You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 251 I’m talking with my friend Kate about having more fun. Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
Hey there my friends, welcome back, I’m so excited to be talking about having fun today. I’ll be talking with my friend Kate, who I met in the Vibrant Happy Women Club and I was immediately impressed and excited about her energy. She’s one of those people where my mind just screams kindred spirit, someone I would be close friends with if she lived in my area. And who am I kidding? I can be close friends with someone even if they don’t live in my area thanks to Zoom and video calls.
But I was so excited when Kate agreed to let me interview her because this topic of fun is one that’s not often discussed for us women, especially us moms because we’re very busy. Who has time for fun? But when we aren’t having fun we can start to feel lower and lower, and unhappier and unhappier. And I love this interview with Kate because she talks about how she decided okay, she needed to have fun, and how she started doing that in her life. So I can’t wait for you to listen.
Kate is really cool. She’s really honest. She’s vulnerable. She’s open, all the characteristics I love in a friend and I hope you love it too. So let’s go ahead and dive in.
Jen: Hey everyone, I’m here talking with my friend, Kate Young who is from Vancouver, Washington. She is the mom of a nine year old. She’s also a nurse. And she loves horses. And I met Kate through the Vibrant Happy Women Club in the fall. And I was really inspired when she said she wanted to have more fun. So I invited her on the show to talk about how she is creating more fun in her life. So welcome to Vibrant Happy Women, Kate.
Kate: Thanks, Jen.
Jen: So Kate, tell us more about why you joined the Vibrant Happy Women Club, what’s been happening for you in 2020? Just that back story. And then how you’re really trying to show up and have more fun in your life, what that looks like.
Kate: So I think there’s a couple of parts to it. So part of it was for joining Vibrant Happy Women and joining the club, that just sort of happened in an instant moment. I listened to a podcast one day and you had a guest on who happened to be a nurse. And the topic just felt so relevant to me and at the end you explained your club. And it was like, “You need to join the club because I’m going to close the club.” And I had already missed the deadline so I was like, “I’m just going to go look.” And so I looked and I could still join.
So I joined in October of this year, so towards the end of the year. And that month the theme was fun, flow and feelings.
Jen: The three F’s.
Kate: Yeah. And so I think it was just exactly what I needed at the moment. I missed the first call with everybody but I got to watch the recording which was really nice since I had just joined so I was figuring everything out. And when you’re asking me open ended questions about fun I just realized I wasn’t having any fun at all. I didn’t identify myself as a fun person. I didn’t feel like there was any time for fun. And I just realized I had to get that into my life. So that was kind of the start of all of it.
Jen: So let’s go all the way back, when was the last time in your life when you do feel like you were having fun?
Kate: So I feel like it’s been probably a few years. I do think that I used to have a lot of fun. I had a difficult year last year and it was just one of those things where just things happened in life. And they just kept happening in the same year. And it felt like it was one thing after the other. And so at coaching this year I said, “I need to have a better year.” And then we ended up having the first pandemic that I have ever experienced in my life.
Jen: I am raising my hand too, all of us our raising our hands.
Kate: Yeah. So that was really hard because I wasn’t really wanting to have a – go through a pandemic. So I am a nurse. I’m a hospice nurse of all things. And so most people think that has to be very difficult. And I love my job so much that I don’t find it difficult. But I did find being a nurse in the pandemic difficult. And I do think that I became – I think I had so much anxiety at the beginning which I hear a lot of people say.
So I do think that that eventually led to possibly a depression, or depressed feelings, or a low mood. I don’t know exactly what to call it, just kind of that feeling of every day you’re just kind of stuck in the mud and just not really feeling like doing anything. And not getting the good feelings out of things that were just my normal things that I did.
Jen: Yeah. So 2020 the pandemic happened, your mood was lower, lots of uncertainty. So what was a typical day looking like for you before you decided to make some of these changes?
