The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Episode 78--Billy Recaps Season 6 with His Best Good Pal Matt Hazard of The Brute Squad!

December 28, 2022 Billy Lahr
The Mindful Midlife Crisis
Episode 78--Billy Recaps Season 6 with His Best Good Pal Matt Hazard of The Brute Squad!
Show Notes Transcript

In this week’s episode, Billy wraps up Season 6 of The Mindful Midlife Crisis with his good friend, the sex dynamo, Matt Hazard. They go through all the episodes from Season 6 and reflect on the lessons learned, questions asked, and a whole lot of vulnerable revelations that you definitely don’t want to miss. If this is the first episode you’re listening to, please stop and go back to the previous episodes linked below—then come back for some laughs. 

Check out these episodes from Season 6:

Episode 66--"No More Men Talking Mental Health on Podcasts": An Open Letter to Chelsea Fagan of The Financial Diet
Episode 67--The Complete Man with Purdeep Sangha
Episode 68--Men Talking Mindfulness with Retired Navy SEAL Commander Jon Macaskill
Episode 69--Live Better, Die Slower with Eric Romanak
Episode 70--“Joy Is Doubled When Shared; Sorrow Is Halved When Shared”: Mourning the Lives Lost in Itaewon
Episode 71--Navigating Trauma Through Resilience with Dr. Shree Walker
Episode 72--Acts of Service As Self-Care with Dr. Lina Haji
Episode 73--Giving Sunshine: A Widower's Journey to Love and Happiness with Jason Clawson
Episode 74--Too Foreign for Here, Too Foreign for Home: A Korean Adoptee Meets Her Birth Family with Brook Mallak
Episode 75--How to Live with More Joy in Your Life
Episode 76--How to Beautifully Co-Parent with Your Ex with Anna Skender
Episode 77--Midlife Sexual Healing with Sex Therapist Cathy Saputo

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Billy: Coming up on The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Matt: Let me tell you, Billy. So in the Midwest in Minnesota, they're not really aware of Destin, Florida. And it is so picturesque, so beautiful, the powdered sugar, white sand, beach, unbelievable beaches. You've never seen beaches like this. So when we moved to Arkansas, people were like, oh, hey, have you been to Destin? You should go to Destin. It's great. And Dustin kind of unkindly nicknamed the Redneck Riviera. That's what they call it, <laugh>. So we went there and we're like, oh my God, how is this not like the most absolute swamped tourist? Well, all you have to do is walk around for like 20 minutes in the shops and stores and you're like, oh, these people are fucking insane. These are everyone who lives here is crazy.

Billy: And there goes our fan base in 

Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. I'm your host Billy Lahr, an educator personal trainer, meditation teacher, and Overthinker who talks to experts who specialize in social and emotional learning. Mindfulness, physical and emotional wellness, cultural awareness, finances, communication, relationships, dating and parenting, all in an effort to help us better reflect, learn, and grow so we can live a more purpose-filled life. Take a deep breath, embrace the present and journey with me through The Mindful Midlife Crisis.

Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I'm your host, Billy Lahr. Thank you for tuning in wherever you are. The purpose of this show is to provide a platform that gives people the space and permission to share their expertise and life experiences in order to help others navigate the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. And remember, this free and useful information is helpful to people of all ages. Wisdom isn't about one's age. Wisdom comes from our ability to reflect, learn, and grow from our own life experiences, while also learning from the experiences of others. And you just never know what life is going to throw at you. And there may be a story or two from these past episodes that help you be better prepared for the challenges you will face in life or that you're facing right now. Whether those challenges be your emotional, mental, and or physical well-being, your relationships, parenting, your career, or whatever curve balls, life is throwing your way, just know that you are not alone in your experience.

And the conversations I'm having here are with people who have been there before or have done the research to help you navigate these situations with more awareness, openness, curiosity, and compassion so you can live a more purpose-filled life. So if you're looking for some ways to help you better navigate whatever you've got going on in your life from someone who's been through it before, check out some of the other episodes at or wherever you get your podcast. This is the last episode of season six. It's the last episode of 2022, and it's the last episode. I'll be recording from Korea for a while because next week I'll be heading to Thailand for six weeks and not a moment too soon because it is getting freezing cold in Seoul right now. I actually think it's colder in Seoul or about the same temperature in soul as it is in Minnesota.

And I did not sign up for that shit. So I am looking forward to some fun in the sun. But before we wrap up this season and this year, we always like to take a look back on the season that was now the word reflect means to think deeply and carefully about for the previous five seasons. We've done a recap of that season's episodes with my former co-host and good friend Brian on the base. And I was hoping to do that again for this episode. But sadly, Brian can't be with us today because as always, he's up to his eyeballs and life responsibilities right now. But I am very happy to report that the other member of our recap team is here today. So ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show. The always entertaining Matt Hazard.

Matt: Yay. Hi, Billy.

Billy: Hi. How are you, buddy?

Matt: I am so good, and I'm so glad you asked me back for this.

Billy: It always brings me so much joy to have you here on these episodes. I understand that you have added a new role to the 10 roles that you played in your life. What is that new

Matt: Role? I wanted you to introduce me as that, that's why I put it in the notes <laugh>, but it's, hang on, hang on. Let's see if I can get I, I'm gonna engage your Mike Envy further sexual dynamo <laugh>.

Billy: Now, is this a soft-labeled sexual dynamo? Is it Very

Matt: Much so <laugh>, definitely. You asked my wife. Oh, she will not say that. We can cover it. We can cover it when we recap the episode about Right,

Billy: Right. We get to midlife sexual healing

Matt: <Laugh>. Yeah. Yeah.

