Do you ever wonder what Childfree Life really looks and feels like?
Sure, there are the party days of your 20s & 30s (which we both crushed by the way!) but what happens when things start to "slow down" at 50?
Is fun still a priority? Does the worry about the elder years increase or decrease? Does regret set in or fade into oblivion? Is building community with new childfree friends possible?
We share answers and insights to all of this PLUS, wecover topics that matter to all of us- health and wellness, relationships, investments, career, travel and lots more!
As childfree people, it's so important to practice gratitude about our lifestyle! In this episode, we discuss the state of the world and how our process is very different from parents. We share gratitude for having the time to focus on our health and wellness and the opportunity to heal ourselves or our relationship. We also welcome the opportunity for self-help and how we can grow as people.
Once you make it a regular practice, you'll be surprised how many grateful moments will show up for you. If you want to join the gratitude party, kick off your practice with us!
We'd love to hear what topics you'd like us to explore in future childfree podcast episodes!
Rick: [00:00:00] And here we go. Hello. How's it going?
Veronica: Oh God, that didn't sound great.
Rick: I know. I, I talked to you a little bit about it this morning. I'm a little like, we're not going to get into it, but Oh boy. I will say that I have an appreciation that I don't have children because the world is a very crazy place and I don't want to get into it deeply.
Yes. But I can only imagine what it's like. Raising a child with the world in chaos, it feels that way anyway,
Veronica: right, right. Yeah. And we do talk about current events and, um, yeah, and you're right. It is a lot, it is a lot to process ourselves and it does make us think about the fact that we don't have kids and how parents have to deal with.
All the things happening in the world be on themselves. And, uh, yeah, it's all very stressful already. So we can only imagine what it [00:01:00] must feel like.
Rick: So do you think parents are taking that all into consideration? Or do you think they're so busy? That they're like, the news is the news. And, and by the way, it doesn't, it, I do understand that we are bombarded with social media and all these news cycles that are hitting us 24, seven.
And a lot of people say, you know, the news is the same. We just get it a lot more. So it feels more intense. Right. But I've been listening to like all these different types of podcasts talking about the state of the world right now. And it sounds to me. Based on these experts. Mm-Hmm. not my words. That it is getting really bad right now.
also, I don't know, I'm not laughing at it 'cause it's not funny. Yeah. But at the same time it's tough to decipher. What, no, I'm just
Veronica: laughing. 'cause people are just being blunt about it at this point. It's not like no one's trying to sugar coat what's going on, um, at all. So Yeah,
Rick: that's why I was laughing about it.
It's hard to decipher, you know? Mm-Hmm. what we're being overstimulated with with. with the news cycle or if this is really, we're in bad shape, regardless, I [00:02:00] do wonder back to my question, if parents are even that concerned about it, or I guess some will be and some won't, right? Yeah.
Veronica: It's really hard to say.
I think it's different for every person. I think that it really depends on so many factors, right? Like if someone has one kid, it might be different than having four or five or six. six. Uh, it depends on the day to day schedule. It depends on how influenced the parent is over world issues that are happening right now.
Um, so yeah, I don't know the answer to that. But like we said this morning, we feel we appreciate the fact that that's another layer that we don't have to focus on. Well,
Rick: it's off our plate because we chose to be child free, obviously, but it is. upsetting because we have a lot of friends that have kids and it's it's gotta be tough if they are paying attention and it is in their Atmosphere as far as like what's going on in the world and locally too Like there's a lot of crazy things happening at schools And I can only imagine having a [00:03:00] child and sending them off to school going through a metal detector still not knowing if they're going To be okay at the end of the day, right?
We didn't have that when we were growing up Um, well, I mean, the most I got was I got beat up in the playground, you know, by the local bully. You know, that happened to me.
Veronica: Yeah, but it also depends what school you went to, right? You happen to be in a really nice neighborhood with a nice school. It definitely depended on what kind of school you went to.
But I mean, times are different. Our parents are different. And then parents now, uh, and like I said, some people are uber interested and involved in what's happening. And some people aren't because they have their own tragedies happening in their lives, you know, just like child free people do sometimes. I mean, we've spoken to a couple of people that don't really know what's going on because they're dealing with major, um, crisis right now.
