Listen to our full episode on On Getting Older below (with full transcript) or find our podcast by searching What is it all for? in your favorite podcast player.
Five Key Takeaways for Our Episode: On Getting Older
1. There is a line between our perceived limitations and our actual limitations
Our mindset does have an impact on how we look at things like aging, but there is also a line where we acknowledge actual and real limitations, physical or otherwise.
2. Future nostalgia
Think about how nostalgic you would feel ten years from now. We find this to be a very useful frame to see everything in our present existence with such gratitude because we know ten years from now we’re going to have ten times the amount of creaks, cracks, and squeaks in our bodies and we’re going to look back to the time before we had kids and think about how we were never going to have this amount of freedom or this much time on our hands again.
3. There’s still plenty of time
We’re not saying that everyone needs to uproot their life completely, but we think it’s important to always remember you can change your circumstances. Some people do have much more difficult circumstances to change than we do, we 100% acknowledge that. But what can you do in ten years? What can you accomplish in your life that you haven’t yet?
4. We can’t choose the reflexive thoughts we have, but we can choose how we direct those thoughts
Caroline shares how she may not be able to control the fact that when she looks in the mirror and sees gray hair, her first instinct is that she’s getting older, but she can direct that thought from there and, instead, celebrate the process of aging, which is inevitable for everyone anyway.
5. Continue to enjoy the things that make you feel young
If it’s playing video games or baking (and eating) cinnamon rolls, go for it, and don’t let society’s stereotypes of being a certain age stop you from relishing in what truly brings you joy.
Show Notes for Episode 165: On Getting Older
This might be a bit of a curveball episode, but, as the name of our podcast suggests we’re always trying to think bigger picture and to question the norms of society (both people named “Norm” and the “standard ideals” we all get brainwashed into from time to time).
We’re not immune to the effects AND negative thoughts around getting older. Our age might just be a number and a construct of human existence (WHAT EVEN IS TIME??), but there are some realities to aging and gaining years on Earth.
Maybe this episode will help you reframe how you think about aging? Maybe it won’t? We just wanted to share a conversation we’ve been having a lot more this year that seemed interesting!
Some links we mentioned:
Harvard professor debunks biggest exercise myths – youtu.be/n6AwsVGJDOY
Full Transcript of Episode 165: On Getting Older
⬇️ You can also download the .TXT file of the transcript
Caroline: Welcome to What Is It All For? A podcast designed to help you grow your online business and pursue a spacious, satisfying life at the same time. We are your hosts, Jason and Caroline Zook, and we run Wandering Aimfully, an un-boring business coaching program. Every week, we bring you advice and conversations to return you to your most intentional self and to help you examine every aspect of your life and business by asking, What is it all for? Thanks for listening. And now let’s get into the show.
Jason: And I’m here too. Three, two, one. Podcasts are neat. Dot, dot, dot. Welcome to our show.
Caroline: I think it was cool, wasn’t it?
Jason: Podcasts are cool. Dot, dot, dot. That definitely sounds better as a podcast introduction.
Caroline: It’s our new intro.
Jason: It is our new intro. Yes. Hey, welcome back to the podcast. How are you? How’s it going?
Caroline: I’m great. It started out as, like, kind of a gloomy weather day, and it’s starting to burn off a little bit.
Caroline: Oh, our power also was just… we had a weird power thing this morning.
Jason: Yeah. To be fair, though, back in Carlsbad, California, we used to have weird power things. You remember we would have lights flickering at random times. So not a Portugal thing. It’s just hard to get electricity through the ground into a building that you live in.
Caroline: Is that how it works?
Jason: Oh, yeah, sometimes.
Caroline: And it was really only out for, like, an hour, and then it came back on.
Jason: Yeah, it was great. You read on a Kindle, like, we felt, like, older.
Caroline: I know I was…
Jason: Older people, which is perfectly apropos to this episode.
Caroline: It is. But also, I just wanted to note, I don’t know if anyone else is like this. I know you, my husband, my dear husband, are not like this, but I’m just going to say it and throw it out into the ether. My instinct when I woke up and the power was out, and I was like, well, I can’t work on my laptop. I’ll just read my Kindle.
Caroline: And then literally, my brain was just like, well, can’t do anything else today. My brain was immediately like…
Jason: That’s it.
Caroline: It was like a monkey wrench in my whole plan. And so I just was like, guess I can’t do anything today.
Jason: I don’t even know what I could do today, to be honest.
Caroline: And so…
Jason: As a human.
Caroline: I just think that’s funny how my brain does that where it’s like, oh, didn’t see that coming in. Now I have permission to not do a thing.
Jason: Yeah, we got some pramble topics. Wow. I was thrown astray because we got an email about the pramvel.
Caroline: Someone sent a nice email about how the pramvel last year was helpful to them in their travel journeys.
Jason: Which we just love hearing about that. It’s fantastic.
Caroline: But our pramble, for those of you who are tuning in for the first time on an episode, this is where we just ramble at the beginning of the episode, we don’t really talk about anything helpful whatsoever. And mostly these days, it’s about what life in Portugal is like because we moved from California to Portugal.
Jason: Just the pramble part, not the full podcast.
Jason: Right. Yeah. So a couple of things to share. Some questions came in. By the way, thank you, as always, for your questions. If you emailed them to us about anything, really, but especially about Portugal, because we’re Americans living in Portugal, and it is a weird lifestyle choice that we’ve chosen, and we get to share it with you. So it’s fun.
Jason: A couple of questions were how has the language barrier been overall? And I would say, just speaking from for myself when we were in Lisbon, because so for those of you who don’t know, you don’t pay attention super closely. We live in the Silver Coast, which is about 45 minutes northwest of Lisbon. And Lisbon as a big city, that’s a ton of tourism. I mean, really, every single person there that you’re going to run into is going to speak English.
Jason: And almost they’re going to default to English because there’s so much tourism. Whereas where we live now in our tiny little town here on the Silver Coast, it’s the opposite. So everyone starts with Portuguese, and then they find out quickly, oh, you only speak pequeno Portuguese. And then that’s it.
Caroline: I think, poco?
Jason: I was saying, like a small Portuguese, like a tiny, a little. Pequeno almost, though, is breakfast. So it’s like a little lunch.
