Are you afraid of the unknown in this next phase of your life? Are you unsure of what to do with yourself in this phase? How can you deal with this overwhelming sense of guilt?
In this podcast episode, Kathryn speaks to Colleen and Bridgett from the podcast “Hot Flashes & Cool Topics” about laughing your way through midlife.
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Meet Colleen & Bridgett
Colleen is a former lawyer, pilates instructor, turned podcaster. Bridgett is a former school teacher and actress turned podcaster.
Both have empty nests and met in their neighborhood. They enjoy conversations in their podcast covering all topics for women in midlife.
In This Podcast
- What made Colleen and Bridgett start their podcast?
- Making friends in your 50s
- Struggling to figure out what you want for this next phase of life
- Deciding who to have on the show
- Passion for your job
What made Colleen and Bridgett start their podcast?
If you have a passion for something, it doesn’t matter what that passion is, if you’re willing to work hard at it and learn, go for it. If you’re 40, to 50 to 60 to 72, it’s your journey. You don’t know how long this life is going to be. So if you’re willing to put the work in and learn, go for it.
During lunch with the ladies, they got onto the subject of how their demographic is largely ignored in today’s society. They thought to look for midlife-focused podcasts and only found very specific ones. They wanted to change the narrative and become an umbrella podcast that covers everything. They wanted to give women their age a voice, they want people to know they’re still here!
Making friends in your 50s
Making friends in your 50s is very challenging for a lot of ladies. You’re done with the empty nesting, you’re no longer the mommy and me groups, but you’re not in retirement yet. So where are we? How do we make friends? How do we get out there and create a new life for our kids who have now left the nest?
Struggling to figure out what you want for this next phase of life
It can be difficult, sometimes you just don’t know what you want, you’re just floating, waiting for something to happen to you. Colleen and Bridgett talk to a lot of different women who share with them what it was that made them pivot. They then share these stories with their listeners hoping to be the catalyst for them to just go for it.
Women in midlife were brought up with a lot of guilt. There’s a guilt factor around having time for themselves and they don’t think that they deserve it, they need to learn how to value themselves again. A lot of the women Colleen and Bridgett have spoken to, have gone through a moment when they thought they weren’t worthy or didn’t deserve something. It’s not the same for every woman but there is the same undertone.
Deciding who to have on the show
Colleen & Bridgett are not experts so if they don’t have the answer, they want to find it and bring in the right guest for the topic. They want to cover as many bases as possible so have a wide array of guests discussing topics from the very funny to the very serious. They ask themselves “What would I want to know?” It’s not just an interview podcast, it’s a discussion, a conversation.
Passion for your job
We want women in midlife to understand you could still have that passion, you could still have that new journey, that new chapter, you just have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone a little bit in order to do it.
Colleen didn’t want her daughters to see her doing a job that she didn’t have passion for. It’s important to show your kids that you can make money and have a career that you love at the same time. The “Boomer Generation” of females led the way for women’s rights and the generation coming up behind that feels that they have to do as much as they can because so many fought so hard for the rights that they have today. A lot of women got into their careers because they could and they felt that they had the responsibility to do it, even though they didn’t necessarily want to do it. Bridgett & Colleen hope that the next generation does what they choose to do and that they be what they want to be. We all have the choice now, that’s what was fought for.
It’s okay to be afraid but don’t let that fear of the unknown stop you.
The medical community has not caught up with women who are finding the answers themselves.
In the past, menopause was a taboo subject, but now, women want it to be addressed. Bridgett & Colleen are opening the conversation with women. Menopause is a time in every women’s life and things will happen in the workplace that will affect women in menopause, and that needs to be recognized. Most women don’t realize that they are perimenopausal unless they google it. Gynecologists tend to not talk about it but there are specialists out there who want to talk about it. There are so many things out there that can help with menopause ie. Diet, exercise, natural supplements, bioidentical HRTs, foods that contain estrogen, etc.
Signs of Perimenopause (some of the 100+ symptoms):
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Weight gain (“the midlife middle”)
- Achy joints
Foods that help with Menopause
- Whole foods
- Plant-based foods
- Dark chocolate
- Fruit and vegetables
- Clean foods
What to avoid
- Spicy food (before bed)
Books mentioned in this episode
- Are You A People Pleaser? How To Say No Without Guilt | IT 019
- Imperfect Thriving Email Course (Your Blueprint To Thrive)
Meet Kathryn Ely
I’m Kathryn Ely and at age 50, I’m enjoying my very best life. I spent years as a lawyer and then stay-at-home mom helping others go out into the world and live their best lives. While this was very important to me, I did not realize that I was losing myself in the process. I followed all of the “shoulds” like “women should always care for others” and “taking time for yourself is just selfish”.
