Daily Blog: Making friends while adulting


I was listening to this episode of the Gretchen Ruben podcast and got a little hung-up on the “why you should have people over” part.

I’M TRYING GRETCHEN!!

I grew up in a family where my parents’ friends were like family. My mother’s family was in France and my father’s family was in Chicoutimi, a prohibitively long drive from Ottawa, especially in the winter. I grew-up celebrating Holidays, birthdays and major events with my parents’ friends and their children, who were like cousins to me. This image of friendship was formative and I remember in high school thinking that my high school friends would become like my parents’ friends. They didn’t. To this day, I have friends and my husband has friends but we have very few family friends.

This image of friendship etched in my heart is making it hard for me to appreciate the friendships I do have in my life. I often feel like I have no friends but it’s not true. I have many dear friends but they are not family friends. Our children and husbands don’t know each other. We don’t celebrate together, we are not invited to their children’s birthdays or to be their children’s godparents. We have coffee together, we hold each other up in bad times but our families are circles that do not meet.

Throughout the years, I have tried to make family friends by having people over. I have organized apple picking parties, snow fort building parties, brunch parties, family birthday parties, couples’ book clubs, beach picnics, parents meet-ups and recently Bollywood Movie Nights. I have given my phone number to so many people who have never called or texted me back, it’s embarrassing. So many people complain about how hard it is to make friends in your adult years but so few people are willing to do anything about it.

As I have gotten older, making friends has become harder and harder. I noticed that the people who have close friends made them when they were younger. Friendships nurtured for years before the weight of family obligations, work and general busyness challenged them. It’s hard enough to keep existing friendships through our thirties and forties, making new friends is nearly impossible. I can’t host as often as I used to. Our weekends are often packed. We need to manage our own schedules and that of our children. People are more discerning about their friendships, being roughly the same age and stage is no longer enough commonalities to be best friends. I have a professional relationship with most of the people I meet these days, like my massage therapist or my dentist.

The realities of life with a job and a growing family will probably prevent most of us from making meaningful new connections during our thirties and forties but I’m sure that planting these seeds will pay off in the future when we are no longer so busy. I will keep working on these budding friendships, like tiny plants that could be weeds or flowers, it’s too early to tell. Until the day when we can invest the time and energy to let them grow.

Podcast Episode 15 – Making room for your interests and passions in the middle of chaos


In this episode of the Véro Show, I reflect on finding room for our interets and passions in the middle of motherhood and tackle the question of vocation and whether motherhood should be enough to sustain us.  Just a regular Wednesday…

I mention a few cool things in this podcast. First I quote Phil Collins. I don’t need to link to this video but I will anyway because if you know a more perfect break-up song, I won’t believe you (but *please* if you recently lost someone through death or divorce, be kind to yourself and give this song a pass for 5 or 10 years, ok?):

This songs pairs really well with this episode of This American Life 

I also mention Wild Wild Country, a six-part documentary available on Netflix:

And here is the interview with Maclain and Chapman Way and producer Mark Duplass on The Big Picture podcast.

I’m also watching (ahem, re-watching) (ahem, re-re-re-watching) Gran Hotel:

If you want to know why you should watch it, you may want to read my gushy blog post about it: Netflix and Chills

And here’s the podcast page for Radio Ambulante.

I just finished watching Masaan on Netflix, a Hindi movie about people navigating difficult circumstances in the midst of a punishing moral code and a strict caste system. It’s not a feel good movie but it’s one you have a duty to watch if you enjoy a lot of Masala movies. Because India is not exactly what it’s shown to be in high gloss Bollywood productions. This trailer doesn’t have subtitles —  you’ll get the gist of it —  but the movie does.

 

Podcast Episode 14 – We moved! Hear the whole story on the Véro Show


So we moved! Wanna know why? Listen to the podcast. I also ramble about two seasons disappearing (Fall and Spring), working in politics, city noises and probably more.

07: 45 minute-mark: Why I need big things to motivate me to do the small things.

Here’s the quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel that I reference (and mangle):

Here is the book I just finished: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Here is the Longform podcast interview with Ashlee Vance

43:45-minute-mark: A reflection on Elon Musk’s “work ethics” (… you keep using that word…)

Here is the book I am currently reading: TWO by Gulzar

About the movie Dil Se

Here’s the legendary item number from Dil Se , lyrics by Gulzar, music by A.R. Rahman. I know it’s the second blog post where I reference this item but what can I say? When I love something, I love it a lot:

Gulzar also wrote the lyrics to Jai Ho:

And here’s the trailer to Asoka (available on Netflix Canada):

And here’s the trailer for Raazi, currently playing in a theatre near you (yes, yes, even in Canada):

Podcast Episode 13: The Deal with Teenagers Part 1


Today’s podcast is titled “The deal with teenager” and is the first part of a two-part series on handling the delicate balance of privileges and responsibilities with our teenagers and young adults.

