Um, Is This It? (Why We Wrote This Book)
So, I am Amy Nobile.
I am Trisha Ashworth.
We are co-authors and best friends. We met about 20 years ago in New York City, and knew that we were destined to work together. We had kids around the same time in the Bay Area, and little did we know that our challenges in motherhood would lead us to write our first bestselling book called I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids.
Our research to write that book was really our methodology was to interview moms across the nation anonymously, and we would talk to therapists, we would talk to psychologists, we talked to third party research to really get into you know, the depths of what we do best, just finding out what's happening in this generation of women.
We were struggling in motherhood so much. I kept working when I had my baby. Trisha stayed at home, and we just kept feeling like bad moms for different reasons, and everyone in our moms groups were like shiny and happy and fake, and like, oh I love motherhood, it's the best thi...
ng ever, and I love my husband, he's awesome, and we would cry at midnight talking, going like what is going on? Like, we have to figure it out, and so writing these books and doing hundreds of interviews with women was kind of the way that we uncovered the real truth about different issues that we're all going through.
And it helped us, helped us to get through that time in our life, and it was cathartic for us to do this and share it with other people as well. We had a lot of success with those books, a lot of PR, Oprah, the Today Show.
And at some point, after that journey ended, we felt like what's next for us? and kind of went into a kind of feeling stuck, and we decided to go on a mission to find ourselves, if you will.
Yeah. We went to Haiti on a volunteer trip, and all of our friends and family were like, what are they doing, what are they doing? And as many of us do get stuck in our lives, we were trying to get unstuck, and the way that we did it was to just drop everything and get outside of ourselves and outside of our worlds, and we went to Haiti, and we kind of just knew that it would lead us to our next chapter, we didn't know how. And sure enough, we saw women making beautiful jewelry in Haiti, and it led us to launch our startup, Ash and Ames, which is a jewelry company that celebrates and supports female artisans around the world. So we embarked on that adventure together.
Yeah, yeah, and during that time we would interview women to be a part of the company, to be ambassadors, and as we were talking with these women, then we started to uncover this common theme of what's happening in their lives, and what, they're feeling a little stuck and a little, you know, didn't know what they wanted to do with their future.
What's my next chapter?
What's my next chapter, so we're like you know, wait a minute, we're on to something, we have to write our next book, and that's where we are with our next book.
Just when you're comfortable in your own skin, it starts to sag. (laughs)
Reinventing midlife, that dirty little word we all hate, and we'll talk about that more. So this is the opening quiz for our book. You need this book if you find yourself second-guessing the choices you've made, and you wonder if you should rethink that job slash marriage slash friend thing.
On a website where you indicate the year you were born, it takes a full minute to scroll all the way down to your lucky number. (laughs)
You go to the same liquor store repeatedly because Bob the cute-ish cashier always cards you.
And you slip the DMV guy 50 bucks just to use a younger photo of your driver's license.
You feel wiser than ever and truly don't care what others think of you. Okay, that's true, like, 30% of the time. (laughs)
That 2AM phone call is either coming from your kid or your parent, either way, it ain't pretty.
You wake up one day unclear of what your true purpose in life is, and you have no effing idea how to figure it out. If you answered three to four out of those questions with a "Yeah, that's me" then keep listening and keep watching.
This book's for you.
This book's for you. (laughs) So we wrote this book out of a clear need for women in this generation to sort of figure out where they are and how to get unstuck. What we learned after interviewing hundreds of women again, is that we are a very different generation than our moms' generation. Our mothers looked at midlife almost like they're on cruise control or on a downward slope, and we look at midlife as an opportunity that this could be the better half of our lives, but we don't know what to do about it. We don't know how to get there. We kind of heard whisperings like, is this it? Nothing feels quite right. I just, I'm not sure, I didn't think I'd be here at this stage.
Well, and a lot of women might not even feel like this is the next chapter that's gonna be so beautiful, and that's sort of what this book helps look at, the opportunity. This is not a time in our life where it's over. It's a time in our life when we wanna look to the future and think about how can I do it differently, and how can I live these years the best that I can.
