Ashley: Today we have Jennifer Geneve joining us. We are going to talk about how burnout can affect our life and a really unique way that Jen decided to take that on in her life and make a positive change.
Jennifer: Hi! Thanks for having me.
A: Can you tell me how old are your kids?
J: I have an 11 year old girl and a nine-year-old boy.
A: It’s fun having them close together but that must be a lot having an infant and a toddler back in the day.
J: Yeah, it was pretty busy. I think I had quite a few friends who were having kids a couple of years apart so I think it felt pretty normal at the time. I had friends who had even closer age gaps but at this stage I have to say probably even after they were about around the age of five or something, a lot of years of almost felt like they’re twins and they do a lot of things that are similar, they really get along. I feel really grateful that we have just a couple year age gap that we do.
A: I know me and my half-sister are eight years apart and it definitely was way more challenging than if we were close.
J: Yeah, I could see that. My siblings are older too and the four year age gap as well. It’s different for me raising my kids than the way that I grew up. Something pretty cute happened when they were really young. We were visiting Santa’s Coquitlam Center and there was a lovely gentleman, his name was Santa Val and he’s since passed. We watched and we were so touched, he had these beautiful little, few words to say to my kids and I kind of leaned in wondering, what was this about? He gave them this little speech, how many people are waiting when you’re waiting to get your picture taken at Christmas. He gave them this little speech about how they must look after each other. They’re going to be important to each other for a very long time. And it was so touching. I just brought tears to my eyes again. We really stuck with that and we’ve always told them, this is your best friend. Yes. You’re going to argue sometimes, but this is your buddy. This is who has your back. We really pushed that. I hope that they will get along well for a long time.
A: It’s so sweet and it’s so funny how when you could just hit them at that right moment with that nugget of advice, how it really, really sticks with you.
TEACHING CHILDREN MINDFULNESS
J: Yeah, it’s been a neat thing in their life. I say that I do use it as an opportunity to help them with conflict. I explained to them, sometimes when you’re not getting along, you really need to take a minute it’s not always the time to talk about it. We could give it a few minutes. I usually find even when they’re really frustrated with each other, giving it a little while and coming back on it, even talking about it at bedtime, they end up just kind of patching it up and hugging it out on their own. I think that’s human nature. When we get in an argument with somebody and we’re fired up that, things can just feel out of control. But when you find the right moment to talk about things, It can be a fully different perspective.
A: I think when we are heated in the moment is not when we’re going to choose our best words and it’s not one we’re going to be able to hear the other person, but sometimes it is important to go into your room and be like, oh my gosh and get mad and then think on it. Was that really that big of a deal? Was it really that I hadn’t had my after-school snack yet? Like what are we dealing with? And most of the time, the little things don’t need to turn into a big thing. So I think that’s a really great communication skill to teach your kids.
J: Funny that you mentioned that about the snack thing I really noticed as they get to this age, maybe cause they’re active with so many sports or something, but as they’re around this age, 9, 10, 11 years old, I have seen the hangry thing that I have noticed that okay. Like you’re pretty upset right now, or they don’t want to go to an activity because they were tired after school and I’ve really noticed a good snack, a drink of water, and just sitting down for a few minutes it gets a whole different perspective as well with them. They get a sense of calm and maybe feel differently about the scenario.
FINDING A MOM COMMUNITY AT CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES
A: For sure. I’m just changing a small perspective can make a huge difference. Now you say that your kids do a lot of sports. Were you guys always a very active outdoorsy family or was it more sort of the kids’ activities?
J: Kids’ activities mostly. I mean, something we do like to do as a family is mountain bike, which is really fun. We’re lucky in Port Moody that we have some pretty great parks close by and one 10 minutes away that’s beautiful to bike in so that’s something we do like to do. We have been focused a lot around the kids’ activities, right from the get-go. I don’t even know if I knew that that’s the kind of mom I was going to be. That was at like a baby sing along at the library from when they were a couple months old or a few weeks old. I think that’s just my innate sense of wanting community. I did enjoy going and being around other moms and those mornings and signing the kids up for things at the rec center that went from the library to the rec center activities. We did a little bit of everything. I did enjoy maybe the sense of structure that that can bring to your life when you’re a mom with little kids. Especially in the beginning, when you just have one and you’re finding your way, having something to go to and meet people that are doing just what you’re doing was really nice. It just all kind of went from there, from the recreation activities, which they got to try so many different things because our rec center offers so much and then he went into soccer and she went into dance and then gymnastics, it’s kind of always been like that. We’ve run a pretty busy household of those activities every week, which actually I think ends up how you accidentally get so busy as a mom and a working mom.
