Good Grief & How To Manage It | The Next 100

The last few years have been tough on so many of us for so many reasons. As a business owner you have to show up every day, get up every day and make sure the business is running, every single day. How do you manage that when all you want to do it sit on the couch and drink gin? Asking for a friend, aka myself. As a human you have to feel all of it so that you can get passed it, but where is the line?

How do you manage your grief, I really want to know. Let’s talk about it.

“It’s an authentic and elevating response to the problem of being alive in a deeply flawed yet stubbornly beautiful world.”
― Susan Cain, Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole

Highlights with timestamps:
00:00 The past 3 years
01:18 The people I lost
01:49 My relationship with my mother
05:40 Always be kind to one another
06:49 Showing my authentic self
14:06 Book report for this week
16:53 Outro

Book Report:

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How do you manage your grief, I really want to know. Let’s talk about it.


Molly: Hey. Thanks for tuning in. It’s nice to see you again. It’s nice to be here. And I guess I should say welcome back to the next 100. Today, I want to talk about grief. I want to talk about all the loss and all of the sadness and all the grief that we’ve all been dealing with for the last three years because it feels like we’re not talking about it. It feels like. Hmm. The pandemic hit and it was pivot, pivot, pivot, and adapt. And there was so much division in vaccine opinions and this and that. And man, the last election cycle really destroyed a lot of families. And so there’s just so much loss.

You know, I’ve and I’ve been thinking about for days how I want to talk about this. And I’m not really sure. All I know is I want to show up authentically. Right. And I want to be honest about where I’m at because I think it’s important. I think sometimes we put people on these pedestals and we think just because their business is doing well or they’re living in a nice place that like there’s no problems and that’s not real. And for me personally, grief has been real and makes you flaky man like it has been tough I. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about the people in my life who passed away. Will and Sam, two people who are like fathers to me, really loved me and cared about me. And they both died. In a very short period of time, within a couple of months of each other and that. That sucks. 2020, man. Last year, my mom died. That made it even more difficult because we didn’t have a good relationship because. I think my mom resented me in a lot of ways. I think my mom resents me for surviving.

You know, my mom did the best she could. She did her level best. Her mom died when she was 16 and her dad died when she was 17, and she didn’t have it easy. Her only sister is 12 years older. My mom figured things out, was thrown on her feet and she figured out how to land and she married my dad. And, you know, that’s a whole other conversation. But, you know, they both did the best they could. My dad went to Vietnam within six months of them meeting one another and being married and already had a kid on the way. I mean, life was a very different time and so I never really held anybody accountable or that’s not even the right word. I never felt any resentment towards anyone in my family, in particular, my parents, because I know they did the best they could. And so. But in the last year of her life, she decided to very aggressively take it away.

The very little bit of love that she was able to give me. And the irony of that is that my mom. My mom raised me to be very independent and very intelligent. She let, you know, fed me books as a kid and let me read voraciously and encouraged me when I advanced and in different areas and, you know, probably pushed me a little bit too hard with some of the sports stuff and all that. She also, you know, was using sports as a daycare method. I’m not mad, that you get four kids, you’re like, I’m dropping you off the pool. I mean, my mom used to wake up, man. You know, my mom used to come home. My mom used to work nights as a nurse, and she would come home from working her shift and get all of us out of bed, all four of us in our matching homemade bathing suits. Fuck and drive us to the pool, to the Knights of Columbus and drop us off. And we’d have swim team practice and she would go home at like 7 a.m. and she would go home and sleep for 5 hours and pick us up at noon. And, you know, as a kid, I just remember being hungry all the time.

There’s a lot of things I remember about that, but I never fully appreciated that my mom was only getting 5 hours of sleep after working there as a nurse and providing for so many people and getting us off to school, and having 5 hours of sleep, having no time for hours before we came home from school. I mean, my mom really did the best that she could and she raised me to be super independent and I was. I moved out at 17, you know, my first surgery at 19. And I managed to land on my feet all the time. And, you know, that was one of the conversations that she had with me one time. You know, she said I said, you know, I’m really struggling. I really need your help. I really need some guidance. And she said to me, well, and this is after like years, you know, years of. Just no real engagement. Involvement in my life. And she said to me, Well, you always seem so fine on Facebook. And I thought to myself, Man. Well. Yeah. Right. Isn’t that the rub? Right. Like, we all seem fine on LinkedIn. We all seem fine. We’re showing up for these things.