So yeah. Yeah, I think let
Rick: me ask you because I did grow up in more of a suburban neighborhood and you grew up in New York City and Queens were like guns a factor being [00:04:00] like you were more of a city. Yeah, I was more suburban. Yeah, it was
Veronica: definitely different depending on what school that you went to. Um, my sister went to public school and I went to a private school.
We were just different had different goals. Uh, I was, um. You know, in a student and I worked really hard to get into this private school and, uh, you know, when my parents, you know, helped out. But so my school felt quote unquote safe, um, but I know that her school didn't, uh, and in Queens, it's very much a factor.
I mean, there's so many amazing public schools around the country, but it just happened to be that in Queens, New York, the, uh, private schools. were better as far as safety and other factors were concerned. So I don't know. I didn't experience it myself. Um, I think there was more violence around my [00:05:00] grade school, like after school, grade school things that were happening, but I did not get to experience it in high school.
But I do think from what I remember that guns were a factor but not as not a factor as far as like, um, active shooters inside the school but a factor as There was an incident involving students outside of school. Wow. Okay. All right. Yeah. So it depends.
Rick: It's been around, but it's obviously a lot more prevalent.
Veronica: Yeah. And it's also, uh, with our, we have monthly themes in our community and this. This month's theme is, uh, about our gratitude for a child free life, and we're really going deep with it. We're not just talking about the freedoms that we have, right, and the spontaneity, and the time. We're really taking a look deep inside about what we're grateful for, and we just started themes today.
We have a different theme every month, and I'm excited to see, because I feel like the people in our community, um, Get really deep [00:06:00] with, um, the very thoughtful and, uh, they come up with some really insightful comments and remarks and questions. So I'm excited about diving in that into that this month alongside our community, uh, because yeah, they've just been great.
I mean, we just went through Halloween and had. So much fun sharing costumes and an old school costumes and all of that. So this month we're going to get into all sorts of gratitude that we have for choosing this lifestyle. Yeah,
Rick: I'm looking forward to that. And we're also coming off the heels of one of our members was in Austin.
Shout out to Rand. And we actually met up with him. We had some barbecue. We hung out and I am thoroughly enjoying this. Again, I've said this before. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but You know, being an introvert and not having a lot of friends or, you know, it's been tougher for me to make friends.
It's been so easy with this community. So I'm ever grateful and I think all of our members and if you are interested, I'm going to do a shameless, but [00:07:00] go to the childfree connection. com. We love new people. It's time. It's a lot of fun. You know, we do this full time. So it's super engaging and it's a good time.
So yeah, check it out if you can. And we had such a good time with Rand and um, yeah,
Veronica: yeah. So there's so much to chat about today and I thought that, I mean, we already got into it a bit because people do ask us how, um, do we ever think about life with the, uh, the fact that we don't have the added stressor.
I'm going to call it a stressor for now. People might get offended for that, but it is a stress. Having to raise a, uh, client, the global citizen, at least to me, it is to make sure that you're doing it right. And I can imagine that it could put some stress on a person. So how, you know, people always ask us, like, that's something that we don't need to think about, but I also.
like that translates into, we must not really have any real stress, right? [00:08:00] Because we don't have kids. And that's always been really interesting to me. The idea that people without kids are just sitting around with their feet up and not doing anything, especially when we know people in our community that have so much stress.
On and so much responsibility that it would be nearly impossible for them to add, um, something else that they're responsible for in their life. So I, I just always think it's funny because people still to this day, imagine that you and I have all this free
Rick: time. Yeah, I mean, getting back, I think most parents would agree that having children is a lot very stressful at times, so I don't think you're offending anybody.
And we also had set that caveat earlier when we started the podcast that we're not going to apologize for it, for that kind of stuff, so just, yeah, I think. You know, all stress comes in different shapes and sizes, obviously, and it's very, it pertains to individuals. I, I, I think kids [00:09:00] obviously are an added responsibility, therefore, an added stress factor slash concern.