Caroline: But now I’m just realizing this is a good question for our language teacher is pequeno… pequeno would be like the adjective of little?
Jason: Oh, gosh. Now we’re getting into, like, verb tenses.
Caroline: But like, if I said, um poco, it would be like a little without the noun.
Caroline: Do you speak Portuguese? I don’t know. I’m not sure.
Jason: So I will say that where we live now, there is definitely a language barrier. But I will also say to that, for me personally, I don’t feel like it’s ever been something like we couldn’t overcome.
Caroline: No, exactly. That’s what I was going to say is definitively, there’s not been an interaction where we couldn’t do what we were trying to do because of the language barrier. You do run into people that…
Jason: Just don’t speak English.
Caroline: Just don’t speak English. But through the little that we know and through pointing, through gestures, you do figure out what you need to do. Also, I will say incredibly helpful is like the Google Translate app.
Jason: Oh, my gosh, yeah.
Caroline: In the early days, now we know enough to kind of get around and read signs and things like that. But in the early days, truly, when you don’t know any words, as long as you have Google Translate, you’re golden because they also have the little camera feature. So it’s like if you’re in the grocery store and you’re like, what’s this exactly? You just take a photo, it’ll translate on the spot for you. So that came in handy a ton. And then I think a follow up on that question was like, how do you know what food you’re ordering?
Jason: Oh, yeah.
Caroline: And so most restaurants we’ve been to, though, I will say, just because of the food that we like, we’re not frequenting traditional Portuguese restaurants because, if you don’t know, the traditional Portuguese cuisine is very heavy on seafood and that’s just not our particular preference. So that’s why we often don’t find ourselves in those restaurants. So I’m not sure about the menus there, but most of the places that we’re going have a little bit more… they’re not all like international restaurants, but I would say more drifting towards that direction. And pretty much everywhere is going to have either an English menu where you can ask for it and you can get their menu translated into English, or what I see a lot of restaurants do is they’ll have the menu items listed in Portuguese, but underneath they’ll have an English description.
Jason: That’s what I was just going to say. Terra terra, which is very hard for us to say.
Caroline: Terra. And also we learned it’s also not you just say, Terra terra.
Jason: Right. Because it just like blends together the A in between the two words.
Caroline: The terra A with the A.
Jason: Terra terra.
Caroline: Terra terra.
Jason: Boy, the double R’s really are tough for us. So that’s a good example of that restaurant, which is, I would say a modern Portuguese restaurant, right? They have burgers and some other things, but majority of the dishes are Portuguese dishes because when we took our friends, Maria and Hui, there, they’re like, Oh. Wow, there’s a lot of Portuguese.
Caroline: I think it’s a blend.
Jason: But they were saying there are a lot of traditional Portuguese dishes on this menu.
Jason: But they are that example where everything’s in Portuguese, but then underneath it is an English translation so that you can have both. So, yeah, I think in the ordering of the food, going to the grocery store, the grocery store that we go to, nothing’s in English, it’s all in Portuguese. But also like you’ve been to a grocery store before, you know what you’re looking at.
Caroline: Well, it also helps that things are separated into aisles. So you’ve got context clues.
Jason: Yeah, it’s pretty easy to figure out. And listen, we went to, I mean, 30 different grocery stores last year on our travels. Some of them were in languages that we…
Jason: Yeah, Croatian. Greek was a very difficult one because those just like a whole alphabet. We’ve never even seen some of those letters before. But you figure it out because, again, aisles and things that you know.
Jason: So that was a good question. And then there was another question about negotiating prices while shopping.
Caroline: So I didn’t know if this was maybe in response to our flea market pramble.
Jason: Could have been.
Caroline: I think that’s a place where maybe you could negotiate or, for example, some of the open air markets. I don’t know if that’s something that happens there.
Jason: I would think so, because that’s pretty standard, like, a lot of places. Yeah.
Caroline: I would have to double check on that, though, because to answer your question, we’ve never negotiated price while we’re here.
Jason: Yeah. And I think also it’s like, what are you buying? You know what I mean? Because when we went to the flea market and you bought those earrings and that ring and she told you the price was €15, we were like, that’s a deal. There’s no need to haggle down €2 to €3 for that. That’s a great price. The gentleman who raised the vase over his head, the trophy vase, €8. We’re like, there’s no need to haggle that. It’s €8. That’s a wonderful price for the thing. So, yeah, I do think, as with anything, whether you’re in Portugal or just anywhere in the world, if it feels like it’s a place where you haggle with prices, then you could haggle with prices. But if it also just feels like, yeah, this price is a fair price to pay, I’m just going to pay that price.
Caroline: And of course, it’s up to each person. I think find finances are very individual, right?
Jason: Of course.
Caroline: But if you’re asking from us personally, we already know that this country is a lower cost of living country. And part of us living here as well with having financial resources is kind of paying top dollar for things because, listen, that’s a ball of wax. Because I do know there are economic implications of foreigners coming in, being able to pay top dollar, which raises the price of everything. So it’s a little bit of a fine line there. From what I have gleaned, overpaying would be not a good move.
Caroline: But paying what the price is, the asking price, I kind of view that as we have the resources, they are asking that price, I will pay that price. But that’s our unique situation.
Caroline: And then what else?
Jason: The last thing we wanted to share was, as of recording this, we’re in our 9th week of… Well, actually, this is our 10th week. This is our 10th week of Portuguese language lessons.
Caroline: And how would you say ten weeks in Portuguese, Jason?
Jason: Dez… semanas?
Caroline: Great… Muito bom.
Jason: I did it.
Caroline: I think it would be dez or dez semanas.
Jason: If you kind of just say it both, you’re safe.
Caroline: Dez semanas. Yeah, just go fast.
Jason: Dez semanas? And then like, yeah, that’s it.
Caroline: That’s ten weeks.
Jason: Again, it would be like saying, like, Ten? Or like, Ten?
Caroline: You get it.
Jason: But yeah. So on a scale of zero is I can’t read a single Portuguese word, completely befuddled by this language to 100 is I am fluent. I’m basically born in Portugal. I know every word in the language. I would consider myself probably around, like a 22.
Jason: I think is a fair number for me, personally.
