I had received several recommendations about the podcast, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. I decided to download one and listen to it while I was on the elliptical machine at the gym. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's like listening to a couple of your girlfriends talk about life, things they are passionate about right now and what God's doing in their lives. Most of these shows are between forty-five minutes and one hour fifteen minutes. The interviews are with some well-known women and women Jamie knows or has heard of but maybe are not in the public eye as much.
Recently Jamie started some bonus happy hour episodes that are thirty minutes in length and posted every few Fridays. They are often follow up interviews of people she has previously interviewed. She usually asks each person a similar set of questions.
The interviews seem like so much fun. It'd be neat to be a guest on her podcast but I don't really do anything that would warrant me the opportunity - I'm a regular SAHM not doing anything particularly noteworthy or groundbreaking.
But today is my birthday so I thought I'd have a little fun. I wrote down the questions she asked on one of the bonus episodes and thought it'd be fun to answer them like I really was a guest on her show. Here goes...
Pretend Jamie Ivey: Welcome to The Happy Half-Hour with Jamie Ivey! My guest today is Megan Byrd.
Me: I'm so excited to be here with you! I'm a little nervous about a live/recorded event but they seem like so much fun that I thought it would be fun to participate.
PJI: For those who don't know who you are. give us a little snippet of your life.
Me: I am a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) of two kids, a six-year-old and a three-year-old. I've been married to my husband, Adam, for almost ten years and we live in Acworth, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.
PJI: What is something you've read, watched or heard recently that you cannot stop recommending to other people? Answer one or all three.
Me: Your podcast has been the thing I've been listening to that I think all of my women friends should check out. I get something from every episode, most notably book recommendations. I love reading so it's a great way to add to my to-read list and be confident it will be a worthwhile read!
Speaking of books, I recently read Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. It is hilarious! It also speaks truthfully about mental illness and provides wisdom and insight for the rest of this. I love books that cause me to laugh, think and learn. I would like to warn that there is some language in the book that others might not care for.
I also recently read and enjoyed Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I have read three of her books thus far and this has been my favorite. At the beginning you find out that there is a murder and then the book jumps back six months to introduce you to the characters. I spent most of the book trying to figure out who died and who killed them. I changed my guess several times but ended up being completely wrong. It was great!
I don't watch a lot of television. My husband and I tend to stick to comedy shows to lighten our week and he usually is the one that introduces me to them. Probably my favorite of the current shows we watch is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Andy Samberg is one of the main characters and I thought he was funny on Saturday Night Live. I thought it was going to be a dumb buddy-cop show but I watched the first episode and laughed throughout the whole thing. The whole cast is amazing and hilarious. Andre Braugher is amazing as Captain Holt. It's just fun and silly and also heart-warming in moments. I can't wait for the next season!
PJI: How do you recharge? What does that look like for you?
Me: As a SAHM without family around, this has been a struggle for me. I actually recently asked this same question to a new acquaintance of mine, asking her to recall what she did when she was raising her children. She helped me to get a better picture of what recharging looks like for me. Exercising is a big factor in my emotional and physical health. I have made sure my kids have kept an afternoon rest time most days (now that they no longer nap consistently) so that I can have an hour to an hour and a half to do something I enjoy, usually reading, praying and/or writing. Occasionally I'll take a nap if I'm feeling particularly tired. I have sometimes used this time to do chores around the house and I have realized that not using my "free time" wisely hinders my ability to be a patient, considerate, loving mom and wife the remainder of the day.
I dream of having an entire day to myself where I can focus on being in nature and spending time in quiet solitude praying, writing and reading. It sounds so amazing to me! As an introvert, I need periods of quiet to recharge (hence my kids' Quiet Room Time).
PJI: What's a specific app, gadget or piece of technology that you cannot live without and why?
Me: My kindle. I LOVE to read and I think it's great that I can have a bunch of books in one place and it takes up limited space in my bag or suitcase. I can get books from the library or Amazon without having to leave the house. My kindle case has a book light which makes for easy reading in bed (yes, I have an older, non-backlit one but I use it daily).
PJI: What's a dream that you had when you were young that you've had to let go of?
Me: For awhile growing up I wanted to be an architect, but not just an architect. I already had the traveling bug so I wanted to live in an RV so that I could travel around the country designing buildings. I don't know if that was a very realistic dream, probably because I wasn't really equipped with the skills to be an architect, but it was fun to think about for awhile. I don't know that I ever thought it would actually happen.
I think I'm very risk-averse so I don't know that I really dream big or pursue things that require a lot of risk. In college, I thought about going to graduate school for counseling but was concerned about having a student loan so I didn't ever finish the application process. I know it would still be possible to acquire a master's but it's not a strong desire of mine at this time. So, sadly to say, I can't really think of big dreams I had when I was younger that were not able to come true.
I do think that I am growing in my ability to dream. I recently pondered this and realized that I do dream of being a writer who is compensated for her work. It has been a little scary putting that out there because sharing dreams requires vulnerability and there is the risk of failure or it not coming true.
PJI: When you think of your good friends, what are some characteristics of these people that make them so special to you?
Me: The special people in my life ask me questions. Asking me about what's going on let's me know that they are interested in me as a person and have remembered things we've talked about in the past. I am someone who many people see as a good listener and someone they can confide in. Often, people share with me but do not ask me questions and so it feels like a one-sided relationship.
They also initiate contact with me sometimes so that I am not the only one asking to hang out. Not having family around I have learned that I have to reach out to have community but it gets tiring when it's not reciprocated so I really appreciate those who also seek to spend time with me.
I think the underlying theme is wanting to feel important and known by others. When I feel these things then it increases my affection for the person contributing to these desires.
PJI: What's some of the best advice you've ever received?
Me: Take time for yourself. Do things that refresh you and help you reconnect to yourself.
This was really easy to do when I was single and then married without kids. Once I became a mother I kind of lost myself in the change. One of the biggest adjustments of motherhood is becoming less selfish in order to give so much care to a helpless, fully dependent new family member. I was no longer able to spend time wandering around by myself doing whatever on the weekends or spending relaxed, unhurried time reading and writing. I had to schedule small bits of self-care into the day when it was possible (and some days it was not possible) and it was (and still is) a struggle to do that well.
The biggest struggle for me is feeling guilty for doing something for myself or for wanting to spend some time away from my kids or family. I think most parents struggle with this guilt of wanting to give your family all that you can but knowing that you will become burned out if you don't refresh yourself away from your family responsibilities.
Parenthood also changes the married relationship a lot. Those first few years of a child's life make yours very tiring and blurry. You can forget to purposefully and meaningfully connect with your spouse, something else that is also very important.
Self-care and marriage-care are both very important pieces of a thriving family. I am continuing to learn how to do these things better. As we've risen out of the fog of babies and toddlers I see more and more the importance of doing things that I enjoy, doing things that we enjoy as a couple, and doing things away from the kids. It will benefit our kids as they get older and enter marriage and family life if they can see us successfully navigating these areas of life.
PJI: What is one thing you do that is directly tied to your success? Or what does success look like to/for you?
Me: I don't feel like I have achieved a particular success. Perhaps that's why I like the question which asks me to define success. I think at this point in my life, success is having a husband and children who know they are loved, cherished and appreciated. Success is knowing that I am using my gifts and abilities to honor God and serve others (loving and encouraging others with my writing).
PJI: What is something you're really excited about right now?
Me: I am really excited about spending time with family over the next six weeks or so. Living away from family, I really cherish those times we are together and able to connect. We will be spending the next week and a half around various members of my husband's family which will be fun for the kids and allow me little pockets of free time and a change in routine. In a few weeks we'll fly out to my family to spend a few weeks with them. I see my parents about twice per year and extended family usually only when we are visiting my parents in the summer so I really try to soak in that time. I'm excited that this family time is almost here! It also means school will be out (we're in our last week) and I am soooo ready to sleep in and have a looser schedule!
PJI: What is a pet peeve of yours?
Me: I feel annoyed at people who are chronically late. Pre-kids I was nearly always early and it probably bothered me a lot more. Now I have days where we are a few minutes late because it's hard to get everyone wrangled and out the door at the proper time so I have more empathy for other parents. I usually try to build in ten to fifteen minutes to get the kids ready but it isn't always enough. I know firsthand that anything and everything can happen when you're trying to get out of the house with children to an event that has a specific start time.
PJI: Thanks for joining me on this Happy Half-Hour!
Me: Thank you for letting me participate. It was fun answering the questions!
Has there been a show or podcast that you thought it would be fun to be a guest on? If so, I'd love to hear about it. (When I was a kid I really wanted to be on the Nickelodeon game shows - Legends of the Hidden Temple, Double Dare, Guts.)