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How to Reframe Thoughts When You Feel Out of Control

We talk about the government shutdown, and real-life examples of how it’s affecting people who work for the federal government – and people who don’t.

We also talk about how not having control over a basic thing like when you’re going to get paid can cause catastrophizing and black and white thinking. And how you can reframe thoughts to stop the spiral.

Then we close out to talk about how we can get more compassionate politicians to help us avoid this mess in the first place.

Things We Mention

Ringling Bros. circus closing after 146 years

Love the Body You’re In Lucia Pavone

IRS Taxpayer Advocates and Governmental Liaisons


Government Shutdown by the Numbers

Nearly 10,000 companies contract with shutdown-affected agencies, putting $200 million a week at risk

Where Are All the Blue-Collar Candidates?

Want Congress to look more like the people it serves?

How to Connect with Jen





Jen McFarland Third Paddle

Jen McFarland is a business systems expert, podcaster, and blogger. She’s helped hundreds of businesses and thousands of podcast listeners make better business decisions. Jen’s passion is helping women-owned businesses get the growth tools they need to meet their 3-5 year business goals.

Are you starting a business? Confused about how to grow? Check out my favorite business growth tools.

Jen also loves appearing on podcasts. Here is a link to her Podcast Guests profile.


Jen: Hello and welcome to the podcast. I’m your host Jen McFarland. This week we talk about the government shutdown and real-life examples of how it’s affecting people, people who work for the federal government and people who don’t. We also talk about how not having control over a basic thing like when you’re going to get paid, can cause catastrophizing and black and white thinking. We talk about how to reframe those thoughts and make your life a little better. Then we close out the show talking about how we can get more compassionate politicians to help us to avoid this mess in the first place. All that and more here on the Third Paddle.

Announcer: Welcome to the podcast, recorded at the Vandal Lounge in beautiful southeast Portland, Oregon. Why the Third Paddle? Because even the most badass entrepreneurs get stuck up in business Shit Creek. Management consultant Jennifer McFarland is your third paddle, helping you get unstuck.

Jen: I’m having a hard time focusing right now because I just made two really bad decisions back to back.

Liz: Okay.

Jen: The first decision I smelled the inside of my slipper.

Liz: Yeah. I don’t know what that was about.

Jen: I don’t know why I did that. Well, so I was walking around and something is jabbing my toe, so I wanted to see what it was. Sure. Okay. And I kind of felt around in there and then I looked in there and then it was like, Oh God, no, we don’t know.

Liz: Oh, so you weren’t actually trying to smell it.

Jen: No, I kind of was a little bit.

Liz: See, see Yeah. And then we’re friends. We’re not normal.

Jen: And then I followed that up by. I’m plugging all the microphones in and turning everything on and then turning it off.

Liz: Yeah, no, that makes total sense.

Jen: These are not similar buttons people Nope. Not even close to similar.

Liz: It’s not like they’re right next to each other. They’re not the same size. Are they the same color?

Jen: Nope.

Liz: No, not even that.

Jen: No one you have to like pull down and the other one is just a button that you push.

Liz: So it’s, it’s not even like, okay. You know, those people that were, it doesn’t say push or pull on the on the door and they get stuck and they don’t know what to do and they look like an idiot, but that’s because they’re sort of waiting for the door to pull open when it’s a push, but there’s no sign that says that, right That’s not what you did.

Jen: No, this is what I like. Legit wasn’t thinking and just said, okay, let’s do this. Bam. Turned it off and then as it’s turning off I’m like, wait, what did I just.

Liz: I’m glad. I’m glad we’ve both been to therapy and I know that that’s not a subliminal messages to how you feel about recording with me.

Jen: Actually, I think it’s possible that I was like that my brain and my brain was clouded from this, from the pollution that came out of my slipper.

Liz: That’s fair. See, it was all, it was all a dream. Don’t worry about it.

Jen: And that thing is still poking me in the toe. It’s probably part of the slipper now at this point. Dammit.

Liz: Well for one, maybe don’t stick your face in there to see like next time that’s a really bad idea. Just use the flashlight on your phone to look inside

Jen: or maybe I just don’t have any control over it and I should just get over it.

Liz: Well, your foot still gonna hurt every time you wear those slippers.

