What Makes Us Valuable? With Anna McNamara | Episode 16

What Makes Us Valuable? With Anna McNamara | Episode 16

In this episode, Anna and Kimber have a really juicy conversation about:

1. The challenges of bipolar two disorder

2. The pressure to monetize creativity

3.How we equate our ability to make money with our self-worth

4.How to reframe failure

5. The usefulness of labels in communicating our needs and understanding each other.


You can find Anna McNamara on Instagram @practicalandpretty or her website practicalandpretty.com 

Follow Kimber on instagram @justbeyourbadself 

Ekhart Tolle video clip

For more extensive show notes, resources, and transcripts, please visit www.justbeyourbadself.com


Learning to Value Yourself Without Monetizing Yourself

[00:00:00] Welcome back to the, just be your bad self podcast. Where you are worthy of love, just the way you are. I'm your host Kimber Dutton. And today I'm talking with DIY blogger and bipolar awareness advocate anna McNamara. Anna is a mother of two running a blog and YouTube channel

[00:00:17] featuring Tiedye and other crafts. She loves teaching and performing musical theater and crafting.

[00:00:23] She's also an advocate of mental health as she works her way through managing Her bipolar disorder.

[00:00:29] And this episode, and I have a really juicy conversation about the challenges of bipolar two disorder. The pressure to monetize creativity, how we equate our ability to make money with our self-worth. How to reframe failure and the usefulness of labels and understanding each other. I get so excited during parts of this conversation, that there is some audio clipping that might not be fun for your ears. And I apologize for that, but at least, you know, you can look forward to some really engaging content in this episode.

[00:01:01] Welcome

[00:01:01] Kimber:

[00:01:01] All right, Anna. Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today.

[00:01:05] Anna: I'm so excited. I really am. I'm genuinely so excited. I listen to podcasts all the time and I've never been on one

[00:01:12] Kimber: You can check it off your bucket list.

[00:01:14] Anna: heck. Yeah, I can. I'm excited.

[00:01:16] Kimber: Oh, I thought you were reaching over to get your bucket list and

[00:01:19] Anna: Well, let me check it

[00:01:20] off.

[00:01:20] Kimber: just keep your bucket list with you at all times, just in case.

[00:01:24] Anna: No, just my drink, my comfort beverage.

[00:01:27] Kimber: You were like Heck Yeah I can. And you reached over. And I was like, is she literally going to check it off the list right now?

[00:01:32] Anna: Just check. No, that's how.

[00:01:34] Kimber (2): All right. Well, give us a introduction. And I, and I guess I'll say a little bit first, Anna and I are buddies from the theater world. I find I get a lot of theater people on this podcast because it's a podcast about authenticity. You wouldn't maybe expect actors to be like the most authentic people because they're actors, but we are like people that are in the theater world tend to be super authentic and open and all about vulnerability.

[00:01:58] Kimber: And so I tend to get a lot of creative types on this podcast so with that brief intro, that's how Anna and I know each other. Tell us about you and what you're about.

[00:02:06] Anna and Bi-Polar 2 Disorder

[00:02:06] Anna: Where do I even start? I'm a blogger. I do natural Tie-dye. I started doing that because I had kind of a Rocky road with employment. I have bipolar two disorder. And so employment has always kind of been rough for me. If you don't know, bipolar is where your moods go from manic to depressive.

[00:02:28] Having bipolar two. I don't go as high in mania, like psychosis and that type of thing. But I do have manic symptoms. Like I smell things that aren't there. I can't sleep by I speak too fast. I do stuff like that. And so it makes it. To hold a job because

[00:02:44] I am the best stellar employee.

[00:02:46] When I'm manic. I, I work nonstop. I work really hard. I get a lot done, but then when I crash and I'm depressive, I can't get out of bed. And I, I haven't really had any employers who have been very understanding of that. And so it was really a blessing when I found blogging that I could be my own boss and get into that.

[00:03:05] And if I was having a really crappy day. Nobody was saying, you have to have This done . It was if I wanted to do it, I could do it. So that's kind of how I got into blogging. And it also helps me use my creativity, which you know, who doesn't want to monetize creativity a little bit, But that's, that's another part of why Kimber reached out to me is because I posted on Instagram a little while ago that I'm closing my store.

