Kids Are Grown,

Now What?


Transcript – Episode 34 – Figuring Out What’s Next Coaching Session – with Abby

Alice Agnello: Hey Abby, how are you doing today?

Abby: I'm great, thank you.

Alice Agnello: So tell me what you want to talk about today.

Abby: As you know, I am a single mom of a 17-year old daughter and I have been divorced since she was two. So I've pretty much gone on this whole journey on my own with her. Dad's in the picture and he's been around the whole time. But there's also this empty space lurking as we get closer and closer to her graduating from high school, moving out, going to college, all of that. Then I start to think what's next for me? As someone who, I own my own my business, I work from home. I am pretty much a homebody. So yeah, I kind of worry, what's going to happen when she moves away?

Alice Agnello: You told me before that right now she is with you a week and then she's with your ex-husband for a week. When she's not with you for that week, how are you doing? I know it's only for a short amount of time, but how are you doing in just that short amount of time?

Abby: This is new, just in the last four months, that we started doing this. It was her choice to do it. She's been with me about 70% of the time up until then, just because of my ex-husband's work schedule. Right now, it's okay. She still texts me pretty much daily, sometimes more than I would like. I've been dating and spending time with friends and doing things. But I think the fact that it feels so permanent when she moves away, it's not necessarily forever. I hope it is because I hope that she is able to finish college and get a job and then I keep joking that I'm going to come live in her dorm parking lot in an RV so I can still see her every day even though she'll just be across town. Right now, it feels fine. It's just the permanence of the situation come May.

Alice Agnello: Right, and I can understand that using that word permanent because she'll then leave and then it's for a few months at a time. Then she'll come home for a break and then she'll go back again and then come back again for the longer break over Christmas and the holidays into January. So what do you think is making you the most nervous about that permanence?

Abby: I think it's just a completely different chapter of my life that I have not experienced before. I don't know. I really can't put my finger on … Other than the fact that I am introverted, I'm a homebody, so when she turned 16 and got a car, I was so excited that I didn't have to leave the house anymore to drive her to and from school because her high school is a decent distance from our house. There's no busing or anything like that. I had to drive her to and from school. I was so excited that I didn't have to do that anymore. And she told me, “You know, you do have to leave the house sometimes.” And I'm like, “I know, I know.”

Alice Agnello: So does it worry you that she was your reason to get out of the house and now it's going to be permanent her being someplace else, that then there's no reason to leave the house?

Abby: Yeah, there's no reason to leave the house. Sure, I do have a social life. I do have friends. I do do things but on a regular day-to-day basis, I feel like my life, in general, is just so mundane. I love what I do. I love my business. I love getting together with friends. But it just feels so mundane when she's not in the picture. I know for a long time too, when she was younger, she would be my excuse for not doing things that I didn't want to do. “Oh, I can't do that because I have her this weekend.” Or, “Oh, no, I can't do that.” I can't do that anymore now because she's 17 and she can stay on her own anyway.

Alice Agnello: I can understand that, as a fellow introvert, because introverts get their energy from being alone and maybe being in quiet places. It's when you're getting out and then you've got bombardment at a party or even if it's just three people in one space, after awhile you're like, “Okay, I've got to get out. I've got to move and do something.” So yeah, it's interesting that you used your daughter for both things. Meaning that she was your excuse to get out of the house, but she was also your excuse to stay in the house and not do anything.

Abby: It was very convenient to have that excuse.

Alice Agnello: You used the word mundane and that's what your life is right now. What is the opposite of your mundane life? What would you want it to look like?

Abby: One of the things that I've talked about for a while now, just as a business owner, I've been working my business full-time since 2013, and one of the things that the more I thought about it, the more I saw myself having to set location freedom. I call myself the responsible parent so I've been the one who has been the fallback when my ex-husband's out of town or he has to work extra hours or whatever. I've always been there and I've done very little traveling. I've done very little … I haven't done a lot of anything for the last 17 years. I'm really okay with that. But now, I'm only 46 years old and I'm going to be an empty nester at 46. That's not old. I don't feel old. I would love to be able to travel and to use the fact that my business is online as a vehicle for traveling and getting out and doing more. Because I really can work from anywhere. I really don't want to do it alone. So that bothers me, the thought of doing it alone. And I joke about the RV thing, about living in the dorm room parking lot in an RV. I literally, truly do want to buy and RV and live at least partially nomadically, if I can. I would love to be able to do that. Financially, I can't. I own a house. I have two dogs and a cat. I really can't do that right now. But some day I could. I would love to be able to do that. But then again, for safety reasons, I don't want to do it alone.

