The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Episode 53--Billy Discusses the Gray Areas in His Life

April 06, 2022 Billy & Brian Season 5
The Mindful Midlife Crisis
Episode 53--Billy Discusses the Gray Areas in His Life
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to Season 5! 

Billy is back from the Pacific Northwest and Puerto Vallarta, and he's had A LOT of time on his hands to overthink some things, so today he shares the gray areas that have been weighing him down lately, and Brian offers up advice about how to gain some clarity around these gray areas. 

Billy discusses: 
--the stress of going back to work and what that will actually look like
--the amount of money he has left to sustain his current lifestyle
--the stress of where he’ll be living this summer
--the stress of what to do with his condo once September rolls around
--getting back in shape and making consistently healthy decisions
--not having health insurance
--trying to gain clarity regarding a relationship that didn't work out
--battling loneliness due to love language buckets not being filled
--not being a burden on others
--decision fatigue around where to travel next
--living up to everyone else’s expectations with regards to this leave rather than just doing what he needs to do
--not living his own message which then leads to impostor syndrome
 --whether or not this show is sustainable as it is

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Coming up on The Mindful Midlife Crisis. 


Billy: You know me though, and one of the things that I do best is I overanalyze so I’m going to need to overanalyze this for a few days before I make a decision because what would I do without decision fatigue in my life?


Brian: Of course. You got to spend your time somehow, right?


Billy: I wish you all can see Brian’s face right now. There’s just total contempt for someone like me who cannot make a decision.


Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating the complexities and possibilities of life’s second half. Join your hosts, Billy and Brian, a couple of average dudes who will serve as your armchair life coaches as we share our life experiences, both the good and the bad, in an effort to help us all better understand how we can enjoy and make the most of the life we have left to live in a more meaningful way. Take a deep breath, embrace the present, and journey with us through The Mindful Midlife Crisis.


Billy: Welcome to Season 5 of The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I’m your host, Billy, and, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, Brian on the Bass. Brian, how you doing over there, man?


Brian: I’m thankful today, Billy.


Billy: Yeah, I can imagine that you’re thankful because it’s Season 5.


Brian: We get to do this wonderful podcast for people that helps all kinds of folks. I’m just feeling really thankful for that.


Billy: We’ve been at this now for over a year.


Brian: Yeah. That’s pretty incredible when you think about it. 


Billy: Yeah. We started in February of 2021 and by the time this episode airs, it will be April 2022 so, basically, we’ve been out there helping people navigate this pandemic.


Brian: Yeah, pretty much. We started right about — was it before the shutdowns?


Billy: We were a year into the pandemic so 2021, yep, 2021, we were officially a year into the pandemic —


Brian: Oh, my God, that’s right, this is ’22, isn’t it? 


Billy: Yeah. 


Brian: Holy shit.


Billy: Yeah, time flies when you’re having a pandemic.


Brian: And when you’re having fun on a podcast, apparently. 


Billy: Exactly, exactly. We’ve been having a lot of fun. We want to thank you, the listeners, for continuing to come back every single Wednesday. We’re going to continue bringing episodes, we’re going to continue to help you navigate the complexities and possibilities of life’s second half. We’re looking forward to it. We say this at the beginning of every season but our guests are really, really good this season.


Brian: I think this is — well, you know what, I think we get better with every season.


Billy: I agree. I agree. And that’s not to say that our past guests aren’t great. 


Brian: No, they’re wonderful. They’ve all been wonderful. 


Billy: Everybody is wonderful, it’s just — I think what I’m enjoying is that we are expanding our network outside of the Twin Cities area where we started, particularly with Season 2 and Season 3. And in Season 4, we branched out a bit, we went all the way to Houston, Texas, to talk to Greg Scheinman. I mean, we didn’t fly there, we got in contact with Greg. 


Brian: We actually flew there. 


Billy: Yeah, exactly. We talked to Wendy Battles who is out in Yale University.


Brian: Oh, that was such a good conversation. 


Billy: She is the sweetest woman on this earth. Everybody needs a cheerleader like Wendy Battles in their life. And this season, we did it again, we branched out, we reached out to people from all over the United States. Some of the best people that we follow or that we network with or who have been connected to us by our past guests. It’s just really been an exciting season to record. And, for me, I can tell you that 2022 has certainly been an up and down start of the year, and we’re going to talk about that in today’s episode, but before we get too far into that, we have some updates, some things that you might notice are a bit different throughout the show —


Brian: Just a little housekeeping.


Billy: Yeah, basically, basically, so, first of all, we want to talk about social media updates. We have a legitimate webpage now. It’s been a year in the making. We have a legitimate webpage. It is It is ours. You can go there. You can access all of our episodes there. They automatically upload. If you want to contact us, you can do that via the webpage.


Brian: You can see how handsome we are if you pull up the pictures.


Billy: Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and for those of you who have always wondered what do Billy and Brian look like, get ready to leave your significant others because —


Brian: Yeah, it’s going to happen, you’re going to be like, “Oh my gosh, I’ve never seen two people so comely in my entire life.”


Billy: Indeed. So go there, check it out, send us a message on there so we know that you are going to that website. We are going to be getting blog posts up here before too long, I’m going to talk about that in the bid. We are going to have a newsletter coming out soon. I’m looking forward to that. So we have all sorts of things coming out here in the next three to six months. We’re going to need a little bit of time here because I’m still traveling a bit. You can always follow us on Instagram at @mindful_midlife_crisis. We have a TikTok, Brian. We’re so hip. 


Brian: What? 


Billy: I don’t even tell you these things. We have a TikTok because that’s what all the kids do and we want to reach people of all ages because our guests’ knowledge is universal. It doesn’t just apply to people who are in midlife, it applies to any and all people.