Kate: So that’s one of my challenges is that I don’t have a typical day. Again with being a nurse you get used to having different schedules. You’re never a Monday through Friday nine to five kind of person. But I have had some balance in my life because I do work part-time. So I kind of have this very intense job that when I clock in, it is like I am on the whole time. There’s no downtime. Even in the pandemic it was very hard because I go to people’s homes.
So just even being able to find a place to go to the bathroom was really hard when everything was shut down in our state, or the two states that I work in. My workday is just an intense filled day, every minute I’m doing something until I clock out at the end of the day. My home days I’m a mom, and it just depends on – I mean it’s the ever changing year.
I do have to say that my daughter did very well with remote learning. Her school had a plan from the very beginning. They had a snow plan for inclement weather that they had set up. And so our state shut down on a Friday and my daughter was distance learning the following Monday.
Kate: Yeah, it was amazing. And so that for me was really nice because all of a sudden things were so hectic and chaotic at work, and my daughter we were able to put together kind of our distance learning routine fairly quickly. Her teachers sort of sacrificed their entire lives. So she got a lot of hours of seeing the teacher and they didn’t expect us parents to have to do much. So that part was actually really fun. I called myself duty because they have the recess duty person.
So all I had to do was feed her and take her out for recess, so that’s the only time. So I didn’t want her to be alone, and so that was my job was to sit with her while she’s playing on the swings or maybe, you know, shoot baskets. So we would jokingly call me “duty”. And I had to blow the whistle when our time was up.
Jen: That’s great.
Kate: [Crosstalk] all been really well but yeah, it was so much going inside my body of like the uncertainty was unreal. And that was – one thing that I had never really recognized was that certainty is a thing that we kind of need. And so you kind of taught me that. That that’s part of a human need. And so I was just getting so – I would do my job and I would get so – and I still am dealing with this. And so I just decided that it needs to be just something I account for.
But sometimes the things that I experience or the things that I have to do at work, I enjoy doing them. So that’s what’s hard is it doesn’t scare me to be a nurse. But some of the things that I experience as a nurse they just really affect me emotionally and more deeply than what I’ve ever experienced ever before, because I think the people that I’m around are – as a nurse you kind of live your life with your eyes wide open. You see kind of the things that can happen.
Somebody can be totally fine one day and find out they’re terminally ill the next. You go through those experiences with people. And so I think the pandemic has caused everybody else to sort of live with their eyes wide open. And then kind of you can take it one way or the other. And how I’ve always taken my job is my job makes me appreciate life, it makes me grateful for what I have. But you can also kind of flip that and have it be a negative. And so I feel like I just experienced so much of people’s fear. So I believe that that is what kind of just started making things really difficult.
And then I did get really sick myself, not from Covid, but I got sick in May. And I got a case of strep throat which I have not had since I was a child. And I was very, very sick, and I couldn’t participate in my family’s day-to-day routine. And they were okay but it made me realize that maybe I do manage everybody a little too much. And so it did take me also a while, I think that did take a lot of energy out of me. And even though I got better and I took antibiotics, it just took a while to recover.
Jen: It was a big year emotionally and then physically draining and just all the uncertainty. So all of this kind of was piling up. And I remember you telling me your story. You weren’t having any fun. You weren’t feeling your normal joy. So what tools have helped you to get back to some of that fun and that joy?
Kate: I think the first thing that I started with was trying out the thought tables. And also you send us these great booklets that are real paper and so many things are online these days. And I really do love to write. And so I love that you send us this material where it’s things that you have brought to my attention that I just had never thought about. So just even starting with the feeling wheel, and just trying to recognize what the feelings are. And one of your podcasts you talked about – I wasn’t sleeping very well. So that was an issue. So it seems so simple when you say it. But what can I do to get a really good night’s sleep tonight? So I definitely am putting the phone away in the eights and going to bed in the nines and just focusing. So that was really helpful because if I get good sleep I feel good. And then setting that intention for October it was scheduling something fun and having all these great ideas. So I’ve done some feel it to heal it things. But I really love the thought tables for just sort of changing the way I think about something. And so it’s interesting how it has all played out. I also love that the theme was flow.
