Todd and Cathy discuss the stories we create about our lives and process whether or not we can reconsider our stories – not to deny reality, but to focus on what’s working rather than what’s lost. They also talk about role models for men, why it’s important to acknowledge every aspect of ourselves, what’s going on with Hall&Oates, and whether or not astrology is a science-based tool.

Join Team Zen to hear Cathy & Todd’s talk about bringing genuine romance back into your relationship (3/18, 7 pm).

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Blog Post

In the heart of every podcast episode of Zen Parenting Radio lies a fundamental truth: the intricate stories we tell ourselves shape our experiences, our perceptions, and our very realities. In episode 755, titled “The Stories We Tell Ourselves,” hosts Todd and Cathy delve into this compelling subject with humor, warmth, and profound insight.

Exploring the Power of Narrative

Amidst the cozy banter and shared anecdotes, the episode unfurls into a deeply meaningful conversation about the narratives we construct around our lives. Whether it’s Todd humorously patting himself on the back for making Cathy laugh or the duo’s discussion about grief and personal growth, the importance of *how* we frame our experiences becomes unmistakably clear.

Furthermore, Cathy’s recounting of her women’s group discussion on selecting our stories, especially in the face of adversity, brings forth a nuanced examination of the fine line between reality and denial. Todd and Cathy guide us through understanding how intentional storytelling can act as a powerful tool for resilience without veering into denial or cognitive dissonance.

The Echoes of Shared Humanity

The Zen Parenting Radio episode seamlessly transitions between lighter journey moments of discussing the upcoming Women’s March Madness pool to profound personal stories, like Todd’s night-time ghost story that turned out to be nothing more terrifying than the washing machine at work. This blend of the mundane with deeper reflections serves as a reminder of the multifaceted nature of life—one where humor and depth coexist.

Additionally, their conversation about the “Zen parenting moment,” where personal stories and meta reflections on humanity and acceptance are shared, illuminates the beauty and complexity of human emotion. From discussing celebrity stories to sharing their own experiences with grief and loss, Todd and Cathy touch on the shared threads of humanity that connect us all, emphasizing empathy, understanding, and compassion in navigating life’s myriad stories.

Modern Takes on Universal Themes

What stands out in this episode is the hosts’ ability to weave modern examples, like their preparation for hosting a talk on genuine romance, into age-old discussions on love, connection, and authenticity. Their candid reflections on aspects of modern romance, celebrity personal stories, and their own life experiences offer listeners a mirror to their own lives and an invitation to rethink the stories they tell themselves.

A Call to Reflection

As the episode draws to a close, so does the reminder that life is not merely happening around us but also being narrated by us, in our minds and through our words. This episode of Zen Parenting Radio offers both a balm and a challenge: to consciously craft our narratives in ways that honor our complexity, our struggles, our joys, and ultimately, our growth.

In navigating the stories we tell ourselves, may we find the courage to face the truth, the creativity to reimagine our narratives, and the compassion to embrace the entirety of our human experience.



Todd: Here we go. My name’s Todd. This is Cathy. Welcome back to another episode of Zen Parenting Radio. This is podcast number 755. Why listen to Zen Parenting Radio? Because you’ll feel outstanding. And always remember our motto, which is the best predictor of child well being is a parent’s self understanding.

Todd: On today’s show, Sweetie’s going to turn the heater off.

Cathy: Okay. I just wanted it for a little bit.

Todd: Sweetie likes to be warm. I do. Um, we have a few different things cooking. Last week’s episode was a little different because I was totally not into personal growth and I just wanted to make Cathy laugh and I feel like I did that.

Todd: You did. Job well done by me. Let me pat myself on the back.

Cathy: Yes.

Todd: Hold on. Lemme do that. Thank you everybody. Mm-Hmm. . Um, I have a few [00:01:00] small things, but why don’t you tease the big topic Okay. As what we think we’re gonna get to today. So

Cathy: I think we’re gonna talk about, um, stories. I had a women’s group last week with our team Zen and, um, virtual, and we were talking about, are you hearing an echo?

Todd: I just heard it, but now it stops.

Cathy: Let me see. Can you still hear it? No. Okay, good. I think my sound was on or something. Um, so we were talking about how when we’re having an experience that we really need to choose, especially when it comes to something like grief or, you know, stress over something, is that we really have to be thoughtful about choosing our own story about why it’s happening, what’s happening, and how we’re going to view it.

Cathy: And I, and we’ll dig more, we’ll dig more into it because I think sometimes it can cause some cognitive dissonance and I also don’t want people to think that I’m trying to suggest denial. That’s not what I’m suggesting. That nuance of the discussion. Correct. [00:02:00] It’s, it’s much more, yeah, you just use the word, it’s much more nuanced than that.

Cathy: And I really think it can help us with not feeling so overwhelmed by situations that we have no control over. Boom. Okay.

Todd: Um, but before we get to that. And before we get to the Zen Parenting moment, we have a few things that I want to promote. Um, we’re going to do a Women’s March Madness pool. Nice. And the brackets come out a week from, or no, this Sunday coming up.

Todd: So if you’re listening to this in real time, the, uh, the Women’s March Madness starts, I think, at the same time the guys do. And we’ve just have been dominated by Iowa Hawkeyes, Caitlin Clarke storylines, and we’re just going to bring a little bit awareness and have some fun for March Madness. So that’s the first thing.

Todd: Because we’re a Hawkeye family. And uh, I don’t think we’re going to take money. It’s not going to be like a pool where you win money. We’re just going to like give away prizes. Like socks. Like Zen Parenting warm fuzzy socks. Uh, the second thing is, um, this Monday coming up, uh, [00:03:00] 18th. You and I are. Hosting a discussion, I guess.

Todd: Yeah.

Cathy: We’re hosting a talk about genuine romance. Todd and I did a podcast two or three weeks ago where we kind of tapped into this idea of what it means to experience genuine romance. I think we have a really like storybook idea about it or a media driven idea about it. But I think usually either both people or one person in a partnership tends to recognize how that kind of romance doesn’t feel real.

Cathy: It feels forced. It’s kind of like, Valentine’s Day and someone comes home and hands you flowers, but there’s no, like, conversation or connection. And so they’re kind of just using a, um, I don’t even know if I’d call it a crutch. It’s just, they’re not, they don’t understand what genuine connection and romance is about.

Todd: I was going to say, we should have titled it Modern Romance. And then it made me think that that’s an Albert Brooks movie, which I never, I’ve never seen. Yeah. Have you ever seen that movie?

Cathy: Uh, I, it used to be on the movie channel a long, long time ago. So I think I have, if you were [00:04:00] to ask me, we, you and I were just talking about Albert Brooks movies a couple of weeks or a week ago, and I have seen many of them, but I was so young that they don’t, the storylines don’t like stick with me.

Cathy: Yeah. You’re too young, sweetie. But broadcast news, that’s Albert Brooks, right? I believe it is. Um, but anyway, so it’s a modern love thing, but we. We created it for MenLiving and we also, it’s free for Team Zen people, they have easy access to it. So Todd just told me, I was, I told him it’s, this feels convoluted to get people to join because you’re either on Team Zen or MenLiving or you’re not.

Cathy: But he’s like, no, no, you can easily sign up through MenLiving. So will you put that link below? Yeah, it’s in the show notes.

Todd: And you, um, you did save.[00:05:00]

Todd: At some point, they’re writing this song, right? Good old Beryl Hall and John Oates. It’s like, let’s just spell it. Yeah. Like instead of saying the words, I got it.

Cathy: I got it. I’m going to spell it. I’m going to spell it out. I have two things I need to say about this. Number one. I read an article a while ago, may have even been mentioned on Zen Parenting, that Daryl Hall and John Oates are not talking and that one of them is suing the other, which is like a heartbreak.

