Tell Me What to Do

Empty Nesters

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There are plenty of life changes you can’t see coming. Having your kids grow up and leave the nest isn’t one of those changes, yet it still throws so many people for a loop. Jaime’s advice: don’t wait til they start studying for the SATs to plan for life after kids. She answers a question from a mom who feels lost now that her kids aren’t at home. Plus, dating tips for a father who wants to get back out there after devoting his life to his son. 

FYI: Tell Me What To Do contains mature language and themes that may not be suitable for all listeners.

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[00:38] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Hi, everybody, and welcome to the Tell Me What To Do podcast. I’m your host, Jaime Primak Sullivan. What’s going on this week? So many things. First and foremost, Bruce Springsteen released a new song called Letters to You. And it’s his first song with the E Street Band in a long time. And I have to tell you, it has that distinct E Street band sound. I know I’m from Freehold, so obviously I have a different connection to Bruce and a different affection for him. But there is just something about the E Street Band sound. It’s just recognizable. It’s soothing for me, it’s familiar, it’s nostalgic, it’s classic, it’s timeless. And I know I say that about everything that regards to Freehold. But I really mean that about Bruce so much. So if you haven’t checked it out yet, check it out. And let me just tell you now that after 15 years of begging and pleading and crying and laughing and texting and writing letters and emails and kneeling and sucking and all of the things, Michael has finally agreed that we can buy a house at the Jersey Shore. And I have to tell you folks, few things have made me as happy as those words. I don’t know if you know, but looking at houses is like real estate porn. It’s like super enticing. And you get, like, addicted to it because it’ll show you a house and then it’ll be like, here are other houses like this. Want to see? And you’re like, yeah, I do. And then you’re down a rabbit hole of like houses in Bel Mar, you know, or Point Pleasant. So it’s very exciting to me. 


[02:55] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I bring it up every day just to see if he’s, like, weighing on this decision at all. But no, he’s super in and he’s super fine there. He gave me a budget. He’s like, this is, you know, as a family what we can afford. He was like, I defer to you because I don’t know the Jersey Shore. So, you know, whatever. Anyway, it’s been so exciting. And Courtney and I, literally we’re obsessed. All we do is text each other links to houses at the Jersey Shore. And so I’m very excited about that. I’m really, really excited about that. What else is going on? Fires. Oh, God, it’s so fucking depressing. These fires in California and Oregon. And my-ex girlfriend is a firefighter in California and they are working 14-hour shifts. They are so tired and they are saving animals. They’re having to play like veterinarians. And there’s just a lot on them. And politically, the country is so divided and half the country doesn’t care if “liberal” states are on fire and people don’t care about hurricanes in conservative states. It’s just like we’ve lost the humanity in it all. I personally care about everybody and every state and every voter, even if they don’t vote the same way I do. I still don’t want anybody’s property to burn or animals to die or hurricanes to destroy their beach homes or their boat. So something interesting in entertainment is that my sweet friend Mickey Guyton, who I love so much and is pregnant and is going to have a baby, country singer Mickey Guyton is the first black woman to perform at the American Country Music Awards. 


[04:59] Jaime Primak Sullivan: She sang with Keith Urban. She performed her song, What are You Gonna Tell Her? I’m so proud of her. It’s like literally tears. And how are we in 2020 still saying the first black anything, like how is this a thing? I just don’t get it. But on the entertainment side, Mulan, which faced a lot of criticism, but we can address that another time, has made $260 million-plus domestically on premiere access. So just for people to understand, the movie costs $200 million to make. People will go it only made $260 million, that’s not a huge profit, except it made $260 million. And they don’t have to do any profit share with the theaters. All that money goes to Disney. So if it had made $260 million domestically in theaters, half of that money would have gone to theaters. So Disney would have really been under if you’re looking at $260 million on VOD. All that money goes to Disney. So they’ve recouped their money plus $60 million and they didn’t have to run $40 million worth of marketing campaigns. So I say, what is that going to do to theaters? You know, because what these things are proving is people are getting comfortable watching movies at home. There will always be the 25 percent that go to movie theaters because they love the experience of seeing Jurassic Park in a movie theater, it’s unlike anything you will ever see. I watched Jurassic Park with my kids during COVID at home, and it was like so underwhelming. They just couldn’t get into it because you don’t have the experience of seeing the dinosaurs up on the big screen. You know, I saw Passion of the Christ in theaters —  showing my age — watching Passion of the Christ like on a twelve-inch. It’s not the same as seeing Christ up on the cross in the theater like that. There are just certain movies that are meant to be experienced. So the task for creators like me now is people are not going to leave their homes for small stories. So what are those big clean commercial ideas that you can make for 40 to 50 million dollars that people will leave their homes for? How scary to think it’s my job to figure it out, to be honest. But I do have an idea for a movie. 