Caroline: I think 22 is great.
Jason: Where do you think you are?
Caroline: I think 23.
Jason: No, I would say you’re in the 30s.
Caroline: I would say, if you’re a 22, I would say I am a 30.
Jason: Yeah. 50 to me is the place where I hope to be by the end of this year. So I hope to be at 50 where I’m like…
Caroline: Now that you’re saying that, I’m like, really? We think by the end of this year we’re going to be halfway to knowing every word in the Portuguese language?
Jason: I think so. I actually do think so, because at ten weeks, we can now see a piece of paper that’s in full Portuguese and read more than 50% of it.
Caroline: But we can’t speak.
Jason: That’s okay, but I’m… Sorry, we’re at 22/ 33.
Caroline: We’ll be generous with ourselves. We’re not going to fight too much.
Jason: But you wanted to share a fun tidbit from last week’s lesson or last week’s Portuguese lesson.
Caroline: Oh, yeah, so I did want to share. I don’t know if this is interesting at all, but it’s definitely an interesting part of our lives that we do every single week. So for the first time, as you just heard me say, we’re getting much more proficient in reading, for sure. That’s the first thing that we’ve gotten better at. Speaking is much harder. And then listening is probably what we’re the worst at. Okay.
Jason: Not probably.
Caroline: Definitely. And so our teacher, she knows that, and so she’s giving us more exercises where we have to speak in order to get more comfortable. So we come to our lesson last week and she decides we’re going to do what she calls simulations. And so that just means like, scenarios where it’s like… so she decides, okay, we’re at a pizza restaurant, okay, because we did tell her that there’s this great pizza restaurant in Óbidos. She’s heard us talk about it before A Janela. She goes, okay, let’s pretend we’re at that pizza restaurant. And Jason, you are the shop owner, and Caroline, you are the cliente, which is like the patron. And she tells us to basically act out and we have to speak Portuguese.
Jason: We’re doing language learning improv.
Caroline: Exactly. And so those of you who listen to the episode where I clearly demonstrated my amazing skills at improv will know my brain was just immediately like, take something that’s already hard for my brain, speaking a new language I’m learning, add improv, literally for the first, I kid you not, an uncomfortable amount of time. We’re like, okay, let’s start. For 30 seconds, I just am silent. I was like…
Jason: Your poor little brain was just trying to get the wheels turning.
Caroline: She’s like, Bom dia? I’m like, Yeah, yeah, yeah. Bom dia. But my poor brain just was like, halt. But then as we get into the scenario, I got much more comfortable and it was fun. And what was making it fun is that Jason decided that we were not just going to do the dialogue, that he was going to act out the entire thing.
Jason: Of course.
Caroline: You all know Jace is quite the class clown. So at one point we’ve reached the point in the scenario where I’m asking for the check, conta, and Jason gets up. We’re on Zoom with our teacher, gets up and leaves and pretends like he’s like, going to get the… and our teacher is just laughing hysterically. He’s walking around the table, our dining room table, several times. I have to ask him three times for the check, which is very Portuguese, to be fair.
Jason: Which is very common. That’s European, not just Portuguese.
Caroline: Very European. And so he’s doing everything from, like he’s picking up our portable battery bank to pretend that it’s some type of card reader, and our teacher is just dying, laughing. And so we did that. And then, wait, do you remember? This part I have to tell. So our first scenario was a little bumpy to start. Then our second scenario was at the farmacia.
Caroline: And Jason is someone who’s walked into the farmacia. I’m now the pharmacist, which I forget. I think it’s…
Jason: Medicamento is just medicine.
Caroline: No, it was like farmacêutico or something.
Jason: Anyway, I’m not going to figure it out here.
Caroline: And I’m the person. And so Jason has to make up an ailment. So we just go off the rails. Your arm…
Jason: My arms were hurting.
Caroline: It’s like one of the only body part words that you know because our teacher, her arm was hurting. And so we learned that word. So then Jason’s arms are hurting. And so we get to the part where I’m recommending to him some type of pain relief and blah, blah, blah. And then at the end, it just goes off the rails because do you remember, you were like, I gave you the medicine. And in Portuguese, I was basically like, Call me tomorrow. And then you were like, What’s your number? And then we just got really flirty at the end, and our teacher was like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Jason: I don’t know. These two met. It’s like a whole movie.
Caroline: Yeah, we took it from language role play to a different place. And she was like, I’m… This is not what this is for.
Jason: Yeah. I do have to say that there are some parts of learning new language that I actually enjoy the type of learning. So while it was incredibly difficult to speak together in the simulation, it was fun to try and make it fun with improv because, to me, that makes it enjoyable. Even though I don’t know what to say, I’m still trying, and she’s helping.
Caroline: And my favorite part of that is to see what words do you know? So it takes the story. It’s almost like mad libs, right? Like, you go, okay, well, I only know arms, so now my arm is hurt. It’s like you’re at your own improv show, but you’re the one giving weird suggestions.
Jason: Yeah, you’re like, Could someone tell me a word that… an ailment in my body? That’s a fun thing that we’ve been doing, but yeah, I would say ten weeks in, I’m still enjoying it. We are doing a lot more, like listening and speaking exercises, which are just extremely difficult. It feels like it will just always be difficult is the problem for me. It’s just like we’ve picked an activity that will just always be difficult every week at Tuesday at 5:00 pm.
Caroline: I know. You don’t look forward to it, but I look forward to it.
Jason: Listen, if we could always do the Highlights exercise, which is like, the Highlights magazine, like, you look at a picture and you say, what’s true or false about these sentences? Yeah, tell me about it. Like, I want to tell you there’s books on that bookshelf. That’s what I want to do.
Caroline: Muitos livros.
Jason: That’s what I want to do. So anyway, those are our updates of life in Portugal. Still going well. Things are still lovely here. We’re getting into Spring. The weather is wonderful. You had your first sunbathing day.
Caroline: I did.
Jason: It was just great.
Caroline: I just bought a bathing suit. I only had one bathing suit last year.
Jason: I only had one bathing suit last year, too.
Caroline: I know. So I ordered a new bathing suit, and so I’m very excited for that.
Jason: All right, let’s get into the episode. We are going to talk about creaks and squeaks.
