Episode #140: Spring Bucket List

This week, we are chatting about everything on our spring bucket list (we encourage you to make one too!). We are also sharing the new ABM book club selections for spring.

Plus, we answer a listener’s questions about getting older.


You can stream the episode here, on the blog, or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

A big thank you to our sponsors! Check out the offers from Ritual, Wondrium, Bev, and Shopify. And, if you’re looking for a specific code you heard on the podcast, you can see a full list on this page!

We made a just-for-fun quiz I think our podcast listeners will like. It’s called “What Nancy Meyers Movie Are You?” Tell us in the comments what movie you are (and I’ll tell you what I got).

Show notes:

-Elsie’s spring bucket list: Finish setting up all the rooms in her house, learn pottery, and turn the balcony (off her bedroom) into a painting space.

-Emma’s spring bucket list: Take walks with Oscar in his spring outfits, finish half her murder novel, and take a trip to St. Louis for Mother’s Day.

-Elsie mentions her blog post Faux Trees For Your Porch.

Click here to download and print your spring bucket list. Be sure to share it with us on Instagram once you’ve filled it out!

-We mention Episode #136: A Deep Dive into Goals.

Spring book club selections:

-Check out Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Our tips for getting older: Keep a journal of all the things you are looking forward to and focus more on friendships.

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 140 Transcript

Emma: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcasts. This week, we’re chatting about everything on our spring bucket list and encouraging you to join us in making one too. We’re also sharing the new ABM book club selections for spring.

Elsie: Whoa, book club. I can’t believe it’s already Q2 and already the first day of spring has happened. 

Emma: It’s nice. I’m like we made it. We made it through.

Elsie: That’s how I feel honestly, I’m just so happy to be on the other side of it. It’s staying lighter, longer in the evening and it’s just magical. Everything’s great. We have spring trees all through our neighborhood. 

Emma: Yeah. When I put Oscar to bed, it’s like still a little bit light out. Whereas before it was pitch dark. So I’m like, oh, it’s happening. Summer’s on its way.

Elsie: Yes. I started putting plants outside on my patio. Have you done anything yet? That feels…

Emma: I don’t do a lot of plants. I kill plants. So someday I’ll get into it but that day has not come for me yet.

Elsie: Well, I do have my fake trees. I will link my fake trees post in the show notes because this is the thing. I love plants that are low maintenance but for trees in pots, they have to be fake. Last year, I learned a valuable lesson about killing a whole bunch of potted trees. It was so sad.

Emma: Yeah, that’s why I’m like I don’t think I can do it. Someday I’m gonna get into it. I would like to. I just am not there yet and you’d think like, oh, you work from home, you can do plants but no I don’t remember.

Elsie: Look at my post because you can get some fake plants for your porch. They don’t even have to be real, they look real. 

Emma: I have a couple, but I could get some cuter ones for sure. Before we talk about spring bucket list and share ours and try to get people to make some too. Let’s talk about books. Our new favorite subject.

Elsie: It is. I’m so happy about how the book clubs going. So I am one of the people that’s mainly on the A Beautiful Mess Instagram so I read a lot of your DMS. We’re always getting DMS about the book club. It’s so exciting and it means a lot to us. Anyway, so we have a little bit of a shorter quarter because we are going to take the summer off still. So we’re going to do all of these books between now and May. So we have two months. How we managed this is we picked a bunch of books that we’ve already read, at least some of them so that we don’t have to read all four. So if there’s ones on here that you’ve already read, great. If you just want to pick one or two of your favorites, our book club is a very loosey-goosey. Just join in where you’re excited. If you even read one for the quarter, that’s amazing. All of these I think are available as audiobooks as well. So that’s definitely, if you like podcasts and you haven’t tried audiobooks, you’re gonna love it. Promise. Okay, so why don’t you tell the fiction, and then I’ll tell the nonfiction.

Emma: Okay, so we have two fiction and two nonfiction and the fiction is The Midnight Library and A Court of Thorns and Roses. I have read both of these and I think you haven’t read both of these. 

Elsie: Yeah, I haven’t read either one of these. 

Emma: I think you’re gonna love them. Also, Elsie has never read a romance novel generally. So I like that she’s kind of starting it off with a sexy fairy novel, which is A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Elsie: Here’s my question. So yesterday, when I was writing up this outline, I was doing a little bit of Googling and reading like, just the frequently asked questions about A Court of Thorns and Roses. One of the most popular ask questions is, is it appropriate for children? And the answer said, yes. It said, yes, this is appropriate for mature children. I thought it was like a grown-up book with sex. I’m so confused. So explain it to me. Is this a YA book or not?

