Ep 74 Educator and Author Jessica Lahey


I hate to use the cliche term life on learning. But Oh my gosh thank goodness for lifelong learning. Because you get to do some really cool things. If you view life that way and welcomed Midlife. Mix tape the podcast. I'm Nancy Davis Co and we're here to talk about. The years became being hip and breaking one. We do belong to here and taking slung weam. I wanted to start today. Show with shout to the what fresh hell podcast hosted by. Amy Wilson and Margaret Abel's. They're both comedians and mom's of three but that's where the similarities end Margaret's laid back to the Maxwell Amy loves lists research and planning ahead and their podcast is great but the I'm giving them a shout at right now is because they are putting out some excellent pandemic content on their facebook page. What fresh hell. Facebook page like their recent video. What we say now. We say things like take off your nighttime sweatpants and put on your daytime sweatpants and you know what I can't on Friday. Because I have to do Zuma some kids I went to camp with Beck in nineteen eighty six. What fresh hell the podcast on the facebook page? Check it out. Hi and welcome to the life. Mix Tape podcast. I'm your host. Nancy and I'm glad you're joining me today. This gives you a little something different to think about on a Tuesday or as I like to call all the days now blur I realized that most of the episodes I've recorded during the pandemic are running a few minutes longer than my usual episodes. I hope that works for you. Guys I find that I have the chance to talk to someone to whom not related. I don't want the discussion to stop so I've been letting them run a little bit long. My guest today is educator and Author Jessica Lahey Over Twenty Years Jessica has taught every grade from six to twelve in both public and private schools. She writes about education parenting and child welfare for the Atlantic Vermont. Public Radio The Washington Post and the New York Times. And she's the author of the New York Times bestselling book the gift of failure. How the best parents learn to let go so their children can succeed. Jessica's second book the addiction inoculation raising healthy kids in a culture of dependence will be released April twenty twenty one. When we're finally outside again together with Co Host Caja del Antonio who you may remember from episode forty one of this podcast just hosts the Hashtag am writing podcast which is an incredible resource for writers. And you can find out more about all her work at Jessica Lahey Dot Com just knows all about the good that can come out of experiencing failure and I thought her perspective might be the kind of encouragement. We need right now because outside seems like a failure to me. I don't know about you guys. Maybe you're thriving where you are but there's a lot of challenges by the way this might be the favourite ending. I've ever had to a podcast interview so make sure you tune in all the way to the end. Okay come on class settle down. Let's listen to teacher. Lahey so I am here today with my friend. Just Lahey and I'm so glad to welcome you to the mid-life mix tape podcast. Jess. I am so happy to be on the MIDLIFE. Mix Tape podcast to have many things to discuss but we always start to ask the most important question right. Was Your first concert. And what were the circumstances is actually? I'm not sure what the exact first one was. Because I was very lucky as a kid my parents friend was a Rhody for a bunch of different people and so I got to go when I went to concerts. Not only did I get to sit in the family and friends section but I got to hang out backstage after it so like I remember doing cartwheels down the hall backstage at a budget. Billy Joel Concerts. Because he was ready for Billy Joel for longtime a Billy. Joel was probably one of my first. Billy Joel has a very special place in my heart because of all the concerts. I got to go to as a kid television where you live now. I'm in Vermont now. And we live up near Burlington Vermont. I was in New Hampshire before this for about ten years but I grew up in Massachusetts. So you theoretically have access to concerts in Burlington when they come back. So what's the average that you hope will come back through when they all start touring again? Here's the thing I don't go to a ton of concerts now. I did go to really cool thing so a friend of mine. Someone I've known. Since she was born married this guy his name his show business name is MC Yogi and he does. He's also a yoga. They're both yoga instructors but he is has a huge following in that community for his hip hop rap. Yogi Cross cultural whatever so when you go see him and you do his yoga class he is also performing and I went with my son. Who's also a fan of his last summer at Wanderlust? We went to go see him. And it's so much fun because you're doing this yoga class and he. It's like a hip hop rap sort of situation. And it's a hoot. It's really really fun. So that was the last concert I went to and I would go any place he performs because he's so much fun to watch did not know there was a yoga subculture of hip hop legislated may well and now when. I go to a yoga studio anywhere and I have on like either. His Wife's art on my shirt. 