So, yes. Um, I think that takes on a whole new dynamic that we don't know nothing about and probably Absolutely. the qualifications, obviously don't have the qualifications to really talk about what types of stresses those are. I mean, we see the front facing ones, you know, the, when we hang out with our friends with kids and what they stress about what we see, but we don't really know the underbelly of the type of stress parents go through.
I mean, we can imagine like health concerns and what we were talking about earlier.
Veronica: Yeah. And it also depends too, because I have some girlfriends that are moms and they really share. All the details with me and, uh, they really get into it. And so I don't even have to imagine. I mean, I feel like I have a front row seat into what that's
Rick: all about.
Do you think they talk to you also, like when they're up at night, like really scared and worried, do you think they talk about that stuff or do you like full transparency? Oh
Veronica: yeah. Yeah, full trans, I get full transparency. [00:10:00] I mean, it's not that I've gotten that from everyone, but from my best friends who are moms, yeah, I've, I've received full transparency.
Rick: what would you, is there a common denominator? Is there one, what is the main stress that you hear the most from parents? Is it safety? Is it, or does it vary?
Veronica: It varies. It varies. I mean, it could be a health issue that they're going through. It could be stress. I've had some friends deal with some, um, cyber bullying, some social media, inappropriate behavior by others, you know, finding them online, um, which really freaks me out how easy it is to get to your child's, um, you know, talk about stresses.
As far as trying to get a scholarship for your, you know, because you're an athlete and how stressful that can be trying to get into the school that you want for your academics. Uh, there's just, I feel that every layer [00:11:00] has just been, um, a different type of stress and I've been privy to, to understanding it.
Rick: So, yeah. I can imagine the financial stress is a big one. Yeah.
Veronica: And I mean, a lot of that falls under, uh, the financial stress as well. Not always, but it does. And we were talking about that too, actually finances,
Rick: which brings us back to our point, which is also stress about finances. Again, we're not comparing, but we aren't kicking our feet up.
We're not just Netflixing and doing nothing all day. In fact, I feel like. We're really busy and stressed out a lot of the time, you know, I mean, we are, we're constantly putting forth practices of us breathing and calming down because there is so much stress.
Veronica: It's actually quite comical. Like how many like things we have to put into
Well and, and to give parents credit, we always are saying, I don't know how they do it because we're dealing with so much on our end and I would love to know those who are listening or watching on YouTube, if they, you know, let [00:12:00] us know like what kind of stresses you're I don't think we're an outlier as far
Veronica: as our stress level.
No, of course not. Of course not. I mean, people work. They have jobs. That in itself is a huge stressor. Right. Uh, trying to pay your bills is a huge stressor, but yeah, financially, um, once again, people just imagine, oh, there's only two of you. You must be. And yeah, of course there's, there is, um, the capability to perhaps save more money or do more things.
But it's not everybody across the board. Not everybody is taking a vacation whenever they want. Not everybody is hopping on a cruise or a jet setting around the world. But yeah, that opportunity is there for a lot of people. And if someone is child free and there are bringing in, uh, bringing in a significant, a significant amount as far as their income is concerned, uh, Yeah, they have a bunch of extra money to do as they please.
You know, they don't have to worry about raising a child.
Rick: Yeah, but I feel and maybe, [00:13:00] you know, I'm just a thought just popped in my head. But, you know, we have to also prepare for our retirement years. There's no guarantee kids are going to take care of our parents, finance their parents financially. We've talked about that in length, but.
We know that we're not going to have kids to take care of us as far as that's concerned. And not that we want that and putting, we talked about not putting a burden on children having to take care of us. But we do need to prepare financially for our future because it will be just us. And we will need to maybe hire people to take care of us or maybe technology will catch up and I will catch up.
And I'll, I always say this, but we'll have technology taking care of us, whether that's robotics or whatever it happens to be. Yeah, we truly believe
Veronica: we're by the time we need the help, like we'll be able to get it. We'll be
Rick: able to get it. I mean, it seems like it's coming faster than we even think. It's another podcast, but, um, but yeah, financial stress is a, is a day to day thing and any other stresses, you know, health stresses and, uh, you know, what we're going to, what we're [00:14:00] going to, um, you know.