Cathy: It’s like a couple you love breaking up, you know, even if it’s a business couple, it’s, it’s sad. And then the other thing is Todd and I were watching YouTube, I think, uh, last week and we saw John Oates. Oh yeah. With a guitar on a stage singing Hall and Oates songs, but he was singing, but it’s really supposed to be Daryl Hall’s part.

Cathy: And we were kind of like, it was a little cringe. Yeah. It was a little cringe. Wasn’t Daryl

Todd: Hall the singer of the, of the duo? That’s

Cathy: my point is the [00:06:00] only thing that I ever, the only song that I ever heard Oates take the lead on was, um, when they redid You Lost That Lovin Feelin He sings the first verse.

Cathy: Um, So that’s his voice. I’m not saying he has a bad voice. It’s just weird to have Oates on stage. You know he and Hall are fighting and he’s singing that, the Daryl Hall

Todd: part. I will say, I will see that story and read you one more. What was the name of that bar we used to go to in Chicago? Cubby Bear?

Todd: Sure. Yep. And, uh, Robbie Krieger was playing. For the, the Doors. He was the, he is the amazing guitar player, and you know, Jim passed away in 1971, and he sang all the Doors songs. Jim did. No, no, Robbie did at the Cubby Bear. Right, but Jim sang all the Doors

Cathy: songs, and then Robbie’s trying to cover all the

Todd: Doors.

Todd: And it was like, once you get past, okay, Jim’s dead, uh, he won’t be showing up tonight. Uh, it was really good. I was really [00:07:00] happy that, I saw a member of the Doors play and sing all the Doors songs. Did

Cathy: Robbie sing, uh, write the songs?

Todd: Um, he wrote a lot of the music. Ray, you know, all four of them got writing credits for everything.

Cathy: And the reason I ask that question is because if Robbie is the writer of those songs, then they’re hits, you know what I mean? Like he, someone else put their vocals to it, but it’s

Todd: Well, the first song he ever wrote, you know what it was, don’t you?

Cathy: Um, yeah, um, it was Was it Touch Me or Light My Fire? It

Todd: was Light My Fire and it went to number one.

Todd: The very first song that this man

Cathy: ever No, that’s Touch Me.

Todd: Yeah. So

Cathy: it’s, yeah, I know what Light My Fire is, I just have to get the, the part at the beginning. Oh. Okay, got it. You’re good, babe. Thanks.

Todd: It’s art. And then one other thing before we get to your Zen Parenting moment. Uh huh. There is a Men Living Advance in Virginia that I’ll be attending.

Todd: We actually had some listeners, actually one woman said, I would love my husband To go there and they’re out on the East Coast. So I just, [00:08:00] I’m promoting that. If there’s any guys out there that want to connect with themselves, other guys, have some fun, do some personal growth work.

Cathy: You sometimes use men living language and people don’t know what that means.

Cathy: Which part? You say it’s a men living advanced. So we can get away. So what does that mean?

Todd: So we can get away. It’s a we can get away. No phones, no booze, no weed. Everything is It’s fun though. Yeah. You

Cathy: guys have a good time. Fun. Cause you’re not selling it with

Todd: Uh, well, if you want to like take a look in the mirror, work on yourself, have some fun, connect with other guys, meet some people, be outdoors.

Todd: Um, so anyways, uh, the link to that weekend is in the show notes. And meet Todd. And to meet me, for goodness sakes. Um, okay. So now I’m going to play a little bit of the Zen parenting, uh, intro here. Moment.

Cathy: The Zen parenting moment. Can be an asshole of the grandest kind. I can live for life, it’s going out of style.


Cathy: can be [00:09:00] the moodiest baby you’ve ever met. Anyone is as negative as I am sometimes. I am the wisest woman in the world. Is that enough? Yeah. The gist of it was I actually did the radio edit, uh, at the top, um, yeah, because it’s just basically the whole point of that song is you’re light and dark, right?

Cathy: You know, you’re, you’re an asshole and you’re also the most positive person in the world. So I, the Zen parenting moment, I feel like, did I already talk about that on the show? About the ghost? Yeah.

Todd: Um, did we talk about the ghost? I don’t know. I think maybe you talked about it. Maybe because my sister was talking about it last night at the But she read the Zen Parenting Moment.

Todd: Okay, so yeah, there you go. So I don’t think we talked about it.

Cathy: Yeah, so short story. If you get Zen, if you get my Zen Parenting Moments, you I’ve already read it, um, and if you don’t get my Zen Parenting Moments, scroll down and, and get it, um, cause I send it out every Friday, and there’s nothing to it, it’s just,

Todd: what’s [00:10:00] the book?

Todd: It’s for the people that don’t sign up for your mom.

Cathy: Yeah, like it’s just, uh, it’s just me writing something that, something to ponder.

Todd: And you can read it in 30 seconds or less. Yeah,

Cathy: um. And basically I just wrote about this experience I had, uh, last week where, um, I woke up, no, I was going to bed, I, I heard something upstairs, and, you know, do you guys find it annoying when y’all say to, like, your family, like, did you hear that?

Cathy: And everyone’s like, no. And so, like, Todd didn’t hear it, Skylar didn’t hear it. I’m like, okay. So I just let it go. And then Todd and I went to bed and then I heard it again. It was these thumps. It went like that. Okay. And I go, Todd, you hear that? No. I’m like, God, like what’s wrong with me? And, um, and then I fell asleep and then I woke up at 3am and I could hear it.

Cathy: It did it again. And I was like, okay, so we got a ghost, right? Like there’s any, I’m the only one who can hear it. Cause nobody else can hear it. What does it mean? What does it want to tell me? I watch a lot of movies. I read a lot of books and it wants to tell me something. [00:11:00] So I went through this whole thing.

Cathy: And then finally, an hour later, I heard a, um, Ding. What is, what is our, um, washer sound like? Dun nuh nuh

Todd: nuh. I don’t know that.

Cathy: It just says chime. Yeah. And I was like, why is my washing machine going off at 3 a. m.? Cause that’s weird, right? Like, I wouldn’t, why didn’t it go off for the last 8 hours of the day?

Cathy: Like, who’s doing laundry? Anyway, when in there, I had happened to use the washing machine super early the morning before. I was washing mop heads. I love to mop floors. Yeah. Very strange quirk I have. And they were still in there. And so the wash, the washer was re cycling them. And that was the thump, thump, thump, thump.

Todd: Casper, the friendly

Cathy: ghost, the friendliest ghost you know. No grown ups might look at him with fright, but you can all laugh and show.

Todd: Sweetie, did you think it was Casper?

Cathy: I just thought it was something, I don’t know, you know? I, I don’t, I don’t [00:12:00] necessarily always think it’s evil. I just think that it could, you know, my parents aren’t here anymore.

Cathy: Like Who knows? Maybe they’re trying to communicate with me. I don’t know. Maybe someone’s trying to tell me something. The point of the story was I’m, I’m a bit irrational in the middle of the night. I don’t always think about ghosts. It’s a very like middle of the night. You guys know that middle of the night feeling and you’re all over the place.

Cathy: And I basically, my last paragraph, I wrote about the fact that I’m very mindful and thoughtful. And in the middle of the night, I’m irrational. I’m very focused on peace and wellness. And I also watch horror movies. I just focused on the. That I’m all the things, you know, and we all are. And my whole point was to say.

Cathy: And so are your kids. So when parents get very focused on my kid is this, and they’re this, and they don’t do this, and they don’t do enough of this, their kid is many things. Your kid is a jerk sometimes, just like the Alanis Morissette song. Sometimes they’re a jerk, sometimes they’re beautiful. Sometimes they’re scary, sometimes they’re awesome.