Billy: Oh my goodness. It was funny, we were talking about this before. We might also just like start with the recap of that episode since we're here, and then we'll get into other things too. But sure. As I was listening to that episode, again, <laugh>, I couldn't help but think to myself, I'm asking these questions as though I'm saying it like, so I have this friend <laugh> that is going through this issue,

Matt: <Laugh>. What's wrong, Billy?

Billy: Yeah,

Matt: <Laugh>.

Billy: I set it up so much like it was, I'm asking for a friend, right? That might be going through this situation. And I'm like, no, but I'm not actually going through this situation. I promise I'm not going through these

Matt: Situations. And, and as a listener and a friend of yours, I'm like, is he talking about me?

Billy: <Laugh>,

Matt: How dare you? 

Billy: Oh my God, <laugh>.

Matt: No, it was a great episode though. That was a lot of things that I don't think about. I mean, when she was talking about like kink play and she was talking about all the different ways that like people fantasize and like porn addictions and stuff like that, I was like, is that really that prevalent? Like some of it, I'm sure like everyone's got something that, you know, turns 'em on that probably is unusual to somebody else, right? I think she talked about that a fair amount that everyone's experience in life is slightly different. Sexually, I'm pretty vanilla sexually, <laugh>, <laugh>.

Billy: Well, and so what I found interesting is that it now kind of makes me look at other people with a little bit more curiosity.

Matt: Yeah. And when she was talking about group sex, she immediately went to group and my head immediately went to like orgies. And I was like, okay, that I don't think feel like that's common at all. And then she was like, or threesomes. And I was like, okay, that may be more common or fantasizing about threesomes. And I'm like, yeah, everybody does that. <Laugh>.

Billy: I was on the peripheral of that world because I had friends back in the day who were swingers. Okay. And I was their vanilla friend, right? They would tell me about their weekend sexual exploits that they would have at these orgy parties because they just wanted to talk to somebody that was, you know, just traditional relationship kind of person. And I think they kind of liked a, my response to it, they liked how I reacted to it, <laugh>, and as as I'm like, woo. You know, I think they liked that. And I think they liked being able to talk about the taboo of it with somebody that really wasn't in the know. And they knew that I would keep their secret, right. They knew that I would keep their secret

Matt: Probably more of a turn on for them. Right?

Billy: I think it was a bit of a turn on for them because like you could just see them light up as they were talking about it because they had this secret life Sure. That they wanted to share with somebody. And I just happened to be that somebody. And what really cracked me up is one time they told me, so listen, if something were to happen to us, here's the code to the house and you need to go into the bedroom, into the closet, into this space, and you need to remove all of that stuff that's in that space before my parents get there, <laugh>. And I'm like, now that I know the code to the house, what's to prevent me from going in and finding what's in there? Right? <laugh> like, I wanna know. No, I never did that. But I was definitely curious about what sort of toys and the, what do you guys have in there?

Or did I would've, did it have tapes? If they had tapes? That kind of thing. I remember I met one of their swinger friends, and at the time I didn't know that she knew that I knew <laugh>. Right? Uhhuh <affirmative>. And so we were riding in a car together, just trying to make small talk, da da da. And then she says something to me about their group, and like all of a sudden I'm like, oh, how am I supposed to react to this? And she goes, don't worry, I know you're the vanilla. And I'm like, oh shit. These guys have been telling all their friends about their vanilla friend that they share all their sexual exploits with God. So it was just <laugh>. Like I said, I was on the peripheral, but <laugh>, it was wild to hear these stories and that sort of thing. So I thought that was a very fun conversation to have with Cathy Saputo, because it's interesting to kind of get a professional perspective on it, because I think as we're talking about it, we revert back to junior high

Matt: <Laugh>. Oh yeah. Yeah. A hundred percent. Well, junior high is a funny way of putting that because my sexual experience through senior high was essentially the same as it was through junior high. <Laugh>

Billy: By yourself. Yeah.

Matt: Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. And oh God, real shame that Brian's not here for this conversation, by the way,

Billy: <Laugh>. Yes.

Matt: Because in our, yes, in our twenties, Brian, the text chains that Brian would send out, it's like, are you even human? Like what is

Billy: <Laugh> OH!

Matt: But I mean, a beautiful way. In a beautiful Brian way.

Billy: And you know, to transition Brian epitomizes, you know, the alpha male. And so when we talk about the mindful alpha male in episode 67 there with Purdeep Sangha, the complete man, I feel like Brian embodies the complete man. There's a lot of Brian that I wish I had.

Matt: I agree. I'm the same way.

Billy: Brian sent a semester, she explained why he can't be here. And as I was reading his message, I was like, I don't know if I could handle this situation. Yeah. The way that Brian is handling it, Brian is taking care of his family in a way that is so enviable. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and admirable all at the same time. Like he is, he just encompasses the complete man. And yeah, there are aspects of what Brian brings to the show that I really miss because I kind of look at him as sort of this hero figure.

Matt: So first of all, I don't want to air his, because it's his story to tell, but I have a pretty significant shared experience with some of what he's going through right now. So that really resonated with me when he shared that with us about not being able to be here today. The thing I've always thought about and that I've always envied about Brian, is there are certain situations where I know I'm gonna be great. There are certain things that I know I'm good at. There's certain things that I know that when I get to that situation, if I'm standing in front of a group of people and my job is to sing to him, I'm gonna get you. But I feel like Brian feels like that in every room he walks into.

