We Should Talk About That

Enough: Notes from a Woman Who Has Finally Found It- A Beautifully Honest Conversation with Gluten-Free Girl, Shauna Ahern

September 07, 2020 Jessica Buchanan and Jessica Kidwell Season 2 Episode 2
We Should Talk About That
Enough: Notes from a Woman Who Has Finally Found It- A Beautifully Honest Conversation with Gluten-Free Girl, Shauna Ahern
Chapters
We Should Talk About That
Enough: Notes from a Woman Who Has Finally Found It- A Beautifully Honest Conversation with Gluten-Free Girl, Shauna Ahern
Sep 07, 2020 Season 2 Episode 2
Jessica Buchanan and Jessica Kidwell

This is the talisman episode by which The Two Jess(es) are building WeSTAT's Season 2 around- exploring what it means to be ENOUGH, to have ENOUGH, to want ENOUGH, to say ENOUGH. This conversation with writer and creator of the massively successful food blog Gluten-Free Girl is everything we need as we begin this next season of pandemic life. Shauna exudes wisdom and ease, as she shares with TTJ(es) her experiences, practices and realizations on what is really and truly enough for our kids, our families, ourselves.

Find a space of quiet, pull out your journal and make yourself a cup of tea, because this episode is full of quotes and simple, yet profound thoughts you will want to read over and over again. 

Meet Shauna!
Shauna James Ahern is the author of the cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, named one of the best cookbooks of 2010 by The New York Times, and the food memoir, Gluten-Free Girl. She is also the author, photographer, and head baker at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, her much-loved food website (www.glutenfreegirl.com), which she creates with her chef husband, Daniel Ahern. Her work has been published or recognized by The New York Times, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Babble, The Guardian, Gilt Taste, CNN's Eatocracy, and The Washington Post. Her latest cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Everyday, was nominated for a James Beard award. She and her husband, with their two children, live on Vashon Island, where they are probably cooking something as you read this. 

You can support Shauna by subscribing to her blog @:
https://enough.substack.com/about

Purchase Enough @
https://www.amazon.com/Enough-Notes-Woman-Finally-Found/dp/1632172178/ref=sr_1_1?crid=N0SZ0G4XYL9A&dchild=1&keywords=enough+notes+from+a+woman+who+has+finally+found+it&qid=1599408626&sprefix=enough%3A+notes%2Caps%2C141&sr=8-1

Support the show (http://www.paypal.com)

Show Notes Transcript

This is the talisman episode by which The Two Jess(es) are building WeSTAT's Season 2 around- exploring what it means to be ENOUGH, to have ENOUGH, to want ENOUGH, to say ENOUGH. This conversation with writer and creator of the massively successful food blog Gluten-Free Girl is everything we need as we begin this next season of pandemic life. Shauna exudes wisdom and ease, as she shares with TTJ(es) her experiences, practices and realizations on what is really and truly enough for our kids, our families, ourselves.

Find a space of quiet, pull out your journal and make yourself a cup of tea, because this episode is full of quotes and simple, yet profound thoughts you will want to read over and over again. 

Meet Shauna!
Shauna James Ahern is the author of the cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, named one of the best cookbooks of 2010 by The New York Times, and the food memoir, Gluten-Free Girl. She is also the author, photographer, and head baker at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, her much-loved food website (www.glutenfreegirl.com), which she creates with her chef husband, Daniel Ahern. Her work has been published or recognized by The New York Times, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Babble, The Guardian, Gilt Taste, CNN's Eatocracy, and The Washington Post. Her latest cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Everyday, was nominated for a James Beard award. She and her husband, with their two children, live on Vashon Island, where they are probably cooking something as you read this. 