But are we fine? Right. We’re talking about our businesses. We’re talking about our numbers. We’re talking about, you know, did you pivot? Did you adapt? Did your business survive? And all those things are great because if your business survives, that means you get people employed. No shit. Very proud of the fact that I managed to keep people employed. But like, when do we talk about the hard stuff? We’re talking about vaccines, like, you know, friendships are being ended, families are being destroyed. We’re talking about politics, that we’re talking about everything under the sun, but the incredible loss, you know, and how is that going to manifest? How is that going to manifest in interpersonal relationships, in the workforce? How is that going to manifest in relationships with clients? You know, I had a client this year that I had to, um, very, you know, it was borderline respectfully to tell them, like they were not allowed to speak to me or my staff that way anymore. And I had to remind them that. You know. We’re recording for them at three in the morning and jumping through hoops. And in the meantime, since we met them, the world came to a complete halt and people have died and we’ve been struggling and it’s really not okay to talk to anybody that way. And how dare you? And I don’t think that we really, like, address what the impact of this is on us and how that impacts how we speak to people, how we speak to vendors, how we speak to clients, how we speak to our employees. I mean, how do we speak to ourselves? Right. You know? So this isn’t a podcast. We’re like, I have all the answers. Far from it, you know? Um. I took this little, like, marketing class with Simmons, so she’s super badass. I love her. She’s very honest and authentic. And she was just talking about showing up as your authentic self. And I thought, Well, fuck, my authentic self sometimes is in a lot of pain or super depressed. Am I supposed to show up and record podcasts? when I feel like I just want to fucking cry. Yeah. I think so. Because it’s real. And I don’t think there’s a single person listening to this.

Hopefully, there’s more than one single person. But I don’t think there’s a single person who’s going to listen to us who didn’t lose something that really fucking hurt in the last three years. Maybe it was your business. Maybe it was your marriage. Maybe it was yourself. Maybe it’s a child, maybe it’s a parent. Maybe it’s all of those things. And I just think we need to be a little more kind. And I think we focus so much on like. You know everything is opening and events are happening again and tickets are still being sold. And this is happening and the pandemic is over and move and move and move. But when do we just sit with each other and say, hey, man, you alright? You alright? You know. So I don’t know. So this week what I did is I really focused on the people in my life that are like, bring me a lot of joy. And I made a list. So I have these really big windows behind me, as you can see. And my whole living room is nothing but windows, which is awesome, but it means there’s no place to hang any artwork or a whiteboard. But what I have learned is that I can put all of my stuff on the window and then at night it magically disappears. Like I don’t have a to-do list anymore. It’s awesome. I highly recommend it, but I made a physical list of the people in my life that really make me happy. And the reason why is because I was listening to the 25-year anniversary of the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. And they were talking about John Maxwell talking about your inner and your outer circle. And I just started thinking about who are the people in my life that really just like, make me feel good and like see me. People who see me. And so I wrote a list because lots of people think they see me and lots of people think they know me. But there’s very few people who like know. They know when I’m in pain. They know when I’m struggling and everybody else just thinks I’m funny, which I am. But I’m learning through therapy. That’s a trauma response. But I think I’m still funny, you know, I hope even after therapy I’m still funny.

I don’t want to lose that side of me. I think that’s like one of the genes you get with being an Irish Catholic and just handed down to you. It’s this great gift of sarcasm and self-loathing, but. Yeah. I made this list, and I reached out to some of these people, and I got to reach out to some of them again. But it just reminded me to be really grateful for my inner circle and just, you know, we talk a lot about authenticity and marketing, and like, what does that even mean? And it’s these like long fucking diatribes on LinkedIn with a, you know, that hook of a sentence. And I don’t want to do that, man. You know, I want to just share with you, you know, I just want to share with you what I’m learning, what I’m experiencing because it’s honestly really helpful. It kind of helps me be accountable. I gotta get up and look presentable and, you know, get in front of this camera and work on my presentation. The worst part is I got to listen to these afterward, which is so painful. Good Lord, who wants to listen to yourself? Apparently, that’s how you get better as well. So my clients all the time. So I stop saying right as much. I don’t know if you guys noticed that in the last couple of episodes, but “poco a poco ” as they say here in Costa Rica. So yeah, you know, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay.

You can be sad in a beautiful place. I do it all the time and it’s okay to be sad in business. It’s okay to barely get off the couch and show up for that meeting or that sales call or whatever and crushing hang up and cry. It’s okay. I’m going to give you permission to do that. You know, maybe some of you aren’t criers, but, you know, maybe it’s better if you cry instead of drinking. I don’t know. Follow me for more life tips. But you know what I’ve been doing right in that less of an exercise and more I’ve just been reading. I mean, listen to more audiobooks because it’s kind of slow down on that a little bit, which is why I did the book report. Right. All of this is just a lesson. You know, accountability for myself. So I’m really curious to know, what are you guys doing? You know, what are you doing to manage this? Like if you’re a leader in particular, right? Reading, reading the laws of leadership, would you be next week’s book report? Because I got one for today. It just made me realize what a shit job I’ve been doing and being a leader and talking smack about my clients. Not all of them, because most of them are great, but that one, It really pissed me off. But you know, I shouldn’t be doing that. I mean, I could be better.

