I’ve been channeling my mixtape-making-teenager self to make podcast mixtapes for the people I care about.
Wow, it took me a long time to get out this month's notes. For those of you who asked if they missed it, thank you for noticing! Before I get side tracked again, here you go. :)
So when I was a teenager, we used to make mixtapes for our friends. We took a blank cassette tape that looked like the ones pictured below and added our favorite songs. To score and record my own cassette tape, I would listen to the radio and wait for my favorite song, then try to hit “record” and then “stop” just before the DJ on the radio station would interject. Thinking about this now makes me laugh out loud.
We wrote out some clever names for each collection, listing the songs and artists in our coolest handwriting on the back cover. Then we would sheepishly hand them over to whomever we made these tapes for. I used to cherish getting mixtapes from friends and listened to them over and over again. I would also stay up all night making tapes for my best friends, Joanne and Rachael. I lovingly put together my favorite songs and secretly hoped to influence their taste in music; and prayed they wouldn’t judge my own.
Blank cassette tapes just like the ones I used to make my mixtapes back in the day.
Nowadays I make playlists of my favorite podcast episodes for my clients who request them, and friends and family who will accept them. I especially love making my kids listen to ones that I feel could bring us closer, or open their minds to new ideas and perspectives.
Like when I used to make mixtapes, I make these playlists with a wish to inspire and transform the recipients. There’s definitely love in there, too. Half the time, I know they won’t even listen to them (unless they’re my kids, haha!), but that’s okay because my wish for them has been shared.
Here's my November podcast mixtape for those of you who want to slow down as the holidays approach. This is what I’ve been listening to this month as I’ve been hurrying all over town and trying to shift my mindset to fully enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends.
“#24 Jimmy and Mark” from the podcast Heavyweight. Those of you who know me know Heavyweight is one of my favorite podcasts. My kids loved this episode, which tells the story of a 10-year-old boy and his buds biking across two states over the course of three days almost five decades ago. So good.
“#26 Becky and Joe” is also from the newest season of Heavyweight. It tells the tale of a long lost babysitter and makes you think a lot about parenting, childcare and how we are all just trying to survive sometimes.
“John Lewis,” also from Oprah’s Master Class. I loved hearing about how the late Senator and civil rights activist used to preach as a little boy to his beloved chickens for them to be good and kind.
This fall I binge listened through the entire 128 episodes of Criminal, a podcast hosted by Phoebe Judge with her fascinating voice. It’s not a sensational, exploitive crime show. It’s intelligent and respectfully entertaining. The podcast is also enlightening about history and psychology. It makes you think about the gray areas and situations that make regular people at a loss about what to do. The first one I listened to was “Episode 15: He’s Neutral" about an Oakland man’s creative use of a Buddha statue to address petty crime and vandalism in his changing neighborhood.
Let me know if you listen to any of these! What are you listening to these days?
“Make room for the abundance in your life.”
Speaking of podcasts, this is a quote I just heard from Lupita Nyong’o on another Oprah podcast, Super Soul Sunday. This is something that Lupita's mother used to say to her all the time.
For me, this means continuing to declutter the last few corners of my house. It is also about letting go of a work project that did not go well this year. It is about investing in myself to keep learning and keep trying new things so I can take on more impactful work. It is about taking the time to dream big.
Most importantly, it is about giving thanks for what’s already good in my life. That means making mental space and the actual time to truly enjoy my good fortune. I'm giving thanks to all the people I love and who love me. I'm grateful for all the work that is fun, challenging and pays what I'm worth. And I'm even appreciative for my body that still works pretty well most of the time.
I got to put this quote in action this past weekend when I decided to throw my daughter a last minute birthday party at home and all sixteen girls invited made it! I had shown my kids as a joke some YouTube videos of the 80’s aerobics craze, including Richard Simmons’ Sweating to the Oldies and Jane Fonda’s workout video, and that ended up being the party theme. It was a sight to behold, seventeen girls in a cramped house with side ponies, swimsuits over their leggings and legwarmers dancing to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” with Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt. Amazing.
Slowing down to make room for these girls Photo by Chong Oh
It’s almost Thanksgiving. How will you make room for the abundance that is coming to you, and the abundance that is already in your life?
Thanks for your replies about Getting Things Done (GTD) from my October Notes. I always forget how popular that concept is! I re-“read” the book on Audible, and took away some new lessons. I realized that I need a new system for what the author, David Allen, calls “reference materials,” both for physical files and my email Inbox. I’m also going to start regularly reflecting on whether the tasks on my to-do list are actually aligned with my bigger (higher level) goals.
I’ve also begun working through the Getting Things Done Workbook. While I’m appalled by some aspects of the workbook, including the look and feel of it (It’s kind of like one of those standardized test prep books, just a little less bulky!), I am finding that it’s a decent reminder of the concepts in the book with less words. If you are a current or former client interested in taking a look, let me know and I will send you one.