'cause she's well known for her art she's known as ten thousand. Buddhas because she paints these murals of Buddha's all of the place or some of his We have a bunch of his shirts. people are like. Oh my Gosh I love him and so among Yoga teachers. It's like a big deal but yeah there is this whole yoga music subculture aright while we you know. We always feature a video in the show notes. So I'M GONNA put. Mc Yoga cool all right. So let's do the Cova check. And how are you and I have to give us a little background just husband. Tim Is an infectious diseases. Doc and you've done a huge service. I think by using your platform to have tim answer questions that we all have and so my first question for you is. Is it better or worse to be married to diseases doc? In this time like do you know too much? Yeah someone asked me that. Yesterday I was talking about that. His main role during this has not been as much the infectious disease as it has been his medical ethicist role because he's the head of Medical Clinical Medical Ethics at University of Vermont. So He's been sort of advising you know how the response will go and that has to do with things like resource allocation like if we run out of ventilators who gets them and who doesn't all of that stuff he has to make those decisions and so. I've sat in on every single day twice a day. They have this code incident response. Phone call and I sit in on it and listen to it and that's when sometimes I realized that it's really scary to know a lot of the details but at the same time the response has been so thoughtful and so well planned. They just care so much so from that perspective. It's really nice to know that the people who are running the response to this thing care so much so that when we're looking if we God forbid turn on the news and see what the National Federal Response has been. You can lose a lot of faith but when you're looking at the people who actually are on the ground dealing with day to day those people care so much that's helped me a lot. Will that helps me a lot and I imagine people listening to this. Feel the same way so you guys make sure that you're following just in social media because occasionally. I know if you're still planning to do this but I tuned in a couple of times when you talked with Tim and it was just really reassuring to hear someone who is so grounded in the science and the policy and all of that address address questions. So you know. We're all out there. Doing the finding from as a friend of mine said to me this morning. The real question who your sources where you had exactly law and the hard part about this is because it's evolving so quickly you know all of a sudden we hear. Well now you know. Kids are getting all of these blisters and red spots on their feet and that's brand new and no one knew that you know even around masks when all of a sudden it's been made the rule that masks. Everyone wears masks certain level. Tim's like okay. That's fine but there isn't great evidence showing that really helps and so you know at a certain point. You just have to say well. We don't know everything just trying to do. The best that we can do with a very rapidly evolving situation speaking of failure to understand everything hedge. Guay now one of my very favorite parenting books and I love the whole topic. I Love I mean. Obviously it will be writing but I just really appreciated that. You took this on. The books called the gift of failure. How the best parents learn to let go so that children can succeed. And we're going to talk about that in the context of the pandemic. But I wanted you to start by just kind of explaining what the book is what you hoped to do with that. And who is the audience? What was the reaction so I have been a teacher for over twenty years and at the time I was teaching middle school. And Oh my gosh. I love Middle School so much and you know middle school. Kids are just so amazing. Because they're still they're still willing to admit when they don't know everything in they're still willing to look to you for guidance and you're not completely jaded yet and it's just a kind of magical time so but increasingly these kids were really freaked out about making mistakes and they were so worried that if they didn't do everything perfectly that they were. GonNa let people down in that. They wouldn't have their parents and I would think less of them as their teacher and so I was getting really freaked out and as I'm very happy to say I was on a super high horse. Like I was really pissed off at the parents of my students for screwing their kids up and making it harder for me to do my job as an educator but then I had that moment where real stone is doing the same thing to my own kids because as I say in the book at the time I was teaching middle schoolers and I found out that I had a nine year old kid who couldn't tie his own shoes so I had to have that sort of like okay so I can't just be mad at the parents of my students and got to figure out how to help those students get back to a more get back to learning for the sake of learning and not just because they're so worried about their grades and then I also had to figure out how to undo the scripts. I made with my own kids and help them be more competent and an innovative in and know how to handle problems when they come up and so for both of their sakes students my kids. I had to really figure this out. Look at the research on how kids learn and how kids are motivated and all of that stuff and figure out a way forward for both teachers and parents so the way publishing works is that your publisher sort of sees a clear path forward with the books that they're best able the market and my publisher who I am. I love my publisher. I I'm with Harpercollins Harper Books and I love my editor and it's just. It was easier for them to know how to market a parenting book. But I also knew that this was going to be an education book and that's been might speaking career has really taken off because of speaking at schools into educational organizations and so between the two of us you know parents and educators. I think I wrote it for both of them. I wrote it for myself. 