You can support Shauna by subscribing to her blog @:
https://enough.substack.com/about

Purchase Enough @
https://www.amazon.com/Enough-Notes-Woman-Finally-Found/dp/1632172178/ref=sr_1_1?crid=N0SZ0G4XYL9A&dchild=1&keywords=enough+notes+from+a+woman+who+has+finally+found+it&qid=1599408626&sprefix=enough%3A+notes%2Caps%2C141&sr=8-1

Support the show (http://www.paypal.com)

Unknown Speaker :

Wow, it has been an incredible couple of months for us. And we want to welcome all of our new listeners. We just want to remind you that this isn't just a podcast, but it's a community. We want to connect and get to know you. And the best way to connect with us is to follow us on all of our social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can find us on any of those at reset pod, or consider subscribing to our website at www dot WEIU. Stop pod calm. And while we're at it. Another way to help build this community would be if you can leave us a review on Apple podcasts. Thanks so much, you guys. We are so glad you are here. We started this podcast because we want to have really honest, authentic and even uncomfortable conversations about anything but especially the things no one wants to talk about. And our hope is that these conversations can build a community of people who might feel less isolated and alone. So we are to jesses. And this is we should talk about that. Hi, Jess. Hi, Jess. Welcome to season two. I don't even know what to do with that. I know. And I think that I'm especially excited because we're kind of branding this season. And I think we're coming up with just the word enough. Hmm. And therefore, why don't you tell us the part Perfect guest to kick off this season have enough for us. We're going to be looking at the word enough and examining it and discussing it and conversing around it from so many different angles. And to kick us off with enough is the author of a book called enough notes from a woman who has finally found it miss Shauna a her and I'm so like literally. I'm so excited to talk to her today. She's a writer, a teacher, a mother. She's the creator of the super popular food blog, gluten free girl and the author of cookbooks, such as gluten free girl and a chef, which was named one of New York Times bestselling cookbooks. She also authored gluten free girl every day, which was nominated for a James Beard award. So Shauna, welcome thank you so much for being here and kicking off this next season have enough it's the best word of the world. I'm convinced of it besides love loving enough. That's it. Thank you for having me. So I want to tell you how I found out about you actually, I it was last year was October I was on a girls weekend. No kids, no partners. No, just yeah, literally. I got Kevin. And it was a Lazy Sunday morning and we had wandered into this really cute little bookstore coffee shop and oh my gosh, there's nothing more than I love than a bookstore right? So I was going through all the shelves and I found your book enough it had just been released in my right yeah, one of my friends she she's like what you got there. You know, once you find and I handed her the book and she read the top quote like the endorsement from Lena Dunham and says, enough breaks open the myth that women who want are to be feared and allows us to take up the space we were born to occupy and then she looked me straight in the eye and she goes sounds about right. I was like, Okay, well I feel seen. So I just want to take this opportunity to tell you how much your essays have meant to me and how they have stayed with me and they will stay with me for a really long time. So thank you for putting those out into the world because it makes a difference. Thank you for reading. You know, it's an amazing experience writing a book, but particularly one that is raw and vulnerable is this one was, and so in the midst of it, of course, it's pretty easy to think well, nobody's gonna read this who's gonna care you know, they're gonna think I'm a I don't insert adjective here, you know? And it has been truly one of my life's greatest joys to feel like this book is in service to readers like you. I think I realize now that I really just right to know that we're not alone and to make other people feel like we're not alone. And you know what, since we're discussing the word enough for me that is enough once you feel like you are struggling with someone, but you feel the you know, Race and presence of others around you listening and laughing offering you wine or coffee, whichever it is, and say, hey, yeah, me too. It doesn't. It isn't a weight anymore. It doesn't feel like you're carrying this burden alone. Hmm, that's beautiful. So Shauna, tell us about the long winding road that led you to finally own and embody the word enough. Hmm. Well, that's kind of the book, so I won't talk too much about it. I will say I will skip this part because it's not pertinent to our discussion today. But I had a very, very difficult childhood early adulthood, as so many of us do. I when I, the day the book published Actually, I had four people write to me by noon, that data said they'd read the entire book and I thought, Wait, what? And one woman wrote and said, I've never seen my family in print before. And I remember walking in Portland was about to do a TV show and sitting down