Cathy: It’s [00:13:00] just part of being human. Um, and if we kind of recognize that about ourselves, we wouldn’t stress so much about, why do I think about this? Ghosts, you know what I mean? Um, I was gonna tell another ghost story. Oh, I was telling Todd this so that I thought he had listened to a podcast where they talked about this on the rewatchables, Bill Simmons.

Cathy: Um, he was talking about the Amityville horror and he was talking about how, so anyone who’s ever seen the Amityville horror, which I have, and he was saying that he’s always scared around 315 if he happens to wake up because that was when in the Amityville horror, the guy would wake up and be like possessed, right?

Cathy: Or have a, like a demon experience as we tend to have. So Why that was so interesting is I am the exact same way since I saw Amityville Horror when I was little. 3 o’clock, 3. 15 has always been kind of a creepy time for me. And I now I’m kind of creeped out around four o’clock too, because [00:14:00] of those, um, I feel like I’m ruining other people’s like brain cells here because now they’re going to think about it.

Cathy: But that the Iowa or not, I know the Idaho murders happened at like four 15 AM and that just goes, that doesn’t fit right to me. Like things should happen in the middle of the night, right? Not before the morning. I’m not an idiot. I know that things can happen all during the day, but there’s something so creepy about that because you think by 4am like we’re cool.

Cathy: Right? No one’s breaking in. Everything is fine. Yeah, if it’s a bad thing we’re going to happen, it would happen before 4 a. m. Right. Happen at 2 or 1 30. Right. And these are thoughts that in the day, the reason I’m sharing them with people is right now, I know none of this is real. Yeah, it’s irrational. It’s irrational.

Cathy: But that’s why we’re so interesting in the middle of the night because it’s like all of our defenses are down. And so everything feels scary or possible, or Dreams can feel really awesome, and it’s not always negative, but I just tend to have, you know, I started watching movies at an early age. I got a lot of things in my head.

Cathy: You know what I do in the middle of the night? What? Yeah, I [00:15:00] know you do. I know you do. You, and part of what I wrote about is the fact that Todd is so that way. He’s such a snorey, like, you know, sleepy guy, that when I, when I hear sounds, I go look. I don’t wake up Todd and like, Oh, I’m scared. I go look and I don’t take a bat with me or anything.

Cathy: Yeah. I’m super brave. Yeah, you are. I agree. So I’m scared. But I’m

Todd: brave. I agree. Do you see what I mean, Tash? There’s no way to be brave without fear. True. That’s the way it works. Um, I have a quick share. Okay. Um, every now and again I do these videos for people who give money to Men Living, mostly guys, but some women give us money, like ten bucks a month or whatever, just to kind of raise funds.

Todd: And, I’m, Last Sunday, I did a video and I highlighted that video that you shared with me of Travis and Jason Kelsey. Yeah. At the retirement, when he was Announcement. Announcement. And you know, they’re both Crying. My judgment, heart centered, crying individuals. And one of my friends, who I’m not going to name his name, because he didn’t I didn’t get permission from [00:16:00] him.

Todd: But he said, um, and I was just talking about how this is my Example of the mature masculinity. Like these guys are warriors on the football field and yet they can unzip and get heart centered and feel their feelings and cry and love each other, not

Cathy: be in competition.

Todd: And he said, I watched your video this morning.

Todd: I checked them out weekly. I have to respectfully disagree on this one. While a touching family moment between two brothers, the flavors of the day are not my model for mature masculine. I see a guy ripping off his shirt in a skybox and exposing himself, knowing that he Is going to get screen time. Seems a bit childish and mature.

Todd: Another example, yelling at your coach at the Super Bowl for most of the world to see. If no one, if one does that in that kind of setting, not sure I want them around, uh, a guy like that in a private setting. I know it’s not cool to say anything bad about the current dudes of the day. I’m still pondering who I might see as a good example of mature masculinity, and I’m coming up short, um, he’s like, he’s like, I would go with Shaq or Paul Newman, which I think is [00:17:00] hilarious.

Todd: Paul Newman’s a good dude. Maybe I’m just turning into a grumpy old man. Thanks for sharing a video each week. So I responded back to him, I’m not going to read it to you, but, um, The two things, one is the Travis, I do feel like Travis, just so everybody knows, at the Super Bowl, Travis kind of like, pushed into his coach, Andy Reid, on the sidelines, in the middle of the, in the middle of the game.

Todd: He surprised him. Surprised him. And I agree with my friend saying that I think Travis did get, uh, off clean from that? I think that he did, and maybe there was a bunch of questions that I didn’t say.

Cathy: He, and again, sorry to interrupt, but they talked about it right afterwards. Like Andy said, he surprised me, so it pushed me back.

Cathy: He’s like, but that’s how we communicate on the field. Like that, it wasn’t a Travis went and pushed his coach. It was like a moment. It’d be like if you came up to me and you were like yelling something at me and I like flailed back. I

Todd: remember seeing that [00:18:00] he physically pushed him, not like with his hands, but he got in his space to the point where he pushed him off of where he was.

Todd: And I just judged that because I love Travis and everybody else seems to love Travis, that he got off a little bit cleaner. If it was somebody else that did something like that. Okay. Okay. Um, the Jason Kelsey thing, I totally disagree with my friend on, you know, when he was, when Jason had his shirt off and he was drinking beer, um, I actually love that.

Todd: Maybe it’s because I love Jason, but I love that, um, he was joyful. I think us middle aged men don’t give ourselves permission to act like, like joyful, youthful little, as we did when we were little boys. So I do think that there is, and, and I also asked my friend not to look at these two things in totality of who these two men are.

Todd: Like he’s trying to find the one exception, whereas these guys. are just really seem to be loving, compassionate, gentle people out there. So I just thought it was an interesting take and one [00:19:00] where I can see where he can see that and I disagree with him.

Cathy: Well, what I, it’s not about disagreeing with him.

Cathy: It’s about remembering for all of us that everybody is everything. Is that Jason, who had just, the Eagles had lost a few weeks before, he’s not moving on, but his brother’s team is, and he showed up in his brother’s team’s Colors and then grab some beers and his wife’s like behind him laughing and is funny because that’s part of his personality and we can say that is so childish.

Cathy: It is. But I’m childish. And

Todd: I judge that there’s not enough childishness in us.

Cathy: And I think my point is, is that if you look at this man, and again, we don’t know him. I know that I’m very aware that we are, you know, upholding people who are famous or athletes or celebrities. I totally see this, but we can utilize this to help us with everybody, okay?

Cathy: So if we look at Jason and the way that he has shown up as a football player, the way his teammates talk about him, I don’t know if you guys have seen the way that his, [00:20:00] um, I was telling you about his injury, the guy who always wrapped up his knee. Yeah. The trainer. The trainer. He, he told this great story about how he did this.

Cathy: And then his, the trainer had cancer. He got cancer and that Jason would show up for his family and pay for food. And he’s like, has, and then he’s close to his parents. He’s great to his wife. He has all these positive attributes. And then sometimes he’s really childish. I have a lot of guy friends like this.

Cathy: Todd can be like this, like where they like really, you know, they make a mockery of themselves, they’re funny, whatever. And then he can go back to being a dad and a family man. He has every aspect of himself. And I, and why this is important is I remember a long time ago, and I’m talking like 15 years ago, you guys.

Cathy: Like Todd and I were having conversations about famous people like Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, all these people. And Todd was even saying things like, well, they weren’t good to their wives and so they’re not a good person or they cheated or, you know, all, all sorts of famous people. And we have this conversation about humanity in that sometimes we have to look [00:21:00] at someone not of who’s the perfect person we’re going to find to uphold.