[00:03:28] The Ups and Downs of Monetizing Creativity

[00:03:28] Anna: So I sell naturally , dyed things, as well as other stuff that I've made, just funny quotes from TV shows and stuff. And I started doing that because people kept saying. Oh, my gosh, you should sell that. And I just thought, okay, if you think you would buy it, then sure I'll sell it. And then people wouldn't buy it. You know, they say that people say that, I think it's a way of being nice just to say like, Hey, I would purchase something like that. But then when

[00:04:00] push

[00:04:00] Kimber: something of value. That's what people are trying to say is like, this is something of value, value. And the only way we know how to say that it's like, you should get money for this.

[00:04:08] Anna: yes, that is so true. That's exactly what it is. That's exactly what it is. And so I would go through all the work to You know, to mass produce these things that I thought people would be really interested in and then nobody would buy it and then I'd have all this inventory and then I'd feel really crappy about myself.

[00:04:25] Cause I'm like, I thought this was something of value, you know? And I was just tired of going on that roller coaster And I hate to say that too, because so many people did purchase from me and I really did make some great friends and I had some customers who are just so kind and awesome, but as a whole, it was kind of, it was just hard for my mental health to put my work out there all the time and say, this is what I think my work is worth.

[00:04:52] And then not just

[00:04:54] not having anybody respond to that.

[00:04:57] Kimber: it's a tricky thing because I don't even know how to put this into words. I've experienced a little bit of that. And it's hard because on the one hand, you know, how much time and effort went into something you've poured your heart and your creativity in making something. And it takes a lot of courage to say that.

[00:05:13] Yeah, my time's valuable. What I create is valuable and even come up with a price point for it. And then

[00:05:19] Anna: vulnerable to say, this is my price point.

[00:05:21] Kimber: yeah, and to value yourself value yourself enough to put a price point that's fair to you. And then when people don't purchase it feels like a judgment on your own self worth.

[00:05:33] Right.

[00:05:34] Anna: Yeah,

[00:05:34] it

[00:05:35] Kimber: Especially in creative things. Like I made these yoga mats that I've been selling, but I didn't hand make these yoga mats. It's very different when you were putting your heart and soul and your own creativity into something and someone doesn't want to buy it. And you're like, this is a judgment on me

[00:05:51] Anna: Yes.

[00:05:52] Kimber: you feel sometimes.

[00:05:53] Like, am I

[00:05:53] Anna: That's exactly how it feels. Yeah. And it was just, I just, I just needed to separate myself from that because it I, the reason why I did this is because I love it. I love to tie dye. Right. And I think it's fun and I think it's cool. And it just turned into trying to reproduce something that sold well, instead of trying to just have fun with my creativity and try a new thing.

[00:06:16] And if it fails oh I don't, I'm not worried about selling this inventory. It just is what it is and I'll move

[00:06:22] Kimber: Yeah, that fits so well with the theme of this podcast, which is just be your bad self . It's about letting go of people, pleasing, letting go of perfectionism and doing what makes you happy. And what's authentic to you. And it, we live in this time where it's a blessing and a curse that we have the internet and Instagram and there are all these ways to monetize our creativity, but there's such a fine line between I'm doing this because I love it. And. Where did I hear this? Something about, if you do it, if you do it for yourself, it's a hobby. And when you do it for someone else, it's a business. And so, so many of us creatives were like, yeah, I want to make money doing what I love.

[00:07:02] And you very quickly find out that what's just fun and comes naturally to you isn't necessarily the easiest way to monitize things and that you have to, part of monetizing is finding what other people value and pleasing them. And so it can kind of separate you from this joy of just creating whatever you feel like in the moment, because you're now not like, what is it I want to create.

[00:07:27] It is what, what do people want to buy?

[00:07:30] Anna: Right.

[00:07:30] What can I

[00:07:31] Kimber: the joy.

[00:07:32] Anna: Yes, it does. I love that. That's, that's exactly what it felt like. And I think that's why the blog side of things where I make YouTube videos, I make blog posts. I don't actually care at the end of the day. If I actually don't know. What is going to be popular and what is not going to be popular I can do all my SEO research and all this stuff, but I really, for the most part and just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks there.

[00:07:58] And so I really can just be creative and do whatever the heck I want, you know? And if it, if it doesn't do well, so what I had fun doing it, it's out there. It's a piece of content if somebody ever wanted it, it exists, but it doesn't hurt my feelings if it never gets seen, you know? So it's just a different.

[00:08:15] It's a different way of using my creativity that doesn't put like a literal value on the product that I made, which was, which was hard. And so that's why I decided like, this is done. I I'm going to close. I'm going to close my store. And, but man, the, the like outreach. I got of people saying like, that is so awesome.

[00:08:37] I'm so proud of you for doing that. I was I was so grateful for that because I was really embarrassed. I did not want to admit like I've been doing this for five years and I'm still not making money. You know, I did not want to admit that I wanted, I wanted to. Eventually make it work.