Emma: I believe it is in that genre but I think I’ve seen the author say before in interviews that it’s quite grown up for that genre. So it’s a series if anyone doesn’t know, I think there’s four or five in the series. This is the first and this one, I’ve only read two in the series so far, this one has a lot less sex than the second one.

Elsie: Okay. A lot of people said the second one was their favorite is that why?

Emma: Ah, there’s probably a number of reasons, but I would say that’s one of the reasons. 

Elsie: Well, I’m so excited. We’ve never gotten so many DMs ever about any book of all time. It’s definitely a thing people are interested in. I think the sexy fairy category is just like if you didn’t know that’s a category, it’s like hilarious. That’s how I felt when I first heard about it. So yeah, I’m excited to read this for book club and do our book report. It’ll be fun. Then yeah, I’m excited about The Midnight Library, I’m going on vacation next week so  I’m going to take that with me. 

Emma: I love the midnight library. Obviously, you can get online and read a synopsis, but just kind of want to put it out there. One of the themes in the book, something that it kind of deals with is suicide. So just want to let anyone know in case that’s something that would rather avoid, but the book is lovely. I loved it. I think it’s still very interesting and uplifting. It’s a bit of a fantasy, I suppose you could say, not in a sexy fairy kind of way. It’s fantastical. Maybe that would be a better way of putting it but I loved it. I think it’s a really great book. I think it’s great, but I did kind of want to mention that just in case. 

Elsie: I love magic. Okay, and then the nonfiction selections. So we decided to do I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Remit Sethi. 

Emma: We are making you read it. 

Elsie: We’re forcing it on you again.

Emma: You know we’re fangirls.

Elsie: So yeah, we’ve talked about this book a lot of times. I think that we read it when we first started the podcast is why it became such a thing. But Remit’s definitely gonna come on and be a guest this spring so that’ll be fun. So we’ll take some of your questions for him. I wanted to put a note out there that this is not a book that is specifically for wealthy people. I think that the title is a little bit sensational. He made it like a fun title. It’s a fun, funny title. But that doesn’t mean that it’s like you have to be a rich person to get something or enjoy this book. That might be obvious but I want to just say it just in case because I’ve heard a couple of people say that they were kind of turned off by the title. I think it’s really unfortunate because it’s actually a really basic book. I would say the big thing that I learned from it is how to use money to live a life that means more to me. That can happen at any phase or any stage like just out of college. There’s stuff in it that I’m teaching my kids. It’s really just a great basic book. Yeah, it was definitely life-changing to me, I’ve read it a couple of times and definitely recommend it. So I’m glad we’re gonna do that. If you haven’t had a chance yet, I hope you’ll add it to your list. Then the other nonfiction selection, so our third sister Elise texted us the other day and we actually had another book slotted and we kicked it off the list and added this one in just for Elise. It is called The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath who are brothers. I looked that up, which I love because we’re sisters, and we’ve written a lot of books together. I think writing a book with your sibling is so wonderful. So I read the synopsis and it seems like it’s gonna be a book about making everyday life more meaningful, more memorable. Things that could help your career, things that could help your family life. I’m really looking forward to that because now that I’ve been a mom for about four years, I feel like I can see when I’m putting in my A game with just a tiny bit more intention that we make all these cool memories, and things just like really click. Then there’s times when like, I’m just not giving it the thought and things just feel kind of like a mess and it’s like the simplest little change though it’s not like a completely different lifestyle. It’s simple little changes like I’m thinking how we structure our weekends and things like that. So this really appeals to me, I’m really looking forward to reading it. So I guess I have a lot of reading to do.

Emma: Yeah, you kind of do. I have like half the reading to do. 

Elsie: I’m super into it.

Emma: Yeah, I think you have a little more reading time than me. But I also wanted to say I really liked that this book, The Power of Moments that Elise said that it could apply to like career and just like life. I just feel like sometimes there’s a lot of books that you’re like, oh well, you have to be really career-minded to enjoy this book, or oh, you have to be married to enjoy this book. Oh, you have to have children to enjoy this book. It sounded like this could be for anyone. So I was just really excited about that because we all have kind of different things going on in our lives or different areas we want to focus more on or whatever season we’re in. So anyway, I’m excited for that.

Elsie: Yes, I’m excited too. I love books that have like a small change that can make a big difference. That’s one of I think the best categories for self-help. Okay, so by the way, I wanted to note that all of these selections were reader suggestions, some more than others. The sexy fairy thing but these are all books, actually at The Midnight Library too, there was tons of people that suggested that one. There was lots and lots more that were repeated suggestions that we didn’t get to put on the list because actually narrowing it down to four is pretty hard. So if we didn’t get your suggestion, make sure to follow me on Instagram, we’ll tell you again when it’s time right before fall. Hopefully, we’ll get to do one of them then. But yeah, I think this is so fun. I feel like it’s like a bonding thing for us.