Jen: Yeah, I know. I mean that’s kind of annoying, right No, we should probably stop talking about slippers. Okay. That’s what I think I can be wrong, but I think that most people are like, get over the slippers but everybody knows how annoying it is when somethings poking you and your shoe. So there’s a thing going on.

Liz: Is there?

Jen: Okay. There’s a lot of things going on.

Liz: Okay.

Jen: But there’s kind of a big thing going on where like a bunch of people aren’t working right now.

Liz: Uh, are you talking about circus performers?

Jen: Well, Barnum and Bailey shut down from a little over a year ago was a big deal.

Liz: Right Right. Okay.

Jen: We’re not talking about that, but that’s not what I’m talking about because that happened a while ago.

Liz: Got It. Okay. Um, are we talking about firefighters and Park Rangers and, and stuff like that?

Jen: Kind of. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So there’s a big government shutdown.

Liz: Oh, right, right, right, right.

Jen: Remember that?

Liz: Yep. Yep, Yep, Yep, Yep.

Jen: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And honestly when it started I was like, well, we’re not really gonna talk about that because well, first of all it probably won’t last very long because typically they don’t.

Liz: Right.

Jen: And we’re not a political show really. I mean talk about it sometimes, but it’s the main topic of conversation.

Liz: Right, right.

Jen: You know, it’s not the main thrust of the show. After Lucia was on last week, I can say things like thrust and not be ashamed of it and not be ashamed of it. And yes, she did make me blush by the way. She’s joking all over social media right now, like I made Jen McFarland blush. And the answer is yes you did. Thank you. And we all need to be stretched sometimes.

Liz: Whoa.

Jen: Okay. That one I got real dirty really fast. So you might want to know why we’re going to talk about the government shut down. Yeah. This was your idea.

Liz: It was, well, okay, it was my idea because it’s such a big topic of conversation. It would be a, it’s just kind of, I think I just think it’s a good idea to talk about this and how it relates to the quote-unquote average person because, you know, I don’t work for the government. My family doesn’t work for the government. I don’t know anybody personally that is affected by this government shut down and yet I do because uh, what I know about governments when they malfunction or dysfunction or even just function, there’s a ripple effect of, um, of, and you taught me that technically, but yeah.

Jen: I do personally know people who aren’t working right now who are affected. Because the last job I had before I started my company was being a liaison with the Internal Revenue Service on a huge project that I led that had to comply with IRS regulations. And we went through, I mean, over the course of those four years, we went through several rounds of potential shutdowns and a short shutdown that lasted I think like 36 hours. And you might think 36 hours isn’t a big deal, let me tell you it, it took like months to get out of that backlog as somebody who was working directly with the IRS because the machinery at the federal level is so slow to get through. But I think about my, my contact there who would be deemed non-essential, because of the work that she does, which is actually very important work.

Liz: Yes. Can we just pause for a second, that phrase nonessential. How demoralizing is that as an individual to hear that you are nonessential.

Jen: I mean I guess I, as a former City employee, I was deemed nonessential as well when there was a large snow storm.

Liz: Okay.

Jen: The City of Portland where essential people were the people who had to like plow roads and stuff. And I was like okay, I acknowledge I’m not essential. It’s cool. Like, so it’s more about that. So the essential and nonessential thing is really about keeping the lights on.

Liz: Yeah.

Jen: You know, so a lot of places are running off of skeleton crews. Like there are people working at IRS, but the work that my former colleague is doing would not be considered essential. And you might say, well, what did she do? I think her job is one of the most important jobs because if you have problems and people maybe don’t know this, if you have problems with the internal revenue service, you have every right to go to your state representative and say, I’m having trouble with the IRS. Help me out. And they have liaisons that cover certain districts or areas. Yeah. That when something happens and it’s brought to a representative or a senator or somebody like that, that they go handle it and she’s one of those people.

Liz: Oh, snap.

Jen: Considered nonessential. She’s also the liaison for government programs that are trying to comply with IRS rules, which is every state in the country. And then a few small municipalities that also do that as well. So the job is still essential and important, especially if you’re stuck.

Liz: You right.

