Breaking Down Our 40s with Amy Nobile

EPISODE 2

I met Amy many years ago while on vacation on Nantucket. She was on a lounge chair reading and her kids were playing independently in the pool. My kids were little and still needing lots of attention. I looked at her and asked when I would be able to do that...she told me in about "ten years".

Amy Nobile
Amy Nobile

Well, she was right! Her books helped me laugh off many things when my kids were young, even the titles made me laugh. "I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids" and "I'd Trade My Husband For A Housekeeper", "Dirty Little Secrets From Otherwise Perfect Moms". They allow you to feel free and know that you're not perfect and we are all going through this together. Then recently, she wrote a book called "Just When You're Comfortable in Your Own Skin, It Starts to Sag: Rewriting the Rules to Midlife" and of course I read it in a day and it inspired the idea behind my podcast. While I'm a fine jewelry designer by day, many years ago (2005) I had a blog, podcast and eventual radio show and I loved connecting with other women. This is my way of giving back to other women and educating them to live a happier next chapter. I know some amazing women and have some experience and feel that I can help, but I want to learn along with you. Our 40's is this odd time in our lives that no one discusses. We are dealing with hormones, aging parents, kids who are on their way to being tweens and teens, long term marriages with little support and just trying to find a way to enjoy this next chapter. I want to help women now, so that we can really enjoy the next chapter of life to the fullest.


Amy is a best-selling Oprah featured co-author of four books, all designed to empower and inspire women at various stages of their lives. She’s also the co-founder of ASH + AMES, a company showcasing unique jewelry handmade by various female artisans around the globe.

Amy’s latest venture is Love, Amy - a Dating Concierge service that marries the technology of modern day dating with a holistic view of human to human energy and connection.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT


Doryn Wallach:

Welcome to the very first episode of It's Not A Crisis. I'm your host, Doryn Wallach, and I am very excited to get this started. And I'm so grateful that you're joining me for this first episode. This podcast is for women in their 40s, who are navigating the joys and the challenges of midlife and learning to make the most of it.


Amy Nobile:

Another piece of advice that we sort of give women at this stage is, we all have these visions in our head of things that we've had on our bucket list forever, or it can be big or small, and really commit, like choose three things that you want to do or try. It could be learning guitar, it can be taking a trip.


Doryn Wallach:

Our very first guest today is Amy Nobile. Amy inspired this entire podcast and I'm going to quickly tell you how I met Amy. We were on vacation, and I saw Amy sitting at a hotel with her kids. And she was peacefully reading a magazine on her lounge chair, and my kids were like toddlers and they were climbing me and had a lot of needs. I looked at Amy and her kids were playing in the pool and she was relaxed. And I said, "When will I get to do that? How long until my kids will let me do that?" And it was really funny because I was just on vacation in December and I texted Amy a picture of my 12-year-old daughter reading a magazine on the chair like, "It's happening."

She did laugh and reassure me that soon enough it would happen. So we started to chat and I loved her immediately. One of the things that I loved about her is that she was just very real and honest. We had started talking and Amy told me that she had written a book called I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids. I had read the book, and I said to her, "Oh my God. I love that book because it's so brutally honest in a wonderful way that it gave women permission to just feel what we were feeling and not feel alone." And by the way, I still use that quote all the time when I am with a woman who is not a parent who's super judgmental. And I always say, "I was a really good mom too before I had kids." I swear I use it all the time.

So Amy is a best-selling, Oprah-featured co-author of four books all designed to empower and inspire women at various stages of their lives. The first book that I mentioned, I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids, then came I Would Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper, also genius title, and Dirty Little Secrets From Otherwise Perfect Moms. She's also the co-founder of ASH & AMES, a company showcasing unique jewelry handmade by various female artisans around the globe. Amy's latest adventure, which is also brilliant is called Love, Amy, a dating concierge service that marries the technology of modern day dating with a holistic view of human to human energy and connection. And if she'll come back, I'm definitely having her back on to talk about that topic. I have gotten, I think I've told you just countless messages on Instagram from women who want to know about dating in their 40s and 50s, so that'd be great.


Amy Nobile:

Amazing.


Doryn Wallach:

So Amy's most recent book that she co-authored with her best friend, Trisha Ashworth, Just When You're Comfortable in Your Own Skin, It Starts to Sag. Another genius title. I was probably dealing with some things in my own life, and I'd seen on social media that Amy had written this book. And I read it in one night. It's a very easy read for a lot of us that are busy and don't have time to read a self-help book. I was able to read it very quickly. It's a wonderful mix of quizzes to make yourself check in as well as candid and honest quotes by women on many different topics about midlife and just tons of great advice. It's really great. Honestly, I love it so much. I just showed Amy my book, and there are little folded pages, notes, arrows, exclamation points.