[07:31] Jaime Primak Sullivan: So I have been really fascinated with what they call advanced-age viewers, which, by the way, go fuck yourselves, Hollywood. Honestly, go fuck yourselves. Forty five and older is advanced viewers. I’m offended, frankly. I’m 43, I’m going to be 44 in October, so what, I get one year to still be in the Jurassic Park demo and then I have to watch movies like. Again, Something’s Gotta Give. Which, by the way, is a good, amazing movie, and I would watch Diane Keaton cut off a turtleneck any day of the week. But people are not really making movies for that demographic, and they should be because that demographic goes to theaters. Do they go post-COVID? I don’t know, because they’re the highest risk for COVID. But I still think movies like that work. And so I created a movie based on a letter I got a couple of years ago called Empty Nest. I’m debating on the title Empty Nest, Empty Nesters. I can’t decide. But it is about a couple who, when the last of their children leave, they set out to find themselves and find each other. And it addresses this very real empty-nest syndrome that cripples people. Which brings us to this podcast about life adjustments, because let’s be honest, lots of shit happens that’s beyond our control and we’re forced to pivot in life. You know, you get divorced, you lose your job. You get stuck in your house for seven months because of COVID, you know, whatever it is, you lose your business. But there are certain things you see coming. 


[09:24] Jaime Primak Sullivan: And it’s called “fuck in college.” OK? Unless your kid is Doogie Howser and he’s leaving at twelve and a half, you know the timeline. You’ve got plenty of time to prepare for your children leaving the nest. Yet so many people go, my last kid is gone! And like, I just didn’t see it coming and I don’t know what to do. You didn’t see it coming? You didn’t see it coming when they were studying for the S.A.T.? You didn’t see it coming when they were marching across the stage at graduation? You didn’t see it coming when they were filling out college applications and you were going on weekend trips to see schools? Yet so many people find themselves in emotional purgatory after their children leave home. And to me, we can talk about both. We can talk about the things that happened in your life that you don’t see coming, i.e., a divorce. I would also argue that most of us see that coming. How many people get divorced because their spouse, their happy spouse, just literally walks in one day and is like, I want a divorce? Five percent? Most people have affairs or financial infidelity or they’re unhappy for years and they stay together for the children or something. You can’t tell me you didn’t see it coming because most people think they want a divorce and then they try to work on it. And then they, you know, I mean, like, it’s — do you know anyone that thought they were getting divorced and they tried to work on it and then they got divorced anyway? Oh, yeah, yeah. So they probably saw it coming. Right. Loss of job, different. Sometimes you don’t see that coming. 


[11:19] Jaime Primak Sullivan: But again, I think it’s a very small percentage of people who are doing really well at their job at a company that’s doing financially well and they just walk in one day and their boss is like, hey, you’re fired. Typically, the writing is on the wall somewhere. You don’t get along with your coworkers. There’s been complaints about you. You don’t get along with your boss. You’re underperforming in certain parts of your job. Your company’s not doing well financially. They’re laying people off. I mean, there are typically signs. I think the biggest issue for us is we are a society of red-flag ignorers. We see the warning signs and we go right through the fucking yellow light. We are a society of people who speed up at the yellow light instead of slowing down. The warning sign is right there. So why do we willingly blow past it? Convenience. Easier to blow past it than do the work.