Cathy: There’s no such thing. And you’re let’s, let’s decide that with Travis. Um, I know that these guys have a lot of fame right now. Maybe he did do exactly what you said, and maybe it was a little harsher than I thought. Another thing he did was apologize for it and apologize to his coach and apologize to people watching and said, I should have like chilled.

Cathy: And we can still say, well, what’s, what is he like in private? Well, we hear a million stories of what he’s like in private and nobody says like that. So he did make a mistake. Can we be If we own it, can we be forgiven? Can we recognize that we are playing a football game in, you know, the Super Bowl? And, and I am someone who supports women and honors women, and I don’t want, this is not about trying to let someone off the hook.

Cathy: I don’t, in every other aspect of his life, I have never seen a And [00:22:00] maybe that’s why it’s so shocking to people because they’re like, Oh my God, he’s got this aggressive, maybe even, I wouldn’t call it violent. What would you call it? Like just, just aggressive side and it scared people. Totally get it. And he needs to be called out for that.

Cathy: But I just, I, it’s not just to your friend, but I think to everyone to try and find a perfect person, there’s inner judgment then too, because you must not believe you can be. That, you know what I mean? Because we all know we’ve made mistakes and done things and thought things and been things that aren’t necessarily good for society.

Cathy: Right. I totally agree. So it goes along with what I wrote, really. Because how sad it would be if someone was like, Oh, I’m not gonna be friends with you anymore, Cathy, because you watch Horror movies, or you watch violence and you’re, you talk about ghosts. So there’s something wrong with you. And it’s like, well, that’s like a piece of me.

Cathy: And there’s a million other aspects of me. That’s really helpful to, I think, people and the world. And so [00:23:00] it would be, make me sad if someone was like, I’m going to take this one part of you and decide I don’t like

Todd: you. Whenever I see a behavior in somebody else, that really annoys me. I think that most of the time there’s something in me that I have not quite Completely reckoned with.

Todd: Right. And, you know, see the humanity in everybody like, yeah, these are heated moments on the sidelines. So anyways, I just thought it was interesting. Oh, and by the way. And

Cathy: I don’t think you’re friends alone. I think a lot of people do this. I think a lot of people say, well, I heard she was, I heard she did this or this.

Cathy: And so I don’t like her. And it’s like, well, Look at all the other pieces. Think about our own

Todd: weakest moments. All the things that we’ve screwed up. Thank

Cathy: you. Look at all of our weakest moments. What if someone had a camera on us at, you know, in our most stressful moments or in our most difficult times or in the times when maybe we had one too many beers or whatever Jason had had that day.

Cathy: Like, He might not be a great look.

Todd: Let’s just say that. Well, the one thing I said about Jason is I have a feeling that with or without the [00:24:00] cameras, I think he would have acted this similar. I think that’s who he is. I think that’s who he is. My friend, uh, Mike, uh, as a result of me sending this video, because I asked the guys, like, do you have any other models?

Todd: Because I’m always trying to like develop a list of healthy models. And I know I’ve asked Team Zen to do this and he was nice enough to create a spreadsheet. And he put in Jason and Travis in for me. Uh, he also put in Drew Holcomb. Kay? Do you know who that is? No. He’s a musician. He says he does a lot of man stuff.

Todd: Hunts, play golf, is a pilot, and emphasizes family love and connection in his music.

Cathy: What about Dax Shepard?

Todd: Um, I don’t, you know, I wouldn’t hold Dax up that high, quite honestly. Um, I don’t know, there’s parts of him that, I mean, I appreciate his vulnerability. Yeah. Um, but, I don’t know, I just, I’m a little vanilla on Dax.

Cathy: Okay. I find him to be a good model of that. Masculinity. Vulnerability. Father. Partner. He’s not [00:25:00] perfect. You know, he can be annoying or, you know, talks about the same things or, you know, he, but he admits it. Like he talks about it. I find him to be very self aware. Um, you know, I listened to his show every week.

Cathy: It’s not a turnoff

Todd: to me. Yeah. I’m not anti Dax. He’s just, he’s not somebody that, I would, he, he wouldn’t be top of mind. Um, a few other people. So I’ve talked about Lin Manuel Miranda, and I know that that’s such an outdated example, but it’s true. Like talk about, uh, you know, sometimes I talk about archetypal energy for guys and warrior energies, not just like battling, but it’s getting stuff done.

Todd: And Lin Manuel Miranda. Worked on Hamilton for years and then finally crushed it and, you know, used music as his vehicle. Um, other guys on the list, Nick Offerman, who I think is a really good example, guy from Parks and Rec, Dan Campbell. You know who Dan Campbell is? He’s a coach from the Alliance. Okay.

Todd: He’s like this big, tough, gruff guy, but also like half the time I’m at a press conference, he’s crying. Love Dan Campbell. What about Steve [00:26:00] Kerr? Uh, Steve Kerr would be, I’m gonna put him on this list, I agree. Um, the, uh, Lewis Hamilton? Mm mm, don’t know. He’s some F1 driver. Mm kay. And then I put on, uh, put Pedro Pascal.

Cathy: Oh, I love him.

Todd: So if anybody has any other ideas, I want to add to this list. So email at Todd at ZenParentingRadio. com

Cathy: Well, we watched the Oscars last night. Was there anybody that was there? What about Gosling? I love Ryan Gosling. Yeah. I mean, his, his performance was pretty great and he took this role in this movie that I think he trusted the people who wrote it and did it.

Cathy: I think he knew it was going to be fine. Yeah. Um, but you know, it’s a big leap of faith. And he put himself out there into, um, what someone would call a non masculine role. Um, you know, stereo, I don’t even know how to say this, but he also was willing to speak about patriarchy, right? Because if you’re signing onto this movie, you are willing to, to be in on it.

Cathy: You know, what, what, what? the, the issues that we’re trying to discuss. [00:27:00]

Todd: I like Gosling. So, um, all right. So that’s what I got. And that Zen parenting moment, by the way, was brought to you by, uh, David Serrano, financial, personal financial advisor. He’s smart. He’s trustworthy. He’s David Serrano. Um, so thanks David for sponsoring the podcast and give him a call.

Todd: His information is, uh, in the show notes of this podcast. So,

Cathy: yeah, yeah, it’s, you know, I mean, sorry. It’s just hard to get off that topic. It’s so hard to, when we’re talking about liking and not liking people. And I think we get to play with that when we’re talking about celebrities and singers and athletes, we get to kind of be like, We get to not think, I don’t want to say we don’t think deeply, but we kind of go with a gut.

Cathy: Like, I like them. I don’t like them. I hate them. They bug me. I don’t like their look. I don’t like their voice. I don’t like, we’re like very off the cuff about the judge, the judgmental part

Todd: in each of us is on high alert.

Cathy: And I think if we were to actually be somewhere and meet that person at a restaurant and got the chance to sit down for 15 minutes, we’d be like, Oh, [00:28:00] that person is, Great.

Cathy: Like, they’re really interesting. Does it get rid of all the other things that maybe they have assorted past, or, you know, I mean, Robert Downey Jr. is a great example, you guys. Like, Todd and I, you know, being Gen X people, the Robert Downey Jr. we grew up with, and we always loved him, you know, we got weird science, and we have, you know, less than zero, and we had that early Robert Downey Jr.

Cathy: And then he was constantly being arrested and constantly in front of a judge and went to prison and he was a mess. And then now he has come through all of this, basically created Marvel with starting Iron Man and setting the tone for that franchise, and then won an Academy Award last night. It’s a wonderful story, a cycle of him.

Cathy: You know, he gives a lot of the credit to his wife, like the connecting and the love and then his children and. Do we dislike Robert Downey Jr. because of his past? You know what I mean? And, and same with Dax. You know, we were just [00:29:00] talking about he has a whole past of addiction and I don’t know. It’s, it, I, my hope for all of us is that is in the take this off celebrities is that we have compassion for the process of learning how to be a human being.