Amy Nobile:

That's my favorite.


Doryn Wallach:

Really? So Amy, I am so happy for you to be here and I'm so happy that you took a chance on me for my first podcast.


Amy Nobile:

I'm thrilled to be here. You're phenomenal, and this is going to be a huge success so I'm so happy to be here.


Doryn Wallach:

Thank you. I'm a little nervous today, so I just wanted to mention that this might not be my best hormones.


Amy Nobile:

It's probably [crosstalk 00:04:23].


Doryn Wallach:

It's definitely hormones. I mean 100%.


Amy Nobile:

Anxiety hormones, they all go together, so let's just embrace that.


Doryn Wallach:

Okay. So I want to start by asking you since you inspired my podcast with your book, what inspired you to write this book?


Amy Nobile:

Yeah. So Trisha, as you mentioned, my best friend and co-author and co-teammate in all the ventures, we were kind of feeling stuck in our own lives. And we were in the middle of this jewelry venture ASH & AMES, and at no point should we have thought about writing a book. We were knee deep in this whole entrepreneurial thing. But we were feeling like, it was sort of this perfect storm. Like, "Hold on. What is going on?" Our hormones were going crazy. We had like early teenagers who were driving us insane. And they started to become hormonal. We had aging parents who were starting to need us in different ways. Our husbands were kind of going a little sideways in terms of like, where were we each on each other's priority list?

So everything just started to unravel and we're in the middle of this venture. We looked at each other and we thought, "Okay. We might have to start interviewing women to see if this is a thing, or if this is just once again us being crazy." And we had to do it in secret, because our husbands were like... My ex-husband and my husband at the time, and Trisha's husband looked at us like, "You can't take your eye off the ball. What are you doing?" So we started interviewing women in secret, and sure enough, we started hearing themes. And we looked at each other one day and said, "We have to write a book." And we did it in total secrecy. We flew out to San Francisco, we pitched our publisher, we got the book deal all in secret.


Doryn Wallach:

That's amazing.


Amy Nobile:

And we just knew that this was we had to write a book that was the roadmap that our mothers literally did not have to give us.


Doryn Wallach:

This just popped in my head but, why do you think that women can't talk about this stage? It's just, it's like the secret that we felt so comfortable talking about all these other stages of our lives, and now all of a sudden we have to shut up.


Amy Nobile:

It is really weird. It sort of does I think stem from this perfectionistic generation, where we feel like we're really, really lucky that we have choices in our lives that our moms didn't have. And so we have to make all the right choices, and if we don't make the right choices, then it's our fault. And so there's this shroud of secrecy around the struggles that we have. And again, our mothers are not role models for us. So we just think we're strange, we think something's wrong with us. And because we're not talking about it with each other, it just manifests and becomes worse. So it's just so imperative that we have one another to talk about and just blow the doors open on this topic.


Doryn Wallach:

I agree. And also one of the reasons I called the podcast, It's Not A Crisis, is because I think it is scary. You turned 40 and you start to get a little... I actually don't even think it's 40, I think it's a little after 40. You start to get a little nervous like, "My kids aren't needing me as much. Life is changing a little bit. What's going to happen when I don't have as much to do? What's going to happen to my marriage? What's going to happen to my friendships?" And it's all very scary. My parents. But I wanted to create this so that we weren't looking at it as doom. It wasn't a crisis. We can make the most of these years and we have to look at them in a positive way. There's enough negativity in the world.


Amy Nobile:

Well, and again the thing is, I mean the second half of our lives could be the better half. And that's a revelation for our generation. If you look at our moms and that generation, it's like they kind of hung up the muumuu and said, "All right. I checked the boxes," and they kind of let themselves go for the most part and really didn't prioritize themselves and certainly didn't think big and dream big.


Doryn Wallach:

Can I interrupt that? Have you met my mother? Because she definitely did not let herself go.


Amy Nobile:

Well, that's why you're so phenomenal. There you go. She's like, there's always the exception, right?


Doryn Wallach:

My mom is on an Instagram handle that I manage, My Mom Arlene on Instagram. You'd see her. If you look that up, you'll see that she definitely did not let herself go. But I hear you. What we look like at our age is not for the most part [crosstalk 00:08:36], what they were doing.


Amy Nobile:

So most of us are walking around questioning whether we A, can prioritize ourselves at all, B, do we have permission to reinvent ourselves personally and professionally? What we found is most women feel like they don't have permission. If they do, they're not sure how to go about the process. And so that was a huge theme in our book too.


Doryn Wallach:

So tell me, if you were going to give our listeners, if we were going to set the groundwork for this entire podcast, what are things that you would like them to know that we can look forward to or ways that we can enrich our lives and make them better at this stage?