Alice Agnello: Do you think that now that you're almost close to what you just described, it's almost like there's a lot of fear coming up because it's almost like you're afraid to ask now for the next thing? Does that make sense?

Abby: What do you mean?

Alice Agnello: Meaning, you've just said what you want to do but yet, you're still really nervous about doing it. The fear is starting to kick in. Because your daughter was around, there's always the excuse of why you can't do it. So now that she's not going to be your excuse to not do it, you have no excuses now not to. Does that makes sense?

Abby: Oh, yeah, totally. Absolutely, 100%.

Alice Agnello: Yeah.

Abby: We always want what we want until we can get or until we have it and then we think, “Oh my God, is this really what I wanted?”

Alice Agnello: Yeah, right, right, right. Fear, of course, is always going to the thing that is going to be in your way because it's there to protect you. So the hard part is to understand is it really fear there to protect me? Like, there's a guy walking down the street towards me and yeah, I think I'm going to cross to the other street just to protect myself. Or, is it changing things in my life for myself this time, without having to have the decision influenced by whether my daughter is with me at that point? Now I can really make that decision but it's not scary, but yet it is.

Abby: Yeah.

Alice Agnello: Does that make sense?

Abby: Yeah, definitely. It's a different feeling to think about making decisions just for myself versus making decision for myself and for her. I feel like most of the decisions that I have made in my life, in the last 17 years, have been … I think that still too because she's got college and she will be home and she's told me that she wants my house to be her home base and she's going to move her stuff from her dad's house back over here because his place is much smaller. So she wants to be able to do that. So I know that decisions will still be made with her in mind, but less so, because there's not that day-to-day impact or the day-to-day thought of how will this affect her and her school or her anxiety level or what have you.

Alice Agnello: If anything, for her to still feel like there's a place to come home to.

Abby: Definitely.

Alice Agnello: Even though you could be in an RV in the middle of Texas, it's still home because you're there. What about if you look at the next four years as a way to baby-step the next thing that you want to do? To plan? As you just said, you're the responsible parent, so as that responsible parent, you want to make sure that you're always there for her and she can come home to one place. So maybe what could possible some baby steps look like during the next four years while she's in college for you?

Abby: I guess this school year, I've been doing a little more traveling for work than I've ever done in the past because she is able to spend the night on her own, at least one night. Her dad's schedule is a little more flexible so she can go over there too. He lives like three miles from me. He lives really close. So that's been really easy in the way that the trips I've had have lined up. So I've been able to do a little bit more of that. Then I think next year, next school year, maybe taking that solo trip that I've never … I've never taken a trip by myself before. I had one booked a few years ago and then I wasn't able to go. I bought my house and then I couldn't afford to take the vacation anymore. Maybe scheduling a solo vacation where it's just me and I go some place that I've never been before and I sit and I work and see how that goes and kind of start taking little trips like that. I won't have to worry about where she is at the time because she'll be at school.

Alice Agnello: I think that's a great baby step. Look at your calendar, I know it's far way, but you could be doing something next October or next November. You could just block it off, even if it's just a long weekend, whatever your comfortability level is. Don't feel like you have to leap frog into two weeks. If you want to just do a Friday through Monday type of thing and then see how that goes. As introverts, we want to be by ourselves, but at the same time, it's really great when we've got one other person with us. But I think doing a solo trip, as you said, may present itself with some different great challenges for you that are small enough to kind of manage. I'd love to see you look at your calendar next year, and even if you just put it in your calendar, and then you start looking for the next year like, “Where would I want to go for that little bit of time? What do I want to do?” And start kind of incorporating that into as your first goal to accomplish.

Abby: Yeah. I like that.

Alice Agnello: Is there anything else maybe locally that you want to include in your life to maybe get you out of the house a little bit more? Or would you rather stay home more and do things more at the house?