A: We want to give our children all of the opportunities and let them have all the experiences, but then it does almost become like, you kind of see it in movies a lot of the times where the mom has the big calendar and it has all the sticky notes and everything is blocked off for everybody else. I know I struggled with this, not thinking of I’m going to make sure I have my block of time. I made sure everybody else had their block of time. Now I know that you said in 2019, you had that I’m burnt out moment. Do you want to tell us a little bit about what that was like?
STARTING TO RECOGNIZE BURNOUT
J: I think it’s a really important turning point in my life. I think maybe even up to a year or something before that I had this sort of niggling feeling in the back of my head and I had shared it with a couple of friends. I just had a feeling of discontent. I couldn’t even really put my finger on it. I think because of being the busy working mom and all the things that were involved in that I was involved in, you just sorta push along because you always have. I’m not sure if it’s a sense of pushing away that feeling of discontent or actually that maybe you don’t think there’s anything you can do about it. I’m not sure which one it is but I definitely had a feeling of just something being off. What actually happened is my family went away for a month, which we often do because my husband’s from overseas. Being away for a month, isn’t unusual every year and a half or so. This time in this frame of mind, returning from a month away, I had this sort of can’t do it feeling come over me and at first, I’m not totally sure that I even knew what was going on. I don’t even know how to explain it. Just that we were coming back into Vancouver. I guess everybody does this, you come back from a holiday, you start getting into the mode. Okay what am I going to have to do next week? What have we got going on? The more I started to think about what was coming in our schedule I just started to think I just saw stop.
A: I do think that’s normal when we are coming back from vacation, we almost need like a vacation away from our vacation, so that we do transition into that real life experience again. Even though when we’re on vacation or we’re away as moms and we don’t ever necessarily really fully get to stop. I think it’s even when we’re on vacation, the burnout can still be there. That sort of nagging feeling of like adding different things to our to do list than our at home to do list. It’s that shame and guilt of being like I love my life, but I don’t necessarily love this aspect or this moment. I think the shift is coming, but typically speaking it wasn’t like, here’s the mom hotline. If you don’t feel like you know how to do this or it can handle all of this there isn’t this ask for help section. Especially as moms, that as much as we can build this fantastic community around us, other moms that are taking their kids to the same soccer games or we can trade off, who’s going to take whose daughter to ballet. There’s also a lot of like oh did you see Susie came in slippers or whatever the case may be. So I think it is important to understand that shame and judgment that we allow other people to sort of put that voice in our head and then we create it to mean something about us when that’s not really the case. I do think not necessarily having all of the ability to recognize that burnout is there, I think is a great lesson for people to hear is like, trust your intuition, lean into what is that trying to tell you.
J: Yes, you’re so right. I 100% percent agree with you. The only certain thing was that there was a feeling of unrest. That’s all I was sure about. I’m very fortunate in that I’m very close to my mom and I have a great supportive husband and I talked to them and the people that are close and important to me. I’m just had to say I’m going to need an adaptation somehow of the way I do things for a bit. Just had to pick some changes to make. I didn’t know what the right ones were going to be. I would expect that anyone who starts to feel like that they’re supposed to have the answers, but you might not know what the thing is to do at first. What made sense to me was I opted for a clear head. From when we landed back in Vancouver, I decided to take a break from alcohol and wine with friends and all of that. I also went for a daily exercise. I had spoken to my doctor about it. I think it is important she said, I don’t want you to just go for a nice stroll, I want you to work out to a sweat like 30 minutes a day. I was feeling kind of low and she talked about serotonin and all of that stuff as a result into these days, I’m just sort of neuroscience, brain crazy. But the clear head thing, the daily exercise, I decided to drink tons of water. I went from watching Netflix all the time and as we all do, as my friends talk about their favorite shows and everything. Instead it was earbuds in listening to something helpful and going to bed every night after it but the kids to bed. Just really it’s like what you said do we take time in our schedule every week for some time for us? No, I wasn’t. So all of a sudden I took a deep dive into time for me and I actually didn’t feel like I had a choice. It felt like this is absolutely what I need right now. What I can say is that I did meet my obligations that I needed to meet. The kids went to school, the kids went to their activities, all that stuff still happened. The things that I was doing that weren’t helping me progress, like hanging out, watching TV and doing certain activities that, aren’t helpful and healthy that’s what I cut out. I just made a lot of positive, healthy changes on repeat until I started to feel better.