Amy Nobile:

Yeah, it's interesting. This may sound a little strange but we would ask women to prioritize everyone in their lives, and they would consistently leave themselves off that list. And so the first step to really embracing this part of your life that can be the better half, is to prioritize yourself. What does that mean? We throw around the word self-care a lot, which I think is becoming a little bit ubiquitous. It's sort of hard to define. Well, what does that mean? Does that mean yoga? Does that mean a facial?


Doryn Wallach:

Does it mean wine?


Amy Nobile:

Does it mean a lot of wine? On a daily basis at noon. No. I mean, but really it's who do you want to become and what does that look like? And how do you start to get there? And really looking inward and figuring out sort of what's missing for yourself. That can mean doing a little meditation, really, really getting real with yourself. It can mean going away on a silent weekend. It can mean just reading and figuring out where you are in your life and where you want to go. And that, you really can only meet other people as deeply as you've met yourself. And at this point in our lives, we have given everything to everybody. We have given to our kids, we have given to our husbands, we have given to our parents, we have given to our friends. And to really literally stop everything and take a look inward, it's scary. It's really scary to do. But it's necessary to move forward.


Doryn Wallach:

And I think it's really necessary to start that in your early 40s, because I think that if you can learn those, you can learn how to take care of yourself now. I think when you're, if you're a mom or if you're not a mom, I think at that point in life, things change no matter what. And I think that you need to have those tools, not all of a sudden be left with them at some point when your kids go to college, and then you're looking at yourself like, "Oh God. What now?"


Amy Nobile:

Absolutely. And that's why so many marriages fail at that point too. Because you look at each other, you haven't done the work individually, you certainly haven't done the work together, and that's why a lot of women end up feeling really, really alone and scared. So that first step is looking inward and honoring who you are, and reevaluating the relationship you have with yourself. So that's really it. And then from there, then you can start to reevaluate your relationships with others. So what does your relationship look like with your friends? A lot of times we hang out to friendships that aren't so healthy and a little bit toxic even, and they're reflecting back on us. Versus, pruning some of those friendships and choosing carefully.

Again, looking at your marriage if you're married. What does that look like? And are you truly, truly fulfilled and happy? Can you do something to fix it? Is it time to let it go? And that happened to me when I was in the course of writing this book. I realized I had to leave my marriage of 20 years. I couldn't write this book in good faith honoring other women and not face my own challenges. So it ended up being the best thing I've ever done in my life.


Doryn Wallach:

Good for you. Good for you.


Amy Nobile:

Yeah. But tough. And with your family too, and your children if you have kids. What is that relationship? Has it become codependent? Has it become one-sided? Have you given them the wings to fly at this point? And if you haven't, you need to take a look at that.


Doryn Wallach:

I love, love, love, love this point. I also feel like just coming into your 40s, you do start to get a little bit of like, "I just don't give a crap anymore about anything."


Amy Nobile:

And we swear seriously.


Doryn Wallach:

Yeah. We do swear. We can totally swear. I feel like you definitely start to get rid of friendships. I think you definitely look at the relationship with your kids, trying to teach them more independence. I think my kids get angry with me when I try to teach them independence, which is so interesting.


Amy Nobile:

Like they're so dependent on you and they don't want the end.


Doryn Wallach:

Sometimes they do and then sometimes they don't. I think more times they don't want the independence because they want something to be done for them.


Amy Nobile:

Right. We've conditioned them, right?


Doryn Wallach:

We've conditioned them. But I'm a true believer in doing that, because I do think about just a short time my daughter's in sixth grade, she's going to be in college. I mean, it's not that far away.


Amy Nobile:

Yeah. No, it's true. So that's really, really important. And again, knowing that you have permission to reinvent yourself, you have permission to make these tough choices. I think permission was a big word that we found that women were afraid. Do I? Can I? Do I have permission to make these huge choices? And giving yourself permission to think a little differently than you thought in the past to make choices that maybe your friends wouldn't make, to make choices that are really scary for you. And dream big and think about, do you really, really want that job? Do you want to keep that job you've had for 20 years because your mom thinks you're a really good event planner? It's like, how do you gain permission and courage to make some of these choices?


Doryn Wallach:

I have a funny story to tell you that is really interesting. I have a friend who's a wonderful personal stylist, and she's got great taste and not necessarily what I would expect for my own taste. And I think that she pushes my boundaries a little bit. And I love that about her. She came into my closet in the fall, and I was like, "Listen. Can you just put together some outfits for me?" Because remember share and coolest, how she had the computer where she would just not afraid to pick her outfit?


Amy Nobile:

Yeah. That's like dreamy.


Doryn Wallach:

I was like, "I want that. I mean, I just want that."


Amy Nobile:

Can you see that?