As two of my children were getting ready to go out into the world I realized I was lost, without my next purpose, and it was scary. So I went back to school and over the course of several years, I not only found myself, but I designed the formula for women in midlife to achieve their most fulfilling lives. It is my mission to equip as many women as possible with this design and the tools to make this chapter of their lives the best chapter.
Thanks for listening!
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Imperfect Thriving is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
[KATHRYN]: There are so many ways to keep your practice organized, but Therapy Notes is the best. Their easy to use secure platform lets you not only do your billing, scheduling and progress notes, but also create a client portal to share documents and request signatures. Plus, they offer amazing, unlimited phone support so when you have a question, you can get help fast. To get started with the practice management software, trusted by over 35,000 professionals, go to therapynotes.com and start a free trial today. If you enter promo code “Joe”, they will give you two months to try it out for free.
Hi, it’s Kathryn, the host of the Imperfect Thriving podcast and I’m so excited about today’s episode. I have the ladies from the podcast, “Hot Flashes and Cool Topics.” What a great name right? I have Colleen and Bridgett today. Colleen is a former attorney and Pilates instructor turned podcaster, and Bridgett is a former school teacher and actress turned podcaster. They met at a neighborhood function and have been enjoying podcasting together ever since. So, I really hope you enjoy our conversation on today’s episode.
Hi, it’s Kathryn with the Imperfect Thriving podcast. Is there anyone in your life who might be struggling? Not clear on what he or she wants to do in their life right now? Or maybe someone whose relationships are not going well. Someone who’s always being taken advantage of by others? I want to help. This is why I’ve created the Blueprint to Thrive and the Blueprint to Thrive QuickStart. Quick Start is a five-minute worksheet that can help you or someone in your life, who’s struggling, to assess the areas of your life, what’s working, and what’s not working for you.
This is the Imperfect Thriving podcast with your host, Kathryn Ely, and I’m so excited to tell y’all that I have Colleen and Bridgett today from the podcast, Hot Flashes and Cool Topics, which may be the best name ever. Ladies, thank you so much for being on the show. I’m happy to get to talk to y’all again.
[BRIDGETT]: Well, thank you for having us.
[COLLEEN]: We’re so very excited to be here.
[KATHRYN]: Yes. So, I met y’all at Pod Fest and had the best time getting to know you a little bit. But, if each of you could just take a few minutes and tell our listeners a little bit about yourself individually.
[COLLEEN]: Okay, I’ll start. Um, my name is Colleen and I am a, as you have said, former lawyer from a different life and lawyer turned stay at home mom, turned Pilates instructor, turned podcaster so I’ve worn many hats over the years. I am the mom of two daughters, who are pretty much grown, they’re home right now due to social isolation and stay at home orders but they are in school. And so, I’ve been through the empty nest. And what else Bridgett? What else do I know about me, Bridgett?
Oh, she likes Riesling. She likes Poldark. We should do, we should do an episode on how well we know each other one day.
[COLLEEN]: That would be fun.
[BRIDGETT]: She shuts down at 10pm
[COLLEEN]: Yes, that’s important to know is that I shut down at 10 pm, regardless of where I am or time zone.
[KATHRYN]: Okay, Bridgett?
[BRIDGETT]: Well, I am a former elementary school teacher and I did that for several years and then I got tired of that. And then we moved to Nashville and I started to kind of go back and fulfill a childhood dream, started. And I did some acting here for bit, and I still have an agent but I don’t do it as much. The last thing I was in, I just was miserable because it was those five o’clock in the morning, shooting till five in the morning scenes and I just thought this is not what I wanted. And so, I kind of cut back on that a little bit. And then Colleen and I started this podcast this, we came up with it this summer and started it. But I also have two grown-up children who are here right now due to the social isolation. My son typically lives in California, but he’s in the film industry. And he also was working at a restaurant and both of those are not happening right now. So, we begged him before everything shut down to just come and be with us so he wouldn’t be by himself. And then my daughter normally lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, but her office where she works, she’s an industrial designer. It shut, it didn’t shut down, but they’re now working from home. So she has taken the dining room. She’s working in the dining room, and my husband is working in our office. So, his building is pretty much shut down. He has to go in every once in awhile, but he’s pretty much here. So, we’re all here right now. And actually, I love having them with me. But I don’t like why they are with me. But that’s kind of, yeah. What else do I like, I don’t know, I like tennis. Like I love to exercise.
[COLLEEN]: She likes watching movies over and over and over again.
[BRIDGETT]: I like some movies over and over. I love to binge watch shows, I got Coleen started on Poldark and she got ahead of me. So today, I’m not even done and she even got a Poldark coloring book from her daughter.