Emma: Yeah, for sure. I was also thinking and we can decide later, but maybe before we go on our summer break from the podcast, we could leave people with a big list that’s like, these are not books we’re going to talk about but these are some things that we might be reading on our summer vacation or just like summer reading list.

Elsie: That is a fun idea. Okay, yeah. Let’s do that in our last episode when we’re taking our break, and then we can talk about them when we come back. I have like a stack of books by my bedside table and it’s this big. It’s so big, it’s like comical. It’s almost as tall as my lamp.

Emma: Yeah, I have a little bookshelf in my bedroom. That’s just in the corner. It’s like a circular like, I guess it’s like a fourth of a circle but it’s filled with random books and they’re all just things I want to read. 

Elsie: So I guess it’s bucket list time. Okay, I just want to say I’m so happy that people seem to notice when we haven’t done the bucket list episode every single season and ask us like, this was a very requested thing. I’m so glad that you all are into it as much as we are because it’s something that really has helped me quite a bit. So yeah, we will be sure to put in our show notes, the spring bucket list that you can print out. You can make your own, don’t have to do every item. I always fill out the whole thing and then I’ll maybe do half of it and that is great. So it’s more just like a loose list of fun ideas that you want to get to. It’s chill.

Emma: You can treat it like I have to do everything but you also don’t have to, we don’t do that. 

Elsie: Well, I find it like when we first started doing them. I think it bothered me because I was like really showing off that I was checking them all off. I think it was bothering people if they felt like they only did part of it. So now I always just want to say that is really normal, especially like we all have seasons where we get a little more done and a little less done. You can’t always control which one you’re in.

Emma: Yeah, random things pop up and they’re taking up more time and that happens. Okay, so this is just three things from each of us that’s on our spring bucket list but when you print off yours, there’s plenty of room for more. Also if you want to just do three, that’s great, but here’s three from us. So what’s your first one?

Elsie: So we have been renovating our house since last October and we just finished and there’s actually still one more thing like one more appointment but like we’re basically finished and we’ve had contractors in our house. We’ve had rooms piled up with boxes, just like all the things that come along with renovating for about six months now. So my first spring goal is that I want to sort of like finish all my rooms and by that I mean like the renovating is finished but some of them need to be set u, some of them need to be like cleaned out. I need to do like a big my Craigslist free obsession where I like to like put a bunch of sh*t in my driveway. It is really a great thing to do in spring. I love it. I would do a garage sale but I just like I don’t want to give a whole weekend to that right now so Craigslist Free is good enough for me. I have some rooms that look really good and then I have some rooms like my main bathroom still has all the extra boxes of light fixtures. Then my little art room downstairs by the front door it is really full of boxes been full boxes for a while since like last summer. So I just want to like get that like totally clear floor feeling back. That’s my first spring goal. 

Emma: I love it. Okay, first one on mine is about my walks. I love going on walks and I’ll go in the winter but it’s finally warming up. It’s great. Every day that it’s sunny at all I’m out there. Everyone’s been asking me what outfit did you get Oscar for your walks around the neighborhood with him because he had a pumpkin outfit this last fall and then he had a Santa outfit for Christmas time. I got online, I was hoping to find like a full carat or full bunny outfit or something. I wasn’t able to do that. But I found this little onesie that’s white and it has a whole bunch of carrots on it. It’s like a carrot print. Then it comes with a hat that has these big bunny ears but it’s the same fabric. I’ll take a photo sometime. I don’t know when we’ll get to it this week it’s cold again. So I probably won’t take him on a walk because I’ll subject myself to that but it has to be warmed to take him because it’s just not. So anyway, sometimes I will get a photo and put it on my Instagram or somewhere, but maybe not for the show notes if I don’t get a chance, but I have a ridiculous spring outfit. I don’t think it’s quite as good as the pumpkin or Santa but it’s something cute. So I’m definitely gonna put him in that and walk around the neighborhood with his weird carrot bunny hat.

Elsie: That is so cute. My second goal is to learn my pottery. So we’ve taken classes before, and my kiln is finally set up all the way. I have a wheel but it’s still in the box, and it’s not set up. I just need to set a time limit so I’m making it be spring. So yeah, between now and when we record our last episode for May, I am going to give a report about using my stuff. I just have to rip off the band-aid and learn to do it. I’m scared at this point. I’m intimidated by it. But I think that it’s like not going to get easier. I just have to do it.

Elsie: I agree. Sometimes you just got to do it. That’s all there is to it and just kind of like let go of the outcome. 

Elsie: I’ve gone through all this stuff to get to this point and now I’m like scared to do it. So I’m being so annoying. So everyone’s probably like what’s your deal?