Billy: Exactly. Yeah. And Brian's approach to this show is a lot like the way he plays bass in that he misses a lot

Matt: <Laugh> Uhhuh,

Billy: But no one has more fun than Brian. You know? And still,

Matt: And still he can miss 50 shots. He's, who's a good basketball analogy, that's a terrible shooter. Russell Westbrook, he's Russell Westbrook. He could take 50 shots and go 50 and he still thinks I'm gonna knock down this three when I come back down the court. He absolutely believes he is gonna do that. <Laugh>,

Billy: If you're starting with this episode, you should hit stop now. If you have it already, you should hit stop now and like go back to episode 66 is maybe a good place to start. Or you can go to episode 67. That's kind of what we're talking about here. Or if you wanna like know more about Brian, go way back to the beginning when the episodes were really bad, there was very little production value <laugh> in those episodes. You can go back to those episodes, we kind of get a feel for Brian, that sort of thing. But Brian, I feel embodies the complete man with the things that Purdeep Sangha was talking about. That is really a testament to who Brian is. And I'm glad I got to have that conversation with Purdeep because he filled that void from Brian's absence. And I like that. I guess I'm patting myself on the back here, but it was quite intentional for me to set up the first three episodes of interviews that I did with strong mindful Men because I took Umbridge with the, the social media posts that was made. And so I felt it was important to address that <laugh>.

Matt: Yeah. So Billy that, I mean, bar none my favorite episode of the show, <laugh> like, like a hundred percent and, and most valuable. No best insight. No, but my favorite Cuz you were a savage. Like <laugh>. Like

Billy: The thing is like, I tried to be measured in my response and my whole approach to it was, oh, Billy, I'm just gonna ask questions. You

Matt: Were fucking seething under there. I could hear it <laugh>. I could feel it <laugh>.

Billy: You know what? I think that's where my mindfulness practice comes in, right? Is that I'm able to respond as opposed to let my emotions allow me to react. And the thing is like genuinely, I would like to have a conversation with Chelsea Fagan about why would you think that that's appropriate? Not to like turn this into like a real Debbie downer of an episode, but even though I didn't know who Steven Twitch boss was mm-hmm.

Matt: <Affirmative>, yeah, yeah,

Billy: Yeah. On social media, it was clear this guy was loved, right? Oh yeah. Absolutely loved. And I thought Mel Robbins had a really good response to how people were responding to it. And she equated like suicidal ideation and mental health to almost having brain cancer in that it just infects and deteriorates. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> your mind so much. And those are the kind of conversations that I want people to be having. I don't want people to be having less conversations about that. I don't want people to have fewer conversations around that. We need to be having more conversations around it. Do we need qualified people to have those conversations? Yes. But, and I don't know who the dude was in this video that Chelsea was dogging, right? And maybe he is a joker, but the things that he were saying sounded practical enough to me. Yeah. When it comes to managing our mental health. So why make a comment like no more man talking mental health on podcasts, that just reinforces the stigma and the shame when it comes to having that conversation.

Matt: And it's the exact stigma and shame that you really have set out to battle with this po. So it's like, I think it's really undercutting all of your efforts, exactly what you're trying to do, what you're trying to build an audience to do, which is to let men and help men be more comfortable talking about their mental health. And then she might as well have said, quit being such a pussy like <laugh>.

Billy: It's

Matt: Right. It's like, it's like the exact same thing, I mean in a different way, but it's like the exact same mentality. Men shouldn't be talking about this. Of course we should. Of course we should.

Billy: Yeah. And I think too, that too often when men think about having conversations around mental health, they feel like it has to be all flowery, or they feel like it has to be all woowoo or it has to, you know, someone's gonna cry, da da da da, I don't cry. And he's like, well one dude, it's okay to cry.

Matt: I cry all the time. Yeah,

Billy: We'll get to that in a little bit, Sue. But you can be a mindful alpha male like Purdeep Sangha, like Brian and like Commander Jon Macaskill, and he's someone who hosts a podcast called Men Talking Mindfulness. Are we saying Commander Jon Macaskill has not earned the right to have a conversation around mental health. Something tells me Commander Jon Macaskill has earned the right to have a conversation around mental health.

Matt: I completely agree, but you know, my immediate thought is that he'd be like, yeah, get outta here with that shit. <Laugh> wouldn't even register to him. But she does have a big audience, right? So that's kind of the problem,

Billy: Right? What I was seeing in the comments was things like, this is a problem because too many people are having these conversations without any real knowledge and experience, da da da. Which I get, I understand that. But then let's get them in a space where they do have experts that can provide clarity around how to navigate mental health. And Commander Jon Macaskill is the perfect example of that. Because if you're a dude and you're not open to, you know, expressing yourself emotionally, don't you think a Navy Seal is a good role model? There's a beacon right there. And that's why I felt it was so crucial to have someone like Commander Jon Macaskill on the show. Because when you listen to his conversation, like you listen to us, you and I are kind of like we're all over the place. You listen to Commander McCaskill, that dude is so measured in his speech and so deliberate in his word choices. And I'm going through the same mindful teacher certification program that he is, and I want to connect with him to kind of compare our experiences. But I know just based on who he is and the way that he conducted that interview, that his experience is significantly different from mine because I feel like he's so much further along on that journey based on his combat experience, based on his life experience. And that's what makes him outstanding at what he does with the Men Talking Mindfulness podcast and leading mindfulness for men.

Matt: It was a really cool episode, man. You know, how often do you get to talk to somebody like that? First of all? So right. Very cool experience for you. And then, you know, sitting on the periphery of that conversation, which is what I think podcasts so is, are like, you always feel like you're the third or fourth or however many people are in that room. You're like the additional person who doesn't actually have input, but gets to listen to that whole conversation. That's what I love about podcasts and I really love that one because like anytime you get somebody with that kind of a life experience talking, it's like, I'll sit there for that

Billy: <Laugh>. Right? And then we got to bring on your friend, a guy that you recommended to me, Eric Romanak. And man, he was as good as advertised. I've listened to that episode a couple times just because I like his realness and his rawness. I just liked his approach to therapy where he's just like, yeah, you know, sometimes I just need to go in and unload some shit and then just be done with it. I love that mentality because just like, Hey, I recognize that I got a bunch of stuff that I need to unload and I'm gonna go do that and then I'm gonna go lift some heavy shit, you know? Yeah.