A: I feel like a lot of people would relate to that, It’s sort of ingrained, whether it’s something we kind of put on ourselves, whether it’s society puts on us, that it’s moms take care of everybody else. So once you had started making these positive changes, what were some things that you noticed even within your body after. The shift happened?
J: Well I mean the exercise every day I am a member of 30 Minute Hit, so I was doing a boxing workout, which is their workout is amazing. It’s a full body hardcore workout for a half hour on a circuit. I found that was a really a great, easy way to take myself through a workout because you’re following steps and it is hard and you come home feeling really accomplished every time.
A: And you get to hit this guy at the end.
J: Yeah, that part’s perfect. So doing that I was doing that either five or six times a week. Obviously feeling pretty powerful from that and pumped up. I think it’s important to tell people that it wasn’t one thing. Say for example, if you wanted to focus on the alcohol side of thing that wasn’t the one thing, because even when you take that from it, I still was crazy schedule focusing my time on things that weren’t as important to me while wishing for other things like wanting to read more and get outdoors more and all of that. Instead you’re repeating habits that aren’t helpful and you don’t understand why you’re not getting to the thing you aspire to. Just thinking about it in retrospect now it makes so much sense to me, but when I was in it I was thinking why can’t I do all these things? Why can’t I read books?
A: It’s always so much easier when we’re looking back as being able to see all of the signs or whatever you want to call them. When you’re in it, it would be awesome if the answers were super clear and we could just be like oh it’s definitely this but I think it’s brave to be in the moment and to try different things. I’m not sure what age we stopped trying or stop looking for different activities or start trying to see what am I into now? I feel like at a certain point stopped trying to find those joyful moments for ourselves and I find like as moms we become mom, we stopped becoming like Ashley and Jennifer, but this role will start being what it is and this busy season will only last for a certain amount of time, but when it’s over what does that look like? It’s always hard when it has to be a hit the wall to have the moment and then to think of what’s next. I think anything that really pushes us into trying to explore that side of ourselves is fantastic.
GOING TO SEE A THERAPIST
J: I a hundred percent agree with you. Near the beginning of making these changes, I was talking to a therapist and I had mentioned that something that was bothering me was my sense of my success or lack of success in things where I wanted to improve. This is very interesting to me. She posed a very simple question, all she asked me was what success meant to me, and I couldn’t tell her, and I can’t believe. That became the beginning of it too. It would be great for us to have some things that we are into and engage ourselves in, either creative things, things that bring us joy. But I had been so busy doing all of the things that we have to do I actually couldn’t even tell her what I was hoping for or thought was missing. To be fair to set it up for anyone who might be thinking about this kind of thing. It took a while to even really properly explore what it was that I wanted more of in my life.
A: I think that’s okay. We’re not expected to have all the answers all the time. I think we do put that pressure on ourselves of we have to have it all together. We have to know all things. I think it’s really important that no matter what age you are, none of us really have it together. There’s no perfect. Even when we do get to a certain point of like contentment or happiness, it’s kind of like it’s always sort of a fleeting there’s no a hundred percent have it all together. I have all the answers. I’m good. Now we can just kind of coast. It’s always going to be learning.
J: Yes, for sure. The other thing that the therapist pointed out, I’ve seen it in so many places since it’s so important. When you think about improving things in your life, you always expect it to go on an upward trajectory. I’ve seen this now in so many other places but at the moment she explained it. I hadn’t really thought about it. We expect to improve on a steady incline, but the reality is a few steps forward. One step back, some highs, couple lows, that’s what’s normal. And us thinking that we have to smash it all the time and that everything has to grow, grow, grow, and we have to go, go, go. It’s not a fair expectation.
