox.com, discount code is “JOY.” Thank you for supporting the brands that support our podcast.

Joy: And tag your photos because I would love to see you wearing your BLUblox. I got to say, they look great on you. Yeah, I’m talking to you. They look great on you. Everyone looks so good. They look so cute, great styles. Thank you for supporting the podcast, this small little thing to just help our show. Alright, we have a couple options here. Do you want to do some voice memos, or do you want to do some new Chuck Klosterman questions, which are my favorite?

Claire: Oh my goodness. Okay, so let’s start with a couple of questions, but I do want to get to the voice memos.

Joy: They’re great.

Claire: I like ending with the voice memos because I feel like it kind of ends us on a nice note.

Joy: It really does. So Chuck Klosterman, if you don’t know, is a writer, and I can’t say as much about him as Scott would say because he’s one of Scott’s favorite writers. But he did this box of questions called SUPERtheticals: 50 New Questions for Strange Conversations. And we’ve don’t this before, but he came up with a new set of crazy questions, and so we are going to read some of them. Oh, here’s one of his bios too. He’s the author of HYPERtheticals, Eating the Dinosaur, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, But What if We’re Wrong?, Raised in Captivity, and Chuck Klosterman X. He’s a great guy. One of Scott’s weird, cool indie things that he likes. Okay, so this first one is. It’s called, “This is the smartest person that you know personally.” It’s a little long, but these are worth it. “This person asks you to chat about something that they insist is something important. The beginning of the conversation is confusing. Their language is filled with technical jargon and references to books you have not read, however as they continue they make more and more sense. The person seems to be making an argument about logic, truth, and how information should be processed. What they’re saying is compelling, entertaining, and sensible, but the conversation ends with a curious twist. The reason this person is telling you all this is that they are now convinced that the earth is flat, and they can prove it.” By the way, I did this for you, Claire. “The person goes on to explain how they’ve been writing about this theory on the internet and have now been asked to appear on a popular TV news program where they will debate traditional scientists about the shape of the earth. They’re excited about this but also nervous. They ask your advice on whether they should make the appearance. What do you say?”

Claire: And this is the smartest person I know, theoretically?

Joy: Yeah, this is the smartest person you know personally.

Claire: Personally.

Joy: And their language is filled with technical jargon about books that they’ve read, and what they’re saying is compelling and sensible and entertaining.

Claire: Right, until you realize what they’re talking about.

Joy: Until you realize what they’re talking about. This sounds like a cult follower, like someone who’s like, “This is great.”

Claire: Yeah, this sounds like a cult follower. Call your Dad, you’re in a cult.

Joy: “Hey girl, hey girl.”

Claire: “Hey girl, just wanted to reach out. I see you’re killing it lately.” And they want me to tell them whether or not to go on – no. I would tell them no.

Joy: They ask your advice on whether they should make this appearance.

Claire: Joy, you know me. If somebody would ask me that, I’d be like, “No, you’re on crack.” No, I would say no. You can’t go, it’s social suicide. “You can’t join the mathletes, it’s social suicide.” 

Joy: Oh my God. See, I on the other hand would probably say, “Go for it.” I love a good debate, and I love watching people debate. So if this person –

Claire: But this is somebody that you care about. You’re going to watch them make a fool of themselves?

Joy: This is the smartest person that you know personally, not someone you care about, I would say –

Claire: But the smartest person I know personally is one of my close friends. That’s –

Joy: I would say, “Hey, do you want to do some deep meditation on this?” I would say, “Go for it.” Because I’m like, go ahead, go get in a debate. Maybe we’ll all learn something from it.

Claire: No. I would be like, “You don’t want to out yourself as a crazy.” And I mean, so when you say the smartest person I know, my automatic assumption was that this is somebody who I’m close with. 

Joy: Okay, because I know smart people but I’m not super close to them, like a good acquaintance, and I think they could hold their own –

Claire: But why would they be asking my advice if I wasn’t close with them?

Joy: Okay, that’s fine. But the smart people I know, if they were like, “Yeah, I’m going to do this,” I’d be like, “If that makes you happy, go for it.” 

Claire: But they’re not saying that. They’re saying, “Do you think I should do this?” 

Joy: I still would say yes. I would say yes. They’re excited, but they’re nervous, okay. I mean, I’d be like, “Just make sure you’re prepared to have a really tough conversation.”

Claire: No. I would be like, “Don’t do this. Look around you. How do people feel about people who think the earth is flat? It’s a joke. You’re going to be made a joke of. Believe what you want in your own life, but don’t go on TV and debate that the earth is flat.” I hope we have a flat earther listening to this.