Brian: Well, we’re trying to hit the young ones because maybe we can save them a little bit of headache. 


Billy: Yeah, exactly, exactly I was on Twitter the other day, we also have a Twitter, mind you, @mindfulmidlife, but I was on Twitter and someone was asking for podcast recommendations and I threw ours out there. That person was like, “I’m only 25,” I’m like, “You’re our perfect demographic, because,” like you said, “we’re trying to save you some of the headaches that you and I experienced as we were navigating our late 20s, our 30s, and into our 40s.” So, listen, just because it’s called The Mindful Midlife Crisis doesn’t mean that we’re just targeting people between the ages of 35 and 55. 


Brian: Let me ask you something, Billy. What is the name for people that are 18 to 25-ish, 30 — young adults?


Billy: Yeah. I mean, they’re young adults. I was trying to think of did you mean like millennials, I don’t know we’re millennials and Xenial —


Brian: No, what’s the equivalent of midlife for those people, you dig what I’m saying? 


Billy: Well, the quarter life crisis. 


Brian: Okay, so you could call it the quarter life crisis, that’s an interesting — because people are like, “What the hell is that?”


Billy: Well, and I would actually like to have someone between the ages of like 23 to 30 on the show and talk about, “Hey, what is the quarter life crisis?” just so we can kind of compare notes and so we can be like, “Oh, I remember that.”


Brian: Yeah, yep. 


Billy: But with the way the world has changed so much in the last 20 years since you and I were in our 20s —


Brian: Oh, my gosh, yes. We did not have — oh, did we have phones in our 20s? I didn’t. 


Billy: You didn’t have a camera phone.


Brian: A camera phone, it wasn’t a smartphone. 


Billy: No.


Brian: It was just a phone.


Billy: You had you had T9 texting, that sort of thing. Did your family ever have one of the car phones that you plugged into the cigarette lighter? 


Brian: Never, never.


Billy: My dad had to have one of those because when he was working on the field, he needed to call people for an emergency so he had one of those. Just you would plug it into the cigarette lighter. 


Brian: I remember those.


Billy: Not to charge it but for it to function.


Brian: Yeah. There was no batteries back then.


Billy: No, no, so it would be great to have someone on so if you are someone between the ages of like 23 to 28 and you listen to our show and you have some quarter life crisis experience that you have or if you want to fill Brian and I in as to the way of the world from your perspective, I think that would be really valuable for us to hear that and I would think it’d be valuable for our listeners to hear that too. We’re always looking for quality guests and just because you’re between the ages of 23 and 28 doesn’t mean that you can’t provide value to the world.


Brian: No, we don’t discriminate on the basis of age, sex, creed, anything.


Billy: Yeah, yeah, we welcome any and all. We’re here to learn and we’re here to help others develop awareness, just kind of like going with what Jodi Pfarr when we had her on the show back in episode 44, we learn through listening to other people’s experiences.


Brian: You know what they say, Billy, knowing is indeed half the battle.


Billy: GI Joe, and every single person our age demographic —


Brian: Knows that one.


Billy: — knows what that means right there. So, if you’re enjoying our show, you may enjoy some other shows as well that we are working with to cross promote. So, during the segment breaks, you may hear some promos for other podcasts, and if you listen to their podcasts, you’ll hear a promo for our show. Don’t worry, we left the breathing break in there as well because we know that some of our topics can get heavy and you need to take a breath so we worked that in as well. It’s staying there. We will also make sure that we link those podcasts into our show notes. I hope you guys look at our show notes. We have valuable information in there when it comes to ways to help us support the show. Now, the easiest way you can help us is by sharing our show with others. So, if you have a favorite episode, put it on Instagram, put it in Facebook. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram at @mindful_midlife_crisis. We do have a Facebook page called The Mindful Midlife Crisis, follow us, like us there, we post stuff on there. We mostly use Instagram, but feel free to tag us on social media if you are sharing these episodes. In fact, I’m going to challenge you all right now, if you share your favorite episode and that guest has a book, the first person to do that who has not already done that and who is not family, I will buy that guest book for you and I will ship it to you if you want. So, tag us in there. I will get you that book if it’s a favorite episode of yours. We want to say thank you for listening to the show. We want to say thank you for sharing these episodes with other people. If there was an episode that resonated with you that you think might resonate with a friend, share that episode with them, text it to them and just say, “Hey, per our discussion the other day, this is some good feedback for you. This is some good advice for you,” especially if you don’t have the right words. That’s why we find the high quality guests that we find is because we want them to provide the best possible advice for you to listen to. Another way that you can help us is if you go in the show notes, you can click on where it says Leave the Show a Five-Star Review. If you listen to the show, you know how much words of affirmation mean to us, particularly me, so giving us a five-star rating and sharing a few kind words will go a long way. We’ve had a handful of people do this on Apple Podcast and it really does fill my whole heart with happiness and joy. It’s really easy to do on Spotify, you just go to the podcast and you click the five star and you’re done. That’s it. Another place you can go is Goodpods. You can download the Goodpods app and it’s kind of like Goodreads. Are you familiar with Goodreads, Brian? 


Brian: Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard of it. 


Billy: Yeah. So, basically, Goodpods is the podcast version of Goodreads where you can see what your friends are listening to and you can rate them and you can rate each individual episode —


Brian: Wait, you can rate your friends?


Billy: Yes, and I always rate you five stars. 


Brian: Well, thanks, buddy. You too. 


Billy: Oh, appreciate that. But you can rate individual episodes as well. So, if you have particular episodes that you like, you can rate those. It’s a really cool app. Go ahead, take a look at it if you’re a big podcast listener, you might actually enjoy it. You might be able to find recommendations a little bit easier.