A: And then the journey in that hindsight, when you look back it’s so cliché, but the journey really is the reward. Looking back and seeing how far you’ve come or seeing the courage that it took to make changes and all of the things that are kind of involved in it, you look back and it’s like, wow, like that’s what happened. Even when it feels hard or a really bad season. It really gives you that sort of growth to look back and be like that was hard but I got through it. Now I gained the tools to potentially be able to help somebody else or when I’m going through it again, maybe it doesn’t have to be as hard or it doesn’t have to be the same way.
J: When you learn that, when you’re going through it again, you realize this could be a hiccup for a couple of days or a week, or this is a season and you build the strength and stamina to realize that you can learn your lessons from tough scenarios and move forward and you’re not stuck and it’s not forever.
A: No matter how much it feels like it’s going to be.
J: Right for everyone.
WORKING OUT AT HOME
A: Now you had gone on the journey where you had stopped drinking, started therapy and COVID kind of hit around the same time, so it’s not like you could keep going to 30 Minute Hit. What was the next step that you started doing?
J: First I started boxing at home. I have never wanted to be an at home workout person. So that was really difficult, but I was doing boxing workouts in my garage and this went on for a few months and I guess so that would have been March, but around August or so I started to feel like I wasn’t working out long enough. I probably wasn’t necessarily being effective. I don’t think that I’m any sort of a workout trainer. So I was getting a lot out of these home workouts, even though I was boxing with a heavy bag.
A: I find it’s harder to get motivated at home. It’s also hard when you get into the rhythm of it and it’s like, mom can I have a drink, mom can I have a snack? I just find for me personally, it’s really hard to get into the rhythm when you’re at home. It’s easier if you’re like in a separate place and your mindset can almost shift to this is the workout place.
J: I think that’s my nature I like to going to a place and participating. I’m social. I like being around people and having community. It’s always being me going to a gym and then with 30 Minute Hit I loved it because you can bring little kids there and they have a little spot to watch them. I liked being a part of all of that. And then having to solve the exercise issue at home like we all did. It wasn’t the same. So what happened is to up my cardio, to try to get more out of my exercise one weekend in August of 2020, I decided that on the weekends, I was going to start doing this hike next to us. I’m in Port Moody, but the Coquitlam Crunch is just five minutes from my house. I started doing the hike on weekends with a friend a couple of times, and did that for a couple of weekends. I was still boxing during the week and then doing the hike on the weekends and I started to really love it. It’s a great hike from my door to the top of the mountain if you walked it at a good pace maybe 30 to 40 minutes and then coming down and it’s beautiful and you can see for miles. I really loved doing that. After going Saturdays and Sundays one weekend, I just decided on Monday when I woke up to go that day as well, and the next day as well. After a couple of weeks, I realized that I had gone 16 days in a row. It was a great feeling.
SETTING A GOAL AND TELLING THE KIDS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
I have mentioned to you before, I absolutely love podcasts. I listened to a lot of podcasts to do with personal development and motivation and business stuff, all kinds of things. I was listening to probably Mindset Mentor and he was talking about setting goals and I have felt like setting goals is something that I’d like to do more of focus, more on what I want in my life. It was an episode very simple about if you want to achieve things, you should set specific goals. You should write them down and that you should share them with someone. For accountability and walking up the mountain. I was listening to this and thought I wonder if I could go 50 days in a row, it was 16 or 17 that day. I wondered if I could get to 50. I decided that my accountability was going to be to tell the kids, and that would be exciting for them to know about it and be a part of, and they were kind of blown away. Really Mom you’ve been going for 16 days. Wow. That’s amazing. I thought I’d go for this 50 and I did go 50 days in a row up the Coquitlam Crunch and on the morning of I woke up feeling kind of proud of myself. I set a goal. I did it that this feels great. And my daughter says wow you’re halfway to a hundred. Maybe at that time It wasn’t super well-received. I was thinking let’s celebrate my 50 here. Takes your goal, says you’re halfway. Thanks, Pell. And so we went for that. I did a hundred days. I think that took me to about December. At the end of 2020 there, and it just kept going from there. I didn’t see reason to stop,
A: I think that that’s so fantastic in the sense that I think a lot of times when we think that we have to make a change, we’re like we’ll have to join a gym. We’ll have to sort of overhaul our whole life for it to be this massive thing. So I love that it can really be I decided to go for a walk one day and then that one day turned into 10 days and that 10 days turned into 50 that it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing mentality. Do you one day and focus on that one day and don’t sort of build it up when you’re starting into being this big project or this big task, because I find when we do that, then we’re more likely to be like oh this excuse that excuse. I feel like if we can just focus on one day then it does make it seem a lot more achievable. What a great lesson for your kids to see you start something because a lot of the times we lecture about what we have to do but because we’re at the phase or age in our life, they don’t necessarily see us doing the same. I feel like having them see you set a goal, reach a goal and then adjust your goal, is really great learning opportunity for them.