Joy: I really do, I really do.

Claire: They’re going to be like, “Claire and Joy didn’t make me feel accepted in their community because I think the earth is flat.”

Joy: You’re right.

Claire: Correct.

Joy: Correct. Okay, um –

Claire: “And my advice to you is don’t go on television.” Yeah, I would say no.

Joy: Don’t go, don’t go. Okay. This one’s really hard. This next one’s really hard. This person is someone significant to you, not necessarily the most significant person but someone who has played an important role in your life. “Imagine that this person has never been born. What are three things about your life that would be irrefutably different? People you would have never met, choices you would have never made, experiences you would never have had. Can you think of anything about your life that might actually improve from their absence?”

Claire: Wow. Well, okay, so I was like, okay I’ll just use you as an example of someone who is important in my life. You might not be the most important.

Joy: I mean, I’m not Brandon. I don’t bring you coffee.

Claire: No, you don’t bring me coffee. I mean, so like, that’s pretty tangible, that I wouldn’t have the podcast, I wouldn’t have done all the things that I’ve done on the podcast. I wouldn’t have done any of those trips or probably been like… but I would have more free time.

Joy: That’s true.

Claire: I don’t know, I probably would have found something else by now to do. 

Joy: Yeah, maybe continue your blog. I loved reading your blog.

Claire: Right, I might have become like a – because I was an early adopter blogger.

Joy: I mean, you might be the most famous meme curator right now with all your free time. When I was thinking of this, I thought immediately of my sister best friend that I literally have known since birth. But then what I started to think about was like, a significant thing in my life was my college boyfriend. I never would have met – oh God, this is so weird. Like I met so many good friends through him that I still keep in touch with. I would have made a completely different choice of where I went to grad school because he was like – I think I’ve told this story before. He was the reason I applied to schools in Denver.

Claire: No, you never talked about that.

Joy: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I swear guys, it’s fine, but this really was the one that, not got away –

Claire: Is this the guy that was a cattle rancher?

Joy: No. He was like a boyfriend when I was 25. It was like a year. But this was a very significant relationship when I was in college. It broke my heart. Like, heart hurts for a long time. I had a hard time getting over this for a long time.

Claire: Okay, big heart owie.

Joy: Big hear owie. Okay, so he and I were dating, oh it was such a funny thing. He and I were dating. We were roommates, so I lived with three guys. Remember, I told you this story? And we started dating, but we didn’t tell our roommates.

Claire: Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, okay.

Joy: It was totally a Monica and Chandler thing where we were keeping it a secret because we didn’t want our roommates to feel weird. So it was so cute. We’d go grocery shopping together, and we’d be able to hold hands because no one was around. When we were going different ways and he was going to grad school, I was like well I’m going to go to grad school where you’re going to grad school. I was convinced we were going to end up together, so I applied to all the places that he went to grad school. So I feel like that would have been a huge thing of, if I never would have met him, I probably would have stayed in Arizona for a lot longer. And then as far as what I actually improved from their absence, I don’t know about improve. But I guess I wouldn’t have had some huge heartbreak, but I guess I would have met some other dude that broke my heart.

Claire: Right, totally.

Joy: Yeah, that’s a really good one. That’s a really good one. I like thinking about that.

Claire: Okay.

Joy: One more?

Claire: Let’s do one more, and then we’ll do some voice memos. 

Joy: Great. This is a person you know and do not dislike. That’s really funny. It’s like, you do not dislike them. “You are granted a magical opportunity. For 24 hours, you will be able to inhabit the body and mind of the imagined person. You will retain your own consciousness and memories, but you will literally be inside their physical being, and you will –

Claire: So, like Being John Malkovich, basically?

Joy: Yes. “And you would know all the things they know. While this person transpires, the person will essentially be unconscious. They will have no memory or recognition of what you did while you were inhabiting their body, but there’s a caveat. This imagined person will then get to be you in the same way that you were able to be them. However it will be for six months, not for 24 hours.”

Claire: What?

Joy: “You will have no memory of what happens during this period, and it will feel to you as if those six months passed in seconds. Do you still want to do this?

Claire: What would be the benefit of me inhabiting some random person who I know but don’t dislike. It just seems like such a neutral experience to then have someone else live my life for six months and find out every single thing about me. No, it doesn’t feel like me being in someone else’s body for 24 hours, like inhabiting their body and knowing all their thoughts. What’s the benefit of that to me?

Joy: I know, I’m like, if this is going to be a famous person, for sure. But if it’s a person I know? And it’s just so vague. Like, you do not dislike them. So it’s just maybe an average. That’s a really, like what would be the benefit of this? Your grand and magical opportunity for just a vague – I guess the point of this would be for the experience of being in someone else’s body is really what it comes down to, right?