Jen: We need people that aren’t just, uh, uh, answering the phones and processing tax returns. Sometimes you need somebody to squeak, squeak the grease the wheels because it’s not moving. Yes. Uh, so it’s positions like that that are deemed non-essential because it’s not pushing the paper around. Right Um, and I remember how tremendously stressed out she was. Every time there was a possible government or, or even when it happened for awhile because you never know how long it’s gonna last year at the will of, of the politicians and she lives in, she lives in Seattle and um, you know, a young couple, no kids, um, but Seattle is expensive and it’s always stressful if you aren’t getting paid and you don’t know how long, how long it’s going to be before. And um, and honestly we just, I mean if you were to go around and I encourage people to do that, go around, ask your friends. How many of you have one, two, three months worth of salary just laying around. So you can see that if you lost your job, you could make ends meet. It used to be years ago that people had like six months worth and if you read that.

Liz: That was always the, like the mark like that, you know, if you were either going to not be paid for any reason because you work with government and there was a shutdown or you were, you know, you’re not working with a government and you got laid off or fired, that having six months worth of quote-unquote income from what you were making is like financially, that’s what they say, that you should have like six months saved up for quote-unquote rainy day or for a crisis or whatever.

Jen: They still say it. I mean, I read, I read all of Kiplinger’s and stuff and um, and I read it and every time I read them like, what planet are these people on?

Liz: I mean, for real six months of income for me is like I’ve never seen that much money in my account at one time.

Jen: What it takes is a lot of dedication to saving. Um, and, and we, we, we are constantly adding to our savings accounts by just taking a small amount of money out at the time were paid and putting them in savings every, every month.

Liz: When I get a paycheck. That’s what I do as well.

Jen: But it’s really hard to get to six months and then things happen, you know, totally, uh, repairs, refrigerators, whatever and it, and it goes away. I mean, it’s, and if you live in an expensive place, like on the West Coast, I’m pretty much up and down the west coast now. I mean, we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars that you’re having to put aside for that quote-unquote rainy day for that quote-unquote rainy day. And it’s just, there are too many people in this world that are just barely making ends meet. Yeah. And Yeah, some of them, um, I think that the example, most people use TSA, they’re coming into contact with them most often. I would think that they’re just not very well paid. Like I don’t think people realize that they’re not well-paid positions. Uh, so it’s very hard to, um, pay your bills and have anything left at that level, um, and there.

Liz: And if you think about it, TSA, they might not live like right next to the airport. They’re probably having to commute from a far distance, but those are major metro areas, most of the time and major metro areas are more expensive to live in. Right. So here’s somebody who’s securing the airplanes and airports and making everything safe and lovely for us. Uh, you know, customers flying the friendly skies so to speak, and they’re earning a little bit above minimum wage. I don’t know how much they’re getting paid, but they’re not getting paid enough to do that job really.

Jen: Well. They’re just among some of the lowest paid government workers. Yeah, I think. And um, but they are getting back pay.

Liz: Well, that’s nice to know. It’s just nice to know whenever it happens. But in the meantime, people are trying to pay bills. That’s the rub. The back pain is coming.

Jen: It’s going to be a huge tax bite. I mean, yeah, they’re not really gonna get the whole amount because it, it’ll probably come in at a higher tax rate and lose more like a bonus. Um, but there are some people who aren’t getting back pay the contractors.

Liz: Now let’s, let’s get, let’s get an example going because contractors, uh, yes, uh, I immediately think of people who build buildings, construction contractors, um, that’s not who you’re talking about. I know this, um, but, uh, and I’ve also been in a position and maybe other people to go, oh, contracts. Yeah, I’ve been, you know, I’ve had a six month contract, so to speak with an employer and I work for the period of that contracted, maybe it’s renewed and maybe it’s not and then it’s clear how I’m working with them and for how much money, et cetera.

Jen: I can give an example for people who live in the greater Portland, Oregon area of this, um, but then it exists in several other scenarios. So I, uh, interviewed for a job at a Bonneville Power Associated Administration, Bonneville Power Administration, BPA. BPA is, it’s known around here. Uh, and it was a contract position and then I found out that although it is a federal agency, most of the people working there under contract.

Oh Wow.