J: It really is. I can see their sense of pride and they have come to me. Oh, mom, I think you’re the strongest person ever. They’re very proud of it. It has been really neat to know that the sense of leadership that it can bring in and put in front of them to see that what is this possible?
A: What a great feeling to have your kids say that they’re proud of you. That it’s so fantastic to hear that love and that feedback from your kids.
J: It is, it is really lovely.
NOT EVERY DAY WAS EASY
A: Now we’re lucky in this province. We don’t normally get winter and if we do it’s like January, February but we definitely get seasons so that’s walking in extreme heat. That would be very, very rainy at times. So you’re really in the different elements while you’re doing your walks.
J: Actually it was every single day. So snow every element and there was a period this January where everything really froze, it got really icy. There was a part where we’re walking on basically like shimmying on ice to get through parts of it. I haven’t taken a day off since August 21st, 2020. So today is 618 days before I talked to you this morning. I have said that for whatever sense, this makes, when I do decide not to go one day. It won’t be because I feel tired or I just don’t feel like it or the weather’s not great. It’ll be something else. It may be just that one day I wake up and just think that’s enough. I want to do something else. Tomorrow. I’m doing a half marathon instead.
A: Which is so exciting and so great to go from taking one hike to being able to do a half marathon. Do you mind me asking? Which marathon are you doing?
J: It’s the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon. In the six hundred and eighteen days there’s a couple of days where I’ve done something else because I’ve been out of town I did an amazing hike that’s right beside Harrison Hot Springs Resort and another one in downtown Kelowna, Knox Mountain. Besides those couple of days, they’ve all been at the Coquitlam Crunch and then tomorrow at the marathon.
A: Were there any times within those periods that you were doubting yourself or not really wanting to go or wanting to talk yourself out of it?
J: There are lots of days I didn’t feel like going. I’d say for sure, at least a couple of dozen days where just your Spirit’s not in it. You just feel tired but what I’d say to somebody who’s trying to do something consistent is just try to remove as many barriers as you can to whatever it is that you want to do. When I know that I want to hike early in the morning, I put my workout clothes right beside my bed. I have an alarm set, get up, get right into those clothes, get moving. I’m possibly even out the door before I’m awake. I’m not even totally sure about that, but making it as easy as possible. It has been me on my own a lot. There’s a couple of friends I love going for walks and talks with them. They come along sometimes but it’s mostly been me counting on myself, me throwing on my shoes and literally just getting out the door. I think that’s why it has worked.
A: I think if sometimes if we depend on, I need my friends to go or I need my spouse to come with me, then it’s like, if they can’t, then it’s easy to be like, no. I just won’t go or when you really want to go and feel like you can’t go by yourself I think it’s important to put that ownership on ourselves instead of that other person that we can essentially blame for us not wanting to do it or not being able to.
SETTING GOALS THAT ARE LIFESTYLE APPROPRIATE
J: Yes. I think one thing that’s important to point out. I feel like I couldn’t have done this when my kids were little. They’re at an age where they’re very self-sufficient. They can make themselves snacks. They’re very capable. I would hate for a mom of little kids to try to compare or anything and think, oh, that person can go for a hike every day and I can’t even go a couple of times a week. I couldn’t have done this the same when my kids were smaller. I think we all have to recognize where we are at what we can manage. Perhaps find a way that to make it possible, to buy some time for yourself, either by trading childcare with someone else or finding a gym like I have that allows you to bring children in, but being kind to yourself and being able to do something consistently that works for you. And don’t compare to what someone else is doing.
A: Our journey is always so different. Somebody else could do exactly what you did, they could go for a walk every single day but instead of finding that they love the fresh air or they found being in nature calming, and they got to have that meditation, they could go through it and be like, I hate this. This is stupid. I don’t look forward to this all the time. So you really do have to find whatever works for you.