'cause it was the book. I really wanted and couldn't find and that's over and over again when people say you know how do you? How do you know what to write about? The people will be interested in and I say I really. Don't I write about what I'm interested in whether that's writing at the Atlantic which is where I really got my start or Writing a column for Three Years The New York Times the stuff that tends to confuse me about parenting and education. I have to assume stuff. That's also confusing other people and hope that someone else finds it useful as well and they did find the gift of failure useful. It's good well. It's it's a really good book. It's one of those parenting books that you read and you go. Yes and then you think wait. Do I do this? I do this I better. I need to pay more attention to this. One of the reasons I wanted to have you on now is because so. Many listeners are trying to support their kids. Who are we can't call it home. Schooling does not high in there. You're doing distance learning. Everything's come about so quickly. Teachers didn't have time to plan for this adequately. It's it's like the whole thing is held together with string. Yeah and so. Here's my question though. Do you see that there are opportunities that you talk about the kinds of lessons. You want kids to learn. Is that happening by necessity because of the pandemic is there. So here's my Gig. I'm looking for a silver lining. Every day I am always like what is the thing I can find so I don't fall apart and cry so yes you have to realize that teachers. This is such a hard thing when when I Twitter is my jam. I love twitter and mainly because twitter is where the educators are as a profession teachers or one of the biggest users of twitter and so from my perspective twitter. Is this amazing place to be because it tends to be really supportive because I follow like a thousand teachers. It's fantastic and on twitter. She has justly heat at justly. And I love twitter for that and you can see if you go on and if you like me follow a lot of teachers. You can see that everyone's fuses a little bit short right now. Everyone wants to emphasize that teachers are doing the very best they can and teachers my God. They miss their students so much like all I see all day long is on doing my best and I feel like I'm failing my students because I can't hug them. I can't be right there in front of them What else can I do? And yet at the same time. These teachers have kids at home too. And so right you can come at this from a couple of different angles so my kids are older and my kids are completely in charge of their education. Unless something get super screwed up They don't need me Unless you know if your kids just although I have I have a high school kid and then obviously That I have a kid in college. So he's completely all over that stuff himself but the high school kid you know like the other day we were out hiking and all of a sudden he said and I said what. Oh you missed class. Didn't you? And he said yes. I Miss Checking in with my p. e. teacher and I'm like well were on a hike so I'm going to call that I'm going to call that a wash but every once in a while I have to sort of you know email and explain that. Sorry yeah he missed that class. A lot of schools are realizing my sound school in particular is realizing that it would be really horrible to penalize kids for especially where I am in Vermont for a lack of you know A wildfire the Internet at all. And so they're sort of they frozen grades to a certain extent so that kids can't their grades can't go down they can only go up so that's one great way that this is working and if you're in a place like that then see this as a huge opportunity to look at this as an opportunity for kids shoe start owning bear learning a little bit more. I mean if with really rich kid obvious really little kids. Obviously you've to help them with some of rescue to help them with for logging on and I was talking to a friend today. Whose Wifi is so tenuous that you know they have to sort of zoom and win that kind of thing but giving kids more leeway to handle this themselves can be really great because who knows. Maybe they're better at the technology than you are in the first place and you know the answer is no. I don't fully understand how you're doing that long division so I can't help you with that but the here's a great opportunity for you to email your teacher explain to your teacher or ask for Zoom meeting so the you can explain to your teacher what you're not understanding or what you do understanding where things are falling short and honestly right now. Everyone's I I I was gonNA say everyone's falling behind but where we are and whether that's behind. Her head is an arbitrary distinction that we as a culture make ourselves and everyone's in the same boat right now so it's not like your kids are falling behind because everyone's kids are in the same place so let's use this as an opportunity to get kids to be a little bit more independent with their schoolwork. The other wonderful thing is right now because everyone's home all the time and on top of each other kids can actually see what happens when they don't follow through with things like for example household duties if everyone leaves one bowl or cup replay out then all of a sudden by the end of the day. The kitchen looks like a nightmare and having those conversations can be really great because they can actually see the consequences of everyone leaving one thing out. They're not able to walk away or go off to school. And then you clean things up while they're off at school or whatever it all of the consequences hang around because no one's going anywhere so this has been a really cool opportunity and I've been getting emails quite a few years for parents saying you know. I'm just shocked. At How am I? Kid is handling Zoom stuff on their own or problem solving instead of fixing it for them. Say you know what's one way. You think you