Claire: Heck yes. Yeah. That’s not compelling to me. I’m not that curious about how other people feel or live. 

Joy: I don’t know. I guess what gets me. I would say no, only because I don’t want someone else to be me for six months. What are they –

Claire: No.

Joy: But I guess if it passes in seconds to me.

Claire: But it doesn’t pass in seconds to them. Now this random person – okay, so for all of these things, when you describe them, I immediately started imagining maybe like a coworker.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: Like, I don’t want a coworker to live my life for six months, and then how I know for the rest of my life that person has lived my life. No, that’s not worth it.

Joy: They don’t need to know my deep, dark secrets.

Claire: They don’t need to like see me naked. Just even the basics of this. They don’t need to know where I keep stuff in my house. You know.

Joy: They don’t need to know I eat almond butter from a jar.

Claire: Yeah, they don’t need to know I keep my underwear on the left side and my socks on the right side.

Joy: That’s not such a secret now. 

Claire: Now you guys all know.

Joy: Now you know.

Claire: You know, those little details about you. No, definitely not.

Joy: Absolutely not.

Claire: Well that was fun and completely random.

Joy: It was completely random. 

Claire: Before we conclude, let’s listen to some voice memos. We wanted to hear from you last week about, what is something from 2020 that you are going to look back on and really smile. And it could be a moment. It could be something major, something minor. So who do we have first?

Joy: First we have Tina. This is our friend Tina from New York City, Brooklyn. I met her in person and her lovely fiancé at the time, now husband. Wait, Tina, did I meet you before or after your wedding? Anyway. I just wanted to play her voice memo because she sent it immediately, and it’s so lovely. She doesn’t say her name at the beginning, that’s why I wanted to point it out. Okay, this is from Tina.

Tina [recording]: So of course I just listened to the new episode. And so enjoyable, as always. And the last question you asked just really struck me about what we’ll remember in 2020. And just the fact that I got married and then I spent so much time with my now husband and just the fact that we just connected so well during this time of just having basically each other. And it’s just really significant to have someone that special in your life that you feel that it’s just going to be okay.

Joy: Thank you Tina.

Claire: Oh, that was cute.

Joy: It’s so cute. And I have to say, Tina and her husband are like the cutest people in the world. They’re so sweet. Both of them are so sweet. They are just, they’re just great. Like, I just had lunch with them this summer, and they were just lovely people.

Claire: They are really wonderful. Tina’s wonderful. She has sent me tie-dye [CROSSTALK 00:40:03.04], Harry Potter coloring post cards.

Joy: I don’t even cook, but she got me the signed Antony cookbook. I just have it in my house, so great. Thank you, Tina, and you’re the best. This one’s from Sarah.

Sarah [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, Sarah from Portland again. And my silver lining is parent-teacher conferences. I’m a teacher, and through our contract we work through two consecutive 12-hour days of back-to-back parent-teacher conferences, and this year I’ve had to do all 24 hours in pajama pants and no bra.

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: Yeah. You go, Sarah. I hope no one from your class is listening. 

Claire: I hope they are.

Joy: For the parents. Yeah, I hope you are. Oh, that’s so great. Okay, this is from Nicky, who is one of our – I’ve met so many great, we’ve met so many great people through this podcast. I cannot say enough about you guys. Okay, this is from Nicky. It says, “Hi ladies, if I recall Claire had asked for a silver lining moment of the year. It brings me great joy to think about being at Disney Land two days before the shut down for what they thought would be two weeks but still has not reopened. COVID was just starting to be in the news, so I was a little nervous to go. But I remember feeling like not only is Disney the happiest place on earth, it was quite possibly the cleanest place on earth at the time. We grabbed some ice cream on the way out that evening. I sure hope we get back to times like those.” And then she attached a really cute photo of them going down I think it was Magic Mountain or something. It’s so cute. Thank you, Nicky. Let’s all go to Disney Land, or let’s all join and meet at a dance floor somewhere when this all comes out. Okay, this is from – aw, this is from Caitlin.

Caitlin [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Caitlin from D.C. So responding to your question about a good thing that happened in 2020 was that my fiancé proposed to me. And the part about the proposal that really gets me looking back is he proposed to me at the Harry Potter play in New York City right before the pandemic happened. Kind of in the time frame right before we knew this was really going to hit the US hard, so just crazy looking back at the photo we have in front of the marquee of him proposing. We did end up getting married but also thinking that we saw one of the last shows on Broadway and also being in New York City with all those people, and that’s just not an experience we could have right now. So that’s my good 2020, and thank you guys so much for all that you do. Love listening, bye.

Claire: I love how so many people’s are your last moment of normalcy before a shutdown happened.

Joy: Totally. I mean, I talk about that all the time.

Claire: We talk about it so much, I was in Anaheim. We shut down an 80,000-person tradeshow the night before it was supposed to start.

Joy: I will never forget that. You were like, “I’m so scared,” and I was like, “You’re going to be okay.” You’re really scared to fly.

Claire: Yeah, I’m freaking out. And I feel like, it’s just interesting to hear, I feel like that will be a unifying thing that we all talk about forever. What is your last memory of pre-COVID times, of the before times.

Joy: I just want Nancy Silverton on now to be like, do you understand how much you mean to us with the meal and restaurant experience we had. I just, I still want to find that waiter. I still want that so much.

Claire: I know.

Joy: Michael, if you’re listening from Mozza and you’re the waiter. I remember his name was Michael. Okay, last one. This is from Laura.

Laura [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Laura from Minnesota, and I’m calling to share my silver lining of 2020. So at the end of April I had my very first baby, and she’s just the best thing ever. I know normally she would be the best thing ever, but especially this year with everything that’s happened. I had her at the end of April, and that was the height of the pandemic and there was a lot of uncertainty. It was really scary to bring life into the world at that time. But luckily, everything was okay and we brought home a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I’m so lucky to have such a great family that was able to support us from afar. She still hasn’t met some of her family yet, but we got a lot of support in a lot of other ways. People brought food. They brought gifts. I have so many hand-me-downs, it’s incredible. And so whenever I’m having some sad feelings about how this year has been, I just think back to then and how lucky I am to have all of these wonderful blessings when I’ve lost a lot in this pandemic as well. So that is the bright spot and I hope you guys can find some happiness this year as well. Thanks guys.

Joy: Congratulations. I love all of the people who had babies this year. Because that’s scary alone, but during a pandemic with everything else you’re having to deal with, and everyone’s in masks and you can’t have people around and only your spouse can be in the room or whatever. I feel like all of that is just really scary. So thank you for sending that. Congratulations because I know a lot of listeners have had babies this year, so congrats. Or you got engaged, like really big life moments this year. Like, you go.

Claire: Yeah, life goes on. 

Joy: Life goes on. Alright, what’s the question for next week?

Claire: Okay, so for next week our question is going to be sort of the opposite of this week’s question. I think that this year, again, like we’ve talked about, has looked so different for everybody. From some people whose lives look pretty much the same to people who have lost so much. And we would really like to hear from you guys, what is something that you lost this year? And tell us maybe just a very short sentence or two about why that thing or person or experience that you had to cancel, what it meant for you. And we’d just like to provide some space for that. Again, this might be harder, but try to keep that under a minute long, so rehearse what you’re going to say ahead of time. Maybe write it down, and just give us a short snippet into why that thing or that person or that experience was meaningful to you and what it means to your life to have lost that or had to cancel it or had to lose it. So, send us a voice memo to thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. You can also just write us an email. You can go to our Instagram, which is @joyandclaire_ and click the contact button, which will allow you to leave a Google Voice message. When you are making your voice memo, hold the phone to your head like you’re talking on the phone. And yeah, definitely for this one, I could see some getting a little bit longer than you maybe anticipated, so think about it ahead of time, write something down, and we just want to hold some space for you guys to leave a little moment of recognition of something that you lost this year.

Joy: We’re here for you. 

Claire: We’re here for you. We’re looking forward to you sharing those really important moments with us.

Joy: Maybe it’s a ceremonial thing we can all do, like burn something. Not start a fire, let’s not talk about that.

Claire: We’re not talking about bad ex-boyfriends.

Joy: Something that was a struggle, that we collectively all recognize that it was hard, yeah.

Claire: And you know, if you need a place to kind of put that, we are here for you and we want to care about it and we want to honor that thing with you. So thank you for listening. Don’t forget about our sponsor BLUblox, blublox.com, discount is “JOY.” And we will talk to you next week.

Joy: Love you guys. 

Claire: Bye.

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy birthday Claire! We discuss Joy’s Graves’ disease diagnosis, how she’s approaching treatment, and what she’s learned so far about how to treat this condition. Claire talks about her birthday plans and her new role as a pie influencer. Last but not least we hear your hilarious Thanksgiving fails!



email: thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com

instagram: joyandclaire_

Election check in, Joy’s recent health diagnosis, and listeners tell us about the best or worst advice they’ve received!



email: thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com

instagram: joyandclaire_