So if their contracts are for positions that are deemed non-essential, um, that contract would be up immediately. I mean all of them for were for periods of time, but like the terms were like we can let you go at anytime. Uh, so these are not secured position and will contracts. Uh, so there are things like that, like, you know, just entire agencies that are, are run by and large by contractors. Then there are um, other things like my brother in law used to have a, uh, was an electrician, had an electrical company outside of DC. My husband’s from DC area and he had large government contracts to work on buildings, doing electrician’s work. Sure. Contracts and

Liz: stuff. And a lot of those buildings in DC are run by the federal government

Jen: run by the federal government and, and people are always moving offices and need new things and new wiring and all kinds of stuff. It’s an ongoing process. So contracts like that, those are some of the things that would go. It wouldn’t go across the board because this shutdown is very narrow. It’s not the entire, that’s why they keep calling it a partial government shutdown because it’s not shutting down every agency. Right. Um, my friend who works for the social security, um, for social security is continuing to work and take calls. That one because it’s funded, it’s just a, a, a group of agencies that are no longer funded at this time and waiting to reopen. And so anybody who had a contract with that specific agency, it wouldn’t be working anymore. Got It. Um, the other person that I know who, uh, has been affected by this is a girlfriend from college then went with whose home was destroyed in a hurricane like almost two years ago and has just gone through hell to get insurance money and rebuild our home.

Jen: And I mean it was devastating. It took everything right. And she has a check sitting on her dining room table. The cannot be endorsed. Oh, because spa, you know, can’t endorse it right now. The bank won’t take it unless it’s endorsed, of course an approved and stamped. Uh, and so there are people who don’t even work for the government who were affected by this, so people who aren’t contractors and who are also not employees. Um, so, so there are a lot of different problems related to the shutdown and, and yet it’s also a, an interesting, I don’t know what the word is, it’s, it’s like these are the types of things that can happen to you in life. Yeah. Anywhere. Like the shut down is basically like a foil for like other things that happen in your life that you have no control over. Yeah. And that can really get you, get you stuck, are put you put you at a stop.

Liz: Yeah. At, at a full stop. And the sort of hiccups and hurdles that you experience sometimes you can see them coming and sometimes you can’t see them coming and you’d literally have no control of how large the hurdle is when, when it’s coming at you. Um, I think this is a no, I think. I think you’re right. I think this is a great metaphor for being stuck, but also like being frozen, like when like that sort of paralysis that happens when something uncontrollable or to what feels like too big of a hurdle to get over might happen. Right.

Jen: And there are all kinds of barriers that people might not be aware of. One just popped into my head about like government workers. You could say, well just go get another job. But

Liz: there are a lot of regulations out there that say you can’t moonlight. Right. And technically they’re still working for the government. Yeah. So they can’t go get another job or they lose their government job being furloughed doesn’t mean that you’ve been, like go. It is that you still are quote unquote an employee. And so you still have to follow all the employee rules. So it’s a, it’s a very hard to navigate. And I think that there are a lot of times in our lives where we find situations that are very hard to navigate and where you feel stuck or frozen. Um, and maybe where you feel like you don’t have choices, you know, you, you’re, you’re trying to think of different pathways, different choices you could make to get unstuck and maybe you’re getting forwarded on some of those pathways. So what do you do when that happens

Liz: Well, if I’m, if I’m by myself trying to find pathways and feeling supported than I usually I’m unstuck myself by, uh, by reaching out to people, I’m usually the first person to be like, I need help and I’ll raise my hand like a, like a sad five year old who’s lost her perfect colored crayon that you can’t color with that color. Oh, it was always a periwinkle. Oh, I liked that one a lot. Terry Winco was always my favorite crayon color because it wasn’t really blew. It was kind of like grayish blue and it had the coolest name and it wasn’t purple either. No, I mean I love purple. That was my favorite color growing up. Right. But the ripple crayons or like super sets a really strong color. It’s a strong color. Sorry. Winkle. Okay. So you reach out for resources I do, I know I’m the first one to ask for help. Um, mostly because it makes me not feel so alone in the process. Um, if you’re trying to navigate something and you’re, and you’re feeling stuck, the last place that I’m going to feel useful or resourceful is inside my own head.

Liz: It’s a, it’s a, it’s a dark alleyway of, of, um, you know, sticky walls with gum on it that you don’t want to be in after 10:00 PM. So I’m or whatever that meant. Whatever that saying. No, now I, that’s all I can think about. You’re gonna have to talk for awhile. Like I just put my hand on the wall. Damn it. Okay. Not the hair, not the hair. Okay. Alright. Alright. So, um, okay. So you get resources. Yeah. I get you out of your head, which is sticky walls. Super Gross. But the point is that you, you, you know, navigating that sort of stuff by yourself is probably not the most fruitful way to go about it. So reaching out for resources, reaching out for help, navigating it with somebody else who maybe has a different perspective than me. Somebody who’s maybe already done this kind of navigation, a coursework, um, that’s who I reached out to.