And I was feeling like b,ecause I was in this low mood, things were hard to do. So I really tried to focus as well at looking at what I did each day, not what I didn’t do. And allowing myself just to flow through the day. So rather than saying, “I have these tasks I have to do.” It’s more like, like what you would say, “What would make tomorrow great?” And I remember – I hate going to the store. And so I had listened to your podcast, or listened to – I had been doing the work of the month or something. You were like, “It would be great if I got my financials done and see how I set that up.”
And I was like oh my gosh, so it’s a great way to think about this. So I needed to go to Costco. I haven’t been to Costco during the pandemic. I just don’t like going to the store. And I was like, “You know what? I’m going to make Costco fun.” And so I don’t know how but I had a great time at Costco. Rather than thinking of the dread of dealing with all the people and the parking lot and just everybody’s out to get their Costco goods. And I made it a really great day. I took my time, I gave myself plenty of time to look around if I wanted to.
I remember thinking I bet I just spent $600. And it was so exciting when I got to the cash register because I’d spent $400.
Jen: I happen to know that feeling. You’re like how did that just happen?
Kate: So instead of being like, “I just spent $400 at Costco.” I was like, “Oh my gosh, I only spent $400 at Costco.” So it just sounds so simple but it just started to snowball. And then I just started scheduling things that would be fun and it really was just simple things like I really need to exercise right now. And it’s helped me so much with the stress of work. But exercise isn’t fun for me but it’s like I have to do it. And so I found that if I do my exercise routine that I kind of need to do, I put on music and I jump on my trampoline.
My daughter has a trampoline, a little one. And I just jump, and jump, and jump until it feels really good. Or I get out my jump rope and I jump on my jump rope and it feels like I’m a little kid, jumping rope to music. And so I found those things. And then it was just one thing after the other, it’s just like the fun, it just became my focus of every day and it’s just all of that low mood just sort of, you know, my family started being happier and everybody started kind of acting how I wanted them to act without me having to manage them, or ask them, or make a list for them.
Jen: Isn’t that funny? The phrase, “When mom’s happy, everyone’s happy.” It’s so really true, it’s crazy, yeah.
Kate: There still is a little, you know, there was some tension one day and I could feel my daughter’s tension. And I needed to go to the store and we have these one-stop shopping stores. And I just got this idea that I should go buy Nerf guns. And we should have a Nerf gun war. And so it made my daughter’s day. I brought home these Nerf guns. We just shot at each other and so we were laughing. And everybody was happy and there wasn’t that irritated stuck in the house feeling anymore.
Jen: Yes, that feeling, we all know, we know what you’re saying.
Kate: Yeah. So yeah, and then my final super fun moment of the month was I have never dressed up as an adult for Halloween before. I had had my Soul Circle, I had gotten my hair done. I was out and about with my mask on but I have never been into a Halloween store before. And I was like, “I’m going to go see if there is a costume.” And I was really looking for costumes for my daughter. And I love Bob Ross, I don’t know if you know Bob Ross the artist.
Kate: The Happy Painter. And so I went in and there was a costume of Bob Ross and then the other person is the painting. So I bought this, I didn’t say anything, I brought it home. And my sister had a trunk or treat in her cul-de-sac, a socially distant get together for the kids so they could still trick or treat outside. And so my husband was, he was like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we’re…” So we sort of floored everybody, we showed up and we put on our costume. I was the painting and he was Bob Ross. And the look on my mom’s face was amazing.
So it was just a great month and it was such a good learning experience that once I started kind of getting into that energy and allowing the fun to happen all the other stuff that I was kind of finding difficult just sort of melted away. And it was really impactful.
Jen: So that’s a lot of what the Club is about. A monthly habit that can help you raise your vibe so you can feel more emotionally high vibe. So why do you think for you it was important or helpful to do that in the Club? Why couldn’t you just go and have fun on your own, why do you need something like the Club?