Cathy: At the same time, I listened to a podcast this morning about narcissists. It was cultish narcissists, everything. And sometimes there’s people we just have to stay away from, right? Like there’s nobody that we have to be like, Oh, we have to be, you know, We don’t have to forgive everybody and invite everyone over for dinner just because they’re human.

Cathy: We get to pick and choose, but I, I guess the question is, can we be self aware about why?

Todd: Yeah. Well, you can set healthy boundaries, uh, around people that are not good for you. And at the same time, like I said, when I’m at, when I’m having a good day, a good personal growth day, and I notice that the, the critic in me is showing up, it’s usually something that I’m unwilling to look at myself.

Cathy: Yeah. [00:30:00] Explain that. Say that to me again. I don’t understand that sentence. When you are having a

Todd: a good personal growth thing. Good personal growth. When I’m in a place of learning. Okay. As opposed to the place of everything’s happening to me or at me. Got it. When and then the critic shows up. Yeah. You can see it more clearly.

Todd: Right. I can see it. And one example is like my friend who’s judging Jason Kelsey for acting like an idiot. Yeah. I am going to make up a story that my friend doesn’t allow himself to jovial and act childlike and everything else. So, or he had a family

Cathy: member who did that all the time, who disrupted everything.

Cathy: Or he had a friend who embarrassed him. There’s some learning.

Todd: We can take almost anything and learn from it, no matter how uncomfortable or how much pain happened as a result of something.

Cathy: So that, that is a great segue to what we’re talking about here as far as stories, because Because the thing that, again, I’ll just repeat.

Cathy: Um, I was listening to a Chelsea Hamler podcast last week and Monica Lewinsky was on, um, International Women’s [00:31:00] Day. She was on for, and the, they had a conversation, they, they had a wonderful conversation. I recommend, you know, just listening to the podcast, but then somebody called in cause Chelsea has people call in and they were saying how they, they really struggle with a certain month.

Cathy: I think they said it was March because they had someone pass away in that month. And that person had like struggled and suffered for a long time. I think it was her father. And so now when March starts to approach, she feels her, she’s like, my, my brain seems kind of clear, but my body is reacting to it.

Cathy: I’m having this like grief experience. And she’s like, so much so that now when it’s even October, I start to fear March. Like I started to get nervous about March because this thing’s going to happen to me. And I can’t remember who said it first, but Chelsea and Monica both agreed. They’re like, you have to have a different story about this situation.

Cathy: Like, instead of March being the time when you feel like you get taken down into a deep depression, March has to be the month where you celebrate your [00:32:00] dad. Where that you think about him and not just his death. But his life and the times you had together and the music he loves and that you dedicate. And here’s, here’s the thing, why we have to be really careful about denial here, is it’s not saying, okay, I’m going to pretend I’m not feeling this grief.

Cathy: The grief is the reminder. to reshape the story. When the grief comes up and you have a cry or you’re like, oh, this is so overwhelming, you say, yeah, this is my reminder to celebrate my dad. You don’t have to deny the grief.

Todd: Like, go ahead, Todd. Well, in addition to that, I agree. It’s a, the grief is an opportunity to celebrate.

Todd: Yeah. And, um, it’s also the, the sadness that comes up. for Monica is, um, that you also need to let go of something too, right? It’s not just, because I do feel sometimes, I was having a big debate with somebody about funerals and how we call them celebrations of life and how that’s almost a denial of the [00:33:00] sadness that happens as a result of a funeral.

Todd: So I think that there is Cause for celebration when we go to a wake or a funeral. And the sadness and the grief that shows up. It’s an opportunity to let go of something. And what is that something? This person used to be here. And they’re not here. So,

Cathy: well, I think they’re both, I mean, I feel like I talk about this all the time, but joy and pain.

Cathy: And again, if you’re watching on YouTube, I’m putting my hands together. They are two there each. It’s like a coin. Once I, the only reason we feel grief is because we felt love and joy and it, and that’s no longer here. And so we’re like, we don’t grieve things that we didn’t. necessarily care about. You know what I mean?

Cathy: We grieve things that are important to us and that people that were important to us or experiences that were important to us. So it’s interesting that you say that about a wake or a funeral because I think that depends on what that person needs that day and nobody else should be telling anybody else what they need on that day.

Cathy: Right. I have had, I have been to many many funerals and I [00:34:00] have organized several funerals and um, I have I chose a celebration of life for both of my parents, which was, it was at a funeral home, but we put pictures everywhere. We had music playing, a playlist of things that my parents loved. We had, like, my mom loved potatoes, so we had potato chips available to people.

Cathy: My dad loves lollipops, so we had lollipops available to people. I wanted my parents to be in that room. My mom loved West Side Story, so I had West Side Story That’s not negating someone’s

Todd: ability to cry. Well, you also gave a wonderful eulogy that brought tears to many people. So it’s like the celebration.

Todd: Yes, you did that beautifully. And you also gave a beautiful eulogy that allowed people to grieve a loss.

Cathy: Correct. And what I’m expecting of people walking in, even seeing because it’s still at a funeral home, my mom is still gone and there’s still pictures of her everywhere that bring up the grief. I don’t think experience my, my whole point is not.

Cathy: Do it the way I did it because then [00:35:00] I’d be saying exactly what I’m trying, you know, I’m not saying do my way. What I’m saying is whatever the people closest need or whatever they experience, however they need to experience that is the setting and somebody else who comes in who said this should be more sad or this should be a celebration of life.

Cathy: That’s your need. That’s not the the family’s

Todd: I can’t believe we’re going down this road, but like I, you know, hopefully I’m 50 years away from death, all right? Yeah. They’ll put me at 102 or whatever. Uh huh. But really, uh, This is probably aside from the point that you wanted to get to, but I, I kind of like it when certain people organize their own funeral, you know, like, Hey, this is what I want to happen.

Todd: And, you know, certain people like, Hey, I want to, I want you to go to a bar and I’ll buy you the first two drinks or something like that or something like that. So is it, Like, who is the funeral for? Is it for the, the closest people to that person that just passed away? Or is it for the person who passed and he or she can [00:36:00] organize any type of funeral they want?

Cathy: Well, but they’re not here. So I think a funeral is for the people who are left. The funeral is for a way for the people who are still on earth to integrate this passing and to move forward with some kind of peace. I’m not saying that a person who knows they’re dying and wants to say, hey, spread my ashes here or play this song or.

Cathy: Bury me in this. Hey, that’s great. Like that actually makes it easier for the family cause then they can check some boxes off. But like, again, I’ll go, I can only go to my experience. Like I just know that my, my dad had a long drawn out death as well. You know, it was long. He, he did not look good for a lot of his last 17 years.

Cathy: He was very, there was a lot of sickness, a lot of challenge, but that was not the entirety of my dad’s life. And I wanted. The, when people are coming to say goodbye to my dad or to give condolences to my sister and I, I want them to see my dad represented. I wanted boats everywhere and I wanted [00:37:00] teaching and, you know, all the things he’s done.

Cathy: That’s, I think, That’s an integration for me, but in no way am I like I’m doing this so people don’t cry because I cried Yeah, a ton. Sure. So it’s like can I the reason I started with the hands together is can these things live? Side by side rather than this binary of either a funeral sad or it’s a celebration of life Okay, should be both.

Todd: Can I share a little bit of judgment in me? Sure. Go ahead Uh, I would grew up Catholic and I just went to a Catholic funeral again You And I just feel this is like totally judgmental. So I’m just owning that, but it’s a mass and we barely at all talk about the person who passed. And for me, I’m like, let’s, let’s talk about this person instead of read yet another Bible passage or do the liturgy of the Eucharist or liturgy of the word.