Matt: <Laugh>, I met him 20 years ago and we were in a band together for a time. He was a songwriter, he was aspiring as a songwriter and I thought he wrote really good songs. He was a horse-shit singer, by the way. <Laugh>, he's gonna hear this.

Matt: But it was one of those things where he had a lot of character and identity. He knew what he was, he knew what he wanted to do musically. And I was like this kind of just hammer of a vocalist and didn't really know who I was or what I wanted to do or what, how to win in front of a crowd. And between the two of us, neither of us were quite right for making music at the time. E especially in an original band. But I've really enjoyed our time together. It was kind of during the mess phase of his life where he is talking a lot about, he had already lost the weight of being a heavy kid, but he was very involved with the drugs and alcohol at the time, as he probably would be in your early twenties in a band. You know, like, so we were briefly in each other's lives very intensely for three or four years.

And then I haven't actually seen him in person in 15 years, but we follow each other on social media. I was really hoping that the video aspect of this podcast was going to happen sooner so that I could see his face. Cuz I don't get to see his face very much. But yeah, he is just a great human, really infectious, positive energy. He's like a quote machine, you know, like he's very well read, but I think also just very thoughtful and deep thinker. And when he says things, there's weight to it. I really like him, I miss him. He lives in Kentucky now so far away from me, way far away from you, and far away from where we are in Minnesota. So we're gonna reconnect someday. And I, I love him dearly. He's a good friend and I really like that episode. And man, he is intense as a human being in a good way, in a great way. Great.

Billy: And he actually made three points there. I like his intensity because I'm an intense individual and I just liked his confidence and how secure he was in saying what he was going to say, you know, I overanalyze things. He doesn't, he just says it, but he's not saying it necessarily for shock value, it's just, he's pretty resolute what he is saying. And I like what he calls himself a recovering piece of shit, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> like, I like that he says he's a recovering because he had some trials and tribulations and he's reflected, he's learned and he's grown and he's evolved from that. And if you're not doing that, if you're not continually evolving, then you're essentially dying faster, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, that's what he's trying to help people recognize is that if you're not evolving, if you're not growing because we're always decaying, then you're dying faster.

So how do you live better? So I really like that. And then the other thing, well there were two more things, but I can't remember the other one because I was talking too much. One other thing you said that it would've been nice to see the YouTube video. Now it makes me want to reach out to the production team and say, Hey, can we get those first three episodes with Purdeep sang Jon Macaskill and Eric Romanak up on YouTube more so, because the episodes that follow that are on YouTube. And thank you by the way, to everyone who's watching them, including you, Matt Hazard, I appreciate that you're watching those episodes and I appreciate that you appreciate them. I love that. But I also think, you know, as we look, you see Dr. Shree Walker woman, you see Dr. Lina Haji woman, you see Brook Mallak woman, you see Anna Skender woman, you see Cathy Saputo woman.

And then you see Jason Clawson tell a very emotional story. And I think it's important for people to see that emotional story and we'll get to that in a little bit. But I also think it's important for people to see people like Purdeep Sangha and Jon Macaskill and Eric Romanak share these stories as well. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> because they carry with them like we've talked about, it's this mindful alpha male presence about them. And I think that that's crucial, particularly for 30 something, 40 something, 50 something men who may be navigating the complexities of emotions, the unwillingness to be vulnerable with their emotions. It's important for them to actually put a face to what that all means and what that can all look like. So I'll work with the production team on that one. They're Matt Hazard. I would love to see that. Wonderful suggestion. Thank you.

So here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna take a quick break and then when we come back, we're gonna break down the rest of the episodes here with my good friend, the Sex Dynamo, Matt Hazard. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. If you're enjoying what you've heard so far, please do me a favor and hit the subscribe button. Also giving the show a quick five star review with a few kind words, helps others find and benefit from this podcast just like you are. Finally, please spread the wealth of free knowledge and advice in this episode by sharing it with the people in your life who may find this information and my mission to help others live a more purpose-filled life valuable. My hope is that these conversations resonate with others and inspire people to live their best lives.

Thanks again. And now back to the show. Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are here recapping season six with my good friend, the always entertaining Matt Hazard. Brian on the base is not able to join us here. We're very sad about that. But Brian, we love you and we missed your face. That's right. Hang on, let me pour some more whiskey. So as Matt's pouring some more whiskey there, I know that you did not listen to the episode on etk. I was a little heavy and it was a drink of heavy episodes for the month of November. There were five pretty intense heavy episodes and those were the first episodes that we put on YouTube. You guys can go to YouTube and type in The Mindful Midlife Crisis podcast and you can watch those episodes if you want. I got some feedback from you, Matt Hazard and I got some feedback from another friend that said, when you watch the episodes, then they really have an emotional impact on you. And I've heard from a couple friends here in Korea who have said who those episodes were really, really heavy. Yeah. And I get it. That's why I tried to set people up for success by at least giving them some information on how to navigate trauma with resilience with Dr. Shree Walker. And you know, you put a note in here, sometimes our, my guests remind us of how good we have it growing up, right? Yeah.

