“You have to constantly put yourself in situations that you’re learning and you’re exposed to new things and new ideas and new people. Even if it’s through books. It’s more important to be interested than interesting.” That was Jane Fonda speaking with Christene Barberich in their interview on the “Unstyled” Podcast. Tune in for more on what Jane calls her “hair epiphanies” during life transitions, why we don’t want to waste time on bullsh*t relationships as we age and regrets that come with staying in them, when we know deep down, it's time to move on.
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So I have a major girl crush on Jane Fonda. I think the woman is a total badass and at 82 she’s doing more than I am at almost half her age. If you know anything about her, you know she’s an actress, fitness mogul and political activist. And much like her views on politics and life, her conversation might be considered somewhat controversial but fuck it, I loved it! And personally I don’t mind getting a little triggered because it means I have work to do. There’s obviously something going on in here that needs a closer look. And I want to know what it is and why am I so charged by it? It’s literally all about me.
In this episode, Christene and Jane talk a lot about the different ages and stages we go through as women. And the topic of perimenopause along with the challenges we face going into our 40’s also came up as part of their discussion. And I resonated hard with Jane’s take on it because I have felt and still feel like it’s been a struggle coming to terms with the path I’ve chosen in life combined with trying to figure out what I’m gonna be when I grow up. Not to mention, dealing with the fluctuating funhouse of hormones that’s happening right now. She might call this her “second act” but I’m more familiar with the term “midlife crisis”. During this time I’ve had to be extremely intentional with who I surround myself with, the things I listen to, the books I read and the overall boundaries I set for myself. I work, yes work, really hard at only exposing myself to the people and activities that fill me up and bring me joy. It’s not always 100% possible and definitely not easy but it’s been a necessity to get through things like the ending of a relationship with someone I’ve been with since in high school and transitioning to living on my own and being alone for the first time ever. That’s a lot of friggin change and coincidentally, all in my 40’s when society tells me I’m not as viable, beautiful or relevant in the community or workplace. How’s that for a self esteem killer? But it’s all B.S. because I have more to offer now than ever...Experience, patience but with a sense of urgency, compassion, gratitude...all the things I’ve been afforded through time, along with the awareness that I have less of it. And don’t you worry about me cause I’m livin the dream over here! I crank up the volume to my favorite song and get the party started by, I don’t know, if I want, vacuum my apartment totally nude… Yeah, I’m crazy like that.
And our mind’s a sponge taking in whatever we feed it. if we’re constantly filling it with Netflix junk food, mindless conversations and what Christene calls “bullshit relationships, intimate or not, then that’s what we’re going to get out of it.
I definitely had my fair share of all of that but the biggest regret is undervaluing my friendships and putting way too much pressure on my partner to fill that void. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it at the time and hindsight is 20/20 but it’s been my intention over the last year to create and cultivate my circle of friends like I would, a vegetable garden. One that I’d nurture and take care of, rather than let wither and die like I did our three fish, one guinea pig, 2 cats and the family dog. And before you judge me. We weren’t bad pet owners. I guess we just weren’t good ones? I honestly did my best. Our guinea pig would get so stressed out from, I don’t know what. Being fed and held maybe? That he started losing his hair. Maybe that’s what being too comfortable does? Causes as much stress as taking risks and getting uncomfortable. So I did what any, loving pet owner would do. I put lotion on his butt every night where he was balding. Of course, as I'm doing this, I”m repeating “it rubs the lotion on it’s skin or else it gets the hose again” in that very “Silence of the Lambs” creepy voice. Maybe that was it. I scared him to death with my eery movie mantra. So now I stick to plants...and friends. And Like all things, you get what you give.
The ironic thing is I’m a better person for it because I want to show up as the best possible version of myself for not only me but them. Finding people that support me means I want to do the same for them, if not more. And it holds me accountable, and constantly working on improving myself. Especially as I’ve gotten older, maybe it’s my age, maybe I’m just maturing...although, doubtful. I still play candy crush while I pee if that’s any indication, but, and I don’t like to make a habit of bragging, I am on level 749, so there is some vindication there and what can I say? I drink a lot of water so...you know, #life goals. Or maybe it’s this time I’ve had to myself to take stock and evaluate what’s important. Because my friends are my lifeline when I need it and my joy when I don’t. Either way, I no longer underestimate the power of who I surround myself with and the impact we have on each other..
I can be slow to the party so this wasn’t something that happened overnight. Little by little I left behind the relationships that either expired and no longer served either of us. That depleted and brought me down. You know what I mean, an energy suck. Those had to go. But in its place, ones that re-energize and fill me up. That’s what you want. You’ve heard it before but you are the average of the 5 people you hang around. It’s not always easy to find as you get older and especially during Quarantine but it’s possible. I did it. So why not you?
There’s things you can do like joining a club or taking a class, on or off line. Find your people by doing what you like to do and connect with others that are doing the same. They don’t all have to be in person either. I have plenty of friends and support from people I’ve only met over Zoom. We keep in touch through Facebook and messenger. We’re in book clubs and Mastermind groups. People everywhere are trying to make connections right now. The different ways of finding and staying in touch with your tribe is limitless. Just takes a little creativity. Screw it! Email me if you need help. Subscribe to my newsletter to learn more and keep in touch. I got you covered!
So, what’d you think of Jane Fonda? She’s a pistol, right? Well, if you want to get the full episode of “Jane Fonda On Sparking Your Own Personal Revolution”,on Unstyled and hear Jane and Christene’s interview from start to finish, the link to that along with both their social media is in the show notes below.
If you enjoyed today’s podcast please subscribe and share with someone you think might benefit and until next time, Thanks for listening.