Kate: Well, I mean first of all it has been really nice to get to know my soul circle. And the first thing that happened with that was I had gone to a Soul Circle but there was the Soul Collage experience posted on the calendar. I didn’t know what it was at all. But I felt like I needed to just try and do it and show up. So I did and it happened to be most of the girls in my Soul Circle and it was this incredible experience. I honestly thought that it was going to be like cutting things out of a magazine to make a cute picture. I didn’t know.
It was just this incredible experience. And I do think having a place of support and women that are working through the same things with you has been incredible. I’ve only been at it for a few months but even today I had my Soul Circle and some of the things that were shared, they just – I’m so empowered by them. And the same thing happened last week. Last week we were talking about our schedules. And somebody shared some things and it just gave me such great ideas. But to really answer the question is that first of all you just have a really amazing ability to help people.
Jen: Thank you.
Kate: So I do think that by being in the Club and having access to these tools, the supportive environment, the Soul Circle. I do think that that is just such a beneficial thing. I mean I see a therapist every single week, or I see her virtually and I’ve done that for years. And it is great to have that safe space but to actually have these tools to – and these ideas, it’s just a whole different thing. Also the idea that it’s coaching so that, you know, sometimes I don’t think that I can recognize things on my own. But when you visit with friends and stuff they’re not there to try to help you be better.
So that type of support, I didn’t know that it existed. I feel like I’m a total before at this point but I am so intrigued by it. And today, and it’s happened a few times where I listened to the other women in the group that had done this work and I just I’m so inspired by the place that they’re at.
Jen: Yeah, up-leveling, watching people up-level.
Kate: Yeah, it’s been great.
Jen: I feel the same way, friends are great but often friends will commiserate, they’re not there to help you rise and be your best self. And I think that’s what coaching is and what the Vibrant happy Women Club really is, is helping everyone raise the energy, raise the happiness, live their purpose, yeah. And I feel like watching other people do it makes it feel much more possible, helps us do it faster.
Kate: Yeah, it’s just very different than anything else that I have tried in the self-help or the self-love department, I guess.
Jen: Yeah. So recently you and I were on a Club – a Vibrant Happy Women Club coaching call. And you wanted some help, you were feeling stuck around the idea that you needed to take care of work and responsibilities before you could have fun. It was kind of, you were taking your fun theme to the next level. Talk a little bit about that and how you’re going to be shifting that in 2021.
Kate: Yeah. So you helped me with EFT tapping and kind of helping with the idea that I needed to sort of have my to do list done or things done before I could allow myself to have fun. And even though the month of October has proven to me that that is not true. And it is way easier for me to actually do things if I have taken care of myself specifically by having fun, which is interesting because I’ve tried a lot of different things. I do things to take care of myself. But the having fun part is really, really important I have found.
So it just makes everything easier. So instead of planning my day around my chores that I need to do and things like that I really do better if I plan the fun things and do the fun things and allow those other things to happen when they’re going to happen.
Jen: So what are some fun things – I know you have a horse. But what are some fun things you’re going to be doing in 2021?
Kate: So definitely I know riding my horse, I feel like such an adult, that is really, really fun for me. And it takes a lot of energy though and so I do need to prioritize that because it does make me feel really good. I tend to be kind of – I don’t know, I guess I just haven’t had, like things happen and then I wish I had done them. So when we were in our Soul Circle somebody was talking about time management. And so another person was helping them plan the year, the quarter down to the month.
So I started doing that and I got really excited because when I started doing things by the quarter I started thinking like one of the things I’ve really wanted to do is play – we’re members of a country club and I used to play college golf. And so I really want to play on the Friday nine hole ladies group. And I had shown up last year to start and then with Covid it was kind of hard to get together in a group.
So I was sitting and planning and realizing okay, that starts in March, this is December. I have, like that’s going to be first quarter, so I was thinking I should start kind of thinking about that now. Or we get a little bit of snow in this area so I was like, oh my gosh, I really should plan some sort of sledding outing or something in the first quarter because that’s when we might have snow. So looking at it that way I have already planned we should definitely have something planned for spring break. We might have to cancel it, but I need to plan that now because if I don’t it won’t happen.