[00:08:56] I put so much work into it. I wanted to make it worth my time, but I just realized like, There's, there's no point in just sitting around and doing the same thing over and over and over again. It's not going to suddenly change tomorrow and I don't even, and then another thing, sorry, I'm talking over myself.

[00:09:14] I would think about it. What does success look like here? If I was more successful, if I was selling more stuff, is that what I would want to do? What I want to be mass producing this over and over again? No, not really. So the success I'm looking for here, isn't actually what I even want anyway. And so it was, it was a hard realization to realize that I'm not failing.

[00:09:39] I'm not failing. I'm just making a decision and that's really all it was.

[00:09:43] Fail Forward

[00:09:43] Kimber: Yeah, and I think. I've recently, like in the past two years, really done a deep dive into the business world. And entrepreneurs are like some of the coolest people you'll ever meet. I can't talk because we all get this idea that failure is just part of the learning process. You cannot be an entrepreneur if you can't handle failing like a lot,

[00:10:08] Anna: right.

[00:10:09] And they say that, right. Like, right. And you hear that, you hear, oh, okay. Yeah, you can fail. You can fail. But like, no, you can literally fall on your face in front of people and that's more likely to happen than you succeed. Right. And that's okay. Like I think it, I think as good character building And it makes you love what you do a lot more.

[00:10:30] It makes you reevaluate. Do I really love this, this much?

[00:10:34] Kimber: if, and you really have to adopt this attitude of like, have you heard the term failing forward

[00:10:40] Anna: Hmm.

[00:10:41] Kimber: because that's the only way you learn. And like, I've been so embarrassed because I've started. I, I don't, I haven't stuck with anything for five years yet, but I've started like all these different things.

[00:10:52] My family used to tease me, like, Kimber what's the business of the day. Cause I'd have this like new idea and I'm like, this is it. This is what it's going to be. And it's like, even, even when you're only having an idea for a day and then you change your mind, it's like, it's embarrassing. Cause you want to just find something, make money off it, make it work, be successful.

[00:11:12] And when it doesn't work out that way, Yeah, it's embarrassing, but I've, I've come a long way. I've loved this idea that clarity comes from action. So it's not like, and I'm sure you feel this way about your business. It's not like, you're like, man, that didn't work out. I never should have started it.

[00:11:27] Right.

[00:11:28] Anna: Yeah, no, not at all.

[00:11:30] Kimber: Because you learn so much and you make so many cool connections with people, right.

[00:11:36] Anna: Yes. And that, and I learned it, like you said, I learned so much if a lot of what I learned from that I'm going to put forward into my YouTube channel and my blog posts And my like I, it wasn't for nothing. And I think that's something, something. We struggle to have perspective on. I also think like the, just the sole act of having something and saying, this does not serve me anymore.

[00:12:06] I'm done with this thing. That alone has been such a good lesson for me to remind myself that I'm not a failure. I actually like to have done that for four years was actually a pre. that was pretty good. You know, I actually worked really hard to make it work for four years. That's pretty good. You know, that's not a failure, even if you only did it for two months, like you put two months of work into that.

[00:12:30] Like, you didn't fail, you worked at it and you tried and the outcome might not be where you wanted it to be, but it's where it was supposed to be. And that's it's hard, but that's part of the lesson too. That's part of why I'm really glad I did it too. Just so. Have have this knowledge of, okay.

[00:12:47] I know what happens when I sell things. This is what it looks like.

[00:12:51] Kimber: And you have that much more clarity, like you said, for your YouTube or your blogging or moving forward, you have all that life experience and knowledge to, to now apply to that.

[00:13:03] Anna: Yeah. And who knows down the road? Like why, what I might use that for like I my, I know all about Etsy. I know all about these things that who knows maybe someday down the road I'll need that.

[00:13:14] knowledge again. And having done that for so long, I'll be able to pull it out again. . I also have a lot of empathy for for people who sell at these markets.

[00:13:24] Like when you go to a local market, these vendors, I I'm like, I just want to shop small. That's all I want to do. I just want to shop small, cause it's just so much work. So it's taught me a lot of empathy to see what goes in.

[00:13:38] Kimber: Yes. Amen. Like that. If, if that's the only lesson I've learned from having done what I've done it's oh, like people are actually earning the money. That they're charging,

[00:13:49] Anna: Oh, yeah, no, not even. They need the church to double.