[12:22] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I’m not doing well at work. My company is not doing well financially. Let me make sure I’m saving money properly. Let me use any unpaid sick days that I have. Let me be looking for another job. People don’t want to do that. They want to put their head in the sand and hope nobody notices and they don’t get fired. Then when they lose their job, it’s a fucking catastrophe because they’re not prepared. You know, people don’t want to do the work. They don’t want to take the time to go online to fill out the fucking thing, to do the work. And then their spouse gets COVID and is on a ventilator and they’re like, I have no life insurance, well — 


[16:13] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Our first question comes from Alice. She’s a mom to a 21 year old daughter and a 20 year old son. Over the last four years, both kids have moved away for college or work. Both are now more than eight hours from where she lives. She says in her email that she chose to stay home when they were born to raise them and revolved her entire life around being a mom, soccer mom, all of that. And in the process, she lost her identity after they had “left the nest.” Her question is, how does she get a life for herself back and view herself as an individual and not solely as a mom? This has been the most difficult adjustment she has ever faced. 


[16:59] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Alice, you are not alone in your feeling. Because you have dedicated your life to your children, which is something I could never do. I could never just be a mom. So kudos to you. And here is my fear. You are the reason that I — well, there are couple of things I could never  “just be a mom,” because I would be so profoundly unfulfilled that I would cheat nonstop. And when I tell you I would cheat, I would be dry-humping like the mailman. I would have such an insatiable thirst for something outside these walls that I wouldn’t know what to do with myself, because that’s my personality. I know that about myself. So I would turn to a substance. I would turn to cheat. I would become the most reckless, dangerous version of myself if I did not have a creative outlet outside of just being — I do want to say “just,” I don’t like that word. If I didn’t have a creative outlet outside of being Michael’s wife and Olivia, Max and Charlie’s mother, I would become pretty much Charlize Theron in Monster. I would probably become her. Or Black Widow, one or the other. So what you’re saying is how do you adjust now? Well, the thing is this, you’re still mom, just the duties of your job have changed. So, for example, if you were a principal of a high school and now you are a superintendent, you are still responsible for that school, just from a higher viewpoint. You’re not the day-to-day manager of that school anymore. That school is still a priority to you. You still need to know that that school is doing well. That school is healthy. The students are doing well. All the components of the school work, but you don’t need to be in the school to micromanage it the way you did when you were a principal. Doesn’t mean you’re not still needed. You are just from a distance. So take a look at the things that you now do as a mom. And what are those things? How can you be most effective in your new role? So how can I still be mom and be really effective with the landscape changing? You know, my kids are young. They’re 12, 11 and nine. When you’re 24, your mom is not taking you clothes shopping anymore. She’s not cooking your meals daily anymore. She’s not the final say on your life decisions anymore.


[20:33] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I think when kids leave the home, women tend to feel like their role as a mother is over. They see it as like a death. It’s not. It’s like a rebirth. Again, you’re the superintendent of the kids now. Still a very important job. Just doesn’t require the day to day. So now you’ve got all this free time. What do you do with said free time? Well, financially, if you don’t have to work, then your luxury is to pursue things that you simply enjoy. Have you been looking forward to traveling? Is there a book you want to write? Do you like poetry? Do you want to take pictures? Do you want to take cooking classes. Do you want to start to exercise. Would you like to join an all girl fight club, which is something I thought I found. But then it turns out it was really just like kickboxing, which is not at all what I wanted to do. I wanted an actual fight club where women just beat the shit out of each other. But that’s really hard to find. If anybody wants to start one, please let me know. And so if you don’t financially have to work, you really do have a luxury of saying the world is my oyster. How do I want to live the last 25 to 30 years of my life? What do I want to accomplish? What are the things that bring me joy? Do I want to get closer to God? Do I want to reconnect with old friends? Do I want to learn something new? Sidebar: when I was in middle school, they used to call me Jelly Donut, which was like the most hurtful thing ever. Or Big Mac. Just sad. I know. I know. Now you wonder why I have fucking eating disorders. Jesus. But anyway, middle school was so hard for me. And I had a guidance counselor at Dwight D. Eisenhower School in Freehold, New Jersey, named Harvey Gladser. I have always thought about Harvey, and I’ve been so nervous to look online and see if he’s out there because I was afraid, like if he was dead, it was just gonna crush me. So there’s this page, Freeholder whatever it’s called on Facebook. And so I went on there and I was like, I don’t want to waste any more time. I want to know what happened to Harvey Gladser. So I type like, Hey, guys. Does anybody know what happened to the guidance counselor? Harvey Gladser from Eisenhower? I would really love to know how he is. And people were like, oh, my God, he hated me. Oh, my God. He was there when I was there. You know, the typical Facebook comments. And then someone wrote, I think he’s a member of this group. Maybe he’ll see your comment. 