Caroline: So this is a little bit of a curveball of an episode, and if you’re still listening, I’m not sure why, but we just thought what’s been top of mind lately and this topic of aging has been something that is more of a topic of conversation this year than I think any other year of our lives.
Jason: Well, probably because last year we just couldn’t think about it.
Jason: You can’t think about age. You got to think about getting your flight booked.
Caroline: And same with kind of the pandemic, too, right? There’s so many bigger fish to fry. But this year in particular, now that we’re stationary, you kind of settle and you sort of look around and you go like… and this is also the first year that I’m also hearing from friends. So, like, I had my girls trip at the end of last year.
Jason: Not hearing from friends in general, just hearing from friends about age.
Caroline: Hearing from friends comments about age and aging. No. And so I just think it’s a really interesting topic, and there’s a lot there. So just for context, I will be 35 this year, and Jason…?
Caroline: Will be 41 this year. And so I think that journey is different for every person. Maybe when you can feel yourself entering a different stage is very interesting to me. And for me, the years between 21 and 35, it has felt like pretty much the same. There’s, like, sort of micro stages in there where definitely once we were established in my later 20s, that felt different. But in general, this is the first time where I feel like, Oh, no, now I’m in that stage of life where I feel a little older. And a lot of this was precipitated also because I had a micro injury yesterday. I was working out, and I was just stretching. I was at the beginning of my workout, and I tweaked something in my knee, and I just suddenly was like, oh, don’t want to push that because that might hurt. And just this is happening all the time now, right? Like, we get up from the couch and we’re like, pop, snap, crackle, pop.
Jason: Yeah. Like, Ugh. You do the groan.
Caroline: When you have to sit down.
Jason: And I wanted to talk about this because I think there’s an interesting… For those of you who have ever dealt with an injury that basically puts a limitation in some shape or form on your body, so I tore both ACL ligaments in my knees, playing basketball in my mid 20s, and I went from invincible 20 year old guy to like, Oh, this is a reality.
Caroline: I’m fallible. I’m a mortal.
Jason: Yeah. And after the first ACL tear, I was like, Okay, I can recover from this. I’m still invincible, right?
Jason: And I get back out there, still playing in basketball, but, like, a year almost to the day, I tear the second one. And now I’m like, Okay, no, my body can’t do this thing anymore that I want it to do. And since that point… so that was, like, mid 20s for me. That was where I got the check mark of, like, you’re getting older, but I live free of knee pain all day, pretty much, unless I do, like, a deep squat of some sort. That’s the only time I feel anything, which is not very often, and it’s totally fine. I can’t sit with my legs crossed, though. That is a takeaway from two ACL tears, that I will never be able to do that. However, I would say most people like you’re sitting like that right now.
Jason: Doing that for a long period of time, I don’t think it’s good for our bodies. Like, your legs fall asleep and, like, circulation, it’s just not a good position.
Caroline: I don’t think being in any position long enough is…
Jason: But anyway, I’m just saying that that was my first dose of reality, of kind of, like, getting older.
Caroline: Do you know what that makes me think of? Which is another fascinating offshoot of this conversation, is that makes me wonder, though, where’s that line between and obviously, every person knows their body the best, right? But it makes me wonder how our perceived limitations fit into our actual limitations. And so for you going, Oh, I actually can’t do X, Y, and Z, let’s just say play basketball hard anymore because of my ACLs. But then does that thought and that belief then inform how you push your body and how you interact with your body to the degree that then it becomes harder to do? Do you know what I’m trying to say?
Jason: Oh, for sure, yeah. Because I rehabbed my first knee, and basically, I didn’t know anything about rehab. I didn’t know anything about recovery. I just was like a bull in a china shop. Just get it as fast as possible. I’m an invincible person. I can come back and be fine. Then when I tore the second one, I was like…
Caroline: Okay, there’s no…
Jason: That’s a reality check.
Caroline: Well, exactly.
Jason: But after that, I was like, okay, well, I know of stories of… and I just… NFL players. That’s professional football, for those of you who don’t know all the acronyms of sports, but I know of who have had, like, three ACL tears, and they’re still playing in the NFL, so there’s still peak athletes that have been through this. So I was like, okay, well, maybe it’s not… Maybe I can get through this with my body. So I actually went to a training place. I don’t even remember this summer that I went and I trained with NFL players, and it was expensive, but I remember being with them and training with the mindset that they have.
Jason: I was fine. I could keep up. Now, I’m not saying I was an NFL level athlete. I’m just saying that the limitations of going through these injuries…
Caroline: We all know that there is an impact that you’re, but then…
Jason: But there is also a line, right?
Caroline: There is because what I was going to say is then you get into toxic territory where you just go, Oh, well, any physical limitation that you have on your body is just a manifestation of your own limiting beliefs, right? And that’s some bullshit.
Jason: Yeah. And I also realized, too, that was like, what’s the end game here for me? What am I trying to do? I’m trying to just beat up on guys at the local YMCA league. And even then, I would come home, like, sore every day. So it’s like, I could do the athletic thing, but the repercussions of doing that thing were different. So, yeah, I think that to me, was a very interesting part of the getting older journey that really started to show me. And then I remember this was four or five years ago now. I don’t know if you remember. I came home, like, one day from playing pickup basketball, and I was like, I think this is the last time I’m playing pickup basketball ever. And there was just…
Caroline: You were like, It’s not worth it.
Jason: There was just, like, someone who yelled at me, and people were just like, rough. And I remember getting like, I tripped over someone and landed on my… and I was just like, Why am I doing this? This is not fun.
Caroline: That makes me think of a few things. Number one, I just had a moment where I thought it’s interesting to me that your first real sort of moment of feeling older was related to athletic performance and your body and your ability to compete. Let’s call it that. And then for me, it’s much more about my appearance. And I think this is and again, not to put such generalized gendered terms on it, but I think we can safely say that this is something that happens because of society’s gender roles, but I find it fascinating that your waking up to getting older was to do with performance and athleticism. And my waking up to getting older was very much having to do with appearance because, over the course of the past year, I’ve gotten it feels like all of a sudden, so many more gray hairs, so many more face wrinkles, so many more sort of skin imperfections.
Jason: The past three years, probably like, there’s a reason for those things popping up, I think, for everybody listening.
Caroline: Yeah, exactly.
Jason: I think everybody’s like, Uh-huh. Go on. I know.
Caroline: Exactly. Well, what did I tell…? I told my best friend, we were talking about this because this is what I mean about bringing up this topic. She kind of asked me and she was like, is it just me or do you feel like older all of a sudden? I’m like, oh, no, 100%. And then I was like, you know, the past few years, though, it just hit that sweet spot of our age group too. We’re coming into our mid 30s at the same time of the pandemic and also some of the world events that have happened, like graduating college basically in the middle of the 2008 meltdown and all of that. And I’m like, maybe we have some sort of like COVID accelerated age time warp or something.
Jason: But I do think what’s interesting about you bringing up those things, I started balding basically. What was that? Like late 20s, essentially, and made the decision to shave my head and do it myself, not let my hair just fall out and have to deal with that. I was just like, No, I’m just going to get rid of my hair. I’m not going to have hair anymore. And I think even from a societal perspective, it’s kind of silly that it’s just more accepted that men can be bald but still be like young looking or in some way.
Jason: Gray hair for a woman is like a whole different thing.
Caroline: I know.
Jason: Also, I just want you to know that even with some gray hair, still very desirable.
Caroline: I know. Thank you. And you’ve always made me feel that way. This is the internal battle that I fight though, right? And I don’t know if anyone can relate to this because, on the one hand, you don’t want to fall prey to these societal perceptions of aging that we all know exist. Gray hair, less desirable. Or wrinkles, less desirable. Or whatever. You don’t want to fall prey to that because you’re like, I don’t want to perpetuate this because then I just continue. The longer we uphold that standard as beautiful, the more the generations behind us are going to feel the pressure to keep up, basically, and the more I’m going to feel the pressure to keep up. So it’s like there are part of me wants to reject that for sure. And I actively practice that all the time. So when I look in the mirror and I see the gray hair and my first initial thought is, man, I look older. And then I catch myself and I go, why is that a bad thing? Why are we interpreting this as negative? Why am I feeling less desirable? All those things. And I have to actively choose to change my perspective and go, But at the same time, I also don’t want to get to a place where… I don’t want to judge people or myself for wanting to do things that maybe makes me feel better. You know what I mean? I love getting my hair dyed because it makes it more vibrant. And I feel the most myself when I have this vibrant red hair. And I love the way that I feel, and it also just helps the health of my hair or whatever. And I don’t want to feel guilty for doing that, right? But it’s this weird paradox of not wanting to fall prey to society’s standards of beauty, but also not wanting to feel bad about myself for wanting to look a certain way.
Jason: Yeah, I do think there’s a weird line to walk in the getting older, coming to terms, getting older, but then also not fighting getting older, kind of embracing it. Obviously, I’m not going to speak to what it’s like to be a woman and have to deal with the perceptions and image and that stuff because, if you look at me, there’s not a lot of perception and image that I care about at all in this.
Caroline: Why? You do.
Jason: But my point to that is I also think there’s just something to be said to me turning 40 last year. I know for some guys that’s a big deal, right? They’re like, oh, I feel like I’m no longer one of the younger… whatever. I just don’t care. And I think there’s something to be said for age is a reality. It’s a thing. It’s the amount of time that we exist on this planet. We only get a certain amount of time until whatever happens next. And then you have to kind of make the best of what you have, right? But I kind of think of it also, of like, but I can’t stop it, so why am I going to fight against it?
Caroline: That’s what I fall back. You and I are so similar in this way. I think we’re very practical in a lot of ways, which is what I think helps us in our relationship because we can relate on the same things, because I’m the same way. I’m like, okay, what’s the option here?
Caroline: Fight it and then feel like feeling that resistance? And so I’m with you. This is also I have to take that approach as well because in my enneagram 4 self, if I allow myself to, I can get carried away with nostalgia very easily. I can want to return to a time, and I can feel the grief of the fact that time has passed. And I’m sort of like, man, it’ll never be as… Sometimes I get very wistful about the beginning of my 20s because it’s when you and I first met. It’s those I Wear Your Shirt days. We didn’t know what we were doing, but it was all so exciting. We were trying to figure it out. Things were so fresh in our relationship. It’s easy to get nostalgic and wistful about that time, and then I’m like, But I can’t go back, so what, am I just going to sit with this sadness? It doesn’t feel useful to me. And then you start to go, I was so confused all the time. I was not financially secure whatsoever. I still had all this really confusing stuff with my family and who am I and where do I fit in? And trying to forge out on my… you sort of then you start to kind of take off the rose colored glasses for a moment.
Jason: Yeah. It’s like looking back on our full time travel year in 2022. The further we get away from that, the more glamorous and amazing that’s going to seem. But the closer that we are to it, the more we remember all the shitty parts of it. And I think as a whole, we have nothing to complain about. It was a fantastic year. We were so grateful we got to do it. But when you actually look into it, you’re like, Yeah, but it was really difficult. It’s not all magical. It’s not super fun to live out of suitcases for a long period of time. Just all of those things that we’ve talked about many times over in this podcast. But I do think that’s also a thing with just our lives and just what it means to be a human, right? Where you’re like, Oh. For a lot of us, we can look back and think to all the good things in our childhood, and Easter just passed, and it’s like all the Easter baskets we used to get with candy or the egg hunts or whatever, but it’s like, Yeah, but at the time, as a child, maybe we don’t remember our parents were fighting and…
Caroline: I had to go to church. I didn’t want to be there.
Jason: Yeah, it’s just like whatever those things were that you kind of just remove from your brain. And I think as we get older, you just start doing more of that.
Caroline: Okay, can I say something about the flip side of that? But using… Sometimes I use the lens of nostalgia as… I think I wrote down in a journal somewhere, this idea, and maybe we’ve talked about it on a podcast before, but this notion of future nostalgia and so sometimes when I feel wistful about the past and then it makes me feel like, oh, I’m getting older now, and we have so many responsibilities. And now I feel like we’re the adults. And then I kind of get like grumpy about my 30s and I’m like, just like, it’s no fun, we have to be an adult. And then I think about it and I’m like, ten years from now I think of what my 44 year old self will find nostalgic about this era of our lives. And I find it to be a very useful frame to see everything in my present existence with such gratitude because I know ten years from now I’m going to have ten times the amount of creaks and cracks and squeaks in my body and I’m going to look back like before we had kids and I’m going to say like, man, we never going to have this amount of freedom again. We’re never going to have this much time on our hands. Remember when we could just watch…? This past Saturday, we watched four movies from this time we woke up to the time that we went to bed.
Jason: I mean, we could have squeezed in another two.
Caroline: And we could have.
Jason: We went for a walk.
Caroline: We did go for a walk, yeah. But I’m like, when will I ever be able to do that again? And so I do find that this intentional visualization exercise, it helps me celebrate the age that I’m at by viewing it through the lens of the age that I will be.
Jason: Yeah, for sure. And I do think that there’s something to be said for we were talking about before recording this, just this idea that we have been so intentional in so many of our choices. Combining our businesses, going on a travel year, basically moving our entire lives to Europe and living in Europe, delaying the time of having kids. All of those things have afforded us the ability to live as present as possible in the moment and to not necessarily worry about, Oh, I just turned 40. Like there’s so many things I want to do. It’s like, no, I’ve picked all the things that I wanted to do and we’ve been doing them and checking them off the list and putting other things off. And I know it’s a very privileged place to be and not everybody has those options and those things. But I do think it is something just in this conversation that we’ve been talking about of, like, if you’re the type of person who’s listening to this that you aren’t doing the work that you want to do or you’re not in the relationship that you want to be in or you’re not living where you want to live, there’s still plenty of time. There’s still plenty of time to make those changes and to do those things. And I’m not saying that everyone listens to the uproot their life completely, but I just think it’s important to always remember you can change your circumstances. Some people do have much more difficult circumstances to change than we do, 100%. I’m just saying that I think that it might be easy to look at us from the outside and be like, Well, it must be nice. You guys just move to Portugal and you watch four movies on a Saturday and you can just do whatever. It’s like, yeah, because it’s intentional choices that we made. There are inherent privileges, there are inherent advantages. But it’s also we decided to change our businesses and combine them together. We decided to move to different places and rent and never buy a home so that we wouldn’t have to be attached, that we could easily uproot our lives. We have made all these decisions to not have kids and to push that timeline down the road, because that gives us the ability to do these other things, and that doesn’t mean you can’t do those things as well. We know plenty of people that we got introduced to last year on our travels who travel full time with kids, and they figure out how to do it, and, like, boy, that sounds very difficult because it was hard enough just for us as two adults that have creaks and squeaks, but you can do it. And I think that’s just part of what I wanted to share in this episode, too, about getting older, is this whole idea of age and time is running out, and you only have so much time to do something. It’s like, yeah, you can look at it that way and be negative and feel the pressure of it, but you can also look at it as a thing of abundance, where it’s like, oh, I can do what in ten years? What could I accomplish in the next ten years that I haven’t really set the focus on to do in my life?
Caroline: Yeah, that is one of the beautiful lenses that aging affords you is you can see your life in a different way because you have a little bit of that time constraint that becomes more palpable, whereas you just don’t think about it as much when you’re younger.
Jason: If you’re 90, I understand, like, ten years…
Caroline: Maybe you feel that pressure.
Jason: I don’t know if I have ten years.
Jason: But I don’t think we have a lot of 90 year olds listening. And I also think at 90, you’re probably not trying to make a lot of big decisions.
Caroline: Yeah. It can go either way, right? Like, either you can look at it and say, I do have time and it’s not too late. And I think that’s a really valuable message that a lot of people need to hear. And then on the flip side, you can also make the argument of, none of us knows how big that time container of our lives is going to be. And so it’s that much more of an impetus to make changes, to live it more intentionally, right? So it’s like, whatever you need, take that from the lens that age provides. This is such a random segue, but I thought it was worth sharing, going back to what we were saying about I want to be the type of person who celebrates getting older. And that doesn’t mean that it’s always the first thing I think about, as evidenced by the thoughts I have sometimes when I see my gray hair. But I do think we can’t choose the thoughts that we have, kind of the reflexive thoughts that we have, but we can choose how we direct those thoughts, if that makes sense. That’s what I believe. So it’s like, I can’t control the fact that when I look in the mirror and I see gray hair, my first instinct is, like, I’m getting older, but I can change how do I direct that thought from there? And where I direct it is, I’m getting older. Let’s celebrate. And something that really had a profound effect on me as a child. And I think maybe I’m remembering this in a much different way, but I think that just tells you psychologically the impact that it had. But I used to always come home from school and watch Oprah growing up. Sometimes my mom and I would watch it together or separately. But Oprah had a really big impact on the person that I’ve become just because the topics that she would talk about on her show, these emotional topics that really other people weren’t talking about. And it was, I think, just opening up conversations to talk about feelings in a way that was pretty ahead of the curve at the time. Of course, there were some things that were of the time that she talked about, but it had a really big impact on me. And one thing I remember about Oprah is whenever she would turn, like, a new decade, she would, like, make a really big deal about it on the show. And I remember, like, I don’t know if it was when she turned 50 or 40 or what it was, but as a kid, I remember she would celebrate, and it would kind of always be like, why the 50s are the new 40s kind of thing, right? Like, why your 40s are the new 30s and I just really appreciated that. And it made such an impact on me because I was like, I want to have that type of enthusiasm going into each new stage or decade of my life, and I still carry it with me. I think to myself sometimes when I’m like, how did I become in my mid 30s? Like, when did this happen? And before I know it, I’m going to be 40. And I’m like, yeah, before I know it, I’m going to be 40. What do I want my 40s to be about? I look back and I’m like, okay, my 20s were about figuring it out and experimentation and trying a bunch of different things. Our 30s very much has felt like kind of a paring down and like, an intention seeking about that. And I’m like, what’s my 40s going to be?
Jason: Yeah. And I also think something that I have just tried to do for my entire life is just continue to enjoy the things that make you feel young. So it’s like playing video games. There were a couple of years of my life, this was definitely during the I Wear Your Shirt years, and this is like 2009 to 2013, where I didn’t play any video games.
Jason: I’m being an entrepreneurial man. I’m going to build a business and I’m an adult. And it’s like but that’s not fun. You know what’s fun? Like playing a video game.
Jason: And I think for you, listening to this, whatever that thing is that makes you feel young, it’s like, who is to judge that you’re doing those things? Now, listen, if you’re like going to a place where a bunch of young kids are hanging out and you’re trying to mingle and fit in, maybe that’s not the thing to do.
Caroline: What does that Steve Buscemi meme? Where it’s like, Hello, fellow kids.
Jason: Yeah, exactly.
Caroline: With the backwards hat and the skateboard.
Jason: Exactly. Maybe. I don’t know. But still, that’s fine. As long as you’re not being creepy, that’s fine. But I just think, for me, it’s like trying to fit in a lot of these things, like the running joke on this podcast and me loving cinnamon rolls and baking cinnamon rolls. But it also does, like it brings joy into my life. I’m not saying that’s one that makes me feel younger necessarily, but it’s finding those things where you’re not getting caught up in the thoughts of, I’m getting older. I have such limited time. It’s like I’m doing things that make me feel good in life right now and things that aren’t harmful. And I do think there’s also another part of that which is starting to prioritize doing things that increase longevity, right? So it’s like…
Jason: For us, we prioritize exercise every single day doing something, just every single day, no matter what, whether it’s 10 minutes or 30 minutes or whatever. And I think you can’t start that soon enough. And I remember watching this YouTube video. I can’t remember I’ll put it in the show notes of, I want to say a Harvard scientist of some sort, but I can’t remember what it is. You’ll find out in the video, but basically he debunks all these health myths and he wrote a whole book about this. But there was a video that was basically at the top five, and one of which was like, there’s no age at which you should stop exercising. It’s like humans have evolved to be able to move and to do things for their entire time of existing. And we see this in the stories of the 87 year old man who runs a marathon or something like that. That’s an extreme case. I’m certainly not going to run a marathon, even at 40. We ran a 5k when I think I was 32 and I wanted to die. But I do think there is something to be said for, but yeah, but what’s your form of exercise? Is it yoga? Is it swimming? Is it just getting up and moving, going for a walk? Like any of those things that you can continue to prioritize and do more of.
Caroline: We’ve definitely prioritized that more and just health in general with everything. But I think it’s because as you get older, you suddenly feel this squeeze between you’re getting closer to actually having to pay the consequences of your choices.
Jason: Every day you’re in that room where the walls are closing.
Caroline: You’re on a conveyor belt. This is what I picture. You’re on a conveyor belt. And you know that it’s that age where people’s health choices start to really…
Jason: Add up.
Caroline: You got to pay the piper right?
Jason: Now, is your conveyor belt going towards saw blades that are going up and down or a fire pit? Because I want to know which scenario you’re in.
Caroline: Really, what I was picturing was just like an abyss.
Caroline: Which I think is very telling about what my fears are. Infinity, nothingness, uncertainty. And also you see people in your life, like your parents, who are that age where they’re paying the consequences in some regards. And I want to take a moment out to say I don’t mean to overly try to sort of moralize our choices into the health outcomes that we have, because sometimes I think people overly place blame. I don’t know. I think there’s this very delicate place of taking personal responsibility and ownership over the choices that you make in your life and the way that that’s going to adversely affect your health outcomes. But also, nobody who just got diagnosed with cancer, I’m not here to be like, man, you should have made better choices. That is not my intention whatsoever. It’s just for me, we have enough research now to know that some of the choices that we make have very clear correlations to adverse health outcomes. And I’m of the age now where I’m like, man, I feel that conveyor belt a little bit, I think, in a healthy way, right, where it’s a narrowing of, I’m going to have to pay the consequences for my choices at some point. So what is a risk worth taking and what isn’t? So for me, man, alcohol is like a perfect one where I very clearly have seen the switch where before, I just was like, I enjoy a drink. I’m not one of those people who doesn’t. I very much enjoy a drink. It is part of an experience. It’s sometimes it’s like, you and I have, you know, we enjoy the process of tasting different wines or, like…
Jason: Oh, getting a sangria.
Caroline: We love that, right? But I’ve now reached the age where the consequences are so heavy in terms of the disrupted sleep, how it affects… It affects me for a full 24 hours after I’ve had the drink, right? In terms of the sleep, in terms of I feel heavy, the brain fog, all those things. And so I go, okay, am I willing to pay this price at this moment in this experience? Sometimes the answer is yes, but definitely now, in terms of just… there was a point in my life where I was definitely having a daily drink, namely during the pandemic, probably. And I don’t judge myself for that. I now, with distance, know that that wasn’t healthy, and I knew it wasn’t healthy at the time, but I also don’t judge myself for it. I think we all reach for coping skills in different ways. And fine, people can judge me if they want, but now, at this point in my life, I go, Well, I’ll tell you what’s definitely not worth it. Just the automatic, not intentional daily drink where I don’t even enjoy it. And I’m just doing it because it’s a habit. I’m definitely not going to do that drink, you know what I mean? Because the consequences are not worth it for the enjoyment that I get out of it. But trying out a new cocktail at a new restaurant, at dinner, on a date night with you and I and having one and, like, being a little bit more sluggish the next day, worth it for me, that’s fine.
Jason: One of the things that we talk about all the time is kind of the idea of, like, we live in an era where we clearly are in the future that we like, the generations before us had thought about, right? So it’s like the Jetsons era. We’re doing a lot of the things the Jetsons do. We’re doing a lot of things the Jetsons… We aren’t doing a lot of things Jetsons do as well.
Caroline: It’s really just the flying cars. We really get caught up on this flying car thing.
Jason: Also, like getting an outfit put on your body and showered all in one spot. That hasn’t happened yet. But there are so many of the things that we are doing. And what I always come back to is our technology has evolved in so many different ways. We have these computers that we walk around with in our pocket that have an infinite amount of information that we could access at any given moment. And it’s absolutely fantastic. The fact that in our pocket we can translate any language in the world pretty much to the language that we speak is unbelievable. It’s unbelievable. However, on the flip side of that, there is not anything that can tell me how much daily sugar I should eat for my body to not get some type of terrible mental illness when I’m older.