Making sure that our friends are okay. Like there's just a lot. There's a lot of ways.
Veronica: Moving is a stress. Um, a big one. And, uh, I mean, although there's the freedom to move and there's a freedom to try something new and that's part of the beauty of having a childfree life, but moving in itself can be really stressful, especially when you're starting from scratch or moving to a country.
And that's another thing I noticed about the people in our community. A lot of them have just. Left their country wherever they are, um, and just sort of picked up and went somewhere else and started a new life because they could. And, um, taking advantage of that is, is, is, is beautiful and having the freedom to do that.
But when you land in a new country, you don't really have. You know, financial, a financial backing that's going to last you a long time. You need to meet friends. You need to find a new job. You need to build community. You need to find a place to live. It is very stressful. Obviously parents
Rick: [00:15:00] look at that as like, you know, Oh really?
That's so stressful. You go to all off to some new place and you've got to like rebuild your life a little bit.
Veronica: I don't know. I mean, I guess it depends on the type of person. Right. And we've talked about this before. Like we have friends that are parents that are like. Extremely understanding of the types of stress that we deal with that are different.
And then there's people that, you know, again, the people that think we're just laying around doing nothing. So, um, and by the way, people that have the ability to lay around and do nothing like kudos to them. I don't know why that's. seen as such a, uh, frowned upon thing. If somebody has, has the ability, maybe they have some finances saved up and maybe they just want to take a year or however long to chill.
I mean, we have someone in our building right now that's taking a year sabbatical and. You know, just traveling, enjoying his life. He's young, he doesn't have any kids. And I don't know why that's so looked down upon. Hey, people should, if they can, people
Rick: should. I wish we [00:16:00] could. Yeah. You know, I do see a lot of accounts and whether they're child free or not.
And it seems like their life is travel and have fun, you know? And I'm like. Why? What are we doing wrong?
Veronica: Yeah, but you're also looking at social media, right? You're looking at the best of the best. Yeah. Like if we only showed the best of the best, I mean, we would be doing a lot too, right? I get it, So that's just, you're getting the highlight reel of someone's life.
Yeah, that's true.
Rick: Yeah. Well, I know I really do appreciate. All of our opportunities. I mean, one of the big ones that stands out to me is when we moved to New York City to Austin and being able to do that relatively seamlessly during the pandemic was was was
Veronica: seamless. It's a complete nightmare.
Rick: Well, I'm saying because we didn't have to bring.
Kids with us. Right. And we didn't have to find schools and we didn't have to. Right. Make sure they had
Veronica: friends and we didn't. No, I understand what you're saying. I'm just acclimated. New city. It was a complete, it was a complete diaper to [00:17:00] move. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I understand what you're saying. I'm
Rick: just joking.
Yeah. Getting acclimated to a new city. Just the two of us was hard enough, you know, but it was. But it's a luxury that we appreciate.
Veronica: Yeah, and I remember when the broker was showing us places, and whenever we would get to a place, they would always start talking about the school district, and you know, with how great the school was, and it was just a few blocks away, or that there was a bus.
And we always had to say like, we were child free, so that wasn't really a factor that we were looking into. But automatically, people wanted to highlight Um, the school system when we were looking at places. Yeah. So that was just an automatic, like looking at us, looking at our age, they must have
Yeah. I mean, it's, it's, I get it. It's a realtor. It's, it's a way for a realtor to really, you know, push, push a sale over the line, so to speak. Yeah. Kids in school, a good school district, you're good to go. Um, but yeah, what are some of the top now that we're here, we're acclimated, even though we're busy and we're.
Clearly stressed [00:18:00] as we mentioned earlier. Not all the time. We shouldn't say we're stressed all the time, but a lot of the time What are some of your favorite freedoms as far as you know, the child free lifestyle and some of your freight is free Not necessarily perks because this is all falling into our monthly theme with our community.
Yeah So what are you grateful for?
Veronica: Yeah, I think the thing and we've definitely talked about it before that I'm most grateful for is having the time to take care of me. Um, and that is a full time job in itself because I do need to take practices into consideration when I'm not doing well, right? Whether it's my health, I've had a lot of challenges with my health over the years.
And that's definitely a priority or whether it's my mental health and those two things need to be taken care of, right? Like, even if it's, um, figuring out, I mean, I'm working with one of my [00:19:00] friends right now and she's been such a great guy. We're working on intuition practices, but in between those practices are a lot of ways to, um, to control my nervous system.
And so there's a lot of breathing. There's all these different techniques that she's teaching us to really be able to quiet our minds, um, from all the noise so that we can make the best decisions for ourselves, which I really like because it also correlates with, um, My program, which teaches women how to quiet the noise so they can figure out if a child free life is for them.
So, it's been really exciting. I'm learning new techniques. So, that in itself takes a lot of work. The fact that I'm in this program, the fact that I'm practicing this, the fact that every day I need to make time for all this work that I'm doing. And at the same time, I'm reading a book. Um, About codependency, because I've had a battle with codependency my whole life.
And just when you really think you have [00:20:00] like a good grip on it, you, something happens where you just swirl back into it. So I wanted to make sure that I went back, um, to therapy notes and I went back to, uh, just the realization of how I can fall into codependency traps. So like I'm reading a codependency book and I'm taking walks around the lake and really listening to the chapters and re listening to them until all the information sinks in.
And I mean, all of this is really time consuming.
Rick: Yeah. I mean, I, I agree. Daily upkeep of my mental and physical health is a priority for me too. One of the things I'm most grateful for. And I think it's really important. In the child free community that you take advantage of that, because if you're physically and mentally healthy, you're going to probably be happier.
Not everyone, but, you know, yeah. So, and that takes a lot of work and as a parent, you don't have as much time, probably to focus on yourself. And I'm only saying that because we've heard that from a lot of people, right? For the people we've heard. [00:21:00] Yeah. And some parents, some parents, they have a. There's O. C.
O. C. O. C. D. O. C. D. In the sense of their schedule, and they can work that into their to their schedule. So that's fantastic. I wouldn't been one of those parents. You know, I don't know many of those parents, but it is. I think we owe it to ourselves right as as child free people to take advantage of that and to work on that.
And that's something we want to do with our community moving into 2024, which is health and wellness and child child free health and wellness. Because I think that that is, uh, it's a It's a massive. Massive perk, in my opinion. Yes. And it's amazing how much I work on it. I mean, we were just talking about it to share.
We always said we're going to be fully transparent on this podcast. So, you know, I just came to a big realization that was monumental that I don't think I would have come to if I was distracted. We'll say that, which, you know, and I've been through several phases of change and, and I've had to, I had to shift away from a lot of my old [00:22:00] bad habits and kind of recreate new ones and move into this better space for me mentally and physically.
And I just came to a realization recently that. I'm now at this plateau and I'm ready to level up again and that takes so much time and effort. And what did I say to you when I, when I said I'm realizing what I need? I, when we first got to Austin, I was looking for therapists. And maybe some of you can relate to this, but, um, I was looking for therapists and I remember the therapist was like, well, what, what do you need?
What are you looking for? And I didn't know and I had just gone through a big transformation mentally and physically, right? So, um, I didn't know. And now it took three years. I mean, it's COVID consider that a year, but kind of a wash and then two years, 2021, 22, and now 23, almost three years. Um, Really figuring out what I need, you know, and yeah, that's a whole different conversation, but it's, [00:23:00] it just shows you the amount of work that goes into it.
Yeah, and when
Veronica: you shared it with me, it was really insightful and it was really well thought out. And, um, I really appreciated the, the work that you put in just to go to step one. Like what is it was already like, really, you know, there was a big, there was a lot of work just going into figuring out what you need to work on next.
Rick: Yeah. And I'll let a little sneak peek of it because I think that's fair if those are listening or watching and wondering. So you know, for me, I quit drinking, um, I'm over four years sober and, and that was like a big change. I think anyone that quits drinking that has a drinking problem, which I clearly did, you're gonna, you're gonna have a massive shift in your life.
Because I mean, my world surround was, my whole universe was drinking, right? That was part of who I was as a person. And I started when, you know. Back in senior year of high school and. When I stopped drinking, there's an elation that goes along with it because you're sober, you feel better, [00:24:00] you know, and you have this, you have a lot of self realizations and you grow pretty quickly, but it plateaus.
And that's really what's happened. And I won't go into the details of that full arc in my plateau, but what I've realized is, is that when you really are finding yourself with alcohol, not in the picture, what happened to me specifically is I had to start over again, and, and in the sense that I didn't really know who I was.
So in a way, I had to revert back to when I was pre drinking, which was teen years, and now I'm 51, almost 52. And I'm starting over. And it's like, really. I mean, I've had a couple of panic attacks, as you know, it's really hard, but I finally came to the realization that that's what I need. I really need to dive in with who is now that I'm kind of, I'm comfortable being sober and, you [00:25:00] know, being very, uh, self aware and all the things that go along with clearing your mind out from toxins and stuff like that.
What I didn't expect. Which is where I'm at now is Who am I what's my identity? Who am I right? You know, how do I interact with people socially if i'm not comfortable with it because I don't have that lubricant of alcohol, right? how do I um You know go on into a work environment and and and meet new people or whatever it happens to be Yeah, it's very difficult.
It's not just social stuff. It's internal like what do I do with my day if i'm not Doing something and getting ready to have happy hour, you know, it just, it was very hard. So I know now going into therapy that that's what I'm going to focus on, which is really figuring out who this new person is because I don't know.
And I finally came to that realization that I don't know. I thought I knew because I'm 52 years old on this planet, 52 years on this planet. You would think I would know, but I [00:26:00] don't, and that's okay. And I kind of forgiven myself for that.
Veronica: Does that And thank you for sharing all that. And that is, um, a lot of work and very time consuming, uh, both, you know, mentally draining and, you know, just doing everything that you just explained.
And it really makes me think about when people say, because we were just talking about it the other day when people say, Oh, but you would be such a good dad or, Oh, but you would be such a good mom. And. Thinking about like everything you were going through, uh, for many, many years and people, because you did tell me that people did say like, Oh, you would be such a good dad.
You have to have kids without really knowing what was going on behind the scenes. It just proves that people want to, when they push that narrative on others, they don't even understand what. Is that person even [00:27:00] able to handle that level of responsibility, right? Like, people have said to me, like, you would make such a good mom.
You know, a lot of time it happens, like, while you're holding a baby or when you're playing with kids. I know you've gotten that, like, you'd be such a good dad when you're playing with a kid, um, because we can be fun and entertaining and things like that. But it goes so far as, you know, when people, when people have told me, but you would be such a good mom and they focus on the person that I am at that moment in time, right?
Like I'm a good friend, I'm reliable. Um, they can, um, I'm kind, I'm patient, you know, all of these qualities that they enjoy about me, but they don't think of, What is Veronica going to be like when there's this completely different experience that she's going through by having a child? Like, am I going to be the most patient ever?
I don't know. [00:28:00] Is my, you know, I wasn't born the most patient ever. I had to get there. Am I going to just stay calm all the time and not let things get to me and, you know, be this, am I going to be this great friend that goes above and beyond for people? You know, while I have a child. I don't know. I don't know the answer to that.
And it's interesting to me for someone to say to someone like you or anyone else who has any sort of addiction, you'd be such a good dad without really knowing if the person would be or not because they don't really have all the information that they need to make such a powerful statement and to also get into the person's head and make them think, Oh, maybe I should do this thing, right?
Rick: think it's two things for me. You know, I think it's, there's a join the club mentality kind of thing that's happening. Like this is what you do. Join the club, come on board so we can hang out. Our kids can hang out. And there's, there's that, right? It's a community of comfort, uh, for lack of better phrase.
But, and then the second part is, is they're [00:29:00] seeing the surface you, they're not seeing what's going on internally, which are really outlining, you know, and yeah. I knew internally that I wasn't, I'm not saying I would have been a bad father, but I know that I wouldn't, I wasn't in a place to take on that responsibility.
