Finding Joy in Relationships During the Holidays Despite Covid19

Ideas for making the holidays fun with creativity in finding Joy in Connections during the holiday season.

In this week’s Carpe Diem Connections podcast Becky and I continue exploring the Joy Makeover and the topic is Joy and Relationships. We talk specifically about ways to connect with others during this 2020 holiday season when stress levels are high. Many of us are doing Thanksgiving a little differently this year due to Covid 19 restrictions.

Here’s an article I read just yesterday with some creative suggestions for new Thanksgiving traditions.

One new activity that I’ve been doing a lot more of during the pandemic is writing cards the old fashioned way! I had sealing wax as a kid and I wanted to give that a try again and discovered now the sealing wax comes in all these different colors that you can mix together! I also ordered a “Carpe Diem” stamp, ordered up beautiful postage stamps and other goodies, and now I look forward to my monthly cards and letters tradition!

This month, I sent out Thanksgiving cards to my family. Even though I won’t be able to be with them personally, it’s fun to send the cards, and do online games.

Wanna go above and beyond?

You can participate in sending cards to isolated seniors, check out: https://loveforourelders.org/letters.

Another nonprofit that is sending cards and letters to those in need is http://www.moreloveletters.com/

Please follow and like us:

The Joy Makeover Spinoffs – Season 2 of Carpe Diem Connections

Season 2: The Joy Spinoffs

Summary

I’m loving participating in the Joy Makeover and I bet you would, too! In Season 2 of Carpe Diem Connections we’ll be doing our own deep dive into finding Joy, starting with finding Joy in the election season! 

History

About 12 weeks ago I started a podcast, Carpe Diem Connections. I’d procrastinated because I knew nothing about podcasting and was worried that I’d be embarrassed by how amateurish it might sound.

However, with any kind of new hobby, if you go into it realizing that you have a lot to learn, and not having high expectations, you find the learning process and the improvement is usually fun!

When I’d gotten laid off in 2009, a suggestion at a lead’s group was to host a blog and interview people who I admired.  This turned out to be awesome advice and it was how I ultimately got a job as a Site Editor at TechTarget and was able to network with a lot of my industry’s thought-leaders. Ultimately, I ended up with a successful consulting career and a wonderful network of mentors, friends, and colleagues in the world of Agile Leadership and Quality Assurance.

Chapter 3 of Life

Now, I’d like to do something similar in the field of Positive Psychology, particularly as I’m entering a new stage of life.  I’m hesitant to call it “Retirement” or “The 60’s”..   Maybe “Chapter 3”? 

“Chapter 1” was childhood and college, “Chapter 2” was career and raising children. Now, in “Chapter 3,” I’m a 60-year-old empty-nester, grateful for the opportunity to discover and experiment with what it means to live life fully. 

I left my full-time contract at USAA in November, 2018, shortly after getting some bad news about degenerative back conditions. After a review of my finances and lifestyle, I came to the conclusion that, thanks to my ultra-frugal ways (and paying house-mates), I could afford to “retire.”  (I wasn’t sure I really wanted to retire since I loved my job but..  I also wanted more time to travel, visit friends, and be as active as possible while I still felt healthy, energetic, and pain-free.

I had an awesome 60-weeks-until-60 set of celebrations, full of traveling, adventure, and new experiences. My kids and family surprised and honored me on my 60th birthday, Feb.26, 2020, by gifting me with “Carpe Diem Day,” officially proclaimed in the National Archive of Days! 

Carpe Diem Connections – Season 1 – Interviews with Happiness and Connection Experts

As the proud recipient of Carpe Diem Day, I promptly bought CarpeDiemDay.com and have experimented with social media and activities related to”seizing the day.”  I also started a Carpe Diem Connections Facebook GroupCarpe Diem – Single Snowbirds Facebook Group– and, again, 12 weeks ago, the new podcast.

During this past 12 weeks, I used the same strategy I’d used in 2009…  I looked for guests who I admired and were living life fully.  Most were coaches or somehow involved in the field of Positive Psychology. I’m very excited and grateful to those who I met and interviewed! It’s been enlightening to hear their thoughts on what it means to them to live life fully and foster deep meaningful connections, particularly in the midst of the pandemic.