J: Absolutely true. Somebody that I followed to do with neuroscience, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Andrew Huberman, he’s a professor in neuroscience at Stanford and he was pointing out these very simple four things that are important to your circadian rhythm so the research is around seeing or viewing sunlight for even five to 10 minutes earlier in your day as possible, having some exercise, hydrating and seeing people that you care about. Those are pretty simple things and the result that it can have for you and your wellbeing is so important.
DISCONNECTING FROM OUR PHONES
A: We over-complicate things or think that we need to purchase this, or it really is just, maybe be putting down your phone, looking around and being like, what do I want? What’s gonna bring me peace in this day, in this moment.
J: Yeah, absolutely it might be a little different for each of us. Our schedules are different and our kids are different. Our lives are different, but you know, back to what was said to me about the success thing, it only matters what’s important to you. What’s going to feel better to you and for you and not what anyone else is doing. Somebody else I listened to had said something about that, every action you take is neutral. Every action, everything that happens is neutral and that it’s what you feel about it that makes it positive or negative. It’s so difficult because we all look on social media and you see what everyone else is doing. It’s hard not to, for some people not to look at that and think they should be doing something differently, but it’s not true. We all need to just take some time to think about what’s important to us specifically and the people around us, who we care about and want to be well, of course.
A: Thinking about the social media aspect of it, do you take pictures of your house when it’s messy and post that online?
A: Exactly. If your kids are having a challenging moment where they are not loving each other in that moment, is that going to be the moment that you record look at my kids fight today. We don’t. We post the pretty happy picture in only that moment that it’s like, you really just don’t know what shit show is going on behind the scenes. So again, appreciate the pretty picture for colors and how it’s cropped, and because you like that person. But I would say 99% of the time, if they’re posting an aesthetic house picture that you have to understand that all of the things that they’re trying to hide from just that aspect, and I’m so bad for this, I’ll have like a messy laundry pile and I’ll just pop it right to the point that you can’t see it. So I think it’s important to realize that social media is fake and it’s such a sham in the sense that we’re not posting our authentic meltdowns for the most part. That it really is that we’re posting that really happy moments in our day. It is fine to just share obviously like the happy things too, but we can’t get caught up in the compare game because even what they’re sharing may not be their real life. We really do need to look internally and stay within our own realm of what is going to make us happy. What is simple for us just because of this person is, jet setting across the world and I’m jet setting to the laundry mat. It’s still same, same, but different, you know?
J: Absolutely. It’s that really is the case. What you said before about let’s put down our phones, I think that unfortunately that has a negative effect on so many parts of our life. It’s not just about being on our phones and say missing a moment, but also being on our phones and looking at somebody else’s perfect moments while you might be missing one of your own. Also the aspect of being on your phone and scrolling tiny little articles, comments, and captions, and your focus capacity is really reduced by that. I have found for myself and I think it was one of the key reasons that even despite owning many books, I really wanted to read. I felt like I couldn’t sit down and get myself to focus on reading.
A: That’s so funny because I have no problem reading on Instagram for two hours. Like I couldn’t pick up a book, same thing and read 10 pages, but it’s funny how we justify certain things for ourselves.
J: I had a book I really wanted to read and it annoyed me. This is back in 2019, and it annoyed me so much that, I couldn’t seem to even get through the introduction. I realized it was because I was out of practice with reading anything of any length. I did change that. I did start reading. I now read one to two books a week. It’s become crazy. And the other way, I usually bought something fiction going on and something sort of personal development or business stuff, but I had to work at that. When I’ve told people about it, or when they see me waiting for my kids and I’m reading a book , and commonly eight out of 10 people will look over at me and say, oh I wish I could read or I wish I had time to read. I really think the reason why is because we all have two seconds to take out our phones and read a couple of snippets and you don’t really get deep and focus into things. I feel like we have shortened our capacity.