So I am thinking we’ll probably plan a camping trip or something. But yeah, so I’ve just sort of been kind of taking the year and breaking it down in those chunks and saying, “Okay, well, next summer maybe we will get to go to the pool.” So I usually accept my body however it is. But wouldn’t it be great to be kind of fit when we can go to the pool? So I’m already kind of thinking ahead to the summer. And I do like to be strong and so when I’m working out that’s what I’m thinking about is that’s going to be really fun to go to the pool with my daughter and be strong and fit.
Jen: That’s cool. And you have things to look forward to. You’re not stuck in the uncertainty that was overwhelming you earlier in 2020?
Kate: That is so true and it’s great because everything can change but I think if I’m working on, you know, that vibration and being happy then I can handle all of that so much better anyway. So that’s encouraging because I think that I could, you know, sometimes I don’t plan those things because I think it’s not going to happen, or it’s not going to go well. But I’m not going to think that way. I’m going to think that it could happen.
Jen: Yeah, I like that. So Katie, let’s imagine, there might be someone listening, anyone out there who’s listening who doesn’t know what they want to do for 2021, hasn’t even considered what they want, what advice would you have for them?
Kate: Join the Vibrant Happy Women Club.
Jen: You don’t have to say that, but sure, join us [crosstalk].
Kate: No. I mean I don’t know, that seems to be helping me so much. And that’s very honest and authentic. I guess what really helps is to visualize what you want to have and what you want to have it feel like. And I do think that for me, I’m still learning how to do the thought tables. And I have to write them down and I have to kind of do it step-by-step. So thinking just like you say, you do the brain download and you let the things flow from your mind.
And then you try to find the thoughts and the facts inside of that. And then you work through it and you try to change that thought to create a more positive feeling. And I don’t know. I would love to encourage anybody who wants to feel that way to try that.
Jen: Yeah. I agree, changing thoughts is cool. I think we don’t realize. We all know the power of our thoughts but I think we don’t realize that our thoughts cause our feelings. We think feelings just happen to us and certainly in 2020 we all felt so many feelings. But if we recognize those feelings are generated by a thought we absolutely can start thinking and shining our flashlights on the thoughts that give us the feelings. So you started to think in terms of fun. And it generated, what feeling would you say comes with focusing on fun for you?
Kate: It really is happiness. I mean it’s just a really good feeling, but yeah, I feel really happy. I feel proud because when I’m a happy mom everything goes so much smoother. And it just sort of helps all the relationships and all that sort of thing. So it just definitely feels like it snowballs in such a good way. But yeah, it truly makes me happy when I have fun.
Jen: Yeah. And it all started with a thought. If you had to boil it down to your before and after thoughts what do you think they would be?
Kate: It’s profound to me when I write something down and then I up-level it and I make a little mantra. And it feels so good. That’s all I can say. That’s all I can do to describe it.
Jen: Yeah. And when you feel good what happens?
Kate: Just everything happens. I mean…
Jen: Yeah, instead of being stuck or paralyzed you go buy Nerf guns or you ride your horse.
Kate: Yes. The action items just happen and things just become easy and it’s not – life isn’t a chore when I feel happy. And I don’t resent the people around me.
Jen: So huge, that’s so huge.
Kate: Yeah. And that’s a really big deal because sometimes it is hard when you have a really hard job like I consider my job kind of a hard job that I do really enjoy. But sometimes it is hard to be a little bit, you know, you feel those feelings of resentment when someone is complaining about working from home. And I’m like, “I never got to be shut down.” It was really nice not having traffic but I still had to go out. And things didn’t change for us except for the school impact.
So being able to let go of that resentment is huge and just when I encounter people I can experience what they’re going through. And I know it’s good to be empathetic but sometimes that’s really hard when you’re a nurse because you take on too much. So I feel like I can be compassionate and help people without it draining everything out of me. If that makes any sense.
Jen: Yeah, totally, just more emotional strength, more emotional resilience with the tools, yeah, that’s what I’m hearing, yeah, that’s my experience as well. I love thought tables.