Liz: Those are the types of people or reach out to, but also, um, I think about a ways I can, like, okay, if I can’t choose a path or if I’m getting thwarted with every path I choose what can I control. So it’s more like I can reach out for resources, but also I have to sort of at the same time I’m retreat into the small space of my life that I can control. Like I can choose what money I spend on things. I can choose a, you know, what to eat today. I can choose whether I’m going to work out or not. A, I can choose to call my parents and say hi, like those are, those are choices that I can control. And it sounds ridiculously small sometimes, but it builds me up in a way to maybe where I can feel a little bit more confident trying to navigate some,

Jen: some stuff. Yeah. I think it dovetails perfectly on what Jen Rozenbaum was talking about a couple of weeks ago where she mentions a, how fear is such a bastard and you know, it, it makes you feel like you’ve lost control when the reality is you maybe don’t have any control over it to begin with, like the shutdown, right I, I mean, I can’t tell you how many times people thought there was going to be a shut down and then it didn’t happen. So, on the one hand, you can be like, well, they really should be saving money because it could happen at any time. And it’s like, well, a lot of false starts on that, you know, and they don’t have any control over whether or not the government actually gets shut down. So yes should save more money, right Um, but then we don’t know people’s personal situations and what they have control over.

Jen: Absolutely. And it’s the same thing in our own lives where if you are paralyzed by fear thinking that you are completely out of control sometimes, like dialing it down and realizing the things that you have control over and can make choices around and, and also just in being more optimistic because if you focus on the fear, yes, then then it will just continue to build on itself. Yeah. Um, and getting resources is really good too because once you like reframe things, you know, and somebody else can do that for you. A lot. Reframe a situation in a different way and um, change your thinking and that might spark something within you that sends you an

Liz: in a different direction and sometimes that different direction is not the answer, but it leads you down a path that gets you closer to it or, or maybe it’s a magic bean. I don’t know. I’ve never seen a magic band in my life. But. But I see your point though, that like if, if you’re able to reframe what’s, what’s actually happening,

Jen: um, you can, you do need to be able to see things more clearly in order to make decisions. Well, I think that what we’re really talking about when we talk about like reframing, right So there are all these different ways that you can address a problem. Okay. Uh, so, uh, allison kinnear, my good friend, she was on this episode on the episode about Imposter Syndrome. Yes. Uh, she stayed with me that weekend and stuff and like we were talking about something and I’m like, oh my God, you’re catastrophizing. And she’s. And she’s like, Oh yeah, yeah, I totally do that. Also, just an excellent word by the way. Excellent word. So we’re totally be the word of the week sometime. Hashtag Liz, Hashtag no. Yeah, no, I do wear to the week, but we’re, I don’t think the uplifting, inspirational word of the week.

Jen: So what catastrophizing is, um, is. Okay. So, because I’ve done it before too. So I’ll give you an example of when I’ve done it. Excellent. Uh, my husband John is in a couple of different bands. He’ll tell me I’m going to go play with the guys. I’ll be home by 9:00. Great. Perfect. Nine slash one. John’s dead. He’s not here. There was a massive car accident. I haven’t heard from him. He’s not responding to my texts and Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God, am I got him to stare at the door and just hope and pray and pretty soon I’m going to call nine. One one because this is just the worst day ever. Yeah, that’s definitely.

Jen: Wow. So maybe you should reframe that and say, you know what, it’s only been a couple minutes after nine. Yep. Let’s give this some time. Yeah. He probably isn’t responding to my texts because he’s driving. Right Or should not be texting while driving and you shouldn’t be texting while driving or he’s having a really good time and it’s gone a little bit late and enjoying the company of the company. And your husband never replies to your texts anyway. So maybe you should just dial it down a little bit, jen. The end. Okay. So, but if you have other stressors in your life, yes, it’s really easy to start catastrophizing. Yes I have. I may have something else going on that I want to talk to him and when he’s not here, I’m stressed out and it’s nine. Oh one. And then all of a sudden, like all I can say about that, he’s rolled his car over and something bad has happened.

Jen: When that’s not what’s happened at all. Yeah. Right. So it’s about contextualizing where those emotions are coming from and reframing it around other possibilities that are a little more positive. That’s what reframing is. Um, and I can do catastrophizing. I’m great at it obviously because that was not a made up scenario. That’s one that’s happened before where I was, you know, 10 texts later. John’s like, seriously, I had an extra beer. I waited until I was able to drive home. And I’m like, do you check your phone Hi John. Did you take your phone Why didn’t you reply to my text Yeah, that’s happened before. So good luck, John. I’m like, John, uh, it doesn’t happen very often. I’m really anymore. But you do that, but I have done it yet. I think other people have to. So the thing that I’m really good at when I’m feeling stuck is, um, and I think a lot of people do this as well, is a black and white thinking. Yes. Oh, I also did that one. I’m really good at that one. Yeah. Also known as the zero sum game. Yep. Um,

Liz: if not, if this doesn’t happen, then that definitely doesn’t happen. Is, uh, is a very

Jen: common black and white thinking thoughts. That’s one way. The other way is, um, it has to be like this. There’s no other way. I’m never going to be able to blah, blah blah. Oh yeah. Never or always can’t always anything that is in the absolute If this doesn’t happen, then this can’t happen. That, right Yeah. Those are very absolute black and white terms. Absolute black and white terms. And once I became aware that I did that and I worked on undoing that so many doors began to open And so the way you do that is you catch yourself saying, well, I am never going to wear purple dress. Whoa. I know, right Like I’ve just made an entire commitment paid on purple forever, right Uh, or, um, I’m never, um, you know, I mean, it goes on and on and on, or, and I can’t do a facebook live. You can’t do it, can’t do it. And it’s like, well, why Yeah, why not, you know,

Liz: but as an and just side note, often it’s the small black and white thoughts absolutes. And then you’re sort of getting into it, you’re training your brain to think that way. So it can honestly can start with, I’m never wearing purple. And that never thought is a rewarded in some way in your life. Your brain goes, oh, we like thinking that way. Okay, great. Next thing, situation that presents itself to you a then that absolute black and white thinking thought pattern is at the ready, ready to go. I can’t do the facebook live. I’m never gonna make any money from my business. My ads suck. And now I’m down the shame where downward spiral. And I’m never going to be able to get out of it. And then you’re catastrophizing again, so there.

Jen: Right, right. Wow. That was. Wow. Damn. Yeah. Uh, so Sarah Hadley, who was a guest earlier, talked a lot about those neuropathways and what you’re talking about is establishing neuropathways that give you feedback that you keep feeding into it and you keep doing it over and over again. Uh, and when you begin to realize the Times where you are making these absolutes and these statements, uh, it’s another opportunity to consider another way of thinking, right It can be difficult in those moments, like if you’ve been so used to thinking a certain way and you maybe don’t realize you’re not aware that you’re doing it and then suddenly you’re, you have to. UNCG castrophizing. It’s like so many things in life, right Like, it’s simple, not easy. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s what we mean by reframing. Reframed the problem. Yes. And, uh, so like how does that, how does that relate back to the shut down

Jen: Well, there are a couple of things, uh, when we make judgments on people who don’t have their paychecks, we need to realize that there are people and begin to put ourselves in another person’s shoes and reframe that issue around that, you know, how it would be if it was you or is it that individual’s fault Is it the TSA Workers Fault that you think government is too big We’re not functioning properly. Yeah. Those are some ways. And then it’s also just a good tool for like when you feel like you’re out of control and you start to go into these spirals. I mean there’s so many other thought spirals that you can go into around beyond black and white thinking or catastrophizing or, or whatever. Uh, it’s about being aware when you’re like running through this narrative that is no longer serving you. Yeah. Because it’s really about feeling like you’re out of control and you’re trying to make sense of it in order to like find that control. Right. Um, one of my favorite things from a training I went two years ago was like, we all have degrees from Msu, make shit up. Yup.

Jen: And I feel like I’m 45. I feel like now I’ve got a master’s degree and PhD in this, um, but I’m, I’m unlearning that, actively unlearning that and, and working on, um, and I do a pretty damn good job of it most of the time, but everybody has their moments making shit up or if I’m learning it, of unlearning that it, the idea of making it. I mean I still make shit up like everybody does it, but identifying when I am making up a narrative at it, I’m playing it out. Got It. Because the truth is we, when we tell ourselves these tales, they do become self-fulfilling prophecies. And that’s how things work. That is how well some things work. Yeah. It’s things, not all things, uh, uh, I don’t know how to answer that answer. Do you feel trapped And I have to filter out. You want to phone a friend I need to uncontested fix this situation. Get me out of this moment. Do you have anything else to add Are we done a. I think the only other thing I would add, um, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well, is that um, there are a lot of people affected by the shutdown. Yes.

Liz: People that we know and people may be that we also do not know personally as 2 million people. How, how can we possibly know them all I don’t know. I don’t even know them all. Oh, okay. Sorry. But like some of that was all or nothing thinking. Okay. But some of us, like you, you know, some people like, you know, a handful of people maybe that are directly impacted by this. I know nobody who is directly impacted by this, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t think compassionately about the people who are impacted by this. I’m absolutely. But also, uh, you know, there are people who are actively trying to, you know, uncut testifies the government shut down and I think those are the people that we need to be grateful for and support and prop up and make sure they, they’ve got room to be leaders.

Liz: And go do the things that you mean turn the government back on Yeah, it’s a big switch. Ultimately. I know it’s not a giant on off switch on the wall or a big red button on a desk, but I just mean, you know there are, there are people out there and not every single person attached to the government. It’s somebody to not like, you know, some people are working within the government structures that we have and they are trying to make a difference and they are trying to do the right thing. Yeah. The majority of them are. I think so. I, I just, I want to add that little sort of positive note at the end of this. That was one of, one of

Jen: the things that really frustrated me as somebody who worked in public service was there’s this mantra out there that a public service people are lazy. They don’t work hard. Government is the problem, like all of these things and these are human beings. And when I worked, when I worked in public service, I worked hard. I worked really hard and turn projects around quicker than I ever had. And I turn projects around quick and I asked my talent, but I, I had never done it as quickly as, as I did there. And so it’s hurtful when people make these blanket assumptions about it because these are humans and we’re seeing in places, um, the impact of not having people around like in Joshua tree where people were chopping down trees and take hundreds of years to grow back. Um, and other things, you know, sanitation problems and all kinds of things.

Jen: Um, and then we have people who can’t pay their bills. Um, and it’s, it’s a really big, it’s a really big deal. And as I told you before we started the show, my, my big lament, and if I can find the article again, I will put it in the show notes, is that we don’t have more politicians who are from the working class middle class. We have such a strong tie between money and success that we seem to believe that only the wealthy can govern from, from the political sphere. And I believe that we could avoid more of, of these types of things if we consider these to be job interviews and then we started hiring people who looked more like us, not only in terms of gender and race, but also economic standing. And I think the economic standing and understanding, um, the, the sort of socioeconomic perspectives that everybody at, at different levels actually has.

Jen: And it’s not just about valuing hard work and it’s not just about valuing, you know, all the Americanism is that you can imagine it’s about valuing money yourself up by your bootstraps, owning your own business. I mean, we have these like working yantras for, for who that is and that. But those people aren’t actually. I mean, some are and some aren’t. That’s true. You know, some people do come from very modest backgrounds, um, but what I would say is we need to have more meetings at the local level that happened in the evening when people are not working. People are not working. Yes, we need to, uh, as, as people in the middle class, we need to have more conversations with people in power who can help lift us up into power and we need to have conversations about how we could potentially work on a campaign or leave our jobs if we’re interested in politics.

Jen: I personally am not interested in politics, but there are people out there. All I’m saying is that, that compassion for people working in government who are helping and the avoidance of future shut downs. What happened if there was more compassion at the, in the political sphere Yes. Um, and we have more people who reflected and who understood what happens if you don’t get one or two or three or four paychecks.

Liz: Yep. Absolutely.

Jen: Because it’s a big deal, but it is a very big deal to a lot of people.

Liz: Um, yeah, and it does, a lot of it does start with, with reframing the conversations and reframing your perspective and considering people as humans because like, I’m a human, but I’m pretty sure I’m human too.

Jen: I’m not 100 percent. Well, okay, that’s a wrap for us here. On the podcast, thank you for joining us. Oh my God. Liz is like falling off the couch. Don’t know what to say to that. Of course you’re a human.

Liz: Yay. She bought it.

Jen: Oh my God, we’re done.

Announcer: Thank you for listening to the podcast. Be sure to catch every episode by subscribing on iTunes. To learn more, check out our website at wwww.jenmcfarland.com/podcast.The podcast is sponsored by Jen McFarland Consulting online at jjenmcfarland.com.

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