could handle that yourself. What's one way you think that you could Work that out with your teacher yourself. There are lots of silver linings and my favorite silver lining of all of this is. I wrote a piece for the Atlantic long time ago about the importance of having some patients and learning how to be what's called. What's there's this thing called self directed executive function? Which means that you. The kid comes up with the idea. And the planning and how to follow through as opposed to being so directed and led by the nose by their parent teacher and that ability to do this self directed executive function. This is a great time for them to come up with their own ideas come up with their own projects. Come up with something you're GonNa do. Outside of the House may be in the backyard. One of my kids is doing a class through a free program called core. Sarah You C. O. U. R. S. A. R. S. Thank you it's one of my clients. Do No no. I did not know that There's you can take courses for for free at at you know even Ivy League institutions so one of my happens to be really interested in musical production Musical production and so he is sort of. Auditing this class at Berkley. School of music that is doing. It's all about digital music production so I said why do you do take a class that you couldn't take in school right now? Do something different. And that's been the one of the wonderful things about that. Will you make a great point? There's there's no blueprint for how we're supposed to be operating right now and I'm doing the best we can exactly and I don't know if you guys are ozark watchers. I had to drop off after the first six. It was too intense but there was one line that I will take with me to my grave. Protect your tender ears if this is GonNa hurt them 'cause some profanity. I love when Ruth says I don't know shit about fuck. That is how I feel a lot of the time. I don't know shit about fucking this pandemic. I don't know what we're supposed to be doing. And if you have kids who hopefully didn't hear me say that they can't look to you for the answer because you don't know right either and seems i. I hadn't really thought about it that way but makes a lot of sense. What's been really interesting? Also because the college kid is home and the younger. My kids are five years apart and for a while. They're in the middle of teenage years. They didn't have a ton in common but now they're actually really getting to know each other in a way in a much deeper way and the older kid is Studying Economics and math and my younger kid finds the whole philosophy side economic philosophy stuff interesting so actually. My younger kids been learning from my older kid. They been watching youtube videos together. I'll go I'll be like what are you. What are you watching? They're like oh elector from Milton. Friedman I'm like sounds like fun. Come back to do some rap. I appreciate that your your kids are older minor as well Got To college kids and I have tried to talk with them a little bit. And I don't think anything is gonNA compare to what this generation of young people is facing in terms of challenges. But I've tried to let them know you know. When I got out of college there was there was an eighty eight. Black Friday had just happened in eighty seven and there were very few people interviewing on campus. When I got out of Grad school it was the middle of the first Gulf War again. Nobody was coming on campus to interview. And you're just trying to reflect to them like this this happens. Every generation has a challenge. And you know you go on you build a productive life despite that you. This is a temporary not permanent scenario and again going back to the themes of your book you know. I think it's a good opportunity for parents or older people to talk to the young people about the lives about the challenges that they've overcome so that these guys don't feel like that's the our generation is facing trouble like nobody has ever had you know nobody ever has. We're not going to get through this. I think it's incumbent on older people to give them a message. Like yeah it sucked for us. Maybe not exactly the same. You know not the same degree your scope. But you'll get past it and Ryan. This is these hardships are things you learn from. There's some really cool research that I talked about a little bit and gifted failure back from. There's some during the Great Depression. For example that showed that kids who were able to contribute in some way whether it's financially because they could bring in a little bit laundry or whatever or in helping out just on a daily Labor around the house kind of thing kids who are able to help out their families. During Times of trouble like during the Great Depression suffer fewer emotional consequences. Little less trauma emotionally from that. Serve those sort of hardships. If they feel like. They're helping their family pull together and be a part of helping support the family so there is something kids really do. Want to be useful and helpful and you know maybe not on a moment to moment basis but being made to feel use less is really taking away a lot from kids and the research is clear as the more kids feel useful than the less helpless. They feel the more they feel like. They've been called self efficacy. Which is that when they make decisions when they make take actions that those things will actually result in a change in their circumstances and so the more we help kids feel like they have self efficacy. The more we up to help them feel competent to the more. We help them feel like they're helping. Keep the family together the healthier everyone is going to be on the other end of this and it seems to me that as. Gen xers were given a lot of that self efficacy whether we wanted it or not you know with their