Emma: My next one is actually kind of similar. My second bucket list thing for the spring, is I’ve really started working more on my novel, my murder novel. I’m hoping to finish half of it this spring and then half of it in the summer. So by the end of August, I’d like to have the first draft done all the way done, just the first draft but still. That’s my goal. I am kind of at the same place in a way where I kind of have the outline. I’ve written about three and a half chapters. So far with outline, there’s about 22 chapters. I’m just at this place where I’m like, kind of making it too precious, and a little bit like overthinking parts, and I’m like, alright, you just need to just write it. That’s it just like let it go. If you write one chapter, and it’s garbage, who cares? Move on to the next one. This is just your first draft because I can tell I’m kind of getting in my own way at this point. So I’m gonna finish half of it this spring and half this summer, or maybe earlier, but that’s like my goal. Yeah. So by August, I’ll have my first draft done.

Elsie: Okay, so one of my favorite things from Stephen King’s book On Writing, which we love we’ve recommended before. He says that the first draft is your chance to tell the story to yourself and the second draft is making it readable for other people. I love that. So hopefully you can get into just like making it your own story for yourself for the first draft.

Emma: That’s exactly it. I’m like, you just have to get this out. There’s going to be parts that you’re like, oh, that didn’t work, I’m gonna have to change that or like that made sense in my mind. But I’m just gonna worry about that later because I just need to get all of the things that I’ve been thinking on for more than a year, just down and first draft. So that’s the second goal on my spring bucket list.

Elsie: Alright, so my third one, so I think I mentioned this in another previous episode. Okay, so do you remember on the office how Pam says it’s her fantasy to have a balcony like a terrace with a painting space or plant? Maybe it was plants actually. We have this little balcony from our bedroom. It’s not being used hardly at all and I’m going to make it into a painting space for spring. Sometimes it gets on my husband’s, well this makes him sound bad but he’s like not. He is not mean. He’s really nice. 

Emma: He’s really nice. He’s way nicer than Elsie, way nicer than Elsie.

Elsie: He really is. He is the nicest kindest hearted person, but I am really annoying to live with, and like some of you are nodding along and some of you are like, oh, I hadn’t imagined. Okay, so he doesn’t really love it when I get out a huge project and then sometimes leave it there for like a month like I work on it one day. 

Emma: Oh, he doesn’t like that. 

Elsie: Right?  I do it a lot. Sometimes it’s like both dining room tables have one and he’s like, oh my god both tables. So anyway, I think this is the perfect situation though because it’s like it’s a little balcony from our bedroom. There’s no other access except for one door from a bedroom. It’s like you don’t really like see it. We go out there once in a while to check the weather or something but we’re not really using it. So it’s the perfect situation for me. To be fair, it will be like spreading out my office into as many rooms as possible is one of my things and I am like further doing that. But I think that this is like a guilty pleasure that’s not going to hurt anyone because I think it’ll just be cute and adorable. Then when it gets too hot, I’ll pack it up and bring it back in. So I’ll try to do it this week because I feel like I just need to set it all up and do it and feel the magic while it’s still like this glorious weather. 

Emma: Yeah, I love it. You could drink a glass of wine out there.

Elsie: Oh my god, I hadn’t thought of that. That sounds yeah, or like coffee in the morning. Oh my god, that’s magical. Okay, what’s your third one?

Emma: My third one is, actually has to do with you too. So it’s kind of a Mother’s Day thing. So our mom, her birthday is really close to Mother’s Day and I feel like sometimes she either gets one or the other.

Elsie: It’s true. It’s like right the week of Mother’s Day. 

Emma: So these are all the little pieces, so I’m kind of building a premise for you. So Mother’s Day is happening this year, obviously always happens, our mom’s birthday is close to Mother’s Day. Sometimes I feel like I remember to really celebrate Mother’s Day or her birthday and I rarely do kind of both. Then also this year is my first Mother’s Day because Oscar is born, he’s born June 2nd, so this is my first Mother’s Day. 

Elsie: Oh, I didn’t realize that. So he was born right after Mother’s Day last year because I feel like he’s been around forever now.

Emma: I know, right? I mean I was pregnant last year so it’s not like that doesn’t count but I’m just saying this is my first where I have a child out in the world, not my belly. So that and then the third thing is Trey’s family is very good about doing family trips, like the siblings and the parents. Just little small overnight trips that kind of celebrate somebody’s birthday or a Father’s Day or just various things. I feel like our family, we don’t do that very much. I’ve spent the night at cabins or hotels or all sorts of places with Trey’s parents many times since we’ve been married. Actually, I don’t know if he’s ever done it with our parents, because it’s just like, we just don’t do these trips. So I just got it in my head, all these things were kind of swirling in my mind and I was like, you know what, maybe for our mom’s birthday this year, slash Mother’s Day because it’s the same thing. This is what I would love for my Mother’s Day too is we’re gonna do a little trip to St. Louis and the Larsons are coming too. Our brother lives in St. Louis, his family lives there so it’s just going to be this kind of family little trip and really just hang out. It’s not like we have massive plans, but just get all the cousins together and celebrate my mom, and celebrate Mother’s Day, all three of us are moms.  I just think it’ll be really fun so that’s like, on my spring bucket list, and we already have our place booked. We’re all just driving and I think it’s gonna be really nice. I’m really excited. We don’t do a lot of that in our family because it’s a lot to plan. It’s a lot of like logistics and all of it but I’m just really excited for that.

Elsie: Yeah, the cool thing is, we live seven hours apart. But our brother lives more like three to four hours away from each of us, like in the middle. So it’s a really good place for us to meet in the middle. Yeah, I’m excited about that. I haven’t spent like a ton of time in St. Louis yet. I’ve only been to our brother’s house one time. So I’m excited to get to know St. Louis a little more.

Emma: Same, because I’ve visited a few times, but it was mostly during when COVID was even higher than now like more through the pandemic. So I really just would stay at their house. We never really went anywhere, we get takeout.

Elsie: Yeah, it’s gonna be a wonderful season. So yeah, if you’re making your own spring bucket list, put on it some small things you want to do. If there’s like a restaurant in town that you haven’t been to in a long time, or you want to try going to a farmers market, or even like a movie coming out. It can be anything, like the smallest things. Then I like to put like one or two big things on it. For me, the pottery thing that would be like a big win for me to just do the effort and whatever it takes and finish it and move into the next phase of it. So yeah, I think put a save things big wins and then a lot of little things that will just like make your daily life or your weekend happier.

Emma: Yeah, mine’s like, put my son in a funny outfit for a walk, write half of the novel, go on a weekend trip with my family. It’s kind of like, small, medium, large, I’d say. So yeah, it could be anything, it could be a recipe you really want to try. It could be yeah, anything. It’s just something to celebrate the season. Also, I feel like if you’re like about to have a weekend where your plans got canceled, or you just have extra time then you can look at the bucket list and be like, oh, I could do this tonight or this weekend there you go.

Elsie: Exactly. I love that. That’s really where it’s helped me in my life is on the weekends. I like scan it and then I always see something that I would have forgotten about. Like in Nashville, we have this beautiful botanical garden, and I hardly ever remember that it’s there but if it’s on the list, we’ll go. If it’s not unless we won’t go, things like that. 

Emma: It’s easy to forget stuff. Yeah, for sure. 

Elsie: So we have a listener question from Jenny in England. It says I would really love to hear about what you’re looking forward to about getting older. I have a huge fear of getting old and feel a bit sad thinking about all the exciting things that are behind me. I’ve picked up in a few episodes that you love the idea of a second career. I think it could be really cool to share older women that you admire and what you’re looking forward to. I need some inspiration to get excited about this next phase. I would love to hear your perspective. I think you’re both inspirational women. Thank you, Jenny. I think this is such an interesting, wonderful topic and we should probably at some point do a whole episode on it. I think for now this, I wrote down a couple of things. 

Emma: Yeah I wrote down a couple of things and we can link the podcast episode that I think she’s kind of referencing because we’ve talked about like different people who kind of had a second career or a different career. So two people, this always stick out in my mind, who I’m pretty sure we talked about in that episode is RL Stein, Jovial Bob, and Grandma Moses. It’s just two people like one’s obviously a writer and once a painter, but what they’re really known for they didn’t start until later in their lives. I don’t think RL Stein wrote a Goosebumps until he was in his late 40s, or maybe even early 50s. He was kind of semi-retiring before he even started that part of his career. He’d written things but the thing that he’s really known for, he didn’t even start until then. Then the same thing with Grandma Moses, I think she really just raised a lot of kids and like lived life. Then she became a painter when she was much, much older. I just think that stuff’s really inspiring because I know our culture celebrates youth and I think that’s cool. I love to see when young people do something really cool, like a career thing, or even just an interesting hobby. That’s awesome and it should be celebrated. But that’s not the only thing. If you’re in your 30s 40s or 50s, and you think your life is over like you are so wrong. You just have so much left and so much more that you can make and do. In fact, you probably have some of your best years ahead as far as time to focus on things that you’re passionate about, or people that you’re passionate about, and kind of become a whole new part of your life.