Kate: And I think that was one of my thought tables was that it is, that this is all really hard but it is making me so resilient. And I am amazed by what I have been able to do. And so that is a really positive thought for me.
Jen: I have loved watching you as you joined the Club, I love your energy, I love your enthusiasm for your own personal growth. I’m looking forward to another great year ahead with you.
Kate: Well, thank you so much. You have been so helpful and I just – I don’t even know how I can express how grateful I am that somehow I found all of this and just at the right time because it has been so helpful.
Jen: Awesome. Thank you so much for being on the podcast, Katie, and I’ll see you in class.
Kate: Okay, thank you.
Kate is so cool and it’s a funny thing. After we turned off the microphone. I’m recording this just after we turned off the microphone, Kate and I had this conversation about her work as a hospice work. It was incredibly fascinating, so much so that watch for a future episode. I’m going to have Kate back to talk about that. And you would think, Jen, that sounds terrible. But Kate has the most refreshing view of death and dying, it was absolutely intriguing to hear her talking about this. So watch for Kate again in the future.
Now, Kate really inspired me and has inspired a lot of people who know her because she is a living example of a person who says, “Hey, enough, I’m not going to live a miserable life.” And I want you to think and apply what you learn from Kate, specifically looking back at 2020 it was the year that if you let it, could wake you up. Could wake you up so you can start to realize, hey, I want the next year to be different. I want my future to be different. I want to show up differently. I want to feel differently. I want to feel vibrant and happy.
And if that’s you and you’re done putting your needs last and all these investing in your kids, but not yourself, then I want to invite you to join us in the Vibrant Happy Women Club. The doors are open and this is absolutely the place to be to raise your happiness, and your energy, and your mood, and your productivity and to start to live your purpose in 2021 and beyond. We will be talking about a theme every month all the way from time management to self-love and boundaries, to decluttering and finances, to parenting and marriage, to living your purpose and creating a vision for your life.
These steps when you do it in a group of other people who are doing the same things allow you to make changes that stick. A lot of us read self-help books. I know I have a stack of self-help books on my nightstand, I love them. But thinking about all the self-help books you’ve read or the other things you might have done, how often do those changes stick where you can look back and say, “Hey, that was the moment when everything began to change?”
When I began to love my life again, when people started to ask me, “Hey, there’s something different about you Kate, or Jen, or Sarah. What’s different about you? You’re so happy.” Let me tell you that is the best feeling in the world when there’s a happiness and a vitality and a vibrance just bubbling out of you from the inside. It makes your spouse and kids much more happy to be around you. It makes people want to know what you’ve done so they can start having some of what you have. You become a light.
And I want to challenge you whether you join us in the club or not, I want to challenge you to prioritize that joy inside of you. Your kids are watching and they are learning a baseline happiness right now from you, primarily from you as their mom. And if you’d like to give them something better, something higher vibe, something happier than you received as a child then you have to invest in your growth, in a community with tools that actually help you to shift and up-level, it can be done.
I have seen so many women change their lives and live more vibrantly, and happily, and saved their marriages and changed their careers, and lose weight, and just start to get into that momentum of success, and happiness. And the more you up-level these things the easier it becomes to up-level other things, it’s a ripple effect.
You deserve that happiness, I want you to know that, I know this is true. I deserve it, we all deserve it. And as we invest our time and our resources in our happiness, letting go of social media, letting go of too much time on Netflix, life becomes so much more rewarding, and joyful, and beautiful. So here’s to making 2021 a beautiful year.
And if you want to spend the next 12 months invested in that growth, committed to that growth, with the community there to support you and back you up, and lift you and help you with this up-level, definitely join us in the Vibrant Happy Women Club. You can sign up, you can learn more at jenriday.com/join. Again, that’s jenriday.com/join. This is your year to invest in truly being a vibrant and happy woman.
I want to thank you for listening. I want to send you all my love. I will be back again next week talking about goals, and resolutions, and growth, our favorite topics around January 1st. Until then, make it a vibrant and happy week. Take care my friends.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.