I could be better, you know, am I addressing my staff? Like their grief in their time and the things they need? I’m not doing a good job at that. So I just want to be transparent. I just want to hold myself accountable and I want to be authentic. You know, my name is Molly and I struggle with depression and I probably will for the rest of my life. And I think that’s what gives me a different artistic eye on things. I mean, living in so much pain my whole life, you know, a lot of people I saw this post on the Internet the other day and said, you know, for people who live in chronic pain, like me, being in chronic pain doesn’t negate the pain that you’re in. Like, it’s not, it’s not the same. Like you could be in a lot of pain. It doesn’t make it any less because I live with it all the time. Right. But what I did do, living in a lot of pain, it humbles the shit out of you and you have no room to feel sorry for yourself because that’s just a losing battle. And like, shit gets old anyway, right? Like, oh, poor me. No, what it does is it gives you empathy and makes you feel connected to every person on the planet. Which is why sometimes living in a city was really hard for my soul. Because it just hurt. It hurt because I knew that I was never more than one click away. You know. And I’m still not. None of us are. So. Yeah.

Here it is on a day that I don’t really feel like showing up. I’m showing up talking about shit I don’t talk about. Rest in peace, mom. You know. Uh, despite your better wishes, I’m here. I’m surviving and thriving. Thanks for showing me what’s possible. by Not believing. And hey, man. Maybe next week will be better, but either way, I’m showing up. Share my thoughts. And I hope that you guys can share with me some of the things that you’re doing to kind of combat all these feelings and all these moments. You know, what are you doing? Meditating, reading, working out, cooking good food, hanging out with friends. What are you doing? And then share that with me. I want to know. I want to know what people are doing. I want to know how people are surviving. I want to talk about it now because I have the answer. Good Lord. Now half of my answers involve Jamison. So you shouldn’t listen to me. Or maybe you should sometimes. But I want to know. What are you doing? What are you doing? Share with me, man. And yeah. So the next one. Be easy on yourself. You know, I always say be excellent to each other, but maybe this week just be excellent to yourself, whatever that means. All right. It is time for the book report. Boo Boo. Read a book. Read a book. All right. Shout out to Bomani ARMAH. We need to tag him in this one for sure. But all right. I’m getting off track. Classic me. But then this week’s book is called Bittersweet. And what I really liked about this book is that I feel like it really spoke to me in a lot of ways because, you know, I have always struggled with depression, right? That’s what this episode was about. I mean, the first time I was, you know, sent off to deal with my feelings. I was in fourth grade. I mean, this has been I’ve had the therapist do the heavy lifting on that one. But I have just always had this sadness inside me for as long as I can remember, since I was a kid, it was literally the first thing I can recognize is like Dexter’s dark passenger. Like, I don’t. I ain’t killing no man.

Hey don’t call the cops on me. Fuck. But, like, it’s there. I mean, it’s just always been there, but I’ve always felt like that’s what gives me. There’s like, there’s the lens in which, like, I see things and the beauty I see in the world and the humanity and the love that I see in people. And, I’m grateful for that. And I don’t want to take that away, even though that means that there’s some really bad valleys and there are some VA-LLEYS. Right. But also there are some summits. And I get to see beautiful things. And I think this book does a really excellent job of kind of summarizing all of that in a much more succinct way. It’s kind of like enjoying listening to sad music and embracing that part. And I think where, you know, this whole, you know, there’s always some keyword and some buzz weird toxic positivity, right? But there’s some truth to that man.

Like you’re not supposed to be happy all the time. And she would be weird, man. You can’t be happy all the time. Who’s happy? Oh, nobody’s happy all the time. It’s not real. So, you know, you got to have sadness to have happiness. You got to have highs and lows. And I think we need to embrace that a little bit more. And, you know, she talks a lot about the relationship that she has with her mom. And I just thought it was like really it’s just really a beautiful book and it helped me kind of understand myself a little bit better. And so if you’re looking for a book, you know, it’s not super business development. I know it’s two weeks in a row. I know, but everything can’t be about learning. Okay, maybe you need to learn about ourselves first. But I think this is a good book. I definitely recommend it really well. Produce great audio. Nice voice. Five out of five. Give it a run. Especially if you’re feeling a little lost and a little bit, um, you know, full of grief and not really sure how to express yourself and feel like that might be a good place to start.

So Link is in the description. Check it out and until next week. Be excellent to yourself! Thank you for tuning in to the next 100 sponsored by Heartcast Media. We are a digital media creative agency focusing on branding, marketing, strategy, and amplification for personal branding to podcasting. We’ve got you covered and to continue this conversation, join me on Instagram. My personal account is @mollydruland and of course you can also find us at Heartcast Media. That’s where the really good stuff is going down. So join me there. Let’s continue the conversation. And until next week. Have a good one.