Abby: No, I definitely need to get out more. I love trail running. I live in Phoenix so we have a lot of mountain trails around us. Unfortunately, for five-ish months of the year, if you're not up and out there before the sun comes up, you're going to get heat stroke. So I still go out there though. I still go. I have friends who I run with on the trails. That's one thing I do. It'd be nice to find something that is a hobby, something that's not necessarily outside or physically active. I like to be physically active but I broke my toe about five weeks ago so I haven't been able to run at all. Then just as my toe is getting better, my friend that I run with all the time, she fell and gashed open her knee, so she's out for at least six weeks. So it'd be nice to find something that we can do together that's not out on the mountains and sweating to death. And you know what's funny? When I think about hobbies, somebody asked me a few years ago, “What are your hobbies?” I'm like well, I don't have any hobbies. I work. I go to the gym and I run and that's about it. I don't have hobbies. I'm not artistic. That's a place where I just have this mind block that what hobbies does a 40-something year old single woman have? Aside from online dating. I've done my fair share of that. Been there, done that. Met some great people. Met some scary people. I don't need to go back there right now.

Alice Agnello: No, I understand. I can understand what you're saying completely. Is there anything that you used to be passionate about or have always wanted to try but yet, you're telling yourself, “I can't because I might be too old, or it might be too silly.” What do you think that mental block is that is telling you no?

Abby: I think part of it is the introvert in me but then I have to let go and do it. But I do want to go and do things. So I'm a little torn there. But then also, I don't even know what I would be interested in. I bought a book on learning how to water color and I did that for awhile. But then I found myself sitting at my kitchen table drinking as I'm going through this book. That's not healthy. That's why I started running was because … I started running when I was getting divorced. I started running more seriously when I was getting divorced and I found myself drinking every single night. I joke about this but I do believe this was true, if I hadn't started running, I'd be a 500-pound alcoholic because that's the direction I was going and I needed to find something healthier. So that's where the running came from. Sitting at my kitchen table by myself, having a beer, having a glass, half a bottle, of wine, while I'm trying to do a hobby isn't a healthy choice for me.

Alice Agnello: I think hobbies can be anything, if that makes sense. The hard part is trying to find something to do because you feel like there's this pressure that you need a hobby. Because usually that's always the first question that women whose children are leaving the next are saying, “So what are your hobbies? What do you do?” You're struggling to say I don't know and then there's this pressure to say, “I've got to find something. I've got to find one thing to do.” I think that you just have to, I know it sounds silly, but you need to make a list, no matter how crazy you think things are, you just start writing things down. Then you look through it again. Do I want to try any of these things? Do I not want to? And then start looking in weird places. We have a local magazine that comes out and there's three pages in the back of this magazine that always list all the different things that have occurred. For me, I went to this archaeological dig that they had locally. I was scared out of my wits to do it. I'm going in and I was all by myself. I have no idea what's going to be there. I just kept telling myself, “You've always wanted to do this so you should just go and try and do it.” And I did it. I went back two other times. Then I thought to myself, “I'm not sure if this is really what I wanted to do,” and I bowed out gracefully and I've still gotten a couple of their emails but I did it once at least. And I realized okay, nope, that wasn't for me. I want you to think about what ideas you could do but then give yourself the space to try it a couple times before you say nope, that's not me, I don't want to do it. What do you think?

Abby: Scuba diving, years and years ago, when I graduated from college, my mom and I went to Australia. I was able to do quicky certification on the boat out to the Great Barrier Reef and I was able to scuba dive. I've always wanted to get officially certified. There's a place not too far from my house that does it. The cost of it has always held me back, but I'm in a place where I could do it now so I should totally just do that. I should just do it because I can.

Alice Agnello: Exactly. You can and then it could leap frog into other things. So just doing that one thing, there could be maybe a trip with fellow divers. It could be a long weekend someplace to go diving. I have a friend who actually got certified and actually teaches other people now to be certified. She actually teaches younger children in the pool how to scuba dive. I don't think they can get certified. No one out there get mad at me, I'm not really sure. I think that's what happens and she loves it. She'll go on different dives with people that she's met through the diving association. She's been to Belize. She went down to Mexico. So it was interesting just to see here evolve into what she is now doing. It was a love of travel and this was a way for her to get out and do it at the same time.

Abby: Yeah. I'm taking my daughter to Maui for her graduation. It's a thing in our family. You get to pick where you go, so she wanted to go to Hawaii. She has no interest in learning how to do scuba diving just because she's got some sinus issues. But I could learn and I could go one day while she sits in the hotel room and she does her introverted thing for a day. I could go do my thing.

Alice Agnello: Absolutely. I think it's a wonderful idea. She could sit in the hotel room, read a book, or be by the pool. And then you go out and scuba dive for a couple hours and then meet back up again. I think that's a great goal.

Abby: Yeah.

Alice Agnello: Yeah.

Abby: Yeah, I've got time. We're going in June so I've got time to do that.