[COLLEEN]: She’s just saying it trying to be jealous.
[KATHRYN]: You tell me about that, I don’t know about that show.
[BRIDGETT]: It’s a PBS show in England, and it’s taking place in what the late 1800s?
[COLLEEN]: Late 1700s.
[BRIDGETT]: And it’s just a great show. It’s like five seasons you try, you know when you’re being locked down, you need to find a show that’s more than one episode.
[KATHRYN]: One season.
[BRIDGETT]: One season. You can get it on Amazon Prime. And Ross Poldark is not difficult to look at.
[COLLEEN]: He’s very handsome.
[KATHRYN]: That doesn’t hurt.
[BRIDGETT]: No, it doesn’t hurt at all.
[COLLEEN]: So, we’ve been friends since we moved into our neighborhood, which is a story in and of itself. We’re in one of those neighborhoods where it’s a community feel and they have a lot of events for people. And we met through an event and one thing led to another and we started a podcast having no clue what we were doing. And it’s just taken off like crazy since September of last year that we started.
[KATHRYN]: So, what made y’all want to start this podcast?
[COLLEEN]: Well, you know, we are both 52. And we were having lunch with a friend of ours and we were talking about, it was a table of four women and everyone at the table were either ending one career or starting another career. And we got on the subject of how women of our demographic, meaning about 45 to 65,a little more, a little less, is largely ignored in society and media. It’s kind of like, if you’re not a boomer, you’re a millennial, and Generation X is this quiet, kind of they like to say Jan Brady.
[BRIDGETT]: A middle child.
[COLLEEN]: And we thought, you know, let’s look up some podcasts to see if they talk about midlife. And there’s some great ones out there. Absolutely. But they’re very specific. They’re either on menopause or they’re on empty nesting, or they’re on a career change. And we wanted to be the umbrella for all topics of midlife because women are not one dimensional and we didn’t want our podcast to be that either. So, we like to say, Bridgette and I, that we’re changing the narrative in midlife. It’s that chapter that’s unwritten that we want to give you options to write ideas. explorations, right Bridgett?
[BRIDGETT]: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean, I’ll, we’ll run the gamut, like we will do, we’ll do something to cover age spots to what we really want for Christmas, to fun things, to really very serious things. We’ll talk about. Just you know, we’ll talk about hormone replacement therapy, we’ll talk about when you might be, you might be going through some depression. some different life changes or things that just come to the forefront when you hit midlife, all of a sudden. So, we’ll run the gamut and we just want to give a lot of women that are in this age/demographic, a voice. And we want everyone to know, you know, we’re still here. We want marketing people to know, women are here at this age, and typically, we have more money than we did when we were in our 20s and you really probably should focus on us because we have, you know, money,
[KATHRYN]: And hopefully a little more sense, right?
[BRIDGETT]: A little more sense, yeah.
[COLLEEN]: Exactly, a little more experience a little less. You know, we’ve spoken to you about how we’re less, I think we’re a little easier on ourselves, we can give ourselves a little more grace. We don’t have a fear of failure so we’re gonna you know, Bridge and I have absolutely no idea how to start a podcast.
[BRIDGETT]: Oh, no, not at all.
[COLLEEN]: Thought you to press record and then you go.
[BRIDGETT]: I own a copy of podcasting for Dummies. It’s right over there.
[KATHRYN]: I bought that.
[BRIDGETT]: And I bought it. The summer I was like, “Okay, I’m getting this if we’re going to start this out”, but what we want women to know is if you have a passion for something, it does not matter what that passion is. If you’re willing to work hard at it and learn, go for it. If you’re 42, 52, 62, 72, it’s your journey. You don’t know how long this life is going to be. So, if you’re willing to put the work in and learn, go for it, do it. If it works great, if it doesn’t, okay, no big deal. No, yeah, it’s okay. It’s not really a failure, it was just a life experience and, and I do love that, that you’re not too old for this for this.
[COLLEEN]: No, and we’ve been just amazed at the response that we’re getting. So many women love, love the topics, want to hear more. We’ve started a roundtable on YouTube because they want to hear conversations with other women. Because, we would often get, “I wish it was live because I had a question for you”, or, “I wanted to make a comment.” So, we’re, “Alright, let’s do these roundtables, let’s expand a little bit and see about that.” We’re doing some live streams during the social shutdown.
[KATHRYN]: I’ve been on one of them, yeah, that was so much fun. I loved that.
[COLLEEN]: Yeah, when you’re just feeling you know, women have, you know, we’ve done podcasts about making friends in your 50s, and for a lot of them it’s very challenging. You’re done the empty nesting, you’re no longer in the mommy and me groups, but you’re not in retirement yet. So, where are we? How do we make friends? How do we get out there and create a new life for our kids have now left the nest or in my case revolving door, they come back?