parents at work and predominance of divorces for our generation or you know a lot of us were going between two household we were doing the whole latch key kid thing and. I wonder if you think there's anything about. Janek says a you know as a cohort that has prepared us for this moment. That gives us a little bit more. We're obviously being squished. We've got the parents and kids. Were trying to manage but at the same time. Maybe we're pretty well prepared. Yeah well I think one of the interesting things people ask me in interviews all the time how I was parented. Because they're thinking well maybe that'll give me some secret insight into you. Know the gift of failure Origin Story. But the big thing for me was that my parents trusted me to make good decisions. I always felt like yes. I was given a long leash. Yes you know I was off. I had a horses. I was often the woods some days that just had no idea. Where was all day long? And it wasn't so much that I was a latchkey kid. Although at times I was It was more about the fact that I knew they expected me to make good decisions that they trusted me and being trusted was huge to me because I really want to live up to that. Trust now that obviously you know all kids are different and sometimes they deserve trust and sometimes they don't but the faith that you feel like someone is trusting you to make decisions and to act up to a certain level at least in education realm. We know that makes kids rise to the level of the expectations on them. So for me. That was the big deal being trusted. There's one line that that really stood out to me in the book. As I was reading it I was thinking. She didn't write this for the pandemic. But there's some lessons in this. They're applicable and there's one line particularly wrote. We need to know that are suffering. Humiliation and pain will prove valuable in the final accounting. And I just thought that's pretty much how I feel right now. You know I just WanNa make sure that all this shelter staying at home wearing the mask all this stuff. We're doing that. We're not just going to go back to the way things were before that caused to get here. First place you know so and there's probably going to be a period of having to go backwards. I mean you know if we get a second if if Kobe gets a second bump if you know if local areas and many of them will get a second rise in the numbers and we may have to. We can open some things that have to close them temporarily. And that's going to be incredibly frustrating for kids. Especially if you think about how much control or what I like I like to refer to as autonomy if you think about how much autonomy kids generally have. It's really being squeezed out we. Have you know their over scheduled? And they we tell them where to be. And when and what colored a write in and everything and what to wear and then all of a sudden now you take all control away from them. They can't go to school. They can't see their friends. Can't you know there's all these things they can't do so for kids especially adolescents. Who are individual right? Now is a nightmare. Period and lack of control tends to make people feel helpless if you look at the research. That's sort of our default Goto response to long-term discomfort or help with our feelings of lack of control is to roll up in a ball and go helpless. It turns out the way to short circuit that according to Martin Seligman sort of father. Positive Psychology He did a big study on this the way to defuse the way to sort of break. That circuit of learned helplessness is to give control back. So right now might be a great time to give kids more autonomy. Give kids more control over the details of their lives because then they will feel less helpless and feel like they have at least a small opportunity to seize control during the time when we all feel so helpless so what does that look like China them. You're on you figure out your school stuff I mean. What do you figure out your school stuff? You know why people feel. It's so important for kids to have their rooms clean all the time. I've never really understood. Kids have so little autonomy over their Their environment that when we intrude on that environment by telling them that it has to look a certain way or be everything has to be sorta set up in a certain way that we're really intriguing on some of their space are rule in our houses that can't spill out into the hallway. You know little things like that. Y- homework is your responsibility and here are very clear. Expectations and here are the very clear consequences. If you don't get it done but you're old enough now that you really need to take some. Um have some responsibility for the things that should be your job and this is part of your responsibility or job in the book. Lay Out really clear. Ways to sort of make those expectations and consequences clear and Yeah natural consequences for things like you know if you don't hang your how homework and then you're responsible for zoom meeting where we both sit there and ask the teacher his or her opinion about how we can best support you in getting that stuff done but you're responsible for running that meeting because this is your stuff not ours and if your children have anything love like the level of zoom fatigue that. I do they will rather get their homework done and enduring normal circumstances and I've run and been present for many of these. I don't run them because the kid runs them but as a teacher. I've sat in on lots of these conferences. Where the kid is the one running the meeting? And they're the one who set it up and we're just there to support them but they have to. Do you know the brainstorming about how there can make things work better for them so on a pivot here because I love a good reinvention story of the