Alice Agnello: Yes, you do. I want you to try and investigate that. Make a serious effort to investigate that and then put it on the calendar, the little mini trip that you want to take sometime next year. Any other little goals you might be able to give to yourself?

Abby: I think that that's a lot.

Alice Agnello: No, that's fine. No, that is A-okay.

Abby: I think that's a lot already.

Alice Agnello: No, no, no. Mm-mm (negative), that's fine.

Abby: Looking into the scuba certification, they're all very expensive things too.

Alice Agnello: I know. I think that's what happens.

Abby: That taps out my budget.

Alice Agnello: Our kids leave and finally now there's all this extra money and we're like, “Where did that … ? Oh, it all goes into the kids.” And now, we can actually spend something on ourselves. Sometimes we have a hard time dealing with that and saying it's okay to spend this on myself when we're so used to spending it on our children for so many years, so, so, so many years.

Abby: I remember when she went to kindergarten and didn't have to go to daycare any more. It was like winning the lottery. It was like $500 extra every month and I was like, “Oh, my God, this is so great. There's actually money.”

Alice Agnello: I did the same thing when both kids were at the same school and the after school program fees went down because I now had two kids in the program instead of one. It was magic. I was like, “How did that happen? But I'm so happy it did. They're finally in one place together.” I understand. Is there anything else that you are kind of uncomfortable with in her transition into being permanently out of the house?

Abby: She and I have such a great relationship. Like right now, she really is not a typical 17-year old girl. Sometimes I tell people I have a teenage daughter and they're like, “Oh, I'm so sorry.” Why? She is so completely the opposite of the way I was when I was her age. I tell my mom, if she was like me, I would not have been able to survive these teen years. She really is a good kid so I just worry about what is that relationship going to look like? And then navigating the whole … I know you've got to cut the cord. I know that. I feel like she is more tied to me than I am to here, which sounds really weird to say out loud. But I do feel like she's more attached to that cord than I am. But then I worry, when she moves away, when do I say, “Okay, that's it. You need to take care of stuff yourself.” I know I will always be there for her but there comes a time where she needs to take the reigns and take ownership and responsibility for things in her life that I think that I am enabling a little too much right now. I'm trying to back off and I don't know how to do that without feeling just cold, I guess. I don't know how to explain it any differently than that.

Alice Agnello: Have you had any discussions with her about how you're feeling?

Abby: Not specifically about that, no. We have had some discussions about just standing up for herself, taking on more responsibility. One thing in particular, as it gets colder, I'm sure this happens in other places, the tires on our cars decompress so we get the tire light on all the time. Do you guys have … ?

Alice Agnello: Yes, yes. Mine went off-

Abby: I didn't know if that was like an Arizona thing.

Alice Agnello: No, no. Mine went off last week and I was like gosh, darn it, I'm on the freeway and it's happening and I'm like grr, it's because it's cold now. Yeah, all the sensors are going off.

Abby: Yeah, so I've told her just go get your tires checked. Go to the shop, it's right down the street, and get your tires checked. She doesn't know how to do that. And I say, “You drive up. You say, ‘Hey, can you check my tires?'” “Well, are they going to charge me money for that? What are they going to ask me?” I was like, “You have a debit card. If you need to pay for something, you can. They're not going to charge you though. If you go to the place that we always go, there not going to charge you.” She's just very nervous about doing things like that. But yet, it's weird, because then she'll do other things that I never would have done at her age too. So I don't know where the balance is in helping her with things like that.

Alice Agnello: It is a hard one because, as a mom, you just want to make sure they're going to be okay. You don't want them to feel uncomfortable in any situation, where you could prevent them from making a mistake. That is where it is very difficult to know when to push forward and when to pull back the whole entire time. So, I'm going to share something with you, if that's okay. It kind of helps me a little bit. I always look at every situation. So let's take the car example as a situation. My son was kind of the same way. These kind of things that I would assume it's so easy to do, “You just go down there. You've got to talk and ask … ” But he would balk at that. So I realized that it's just like teaching them something brand new every single time. For the car, I would probably go with him but I would be in the car and explain. But I would get him to get out of the car but I'm still there with him trying to teach him along the way. I have to say, my husband and I disagreed on this many times because he would assume and say, “He should know how to do this by now.” And I would throw back, “But at the same time, if this was a brand new person from France came over and they've never done this before. They've never been to a gas station. They've never been to an American gas station and they don't understand how to do this. Wouldn't we take them with us to the gas station to then show them how it works? Or even to pump up the tires and get them to help.” So that's how I always try and view that, even though I know I feel like I shouldn't be here. But at the same time, it's just like teaching someone for the very first time that they've never done it before how to do it. Now, the second time this happened, “No, we've done this before and you know exactly what to do.” And then I kicked him, I pushed him out, and I'm like, “You can do this.” Frame of reference, you know? I don't know if that would help you to try and look at different situations to say, “Is this something brand new that she's never done before and I could hand-hold a little bit because I would do this for a best friend, if they've never done it before. So what's the difference?” I think it's because there's that pressure, as a mom, that I know they need to do this by themselves and get it right and push them out. But again, this is the first time they've done it before. Does that help?

Abby: Yeah, definitely, definitely. Yeah, because she's never done that before. She's picked me up at the shop when I've taken my car to the shop before. But her granddad, my ex-husband's dad, has been the one to take care of her car up to this point. But he's out of town and I'm like, “You need to take care of it. You need to get that light fixed, get those tires fixed.” So yeah, I think that maybe I need to just go with her and drive down the street.

Alice Agnello: And I think, too, have a conversation with her about how your feeling. Like, “I want to be there for you but I need to let you do more things by yourself for this next upcoming year. I'm not trying to not be there for you. I'm always going to be there for you. But I want you to gain more confidence in doing these things so when you go to school, you have more confidence.” That's not to say that she can't text you five times in 20 minutes to say, “Okay, what do I do next?” Because that is just going to inevitably happen.

Abby: It's still going to happen? That doesn't go away?

Alice Agnello: I would say for the first two to three months it happens. Then once they get the groove down, then you'll get less and less time. But have a conversation with her so you feel that you aren't abandoning her or you don't think she's going to feel that way.

Abby: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, I absolutely want to empower her and let her be an independent person. But then, on the other hand, the reality is I called my dad a couple weeks ago because there was a cat fight in my backyard and the cat died. Somebody's cat died in my backyard and I was like, “Oh my God, what do I do?” I didn't know what to do with it. That had never happened before. So I called my dad at 5:00 in the morning, “There's a dead cat in my back yard. What do I do? Can you come over? Can you come over and get it out of my yard?” No, it was no.

Alice Agnello: I think it doesn't matter how old we get or how old our parents get, our parents always want to feel like they're needed and loved and I still need your help. No matter how old we get. So as your daughter gets older, the phone calls and texts might be a little less frequent, but then it just shows you that I did a good job. She now can do this on her own a little bit more.

Abby: Ah, that's so sad though.

Alice Agnello: I know.

Abby: But yes, I agree. On the one hand, I'm like please let the texts stop. And on the other hand, I'm like let them never stop.

Alice Agnello: No, I know. My one son just got a brand new job so the day that he's getting ready, I got a text of just his collar and his neck and what he was wearing. He was like, “Does this go?” And I texted back, “Yeah, it looks good.” And he was like, “Too late. I already found something else.” I had literally just barely responded. So like I said, you're still going to get those text messages, even as they get older, random things like that will still happen. You're still going to be needed. One more question for you. Do you feel like you're afraid that she won't need you as much as she kind of goes off?

Abby: I'm afraid that she does not have the life experience that she needs to always make the best decisions. That is partially my fault, I know. But she is a super smart kid who doesn't want to disappoint people, who always wants to do the right thing. I think that just her personality, the right thing is not always the best thing. In my opinion, you can't always do the right thing. Sometimes you have to do what you want to do because that's what's right for you and that doesn't mean that that's the thing that's viewed as right in society. So I worry that she won't always make the decisions that she should make or that she wants to make because she doesn't have that experience yet. I actually joked and told her, “Can you do something stupid before you turn 18 and move out?” I don't worry about her doing dumb things as a teenager, getting drunk, getting high, going to parties, driving recklessly. I do not worry about her doing that at all just because that's not who she is. But I almost want her to do something dumb before she moves out so that we can get one lesson under our belts so that she doesn't go to college and party for six months. I don't know. I worry about that. I don't think it's necessarily the needing. I try really hard to not give her my opinion when she has a challenge. In therapy we learned, because we've been to family therapy and individual therapy and all of that, and one of the things I learned was that when she wants to vent about something or complain about something, I have to ask, “Do you want me to just listen or do you want my opinion?” Ninety-eight percent of the time she wants my opinion. She wants to get it all out and then she wants my opinion and I'll give her my opinion but I will always ask first because otherwise, I feel like I am projecting my thoughts on her. I want to do that, of course, but I know it's not the best thing. So I need to know that she wants my opinion. That was a totally round-about answer but I just worry about decision making. I think about myself at that age. I didn't make great decision. I didn't make good decisions at all in my 20s. So hopefully, I have taught her something different or she's seen the mistakes that I've made and will do things differently in her life. I don't know.