So the questions that we're all asking ourselves, how do I find balance? How do I find purpose? What does happiness mean to me now, which turned out to be a really tricky question.
Yeah, what does success look like? And we have to redefine success. We have a different way of looking at it. We're so over accomplished and overachieving that it's just like, how do we redefine that so we actually feel successful?
And who am I becoming now? Kind of looking at what you really want, and who you really are, versus what everybody else wants you to be or who they want you to be.
Oh and the expectations that we put on ourselves to be this certain type of person, and really taking the time to ask yourself these questions on like, what do I want for myself?
Exactly, so our mission with this book really is to rebrand midlife, that again dirty little word that everybody hated to hear, and we again, we don't look or feel or think like our mothers did. We also don't feel like we belong to a community kind of like our moms did, they all banded together. And again that success, what does success mean for us, for our mothers, it really was easy to check the boxes, whether or not they were totally fulfilled is another question, but they knew what it looked like to be successful, and for us, we don't.
Well, we don't have, yeah, we don't have that roadmap. Our generation, because our moms didn't look at with, like, woohoo, not that we do woohoo, (laughs) but they looked at it as a time when it was over for them, and for us, we don't have that roadmap to say okay, how do I do this? We're looking at it as like, okay, now we're in a place that's stuck, so how do we unstuck it?
Right, and we have to redefine who we are, where we're going, what we want, and so rebranding midlife for us looks very different, and we asked women in our books, we would say like, alright, we all hate the word midlife, so you hate it, so tell us, what's a new word, and we heard funny little words, you know, like kindergarten 2.0, or the next chapter, the next phase, but the word that we really hit on that everybody loved was perennials because perennials are ever-blooming, everlasting, beautiful year after year. And so our mission to rebrand midlife is to rebrand it as perennials.
Right, and we might not feel that way. We might not be feeling like we're blossoming, but there is an opportunity right now to make some choices and make some decisions that will actually help you blossom in the next years to come, so.
So over the next six chapters, we will help you figure out who you wanna be when you grow up because again, it's never too late to start and the best years are to come.
Right, and to prioritize ourselves. Ask ourselves some really, really tough questions that might be uncomfortable, might be something that you haven't even taken the time to give yourself permission to do, but it's time now to really ask yourself these questions.
Right, and many of us are just holding onto fears, we don't even realize they're there, and they're holding us back, they're paralyzing us, so we're gonna go through some of those fears, what they are and what they might mean to you.
Right, and prioritize yourself. Like really now to say I deserve to take the time to prioritize myself, think about these dreams, think about what you really in the big picture want to do.
As you evolve and as you grow, and discover opportunities and dreams, and it's so easy to say that, wow, what do you wanna be, but to really roll up your sleeves and do it. And we've got some tricks on how to do that.
We do. (laughs)
And with your girlfriends, and make it fun.
And redefining your expectations. You know all these expectations, these lists, that kind of put us in this bound box of like, I can't do, or I should be this, or I should be that, or I can't. Redefine those expectations for yourself, and ask them where they're coming from, you know? Where are those expectations coming from.
And our to-do's are so, we feel like we have to be everything to everybody, so really, really, not only reprioritizing ourselves but reengaging in meaningful activities and endeavors that are purposeful to us, we heard that over and over again from women, like, I just on this, like, machine, and I can't get off, and I want meaning in my life, and I don't know how to get it. So how to really reengage and bring that back into your life.
And ultimately to feel less alone. Like, so many women that we talked to, that we spoke to, were feeling like they were kind of alone in this feeling. They were feeling like they weren't successful in their own right, they weren't feeling that they were accomplishing everything they wanted to accomplish, and they felt very alone in getting older, and felt like they've lost their community, and we wanna bring that community back and feel that you have people, too, and you can see that other people are going through the same thing that you're going through.
Yeah, we'll make sure that you feel less alone because we've got lots of dirty little secrets to share.