Elsie: Mm-hmm. I completely agree. I love that. Okay, so what Jenny was saying about feeling that like fear slash sadness, I do relate with that. I had a phase like that about a year ago, where I just was like, it was when it was around the time when I started to really feel like we probably are, like our families probably complete, and we’re probably not going to adopt more kids. That like end of child adding is like hard on some people and it was hard on me. So anyway, I think that that phase like that sort of like, I don’t know, like rough patch, actually turned into something really positive for me. It challenged me to start thinking about this like whole other probably half of my life that is ahead of me that I really don’t have any plans for. All of the goals and dreams and aspirations that I had growing up, I’ve kind of like recently achieved them, or they’ve been completed sometime in my 20s and 30s. So for these next decades, I really didn’t have a lot of dreams and once I realized that and sort of got over the sad jarring feeling of it, I realized that it was a huge opportunity. I love opportunities. I think that the best thing you can do is to think about like, what am I going to do. For me right now in my tired mom phase, it’s fun for me to think about what would I do with the extra time? Because that feels very luxurious and right now it’s like not something that I have like a ton of but it’s like, what if I had a week? What if I had a month I could quote-unquote, waste three months, like his whole season on a project? Right now that’s not an option, but it might be in five to ten years. So dreaming about stuff like that I have a notebook. I’m just like list, list, list. The lists have been very therapeutic to me and just thinking of ideas. I think my biggest want for the future is to always keep learning and always keep developing new passions. So I always want to be in some kind of class and read some kind of book and learn something new at every age. It’s just exciting to think that maybe the thing that will be like our career highlight or whatever, that is something that hasn’t even happened yet. 

Emma: I love it. It’s like a possibility. Then two other things I’ll mention kind of beyond like, hobbies and career stuff is I truly, I think I’ve mentioned this before on the podcast if I’m feeling a little scared about the future, or thinking about aging and all that stuff, midlife crisis type stuff. I really do think about, like, all the books I want to read, all the authors that I’m like I love them and I know they have five other books, but I want to get to this other author now. I don’t want to get stuck. I’m like, oh, one day, I’ll get stuck. I’ll just rabbit hole into all the books that I want to read. Something about that makes me feel excited. Reading is not, I guess it’s a hobby. It’s not necessarily a creative hobby, I suppose. 

Elsie: I think it’s a creative hobby. 

Emma: But it’s more of a consuming. I still think it’s a really positive, fun consumption thing. So anyway, I’m stoked to get through all of the books that I want to read. I feel like there’s no way I’ll do that before I die because there’s so many good books in the world. So that and then the other thing is, I think it’s very exciting to think about having a phase of life where you can more focus on your friendships. I think that sounds really fun. I think that as I get older, a lot of my friends are going to be similar ages, similar rangeish so probably go through a lot of the same things I go through. Then also if they have children and their children grow, they’ll have more time as well. I do spend a lot of time with friends now but so much less than I think would be fun. But we all have kids, or we all have jobs, we’re all you know. So you do what you can. I’m looking forward to a phase of life where I can just like host dinner parties all the time that are elaborate and weird, or whatever it is I want to do love that. It just sounds really cool to me. So I’m like, oh, yeah, that’ll be my new bucket list, some kind of really weird themed dinner party once a month or twice a month, or who knows. Because why not? That sounds so fun. I love cooking. I’d love to do that. So I don’t know, there’s lots of things to think about filling up your time with that are very positive.

Elsie: Yeah. When we were in Palm Springs, Emma and I were talking about like, I think we were at the Parker and we saw some older women who were like, they seem like traveling together. 

Emma: I actually was gonna ask you if I should tell the story of the lady at the grocery store because I think that’s when I told you that story. The ladies at the grocery store was talking to me. I was at the grocery store, at the meat counter, and this older lady, who I would assume is probably in her late 70s or 80s. She seemed like our grandma’s age. She was also waiting for her order. She was ahead of me. She turns to me, it was just like chit-chatting. The thing that she said, just out of the gate, was it’s really hard to cook for one. That was how she decided to start our conversation and I was like, oh, we’re definitely going to talk however long your order takes because you started that way so sounds like you’re lonely. I have felt lonely before so let’s chat. So we’re just like chatting about life and I think I kind of was trying to throw something light back not to take away but just to kind of keep things going. I was like, well, a lot less dishes though. am I right? So we talked about cooking and dishes and she was telling me how her husband passed away six years ago and she hates cooking for one. She feels like she eats a lot at her kitchen counter instead of their dining table because she’s like, what’s the point? I was like, maybe just on Fridays, you should eat at the table with candlesticks lit or something just to mark the time because it was the middle of winter when this happened. I was like, just so you know what day it is because I never know what day it is. So we’re just like talking about just little random things like that. Her order came and she went on her way. I felt like we had a nice conversation. It was really nice to chat with her a little bit. But it got me thinking I was like someday I’m going to be in that phase of life where like, myself or a lot of my friends like our partners will start passing away or like all our children are grown or just various things.

Elsie: Grandkids never come to visit you.

Emma: Exactly. People are busy. It’s like, you know where you get? And I was like, you know what would be cool. Maybe Elsie and I should buy an elementary building school that’s like been abandoned, we’ll just buy the building. All our friends as partners pass away or if they just feel like it, they can just move on in. 

Elsie: Like a creative residency for old women. I love this idea.

Emma: It would already have an art room so we could have a pottery studio and there’s a cafeteria so we could all eat together. 

Elsie: We can have themed parties and we can make art and listen to books and read all day. I mean, maybe we should have a pool and I think that’s the greatest thought.

Emma: There’s so many different classrooms and wings to buildings. I’m imagining like an elementary that’s like they close it down because they built a I don’t know. You know how you see buildings like that around. But there could be areas where when your family comes to visit and you want your private time with your grandkids, or not private but just like away from the rest of the group, then you go in that wing or that classroom. There’d be plenty of space for all of that. There’s showers, lots of showers from the gym. I feel like this could really work out.

Elsie: Bathtubs only. My grandma life is bathtubs only. I’m not getting in a gym shower.

Emma: I mean, we’re gonna have hot tubs or a giant one. 

Elsie: A Korean spa. Anyways, we like had so much fun just brainstorming that. I think that the idea of it, though, there’s like some part of spark of that idea that I for real think we should do. I am serious.

Emma: Here’s the thing, I haven’t thought of a reason not to do this idea. So until I think of why I shouldn’t do this. I think we will. I don’t know why we wouldn’t. 

Elsie: So yep, let’s do it. Okay, everyone’s invited. Yeah, I think to circle back for Jenny’s question. I guess I do just want to say and acknowledge that it is normal to feel sad, or a little bit panicked, or just unsure. For me, I didn’t spend a lot of my life imagining myself as a 50, or 60, or 70 year old person and what I would do the time. I spent a lot of my life imagining myself getting married and having kids and like the things I’ve been doing.  I think it’s like very, very valid to feel those feelings of sadness or fear when you haven’t spent that time imagining it. In our culture, people do disrespect old people. That’s a real thing that happened and it’s scary. But I think that hopefully, this little brainstorming thing will give you something to cling on to because it really helped me. And I actually feel excited now. I guess I just feel excited to like dream about possibilities that I hadn’t dreamed about before.

Emma: Yeah and I think aging comes with a lot of loss. Whether that’s like, towards the end of your life, and a lot of people are passing away. But I even think at my age right now, I’m seeing, like, oh, Oscar being a newborn is over. Now he’s already in the trying to walk phase. I’ve talked about that before, like motherhood for me feel, I’m like realizing, oh, it’s like a little bit of loss every season because they age. They age out of things. They’re no longer, like when Nova was not that into piggy anymore I was like, oh my gosh, like, it’s just this weird and I think the older you get the more all of those things pile up. So I think it’s really normal to feel that kind of heaviness or sadness. It’s really healthy to talk to your friends about it, or partner, or also your therapist because we all feel it and it’s totally fine to feel it. You don’t even need to find ways to fill your time, like the things we’re talking about. I think you should do but like not to throw the sadness away because that’s like normal and totally okay. 

Elsie: I think we should feel all the feelings. I agree with that. Hopefully, just dream of something beautiful. I don’t know if we’ll still be blogging or having a podcast at that time but hopefully, in some way, I would love it if we could still have a book club or something that we could all do together because that feels really, really special. If we started our website when we were in our 20s and imagine if we were still communicating with some of the same people when we were like 80. 

Emma: We did our lives together. 

Elsie: Yeah, that’s beautiful. That’s like soulmates. Oh, okay, send us your thoughts on this because I think this is a subject that I want to look more into and develop more for the future. So I would love to hear, you can email us podcast@abeautifulmess.com your old lady dreams and I would love to hear them.

Emma: I’m also thinking too, how could we help our children see more people that are older doing cool things. Like how we how you’re just saying like, oh, I was always picturing myself in my 20s or 30s, like getting married and having a kid buying a house, like all those things, which is great, but it’s like, how can we show them that other era? 

Elsie: I honestly think us living our lives to the fullest in every phase is the best thing we could do to teach them that. I mean I’m inspired by our mom right now. 

Emma: Yeah, she’s awesome. 

Elsie: She’s fully in her painter career and it’s a wonderful thing to watch. She has her own Instagram that’s growing all the time and she posts videos all the time, and it’s super inspiring.

Emma: She just moved into the larger part of the basement. She’s like my old studio is too small.

Elsie: I know. It’s like get that fireplace mom. She has a fireplace in her studio now like that is the dream. Okay, cool. This is a message I got from Arellis. I was just gonna read this one for closing. It’s not a question but it’s really sweet. It says just a note to let you know that your youngest listening fan maybe my four year old son. No joke, no exaggeration. He demands that I turn on your latest episode on our drive to and from preschool. He even prefers it over music, and we love music in this family. So first of all, how do we trade kids because my kid will not listen to any podcast at all.

Emma: Oscar could not care less. 

Elsie: But no, seriously, I was gonna ask if one like this is the most joyful, wonderful kind of email to ever get. So DM or email us what things you do when you’re listening to the podcast and if you listen with anyone else we’d love to hear it. This is just really heartwarming and means a lot to us. So yeah, send us that and we will love, love, love to hear. Okay, you can email us anytime at podcast@abeautifulmess.com and our Instagram if you’re not falling is @abeautifulmess. Okay, I guess we’ll be back next week huh?

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  • Please please please! Do a full episode on the fear
    Of getting older , the passing of special times, your children no longer being small and having left home, and the sadness of this. Coming to the end of your career and not knowing what’s ahead. I have been struggling with this for some time and still am and would appreciate some advice on this. Love your podcast well done both and thank you 😃

  • I hit pause on your podcast to jump over here and give you a heads up. I agreee that A Court of Thorns and Roses could be mature YA.
    HOWEVER!! Please be aware that there’s more sex with each book. To the point that the most recent book in the series approaches soft porn (in my opinion 😆).

    Good reading for adults, but I’d really hesitate for YA to start this series bc of the direction it heads.

  • OH MY GOODNESS – Oscar’s spring outfit is somehow even cuter and more hilarious than I was imagining. That hat is everything. Please keep these photos to embarrass him with later on in life 😛

    I’m so excited to read The Midnight Library and hear your guys’ discussion of it!! It’s been on my list for ages and knowing it’s part of spring book club is just the incentive to move it up the list!

  • St Louis is such a fun city! I hope you guys get to go to City Museum and Union Station to see the aquarium or wheel! I’m sure you already have restaurants in mind but here are some of my favs– The Fountain on Locust, Sugarfire BBQ, Kolache Factory and Uncle Bill’s Pancakes 🙂

  • i listened to the episode this morning and my favorite part was when you answered the reader’s question about aging. and then i got SUPER excited when you were talking about remodeling an abandoned school where you and a bunch of friends could all live together! i literally said out loud “you could franchise that!” like i want to do that too and wouldn’t it be amazing if it was, not franchised cause that not the word i’m looking for, but if there was a book or a manual on how to set one up? like these are the steps you take!? haha! anyways i don’t know if i’m explaining it right but having the same house until i die is not something i care about, like my parents’ home, i would love to as emma said spend that part of my life with my friends and having themed parties and good food and enjoying being together. that would be so much fun! like college all over again but without the angst of being 19-21!! thank you!

  • Reminder for UK readers- there is a UK specific edition of Ramit’s book available, adapted for the market (uses £etc)
    🙂

  • Hi, I love the podcast and always love when the new bucket list templates come out. Have a year’s worth of them on my fridge! Q about book club: I am currently reading I Will Teach You to Be Rich and have been really turned off by the author’s statements on how being in debt is like being overweight and other seemingly tone deaf/non-essential comments about weight. It’s tricky because his advice is great but I’m torn on continuing because of those body-shaming comments. Have you noticed that or do you have any insight on how you’ve navigated around it?

    • You know, I don’t remember those comments from the book. It’s been a while since I first read it. I mostly remember the advice he gives around personal finance, as that’s why we love Ramit and wanted his book in our book club this quarter.

      Do you feel the book may not be worth reading because of those statements? If so, skip it. We’ve got other books you can join in on.

    • Courtney- I also noticed those comments and wondered if he were to revise it if he would want to keep those seemingly ignorant comparisons in. Health and weight are nothing like managing personal finance. That being said I still loved his financial advice in this book and my husband and I have actually been implementing these strategies in our lives and are really excited about it!

      • Thank you Emma for the advice! And Jessie, thanks for sharing this – I definitely think the financial advice so far makes it worth it to trudge through… but man, I am hating the unfounded obesity/debt comparisons and am especially bummed that this is a second edition, meaning he could’ve removed them in this newer version. Curious to see if others have the same gripe!

    • Yeah, I tried to read the book in the early podcast days when Emma & Elsie first talked about it and couldn’t get past the overall tone of the book and things like the weight comparisons. I really enjoyed hearing him talk on the podcast and I think his advice (as I’ve understood it filtered through the podcast) is really helpful but the book was just not for me.

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