Todd: And I’m just like, well, for me, what a colossal waste of energy. Instead, let’s. Let’s [00:38:00] hear from people who love this person and, and, and think fondly of the, uh, instead I’m, I’m at yet another mass for the 250, 000th time in my life. Yeah. Anyways, that’s my.

Cathy: And some people, religion is paramount for them, so that’s going to be what they’re going to lead with, you know?

Cathy: And then if people give a eulogy or if there’s some kind of family get together, then that’ll come later. And so that’s the thing is there is no wrong way to do this, but sometimes we go to things like. Sometimes there’s been people who have passed in my life, you know, beyond my parents, where I have had to do my own work beyond the service, where I’ve had to do some writing, or I’ve had to do some talking with other people, or I had to do some kind of artwork, or something, because the service is, uh, I mean, it’s for a lot of reasons.

Cathy: It’s for us to integrate, but also to pay respect to the family. And then we’re going to have to do some work after that. And so like, you know, sometimes if we go to a service that’s not meeting our [00:39:00] personal needs, you got to go do it somewhere else. And it’s, and I also, you know, I, I, The last thing I’ll say is, you know, and people who have had people die in their family know this, but it’s such a weird time right after someone dies.

Cathy: And then you have to like plan a service. And my sister and I, with my dad and my mom, we had some heads up because they both had like chronic illnesses. So we could kind of talk about things as we went, but it’s weird to be like, okay, now I have to plan this thing. And then you’ve got to

Todd: host a party. I was going to say a party.

Todd: Yeah, but it’s like an event. Now you have, because even though you just lost something huge or lost somebody huge. Yeah. Now you’re in charge of a party, making sure everybody else feels okay with the experience.

Cathy: And that’s kind of why I think some people do hand it over to religion if they are religious, because they’re like, you know what, they know how to do the service.

Cathy: I just want to show up, bring this thing full circle. And let me tell you something else. I have family members who don’t do. Funerals at all. Like I, you know, my brother in law like his parents passed and it was during COVID. And so [00:40:00] that didn’t happen and same with one of my girlfriends. Her mother passed and their family decided not to do one of those services and that’s, that’s fine too.

Cathy: Sure. Again, it’s fun. There is no one right way. I mean, I feel like that’s kind of the conversation we’re having today is there’s many ways and we can have, um, an opinion. Yeah. Like there’s nothing wrong with having an opinion. I think where we sell ourselves and other people short is when we assume when we don’t have humility, when we’re like, we’re not right about everything, just because something feels right to us doesn’t mean it’s right.

Cathy: For

Todd: a minute, the minute you think you’re right about anything is You’re shutting down a part of your brain that invites. I know there’s opinion and believe me, I’m raising my hand. There’s sometimes when I feel absolutely right, like the Catholic mass thing, it doesn’t make sense for me. I can hold space for somebody who’s like, no, no, you don’t understand.

Todd: This is how I grieve by being in this mass. I totally get it. Just for me, it’s [00:41:00] not my deal.

Cathy: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, Adam Grant, um, in Think Again, his book, he wrote about something called confident humility and confident humility is the ability to have an opinion that you feel like is, um, Thoughtful and based on your experience, maybe research, maybe other people’s experiences, but you also have the ability to listen with the intention of possibly having your mind changed, or at least altered, is, it’s a really sweet spot, confident humility, because you It’s not as if you’re like, what does everybody else think?

Cathy: You have an opinion. But then as you listen to people, you also have humility where you’re like, oh, I never considered that. That’s, those are the people I love to surround myself with because that’s, that makes for wonderful conversation.

Todd: Speaking of Adam Grant. Yeah. Did you read his thing from last week about astrology?

Cathy: Oh no, what did he say? Oh no!

Todd: I kind of want to do a whole podcast on it. So I read it and, uh, so I, I put into chat GPT to summarize the article. So I’ll do that. Article [00:42:00] discusses the widespread belief in astrology, despite scientific evidence debunking its validity. It highlights a study led by an MIT professor that found no correlation between zodiac signs and personality traits among a large sample of participants.

Todd: The author addresses common justifications for belief in astrology, such as Perceived accuracy of horoscopes and the potential influence of birthdays, but refused them with evidence. Furthermore, the article warns against the harm caused by astrology, including discrimination based on zodiac signs. I don’t know what that means.

Cathy: It means like, for example, you’re a Taurus. Yeah. If we decided you’re stubborn. Because you’re a Taurus when really you don’t demonstrate stubbornness. In

Todd: association with a lack of critical thinking skills, author urges readers to abandon astrology and embrace more evidence based ways of understanding personality.

Todd: Um, I know for certain that I don’t know anything for certain. Yeah. And I know there’s some people in my life that love astrology. I just, I, I can’t get on board with it.

Cathy: Well, it’s, it’s, um, [00:43:00] I kind of find myself in the middle of the circle, because I feel like I see all the different sides. Like, there is a way that I understand it’s just another version of us trying to explain ourselves, just like a personality test, just like the Enneagram, just like, Uh, diagnosis.

Cathy: We’re just trying to figure out who we are and we find connection and solace in being considered something. And sometimes it’s something special. We find solace in that if we have certain traits that we don’t love, and then we figure out, Oh! I’m a Virgo. That’s why then all of a sudden we feel consoled by that.

Cathy: Um, I’m not a Virgo by the way, I’m a Leo. And I, it’s interesting because I have even had conversations with people about how I have said this. I’m an early Leo. I’m July 29th. So, early Leos, July Leos. Have a lot of, um, the, the sign that comes before Leo is cancer. And we have, we still, I’m [00:44:00] not a cusper, but I still have a lot of that, but I’m not quite into the late August Madonna, Bill Clinton, Leo, do you know what I mean?

Cathy: I’m saying this kind of in with a half smile, because what am I talking about? Right. But there’s some version of that where I can find myself as a Leo.

Todd: Yeah, that’s, that’s, do you know what I mean? I totally. So yeah, this is where, cause I don’t, just for the record, I’m, I’m, I’m I, I don’t subscribe to astrology and I, I, but I give the Enneagram some, a lot of weight, some, some weight.

Todd: Yeah. Like, well, what’s the difference? Like this is made up. That’s made up yet. I find Enneagram useful and I find astrology not useful. I think if I took off my certainty hat and moved it over to astrology, I can probably find a ton of value in astrology just based on, Hey, there’s a label of what this type of.

Todd: Sign means and I can find value about how I show up in that way or how I don’t show up in the way in the same way I do with the Enneagram. So it’s like, you know, [00:45:00] It reminds me of what one of my teachers just said in an email recently is all models are wrong and some are useful, correct? Right, that’s what the Enneagram.

Todd: There’s no way I can define my type Like, this is who Todd Adams is. He’s a three on the Enneagram, his love language is that, his sign is that. Like, none of them encapsulate who I am as a person.

Cathy: You’re just trying to figure out who you are and the models help you do it, but the

Todd: model is not the, the truth with a capital E.

Todd: And I think a lot of times we think that it is.

Cathy: We elevate it. And we, like, I have had my chart read, my entire chart read, three or four times. Like, I, I. I think it’s interesting and I have all, it’s crazy though because sometimes I’m like, I’m, I’m like Leo in like all the houses. Like I’m an intense Leo and I don’t always feel that way.

Cathy: Like I, so sometimes when I’m having my chart read, people are telling me things about me that I’m like, Oh, some of that. Yeah. But not, you know, All of that. And I think that’s the whole point. And I, I also, one thing Todd, like the last time I had my chart read and [00:46:00] it was a lovely woman, but I said to her, do not give me dates.

Cathy: I don’t like dates. Don’t tell me this is going to happen this time. And then she started to give me dates like, Oh, January 4th. You’re going to, I’m like, no, no, no. Those kinds of things. I know some people may appreciate that or like, you know, she, she says things like on January, whatever, watch out because they’re, you know, and I’m like, that doesn’t help me at all.