Parenting teenagers is like flying a kite: it’s all in the art of giving enough rope and maintaining tension. Should the kite ever land in a tree, would you rather be around to help your teen untangle the mess or leave them to figure it out? Some parents will say “Let them figure it out on their own, they have to learn eventually.”

I take the longer view on that one: my teenagers might figure it out by cutting all the strings and burning down the tree, leaving them with no kite and a burnt down neighbourhood; or I might help them figure out how they can climb the tree, untangle the strings and, should they have to cut it, do it in such a way as to preserve as much of the kite’s functionality as possible. Then hopefully they will have learned something about getting kites out of trees and will be better equipped to do it themselves the next time it happens.

I once met a parent who was looking for advice on handling a request for money from a young adult child. We got chatting about lending money to our kids. She said: “I only ever lend money to my children because I want to teach them the importance of paying back debts.” I said: “I’ll let the bank teach them the importance of paying back debts when they repossess their cars. As for me, I’ll teach them that their family always has their back.” We worry a lot about what we might teach our teenagers by helping them out of a hard spot; but there’s a whole wide world of people out there who don’t love them. Let the world teach them hard truths: you’re the only one who can teach them unconditional love and support. I wrote a blog post about that, you can read it h e r e.

As promised in the podcast, this is a picture of our Subaru after it took a pick-up in the teeth. For the whole story, you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

The podcast opens with an update on my blogging and the deal with teenagers —  including how our car got smashed — start around the 8:30-minute-mark.

Thank you for listening and please come back for part 2.

https://fearlessfamilylife.com/8-things-i-still-do-for-my-teenagers-time-and-weather-permitting/

New podcast: Where have I been and a reflection on kinship


Hey everyone! Long time no podcast!

Yesterday my husband took our teenage daughter out on a movie date and I took the opportunity to record a new podcast. I rarely record when my husband and teens are in the house because someone always crashes into the room I’m using to tell me something wholly irrelevant to the topic I’m discussing. Like “I’m going to bed” or “Can I have gas money.” I guess this is where the dedicated studio with the “On Air” light came from. At some point my dishwasher sounds like I’m flushing a toilet but otherwise the sound quality is half-decent.

In this podcast, I reflect on the nature of crowdfunding and why I don’t feel comfortable charging my patrons for the quality of product I’m releasing. There is an awkward-teenager phase to growing a blog or a podcast where you make some money but not enough to hire help, learn a new skill, or buy better equipment, let alone leave your day job. The result is something that should sound professional — because I am paid for it — but doesn’t.

The question I had to ask myself as a creator was: “Is the forward momentum of my blog and website strong enough to justify pushing through the awkward-teenager phase?” Does the trajectory of my podcast  suggest that I will someday earn an income and build a professional presence on the web? To me, the end goal of having patrons is not to support my hobby, it’s to make writing and podcasting my profession. The money I am currently squeezing out of my patrons doesn’t allow me to move out of the hobby realm into the professional realm, and the trajectory of my crowdfunding efforts doesn’t suggest that it will for another 4 years. That’s way too long to expect my early supporters to humour me.

In the second part of the podcast, I talk about a trip to France I made last summer with three of my children. I reflect on the ties that bind us to our kin, despite time and distance, and the importance of building a strong family culture and identity.

 

Podcast 009. Why crowdfunding, where my novel is at, and keeping dreams alive


This week’s podcast is a hodge-podge of topics, from why I went with crowdfunding as opposed to advertising to support my website and podcast, where my novel is at and how we can keep our dreams and fears in check.

0:00:00 to 0:08:00 – Why I’m using crowdfunding as opposed to ad revenues to support my website and podcast.

0:08:00 to 0:30:31 – My novel: what it’s about, where it’s at and my current struggles

0:30:31 to 0:33:41 – On the blog: what I’m currently writing.

0:33:40 to 0:46:02 – Keeping our dreams alive even when they don’t make sense

0:46:02 to 0:51:00 – Fear as a measure of the importance of our projects

0:51:00 to 1:05:05 – Confidence in ourselves as a gift to others