Brian: Or if you’re not, go to it because you might become a big podcast listener.


Billy: Exactly. And start with our show.


Brian: Change your life, will ya?


Billy: You can help us change our lives by volunteering. We have some volunteer positions here because we’re a two-man operation and we’re trying to get the word out there. It’s a lot of work to do. All of this podcasting, all the editing, all the writing, all the upkeep, so we’re looking for volunteers. These are not paid positions yet so, therefore, we are not requiring you to put in 40-hour weeks.


Brian: You know, I would look at this as a good opportunity to get in on the ground floor is what I would. When this podcast is hugely successful and nationwide, you can say, “I knew about it first.”


Billy: Exactly. And then, when we are raking in the dough —


Brian: You’ll get some of it —


Billy: — you’ll get some of that.


Brian: — we’re very generous. 


Billy: Absolutely. Absolutely. You are investing in us. We will invest in you. But we have volunteer positions for bloggers and ghost writers for our page. If you’re interested in that, you can email us at You can always DM us wherever we have our socials and if you’re on there too. We have transcripts on that webpage, We’ll put those transcripts up there, they need some editing so if you have an hour a week where you enjoy that kind of stuff, hey, we will gladly accept your services. Now, social media promotion, we might need to hire for that because that’s kind of a big job right there. 


Brian: Yeah. 


Billy: So, as we start to build up a little bit more sponsorship, which is something else that we’re looking for, we will start looking for virtual assistants who can do some social media promotion as well. Listen, whatever you’re willing to donate, we will welcome. If you have an hour a week, we’ll take it. If you have an hour a month, we’ll take it. Really, we just want to know who’s listening to the show and what you’re getting out of the show. We have a guest that’s coming on this season named Bryan Piatt. He has a podcast called Take What Serves, Leave the Rest. Brian and I love the title of that podcast. 


Brian: It’s a great name, yeah.


Billy: It’s a great podcast and it’s really is a great theme when you’re listening particularly to this podcast, take what serves you and leave the rest. Brian and I talk a lot. Our guests talk a lot. You can’t possibly absorb all of that information.


Brian: No, I demand they absorb all of it.


Billy: You have very high expectations —


Brian: I have high standards for —


Billy: — of our listeners.


Brian: I give our listeners a lot of credit, Billy. 


Billy: Well, they probably have lives outside of this podcast which —


Brian: All right, they probably do.


Billy: — which I don’t understand, because I don’t have a life outside of this podcast.


Brian: I don’t know what’s like.


Billy: And then finally, and this is the most humble request, if you really, really love our podcast, feel free to donate using the Buy Me a Coffee link. That would be fantastic. Even if you have a couple of bucks, we’ll take it. No pressure to do that but those kind of donations really go a long way. And we will shout you out on the show. We won’t say how much you donated but, remember, if you want to use it kind of like those jumbotron messages and you want to make a donation to the show, we’ll read your donation message. We won’t read how much you donated but we’ll read your donation message. Maybe you want to say happy birthday to somebody from The Mindful Midlife Crisis. Hey, make a donation via Buy Me a Coffee.


Brian: And think about it this way. When you’re giving to this show, you’re not just giving that money to us. I mean, we are turning around and producing stuff that we hope, to the best of our ability, helps other people with possible challenges they’ve been having in their lives. So, when you donate to the show, you’re actually directly helping those people that this show is aimed at. So you can really feel good about that donation.


Billy: Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m glad you said that. You said that way better than I would have ever been able to say that. So, this season, Season 5, is all about gaining clarity. Now, the interesting thing here is we actually didn’t start off with a theme for the season, we just kind of started interviewing people.


Brian: That’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? A season about clarity that ended up being about clarity. We had zero clarity when we started.


Billy: Exactly. We’re just kind of like, you know, let’s just go and find some interesting people to interview, but then as we were having these conversations, this theme around gaining clarity really started to emerge and this became abundantly obvious to us during our conversations with relationship expert, Christine Chang, who was just phenomenal.


Brian: Wonderful. She was so wonderful. 


Billy: Yeah, amazing relationship expert. She has a book called Show Up, go check that out. Then we had a conversation, and this was a really heartfelt one that both Brian and I had with gray area drinking expert and executive coach Kari Schwear. 


Brian: Oh, yeah, that was a good one too. 


Billy: That was a great conversation. She talks about gray areas not just in drinking in life and how we can gain clarity there. We also talked to lifestyle coach Brian Gallagher, about leaving the nine-to-five grind and then I had a one-on-one conversation with him and I think where things really started to emerge for me, I’ll be honest, I’m kind of in this limbo right now even as I’m entering now the sixth, seventh month of the leave that I’ve been on and he said, “You really need to get some clarity around what it is that you want moving forward,” and that’s when things really started to hit me. And, to be honest, these were conversations that I personally needed to have because clarity is what I’m really struggling with these days. So I thought that, during this episode, I’d take some time here to break down some of the gray areas, as Kari Schwear would say, in my life in case some of you are wading through some of the same life, career, and relationship quagmires that I’ve been slogging through at the start of 2022. Now, the one thing I’ll say is that every season when I’m asking people, “Hey, would you’d like to be a guest on our podcast, The Mindful Midlife Crisis?” someone inevitably takes offense to that because they’re like, “Are you saying I’m going through a midlife crisis?”


Brian: That’s not what we’re saying. You don’t have to be going through a midlife crisis to be on this show.


Billy: Or to listen to the show.


Brian: Or to listen to the show. 