Matt: I mean that's exactly it. Sometimes I'll think about the difficulties I've had when I was a kid. Oh, the, I had to overcome this. Or you know, you're having conversations about shared experiences with people and you're like, well yeah, when I was growing up, you know, I used to get spanked and I used to, you know, this was whatev, you know, and then you're like, you see an interview with someone like Dr. Walker and you're like, oh yeah, no, I, I didn't have it bad at all. <Laugh> at all. Not at all. Not even bottom half bad. It was fine

Billy: <Laugh>. And I think though Dr. Walker would say that it's not so much about comparing your trauma and your adversity to another person's so much as it is, how do you develop the resilience over time to bounce back from that? And I think the other thing too that I wanted to highlight in the Eon episode was the complexity of living with gratitude while also living with appreciation or recognizing the tragedy and the hurt that exists in the world as it parallels the beauty of the world. And my friend Millie from Vietnam is the one who shared that with me. And it really, really hit me because a lot of people here were really struggling with that situation. Hmm. And some of us were feeling really bad and really guilty, really guilty about A being there, B, having fun while we were there and still being alive to talk about it.

And then c, being able to live our lives moving forward. Yeah. So there was a lot of guilt around that. And I'm not gonna say that that that was a traumatic experience for me, but it was cause I didn't see it, I didn't witness it. I have friends that saw the bodies on the ground. Mm. Right. That saw people administering C P R. I don't have that etched into my memory like they do, but there is kind of the what if, right? Because I walk through that street at the exact same time as all of that was happening. I was just on a different alley. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, that's it. I was a block away and I didn't know what was happening. So there's the what if, and then there's the navigating the emotions of am I allowed to enjoy my life moving forward after this tragedy? And I think that was a really crucial element to what Dr. Walker talked about in her episode is that when we face adversity, when we face trauma, we must move forward with resilience and not compare our trauma and our adversity to other people. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> in a way that says, my situation is worse than theirs or I shouldn't feel the way that I feel because of another person's situation. Rather it's my situation. I'm going to move forward with it in the best way that I know how using resilience.

Matt: Yeah. Have you ever seen a film Tom Hanks called Bridge of Spies? I think it's him and Mark Rylands. And Mark Rylands plays a Russian spy. And there's a theme through the movie that's Tom Hanks keeps asking or where people keep asking him in the show like, aren't you worried? Like what are they go, what if we return you to Russia? What are they gonna do to you? Or, and aren't you scared Mark Rylands is character con continuously through the movie, like a hundred times goes, what would it do any good? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, no empathy's super important, but are you helping anyone by making yourself miserable over someone else's experience? As tragic as it may be, like moving forward with your life is probably what they wish they could do and what they would want you to do. So I think that God, it's a heavy situation. Obviously it's hard not to be very empathetic in that situation, but does it do any good to just wallow

Billy: In it? Well there's that. But then at the same time too, I think it's important for people to understand that the grieving process looks differently for everybody. Yeah. Yeah. And then how do you help people move along that aren't moving along? So it's just guiding them very slowly in nurturing them through that grieving process. It almost feels like we need a course on grieving. Yeah. And I mean we need a course on navigating a lot of emotions. Right? I feel like that should be taught in schools more so than some other subjects. But just understanding one, people grieve differently. But then two, if you are grieving and you're having a difficult time moving forward, understand that moving forward does not necessarily mean that you are letting go of that person's memory that you can still honor that person's memory. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And I think that's what a lot of people struggle with, is that if they do move forward and if they don't continue grieving the way that they are grieving, even though it is locking them in sadness, that they're going to lose connection with that person.

And I think we talked about that with Marie Nutter when she talked about losing her brother. I think that's episode 47 where we talked about did you feel moving forward was going to, in a sense erase your brother's memory from your life? And she talked about, yeah. Sometimes that that would pop into her mind in terms of grieving. When we talked to Jason Clawson about losing his wife, when you watch that episode, I'm sitting across from Jason on the screen here on my computer and whew. Yeah. I mean that was a heavy episode a lot of times. I talked to people before they are on the show. I cried talking to him before I even had him on the show because when he hit me with that story about his kids saying, dad, we want you to have a girlfriend. It just opened up the water

Matt: Works. Absolutely.

Billy: Oh, it just hit me so much

Matt: The 50 times I cried in that episode. But the O one of them was when he was talking about people wanting to be helpful and being well-intentioned, going back to the grieving and how do you help someone who's grieving or help them move along with their life. And people are like, oh, if there's anything I can do, just let me know. Well now you've just given me something else that I've gotta do to, I've gotta tell you how to help me. It's, it's just a nothing, you said it in the episode, I've said that a hundred times or more to people like, oh, if there's anything I can do, you let me know if there's anything I can do. Why <laugh>? Why not just do something? Why not just take action?

Billy: Well then on the other side of that, kind of like what I was trying to talk with Dr. Lina Haji is then what if you're well-intentioned but then you do the wrong thing. Right. Or if you're well-intentioned, but you're mostly doing it so that you can say, well I did something to help that person out. So no, I feel better. Right. <laugh>,

Matt: It's look how good I am.

Billy: Yeah. That's the delicate line. That's why when I was talking to her, I wanted to talk about the fine line of acts of service. Right.

Matt: She would say, and her words, she's fucking fascinating. That lady like <laugh>. So interesting. Like I, I love that she swears, I love that she is an expert witness in criminal trials. Tell thousands of those stories come back every week <laugh>, no other gas savr, just her tell those stories, whatever you can, I don't know what the rules are about what you can talk about from a trial that ex but fascinating and really interesting. And apparently you have a mutual friend that also does that.

Billy: Yes. Yes. And he just sent me an article the other day where he was the expert witness where he did the evaluation of this guy who brutally stabbed some librarian because he thought that she had insulted him in some way, shape or form.