[00:13:53] Kimber: it's like people are maybe breaking even with these prices, especially when you shop small and even I have a product on Amazon and that's even taught me a lot because Amazon kind of has this reputation of like, you can get things for cheap, but you think all the money's going to Amazon, which.

[00:14:12] Kind of

[00:14:13] Anna: It depends.

[00:14:14] Kimber: like, it kind of is, which is why I don't make a lot, but. It's so expensive. Advertising supplies, manufacturing, shipping like even, even a podcast who knew a podcast, which people are giving out for free. This is costing me money. Right. I have to have something to record with. I have to have a hosting platform.

[00:14:34] I need a website like it costs a lot of time and it's yeah. It's given me a lot of appreciation for the value of. Of things in my

[00:14:43] Anna: Creatives. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:14:45] Kimber: yeah. And the people producing those things and being like, oh yeah, this is worth, worth my money.

[00:14:51] Anna: Yes. Yes. Yeah.

[00:14:54] And that's, that's one thing that was really hard about what I was doing too, is I w you know, like I'm, I was competing with target And Amazon, you know? And so for a long time, I thought I need to charge what you would pay if you went to target and. Then I lost money. Right. But then people, people wouldn't buy things.

[00:15:15] If I, if I priced it much higher, but then I just learned I would rather show that my value is worth more and have less people buy it than try to act like this is really only worth $10,

[00:15:31] Kimber: And then have to produce it and which is just going to cost you more time. And yeah, small business is a tricky thing as you were talking earlier. I thought you know, it's interesting. We were talking about the idea of failure and all these skills that you've picked up and I thought it's interesting.

[00:15:46] We don't really treat. Other areas of our life this way. Like I was thinking about the fact that I don't really play my violin anymore. And I played violin. Like that was a huge part of my life growing up. And I don't walk around telling people, oh yeah, I used to play violin, but I failed at it that

[00:16:02] Anna: I smelled. Yeah, that's true.

[00:16:05] Kimber: It's like, I still have a violin. I pull it out like every few years, but I do a lot with music like I gained skills that are so much a part of my life, but I don't necessarily play the violin very much, but I'm not a failure at that.

[00:16:18] Anna: Right. I love, I love that you said that I kind of talked about this a little bit in the beginning, but I had a hard time holding a job and I did software development. And so sometimes I think of that, like I'm a failed software developer because I don't do that anymore, but that's not true. I use my knowledge of whatever I learned there in my blog, in using in searching.

[00:16:42] SEO terms and all this stuff. I have this technical knowledge that I'm using for my current business and to just shift our thinking of I'm not failed at it. I've util I've used the skills I needed for that.

[00:16:56] for this time in my life right now, you know?

[00:16:59] Kimber: Yeah, I keep telling my husband, cause we invested quite a bit of money into a product that's not doing as well as we had hoped. And I just keep telling him like, this was like cheap, fast business school.

[00:17:10] Anna: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:17:12] Kimber: Like I learned so much and maybe we can still make a return. And yeah, I've learned probably more than I would have if I would've just gone to college and taking the classes cause I was in there, like figuring it out, doing the work. So just a little reframing.

[00:17:27] Anna: Yeah.

[00:17:28] that's an awesome perspective to have, because you could also just say, wow, how did I fail so hard? Why did I even try? You know, those are definitely the thought patterns that I've had to work through, making sure that I don't talk that way to myself. Cause what, like, would I ever say that to you?

[00:17:45] Like, would I ever come up to you and be like, why did you even try to do that? That was dumb. That was

[00:17:50] such a silly way to spend your money. Do you know what I mean? No, we would never say that

[00:17:55] Kimber: evil step sister, then you would

[00:17:57] Anna: Oh, that's right. That's right. You're right. Florenda, would you ding

[00:18:01] Kimber: do that.

[00:18:02] Anna: She would, don't be like four in that.

[00:18:05] Kimber: Yeah. Have you watched Luca with your kids? That's what I love that when he's like silencio , Bruno, you can tell yourself

[00:18:13] Anna: Oh, I love that.

[00:18:14] Kimber: don't say bad things to me. I've I want to talk a little bit more about your bipolar. So when did you get diagnosed? I don't even totally know that I knew. I might've heard you mentioned it once, but I don't think I was very aware of the fact that you had it until you've mentioned it in. I can't remember if it was our Instagram chat or whatever.

[00:18:32] Anna: Yeah, I talk, I try to talk about it on Instagram a little bit too. It's it's one of those things where I'm I have it. So well-managed that I'm very open talking about it because I'm not sick right now. It's a lot of maintenance. It's a lot of work. It's I, I had one therapist tell me that it's, it's like someone with diabetes like it, you don't ever just be like, oh, okay.

[00:18:55] My insulin's good now I'm good. I don't need to, I don't need to keep doing that. Right. It's it's a maintenance thing and you can have a good day, one day in a bad day, The next, but so I was diagnosed. With bipolar two when I was 18. So I, I had been on depressants since I was 13, which is usually what happens with adolescents is they get put on antidepressants because a doctor doesn't think to ask mainly they're getting better now, but they don't think to ask.

[00:19:23] Are you manic? Are you, do you go through periods where you don't sleep? They don't think to ask your parents are there times when she like, just crushes her homework and she's at school constantly and she's working really hard. And then the next week she's down and she sad, they just see the depressive episodes and think, oh no, she's depressed.

[00:19:41] So I was treated for depression from 13 to 18. I developed an eating disorder, my first semester of college. And at that point I went. To a therapist. I had seen so many and she read to me the signs of hypomania and I was like, oh my gosh. I finally feel seen, cause I never really related to the depressive symptoms.

[00:20:07] I

[00:20:07] have depressive symptoms, but I, I wasn't like in bed for three months at a

[00:20:13] Kimber: yeah. Depression tends to be like a longer

[00:20:16] Anna: right. right. It was always, it was always like, I was extremely depressed for five days and then I was okay. You know? and so when I heard about hypomania and bipolar two, I just like something clicked. I was like, that's 100% what this is.

[00:20:34] And it's so relieving to finally put your finger on what it is, because then you can start being treated for it. And So once I finally got on meds that were actually helping the symptoms I was having, I was a new person. Honestly, you

[00:20:50] Kimber: and I imagine, I imagine that the relief isn't just in being able to treat it, but just being able to name it and be like,

[00:20:57] Anna: oh, yeah.

[00:20:58] Kimber: like this I'm not alone in this. Like, there's a name for this. There's something we can do about it. And. I imagine, even though, like there's the negative connotation that any kind of mental disorder people can call you crazy or whatever, I would imagine that being able to name it makes you feel less crazy.

[00:21:17] Anna: it

[00:21:18] Kimber: Like normalizes it.

[00:21:19] Anna: 100%. It does. And it one thing that has helped me with a lot is my job issues, because. And you know, you learn more about bipolar. I have learned more and more and more, the longer I've had it.

[00:21:32] And these things that I've always kind of quote, unquote, hated about myself or disliked about myself.

[00:21:37] I don't want to use bipolar as an excuse, but when I compare myself to other people, I think. Like, why can they hold a job? Why, why can they like why can they just do that? They can just wake up every day and they can just go, they don't make mistakes when they go and whatever. And so, but then as I've read about bipolar disorder, It's a very common thing for us to not be able to hold a job.

[00:22:02] And that just gave me

[00:22:03] comfort. Like, it's not a thing. It's not Ana, it's not Anna. Can't hold a job. It's Anna has an illness where it makes it hard to be employed and And so that, that has helped me a lot. Just help myself worth a little bit. Cause I mean, anybody who's lost a job and all that knows that it doesn't feel good at all, you know?

[00:22:21] But, and, and it's helped me too a lot with my relationships with my parents and my husband. Just being able to say like, Hey, I'm manic right now. I'm . Like, I'm hearing too many voices and I need to sit in the dark I've just, I've been able to find ways to help myself that really make, I mean, make me the person that I am so that I can be like a happy mom and wife and friend.

[00:22:46] Kimber: We're going to take a quick break from this episode to tell you that now it's your turn to just be your bad self. If you're looking for a safe space where you can feel like you are enough, just the way you are. Come join me at one of my retreats, where we do fun activities and workshops that center around authenticity.

[00:23:04] And self-love. You can get more information about these events and purchase tickets on my website. Just be your best self.com. And with that, let's get back to the episode.

[00:23:16] Kimber: As you were talking. I was thinking about the fact that I think this being able to name what you're going through is why I personally find personality tests so appealing, or even like even astrology or like, I don't know if you've heard of human design. It's like super crazy astrology, but I love it.

[00:23:33] We'll talk after I'll tell you all about it, but I get kind of teased or I'm around people who like. That's not real science and it's hard for me to articulate to them that that doesn't matter to me if it's real science or not, because having a lens that is helpful for me to communicate my needs and my emotions and whatever, even if it's not real science, like it's given me a way to tell myself, like, okay, I am well like human design.

[00:24:02] I'll just briefly touch on it in human design. My type is a projector. And I love this about the projector types, because like the first thing it says is you are not here to work. And I'm like, yes, that's exactly right. And it's all about like, you need lots of decompression time and naps and like you'll have these periods of high energy or whatever.

[00:24:23] And I mean, it's astrology, so yes, it's not real science, but this feeling of like being seen and being able to give yourself the grace of like, it's okay for me to be this way, even if it's through astrology or, or a personality test, to be able to have some kind of thing that you're like, okay, there's a reason.

[00:24:43] I'm the way that I am. And it doesn't make me unworthy. I just work differently than other people and that's okay. And so whatever system, whether it's an actual medical diagnosis or, or astrology or whatever. Yeah, exactly. If it can give you the grace to be okay with being the way you are. And, and there's a fine line.

[00:25:08] Like you said, it's not like you want to use things as an excuse. I'm like, oh, I can't do that because blah, blah, blah. But to be able to love yourself and be like, okay, this might be something I struggle a little more with because of XYZ. And then being able to move from that point with the grace like I still want to try this.

[00:25:28] I still think this would be good for me, but I'm going to give myself a little extra grace. Cause I know this is hard for me. I think that that is why. And I get so upset when people make fun of my personality tests or things that I'm into because I can see the points. Like they can point out like, this is why I'm wrong, blah, blah.

[00:25:44] But it makes me so angry because they're like destroying the system that I use to like communicate my needs to people.

[00:25:50] Anna: Right. That is such a good point.

[00:25:53] Kimber: Yeah, I don't have a medical diagnosis, like to be able to say, well, I, but I do struggle with energy or like I still struggle with things . it's nice to be able to have a name for it.

[00:26:04] Anna: Yes, it.

[00:26:05] is. Well, and you know, it's, it's been funny as I've shared about having bipolar on my Instagram. I've had so many people reach out to me. Like I experienced these symptoms too. Do you think I have bipolar disorder and that's what's so. Interesting about most mental illnesses, right? It's kind of like astrology where it's like, you can relate to a lot of them because you're feeling human emotions where I'm, I'm feeling human emotions.

[00:26:30] Everybody's going to have days where they can't sleep. And they're going to have days where they can't get out of bed. And I had a therapist. Describe it to me. Like, like most people are on a scale of like three to seven. You know, and you're on a scale of zero to 10. And so when they get down to a three, they think, Oh, this is what people feel like when there is zero.

[00:26:54] And that's just unless you've been there, you really can't fully comprehend what that's like, but it is so nice to be able to say this is why this is happening to me. And I like what you said too about this is my way of communicating my needs to other people, because that has helped me

[00:27:11] so much to be able to say.

[00:27:13] Remember how, if I don't get a full night's sleep, I can start getting manic. I

[00:27:18] didn't get a full night's sleep. So today that's my priority and a lot of people don't have the words to say that, that they need, that everybody needs a full night's sleep every night. But to be able to say like

[00:27:30] this is what happens when I don't do that.

[00:27:33] And you know, so I just have to stay on top of my. Like what's the word, like personal maintenance.

[00:27:39] Kimber: Yeah.

[00:27:40] Anna: So I don't spiral in either direction, but

[00:27:43] Kimber: Yeah. I had two thoughts while you were talking. One is I don't know if you've watched the show on Netflix called love on the spectrum.

[00:27:49] Anna: No,

[00:27:50] Kimber: is a fabulous show, but it is about people on the autism spectrum trying to find love. And it is my husband. I've had a lot of conversations and I think it was him. It might've been someone else I was talking to that said we can all relate.

[00:28:03] To these people on the autism spectrum because socializing is tricky and hard and there are social cues you don't pick up on. And I think as you were talking about like the three to seven versus zero to 10, I think in all areas of life, whether it's sexuality or gender or mental health or physical health we're finding that everything is a spectrum.

[00:28:24] Anna: Yeah,

[00:28:25] Kimber: we all fit somewhere on the spectrum and it's not like a, you have it or you don't you're it's this or not. We, our brains love boxes, right? It makes things so easy, so much easier to be able to label things and check things off the box. And I think that's something that our. We're getting a lot of pushback, especially in America.

[00:28:44] I feel like right now is we've got this group of people that are like, especially, I feel like in the gender sexuality arena that are like, Hey,

[00:28:53] Anna: It's this or that,

[00:28:54] Kimber: yeah, yeah. And these other people that are like, no, there's, there's no box. Like I can present myself as this gender or this gender, or it's all a spectrum. And, and a lot of people are like, I don't want to deal with that.

[00:29:08] Like, no, it's just a box and it's like triggering for people and they don't want to face in themselves that maybe they're somewhere on that spectrum because nah, no, I'm not. I fit the, I fit the good box or whatever. I don't want to think that there's a spectrum.

[00:29:22] Anna: right.

[00:29:23] Kimber: And the other thought I had while you were talking is like, I wonder just especially when you're talking about not being able to hold a job.

[00:29:30] That's so. Frustrating and sad because we all.

[00:29:35] I don't know. I don't even know how to explain why I'm frustrated about it. People, people all have like life issues. And, and I understand like from an employer side, You want someone that can be there and be reliable and dependable and all these ways. But the truth is we are, we are, none of us are robots.

[00:29:54] None of us are. We're all humans with human needs and human emotions. And like, wouldn't it be cool if we lived in a world where that was supported instead of punished.

[00:30:06] Anna: I went to, I went to Norway and I'll never forget. I was like, went to the store and the sign was like open from eight to four ish or something like that. And then we went there like 3 35, and it was like, we wanted to go home. Or they said we wanted to go home. And I was like, I respect the, so much. We don't do that in America, in America.

[00:30:31] If you, if you have a job, it, you are committed to the job. It is what you do. You make like you arrange childcare for the job. You go to the job. If you're feeling sick, you go to and we are,

[00:30:48] we,

[00:30:48] Kimber: of the reason we did not to deal with COVID right.

[00:30:51] Anna: right. We value ourselves

[00:30:53] by our employment. I did for sure. I like when I lost my job, my value was gone and that's not true at all that, you know what I mean?

[00:31:02] I was just helping some silly little contracting company make apps that, that wasn't my life's that wasn't my life's work. That's not, that was not what brought my life value, but it was what I focused all my time. ' cause in my mind. That's what you do to you. Your job is what makes you money and your money is what is going to make you go farther in life to make your kids more happy to make your and that's just, I just have had to completely change that perspective because that's just not a reality for me anymore.

[00:31:38] I can't do a nine to five job. And, but my value doesn't change because of that, you know? And I think people hearing this might think like, for me, I'm like, well, I don't really value my job that much, or I don't really like I've never really worked a nine to five, so I don't really get why that would be like hard on on your mental health to.

[00:32:01] Realized you can't do that anymore. But for some reason, for me, that was something that like, I was the breadwinner for the family. This is what I, this is what I'm going to do to contribute to my family, to just have to turn around and say, No.

[00:32:13] this isn't the way you can do that anymore was really, was really hard.

[00:32:18] Kimber: think, man, this conversation is even more fascinating than I anticipated because I'm thinking through a lot of the things in my own life, like in the last three years and this idea of like, we value ourselves, not just by our work, but how much money that work makes us. Right. Because I think that's one reason stay at home.

[00:32:38] Moms struggle so much because.

[00:32:41] Anna: yeah.

[00:32:41] Kimber: Our work is valuable, but we have no money to show for that. And I think like, as you were talking, I don't think I've really thought through it this way before, but like I came home from teaching orchestra when Lindy was born three years ago. And ever since then, I have been, you talk about manic.

[00:32:59] That's kind of how I felt for the past three years. And I've even had some people like, say not directly to my face, but I've heard through the grapevine that they're like, is she manic? Because I'll be like, I'm starting a podcast. I'm selling yoga mats. I'm doing bad portrait paintings. I'm directing a musical.

[00:33:14] Do do, do, do do, because I, I don't have this job that tells me every two weeks when I get a paycheck, you are valuable. And so I'm like I'm at home with these kids that don't know how to say thank you and just want more and more and more. And they're never telling me that I'm enough. I'm not getting paid.

[00:33:30] I'm not being seen by my community. And so I think the past three years I've been battling this feelings of like, I'm not making money. Therefore I'm not worthy. And then bless my husband, who I love so much. I'll say like, you would be such a better, like stay at home parent. Like you're so much better at being consistent and like whatever, doing the housework and detail oriented.

[00:33:55] And he will say like, well, when you have a job that can make more money than me, then we can talk about it, which logically makes sense. But it's just reinforcing this idea that. That's. I mean, that's what we value in our society is, is money. And that's what shows you how much you're worth. And so I think like, man, it's just so much pressure and I have you heard of Eckhart toll?

[00:34:23] Totally. I don't know how you say his last name.

[00:34:25] Anna: yeah.

[00:34:26] Kimber: I, a little YouTube video pops up. The other day from him that he was talking about the difference between human doing and human being. And he was saying in our country in the world in general, but America is particularly bad that we value human doings and that we want to be busy.