Billy: No, and I’m like, “No, no, we wanna have you on the show because we know that you have experiences and knowledge that will help others navigate the complexities and possibilities of life’s second half. We don’t want you to necessarily share your midlife crisis. We’re not saying that you went through a midlife crisis. What we’re saying is that you have an experience that may resonate with others.” And there are some things that I’m struggling with right now. Like I said, I’m kind of slogging through this midlife quagmire as I’m transitioning out of a 21-year career in education and trying to find something else and trying to find some other meaning in my life, because I have fully resigned now from my position, that is a story for another time, but I’m stressed about what my life is now going to look like because all I have ever known is being an educator.


Brian: You know what, Billy, though, there’s never been a better time to switch careers, dude. I mean, they are handing out jobs, they’re looking — employable people, in general, are so in demand right now that I guarantee you would have no problem finding just a job, but something you love, now, that’s what you got to figure out first.


Billy: And that’s the piece around clarity that I’m working on. So, one piece here that I’m struggling with is just the stress of going back to work and what that will actually look like, because you’re right, I could find a job —


Brian: Yeah. 


Billy: — but is it something that is going to give me purpose? One thing that we talked about with future guest, Danny Bader, who, mind you, when you guys get to that episode, my goodness gracious.


Brian: Oh, good episode. Really. That was a lot of fun.


Billy: Very powerful episode. We talked about we need to figure out the what, because a lot of people say we want to figure out the why, well, I’m stuck at the what. I’m trying to figure out what it is that I want to do and why I want to do it. So that’s kind of where I am right now as I’m making this transition out of the world of public education. So, because I’m unemployed for the first time in my life, the amount of money I have left to sustain my current lifestyle is starting to dwindle. Now, I’m a good saver, I have a good amount of money to get me through some hard times here, but I’m also still in this transition of where I want to travel a bit while I can so I have a lifestyle that I’m accustomed to and so I’m not ready to leave that behind just yet. I know that I’m going to have to make some concessions, I’m going to have to make some adjustments, I’m going to have to make some compromises, but in doing so, that creates a little bit of stress for me as I’m trying to figure out, okay, what is that going to look like? Because right now, I’m without home. I’m fortunate enough to not be homeless but I am without home. So I’m staying at my parents, I’m staying with my sister, I’m crashing on couches, and that’s when I’m back in Minnesota, and then when I’m traveling overseas, then I’m paying for the Airbnbs or the hotels and you might be thinking, “Well, why don’t you do a hostel?” Well, I’ll talk about that in a little bit. So my goal then is to have things at least figured out by the time my current tenants move out September 1st. So I would like to have a job by then and I would like to reclaim my place because I’m the only person who has ever lived in that condo, no one lived in that condo before me, and so it’s weird that there are other people in the condo, maybe there’s a sense of pride right there that this has been my condo, I’m the only one who has ever lived in this condo and now there are strangers who are, mind you, very lovely, very amazing tenants so I lucked out big time here and that’s another component we’ll come back to here, but just reclaiming that place and after having our conversation with Brian Gallagher where he talked about minimizing the stuff that he has and just living a more simpler life, that’s something that is running through my mind too. Do I need all of the stuff that I had in my condo previously or can I downsize and live a bit more simply? So, those are a few of the things that are on my mind. We’re going to take a quick break and then when we come back, I’m going to share some more of the things that I am navigating through this mindful midlife crisis journey that I am on just in case you’re going through some of the same things as well and we can talk about what steps I’m taking that may help you as well. 


Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.



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If you’re listening somewhere safe and quiet, close your eyes and slowly inhale for four, three, two, one. Hold for seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Slowly exhale for eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Let’s do that one more time. Inhale for four, three, two, one. Hold for seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Slowly exhale for eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Go ahead and open your eyes. You feel better? We certainly hope so. And now back to the show.


Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are kicking off Season 5 by breaking down some of the mindful midlife crises that I am experiencing now seven months into my leave, which has now turned into a full on resignation and me trying to figure out what I want to do with the second half of my life. When I break it down like that, it’s kind of daunting because I’m still pretty healthy and the Lahr men live long lives.


Brian: Good for you. See, Chelminiak men, not so much.


Billy: We need to make the most of our time together, Brian.


Brian: The oldest Chelminiak male previously to live that we knew about before my dad, my dad’s older now, was my grandfather and he was 66.


Billy: Do you have —


Brian: His dad died when he was 2, at 40, fell off a scaffold, died. My grandfather was 66 when he died, but he drank a quart of brandy every day, he owned a bar, so that was — but my dad was healthy and he’s living and doing great so I’m hoping he’s breaking the curse.


Billy: Right, and you’re healthy and you’ve turned your life around —


Brian: As far as I know. 


Billy: Yeah. Yeah. So I think we got a good 40 years left. 


Brian: Oh, yeah, yeah.


Billy: Good deal. That’ll make you like 130, right?


Brian: Yeah. 


Billy: That’s an inside joke and Matt Hazard is laughing hysterically. 


Brian: Yeah, he’s like…


Billy: Well, I guess speaking of health, because I’m traveling around so much, it’s been hard to make fitness a priority —


Brian: Oh, yeah, I bet. 


Billy: — for me, and I don’t understand how people who travel for a living do it.


Brian: Fitness is a lot about routine and it’s hard when you’re traveling to get a routine. That’s why maybe you should really slim it down and do a Maurice on it. Just hit your basics every day. 


Billy: Yeah. And if you don’t follow Maurice Buchanon, former guest, Maurice Buchanan, one of our favorites. 


Brian: He’s so good.


Billy: He and Daleco James from Wurk Gym, check out their Instagram and Maurice just basically is doing 10 push-ups and 10 pull-ups every day. I mean, he does more, but he does those two exercises, 10 reps, each and every single day, and he does it on social media just to show the importance of show up each and every single day. 


Brian: Yeah, yeah.


Billy: Be consistent, and that’s something that I’m struggling with and it reminds me of the conversation that we had with Greg Scheinman, episode 41, about the importance of having a coach. And that’s why I wanted to check in with Brian Gallagher because Brian Gallagher is a lifestyle coach and you’ll get to hear from him later on in the season. And I think what I’m struggling with, in going back to what I talked about in the last segment, is that coaches cost money. 


Brian: Oh, yes.


Billy: I’m really trying to figure out where to invest in myself. And because I’m a certified personal trainer, there is a sense of pride where I’m like I can do this on my own.


Brian: You don’t need to pay somebody for that. You’ve figured out the physical side of things.


Billy: Right, but I’m not following through so…


Brian: So maybe you do need not necessarily a coach but somebody who holds you accountable. 


Billy: There you go. So I think that’s an important message is that you don’t necessarily need a coach for the thing —


Brian: I got it. I can fix this for you and I can fix it free. You ready? I’m going to solve problems here this episode. You ready? 


Billy: Fantastic. 


Brian: Here we go. You need a workout buddy.


Billy: 100 percent and I would like to go — so here, this is Billy at his finest overanalytical right here. 


Brian: Okay. 


Billy: I would love to go to F45 or OTF, Orangetheory Fitness. I like those. Problem is those are workouts and they’re not programs. I don’t like that. I like programs that don’t just like — I don’t like working out for fun, I like a program —


Brian: So you know where you’re headed.


Billy: Exactly.


Brian: What you’re working, what you’re improving, yeah, yeah. A little more specific.


Billy: And so those are my criticisms of those and I also think that they do some exercises that I’m just not a fan of and then when I try and modify them based on what I know, then I’ll have a trainer come over and say, “Well, that’s not how you do that exercise.” I’m like, “That’s how I’m going to do.” I don’t like that, but you’re 100 percent right because when I —


Brian: It’s free, it holds accountability. I nailed it right there. Next problem.


Billy: When I used to go to Orangetheory, I don’t know how many people out there do this, I imagine I’m not the only one, but I would always find somebody who was right at my athletic ability and then I would make that person my nemesis. Or I’m just like, “There’s no way you’re gonna beat me in this exercise.” And I’ll tell you, at Orangetheory, she’s a coach now but before she was a coach, she was just a beast of an athlete. Her name is Katie Jepsen, I hope she doesn’t mind that I’m dropping her name right here, but anytime that I was in the class with Katie Jepsen, I knew I was going to at least come in second place because she is just a beast. She is amazing. But, to her credit, she worked so hard and has such a passion for fitness that she said, “You know what, now I’m gonna become a coach at Orangetheory because this is what turned my life around.” So I applaud you, Katie Jepsen, you are just an absolute beast of a human being. You’re also a wonderful human being. So I need to make sure that I stay healthy and if people follow us on Instagram, you will see that I’ll post travel pictures and sometimes those travel pictures come at the expense of me putting myself in unsafe situations where maybe I have to climb up something, and as we’ve talked about before, it’s always easier to climb up than it is to climb down. The thing is, Brian, when you’re unemployed in the United States, what don’t you have? 


Brian: Money? 


Billy: You don’t have health insurance.


Brian: Oh, health insurance, yeah, that’s true.


Billy: Yeah, so if there are people who are listening from outside of the United States and you’re like, “Wait, what?” Yeah, yeah, if you’re unemployed, you do not have health insurance. 


Brian: You know, you can go to the exchanges, right. 


Billy: What are those? 


Brian: We’ll address this off the air, but, yeah, you can go to the exchanges and get it.


Billy: What are the exchanges? 


Brian: Yeah, they have websites set up. The State of Minnesota has a health care exchange where you can get it and it’s discounted because you’re not employed. 


Billy: Oh.


Brian: You may even get it for nothing.


Billy: Interesting. Okay. Well, that’s good to know. Those of you — I didn’t know that before so that is valuable. Once again, Brian —


Brian: Solving problems. This is what I do.


Billy: Why am I the host of this show?


Brian: I solve problem. 


Billy: Here’s why it is, because I’m the every man. I am who this show is geared towards, is people like me who are neurotic and intense and overanalytical and perfectionist, I am our target audience. This is such a self-serving show. 


Brian: Yeah, but at the same time, you’re helping other folks so I think it’s symbiotic. 


Billy: Oh, you have pulled out some amazing words of the day. 


Brian: You know, I’ve been doing a lot of research on my Word of the Day. It’s starting to take, Billy. It’s starting to take.


Billy: I like it. I like it. I still think we need a Mindful Midlife Crisis toilet paper word of the day roll.


Brian: Oh, for sure. That’s fantastic. Yes.


Billy: If you’re out there and you’d like to sponsor a Mindful Midlife Crisis toilet roll word of the day, let us know. Remember, we also were going to do coffee cups that were collector items, different colors for the season, and then we were going to put the word of the day on there like a tour date.


Brian: Oh, yes, I remember that. 


Billy: If you are interested in one of those, let us know, and if a bunch of people let us know, then we will start circulating those and mass producing those and getting those out to you. Those can be collectibles that someday may be worth quarters.


Brian: Quarters. That’s right, you could be a quarteraire. A dollaraire.


Billy: So, another thing that I’m navigating that I imagine that I know a lot of people are navigating is just being in relationships. And, for me, I am 44, I’ve never been married, no kids. I still think that that’s a red flag for some women, particularly in Minnesota, I was just having this conversation the other day with Kristen Brown, one of our favorite guests. We were just having this conversation about how, particularly in Minnesota, is very traditional.


Brian: Yeah, I guess, but I don’t think of it that way. See, I don’t look at it that way. I think people do probably judge but I’m not one of those people.


Billy: Well, right, that’s why I hang out with you because you’re one of the least judgmental people I know. 


Brian: That’s true.


Billy: And I’m not using that as an excuse as to why I’m not in a relationship, there are so many other reasons why I’m not in a relationship, but I was on the verge of being in a relationship but then there were just too many outlying factors that were getting in the way of making that happen and I think that frustration of being so close yet so far away has had an impact on me. And, to be honest, that’s what’s had the most impact on me to start 2022 is the limbo and the uncertainty of, “Can we make this relationship work?” and we’ve decided to, “Let’s just take a break and you got to do your thing and I got to be on this trip yet. I still have to live out this experience. I need to live out this leave and then maybe we can reconnect and see where our life paths are,” and we both agree that doesn’t mean that you’re pining for me and waiting for me and vice versa, that sort of thing, but that is something that I’ve been trying to navigate in terms of relationships, because, like I said, you’re so close but you’re so far away and one thing that people often do is they romanticize solo travel and that’s something we talked about when I shared my experiences in Puerto Vallarta. But what people forget or maybe don’t realize is that when you travel solo, especially for an extended period of time, it can get lonely, it can get isolating, because you’re rehashing the same old conversation over and over and over again. You do meet people and listen back to the Puerto Vallarta episode, listen back to the Portugal, Spain Dakar episode, I met amazing people who enhanced my experience, the hard part is sometimes those connections are just for that day or just for that moment.


Brian: They’re not extended, fulfilling relationships. 


Billy: Right, exactly, exactly, and that’s what I’m looking for. I was talking to Kristen Brown the other day and I said, “When this trip ends, the one thing that I’ve learned about myself during this is I’m ready to settle down.”


Brian: Oh, wow. Really? That’s a revelation.


Billy: It is, it is, and I am ready to settle down and it doesn’t mean, again, I am not interested in getting married. I would get married if that was something that —


Brian: That happened. 


Billy: Yeah, if that happened eventually. I’m still not interested in having kids of my own. I don’t rule out being with somebody who has kids, that’s not a deal breaker for me. But I’m at a point now where when this bachelor party that I am on comes to an end, are you familiar with John Lennon’s Long Weekend? 


Brian: Yeah.


Billy: That’s what I feel like I’m on, with less booze, drugs, and sex.


Brian: Well, you’re saying cut out all the good parts? You’re like, “Hey, I’m in this place but it’s not as cool as —” Yeah, anyway.


Billy: Yeah, yeah, so I feel like I’m on this extended bachelor party, this long weekend, and when I come out of it, I’m going to be ready to settle into life.


Brian: Which is good. I mean, that gives you a little perspective on how valuable stuff like that is.


Billy: Yeah, yeah, and battling that loneliness and that isolation, it’s tough, particularly when you’re someone whose love languages are quality time and physical touch. So those are two things that are really missing from my life. Now, listen, I am not complaining because I know how fortunate I am right now that I get to do this leave, that I’m in a position to be able to travel around, and what I’m really working on and where I struggled in the first couple months here of 2022 was being present and trying to accept things as they were coming to me as opposed to forcing them and then they not turn out the way that I want and then getting frustrated when those expectations weren’t met. So, I’m working on dialing that back and enjoying the present. But I always go back to, in the book, Into the Wild, Christopher McCandless is out in the wild by himself and he writes in one of his last journal entries, “Happiness is only real when shared,” and there are certainly moments when I’m watching the sunset and it’s beautiful and it’s this magical moment on the beach as the sun’s dropping down into the ocean where I wish there was someone who was there with me to share in that experience because if I were to explain it to you or to anyone listening to this, you just wouldn’t be able to understand it. I wouldn’t be able to put it into words. And so, sometimes, it’s nice to just have that shared experience. Deanna Bryant is going to talk about the importance of shared experiences when we have her on to talk about reviving midlife marriages, another fantastic interview that we had during the recording of Season 5. But then, in an effort to connect with others, I also don’t want to be a burden to others because I know how fortunate I am that I can ask a friend and say, “Can I sleep on your couch for three days until I get to this next place or until I’m able to stay at my parents again?” The fact that my sister, Debbie, and her husband, Dave, let me stay with them in Washington for a month was a blessing and that took a little bit of convincing because I think they still thought of me as that 15- to 20- to 25-year-old punk little brother, so I had to show them when I was out there last June for my niece’s graduation that I’ve matured and that I can handle being in their home and not be obnoxious.


Brian: Not come home stinking drunk. 


Billy: Right, right, right, and so I feel so fortunate, but then at the same time, I feel like a burden. I feel like I’m in the way. 


Brian: I think that’s normal, though.


Billy: Yeah, and I’m staying with a friend right now and he’s a wonderful, wonderful human being and I’m so grateful that he lets me stay at his place but, again, I feel like I’m in the way and I want to make sure that I express gratitude so that he knows how much it means to me that he’s letting me crash at his place while I figure out what my next move is. So let’s do this, we’re going to take a quick break and then when we come back, we’re going to talk about what’s my next move as I navigate this mindful midlife crisis. 


Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.



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Thanks for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We will do our best to put out new content every Wednesday to help get you over the midweek hump. If you’d like to contact us or if you have suggestions about what you’d like us to discuss, feel free to email us at or follow us on Instagram at @mindful_midlife_crisis. Check out the show notes for links to the articles and resources we reference throughout the show. Oh, and don’t forget to show yourself some love every now and then too. And now back to the show.



Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I’m here breaking down the gray areas that are happening in my life as we prepare to launch Season 5, which is all about gaining clarity. And I’m going through a lot of the gray areas of my life and the reason why I’m using the word “gray areas” is because we have an absolutely amazing episode coming up with gray area expert, Kari Schwear. We cannot wait for you to hear that episode. You’re absolutely going to want to tune into that one. But I’m thinking out loud, Brian. I’m thinking out loud and you have done an amazing job of offering advice. 


Brian: I solve problems, man. That’s what I do. 


Billy: That’s why you’re the president. 


Brian: Where do you think all the hard problems come? You think it’s easy being a president? No, you got to solve all the problems everybody else can’t solve.


Billy: The buck stops with you. You got a problem solver and its name is revolver. 


Brian: Wow.


Billy: So, Brian, where should I go next?


Brian: Where should you go in the world or just is that a general question?


Billy: In the world. The world is my oyster unless it has COVID.


Brian: Where would I go, if you handed me a blank flight right now and said, “Okay, you can go anywhere you want to go”? Boy, that’s tough, especially you got to avoid all the fires around the fucking world right now.


Billy: Oh, my goodness, gracious. And that’s another thing that I always go back to is how grateful I feel that I get to do this while there are people being forced out of their homes.


Brian: That’s incredible, I know.


Billy: I chose to leave my home. There are people being forced out of their home.


Brian: I know, it’s so horrible.


Billy: Nothing will humble you more than when you actually stop and think about those sorts of things. And you’re right, like I want to consider my own safety. Now, originally, my plan was to do the Southeast Asia circuit so I was going to go to Thailand and then I was going to go to Singapore, Japan, and South Korea and then COVID wreaked havoc on that. I was going to go to Thailand, that didn’t work out, so I went to Puerto Vallarta, you can listen to that episode to hear about all the amazing experiences I had a while I was down there. So then I was going to go to Italy and do the Cinque Terre, go to Rome because my nephew was singing at the Vatican with his college choir, and then I was going to possibly go to Iceland and then do an Eastern Canada train trip. So those were kind of consolation prizes for the spring because the Southeast Asia thing wasn’t going to work out. I just found out yesterday, and today is March 15th, the Ides of March, I just found out yesterday that South Korea is opening up.


Brian: That’s good news.


Billy: That’s very good news. So now, I’m thinking this is a sign, because in my original plan, I was going to be in South Korea around this time anyway so I’m thinking I need to take advantage of this opportunity. 


Brian: Pick it up, yeah, that’s a great idea.


Billy: So the next stop, I think, is going to be South Korea. I need to sleep on it for a few more days because, I mean, let’s be honest, Italy is not a bad consolation prize. 


Brian: No, it’s not. Especially the Cinque Terre. 


Billy: Correct. Iceland is a bad consolation prize. And I’m thinking about all that too. And, again, here’s a sentence you never would have heard me say a few years ago, but I’m trying to listen and carefully interpret what the universe is telling me and what the universe is giving me. So I’m listening very closely and so is the universe telling me, “We opened up South Korea for you”? Now, I’m not that self-absorbed, I know that it’s not opening up just for me, but is the opportunity there presenting itself, that would be an amazing experience because my original plan was to spend a month in Seoul and then two weeks going around the rest of the country. So that very well may be what I decide to do. You know me though, and one of the things that I do best is I overanalyze so I’m going to need to overanalyze this for a few days before I make a decision because what would I do without decision fatigue in my life?


Brian: Of course. You got to spend your time somehow.


Billy: I wish you all can see Brian’s face right now. There’s just total contempt for someone like me who could not just make a decision.


Brian: It wasn’t contemptuous, I was just like, “I get it, it’s Billy.” That was more acceptance than contempt.


Billy: Oh, my God. That face was a one in a million. I hope we caught that on Riverside somehow somewhere because —


Brian: I’m sure we did.


Billy: Oh, my god, I’m like sweating now I’m laughing so hard. Oh, my God. Nothing in the world captured the difference between who Brian is and who I am and how we make decisions than that moment right there, than that face right there. That was such a beautiful moment right there. Nothing could be more genuine than that. Oh, man. So here’s one thing that bothers me as I’m going through these travels, is when people say, “Oh, you’re back? What are you doing back?” It’s like, well, I was gone for two months. I was in Europe for two months. I was in Mexico for a month. Like that’s kind of a long time to be in another country where —


Brian: Yeah, most people, I mean, you figure you go out a week or two weeks is long when you have a job.


Billy: Right. You’re somewhere where I don’t speak the native language, I mean, that’s, in and of itself, can be chaotic. I don’t know where things are. So there is some stress that goes along with long-term travel. So it bothers me when people are like, “Oh, what are you doing back?” What do you mean what am I doing back —


Brian: I live here.


Billy: Exactly. And it reminds me of something that Michael Mosher said back in episode, I think, it was 45, 46, and he said, “You know what, there’s a saying in the hiking community that goes just hike your hike,” and that’s what I’m trying to do right now is just hike my hike and I’m reminded of everything that the Trash the Checklist lady said too, Dr. Yolanda Holloway and Tiffany Byrd, where they’re like, “Be the author of your own life.” And I’m really working on being the author of my own life and not trying to please other people’s expectations as to what my year-long leave should look like. Like if I want to come back and work on the podcast, which I’m very passionate about, then I want to come back and work on the podcast. You know what I mean? So I wish people would understand that and recognize that, “Well, if I had a whole year where I could just travel, I’d travel the whole time.” You say that —


Brian: But there’s a lot of practical things they’re not thinking about that happen when they say that. It’s easy to say.


Billy: Particularly how expensive it can be to travel by yourself.


Brian: Oh, my gosh, especially in Europe.


Billy: I don’t have anyone to split expenses with so there is that, but, again, and I want to make this crystal clear, I am not complaining.


Brian: Wait a minute, though. I just had another idea. Have you considered grifting? 


Billy: What’s grifting? 


Brian: That’s defrauding people out of money. You just make up a story, you tell them a good story while you’re in another country, you get their money and then you leave.


Billy: Why do you think we have a Buy Me a Coffee link on the show? 


Brian: Because you’re not very good at grifting, apparently. I get it.


Billy: I think another big piece of this too is as I’m trying to make sure that I’m being true to myself, to thine own self be true, I struggle a bit with am I living my own message that we’re trying to share in this podcast and then, when I don’t do that, then that leads to impostor syndrome a bit where I feel like a phony, I feel like a fraud. But, again, a big piece of this is that I acknowledge that I am not the expert, I am the one going through it, and, in some cases, because I’m so hyper aware of it, that can be both a good thing and a bad thing because it leads to that overanalysis, but at the same time too, the way that I got to that level of awareness to where I no longer make mountains out of molehills, which —


Brian: That’s good, that’s progress, buddy.


Billy: Yeah, which is something that I used to do, especially 10 years ago before I started practicing mindfulness. I can’t even imagine navigating this year and all of these things that I’ve talked about without having cultivated a mindfulness practice prior, because even my best friend, Brandon, is like, “New Billy is wild,” because he asks me all these questions that we’ve talked about are all things that he has asked me and that I’ve had to think about, and these are all things that are on my mind, but I’m not freaking out about them. And I think that, in and of itself, shows growth because —


Brian: I would agree. I totally agree.


Billy: — even five years ago, all of these things would have spun me into a tornado of negativity and I would be back to having anxiety attacks. And it’s not to say that I’m not having anxiety attacks, but like when we talked about with Brett Hill, I’m able to keep them at bay where they’re not spiraling out of control, they’re just kind of spiraling in a spot and I’m able to keep them in that —


Brian: From growing. 


Billy: Correct. And as you, the listener, are hearing me rant in this episode and wondering, “Where’s he going with this? Why is he sharing all of this?” what I want you to know is though all of these things are on my mind and all of these things are stressors and all of these things create anxiety, how many of these things are you experiencing? For example, are you out of work? Are you worried about how much money you have to sustain your current lifestyle? Are you uncertain about where you are going to be in life come the fall? Are you not consistently making healthy decisions? Are you caught in limbo in a relationship? Are you not clear on what it is that you want out of a relationship? Is your love bucket not being filled? And if it’s not, how are you handling that? Are you handling that in a healthy way? What are some insecurities that you have? For example, I feel like a burden to others sometimes. I’m overwhelmed with decisions. I feel like I’m not living up to certain people’s expectations and I feel like I’m not living my own message, which is leading to impostor syndrome. I’m all of those things are happening while I am still having the time of my life, while I am still enjoying so much of my life. All of those things could take away from this experience that I am having, and I’m not going to lie, there are some days where they do, but there are a lot of days where I am able to simply enjoy life on my own terms. And I get it, I’m not working, I don’t have kids, I’m able to do things freely, but at the same time, I’ve also worked really hard and I’ve had great fortune and great luck and great connections, loving family, loving friends who have looked after me during this time and I’ve expressed a gratitude during that. So, as you’re navigating through some of these crises in your life, stop and think about what you’re grateful for.


Brian: Can I interject here, Billy? 


Billy: Absolutely. 


Brian: For me, I have inner peace most of the time, honestly. I don’t worry a lot, even in stressful situations. Yeah, I can get spinning but it only lasts an hour for me, even in the most stressful situations. And I think that comes from me from finding my purpose in life. And, to me, I have found out that through my life, I am most fulfilled when I am serving the people around me and once you find those people, and it doesn’t have to be family, it doesn’t have to be friends, I mean, for me it is, it’s my wife and my children and my family and my employees. I tend to think a lot about how am I participating in their lives? Am I doing any good in their lives? And through that process, when you get in the habit of serving other people, that’s what’s most fulfilling to me, when I can be of benefit in someone else’s life in some capacity. There’s people I’ll help without them even knowing it and that’s just for me to know. I’m never going to say that example, or any example, because that’s for me, that’s on my karma. You know what I mean? And that’s how I live my life, and I find really the most fulfilled when I’m doing that, when I’m serving the people that I love.


Billy: And that’s why it’s so important to me to recognize the people that enhance my travel experience — 


Brian: Yeah, exactly. 


Billy: — is because even just an hour with them added value to my life. And, for me, this podcast is my why. Why are we doing this podcast? We are doing this podcast because we hope that these conversations and the conversations that we have with our guests provide some value for you.


Brian: Exactly. This podcast, I see that you want to help everybody.


Billy: I do. 


Brian: And I believe that because I’ve known you for a long time. I know you do. This podcast is an extension of that feeling, I believe.


Billy: It is, and I’ll be honest, one of the things that weighs on me is whether or not this show is sustainable because we put a lot of time and effort into it. So, if you enjoy the show and you want to sponsor it, reach out to us at or DM us on Instagram at @mindful_midlife_crisis. If you want to help out and volunteer as a blogger, as a ghostwriter, as a transcript editor, if you want to do some social media promotion, contact us. Let us know. If you want to donate using the Buy Me a Coffee link, we won’t grift you, we’ll gladly use that money to continue making the show better and better and better. If you want to help us out by leaving us a review, use the link in the show notes. If you listen to the show, you know how much words of affirmation mean to us, we said that at the beginning, we’ll say it again, leaving us a five-star rating and sharing a few kind words will go a long way with us and the easiest way to help us out is by sharing our show with others. Make sure you tag us on Instagram or Facebook or whatever social media platform you use.


Brian: By extension, you can help people by helping us.


Billy: Right, and we don’t have all the answers and our guests don’t have all the answers but they have some answers that will provide clarity in your life because they have provided clarity in our lives and that clarity is what we are looking forward to sharing with you this season of The Mindful Midlife Crisis. So, with that, for Brian, this is Billy, thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy, and loved. Take care, friends.


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