on the sidewalk and sobbing because I do didn't think there was a family like mine. And every family is its own story, of course. But there is an internal narrative that's very similar a lot of people which is to make to me may feel like we're not good enough as kids, that feeling whatever the permutations that caused it stayed with me for a long time. You know, I was well into my 30s before I started to feel like a maybe I'm okay, I'm doing okay here, but also to have the courage to go back and look at those old tape loops and see where were they started, who was recording them, and how do I turn them off? Hmm, yeah, that definitely resonates I think with me and Jess, and probably our entire community and the feeling that I got, as I was reading the book is that there's just really no way out of this except through right is that kemu quarter love the only way out is through. You can't sidestep it. You can't write a blog posts to be done. And learning comes in cycles and cycles over years and years. Of course, I'm a writer and a reader. So I quote all of the poets I love. So I'm really always inspired by Yeats his idea of the spiral staircase, our life being not a straight line where we just run to the finish line, then we're done. But instead, we're constantly meandering and feels like sometimes we're lost in the woods, right? But as you go up that spiral staircase, you say, Hey, I'm actually higher than I was. And then you look down and say, that support beam at the center of it, oh, look, I'm right back where it was, again, every time I started a new job every time I have a, you know, a big life shift. I'm right back where I started as a kid. So, you know, I think that growth and learning is constantly amazing. Constantly exhausting. And really the only way we live Hmm. As we begin a whole new season of growth and learning. I wanted to point out that early on, we didn't episode, basically kind of looking at the whole concept of being the good enough mother is the title of the last chapter of your book, which just read a quote from on our third episode. And I feel like it's a talisman. It's a totem. It's something that every single one of us whether subconsciously, consciously mother, not mother, human, just in general, that the concept of letting ourselves have a little grace and allow ourselves to believe that we are in fact good enough is what will save us all. So can you talk a little bit about that concept? Absolutely. I practice it every day these days. This about right before we started talking, I was cleaning out the pantry and rearranging things and trying to make it clean. And one of our dear little friends we have a little quarantine bubble with our dear friends and their kids. Their three year old daughter had built some magnetized train and was bank It against my leg saying this is the fork train. And it only goes faster for farts on people, you know, go. So I'm putting rice into jars and throwing away old potatoes. And we're practicing playing cards. And what I have realized now that my kids are 12, and six is, that's the only stuff you remember the end. And they only remember, and we only remember the moments of joy or terror. There's nothing really in between days go by, they're also the same. It helps me to remember that when I was in middle school, I'm sure I remember feeling it deeply. But I have about four memories from seventh and eighth grade. That's it. So the idea that we need to make perfect days for children is not only ridiculous, but I think it's actually harmful to them. Because they don't want their entire world to be through us. They have to be beings on their own. And I did not have a mother who knew that. So what I want to do is just live this image message that I read in college is a psychologist named dw Winnicott. And he said, You can tell a good enough mother, by mom is on the one end of the room doing something she loves, and kids on the other end of the room doing something he or she loves. And they both know they're there. But they don't have to be talking or dispensing life wisdom, which I used to do a lot. They can just both be absorbed in something to love and be in each other's presence. And that's when I thought, you know what, I'm not gonna listen to anyone's idea of what my child is supposed to go through anymore. It's ludicrous idea that someone else in a book or a blog post, a tweet, can tell me what I'm supposed to do with my child. But it's part parcel for us women being told all of our lives not to trust ourselves. So they told us women were not supposed to trust our own instincts and power all of our lives. Then we get to mothering and we're supposedly helpless. We need all this advice. And that I think is the base of the good enough mother when you know you Doing what you want to do for your child and your child feels happy and secure. Heck, what it looks like anybody else? I'll give you a great. For instance, this afternoon. I just and I had a call scheduled I had it on my calendar. I had rearranged my entire day for this call. 20 minutes later, I looked down at my phone and she said something about a link and I'm like, What link? Because I missed the call because I was trying to explain what Wikipedia was to my five year old trying to keep them from looking at butts on YouTube and trying to make