A: You get so sucked into it. I’ll be like I’m just going to check this for a minute and then all of a sudden I’m like what do you mean as an hour later?! But at the same time, I think it’s setting those, I don’t know what you would call it. You know, how it tells you, like at the time that you spend on it, I hate that. I think it’s also setting those annoying things so that it gives you that real shock of you spent however many hours per week. It’s not that I don’t have time it’s that I’m spending too much time doing this and setting the dark feature to go off on your phone, make it so that you can be reached in case of an emergency, but you really don’t have to be accessible 24 7 to everybody. Like it’s okay to really say I need my time. I’m going to get you. But again, when I have the chance and I think that’s the problem with everybody, always having a cell phone, it’s this idea that if I don’t respond back to you in five minutes, that I’m rude or that I owe you that time of my day. It’s really okay to not feel so attached to it as I say if somebody who I think I spent more time on my phone than I probably do with anything else throughout the day,
J: It’s very normal. You don’t go anywhere and stand in a crowd without literally seeing people’s phones in their hand, they’re balancing a phone and a coffee, a phone, and a child, a phone and their work stuff, but they’ve still got the phone in their hand. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard anything about this, but there is research around having your phone, even in your view is distracting. I will take it in at work and literally put it either behind my back or behind my laptop, because it’s a visual trigger
A: Oh, absolutely because if you had it on your desk and an icon popped up and again, I’m sure at work, your family would know how to reach you on a different way. If they had to that, I don’t think I could not look and see what the icon is. It’s hard to be like, I can turn this off, turn it down, put it away. And the world isn’t going to stop spinning.
J: That’s right. That’s what do not disturb is for, and you can set like, say your spouse, his phone, or your can set your kid’s school phone number as like an interruption to the do not disturb. There’s so much technology. Now you do not have to have your phone in front of your face.
LAVIGNE NATURAL SKINCARE
A: We know that you’ve talked a lot about wellness and different podcasts and stuff. Is that something that on your business side, are those a lot of resources that you talk about and that you share?.
J: Our skincare business has been around since 2003. We have most always had a blog on our website that mostly focused on skincare items and products. What happened during this beautiful time of transition in my life is that we decided to revamp the blog and the company is Lavigne Natural Skincare and the blog is Lavigne Life and we had surveyed our customers about six months ago, I guess it was and asked them about the things that they, besides our skincare, what did they like in their life? What types of things did they enjoy? It’s a business that I have with my mom. It’s my mom’s business that she started and I’ve worked with her for 15 years and as much as we are about natural wellness and that’s in our personal interest, it really comes through and who loves our products too, that they’re into a natural, healthy lifestyle, and that showed in the survey. So we started to add more articles to the blog and turn it into a lifestyle source of information, not just about healthy skin, but about things like holistic nutrition, breath work, meditation, self-advocacy, it’s been a lot of fun going out and talking to professionals of all kinds and inviting them to come and write on our blog.
A: It’s always great to have a resource where people aren’t just looking for one thing. It’s always nice to be an all encompassing resource. So I love the fact that you have expanded to nutrition, to other things, and it’s great that they can also potentially hear your story and how it started from being burnt out to just taking that one walk to being 619 days in, and now a marathon. Are your kids stoked to go and watch you.
J: Yes, they are. So it’s 21 kilometers, finishes in downtown Vancouver in Coal Harbor. My family is planning on coming down to see us at the end. I didn’t realize cause I’m new to these things, but I guess it’s a street festival at the end which sounds fun to me. I’ll take it especially after the pandemic time. It’s fun to get out and be amongst people and celebrate something healthy. They’re really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great day.
A: Well, I’m super excited to hear all about it. Thank you so much for joining me today. I really loved our conversation.
J: Thanks for having me. I would say that my feeling and wanting to share this is just that over the past many months I’ve had people come to me in my life and say, I inspired them in some way to make a little change. It might be exercise might be professionally, whatever it might be it was very rewarding to have people say that they felt the courage to take some action in whatever they felt needed to be different in their life so I hope that if there are any of your listeners that are feeling that sort of feeling of unrest in some way that maybe they might hear it and just feel encouraged to do something about it.
A: I’m sure that they will. I think that your story is very inspiring.
J: I really believe that from one day to the next, I feel like you can build something really great for yourself. And you may not even know what the end result is going to be.
A: I know that you had just mentioned it, but can you tell everybody again, what’s your website and where they can find you on social media?
J: Well, I don’t know that my Instagram or any of that is too exciting at this point to check out, but I am at Jen Geneve on Instagram. If anyone wanted to check out our family business is Lavigne Naturals. So on Instagram, it’s at @LavigneNaturals it’s a vegan natural skincare line made in Vancouver since 2003.