Jason: And I think about these things all the time because we were just talking about this the other day where you’re like, oh, I saw something about caffeine and now they’re saying, Blah, blah, blah. It’s like all these studies, I want to read them and understand them. But here’s the takeaway I want from that study. If I continue, I don’t know the takeaway from that study on caffeine, bad or good, I’m not about to talk about it or care.
Caroline: That’s not this podcast.
Jason: That’s not this podcast. But all I’m saying is, at the end of that study, all I would love is you can keep drinking coffee every single day, but here are the projected outcomes. You will live five less years of your life. However, up until that point, it won’t cause you any grief, it won’t cause you any trouble. It won’t debilitate you in any way. Me, personally, this is just me speaking.
Caroline: You’d take that trade.
Jason: Yes, thank you so much. I will take that trade. But I am just saying that as from, like, a technological perspective.
Caroline: You wish we could do that.
Jason: I wish we could, in our lifetime, get to that place. And I don’t think we will, but I think generations before us or after us will get to a place where, like, Hey, if you eat this cinnamon roll today, it will remove seven days from your life and just know that, whatever. And so then you get to make that decision. I think we all inherently know those decisions now, but without actually being able to tangibly see it in, like, a timeline…
Caroline: Yeah. But I really do wonder if that would be a better or a worse world because a lot of these technological innovations that we’ve made operate on the assumption that more information is better. And I don’t think that it is, because look at news. Look at… You could argue it’s just not cut and dry, right? It’s like you become aware of so many more things that need addressing in the world, right? You become so much more aware of the problems that exist all over the world, not just in your own backyard. And to some degree, you would think, theoretically, that that would increase empathy and that it would increase action and all these things. But I think we’re also seeing that this information overload, especially of problems that need solving, it creates a paradox of choice. It creates more inaction because you just go, I’m just one person. How am I going to tackle this whole big thing, right? So I just think that’s one example of where it’s not so black and white, that more information equals better outcomes. And so I just think it’s a very interesting thought experiment to think about that. I just watched this very interesting SXSW talk from Esther Perel. Do you know…?
Jason: Esther Perel?
Caroline: I think her name is Esther.
Jason: Okay. Yeah, we mentioned her two episodes ago.
Caroline: Yeah, I guess I’m on an Esther kick right now.
Jason: So it’s Esther? This whole time we’ve all been saying, Esther Perel.
Caroline: I think it’s Esther.
Jason: Okay. Did you hear her say her name that way?
Caroline: I do think I did.
Jason: Okay, great.
Caroline: I do think I did.
Jason: Is it Oprah? Does she say her name, I’m Oprah?
Caroline: No, I think it’s Esther.
Caroline: I’ve been saying it wrong, but it was such a fascinating talk about artificial intimacy. So there’s this idea of artificial intelligence and like the flattening of things and how just the messy complexities of being a human. We have this desire to create these technological tools that remove the messiness of being a human. They make things easier. They make decisions easier. But a lot of what life is about are exactly what she says, paradoxes that we manage, not problems that we solve. And therefore, when you try to exactly what you did, I think is a perfect example of like, yeah, but if we could only see that this cinnamon roll led to five days less of my life, blah blah blah.
Jason: It was seven. So if it’s five, I’m down.
Caroline: But the point is, when we try to reduce it down to that flattening, that black and white, that give it to me in quantifiable terms that an AI bot could tell me, that a wearable could show me. When we do that, we remove our ability to navigate the complexities that life requires from us and we get worse at it, which is I think what we’re seeing now is like polarization and the way that we have no ability to talk in nuanced thoughts whatsoever, the way that each one of us thinks that our perspective on the world is 100% right. The way that we just deal very much in black and white I think is due in part to our desire to use technology in order to make things so much simpler. But it’s like we’re losing our ability to sit with the discomfort of complexity.
Jason: Yeah, and I totally hear all that. I just really want to know how much of my life…?
Caroline: I know. And I’m not saying I wouldn’t download it, this is the nuance. I’m not saying I would think that’s a bad thing, I just am saying it’s an interesting thought experiment to have and I’m not exactly sure how it relates back to aging but it’s an interesting conversation nonetheless.
Jason: Yeah, I think all of this is just to share like we talk a lot about business in this podcast. Obviously, this is majorly a business podcast but what was I trying to say there? This is…?
Jason: The majority of this content is business podcast? This is…
Caroline: Primarily? Is that what you’re trying to say?
Jason: This is minority reportedly business podcast. Yeah, primarily works.
Caroline: This is primarily a business podcast.
Jason: But I do think we are humans and we are just always sharing kind of the wandering thoughts that we have through life and asking ourselves at every turn like why are we doing certain things, why are we making decisions? And that there is a lot of thought and intention into all this. So I just thought this was kind of an interesting topic for us to share some of our meandering thoughts on as we’re getting older. And listen, I am fully aware too that there are people that are older than us to listen to this podcast.
Caroline: And they’re like, Oh, just wait.
Caroline: And there are people younger who are like, what…?
Jason: What are you talking about?
Caroline: Never going to creak and squeak.
Jason: Creaks and squeaks? Like, my body’s perfect. I’m like, you just wait. And that’s what people said to us. It was, You just wait. And then you finally do get to those places.
Caroline: As a last final thought here, I am trying to remove that instinct from my human brain of the “You just wait.” I just remember being younger and being like, you’re not realizing how patronizing it sounds. Now, being older, I understand where it comes from.
Caroline: But every person has to experience life through their own lens and through their own experience.
Jason: Everyone’s got to discover their own creaks and squeaks.
Jason: That’s true. All right, let’s wrap this sucker up. We appreciate you listening, as always, to these episodes, even if they are kind of like a little ramble chat topic like this one. But we just like to bop around. We like to keep our own interest in this podcast, too.
Jason: Yeah. All right, that’s it for this episode. Thanks for listening.
Caroline: We’re going to go stretch.
Jason: Stretch or stretch? What’d you say?
Caroline: We need to stretch.
Jason: We’re going to stretch the dough for the cinnamon rolls, because then we’ll let it rest, and then we’ll bake them, and we’ll have them and seven days less of my life. But that’s okay day, because they’re delicious.
Caroline: Worth it.
Jason: Okay, bye.