[COLLEEN]: But what do you want for this next phase of life? So, we try to, like talk to people, share stories, and it’s just been amazing. The response. We’re just so happy that people, it’s resonating with them.
[BRIDGETT]: Mm hmm.
[KATHRYN]: Yeah. I love that. Do you find that sometimes difficult, for the women that you talk to, to really get down to what they want this part of their life to look like?
[BRIDGETT]: It can be because sometimes you don’t know what you want at this part of life? It’s just like you’re kind of floating through there, like just kind of waiting for something to happen to you. But I think the more we start to talk to different women, they share with us what was it for them that made them take this turn, or take this pivot in their life. And so, when they are able to share those things with us, we share them with our listeners. So, we’re just hoping we can be a catalyst for them. That if they’re, something’s just holding them back that they can just go with it.
[KATHRYN]: I love that. Do y’all think part of why, and you know, I’m in my early 50s as well, so, I’m in that demographic? Do you think part of why women in our age group are ignored is that we kind of feel like, “Okay, I am very blessed with what I have, I really shouldn’t complain about my life or I really shouldn’t want more.” Do you ever see any of that with the women that you talk to?
[COLLEEN]: I think it’s, it’s definitely they have, we’re just brought up with guilt. We were brought up, whenever we become self-reflective, to have guilt associated with that. So, when you’re reaching the stage of life where your first thought in the morning is not, “Oh, I have to get lunch ready, and I’ve gotta make sure they go out the door,” and you go, “Okay, well, let me take some time to think about myself and what I want,” you immediately are triggered back to that selfish you don’t have time for that. You have to be for everyone else. So, I think that there’s definitely a guilt factor. And they don’t feel like they deserve it.
[KATHRYN] Right. Yeah, absolutely. There’s, I see that a lot with clients. It’s the “I’m not worth it” or “I’m not worthy”, because they don’t value themselves enough. Or yeah, it’s the, “If I think about myself at all, it’s selfish”.
[BRIDGETT]: And we have talked to different women, that throughout whatever they are doing there, we’ve talked to fashion stylists, makeup artists, people who have spoken on the floor of Parliament in England, and that all of them seem to have gone through a moment where they felt they weren’t worthy of something or didn’t deserve something. And that it’s always been interesting, it doesn’t look exactly the same for every woman, but they all seem to have gone through that and I think that is just part of women and how we were brought up. That we are nurturing, I know I feel like I am by nature. Maybe some people aren’t and that’s fine, you know if they’re not, but I do feel like that is a big thing with the majority of women that they put themselves last and if they just at all think of themselves, that is selfish. That is what they feel.
[KATHRYN]: So, I love that y’all see women in midlife as the multi-dimensional creatures that we are. How do you decide about the guests that you have on your show? How do you decide who to have?
[COLLEEN]: We like it to be an array of people. We want to cover as many bases as we can. And oftentimes, Bridgett, and I will say, we are not an expert on let’s say, for example, Bridge and I are both married for many years, we’re not an expert on divorce and dating. So, we brought somebody in, we had an attorney that specializes in silver divorces. And we have a dating expert that came on and talked about online dating and what it’s like to date over 40. So, if we don’t have the answer, we will find it. But I when I do a lot of the guest booking and I try to say, “Well what questions do I have? What would I want to know if I were listening to a podcast for a midlife person, what would I want to listen to?” And so, we may have one week, an estate plan or on to talk about, you know, getting your estate plan together and the next week, a makeup artist who specializes in makeup for women over 50. We don’t want it to be just one topic. And we also, Bridge and I really, we started this podcast as a conversation between the two of us, and what we thought about stuff. So, we don’t want it to be just interview. It’s not a just interview podcast, we still maintain a lot of our discussions. We try to talk a little bit before we do interviews in the beginning of every show because we kind of had this idea that we were going to be sitting at a table talking and women were going to feel like they were sitting at their table talking with us, you know, wasn’t being educated or necessary lectured to but just, “Oh you want to learn about something new, let’s talk about it,” you know, “Oh, did you watch that show? Let’s talk about that.” Or, “What did you get for Christmas? Was it good, was it bad?” Like, we wanted it to be a conversation and not necessarily just interviews.
[BRIDGETT]: Interviews and lectures too.
[KATHRYN]: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Okay, Bridgett, I’m interested to know if I’ve ever seen you in any of your acting.
[BRIDGETT]: Probably not, no, did you ever watch Nashville?
[KATHRYN]: Really quick. Yes, I did watch Nashville.