[23:58] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Long story short, he comments and he’s like, yes, I’m still alive and kicking. Thank you for checking. And I look at his profile and he’s like, oh. You know, he’s like old. Anyway, I took karate in middle school. Boy, I was really a winner, guys. Nothing like a fat kid McGee. OK. And I remember that I had this karate test. And I sat in his office at lunch one day when people were being mean to me and I was just talking to him about life, and he was eating his lunch and he just, like, became my friend. I was such a loser. And anyway, I was telling him about my karate test and I was like, so nervous. And I was going for, like, my green belt or whatever. And it was a big deal to me. And I’m at karate school that week and I’m sitting on the floor, waiting for my turn. And I’m so nervous and I’m like pretty much sitting by myself because even the other karate dorks didn’t want to sit with me. I had a rough go in seventh and eighth grade, and I’m just like nervous, I’m chubby. My gi is too tight. And I had boobs, but my mom didn’t have, like, the wherewithal to buy me a sports bra. So I just had like, not boob boobs but like chubby girl boobs. You know what I mean. At like 12 it’s like not breasts but like chubby girl boobs and just like rubbing, chafing on the rough material of the gi, this sort of fucking whole thing. It was a nightmare. Anyway, I’m sitting there and I know it’s almost my turn and I’m so nervous for everyone to be watching me. And you have to do your kata, which is like a Japanese dance performance thing, you know, like that’s all this breathing. And then you have to fight. 


[25:56] Jaime Primak Sullivan: It’s this whole fucking Karate Kid thing. I don’t even know why I was doing it. But anyway, it’s my turn. I’m next. I’m ready to totally shit my gi, and in walks Harvey Gladser. And I just it was like, Mr. Miyagi had come back. It was just like, oh my God. And he looked at me and he did like the fingers to the eyes to me, like, I see you, kid. And he sat down and, like, gave me some sort of, like, weird fist. Do it for Johnny man, do it for Johnny, you know? And I was like, my God. And I like got up and did the whole thing. So meanwhile, he writes, hey, he’s still alive and kicking. Thanks for finding me. And I pour my heart out on Facebook in front of this group of people from Freehold. There’s like 20,000 people in the group. But I’m like, oh, my God. I don’t know if you remember me. My name is Jaime Primak. I tell the whole story. I pour my heart out on this thing. And for two days he doesn’t write back. And all I could think is he doesn’t remember. I’m a big loser. Why did I write all of that? How embarrassing. This morning I get this message back. Dear Jaime. Oh, God. It’s gonna make me cry. I enjoyed watching you and your karate. In fact, it was the encouragement that I needed to pursue my karate interests. I then three schools of defensive martial arts and earned my brown belt at age 50. So you have had a profound impact on me too. Life is a two-way street. Thanks, Harvey. 


[27:58] Jaime Primak Sullivan: That’s so nice. And I wrote back. Oh my God, I’m so happy, I could cry. I love you so, Mr. Gladser. Always have. Always will. God bless you. Meanwhile, talk about a man who decided later in his life when he had retired and didn’t have children at home anymore to pursue something that was meaningful to him? Good for him. But isn’t that a beautiful story? I’m such a dork, but I love you, Mr. Gladser. 