Matt: She was shushing him. She was

Billy: <Laugh>. Right. He was too loud in the library. Oh God. And it's just incredible the articles that he sends me because ooh, Florida's got some people, man. I mean every state's gossip people, but yeah. The articles that he sends me about Florida people and the crimes that they commit, who it's something

Matt: Else. Let me tell you Billy. So in the Midwest in Minnesota, they're not really aware of Destin, Florida. Oh, yep. And that's in the Gulf Coast to the kind of the Florida Bama shore for the people who are unaware. It's like very close to Alabama. And it is so picturesque, so beautiful. The powdered sugar, white sand beach. Unbelievable beaches. You've never seen beaches like

Billy: This. I've been to Pensacola. Pensacola. It's like walking on powdered sugar.

Matt: Yeah. Si. Very similar verys. And it's actually just on the coastline. It's not far from, yeah. Yeah. So when we moved to Arkansas, people were like, oh hey, have you been to Destin? You should go to Destin. It's great. And Dustin kind of unkindly nicknamed the Redneck Riviera, that's what they call it, <laugh>. So we went there and we're like, oh my God, how is this not like the most absolute swamped tourist? Well, all you have to do is walk around for like 20 minutes in the shops and stores and you're like, oh, these people are fucking insane <laugh>. These are main

Billy: Ones.

Matt: Everyone who lives here is crazy.

Billy: And there goes our fan base in Destin, Florida. <Laugh>

Matt: Everyone who lives in Destin Florida full-time is an insane person.

Billy: Oh man. Like

Matt: We went there and we're like looking at real estate cuz we're like, this place is incredible. We should maybe see if we can buy a condo here or something when we retire. And then we're like there for 20 minutes and we're like, maybe we just vacation here for adventure <laugh>. I don't wanna live here. That's my Florida experience.

Billy: Watch me beautifully transition here. Would you say that your experience there, you felt a little too foreign for Destin, but too foreign for a home? <Laugh> was they like that <Laugh>.


I like that.


So I didn't know how to transition into the episode. I didn't know how to transition. So, you know, we're gonna keep that in because that keeps rolling.

Matt: Yeah. Keep it

Billy: In for sure. <Laugh>. Oh, man. So what were your thoughts on that episode with Brook Mallak?

Matt: Oh my God. Seems like a super cool person, by the way. So not surprising that you two gravitated toward one another immediately because it's like, you're super cool Billy. I think you're super cool. Thanks. <laugh>, thank me. Thanks man. And she seems super cool to also very, very interesting social aspects of and, and a life experience that I just have no context for whatsoever in my life. Not only is she adopted, not only was she like, well there was strained relationships with aspects of her adoptive family, but she had a family that was actively searching for her for a long time and like didn't wanna give her up. But like the situation in the country at the time was kind of what caused it. And like, oh my, my god, heart-wrenching difficult if someone who grew up in a stable home, mostly in a stable situation, middle class. I didn't know anyone with those circumstances. And oh shit, I never even thought about that. Oh shit, I never even thought about it. It's probably said that 10 times in that episode. And of course just bawling when she was talking about how her mother thought she was going to have to die with her eyes open, still looking,

Billy: Looking for her.

Matt: Yeah. Still looking for her. And now she knew she'd be at peace with her eyes closed when she goes and it's like, holy, holy shit. <Laugh>.

Billy: Yeah. So just to kind of give a a little behind the scenes here. When we recorded that, Brook was in the other room. So I was in one room at Kristen Brown's studio at nsync. I was in one room, Brook was in the other room. So then when I, when I <laugh> transitioned into the segment break and I was like, well, <laugh>, I need a minute. Yeah. So then I just took off my headphones and I went into the other room and I just gave her a hug and I didn't know if the hug was more for her or for me. <Laugh>. Yeah. Cause I'm just like, I need to hold somebody cause

Matt: That I needed a hug.

Billy: <Laugh>, it was so heavy, is so emotional. But at the same time too, like you could feel the catharsis in that moment for her and her mother. Mm.

My friend Gretchen heard Brook's story and is now going through the me and Korea program so that she can experience Korea because she was adopted from there as well. And I said, what if you don't get reconnected with your family? And she said, it's not so much about that. She said, I just want to go back and I want to see my home country. I want to see where I was born. Hmm. That sort of thing. And that's really powerful. And I know that Gretchen won't put expectation on it in the way that it will maybe let her down. She's going to experience it fully. And if she does get reunited or if she at least learns about her family, I think that'll be an added bonus to it as well. Family dynamics are so fascinating to me. And I think, you know, just transitioning here into the beautifully co-parenting with your ex episode with Anna Skender, their family dynamic is not weird to me.

Mm-Hmm. Because that's my family dynamic. Yeah. So none of that was weird to me. That's the relationship that I have with my ex. None of that is weird to me. And you know, granted we don't have children. I had my dog and then we co-parented the dog. I mean, the dog is actually probably what made us amicable, you know? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Like, we still got to stay connected. We just weren't romantically connected in any way, shape or form. We were just platonically connected and we still are. Yeah. So I was curious as a listener, I mean, you're happily married.

Matt: I mean, I am.

Billy: Yeah, you are.

Matt: You asked her

Billy: <Laugh>, if you, if we were to ask Melissa, it might be a different story, <laugh> But you said here that you hope you're never in that situation, but she said some things that really resonated with you. So what were some of the things that resonated with you in that episode?

Matt: Complacency is a killer of relationships, I think. And when she was talking about going to couples therapy and that kind of being the moment, that really was the catalyst for her saying, oh, I gotta walk out of this because I just said 50 things that I love about a relationship. And he couldn't come up with, oh, we've been together a long time. The thing is, I feel like I listen to that. I'm like, of course I wouldn't do that. But I do think that if I was in a situation where there's a lazy way out or there's a lazy answer, sometimes I might give a lazy answer. And he probably didn't even know he was fighting for that relationship in that moment.

Billy: That's a really good point. I didn't even think about that. But that's a really good point. I actually wanna circle back around to Anna and I wanna ask her if she thinks her strong personality fill the room in a way where he felt that he didn't need to share any more. Hmm. That maybe he heard all of those things and he was like, what she said,

Matt: What she said, yeah, that's good enough. You know, like, yeah. I mean, I could definitely see that aspect as well. Actually, you just made me think of something she said in that episode very early on, which is total side note, but she said that when she was talking about building a business and being responsible for 500% growth, blah, blah, blah. And she was like, I was in this part of the country where the thought is that only men can lead progress. Only men can do this. And only, and I wanted to be in that space where women can do that too. And I would assert that women can do that too. My immediate thought was like, the only people I know who can do that are women. <Laugh> men don't lead change. We've said it a hundred times on the show, men are dumb as hell. <Laugh>

Billy: <Laugh>.

Matt: So, so I was like very impressed by the way, with her as a human. I also have a friend who was married, had two children, divorced, married again, and had another child, and now is once again divorced. She talks about her first husband as the best ex-husband anybody could ever ask for. And even through her marriage, she was like, I have a great ex-husband and they had a wonderful relationship and still, you know, have a less so with a more recent ex-husband, but I won't say who it is, but

Billy: <Laugh>.

Matt: But I, I always love seeing that and like trying to understand that dynamic at the end of the day. Is it mostly just about, ah, we still care about each other, even if that spark, that romantic love isn't still there, but we we still care about each other. We still think she's a great mom, he's a great dad. We still really are both invested in these kids and the lives that they're gonna lead. My wife and I, our conversations so many times are about like, what's best for our kids, how can we move their lives forward in a great way and give them the best chance to succeed and like, perform at a high level and be well-rounded humans and caring and good humans. I don't think that changes just because your relationship with your spouse changes. So to be able to align on that with one another and push forward, I think it should be more common. And maybe it's not because of how much fire there can be in divorce, but, and in the ending of relationships or the completion of the chapter,

Billy: I liked that part.

Matt: Oh man. That was…

Billy: When she shared that, I was like, oh, I love that analogy right there. Because I think about, you know, as someone who I've never been married or anything like that, but what I think Yeah, yeah, yeah. Can you believe that like, handsome, handsome, intelligent man like myself?

Matt: No, we talk about it a lot <laugh>. We just, it's been mentioned on the show, Billy, it,

Billy: It has, I have alluded to it once or twice <laugh>, but it's interesting to me. I almost feel like second marriage is becoming a rite of passage now. And so now when I think back to when Eric Romanak said, that was my practice wife.

Matt: Yeah. Yeah.

Billy: How many people are in their practice marriage right now?

Matt: Sure. Yeah.

Billy: The tricky part though is that you usually have kids in your practice marriage.

Matt: Yeah. Very fortunate in my situation where my wife had her practice marriage with no children, <laugh> and then settled on on me for some reason. But <laugh>, so one of us has already had that practice marriage, so I'm just saying mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, that was enough for both of us. Let's just not deal with that anymore. <Laugh>.

Billy: Right, right. Well, I imagine she loves you because you bring a lot of joy to her life. So once again, I seamlessly transition into another episode. I am good. I'm really good. But before we do that, we're gonna take a quick break and then when we come back, we will wrap up season six with the devastatingly handsome, the sex dynamo. The always entertaining. Matt Hazard, thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. New episodes come out every Wednesday to help you get over the midweek hump. If you'd like to contact me or if you have suggestions about what you'd like to hear on the show, visit and click contact us While you're there. Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter to get free weekly meditations, as well as free resources from our Reflect learn Grow program. You can also click on the show notes for links to the articles and resources we referenced throughout the show. If you wanna check out my worldly adventures, follow me on Instagram at mindful underscore midlife underscore crisis. My hope is that my trials, tribulations, and successes will inspire you to take intentional action to live a more purpose-filled life. And while you're at it, remember to show yourself some love every now and then too. Thanks again. And now back to the show.

Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are wrapping up season six with our recap episode. We do this at the end of every single season. Normally, I'm always joined by my good friend Brian, on the base to do these season recaps with our friend Matt Hazard. Thank you so much for joining me, Matt. I appreciate that you could commit to being here today. Unlike that piece of shit, Brian

Matt: <Laugh>, who,

Billy: Who is experiencing a lot in his life right now, but could not carve out the time to join us. What an asshole.

Matt: I was actually gonna just gonna pile on more. I just beat him in fantasy in the playoffs.

Billy: <Laugh>

Matt: In the playoffs.

Billy: Fuck Brian. Suck that shit

Matt: <Laugh>. That's why, that's what you get for counting on Aaron Rodgers to help you win

Billy: <Laugh>. I think anytime we get the best of Brian, it brings us joy. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And we're gonna finish off here. We're just talking about this episode that I did, little solo episode. These are always awkward for me when I have to do these solo episodes, but I wanted to talk about how to live with more joy because I am experiencing so much joy here in so South Korea, and it's really all about the connections that I've made. And I think about the connections that I have even back home and the magic of how you meet people. We've told the story about how you and I've met about how Brian and I have met and I'm always fascinated at how, you know, things just weave together the way that they should. Hmm. I'm not a big fan of the whole, everything happens for a reason. I think that's something that's really shallow to say to somebody who's going through something.

Matt: Oh my God.