done. Yep, absolutely. And I realized that I missed the call and I lost it. I like threw everything down on my desk, and I I burst into tears. And I stormed out of the house. I sat on the deck and cry for like an hour here. Yeah. Because I'm like I saw At the mom thing, because I'm not paying attention to them. I'm just trying to keep them from finding, you know, inappropriate bites on the internet while I'm trying to do my work, and then I can't even do that. How do you find that space of good enough? In the current state that we're in? it? Totally does. I've tried to figure it out myself. For me, I have, I have found a place, which is to expect and schedule those complete breakdowns. You know, the idea that we're not supposed to be breaking down is already asking us to be superior people. And of course, you're going to be a good only can be good enough. This stinks. It just stinks. I remember about three of the third night when our school had said on March 12, that they were going to be out and we were going to be out until April 24, which seems hilarious now, and I remember Okay, here we go. I'm going to solve the problem. I'm good at that I woke up in the middle of night again in a cold sweat and thought, oh my god, we're gonna be in the house with him for three months What? And the only way to survive it, I believe is to just give ourselves ease and feel like if they watch a lot of Netflix, they're okay PBS Kids, that's fantastic. I learned reading from Electric Company, stick it on in the morning, let them stay in their pajamas all day. I it has been a really interesting journey for me because I go back and forth between we need a structure, we need a plan. I'm going to whiteboard put it up. And then I realized that these kids are feeling overwhelmed by that. Not the COVID but by mama has a plan and I have to do something, you know, over two hours. So we had one weekend probably back in May. Right? My husband and I agreed and we looked at the kids were like, you know what, do whatever you want all we can stay in your pajamas, eat cereal, go get popsicles. We don't care. We're just emphasizing joy. Want you to learn how to trust your own instincts now? And it was fantastic. I sat on the couch and read for three hours. And my kids regulated pretty immediately. And of course, they were excited about the popsicles and excited about the stupid sugary cereal. And then after about three hours of TV, they're like, Mom, can we go outside? Yes, you may, because that's what you're choosing. I think kids know what they need. And we don't give them enough credit for it. When my daughter was about to be born, our wonderful Doctor Who has helped me through many things said to me, here's my only piece of advice for you about babies. Babies are incredibly mysterious, and incredibly resilient. And we don't focus enough on the resilient person. Because I, you know, I serve I suffered a lot as a kid, I was the kid locked in the house. I didn't get to go anywhere. I read all the right books, you know, I was reading good, lots of good books and listening to Beethoven and doing the things that it was miserable and my parents We're fighting every single day. So I look at my kids now. And I'm like, if they're their pajamas, or I tell them to do some chores once Well, that's not anything like I adored. And I came out. Okay. So I think a lot of it is we're looking at this long haul view because society before COVID, like, lied to us and told us that we should be we should be planning ahead and doing the five year plan and all that stuff. And none of it matters. You know, we could be hit by a truck tomorrow, somebody could get COVID. And I want my memories of my children this time to be how happy it was to see them every morning. Yeah, I just so deeply feel your pendulum swing of, okay. I need to get the whiteboards out and I need to start organizing and get the plan versus what I like to call more of like, my wise mind of, yeah, stop, take a beat. Everything is going to be okay. And I echo just as quick have kind of existentially how do we hold the space of that more wise mind as we because that I can feel it already happening. It's the so and so is building an outdoor classroom? Have you made a pod with your kids? What are your plans to keep them socially engaged? Like just this? There's a fanaticism that I can feel building. And my I guess my question is twofold. Why do we do that to ourselves? What is it that causes that Is it fear? And how do we embody the grace to acknowledge that in someone else? Mm hmm. But not own it, or else? Hmm. Well, those are the two key questions, aren't they? I think to answer your first question is absolutely fear. I think people are afraid And by the state of the country, by the seat of this disease, we are in the great unknown. And in the great unknown, we grasp, you know, as we're falling with grasp for anything, it's kind of like Alice in Wonderland going down the hole, right? You're like, oh, what I see is people, however, in their fear of reverting to what they already knew. So the people who are hiring tutors and creating pods and, you know, obviously, there are exceptions, but for the most part, they want to make sure their kids are academically challenged and that they keep up. I keep reading things like our students are going to be two years behind. And I think, behind what I mean, the whole world has changed. You know, what are the best qualities for our kids to have when they become adults? While resiliency is a huge one? They're learning a lot here. Right? So is compassion. And so being able to be compassionate about the fact that mom's having a breakdown right now? I 10 minutes a space for you to go away and for them here. That is Also them learning, you have boundaries, you know how to state weak feeling and you know how to state what you're asking for. They are going to learn much more than algebra this year, they're going to learn far more about how to be a person, which means not only staying in the wise mind stuff possible, all of us will go back and forth. You know you like if it were easy enough to become present, like in meditation, which I sit a lot. And to find the perfect set where there are no thoughts. You sit down the next time it's still so loud in your brain. And I remember asking one of my meditation teachers, why can't we stay there? We find the place where we're present in the moment. We're really, really focused and grateful. What happens next, he said, it's called being human. We're taught to grasp, we're taught to want more. We are never taught to just want enough. We're taught you know, you need the brilliant kid with the perfect scores and the college and you need the Great job. That gives you your own feeling of fulfillment and come home and make dinner and it's all lies. No one can do all this. So for me, it's just been like, people see what they do this year. The feeling I have for this year is a I'm lucky I was a teacher for a long time. So I know that these teachers are just as scared as parents, if not more. They're supposed to look like they know what they're doing. And I feel like what I'm gonna do is what I did with my son when he was in kindergarten, because zooms don't work for kindergarteners, right? So I wrote this wonderful kindergarten teacher and said, Hey, we are family of books everywhere. And this kid is asking me why the Big Bang happened. He has been since he was three and he's now pissed me that I don't have an answer. So like, Can I'm just gonna do my own stuff with him. And we'll do it at our own pace. And we'll study some science and we'll study some things. But most I'm going to teach him to read write, and she said, Great, no problem. And I would send her a little note at the end of Friday and say, here's what we did. I wish more people knew they could do that with their kids. You can write to your public school teacher and say, I'm keeping my kid in public schools. So the schools have the money, they need them. And I'm not going to participate in the full extent of what you know, you're being able to teach. Maybe it works for my kid, maybe not. So assessing what's best, but just really focusing on what do you want to learn? You know, that's what I did with with Desmond and with my daughter, Lucy and said, Okay, what do you want to learn this year? This time? Let's make it kind of if you are really enjoying your learning, what would you choose? And Luke said that you wanted to learn the history of musical theater. And she wanted to memorize every song from Hamilton and read books. Oh, am I okay? I could get on board. We're fine with that one. And Desmond wanted to learn how to write his letters so that people could read them. So I sat down. Let's find an ABC book every day. And you've got a composition book, find me in this picture is something that starts with B. It's a bird okay, right bird and every day he would write how The alphabet and the next day we go back again, it's not complicated. There's no apps, there's no zooms. But being able to write and read is more of a value than anything else in the world. So I think we can just relax and create a curriculum that works for them. And for us, and then expect all kinds of breakdowns to Okay, so basically finding out what that level of enough Yes, you know, because there's just always this too much to arrange. Yeah. And I left teaching because it was already becoming too much. Suddenly, AP classes were everything. I can't believe that high school kids can graduate with more than a four pronoun. That's ridiculous. It's actually I think that we're pushing these kids to be more and more without knowing what their joy is. Because my daughter asked the other day, well, how did you know you want to be a writer? I said, Well, as soon as I could pick up a pen and wanted to be a writer, well, what have you been a writer all your life? No I've been a tutor and I scooped ice cream at one point and I tutor kids who were actors. And I was their teacher on set. You know, I've had a really interesting life. But we wrote down all of those jobs. I said, What do you see in all of those? And she said, Well, you weren't an accountant. And like, no, never was an accountant. Never was an engineer, every single one of those things had to do with writing, editing and teaching. And so that's what I do. I write I edit I teach. And it is, it is definitely enough for me for that. So I want to talk a little bit about letting go. And if it isn't, out of turn, you had to let something go pretty big for you back in February is when the gluten free girl website shut down. Something that you built, you know, in four decades, and I loved your blog post that's public. That kind of It felt like it was like, you know, Here lies free girl has. And I just kind of really took it in from the aspect of where we're about to enter as we go into a new school year. And the reality of all of the juggling is happening. How do you let go when something when something that defines you. And as working moms are trying to figure out how to let go of maybe what they thought their career was going to look like, or what we thought my child's eighth grade was going to look like. or I've heard so many senior parents of seniors, they're just grieving. It's not what I thought it was going to look like. What is your words of wisdom for us on how to let go? I'm going to tell you a story I heard with, again, one of my meditation teachers, there was a Zen master who came to Nigeria And he was, you know, incredibly brilliant. And his lectures tended to be very academic. So there was a young man who listed all these lectures all weekend long. And people were asking questions, all the other people asking questions like, Oh, yes, why is one You know? And he actually raised his hand and said, look, I think you're amazing. And I'm sure you're much smarter than I am. But I still don't understand what Buddhism is, after listening to all this this weekend. Could you just give it to me one sentence, and everybody else in the audience looked at him like, Oh, that's a horrible, you can't ask him to do that. But the Zen master is a Zen master freeze, and he started laughing. And he looked at the young man, and he said, everything changes. That's it. Everything changes every single minute of the day. And a lot of the times we think, we have a plan and it goes awry. We blame the going awry, or we wish we'd done it differently or done a better job, but the fact of it is, we just can't plan for A bunch of life. I'm working with my daughter a lot because she's 12. And right now, if anything changes he flips out to wanted to be what she imagined, you know? And I say, you know, not only does everything change, but who in your life arrived as a surprise? What do you mean when like, Did you plan to meet Ben your best friend? No. Did you plan to get into this musical theater camp? No, it arrived, right? And if we look at our lives and think of all the things we cherish the most, not one of them was on a five year plan. No, how did you meet your partner? How did your your kiddo come to your life? How did you end up meeting someone who changed your life at a coffee shop? You know, I don't think anything that really is meaningful to us was on a schedule. So the schedule is kind of a it's a fun farce. We keep ourselves into the think we have control. Hmm and again, that goes back to the That stems. My belief is and I heard you echo that that comes from a place of fear. Mm hmm. The need for control that has been my learning curve for the last decade is how much control is guided by fear? Yeah, I think it's everything. So I feel for me and I'm working with this a lot, that this time is actually chance to truly, truly live what feels like enough and what matters to me and to my husband to Well, okay, that we're all healthy, that we have enough money to live on that we see friends and we still have some way of connecting even if it's over zooms, and that we get enough sleep and that we laugh a lot. And that I have a chance to write and he has a chance to cook and we go outside. And that's it. I mean, that's pretty much it. Everything else is just gravy. So if we organize our days around That list of what truly feels like enough the fear doesn't have so much sway because we didn't need that anyway. Hmm. And love that. In my head. I'm like, Okay, well what? What is my enough list? Yeah. Yeah, what doing? And it's interesting cuz I had a phone call with a girlfriend yesterday and we we do like a couple week check in and, um I was telling her what I need in order to set up my day. So that's not a total disaster. And it's writing morning. It's quiet. And it's having gone to bed early enough the night before so that I can get up and do those things. And you know, those things don't cost me money. They don't take anything away from my kids. And I think that's why we went to look at this word enough for this season because there's this negative connotation still. I am weed This around mothering like slapping a peanut butter and jelly sandwich together and throwing it on a plate is good. But it still has like this negative feeling to it right like that we didn't do our best. And how and I mean, you've just spent the last 20 minutes really defining that is how we can reframe our best into just into and we say it just railing the number of it. But our best is enough. And enough is the best Yeah. Enough is a feast. I mean, you could make a fabulous, whatever that idea is right in your mind of what a fabulous lunches for your kids. But you could also be stressed out while you're making it. And you could also be like worrying that and trying to be on the phone at the same time and doing something else. And then you put it down in front of the kids and they don't even anyway because they're kids, right and so you just think oh I worked with Really hard on that and you didn't enjoy it and already they're stressed out. I mean, like we're