Cathy: And I taught, I stopped her and I said, I love the big picture stuff. Cause she does the whole chart. I mean, there is a, there was an art and science to it. Um, but I, but then. I’m telling you this and if you were to say, well, what did she say about you? I’d be like, I don’t really remember. I just, but I will tell you that sometimes like, for example, one time I had my chart read when I was in my mid twenties.

Cathy: I had just gone through a breakup. I started living by myself. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was at a crossroads and I went to see, you know, a woman who read my chart. And the things she said were like, she was like, You’re supposed to be a teacher. You’re supposed to be helping people. [00:47:00] You’re supposed to be a therapist.

Cathy: And these were things I wanted to do. Yeah. So instead

Todd: that what she said activated something in you that maybe without it, you were a little bit less willing to take action.

Cathy: And that, and so I took that, not like the therapist said, so it just woke me up. Whereas like about, I don’t know, seven or eight years ago, I was in a women’s group and, um, somebody came to talk to us.

Cathy: She was actually a psychic, not an astrologer. But she started telling me things like you just really struggle speaking up for yourself and you just really need to use your voice. I’m like, lady, I’ve been working on this for 20 years. Like I’m a podcaster, I’m a writer. I’m a, you know, like she was not hitting anything that I felt was.

Cathy: That’s true. Right. Because I talk to you about everything. Which is weird

Todd: because usually you kind of want there to be some truth in it so you’re like almost biased on how you interpret the information and you didn’t even sign off on that. Not at all.

Cathy: I was like, and not because I’m so above her, but because the things she was saying that she was missing.

Cathy: It was like, that’s not, I, other things I could hear, [00:48:00] but I’ve been working on that since I was 25. Like we’re not, I’m not doing that at 40.

Todd: So I feel like I brought you off of the topic. Okay. Sorry. So I just want to bring it back. Bring back. Thank you. Have a good one. Eight minutes. Okay.

Cathy: So going, this is all related though, because we’re talking about our story and how we write our story, right?

Cathy: So even bringing in, you know, we can decide we had a bad day because mercury is in retrograde, or we can decide everybody has bad days occasionally. And sometimes things fall apart and it’s nobody’s fault. It’s just a thing like, or maybe the mercury in retrograde helps us. Maybe it makes us feel less stressed about it.

Cathy: And if so, Who cares, right? Like no judgment. Like people get to create what they need to or, you know, choose what they need to ground them. And I, I have chosen a lot of different things over my lifetime. But going back to like what Monica and Chelsea were saying, Monica Lewinsky, as we all know, or I’m assuming everybody knows, you know, gotten to, um, uh, international situation with, um, one of our ex [00:49:00] presidents.

Cathy: And she talks about how, I think it was like January 11th was when She was arrested by, or I should say picked up by the FBI. She wasn’t arrested, but she was picked up and questioned by the FBI. So she also was able to relate to the fact that every time January rolls around, she starts to feel really uncomfortable around that date.

Cathy: And she and her mom, you know, after a couple years of going through this, her mom said, you know what, let’s call that day Survivors Day. Because you survived something that most people probably could not survive. And I, I believe that. Monica Lewinsky is an inspiration. You know, again, talk about understanding someone’s past, you know, your, your buddy.

Cathy: Like, I know some people will say, well, she was this, or she was that. Do you know she was 22 years old, you guys? 22 years old. And for us to decide this is who this woman is, she’s 50 years old now. And she has all these anti bullying campaigns and she’s done all of this good work. She is a

Todd: net huge positive for our world.

Cathy: Net, thank you. Great words. Net huge positive for the world. And she’s [00:50:00] still so, she has so much humility. I, I, I shared it with Brave. Think how

Todd: courageous she is to come out and talk about this stuff.

Cathy: And she still talks about like, Chelsea at one point said, Yeah, you and me, we have, you know, we decided to not procreate and we’re not going to have kids like trying to bond with her on that.

Cathy: And Monica was like, you know, I’ve she she’s like, I’ve frozen my eggs and I’m actually kind of sad. That I haven’t been able to do that yet. She’s not, like, going around saying, like, I’ve figured everything out and every aspect of my life is perfect. She’s still a very humble woman. And I, and she’s so smart.

Cathy: Like, her words are so cool. She has such a great vocabulary. So anyway, but the fact that she turned that day that was miserable into, um, Survivor’s Day. And, and I, like, you know, I don’t really know dates super well. Like, I honestly don’t remember. I could go look at my calendar, like, the day my dad died. I don’t remember.

Cathy: I know it was before his birthday. Like, I remember it was May. But May is a time, like, my parents anniversary is May 2nd. Todd’s [00:51:00] birthday is May 3rd. My dad’s birthday is May 22nd. It’s, it usually is when the weather turns around. I consider May a time of people I love, you know? May is like spring and, and I go visit my parents birthday.

Cathy: And they have this brick in Elmhurst that I go look at and bring flowers and think about them like that’s and it’s Todd’s week too. Do you know what I mean? Like that’s his birthday and it’s um, Wyatt’s birthday now too. Um, and so it’s, you know, there’s a lot of. We, and again, it’s not denying the pain.

Cathy: It’s just trying to give it a lift of like, how am I going to integrate this and manage this versus how am I going to avoid this and be scared of depression? Because even when I have a day or a month where I’m thinking about people I love, I sure do cry. Like there’s sometimes I listen to my dad’s music and I’m just so excited to listen to it.

Cathy: And then it kind of takes me down to a place where I get kind of sad and I’m like, okay, that that’s. [00:52:00] That’s, you know, that’s good. Like I feel like I went through all the cycles of feelings and now I’m gonna, you know, stop that. Um, and, but I don’t avoid it. It’s, I don’t know. Do you have any examples of a story that you have been able to create?

Cathy: I, I do it to you all the time. I did it to you in the car the other day where you were talking about something and you said, I’m, I’m testing myself. And I said, do you remember this? You were talking about men living and about how you work on the challenge. Yeah. And he kept saying, and I’m testing myself, I’m testing myself.

Cathy: Why are you telling a story about testing yourself? Why don’t you say, and again, I’m a word person, I know Todd’s not, but why don’t you say, I wanted to invest in this. I wanted this to be an important part of my life. I wanted to demonstrate my managerial and my leadership skills. But that test feels like you feel like someone’s judging you from the outside.

Cathy: Yeah.

Todd: Guess who’s judging him? You. Yeah, I am. Yeah. Of course.

Cathy: Yeah. Like how do you win that test,

Todd: Todd? I don’t know. By [00:53:00] crushing


Todd: by creating an impact on the world through this men’s organization that I co founded. And will I ever be completely content? Not until I do more work on myself, because this podcast, Zen Parenting, is something we’ve been doing for 14 years.

Todd: I know. And if you had told me 14 years ago, yeah, you’re going to have about 14, 000 people listen on a weekly basis. I’d be like, sign me up. I like, I will have made it. And now here we are. I want 17, 500. Well, I was just talking to my one friend and we are in the 95th percentile of podcasts, which sounds really great, but there’s such a huge difference from the Joe Rogan and whoever, who’s the, the two girls that you say are like the number one podcast.

Todd: Call her daddy, whatever that is. It’s just one woman, yeah. One woman. Um, there’s such a huge difference between being 95th and being 99th. Right. True. Uh, because they have the millions and we have, what? The thousands. 14, 000. And if we can get up to a hundred, and apparently that’s the magic number, then [00:54:00] we can truly start, you know, building.