Billy: Horrible. Yeah. I think that that's something that as an individual, I should come to that conclusion. I don't need someone to tell me, well, you know, everything happens for a reason. Please don't tell me that. Yeah. Please don't say that to somebody. Let them come to that conclusion. So I'm coming to the conclusion here, that being back in soul, I'm here for a reason and being connected with you and being connected with Brian, there's a reason for that. And the reason for that is because you all bring so much joy and happiness to my life, and I will turn it over to you before I get emotional

Matt: <Laugh>. Well, Billy, you bring a lot of joy to my life. And it's so funny because I want you to know that you probably don't, you know, I, I didn't even think about it in these terms because you have these conversations with people and then I see you every week now. Like, I see you all the time,

Billy: <Laugh>. Oh, oh, I didn't think of that. That's actually, I like that.

Matt: Yeah, I was thinking about that today. I was like, oh, I get to see Billy, but I see Billy all the time. Billy gets to see me like <laugh>. Like,

Billy: Right, right. That

Matt: Was the kind of moment that I had that was a realization of now having the episodes on YouTube. So that's again, thank you production team for that because I'm really enjoying taking them in that way along with still having great content, still having great guests, but with regard to the finding joy in life and taking moments of joy. I know you think I put this in there as a joke. It's really not a joke. There's this woman comedian, her name's Emily Heller. She said, if you don't laugh at farts, you're just deciding to live a life with less joy and just as many farts,

Billy: <Laugh>.

Matt: And it's like so true. If you're gonna respond negatively to something that just happens, this is just a part of life that just happens and they're objectively funny. Why are we not all just laughing at farts all the time? <Laugh>, they're hilarious. My wife and I laugh at farts, <laugh>, I'm an eye contact person when I like to reverse up my couch.

Billy: <Laugh>.

Matt: If we're sitting on the couch and I fart, it's usually one of these, it'll be like, so, and I just luck too much eye contact. And then sometimes I'll even throw in a like, was that you accusing like right? Was that you? No, no, that was you. I'm like, oh, well it was one of us <laugh>.

Billy: My go-to move is <laugh> whenever I'm going to fart and if I walk, sometimes even if I'm not with somebody, I do this by myself. But I'll point, I'll go and then I just, I just do the old finger guns and I just, that's where it'll come out <laugh>. And I would do, I would do that around my <laugh>, my ex. And as soon as I would go like this, then she would do it too. And we would, it's simultaneously finger gun at each other. <Laugh>. It's

Matt: Beautiful. See, it's, see

Billy: Actually, hold on. Someone's at the door, <laugh>.

Matt: Okay. Okay.

Billy: One second. We had to take a quick break there because if you heard the doorbell, it was because they had to come in and fumigate the room. I don't know if they heard us talking about farts and they're like, we should probably go in there and take care of that.

Matt: We're already doing it.

Billy: <Laugh>. Oh yes, yes. Very true. Very true. Farts are always funny. And you my friend, you are always funny <laugh>. And I love everything about you. This is actually going to be the last season recap that I'm going to do because in 2023 I'm gonna move away from seasons and I'm just gonna crank out episodes so we can get more strategies about how to navigate the complexities and possibilities of life's second half from a wider array of guests who will share their experiences and expertise with you, the listener that includes you, Matt Hazard. But I do intend to do a year in review episode where I bring the always entertaining the sex dynamo, Matt Hazard back on along with Brian on the base, provided he is not solving all the world's problems. Because I think it's important not to lose sight of or connection with the people who have been by your side since the very beginning.

But as this show continues to evolve, and as we all continue to evolve, as I continue to evolve, I wanna make sure that I'm giving you the listener what you need. So Matt Hazard, this has been a wonderful ride. I'd love that you get to see me every week and I wanna make sure that I make an effort to continue seeing you because you have supported this show since the very beginning. And I want you to know how much I sincerely love you. And I want people to hear when guys say to another guy, I love you. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, because I just saw a statistic the other day where it said like they asked men, when was the last time you told another dude that you're close with, that you love them? And there was another statistic about, you know, the number of close friends that men have and it's startlingly low.

I just value so much the friendship that I have with you, the friendship that I have with Brian, the friendships that I have with other people around the world. And I sincerely hope that this show provides a little bit of insight that awakens a desire to want to reconnect with people or connect with new people. Because to me, those connections are what bring joy when we talk about happiness is only real one shared. That's why I like sharing this podcast with all of you out there. And that's why I like including you on the show, Matt, because then we get to share in a lot of laughs. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and Brian, I want you to know how much I miss your face. I know you're not listening because you don't listen to the show <laugh>, but this show does not exist without you. And I want you to know how much I love you as well, and I miss you both very much.

And I'm looking forward to the day when we can all be together saying stupid shit to each other, farting in each other's presence just in the same room. I love you, buddy. I love you too. I love all of you listening. If you'd like to share your thoughts on this season's episode, be sure to look in the show notes for all of my contact information. You can email me at mindful midlife crisis, follow me and DM me on Instagram mindful underscore midlife underscore crisis, or send a message through the contact page at While you're there, feel free to sign up for the newsletter so you can get access to the free meditations I send out every Sunday. Don't forget to subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcast. If you're an Apple listener, leave us a five star review with a few kind words. And if you're a Spotify listener, click those five stars under the show Art. Finally, remember that sharing is caring and I would greatly appreciate it if you would share this podcast. Maybe not this episode. Don't start with this episode

Billy: <Laugh>, But you could share your do do <Laugh>. You could share your other favorite episodes with somebody in your life who may appreciate a little help navigating the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. So for my good friends, Matt Hazard and Brian on the base, this is Billy. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy and loved. Happy New Year and take care friends. 

Nice job, my friend.

Matt: Thank you, bud. That was fun.

Billy: That was a lot more fun with all Brian.

Matt: Oh man, that dude <laugh>, that dude sucks

Billy: <Laugh>.

Matt: Oh, oh God. I can't tell you how much I missed not having him fucking, not paying attention in the side of the…

Billy: <Laugh>.