[BRIDGETT]: If you blink while you were watching because if you did blink, you probably missed me. No, I was probably, Nashville was filmed here when I moved here. And so, I was really like the background. One time I got picked to be like this.
[COLLEEN]: This mom, at a wedding.
[BRIDGETT]: At a wedding of a character. I didn’t have a name, I was Mike’s mom. And I did some commercials that I haven’t even seen and I honestly hope I never do.
[COLLEEN]: She did a Perkins commercial.
[BRIDGETT]: I did a Perkins commercial. I think it’s being shown in Florida, I don’t know.
[KATHRYN]: I’ll get my mom to tape it and send it.
[BRIDGETT]: Oh no. I can’t even remember I did some other ones. Insurance ones. Yeah, I did do that. Last summer I did an insurance one and then you know, so I did those and I can’t even remember it seems like some of these commercials are shown in different states like I did [inaudible] cable which is out of Atlanta. I have no idea where that commercial shown.
[COLLEEN]: Didn’t you also do like you were murdered on one and the bugs were crawling on you.
[BRIDGETT]: Well, I was murdered, that was the one that made me want to quit. And yeah, because the place where we were, they decided not to drag my body through the woods, thank God because that was like, 5 in the morning, it was burning up, sticks were sticking up and I was like, “Oh, God, thank you.” They did not do that. But I remember like we had to stay there and it was this cabin. And I got to take a shower and there was a spider in the shower that I stepped on with my barefoot and there was a tick on me and I was like, “No, this, no, I don’t like this anymore.” So, you know, and I don’t know, I’d still maybe do some but yeah, I don’t think you’ve, I’m trying to think, I was in a few movies, and I think the only one you’ve seen me in for a second. The Novitiate, they filmed that here. So that was yeah, I think.
[KATHRYN]: Oh. Whose wedding in Nashville because I’ll go back and find that?
[BRIDGETT]: So, it’s when Rayna and Deacon got married and it was,
[KATHRYN]: Oh my gosh.
[COLLEEN]: She was “Mike’s mom.”
[BRIDGETT]: I don’t even know if they called him Mike. This guy, he was not a regular guy on the show. He is hitting on the character of Scarlet, like, he’s hitting, he’s a taxidermist, and he starts talking to her about taxidermy. But then at the wedding, she gets up to sing and he kind of waves at her and I’m sitting next to him because he mentions me. What happened that day is, they pulled some of us, like five of us women and we were all over 40. And they came in and they’re like, I need you, you and you. And they had us come in front of the director. First. I was like, “What did I do wrong?” And then he said, “We, Mike mentioned his mother and his mother, he’s here because his mother’s a friend of Rayna’s and that, but we didn’t cast her and he’s supposed to be sitting with her.” So, they had him come up to each of us and have to say, “Hey, son, Hi.” So, the director like he was like, “I think it might be you” and he went through us and then he picked me. But I didn’t get to say, “Hey, son,” in the show.
[KATHRYN]: Okay, I’m gonna go back and find you anyway.
[BRIDGETT]: So funny. That’s been like, almost five years because you know, it has because they film it, you know, a good, well, probably a few months before it was released and then that that was like their second to the last season. So yeah. That’s Mike’s mom. But my daughter was so funny. One night she was here. She was watching The Novitiate. And I said, “Oh, what are you watching? And she goes, “Oh, this movie, The Novitiate.” I said, “I’m in that movie.” She was like, “What?” And I go back to where I was, and she went, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t even know, I didn’t even notice you at all Mom.”
[KATHRYN]: Of course.
[COLLEEN]: Thanks a lot!
[BRIDGETT]: There was, where it was in the 1950s, I was in the 1950s.
[COLLEEN]: It wasn’t in the 1950s.
[BRIDGETT]: No, it wasn’t. That’s how old I am. Yeah. No, it was and I have decided, going back circling back to women in midlife. The reason those women look so old in the 50s that were 50 years old, it’s the haircuts.
[KATHRYN]: Definitely the hair.
[BRIDGETT]: It was horrible because I was in something elsewhere we had to be the 1950s and they would do our hair super tight against our head. And I thought, “This is awful.” Just that should never, ever come back. Cut what you’d like of that conversation.
[KATHRYN] No, I’m not cutting any of it, that cracks me up, I love that. Yeah. So, Coleen, what type of law did you used to practice? I’m curious.
[COLLEEN]: Oh, very sexy law called Eminent Domain. You know, when I went to law school, I had these dreams of working for children’s rights. And I started my career as an attorney for the guardian ad litem and quickly learned that I couldn’t pay my bills, doing, unfortunately working with children, you can’t pay your bills. And so, I took a job at a large law firm that represented a county that was expanding the airport. So, I spent several years doing eminent domain, which is one of the most boring areas of the law. I like it but most people would not.
[BRIDGETT]: Enjoy sleeping.
[COLLEEN]: Exactly, and it just, it was not my cup of tea. That’s what, but like you said, I didn’t want to go back to and I didn’t want my daughters to see me having a job that I didn’t really have a passion for. Because I think it’s really important that the children coming up, see that you can make money and have a career that you love at the same time.
[KATHRYN]: Yes, absolutely. I love that. I talk to my kids all the time about don’t just think about careers that you think you should have, think about how you like to spend your time, think about how you’d like to tailor your day. Do you want to get dressed up and go to an office? Or do you want to do something that’s outside? Do you want your schedule to be the same every day? Or do you want it to change? What do you want your life to look like? And then go in that direction, you will find a job that you’re happy with.
[COLLEEN]: Mm-hmm. I think that’s it. Well, you know, we interviewed there’s a book called “Why We Can’t Sleep” and the author is Ada Calhoun. It’s a women’s new midlife crisis book. It’s great. It’s out now. And we interviewed her and she interviewed hundreds of women. And one of the interesting topics she talked about was that the boomer generation of females kind of led the way for movements of women’s rights and our generation coming up behind them. So, we are the children of that generation, we felt almost obligated to achieve as much as we humanly possibly could. Because we were given that right that the generation before us did not have. The problem that she was saying was, you get to that point where you’re the CEO, you’re the attorney, and you may not have actually ever wanted that to begin with. You thought, ” I can now do it. I have to do it.”
[BRIDGETT]: I have to do it, yeah.
[COLLEEN]: Yeah, right, and so now I’m hoping that the next generation is saying, “You can do whatever you choose to do.” Just, “Yes, you have that right and you can be whatever you want to be even though we’re still fighting for women in the workplace. But it’s not a necessity. You don’t have to.”
[BRIDGETT]: “You’re not going to disappoint us if you choose something over something else, you know, you’re just doing the best you can and you have a choice.” That, yeah, we want them to know that.
[COLLEEN]: It was really an interesting conversation with her about that, don’t you think Bridgett?
[BRIDGETT]: Oh, yeah, it was she interviewed close to 200 women. And just so many.
[COLLEEN]: How many of them were at the peak of what they thought was their career choice and they weren’t happy with it?
[BRIDGETT]: They weren’t happy, things still weren’t what they envisioned in their head, that life was going to be like, and there were still lots of struggles. And it was just making them realize that, you know, maybe we need to do something a little different for our daughters and for the other women coming up.
[COLLEEN]: Absolutely, that’s why I definitely decided not to, you know, I have a very understanding husband, and he knew that I never liked the area of you know, the practice of law. So, he was like, go for it. He knows I have a very strong work ethic. So, whatever I chose to do, I was going to do 110%, Bridgett can attest, when I like, I have like 3 am thoughts, I now let Bridge sleep till like 6 before I type. But I’m just, I throw myself into something. So, we want again, going back to the podcast, we want women in midlife to understand you could still have that passion, you could still have that new journey, that new chapter, you just have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone a little bit in order to do it. Start something new, be a little it’s okay to be afraid. But don’t let that fear of the unknown, not even fear of failure, but fear of the unknown, stop you. You could still educate yourself, you could still learn. I mean, if Bridgett thought she would be, she’s got more microphones in her house now, boxes and stuff. If she thought she’d be doing all that stuff a year ago, I would have said what, I wouldn’t have known a thing about how to hook any of these things up. And also, just how much I have learned in the past two years. Who knew at 52 I would learn so much about so many different areas to do with women in midlife. I mean, I’m just amazed that I’ve learned this much just talking. We’ve talked to so many women in Britain and Great Britain, about a menopause movement, and actually bringing this to the forefront in the workplace. That is something I never even thought about, that educating people in the workplace that menopause is a time in every woman’s life. And I always say if they’re lucky enough to live that long, they’re going to go through menopause. And things will happen in the workplace that will affect a woman and that needs to be recognized. You know, different things are recognized, illnesses are recognized, you’re giving some time off hopefully, also a good company and that they would give you that time for that. And there are things in menopause that happen that need to be given time and need to be recognized. So those are things I never even knew, had it not been for this podcast, I wouldn’t have known about it.
[KATHRYN]: Yeah, so what give me some tips and some things that y’all have learned about menopause through throughout your show. I could use some tips on that.
[COLLEEN]: Oh, well you know it’s interesting because Bridgett is postmenopausal and she is on bioidentical HRTs. I’m perimenopausal, creeping slowly towards I think that last year we couldn’t hope, because you do reach a point where when you’re the only one left still having your cycle, you’re jealous of everyone else who doesn’t have it. Now, like we used to say when you say the word “menopause” women run because it’s, “Oh, you’re getting older.” Once you’re looking forward to it, you’re like, “Come on already. Just, let’s move on. Let’s move to the next chapter. We’ve learned, you know, we’ve listened, we’ve talked to doctors, we’ve talked to natural homeopathic treatments, we’ve talked to Femtech companies, menopausal clothing. There are so many options out there. but the same story seems to happen over and over. Women do not realize they’re going, they’re perimenopausal who, until they Dr. Google it. They’ll go to a doctor, if they’re lucky enough to find a doctor who specializes in menopause and perimenopause, they’ll be educated. But if they go to the average gynecologist and say, “Oh, you’re fine.” They won’t test the hormone levels, right Bridgett?
[BRIDGETT]: Right. And we found, yeah, you have to be an advocate and I can you know, I’ve had so many shared experiences with different women that we’ve interviewed. I had a gynecologist tell me, “Oh okay, well, that’s just part of your life.” Or, at first, she didn’t believe me, that I was going to
[COLLEEN]: You were young.
[BRIDGETT]: Because I was younger, when I was like 46 or something, or 47, and she didn’t think I was going through menopause. But she did do the blood test, but did not you know, even venture to talk about HRTs, like put me on an anti-depressant that supposedly could help with it, which didn’t help me. It might help some other people, it didn’t help me. So, it was just great to talk to different doctors and to find doctors that specialize in menopause. And these particular doctors have been willing to do consultations over the phone. One was in San Diego, Dr. Liz Lister, and the doctor that started the clinic at Harvard and I am drawing the blank at her name can’t remember, but we’ll have her up here.
[COLLEEN]: If you’re willing to do the work to find specialists, they’re out there and they want to talk. They want to share their experience. They want women to know that there are so many choices. Don’t be afraid of a 2002 study that came out that said, “Estrogen’s bad, don’t ever take estrogen,” because that wasn’t accurate. Like Dr. Liz said, “Bad news travels faster than good news and bad reports, that necessarily were not accurate, came out first.” So that was it. There’s so many options with your diet, your exercise, supplements that are natural, foods that is natural that has phytoestrogen in it. And if you have to go on HRT, there’s bioidenticals which Bridgett swears by, these pellets.
[BRIDGETT]: Yeah, it’s been great for me and we’ve talked to women that are starting menopause retreats. We learned through this woman that, as Colleen said, foods contain natural estrogen in it. And it was just like I had no idea, you know, I should have thought of that though. Because a lot of things are plant-based. But it was just we learned we learned you know, just so we learned how could dark chocolate.
[COLLEEN]: We’d heard before but this woman really was like, “Oh, no, the dark chocolate is really good for you.” And things to avoid in your diet, and certain exercises before you go to bed, and then we’ve spoken to companies that manufacture, Femtech companies that manufacture clothes specifically for night sweats and hot flashes. There’s so much information out there and we are literally, we have so many episodes that are banked right?
[BRIDGETT]: Yeah, we’re taking advantage though of this time because we’re not.
[COLLEEN]: Yeah. Oh my gosh, we feel so much more educated about the topic of menopause and perimenopause and post menopause, just in talking to these amazing women who are out there in the world trying to get the word out.
[KATHRYN]: So, what are some of those perimenopausal signs that women are not recognizing?
[BRIDGETT]: Anxiety and depression are huge. That was, I think, the most shocking for me personally, because I didn’t realize my anxiety when I turned about 45/46, was being either exacerbated by the hormone changes, or starting. Because I was always, I’ve always been an anxious person, but it just exacerbated when, you know, my father was terminal, and then my daughter was sick, and we were just trying to deal with all that stuff. You make excuses. But insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, but we call it the midlife middle, you start gaining weight. [Inaudible]. Yeah, yeah. You know, and your body, just yeah, just everything like that, you know? I’m just trying to think now there’s no I think there are over 100 symptoms that are related to perimenopause. And you know, the day of menopause, everybody’s like, “Oh you’re in menopause.” No, menopause is like a one-day anniversary of 12 months of no cycle. You’re in peri and post a heck of a lot longer than you’re on that one day of menopause.
[KATHRYN]: Yeah, okay. Okay. So, what about foods that y’all have learned that are
[COLLEEN]: Whole foods, plant
[BRIDGETT]: Yeah, I’m trying to avoid everything that I like in my diet like sugar. Alcohol exasperated it and it was interesting the woman that does the menopause retreats in London but she also was coming to the US are wanting to come to the US as well. She said you know when we do we’ll do a really great day of we’ll have a cook in and we’ll make a meal really good.
[COLLEEN]: There’s a menopause chef.