good life reinvention story you worked in teaching the yeah you started and worked for how many years before you added writing to the portfolio. Well I always have writing in the portfolio. It's just that it hasn't been widely published writing. I started I started really publishing a lot of stuff when I'd been teaching for about fifteen years or so. It was twenty years by the time I finally left the classroom for the last time which was about a year and a half ago. So what has that process taught you about taking the long view not worrying what it takes a little while to get to your goal. I mean you obviously kept at it. The whole time But I just think of you as somebody who has been persistent. You're really I mean you just like you have a goal and you move toward it and I've always admired that about you. So what has that kind of process of doing the writing alongside the teaching and then eventually making the change taught you. You know I've had. I've been so fortunate to have a really windings. Zigzag career trajectory like a had the opportunity to lots of really cool things all things. I'm very grateful for you. Know I went to law school to do juvenile law. I was a speech writer for A. Us Governor I've done all kinds of stuff and that has all been all of that so whenever I talked to students. I'm like look this idea that you're supposed to know what you WANNA do. And how you're going to get there as hooey. Because I I didn't even know I wanted to be a teacher until I was twenty eight and that's been the thing that's really sustained me the longest but you worked in A. I've done a little and a little of that in the writing thing has been the through line but even more so I think the teaching is what the through line has been because even as a journalist I research things and then write about them for you know for anyone to understand and I think you gotta stick with the things that really feed you. Because if they're not feeding you than I. I don't know how you persist at those things and when people talk about you know oh I could write a book on the side of the other thing and the very first question has to be. Do you WANNA spend a couple of years almost exclusively thinking and talking about that thing because unless you do please don't bother because it writing is such a hard thing to make work. Even under the best of circumstances let alone get paid for it let alone you know if you're fortunate enough to have something that people want to pay you to come and talk about better like what you're working on. Well this is the part where I'm going to try to make you blush and share a story about you because on you have always know you are a role model to me in terms of how confident and patient and smart you are about your writing career and I have really watched as you. You know just methodically consistently help spread the word about your book. Your Super Professional. And here's the story. I'm GonNa tell so you know. My first book came out in December. The thank you project and in January and in January. I was on tour. It On Book tour which meant like three cities on the east coast and one of the including stop in my hometown and I knew I was going to get a lot of people out at this event and the way it works is that you know you read it a bookstore. You hope you saw a lot of books bookstore. That's that's what that's why you readings and because it was a hometown event I actually had arranged with a childhood friend to do it at his events. Space which is awesome. But then I had to find a book solid or come in and sell books there and I'm not gonNA name names but bookseller wouldn't commit wouldn't commit wooden commit and I'm meanwhile you know I'm getting personal commitments from friends in Rochester. That they're gonNA be there. I arranged a appearance on the morning TV show and then I arrived in Rochester. I was included in the paper as one of the top ten events to do this weekend. We'll doing book yeah. Bookseller left me hanging to the various two days beforehand when they said No. We can't spare the staff we we're not sending anybody over like so but this is what I did I was like do. I not sell books and then I thought to myself. Ww J. L. D. Lahey do and I'm like she would find him damn books and some people to sell them for her so I did. I ordered found books online. I hired a young relative of mine. I got myself a square. I figured out how to use the swear I taught relative and we saw thirty five books that night and I was like you know what no just I might have just done it and left and hope that people would go find the book on their own. But I'm just would make sure there were books for people to buy so thank you for being an exemplar in that regard. I have to say that's the main reason that we started the Shag. M writing. Podcast is that the learning curve in writing and selling books and marketing books and promoting books. And all the stuff that we have to get out into the world. All of that has such an amazing steep learning curve. So I've screwed up all of it absolutely all of it and so why on earth not have a podcast where I explained all the things I have screwed up so that you don't have to screw them up in the same way and there are ways to ensure that the book thing happens. But you can't know how to do that unless you've messed it up once or twice right well. I wanted to make sure we gave a shout out to. Hashtag am writing just host that together with ABC. Midlife MIX it. Yes Cade Gauge Ellen. Tony S. so I and I love it as a full of practical tips so I love the way that you are sharing your own expertise with younger. Writers older writers older than you just Like me and it's just you know I think another way in which you're taking the experience that you have and making it accessible to other people which