Todd: giving some of this money away and going on vacations to Hawaii. I was

Cathy: going to say, tell the truth about it though. Cause you’re not, you’re not like, I want to make money so I can give it all away. Like you, you still see success in terms of finances. I get it. I do too. It’s not that you’re bad for that, but your model of success is very focused on how much money are you making that demonstrates success.

Cathy: That is not my model. So I don’t, that doesn’t, that doesn’t, Even though if you’re like, Hey, we got another great advertiser, bring it. Like I’m, it’s not that I’m against it. It’s just not, I was, Todd and I were talking about, like, it’s like scaling. It’s like, for him, it’s more like number one or number two.

Cathy: And for me, it’s more like four and five. So it’s just, there’s a difference, but. Let’s talk about real quick, because I know we’re closing off, that Todd and I, this weekend, we went to, um, quick story is that in college, my favorite band was, uh, Toad the Wet Sprocket and, um, and post college, even into my twenties, I was still buying their albums.

Cathy: And so [00:55:00] I’ve always wanted to see them in concert. And so I got myself on this list, um, where I was like, where, and I’m talking like for a long time, I’ve been looking to see where that they’ve been touring and I have never been able to see them. Randomly, this, this felt like, talk about believing in something, this felt like manifesting in a weird way.

Cathy: Is that I, um, Cameron says she’s running late, so we’re okay. Good. So, I was in Michigan like two or three weeks ago and I went to this random little cute coffee shop and on the wall there was something like pinned to the wall that said the lead singer, Glenn Phillips, of um, Told the Wet Sprocket, was coming to this community to To sing, like, just acoustic.

Cathy: And I was like, Todd, this is crazy, like, this guy is coming here, it’s like an hour and a half from our house. So Todd and I went back this weekend to see him sing at this little cute theater called The Acorn in Three Oaks, Michigan. And I had such a good time. It was so fun. And he’s the lead singer, so it’s his [00:56:00] voice, unlike Oats.

Cathy: It’s got like a mullet on it. I’m looking at the video. Oh, really? Yeah. Um, it was so fun. It was so, and he didn’t, and I’ll be honest with you, like, he sang some Toad songs, obviously, but many of them were his own, because he has his own albums, and they were still really

Todd: good. Oh, just to see somebody Well, and that’s what I need.

Todd: I just need a talented musician with either piano or a guitar or just their voice and sing. So, and it was cool because we were watching something and we were, our job was to sit still and listen. So like, I didn’t have to talk to you. You didn’t have to talk to me. We could just like allow ourselves to be like, you know, Whereas like in a rock concert, like you’re kind of going crazy.

Todd: Do you dance? Do you not dance? Do you, am I, am I dancing too much? Am I, should I be dancing more? And this is just like, everybody do me a favor, sit down, shut up for an hour and a half. And chill. I’m going to sing some songs. Yeah. And it was wonderful. [00:57:00] And he talked with the audience. It wasn’t like, you had to be super quiet.

Todd: That’s what’s funny is I actually love his stories in between songs as much as I did the music itself.

Cathy: Yeah, like, and it was just, I kind of feel like there was many different levels. Just Todd and I being able to get away for the night. Our daughter came home from, um, uh, college. So she was home with our other daughter and she had spring break.

Cathy: That’s why she came home. And she, and so we were able to like go away for a night. And so it kind of shows our age right there.


Cathy: stayed at an AirBnB that was walking distance. We got home in

Todd: this board game called Fact or Crap, and it’s just a bunch of like trivia pursuit cards, and it said like five things on them, and then just across it would say if it was fact or crap.

Todd: It’s literally called Fact or Crap. And it was just really a dumb game. And we played it for way too long.

Cathy: Well, and it would just crack me up because first of all, you know, we, we were talking about last week that I’m really good at trivia. I was not good at fact or crap.

Todd: I had no idea. I [00:58:00] wish I had some right now so I could like read some off.

Todd: Yeah. Did you notice I started. Only reading the fact ones. No, I didn’t notice because I was still so I the reason I did that is because if they say Something that’s crap. They don’t you you you want the truth, right? And they don’t provide you any context They just say no, this is crap

Cathy: So I would like answer a question like dad would be like, you know They have a million tons of garbage every day or whatever and I’d be like fact and he’d be like Nope, that one’s crap.

Todd: Here’s the next one. We just played it. We should have stopped playing it about two minutes in and we played for about 22 minutes. And

Cathy: then Todd’s like, wait, what time is it? Oh, we get to go to bed now. So, but anyway, it was, so the story I’m telling is that sometimes as far as the story goes, I miss, you know, going to see live music and I miss My, you know, I know the music better from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, obviously.

Cathy: I know some current music now. I stay [00:59:00] pretty connected, but not the way I used to. And so I really enjoy, I always kind of think to myself, you get to go see whatever music you want. Like you get to go enjoy these experiences rather than be sad or like frustrated that, you know, it’s not the same as it used to be.

Cathy: And I’m going to see Def Leppard this summer. Not just Def Leppard. No, not Def Leppard, Journey, and Steve Miller Band. Stop it. Come on. I used to see Steve Miller band every summer in high school and college. Like it was just a staple. And now you know they’re Could be older , everyone can be a little older because I’m right here, right here, right here.

Cathy: I’m still doing it

Todd: because I’m a picker. I’m a Brener, I’m a lover, and I’m a sitter.

Cathy: So we’re closing the show and I’ll just add this, I have heard, you know, with all my Steve Miller love, I’ve heard he’s kind of a jerk.

Todd: Well, I heard that he actually pushed back against the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Oh, he [01:00:00] did. And a lot of people push back against the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So he’s not a jerk.

Todd: So I’m not ready to say that he’s a jerk. I think that he stood up. He might be a jerk in addition to it, but I think he stood up to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a way that. People don’t. People are too scared to. Like Pearl

Cathy: Jam standing up against Ticketmaster. Yes. Yes. So long ago.

Todd: Um, one final thank you to Jeremy Craft.

Todd: He’s a bald headed beauty. I’m just thinking about a conversation we had with him last week. We moved him over last week because I wanted him to look at whatever, the deck or something like that. And then he’s like on his way out. And.

Cathy: No, we just started, cause we’ve known Jeremy forever, so we started having conversation about family and we were asking about his boys, you know, and everything.

Cathy: And he said. He’s like, the boys are doing great. He’s like, everything’s great. Kate’s great. His wife’s great. Everything’s great. And then I was like, have you talked to your boys about porn? Yeah. And then Todd and I just went in on him. Yeah.

Todd: We, we, yeah, we did. We went all in on him. [01:01:00] Making sure that he discusses porn with his two sons.

Todd: And

Cathy: then we gave him one of Duffy’s books, like Todd’s like, I got a book for you. And when he was leaving, I’m like, Jeremy, I am so sorry. Like we

Todd: He was like a deer in headlights when he was leaving.

Cathy: I basically came over and then told you guys everything’s great. And now you’re like, yeah,

Todd: go do this. But be scared.

Todd: Just be really scared.


Cathy: we didn’t say be scared, we were just kind of like, this is important because this is important for boys and, and we, but it was funny because I said, text him and tell him, not tell him we’re sorry, but like, make a joke about the fact that we did that. He’s

Todd: going to think twice next time he comes over to court a job.

Todd: Uh, anyways, Jeremy, he does painting and remodeling throughout the western suburbs of Chicago. If you want a new kitchen, new bathroom, new basement, paint some walls, interior, exterior, blah blah blah, uh, 630 956 1800, tell him, uh, Zen Parenting sent you. And uh, I guess that’s about it. That’s it. And join Team Zen.

Todd: 25 bucks a month. It’s so fun. And, um, and be on a romantic, uh, our modern romance thing Monday [01:02:00] next, next, next Monday. So, uh, keep trucking everybody.

Round two. Change a little bit. And change a little bit. Pretty pleasant.