[28:38] Jaime Primak Sullivan: So, OK, back to Alice, who’s like, what the fuck does Harvey Gladser have to do with my question? I think, one, you were always an individual. You were never just solely a mom. You were primarily a mom, and that is different than being solely a mom. And if financially, you do have to work, then the world is still your oyster. Figure out with your husband financially what is the expectation of what you will bring in, and then figure out what it is that you want to do based on how much money you have to bring in. Kyle, my old assistant, his mother needed to bring in a certain amount of money, but it didn’t have to be a high-pressure thing. And she loves children. She loves retail. And she went to work at Pottery Barn Kids and loved going to work. It seems very simple, but she was working with women in her age group. A lot of them were grandmothers or their children were older. She really enjoyed that. So it worked for her. Find something like, listen, if you have to work, I don’t know that being a bartender at Jenkinson’s on the Jersey Shore is the best thing for you at 50, because, like, that’s not your jam. So just figure out what your jam is. It’s hard to say for me exactly what I will do because my children are not that age yet. I will tell you that I, because of Coffee Talk am painfully aware of how bad the empty nest syndrome can be for people. I also am painfully aware how fast the time goes. So I am trying to think of things — I’ll tell you, my biggest fear is what happens to marriage after the kids leave. Not me personally, I’m always gonna be fine because I bring happiness everywhere I go. I bring creativity, light, I’m the party. So wherever I land, I’m going to be fine. I can make friends literally with the towel girl at the gym. I can make friends with anybody anywhere I go, I talk to everybody. I don’t care. 


[30:52] Jaime Primak Sullivan: My biggest concern is the adjustment from being a couple. When you become parents and you have a mutual primary focus. So while you both may have had hobbies and you both may have jobs, you share a mutual primary focus in raising children. It keeps you connected. You may not be having sex, you may not be having as much sex as you like. The romance you may feel left the marriage, whatever it is, but you share a primary focus. When the kids leave and you have not nurtured that relationship and you have not nurtured that marriage, you no longer have a primary focus. If you have not planned for that change in your relationship, you are fucked. You’re fucked because now you are not just two ships passing in the night, but you’re not even two ships passing in the night who dock at the same dock anymore. I have been researching how to keep marriages together and things to be mindful of. So they say every couple should have one shared hobby or interest or thing outside of the children that can go past the empty nest syndrome. For Michael and I, that is travel. We enjoy planning and going on trips. We travel well together. We have similar travel habits. Because one thing I will tell you, everybody always wants to go on dates and ask people like, how do you feel about sex before marriage? How do you feel about politics? What you need to do is say, are you the kind of person that likes to get to the airport two hours before a flight or 30 minutes? That’s what I need to know. Because if you’re a two hour before flight person and you marry a 30 minute before a flight person, you are going to hate traveling together. 


[33:01] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Also, are you a carry-on or check a bag? That’s what I need to know. I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. Do you carry-on or do you check a bag? Because I’ll tell you right now, few things irritate more than when someone’s like, hey, I checked a bag. You what? You can’t travel with me anymore. I’m sorry. I’m never flying with you again. Now, I got to wait at that damn janky-ass fucking baggage claim with the beeping lights and everybody standing around like penguins waiting for somebody to shit a marble. I don’t like it. If you’re a checked bag, you can’t travel with this carry-on.