injecting stress hormones into them just from lunch. Or it could be Hey guys, come on in let's, let's learn how to make a peanut butter jelly sandwich together and you know three or four, whatever it is bread, slop on the peanut butter. There's laughter you learn how to clean up a little bit. You sit down together, you feel good, because they've been laughing. They participated and also just didn't want to make that like, cucumbers cut into kitty faces thing, whatever. I just, it's really interesting, like so much. Our lives are documented that it feels like it's become very performative. Everything that we do needs to be done beautifully in a clean kitchen, which I don't know if our kitchens ever going to be cleaned again. Yeah, I mean, how do you feel about all of that the performative side of social media and Instagram and it's funny because my husband's A couple weeks ago once we finally got the verdict from the county about the fact that we were going all virtual and he was like, man, there's gonna be so much competition ever. And I was just like you know, like, I can't even I can't even and how as a food blogger who's you know basically like built this whole world around documenting and i mean i i see how it's different but I mean what are your I think I think I know what you know I quit gluten free girl for that reason that's a big part of it. I started in 2005 and it was this wonderfully naive place there was no Facebook no Twitter, no Instagram, none of that stuff. All connection happened on comments pages so I'd write an essay about my dinner and I would love writing and I think oh, I found something I like throw up a picture from like a total little dinky you know, Snapchat phone and that would be 45 minutes. mats are people talking with each other and with me, and that's what I loved. That's all that I loved was a community. And then, you know, and I still didn't think of it as gluten for girls a thing until about, probably four or five years in. I'd met Danny's a chef, we made a lot of food. We wrote a cookbook, but it just kept thinking, what someone wants us to run it. That's fantastic. And it was when all the social media really became a thing. It just became competition. It became we need to be doing more. We had a million hits on our website one of for a couple of years every month, and someone would say yes, but so and so has 30 million, why are you not? And then you couldn't make any food without it being you know, okay, and Super Bowls coming up. We got to make that and everybody's be vegan. Let's do that. Oh, no, everybody's paleo. I and I week, both Dan and I both reached the point we realized one night that we were sitting down with our daughter and son was a baby. And we weren't talking to them because we were eating what we had made for a cookbook or a blog post and we had spent the entire meal analyzing it. You think it should be good maybe should be ripe red peppers. Do you think this will photograph well and parse it out, and then Lucy would pick up on it too. And I looked at Dan, I'm like, stop. Now. I just can't do this anymore. This is supposed to be joy. Yeah, this is just supposed to be joy. And frankly, after the election, 2016 I couldn't see how anybody needed more gluten free lemon poppy seed muffins, it didn't seem like it mattered, I still want to get us. So we slowed down. And then it just sat there for a while. And then I finally closed it. I realize like, I've got to let go of it. So I can open the door for this new, better part of me. But unfortunately, the documentation is so ingrained in the human psyche now. You have to really actively resist it. And I've told my daughter she doesn't get a phone until she's 14 and if that's going to be a flip phone, and I don't want her on Instagram for a long time, because we deserve the right to live without also documenting and broadcasting to strangers at all times. I think this generation my 12 You're old and six year old are not as endlessly fascinated by technology the way that I am. You know, I've always been just deeply compelled to understand and think about how people communicate, you know, how do they talk? How do they not talk? Whether it's on Instagram on podcasts and you know, zooms now what are they saying? What are they not saying it's just how my brain works. So for me social media has always been fascinating to see what happens on there. For both of my kids are like, you know, it's it's the air they breathe. I think they're going to have a better chance I hope of choosing what part of those mediums there's media that they want to be part of. And I know this is I'm 54 this is going to sound ridiculous, but my very favorite one is Tick tock, believe it or not, I, I do not post on Tick Tock that would be just relentlessly bizarre, but I watch Tick Tock and it's 59 seconds of completely unedited you're in your room. Of course, some of its edited I know a lot of etc. But I don't pay attention to the ones who are beginning Tucker's I pay attention to hashtags I like like, there are a lot of different hashtags on there for different mental illnesses. And people find each other and community on tik tok for you know, non neurotypical kids, you know, there's a great ADHD Tick tock, for example, where people talk about it and joke about themselves and say, Oh, I didn't