Episode 19: It’s a Hot Mess Filled with Vision Boards, Embracing the Suck, and Somehow Also Gratitude

Pile of old tires
Now, imagine that these tires are also on fire. That’s what Episode 19 is like.

You could argue that every episode that AJ and Hillary release is a hot mess. And you’d have a valid point. And yes, they frequently warn that an episode has “gone off the rails.” … We don’t really know where we’re going with this, other than to note that Episode 19 is no different, except for being a tire fire on steroids.

Yet despite their often-incoherent ramblings, AJ and Hillary did manage to hit on a few points of interest, and — dare we say it? — occasionally even managed to be pithy and a smidge philosophical. Trust us: No one was more surprised by this than AJ and Hillary themselves.

Here’re the highlights of what these two weirdos discussed:

Vision boards: These popped up about a decade and a half ago thanks to the book “The Secret” and it’s “law of attraction,” wherein like attracts like … or some bullshit like that. Hillary had a traumatic vision board work experience that crushed the tiny remainder of her soul and so mostly pooh-poohs them. But AJ remains a proponent. 

Allow us to “womansplain.” a vision board — sometimes called a dream board — is a visual representation of what you want to manifest in your life. Usually, it’s poster-sized and has cutouts of magazine pictures and words and phrases. Depending on how hippy-dippy you wanna get, it’s supposed to be your way of “putting out into the universe your deepest desires.” Most science debunks it or warns that it can be harmful.

But with a lot of things of this nature, it probably depends on your expectations and how you use it. If you just want something that’ll help you organize your thoughts about where you’d like to go in life, it’s probably not the worst thing. But if you don’t make an action plan for what you want to achieve or get overly enmeshed in the outcome, well, that could be problematic. 

Embracing the suck: Although the phrase has its origins in the military, it’s also useful for us civvies. 

This article was a little vague on specifics, but it offered an interesting take on the suck: “It’s a very Buddhist concept. When we deny what reality is giving us, what is really happening, then we create suffering. So life is a dance between minimizing expectations and surrendering to what our lives actually reveal to us.”

Which is to say that most of life — goals, relationships, careers, your health — will have an element of suck. And that’s OK. You don’t have to wallow in the suck. But you can be honest about it with yourself, how it makes you feel. Sometimes, you can ride out the suck, and sometimes, you just have to sit with it. Either way, the suck’s gotta be addressed.

There’s a tendency to give in to toxic positivity when things get hard. And while having a positive outlook is generally helpful, minimizing or dismissing negative feelings is not.  

Gratitude and Goals: Despite it being an absolute shitstain of a year, both AJ and Hillary managed to find that there was, surprisingly, a lot to be grateful for. 

For AJ, it was surviving with her husband and her animals and that her family, despite multiple COVID scares, stayed mostly healthy. She was also grateful for completing NaNoWriMo again and — are you sitting down? — starting this absurd little podcast with her frenemy. (Yes, Hillary is still in shock. Please think of her during this … really weird time.)

Hillary was grateful for her dog and her husband, who managed to fight off the plague, despite being as sick as she’d ever seen him. She was also thankful for the opportunity to work from home and for all the little moments of truth and wisdom that popped up over the course of the year. Yeah, the year sucked donkey balls. But if it had been a regular year, she wouldn’t have had to be attuned to all the quiet little moments of bliss that still managed to happen.

For goals, Hillary is making 2021 The Year of Health and will drag AJ — and you as well, dear reader/listener — along for the ride. She’s also got plans to hack her emotional shit, so watch for more about that because there’s sure to be some podcast fodder there.

AJ’s looking for the podcast to make Oprah-type money (fingers crossed!), all while getting her novel or novels published and losing 60-ish pounds. 

So, yeah, as promised: Tada! A hot mess. But thanks for sticking with us this year and sharing our crazy fuckery with friends and family. We hope to continue to drop wisdom nuggets on your face, all while making you laugh at our antics.

Now, tell us what you’ve got in store for yourself in 2021. We wanna read some inspiring comments!

Further Info and Deets

This man is Hillary’s spirit guide.
Entertaining and inspiring. Stop that. Stop that right now.

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