Carpe Diem Connections – Season 2 – The Joy Makeover Spinoffs

On Tuesday (Election Day!) I flew back to Sarasota, Florida, for “Snowbird Season.” I’m so lucky to be staying, once again, with wise and witty Becky Burns!  It seemed the perfect time to also start a new season on my podcast, hopefully, with continued learning and improving over Season 1.

Becky has agreed to be my co-host as we talk about Finding Joy.  I’ve become enamored with Ingrid Fetell Lee and her recent Joy Makeover workshop. She offers a workbook and a very interesting set of interviews, digging deeper with topics about things such as how our joy is affected with 11 different topics starting with time, money, and relationships.

Becky and I are going to do our own deep dive into these topics and add a few more that are particularly relevant for the times or for us.  For example, this week, we’ll talk about Joy and Politics since the election is causing so much anxiety for so many people.  As I write this, the vote is still undecided. I find it interesting that the uncertainty is causing so much anxiety, both with Covid and the election..  Uncertainty and its affect on Joy might also be part of that first podcast of the season.

Getting Feedback

In order to learn and improve, we need feedback! One of the few things I don’t like about podcasting, is that it’s difficult to get feedback.  We base results on how many people listen or subscribe, so, of course, it’s helpful to see those numbers go up.  However, what I really want is listener comments and feedback!!

I know that many of us listen to our podcasts when we’re out and about, so it’s not a very convenient medium for giving feedback.  

However, I would appreciate any feedback you’d like to send my way by email: yvette.francino@gmail.com,  by using the “message” button from the podcast Website, or by commenting or IM’ing me on Facebook.

Please follow and like us:

Interview with Tom Johnston of Ageless Explorers

First Interview for Carpe Diem Connections Podcast

I’ve been so excited about my new Podcast for several reasons:

  • I’ll be meeting with like-minded, positive people, learning from them and making new friends
  • I’ll learn how to podcast, and more about social media in general
  • I’ll continue to discover what kinds of things I want to do in this next chapter of life!

Tom Johnston is also in transition and figuring out what’s next in his life. He started both a Meetup group and a Facebook group called Ageless Explorers. His target audience are people like me… energetic people over 55 who care about health and wellness, wanting to live a meaningful “Chapter 3.”

It was awesome that Tom was the first guest on my Carpe Diem Connections podcast and that I could be the first guest on his new Meetup! (I spoke about using Agile practices during Covid19.)

What I’m learning from Tom

  • I’d never heard of the 7 levels of energy taught in Energy Leadership Coaching. Something I want to read more about!
  • I really liked how Tom knew that his first priority, his purpose, his “why”.. is to be a good father and that this is what guides him. It’s important to understand and live by our values, but not always easy.
  • Tom and I are catering to a similar demographic, so whatever we end up doing, we might be able to network and share leads and connections.
  • Tom does a great job of hosting Ageless Explorers. He’s consistent, a strong facilitator, created an inspiring logo, and has interesting content in his Meetup. We share interest in coaching and positivity. I can see that he’ll be a valuable business connection and new friend!

What worked well

  • Tom was a very flexible, go-with-the-flow guest. He didn’t mind being the first guest on my podcast, despite my amateur status.
  • Very nice that Tom and I were reciprocal guests on each other’s new ventures.
  • I like that I was able to record a Zoom video and have content for both a YouTube video and a Podcast audio recording at the same time.
  • It’s nice that I haven’t had to spend a dime on equipment or software (though, if I want to get serious, I should invest in at least a better mic, so they say.)

What could have been better

  • It was unbelievably difficult for me to figure out how to just do a simple split of audio using Audacity! I have a lot to learn about audio-editing.
  • Between my lack of skill and equipment, I’m kind of embarrassed by my podcast’s low quality.

What’s next?

  • Interview with Pamela Gail Johnson, Founder of Happiness Happens!

Links and References:

Ageless Explorers Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/911958189307379

Ageless Explorers Meetup Group: https://www.meetup.com/Denver-Career-Network-Meetup-Group/

Carpe Diem Connections Podcast Interview: https://anchor.fm/carpediemconnections/episodes/Tom-Johnston-Interview-eig2o1

YouTube Interview (My unedited full interview with Tom): https://youtu.be/b93CaCLXuzA

YouTube Recording of Agile during Covid19 at Ageless Explorer Meetup: https://youtu.be/U_y1AqXUtd0

Please follow and like us: