reCHARGE® Your Life

Ep62: Tom Glaser reCHARGED

July 06, 2022 Dr. Keri Ohlrich & Kelly Guenther
reCHARGE® Your Life
Ep62: Tom Glaser reCHARGED
Show Notes Transcript

Tom Glaser had his dream job - a career he felt was made just for him! For 7 years, he enjoyed doing individual psychotherapy and teaching wellness promotion classes and he believed he was going to retire doing the work that fulfilled him. Unfortunately, a toxic co-worker dashed his hopes and despite his best efforts and nearly 2 years of futile attempts to make the situation better, Tom's husband told him, "Stop, you can’t do this anymore – this is making you miserable.” It was at that moment that Tom realized he needed to make a change. Tom credits his connection with himself, with others, with his passions as well as being in service to others for the decision he made to change careers and create the career of his dreams.
A Licensed Psychologist and life coach with over 35 years of experience, Tom Glaser is also a bestselling author and yoga instructor. His book, Full Heart Living: Conversations with the Happiest People I Know, is an Amazon bestseller. Whether counseling, writing, or teaching, his passion for helping people live their best lives flows through.

Connect with Tom to learn more about him and his background:

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Keri [00:00:14] Welcome to the reCHARGE® Your Life podcast with me Dr. Keri Ohlrich and Kelly Guenther. We are thrilled to talk to people who have made a decision that recharges their lives. Often they push themselves out of their comfort zones and took risks. We want to know about that decision point. Why did they make that decision? And most importantly, how can we learn from them? Kelly and I are passionate HR professionals, and together we co-founded our consulting firm Abbracci Group. We have talked to amazing people throughout our careers and listen to them as they make decisions that change their lives and knew that these inspirational stories would help others. And why did we call it reCHARGE®? It's based on a book I coauthored called The Way of the HR Warrior. And in it we have a leadership model CHARGE which stands for Courage, Humility, Accuracy, resiliency, goal oriented and exemplary. We know that people used one or more of these qualities to help them make their decisions, and we want to learn from them. Now sit back, listen, and be inspired by these stories and then do something to recharge your life. Let's get to it. 

Kelly [00:01:20] Hi, everyone. It's Kelly. We're excited to have Tom Glaser as our special guest, a licensed psychologist and life coach with over 35 years of experience, Tom is also a bestselling author and yoga instructor. His book, Full Heart Living Conversations with the Happiest People I Know, is an bestseller. Whether counseling, writing or teaching, his passion for helping people live their best lives flows through. Tom, thank you so much for being on our podcast. We always like to start by asking what you do when you want to expand your thinking. 

Tom [00:01:55] Well, Kelly and Keri, thanks for having me. It's great to be here. Lately, I have been really ever since the murder of George Floyd, which sadly happened here in my hometown of Minneapolis just over two years ago. I've really committed myself to studying anti-racism, so I'm finding myself drawn over and over again to Layla Saad's book, Me and White Supremacy, and wow, it really. It's tough. It's tough as a white guy to to look at all this privileged stuff that I'm part of without even knowing it or wanting to be. It really challenges all of us to look at how we're a part of this challenging system that doesn't serve all of us. 

Keri [00:02:54] Thank you. Thank you, Tom, for for sharing that. And you're so right, because it's hard I think it's hard to look at because sometimes a lot of us, we're very much raised with work hard and it's all equal. Right. I know very American. Anyone can do it. And then you start to realize it's it's not very much. And there's systems in play that do not support that, that wonderful thought that we're all equal and it's all a kind of level playing field. Yes, it is. And we're recording this on Juneteenth, by the way. 

Tom [00:03:27] That's right. 

Keri [00:03:28] So, yeah, yeah. It's almost like we plan these things, Tom, but we also we have no idea that you're going to say that on Juneteenth. 

Tom [00:03:35] I forgot. It's Juneteenth, right? 

Keri [00:03:38] What what was like, one of the things that I think it for your privilege when you at Holy Smoke. I didn't even know about that one like which is the one that kind of just maybe one or two that really surprised you. 

Tom [00:03:54] How it's just so endemic into our systems, how it's. How endemic it is in our whole system and way of being and that yeah, we as white people really need to take the lead. I think we've sort of you know, so many of us are know good at heart and think as long as we're not actively racist, that's enough. And it's not it's not to just because that's kind of a passive stance, it turns out, and that we actually need to take action. And I think we've just allowed black people, brown people, people of color, indigenous people to sort of take the lead. And when we as white people show up at demonstrations and organize them, other white people can't ignore it as much.  So it's really, it's just it's incumbent upon us to get out there. Yeah. I think there's so much more of it. That's what immediately comes to mind. 

Keri [00:05:07] Yeah. What have you. What have you changed since you've read this in the past couple of years? Like, what have you done since it's so. You're such. You're such a passion for it now. Like, what do you think? What. What have you done in the past couple of years that have contributed to. To making the a better world? 

Tom [00:05:28] Well, donated money. I showed up at marches. The my recent thinking is that I need to just talk to other white people that I know personally about racism more. So that's what I've started just over the last few weeks is even though these the conversation it's uncomfortable to bring up know finding that it's not uncomfortable once you get beyond that opening. Mhm. But it feels kind of risky to bring it up. It is risky. You don't know how somebody is going to respond. White people are uncomfortable, generally speaking, talking about racism. 

Keri [00:06:05] Right. 

Tom [00:06:06] But once we do, I'm finding really rich conversations. So that's my next step is just informally. So just when I'm out to dinner with somebody or like I'm going to lunch after this with a couple of friends. And thanks for the reminder. I want to be sure to mention that this is my next step. And, and and I just start, I just say, hey, this is my journey. This is where I am. Like, there's no expectation of how this conversation goes. I just want to begin to introduce the the idea of anti-racism and just what are your thoughts? What do you what do you do, you know, and just just a chat. And it's fascinating what people say just from that little bit of an opening. 

Keri [00:06:49] Yeah, I think that is so powerful because we all know and you're you're in psychotherapy, you know, I mean, you're in that world and you know how the power of one person to have a conversation with someone else and change that person's life. And yes. And it's so incredibly powerful. And I've seen with your point, I was thinking, well, what if I you know, I asked you the question time and so I reflected on me. I'm like, what have I done? You know? And in that conversation and talking to people like I do some work in the, in the foster care system and you talk about some systemic stuff that happens in, in foster care and just simple things like getting a driver's license, getting a state I.D. and you see how the system itself kind of keeps people down unintentionally running. But it's so nuclear family focused that all of a sudden, if you don't have a mom or dad, the whole system's like, Well, I don't know how to open an account for you or do anything. And so just having those conversations with people then started they start to realize like, Wow, that is a tough system. Maybe I should think twice before I say everyone has an equal opportunity. Yes. Or it's why. Why is this person late to work? It's like, wow, they don't have parents. They don't have I mean, like all this stuff that we talked about because Father's Day was yesterday, we talked about parents. And when you think about how much you remind your kids on things or how much you do for them, and then you realize, well, if you don't have them. And so having those conversations are so powerful. I love that you're doing that, Tom. Thank you. 

Tom [00:08:25] Thank you. 

Keri [00:08:27] So that's so wonderful. And just the power of that one on one and changing people's lives. Yeah. And I was just thinking, I don't know if you've seen the latest out of Florida, which is usually nothing good happens when you say the latest out of school. Right? Yeah. But I just because Kelly our HR someone sent us that as of I think it was July 1st call that they're having you can't require D-I training that that talks about systemic racism and and privilege and you can't talk about it. You can't require your employees to do it. So when you talk about the fragility and there's an entire state saying we can't even like you can't require people to go through and you can't talk about it because it's too scary. 

Tom [00:09:12] Oh, man. 

Keri [00:09:14] Right. Right. So but to your point of it, just having those one on one conversations then is probably way safer for many more people than, say, your class. 

Tom [00:09:25] Right beginning. It's not it's not enough. It isn't where it ends. Right. And if we're not talking about it, we're likely not doing anything. So it's it's a place to start. 

Keri [00:09:35] Exactly. Exactly. And again, it's a far safer space to do that conversation with your friends and really just understand and have a reflection of like, wow, that is interesting. And that I do question things about my life now. 

Tom [00:09:51] Yeah. 

Keri [00:09:52] It's good. We love self reflection. You, you, you are Mr. Self-Reflection. That's your normal self reflection. I mean. 

Tom [00:10:01] I can kind of can't avoid it. That's just kind of how it came into the world. 

Keri [00:10:05] So it's your job!

Tom [00:10:08] Yeah, it's my job too. 

Keri [00:10:12] Into the big quiet we talk about this time, right? What is the decision that you made or the decision maybe that was made for you that changed the trajectory of your life? And maybe what are some of those charge qualities that helped you during this time? 

Tom [00:10:26] Yeah, I'll tell you, it feels like a little bit of both. What you just said, a little bit of my choice and a little bit about chosen for me. I left my dream job. Keri and Kelly, I. So I was in the counseling department at a college, a job that just, like, made for me because I was doing the work. I love doing individual psychotherapy with really smart, creative young people. And I got to teach and not just teach any old thing or even like just quote unquote boring psych psychology classes. I got to teach wellness promotion, so things I'm absolutely passionate about and do them in really creative ways. And I was determined my plan was to retire there. And I really I couldn't wait to get up every day and go go to work until things changed. So for about seven years it was my dream job and I was going to retire there and a very difficult for me. Coworker showed up and it was a very small team. We were assigned regularly. We could not avoid each other and this person just hated the ground. I walked on and made my job really, really difficult, undermine things and I got depressed. I because because half my job was to fund individual counseling work, but all that educational stuff, that was when I was paired with this coworker to do. And it wasn't fun anymore. In fact, it was. It was really miserable. And I stayed and stayed and stayed until one day my husband looked at me over brunch at Hell's Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis and said, Tom, because I was telling him, like, the latest escapade is like, Tom, stop, you can't do this anymore. You this is not worth it. This is making you miserable. And that woke me up. I needed that mirror. I needed somebody who knew me well to say, hey, you know, look at yourself. And I took it still took me a long time, but I ended up leaving my dream job because it turned into a nightmare. 

Keri [00:12:46] Wow. What? What? When you. How long? So you said you were there for seven years. Because I think, Tom, this is such a kind of unfortunately common. 

Tom [00:13:00] I know, yes. 

Keri [00:13:00] Well right. That they. So you liked it and then it's always about the people. Yeah. You have a manager who's not or a coworker who makes it. And so how long before that that brunch date, right, where your husband's like, that's enough now. Like, what's going on? Like, how long were you kind of suffering and and kind of what was your thought process like? It's going to get better or kind of what did you do in that? 

Tom [00:13:23] I was going to wait this person out. Okay. I was hoping they would leave before I would leave.  

Keri [00:13:28] Okay. Okay. 

Tom [00:13:30] And there was no indication that that was working and no. Yeah, there's no sign that that they were going to leave. And you asked how long? Yeah. Oh, gosh, I can't. The timing is fuzzy now, but I must have stayed for at least a year and a half or two years. I mean, I really hung in there and I talked to anyone and everyone I could think of every strategy. You know, I tried to reach out to the person. I tried to talk to the person. I tried to adjust how I was. I, I talked to my supervisor. You know, I, I really exhausted any avenue that was available to me. Here's the thing, though, because because also I did quit stuff that was on me. So I yeah. Because like you were saying, that was the decision made for you or did you make the decision? So the truth is I made the decision, but I also feel like I feel like the universe was giving me a message, right? Like I was attached to this job. I was going to stay till I retired, but I needed something. I think the universe was saying, Hey, there's other stuff you can do. There's other stuff. And I and it would there was no way I was going to leave this job that I loved without something big. So that's the conclusion I've come to, the meaning I've made of it. 

Keri [00:14:46] Yeah. 

Tom [00:14:47] Who knows? I. This is all faith based, right? Is there some cosmic thing? I don't know. I kind of believe there is, but I understand. I don't really know. 

Keri [00:14:54] Yeah. What? 

Tom [00:14:56] Yeah. 

Keri [00:14:58] No. 

Tom [00:14:59] Oh, I was just going to say I forgot what I was going to say. Yeah, go ahead. 

Keri [00:15:05] I was just I was thinking. So as were you having what were kind of the effects that you were having? Like were you having trouble sleeping during this? Like obviously your husband picked up on your you're not doing well, but like, what were some of those like the symptoms that you were starting to see with maybe your health emotionally and physically. 

Tom [00:15:24] Some certainly some sleep disturbance? Because I would be upset by stuff that was going on, but it was more the mood stuff or just I wasn't happy. I just, you know, I was just down. I wasn't as excited about life. I was just like, uh, another day. I wasn't looking forward to going into work anymore. Here's the, here's, here's the thing. I wasn't singing anymore. Like, like I didn't know until I did something fun. I was able to be, like, an extra in a movie. Um, like, the simple is silly sounds kind of silly, but for me, it was like I had I had been a performer much of my life, and then I had given it up to pursue a career and family and all that. But I always wanted to get back into it. And all of a sudden I had this opportunity to be an extra in a movie that was filmed locally. I had such a great day talking to other people who had things in common with me. And it was it was fascinating to me to watch the whole movie industry in action. And on the way home from from filming, I noticed I was singing to the radio and I was like, Oh my God, I have not been singing for months. That's that's another indication of not being as happy, like, not doing things that bring me joy.  

Keri [00:16:46] Yeah, literally. I mean, I love it's like literally not singing. Like, you're like, I haven't been singing and what so take it so time. Take us to the moment then when you're like, All right, I heard the feedback at the brunch. Then you've tried everything. You've talked to yourself, because that's what Kelly and I would always tell people Write to supervisor, happy touch person, have, you know, what, are you exhausted? Everything. Yes. How hard was it for you? Because this is, like you said, your dream job and you're like, I'm going to retire and I have a plan. Yeah. How hard was it for you to say that and take us through that thought process and I'm going to leave.  

Tom [00:17:26] Still really hard. Really. I knew it was right. I knew Greg was right. But it was a huge risk. Huge risk. Right. And you don't, you know, with risks, you don't know what's going to happen on the other side. And I didn't have a plan B, I didn't have a plan B. So but here's the thing. So so it's like things just evolved. I began. So then I'm like, well, I want to do something really fun, okay? Because that the extra on the movie set was so fun and I'm going to pursue acting again on the side. So I, I join acting classes and I hire an acting coach and I sort of oh, and in the meantime, so I'm because I'm down, I'm noticing really happy people all around me. Right. And I get really curious and I start just watching, what did they do that I'm not doing or what are they not doing that I am doing? And then I get braver and I start asking them questions and I'm talking just everyday, ordinary people like the guy who cuts my hair, a woman who office next door to me in my private practice, somebody I was in a play with. And it because I'm studying with this acting coach, I suddenly have this idea of an on camera acting coach. I could I could like film people. I could ask people questions. These happy people I could ask or happier people I could ask them questions. I could like do a series of documentaries. So I decided I'm just going to do that. I have this on camera acting coach. He can hook me up with people who can film it. I'm just going to do this again. Risk I don't know what's going to happen on break. That first day of filming, we filmed in my house because it's I didn't have to pay. 

Tom [00:19:06] The location and I'm I'm on break from filming interviewing the these happy people I personally know I'm break from filming on my back porch again another moment that I won't forget, like when I'm in Hell's Kitchen with Greg telling me to quit my job, like when I'm driving home from filming that extra thing. Realizing I wasn't singing to the radio. Aha! Moment. Oh, my God. I'm going to write a book. I'm going to write a book about this. This is what I had known for years. I would write a book. Yeah, but I had no idea what it was going to be about until that moment. Sitting on my back porch on break from filming these interviews with the happiest people I know. So that's how the book came out. So that's that's kind of the evolution of how I got to writing this book. 

Keri [00:19:52] That's what I what I love is, again, you had this plan. So many of us have plans. Yes. We're going to retire. We're going to do this. We're going to have 2.5 children. We're going to do it. Right. Right. And you were open to changing that plan and kind of it doesn't sound like you quite had like you said, you didn't really have plan B. You just knew I had to prioritize my happiness, my singing. No, I had to prioritize that. Yes, I'm going to make this leap. And so what what when you made the leap, kind of what what are some of those qualities that helped you? Like, have you are you risk? Would you look back at your life and say, I'm a risk taker and it was easier for me or just thinking of other people who are in your same spot and they're like, Oh, it was easy for him or not easy for him or how? 

Tom [00:20:41] It is not easy to...well, it's kind of both. It's something about I would say in general, I don't shy away from risks like some people that said, I don't just jump off. So so again, so I was at a Bar Mitzvah at a camp in Northern California. The Mitzvah Party was at this camp, and there was like a ropes course thing, you know? 

Keri [00:21:10] Oh, yeah. 

Tom [00:21:11] So again, this is another one of these memories that's so vivid in my mind. And so one of the activities in the ropes course is climbing up like a telephone pole and you stand at the top. Now you're all harnessed in. It's super safe, right? There's a what do you call it, a belay or what it repel or whatever that I can't remember what you call it, but there's, you know, a guide, you know, holding a ropes. I'm totally safe. And the first time I try it, I'm just like, Oh, I'm just going to do it. I can do this, right? So I, I just, I, I climb up the rungs on the telephone pole and I try to stand on the top, and I fall immediately and I realize, well, wait, wait a minute. I went too fast. I didn't ask for help, so I saw it occurred. So I go back down and I say, Hey, do you have any hints to the guy? And the guy says, Yeah, this is how you do it. And go a little slower. And so I tried it again and I followed the advice. I don't remember specifically what they said, but there was some trick to it and I was able to do it. So. So that's what I did. So. So, like if we look at like I had a guide many guides along the way, but first of all, I had my husband, I had Greg saying, you need to do this. And he was saying, not just you need to do this, but I'm going to be here for you. It's okay. We're out. You don't have to do it alone. I will help you figure this out. That's one huge thing. And of course, I talked to all my friends and my family and I said, Hey, I'm thinking about this thing. I'm going to do it. And everybody said, You should, Tom, you should. Great idea. You're going to figure it out. And so I feel like that's a huge piece. Is the community not thinking that we have to do hard things all alone? It's really finding our our I sometimes call it of a board of directors, like who's your board of directors? Who's there when you really need them, who's smart, who who has been there before? So I talked to other people who made big changes and they said things like, Yeah, you're going to have a lot of feelings. You're going to think You can't do it. Don't believe that voice, you know, have that voice, Your Honor it, but believe in yourself. You can do hard things. Tom. Remember when you did X, Y, Z? They remind me of things I did in the past.

Tom [00:23:28] Yeah, I did do that thing. I did ride my bike from Minneapolis to Chicago once. That was really hard, I think.  

Keri [00:23:37] Holy smoke.  

Tom [00:23:39] Yeah. 

Keri [00:23:41] I love how you're like, you can hear the voice, but don't believe it. Like, yeah, because a lot of us have that. Oh, no, you probably not. You can't do it. You can't do. And then you can say, okay, I heard you, but I'm not going to believe you. Which is really helpful. Like, I'm not going to believe you. 

Tom [00:24:00] Right? Just because we have the thought doesn't mean it's right. 

Keri [00:24:03] Exactly. Doesn't mean you have to give it all that airspace. And I know as well what when you. So I love that you have this that the passion of you still have the passion of psychotherapy and helping and doing individual, individual counseling. You're now acting. You're rebooting that because you're like, that gives me joy. And then you put together this, this book and this in this happiness. What what does it look like now? Like, how have you kind of curated what you're what you're working on now? 

Tom [00:24:39] So yeah. So I did end up filming those. I call them mini documentaries, but they're really just interviews. Yeah. So they're all available on my website for Heart Living dot com. Yeah, I wrote the book. I published the book. I did a mini book tour. Now I'm doing things like, Why don't you write this moment? Which are really fun, by the way, I meet fascinating people and we talk about really cool things, right? So there's these other things that bring me joy. So yes, that job, parts of that job brought me incredible joy. And there are other things that bring me joy too. And there's other ways to make a difference in the world. 

Keri [00:25:17] Mm. I love how open you are too, because do you look back? Here's the question. I think I know the answer, but do you regret quitting? 

Tom [00:25:27] Na na. No, I don't. I do that. The truth is, I miss parts of it. Still, there are parts of that job that were so fun that that I don't do in that way anymore. So that, you know, I do similar things. But there are parts of that job, like I trained orientation leaders, I trained resident advisors. This is stuff that I know how to do and I know how to do it really well. And it's experiential learning that's super specific. And it calls on my own history as a resident advisor in college and as an orientation leader. Some of my favorite jobs, hard jobs, were really fun jobs like I don't that doesn't get expressed anymore. That part is sad to me, but so I do sometimes miss that. But do I regret it? Oh my gosh, no. We wouldn't be having this conversation right this moment. I would not have written the book in the way I did. It's just part of part of who I've become. 

Keri [00:26:26] Exactly. Like you said, it's kind of this faith and the cosmic and you don't know. But look how it brought you. That person who seemed to be such a pain in your took. Yes. 

Tom [00:26:38] Yes. 

Keri [00:26:39] It was. Yes. But because of that, you have now look at all the impact you're making on people's lives that you might not have made in that way before. Right. And so I just I'm I'm in a weird way, happy that person came into your lifetime because we know you. All right? 

Tom [00:27:00] Right. Exactly. 

Keri [00:27:02] We wouldn't know or we wouldn't have that book. So what is we also have action here now that you you've cracked the code. You have this beautiful book in the documentary. What are some of the actions where he talks about having that support group, you know, having your your group to help your board of directors, tribe, whatever people like to call it. But that support group, what are some of the other things you've learned from listening to people and the talking about Happy and just the actions of that helped you get through such a significant change in your life? 

Tom [00:27:34] Yeah. So I'll just highlight what you've already said that because it's so foundational. The number one thing that I learned from this project by far is that happier people do have that tribe, they have people they love and who love them in return and they spend time with them. And that's just by far it's so critical. We're social beings as people. We need other people. It's just absolutely essential number tools. And so I saw that I call that connecting with others. Um, number one. Number two, connecting with self. So what does that mean? That means knowing who you are and honoring your rhythms. It means mindfulness, you know, being in the present moment. So when we are with other people, we're not distracted by all the memories from the past and fears of the future. We're really soaking in the experience of being together. And number three, connecting with passions. And this this we touched on two in my own story. So happier people have activities they enjoy, like the guy who cuts my hair, who I mentioned earlier, Warren, who's in the book and on the videos, passionate bicyclist. He loves to ride his bike and even having a major accident. This just happened a few months ago where he ran into a tree and had to have surgery on his jaw. You know, it doesn't even that doesn't keep him from his passion. He got right back on his bike as soon as he physically could. So connecting with others self passions and being in the service of others. That's the other huge thing. Whenever you do any of those things and these are all, by the way, very symbiotic is not the right word. So when we do one, we tend to invite the others. So when I'm connecting with myself, the more connected I am with myself, the more likely I am to want to connect with others and vice versa. When I connect with my passions, I'm likely to meet people who have similar interests and then it helps me connect with myself and I tend to then I tend to want to be in service of others. So yeah, I mean, yeah, it's all, it's all good stuff. Start wherever you're called. 

Keri [00:29:50] Yeah. Because I really you're so right. They're so symbiotic because you do, like you said, your passion project from that the happiness is like that's a curious question. I'm going to kind of interview people and I'm passionate about that. And I would say passionate people tend to attract other passionate people as well because you're just you're just it doesn't mean that your passion about the same things, it's just that kind of energy level of passion about hair, your passion out bikes, your passion about garbage, your passion about recycling. It doesn't even matter. It's just you have this passion and there's an energy and an attractiveness and you want to be around those people who are excited and have that destination. Exactly. And that community piece, I was thinking, Kelly and I, we always talk about we would probably never start this company without each other because of the support. Right. And half the time, Kelly and I are always saying, can we do that? We can do it. We support we're kicking ass, you know, like we can do it. And it's that support structure that's so important. So like you said, it's so critical. So, Kelly, I know that it speaks to you the passion, because that's why we do recharge your life. Like that's why we do this podcast, because we love hearing people's stories. It's a passion of ours. But that connectedness. Carol, what do you what else are you thinking? Because I was like, check, check, check. That's Uncle Tom, right? 

Kelly [00:31:17] Because there are so many moments, Tom, that really resonate with me, because I think we've all worked with people who have been difficult and have challenged us to say, is it just me? Is it you? What's going on? Do I leave my job? Do I stay? Do I endure? And you have given, I think, a lot of people the courage to realize that there's something else out there and that sometimes it is just having somebody like your husband so lovely to talk with you and say, you know what, I can't watch you go through this anymore. I don't want to watch you go through this anymore. 

Tom [00:31:52] Yes. 

Kelly [00:31:53] I wonder if in the process of the research you did in the interviews, what was surprising to you when you were talking with people that were that were happier? Was there anything surprising that you found out in the research that you did? 

Tom [00:32:11] You know what? Here's probably the most surprising thing, is that we can't always guess. It's not always apparent who's happy and who's not on both sides. So there were several people who appeared super happy to me, and I approached to be a part of the project and they said, Oh. No. Actually, no, I'm not that happy right now. So these were engaged people. You know, they were smiling. They were doing things, really good things in the world. And they're like, actually, I'm going through a pretty rough patch now. This is not it. I'm not the person. But they would say that would inevitably say, here's someone you should talk to. And sometimes those were people who didn't appear as engaged or as happy to me. And there's a family member who I won't name, who I just assumed wasn't very happy, because in my experience, they complain and complain and complain, you know, nothing's ever right. But that person, one day I was alone with this person and they said to me, I am so happy right now. I'm like, What? 

Kelly [00:33:22] Who's who's, really? 

Tom [00:33:26] And they couldn't even explain it very much. But then, but I really thought about it. And I looked back and I and I realized, oh, yeah, their life circumstances had changed dramatically in the last couple of years. A relationship had changed, shifted dramatically. And I could see, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Actually, yes, that makes sense to me. So. So the point is not to assume. Not to assume either way. Either way. That was really surprising to me. I thought I knew. And all too often. We're right, because often it's obvious, but often it's not. 

Kelly [00:34:00] That's always the beauty of doing research, too, is you go into a thinking one thing and you're often surprised. Either pleasantly or even pleasantly. Doesn't matter. But you're you're. You're surprised by maybe the turn or the twisted hook. Yeah. And and the nuances of of maybe the conversations that you have that allow you to see that. Oh, that's what I thought was maybe an unpleasant family member turns out to be in the happiest state of their lives, which is. Yeah, fascinating in and of itself. Go fast. And not to assume is just good life lessons. Right. Right. I mean, so it's I mean, that's just it's it's just a good takeaway. It just in and of itself. But again, just the courage that you had to make that to, number one, come up and say, you know what, I tried everything I possibly can with this person in this situation, this job that I was going to retire from. I mean, you had it all planned out for someone who had it all planned out to make that change and that shift, it had to happen, especially when there was nothing else in the wings. Had to have been incredibly unnerving for you. 

Tom [00:35:12] Absolutely. Hands down. Yeah. So I waited so long. One reason for a huge reason. I waited. Yes. 

Kelly [00:35:20] What advice would you have for someone who feels like, okay, I can't take it anymore in a situation like that, who maybe doesn't have something in the offing, is not quite sure what next step to take. Is there a recommendation that you have? 

Tom [00:35:37] Go to a loved one or a trusted other. It might even be a professional. 

Kelly [00:35:40] Yes. 

Tom [00:35:41] As to to say the words aloud. That's a big piece of it, right? Is just because. Because it's different in our minds. Right. There's ways we think that that tend to be. We tend to think in. The kind of spirals are in loops, and when we are forced to verbalize things, something shifts in in our relationship to those things if it's a trusted other and a supportive other. So I would say just have a conversation or a series of conversations. I've often it's not just one that you say your truth, really speak it and and and get that feedback like I did from Greg, my husband, and listen, not just to the other in this case, Greg, Greg was actually totally right. But listen to yourself. You know, your insides, your intuition will tell you my my body was telling me for a long time before I was willing to pay attention. 

Kelly [00:36:43] Such great advice. And I think for you, you've been the Greg to so many people potentially on this podcast and quite honestly, I think through through just your experience and being so candid with us and sharing what you have gone through and what you have worked so hard to find within yourself and how you've been able to bring the best parts of you into something that you love to do on a regular basis and to be able to share it with us today. It means everything because that's why Kari and I created this podcast was so we could tell stories just like yours to the people who are in similar situations or maybe adjacent situations, but they are looking for someone that can inspire them and maybe motivate them to do the one thing that they haven't yet considered doing. Right. And so we're so honored and grateful that you took time to to spend your Juneteenth with us, to share your story. And we will definitely include all of your your social media information, the link to your book, all of that in our in our show notes. So that's easy for everyone to access. And we definitely do recommend for those of you who are wondering, should I connect with Tom? Absolutely you should. So we'll have all of his connection information within our show notes as well. Thank you so much, Tom, for joining our podcast today and for sharing your incredibly beautiful story. 

Tom [00:38:09] Thanks. My pleasure. Thank you. 

Kelly [00:38:12] Thank you. Thank you for listening to the Recharge Your Life podcast. Please sign up for our newsletter at Abbracci And follow us on social media. You can find us on LinkedIn at Abbracci Group. Instagram at WarriorsofHR and Twitter at Warriors_HR. Remember to subscribe to our podcast. Leave a review and please tell a friend and be sure to drop us a note on how you are recharging your life. We can't wait to hear from you.