[33:47] Jaime Primak Sullivan: So you need to be thinking before the kids leave, before you hit that pivot where you are facing the wall, because that’s what’s going to happen if you’re not prepared. The kids are going to leave and you’re going to spin around and be facing the wall like the kid from Blair Witch. You need to develop shared rituals, roles, goals, traditions, things that you have to look forward to. Sunday night dinner. So every day at three o’clock, you start preparing cooking, you put music on, you pour a glass of wine, and every Sunday you’re cooking dinner together. That is beautiful. One night a week, you go out to eat together. Those are two nights where you have things to look forward to. Otherwise, you could go play cards. He could go play golf. Maybe you’re watching a movie, whatever it is. But you always know you have those two nights for each other. Also, plan trips. Doesn’t have to be to Italy. Stay-cations are cool. Volunteer together. Go to church or temple together. Whatever it is, if you don’t rescue your relationship, I’m telling you right now, not only you’re gonna be an empty nester, you’re gonna be a divorcee with an empty nest, because an empty nest is lonely. But it’s the end of a chapter, not the end of a story, and I think that’s a lot of times what people think. And I don’t want to see that happen to people that I love. So that is my advice to you, Alice, is reconnect with your spouse, start creating new traditions. If you guys always decorated for Halloween when the kids were young because you loved it, don’t stop decorating for Halloween together just because the kids don’t live there anymore. Give them a reason to come home. If your mom said remember that thing I always did on Christmas Eve, you know, every year I’m going to continue doing it. You would be like, yes! I’m going to mom on Christmas Eve!


[38:53] Jaime Primak Sullivan: We’re moving on to question number two, and I really love this one. Our second question comes from Mike, who is taking a step back from his 30 year old son. Here’s what he says. 


[39:05] Caller: Hey, Jaime, it’s Mike from Virginia. I’m dealing with a situation where pretty much my whole adult life has been about my child. And now that he’s 30 and dealing with some pretty hard demons with drugs and things, I have decided to take a step back. And now I’m finding myself bored and not knowing how to get back into dating and just socializing and things like that. So I’m wondering what kind of things that I should be doing as far as, you know, getting out again and getting back into the social scene during this crisis is going to be a little bit tougher. But when you get to the point of your kids leaving the house and not being a part of your daily life anymore, how do you move on from that? How do you continue to feel like you’re part of their life or that there’s a reason — I’m just kind of lost here. I’m asking you, Jaime, Tell Me What To Do . Thank you. 


[40:14] Jaime Primak Sullivan: All right, Mike. So, first of all, I commend you on being such an amazing hands-on engaged father. It is not easy to see our children make bad decisions and love them through it. More importantly, I commend you on setting personal boundaries that protect yourself in saying, OK, you are 30, you are making some bad decisions. I have done my best to love you through them. I will continue to love you, but now I need to do so from a distance in order to protect my peace and have a life for myself. See, this is the difference between having your children leave in a healthy way and having you have to leave your children in a healthy way. But both require readjustments. And Mike wants to know, how do I get back out into the social scene and the dating scene now that I am no longer focused on being a father? Well, I will tell you this, Mike. And I mean this sincerely. If you have a 30 year old son, my guess is that you are probably somewhere around 50, between 50 and 55. That would be my guess. Which means you are of the demographic that knows how to court a woman. And the biggest complaint I hear from women who are on these dating apps is there’s no dating anymore. They message you on an app and you talk back and forth for a couple of times. And then it’s like, let’s hang out. And there’s all this weird expectation. I see the apps as like a tennis court almost where there’s some volley back and forth, but there is nothing like hands-on, feet-on-the-court playing, you know, sinking with a partner, finding somebody that can volley your serve, Mike. All of the things that you knew to do when you were younger, meeting a woman, showing interest, asking for her number, calling, asking for a date. Sure, we’ve got to be safer now. There are different things going on in the world with COVID and whatever, but it can still be done. And I actually envy you. I think you’re taking your life back at a time where people have been quarantined and they’re ready to live again. People are ready to take a chance again, ready to put my love on them. 