[00:34:44] We want to be making money. You know, we don't take time off work. And even our smart devices, right? Like technology is just making this worse. We don't know how to just sit and be. And he was saying, it's like, if you walk into a grocery store and you see these beautiful, shiny oranges and tomatoes and you cut them open and they're jus dry and gross inside. He's like, that's, what's happening to us. Is it looks good. Like, we look good on the outside because we do do do, we're posting all our stuff on social media, but it's this sickness we have. And I'm wondering, is that kind of what you experienced when you decided to close your shop? Yeah.

[00:35:18] Anna: Yeah.

[00:35:19] I think so, because I, I think so much energy was going to that appearance kind of, kind of like this fruit analogy. I really like that the appearance of it so much energy was going towards that, that me, the human being behind it, wasn't getting the attention it needed. I D I wasn't getting the. Value out of doing what I wanted to do, but it looked good. It looked fine but I wasn't inside inside of that whole situation. I wasn't enjoying it. I wasn't doing something that was making me happy. You know, another thing is you were talking, I was thinking about this thing I heard once about if we could put a value on what a mom does, like imagine, imagine if we had a caterer..

[00:36:08] How much would we pay for a cater? How much would we pay for a chauffer? How much would We pay for a housekeeper? How much would we pay for a nanny? You know? And I think about that all the time. And I think, okay, I am bringing my family value because if I wasn't here, how much money would my husband have to pay to have somebody come in and do these things that I'm doing?

[00:36:29] You know? And so sometimes I do need to sit back and think about that when I'm not the one bringing in the paycheck. Right. So that's one thing I, I try to think about often when I feel down on myself, because I do the same thing. I think I'm not financially contributing to this family, but there's more than financially contributing.

[00:36:52] Kimber: We need to find ways in our society to recognize that because we suck at it. We really suck at it. So I guess such a good conversation. I can just talk to you forever, but if you, and obviously like this, isn't something we're like both of us, right in the middle of getting this, it's trying to figure out this.

[00:37:12] figuring out what you really value in life and how to feel valued.

[00:37:16] The Takeaway

[00:37:16] Kimber: But if you have like a takeaway from whatever we've talked about or whatever's on your mind for the listeners to take from this episode, what would it be?

[00:37:24] Anna: Well, I loved what you said about the value that we're putting out that we need. That w when somebody says you should sell this, they're saying you've made something of value. That's exactly what they're saying. And I think that alone is a compliment in and of itself. And that doesn't mean you need to sell it.

[00:37:44] In fact, I would say most people say that and don't really ever think. I will literally buy that from you for whatever you charge. And so I needed to hear that today. I'm gonna think about that as I continue to close down the store, but , I also loved what you said about the Zodiacs and stuff, because it is nice to put a label on ourselves and use it as a way to communicate to others.

[00:38:08] Look, this is, this explains to you. The way, my thought patterns work, I'm an Aries and I always just think it's so funny because when I look through. What the area's sign is. I honestly don't relate to it very much. I'm like, I am not an angry person. I'm not a, do you know what I mean? But, but then there are some things about it that I'm like, oh 100%.

[00:38:30] That is, you know what I mean? And so there are things there if you relate to that and you use that as a way to share about yourself, I think when. accept that about a person. Like, I, I love hearing about people's personality types because I think it just helps us learn more about each other so, and my bipolar disorder is not a Zodiac, but it's the same.

[00:38:52] It's the same. It, I understand. I understand what you're saying about being able to label it and say, listen, this is how I tick and why I do these things. And don't do those things.

[00:39:04] You can find Anna on Instagram at practical and pretty. Check out her website, practical and pretty.com or find her on YouTube by searching Anna McNamara.

[00:39:16] Thanks for joining me today. To get more nurturing around living an authentic life. You can follow me on Instagram at just be your bad self. Or subscribe to my weekly newsletter@justbeyourbadself.com. Your invitation this week. Do something creative that's absolutely just for you. No monetizing allowed. In fact, you don't even have to do anything at all. With the end result, you can hide it in your closet, give it away, throw it away. The value is in the creating, not in the money or praise you may receive for doing it. If you enjoyed this podcast and want to leave a review, subscribe to the podcast or share it. You have my heart. Remember you are enough right now in this moment. That's it for me now. Just be your bad self.

Anna McNamaraProfile Photo

Anna McNamara

DIY Crafter and Blogger

Anna McNamara is a mother of 2 running a blog and Youtube channel, Practical and Pretty, featuring tie dye and other crafts. She loves teaching and performing musical theater and crafting. She also is an advocate of mental health as she works her way through managing her bipolar disorder.