realize this was ADHD until I'm now 35. And there's a lot of learning going on in there. But a lot of these people sharing their complete imperfections and claiming them as their strength. And that I don't think would happen without social media. The aspect of what you just described on Tick Tock to me is the blessing of social media because everybody wants to try to connect and find people who they feel seen with and when you are isolated, either geographically or emotionally, physically, right. Social media does provide you with an outlet in order to get that communication and that connection that I think we all so desperately crave, right? It's all about connection. And you know, of course you've got parts of social media that are endless manipulation both politically but also you know with the ridiculous reality stars have millions of followers and I don't know why. But underneath that is always been this interesting bit and I've never been I don't know I've never been interested in the popular anyway I have this stubbornness in me if somebody ever when everyone says the book is fantastic I won't read it for six months because I it needs to come to me in its own way not everyone saying Oh, it's great. And so it's always this little like this under under spoken quiet community that interests me is still there on Twitter. You mean if you go to like, again, ADHD or manic depression or you go to something that someone's suffering from, they find each other and suddenly through a hashtag you can create community and if you're in your room alone, feeling Because you just got diagnosed with manic depression, and you're 16 you're going to find at least 25 other people talking to you within the first few minutes. So I love I always think of social media really is like the giant, you know, Acropolis, there's this giant square, and someone is preaching crazy things over here. And this one's trying to sell you something and that one, oh, Lord, stay away from that one. But over here, like 10 people having a conversation you want to have. And so it's not social media itself. It's just how we choose to use it. Well, I think that that is kind of the mantra for 2020. Yeah. Find your own corner, right? Find your group, and know that Seth Seth Godin is a great writer marketer, he is said and it's true. There is no national experience anymore. It used to be when we were kids, like everybody would sit down my husband. I both remember watching the very last episode of mash and knowing that everyone was watching mash right? There is nothing like that anymore. There's out what shall we gather around you know, lots of people. Don't watch football. Lots of people don't. If it's if there's something going on, like news breaking Danny and they go to Twitter, you know, we know someone's gonna be covering it right? So we don't have a national experience anymore, which is both weird and liberating, because it means you don't have to reach a national audience. You don't have to be popular in order to be a writer who makes a difference in the world. You have to find your people and they feel like what you write resonates with them. And you know, you've made a difference. And that's never really the path to a lot of money. So even that comes into question now. Like, why do we need a lot of money? Maybe if I just get to write pieces that people want to read? That's enough. Mm hmm. There's that word again. Yeah, it keeps coming up. No, I think we needed to hear that, too. I just needed to have this conversation so badly today as I start to look toward the year unfolding in front of us as humans. Yeah. on the planet, I have so much thinking and journaling to do now. Thank you, Shauna, thank you. I think that I mean, I don't want to give a to do list or homework or add to anybody's dizziness. But I do think that before we step into the abyss of what lies ahead, I think defining what looks enough for you and the people who count on you. Is the recipe for success. That's the way we get through we move through this. Yeah, it and I am grateful to you for kind of starting that process for us. And I look forward to figuring out what is enough for me and I actually really look forward to seeing what my kids would answer to that. And I imagine it's different. Well, that's my final suggestion is I'm a big believer in family meetings. And you think, okay can have a family meeting with a two year old, they know what they want, right? But we have family meetings on a, like a weekly basis around here. And I never like make announcements I say, Hey guys, how's it going? How's it feeling? What's going on? You know, when it comes to school, like what would you like to learn? What's feeling good, you know, okay, zooms, made my five 6.6 year old depressed. So it took them off, you know, and if you don't have your compass as what the exterior is like, what the authority figure of school tells you it should be. And if you just learn to trust your own instincts and your kids instincts, it will look very different, perhaps, but it will feel right for you. And I think perhaps that is the silver lining in all of this is what an opportunity to become one with our gut. Yeah. Because that's really all we've got right now. I mean, it is and I don't mean that In as in, we have no other options, but it's the only way.