[BRIDGETT]: Yes. And she said, “But our alcohol, our drink, our champagne is non-alcoholic which is,
[COLLEEN]: Bridgett was like, “Sorry, I’m not coming.”
[BRIDGETT]: It’s not like I want to drink all the time but I do enjoy a little drink you know, but it was very interesting. You know there are certain foods that will make you feel,
[COLLEEN]: Our greens you know vegetables, fruits,
[KATHRYN]: Those are good for you, basically clean eating. I can tell, I can’t eat things like I used to eat, like goldfish or chips or, you know, those kinds of things I really can see a difference and feel a difference for all.
[COLLEEN]: All bets have been off with social isolation. I think we’re all you know fighting the COVID-19 as they say, you know, you do feel worse, you can feel it in your body when you eat the wrong things and spicy foods before you go to bed. No. Hot flashes, night sweats. So, you know, we try to offer so many suggestions for women to be more comfortable. If they choose to do it naturally, if they choose to do a medically you know, assisted medically, they choose to do natural supplements. There’s so many options, and it’s just the medical community has not caught up with women who are finding the answers themselves.
[BRIDGETT]: It’s yeah, it seems as if, you know, they’re focused a lot on the gynecological part or the or the I’m sorry, the obstetrics part of it. You know, a lot of times it’s the baby delivery, which is really important. But this whole set of menopausal women, I think in the past, it was just pushed aside and a taboo subject, don’t talk about it and now women are just like, “Okay, no, we’ve had it. We need this addressed.” And thankfully, we’re finding women that are specializing in it. The lady from Harvard, the doctor from Harvard, said or that starting the Harvard clinic said there’s only about 30 in the United States, midlife clinics, you know, 30 in the United States. I just thought, “Oh, goodness,” yeah.
[COLLEEN]: So, just all those things that we’ve learned, and we’re opening the conversation for this, and we hope that it helps other women, because, gee, if I had had this podcast like five or six years ago, I had listened to it. I’d be like, “I had no idea.”
[KATHRYN]: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I absolutely love it. And I love the conversations that y’all are starting and I could talk to you all day. And I definitely want to talk to y’all again soon. But I wrap up every podcast by asking my guests what is one imperfect action that you recommend our listeners go out and do today that will bring them closer to their best lives?
[BRIDGETT]: Just to if you want to do something, don’t worry about what anybody else is going to think. As long as it’s legal. Away from someone else. But just do it. Don’t be you know, just do it. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about it. If it’s gonna make you happy, then do it.
[KATHRYN]: Good answer.
[COLLEEN]: I would say probably do nothing. Go against every fiber in your being that says, “I’ve got to make the bed, I’ve got to clean the house. I’ve got to call this person, I’ve got to schedule this appointment,” and do whatever you think is like the slothiest thing that you can find and just sit there and do it. Do it with a cup of tea. Read a book that you’ve been meaning to read, watch Poldark that you’ve been meaning to watch, and just grab some M&Ms and just enjoy the day. Just go against everything that you think you need to do and don’t do it, and see how you feel at the end of the day.
[KATHRYN]: Okay, so I love both of those. Y’all heard it great from Colleen and Bridgett. Go do what makes you happy and quit worrying about what everybody else, that’s from Bridgett. And from Coleen, do nothing but do nothing and own it, right? And be there and don’t beat yourself up for it, enjoy, do nothing.
[COLLEEN]: exactly, and when someone says, “What did you do today?” I did nothing and I loved it. I had a self-care day. Yes.
[KATHRYN]: That is so important. Okay, so how can our listeners find out more about you and your podcast?
[BRIDGETT]: Well, we have a website hotflashescooltopics.com and we also have email, firstname.lastname@example.org and we are on Twitter, we are on Facebook, Pinterest, we have a YouTube channel where we will have our roundtables and maybe just some other fun stuff that we’ll put up there. We like to put our four o’clock happy hours up there, so, you’ll see Kathryn on one of those. And we, what else?
[COLLEEN]: We’re on every platform for podcasts. So, if you go on Apple, or iTunes, or Stitcher, or Spotify, just type in “hot flashes and cool topics” then you’ll find us.
[KATHRYN]: Thank you ladies so much for being on the show today I’ve had the best time.
[BRIDGETT]: Thank you for inviting us.
[COLLEEN]: Thanks again.
[KATHRYN]: If you love this podcast, will you rate and review it on iTunes, or your favorite podcast player? Also, I have a free nine-part Blueprint to Thrive email course. It’s a step-by-step guide to find out what you want your life to look like, exactly what’s holding you back, and how to get to that life you want. Head on over to www.imperfectthriving.com/course to get the course today.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or guests, are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, I encourage you to reach out to one.