is something we can all do regardless of the field that we're in well in that's how I learned it because I had other writers who had made all the mistakes and helped me when I was for starting out so I just try to push that forward. Keep it going or baby. Pay It forward and now you're working on a new book. That'S COMING OUT APRIL. Twenty twenty one. You want to tell us about that yet. So it's in copy at its right. Now Woo Hoo. My desk at the moment is out of my control. I've seen a little bit of cover art and we went back for a second round so it's called the addiction inoculation raising healthy kids in a culture of dependence. It is about the fact that I am in recovery from I'm an alcoholic and I have almost seven years recovery. I'm raising two kids. Who have a very long line of addicts alcoholics in their Family Tree on both sides of the family and so from my perspective as a parent of kids with sort of that genetic predisposition and also as the teacher of kids who are addicted. What can we control? And what can we not? What can we do to prevent substance abuse in kids? You know what's out of our control so that that was the book I needed and couldn't find again writing. You know the thing that I just WanNa know. I wanted to do the research and see where we are right now with substance abuse prevention and it turns out. We're in a pretty good place. Substance Abuse Really is preventable Get it just right. So that's been working on that for the past couple of years all right just last question. What one piece of advice you have for people younger than you or do you wish you could go back and tell yourself just to have patients. Life is a constant process of learning and there are so many things I have done for example paying tuition to go to law school. That technically aren't benefiting me in a real practical way every single day but absolutely do benefit me in terms of the way. I think in the way I sort of move through material in the way I write have patients that process because this is not about getting the perfect job the minute you graduate from college or the mini. Get Out of high school. This is about. I hate to use the cliche term life on learning. But Oh my gosh thank goodness for life long learning because you get to do some really cool things if you view life that way. There's so much research that show better outcomes for people as they age if they're continuing to learn new things I had chip Conley on the show. Who is the founder of the modern elder Kademi and they touch learning to surf in his fifties and with his dad and his his in his eighties. And maybe we should all go on core Sarah and pick something to get good at by the time pandemics over besides eating. I'm very good at eating thr. I went back and took Algebra. I took Algebra in my forties because I had been told as a middle schooler that I wasn't very good at math and I believed that and that you know ruled the way I reacted to math so in my forties went back and retook it with my kid and my students and it turns out. I am good at math. Thank you very much. Maybe we should pick something that we've been told we're not good at and go back and just give it a given a Midlife. Second World. I love lutely absolutely just Lahey. Thank you so much for coming on the show. The book is the gift of failure. Her upcoming book is the addiction. Inoculation I we're going to cove inoculation Galatian. That'S COMING OUT APRIL. Twenty twenty one you can. I'll leave links to everything from the show notes to make it easy for you guys like you so much for coming on the show. Thank you miss. Go let him go ahead surrounding three of them all right perfect and make aunt not only did I include an MC yogi video in the show notes. Today's episode I actually signed up and did a class with him by zoom last weekend only really started doing yoga for the first time last fall. But I have this vision of myself. Bursting forth. Post Cova does some kind of advanced Yogi from all the Zoom Yoga that I'm doing but honestly I think that's what comes from not wearing your glasses or sharing your screen during communal Zim Yoga. I don't want those people to see me. I don't know them. And I'm squinting the whole time because I can't see the instructor but I'm sure I'm great. I'm sure I'm doing really well with it. I'm curious to know what you guys have found his unexpected silver linings in your life during the pandemic. I really clean to those stories and find a lot of hope in them so reach out and let me know you can email me at Dj at midlife mix tape dot com. You can tell me via facebook or instagram or twitter. You can find me there as at Midlife. Mix tape all right. I can't even express how excited I am for next week's guest. Let me start by asking Dino Band Poi- dog pondering for the people scratching their heads right. Here's your assignment over. The next two weeks go check out their albums. Point Up Pondering volo-volo or pomegranate or a great one is wishing like a mountain and thinking like the see that came out nineteen eighty nine for those of you who already know them will make you guys bandleader. Frank oral is coming on. The show is a total renaissance. Man He's one of my bucket list guests because he's just a really interesting guy who's had some very cool side hustles and I thought it might be instructive to hear from him. How he's always kept all these side gigs going and also what he sees as the future of concert going really like an insider's point of view so check back in two weeks and I can't believe I get to interview him. I'm so excited. So that's it for today. You guys stay. Well stay healthy. Take care of one another by. Don't NEC down on any would for me. Not Be Tony Down. Babylon of you only need the means would have you want from A. B. b. He won't.

Coming up next