Alice Agnello: I think it's always hard as a mom because as soon as you're given that baby, your whole job is to protect them from anything. Now that she's going to go out, it's like you feel like you can't protect them anymore.

Abby: Yeah, yep.

Alice Agnello: You're not going to see them every single day and be involved with every single decision. It drives us nuts because now the world really could affect them and it could be a negative or a positive way. We have absolutely no control over what's going to happen.

Abby: I know. That's what's really scary. I'm a control freak and not being able to control what happens to her.

Alice Agnello: What I'd love for you to do is to realize that the world is going to knock her down. But you are always going to be there for her to pick her back up again, right? That's never going to go away, ever. You could help her make some mistakes. What I mean by that is, so my kids had never really drunk alcohol ever. I wanted them, before they went to college, to experience what it felt like to be drunk. So they understood how their body felt, what it feels like drinking different alcohols, what do they taste like? I felt like then that at least they knew what they were getting into if they were ever presented that at a party or anywhere else, what alcohol makes them feel like. I haven't asked them if it ever helped. But it helped me feel better in the sense that I was able to control the situation a little bit and not have their first taste be out in the world where there's a lot more peer pressure involved. So if there's ways you can think of that she can make, quote, “ways she can make mistakes” still while you have her there, maybe think about that.

Abby: Yeah, yeah. We've done the whole, “No, I'm not bringing you your homework to school. You're going to get a zero on that assignment.” She had an issue just recently where she forgot to send her SAT scores to her number one college before the early admission deadline. Therefore, she is not eligible for early admission anymore and she is not happy about it. That was not intentional that I let her make that mistake. It was just a mistake that she made and I was like, well, I guess she learned a lesson. A very bad, a very powerful one. Hopefully everything still works out but yeah.

Alice Agnello: It's a first taste of a really big one. You know what I mean? Like leaving the homework at home is not as big as what you just said.

Abby: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alice Agnello: Yeah.

Abby: Yeah.

Alice Agnello: But you were still there, right?

Abby: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alice Agnello: A big whomper came and whacked her down but you're still there.

Abby: Yeah. And my response to it is, is it something you can control or change? No? Then you just have to move on. You just have to move on, hope for the best …

Alice Agnello: And learn from it.

Abby: And learn.

Alice Agnello: That's the ultimate goal. As I always told my kids, “As long as you don't make the same mistake again, and you learn from what happened.” As soon as they start talking about how down they were or negative thinking and just keep going down this spiral, I'm like, “Okay, stop. What can you learn from this?” And then as you said, we're going to put it behind and move on because there is absolutely nothing we can do about it now.

Abby: Yeah, it's not worth stressing over. She's still going to worry until she finds out sometime in the next month or two if she didn't get early admission, but she'll still get in.

Alice Agnello: Right, right, right.

Abby: Yeah.

Alice Agnello: Is there anything else that you wanted to kind of talk about?

Abby: I don't think so. I'm excited to look at scuba diving-

Alice Agnello: Yes.

Abby: … and to look at some dates, some trips, to get out of town a little bit for pleasure, not necessarily for business. Or, at least tack on so my business can pay for the trip. I'll tack on some days at the end for fun.

Alice Agnello: I think that's the ultimate goal.

Abby: Yes, yes.

Alice Agnello: A little pleasure with the business, then we're just fine.

Abby: Yeah.

Alice Agnello: No, I think those are great goals that you've set for yourself. And I think they're achievable goals. Do you agree?

Abby: Yeah, definitely. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alice Agnello: Good. And then I think again, there's these baby steps that you can start taking to get used to the whole idea.

Abby: Yeah.

Alice Agnello: Good.

Abby: Yes.

Alice Agnello: Good.

Abby: It's all an adventure, right? It's all an adventure.

Alice Agnello: Yes, yes. I like that mindset. Keep thinking that way, okay?

Abby: Yes, yes, thank you.

Alice Agnello: All right. I'll talk to you later.

Abby: All right, thanks for having me.

Alice Agnello: Absolutely.

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The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

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