[43:02] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I don’t know. This is, to me, the best time to be a gentleman looking to date a woman who’s divorced or widowed or maybe never been married. I wouldn’t recommend that you go for like a 25 year old. I’m going to suggest you don’t do that. I wouldn’t date anybody younger than your child. That feels weird. But I think women in their 40s right now are looking to meet someone and they want traditional dating. They’re saying it everywhere. And as I said, people are ready to take a chance again. If it’s one thing being stuck in your house for seven months will do for you — hopefully, if you’re smart, you’ll do it safely. So I would say, you know, if you see a beautiful woman, speak on it, you know, if she’s not wearing a wedding ring, ask her if she’s available. If she says yes, say, I am, too. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to have a socially distanced cocktail or go for a walk. Walking dates are all the rage right now because you can do it outside it safely. You can walk and talk. Get to know someone. I mean, you have to be a little creative, but I can’t think of a better time to be single as a man than right now. Just know, like I told Alice, Mike, that you are still part of your son’s life. It’s just that your role has changed. So if you were the tiger keeper at the zoo and your main focus was the tigers every day, all day, what they ate, how they slept, their medical. Everything about the tigers. And then one day you got promoted to zookeeper over the tigers, the bears and the lions. Doesn’t mean the tigers are not still a priority. They are. It just means that you have to take a step back and let other people kind of manage that and be OK with it. Sometimes you gotta let the tigers fend for themselves. And you know what? They usually do fine, because you know what tigers do? They do tiger shit, you know what I mean? And everybody has survival instincts and 99.9 percent of the time, tigers do fine, you know, except for when they’re with Carole Baskin. Killed her husband, whacked him. 


[46:34] Jaime Primak Sullivan: All right. Here’s what I’m going to tell you. Life is going to throw you curveballs. Some you can prepare for, most you can prepare for. A lot of life’s curveballs come with red flags and warning symbols, we just choose to ignore them and blow through the yellow light because it’s easier than slowing down. And that’s just a fact. So when life throws you a curveball, I’m gonna guess you saw the curveball coming and decided to ignore the warning signs. And that’s on you. It’s accountability, self-accountability in the rare instance of life, truly like, for example, the sweet lady at my church whose husband was packing for vacation and had a heart attack on the floor in front of her in their bedroom and died. That’s a real fucking curveball. That’s something you didn’t see coming. We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about things that we know we can prepare better.


[47:34] Jaime Primak Sullivan: And that’s the thing, guys. You have to prepare for the kind of life you want. If you want an active, happy, loving marriage after your children leave, you cannot fucking wait until your kids are out of the house to try to build that. You’ve got to be working on that. I mean, I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but and I’m taking my own advice, by the way, I see it coming. I see it. I see the kids getting older. They need Michael and I less, they’re less engaged with us. They want to go to friends’ houses and do other things. And, you know, you gotta work on it. You can’t wait until they fire you from the job or your children leave the net. You gotta prepare. And we talk about these things because I love you and because I want you to have not just a happy now, not just a safe now, not just a comfortable now, not just a fulfilling now. I want you to have a fulfilling forever. Fulfilled forever. A loving forever. A prepared forever. I want you to feel good about every stage of your life. Sure, you’ll cry. Sure, there’ll be some pivot. Sure, there’ll be change. Sure, things will look different when your primary focus is not mom. But I want you to be excited for all of the things to come and be ready. And the key to a fulfilled forever is preparation. That is the best advice I can give you. Prepare for each stage of your life. Don’t ever think it can’t happen to you because it absolutely fucking could. And don’t think you won’t take it as hard or as bad because you might. And this is all that I can tell you. And also get on the same page with your husband about what emptiness looks like, because if he’s super excited and can’t wait for these kids to get the fuck out and you’re like hanging onto every moment, you guys are going to have a lot of bumps come graduation day. OK. I love you, truly. And I want you to have a fulfilled forever. Remember, best way to have that is to prepare. 


[49:50] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Tell Me What To Do is a production of Lemonada Media. The show is produced by Kryssy Pease, and associate produced by Claire Jones. It’s edited by Ivan Kuraev. Music is by Dan Molad. Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jaime Primak Sullivan are executive producers. Rate and review us, and follow us @LemonadaMedia on all your favorite social platforms. Of course, you can follow me at Jaime Primak Sullivan on Facebook or at Jaime P. Sullivan on Instagram. If you have any questions for me that you want me to answer on the show, give me a call at 833-453-6662.


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