That's the best way to say it because who knows what would have happened. But, um, when someone's looking at your life and you as a person and all these great things, I mean, yeah, some of your friends might know the stuff that's deep seated that you're going through that are real issues, but most of the time they're judging you based off of kind of what they're seeing at that point.
Right. And, um, It's tough because yeah, they do want to rope you in. Um, they, they don't want to rope you in, but they want to, sorry. You know, that sometimes feels like that. Apologies. That's not always true, but I mean, I can see how they would. You know, they would think that you would be a good mother. So you need to do this.
Veronica: Right. And I think it's just a good point to know that some people are in pain, they're [00:30:00] suffering, they're dealing with a lot of things behind the scenes. And when you're, you know, taking this idea of like, Oh, why don't you have a baby? Like they're not even thinking about like how much that would just like could potentially like.
Send you into a place that you don't want to belong in. So anyway, thank you for sharing that. I wasn't trying to discount it. I was just thinking about while you were saying it, how, because you've shared with me before how people have said to you, you'd make such a good dad, but yeah, surface level, all very
Rick: surface level.
Yeah. Yeah. And you know, I think, um. You just, you just don't know, but I'm happy that I was able to realize that this is, this needs at least be put on hold before I really understood that life without children is a great life, you know, which is, I love my life. I've talked about that over and over. Yeah, absolutely.
So again, back to gratitude. You know, I don't want this to be too melodramatic, but you know, I think that it's important to talk about what we really do [00:31:00] enjoy. And another one is just, I think we really value being able to wake up, A, do what we love, which is this. And be also just being spontaneous and being able to hang out.
We're lucky enough to have some, a bunch of child free friends here. But, uh, for me, I would say that's my close second because you know how I get, I'll get on my soapbox here on, you know, but the life is short and as you get older, you realize that more and more and being able to be spontaneous and go do the things you genuinely want and not being held back financially or.
Because of responsibilities is a huge, I have a lot of gratitude for that. You know, we're able to experience things. We were talking recently that when our lease is up, we may have a two month lag before our at least two
Rick: before we move into our next apartment. Yeah. And we might go to Buenos Aires for Two years.
You know, you're from Argentina. Months. Months, sorry. Yeah. Gosh. Oh my God. We, [00:32:00] well, it's cheap to live there. Maybe we should go there for
Veronica: two years. Yeah, we're gonna go for like maybe two or three months probably. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. If
Rick: we could work it out again. We were talking about how lucky we are. Mm-Hmm.
you know. Right.
Veronica: Right. Exactly. Yeah. And I have gratitude. I mean, even for the small decisions that we make every day, right? Like, do we want to, uh, let's say we need to go to Trader Joe's. Like, do we want to go now? Do we want to go later after work? Would you rather just go tomorrow? Just little decisions that we're making every day.
Um, the fact that we can make appointments, like we don't have to worry about making a doctor's appointment. Conflicting with pick up at school or having a planning a weekend away and it's not conflicting with, um, anything really. So, so that freedom of just the little day to day things that we don't have to worry about.
And obviously at this point, we're aware that our kids would be older. YouTube [00:33:00] call us, um. What was it? Oh, they said it was, uh, they said that we're no spring chickens.
Rick: We aren't. At least I think that way. I know you were like, we're not old. And I'm like, I feel old. Oh, I said, I
Veronica: was laughing. I didn't mind it at all.
I was agreeing. Yeah, I know we're not spring chickens. So she was saying like, you know, you're not spring chicken. So you wouldn't have a small child anyway. But it's funny because you don't know at this age, because I just saw a post earlier and it's so true because we're in that weird age where. You know, either you're, um, you could be a grandparent, you know, or you have friends that just decided to have a kid three years ago and have a toddler running around.
Yeah. So it's really interesting. But yeah, it's funny that, that they were like, well, why are you even talking about the, you know, having babies or having toddlers or, you know, you're no stranger. spring chickens, but the reason that we bring it [00:34:00] up is not literally for ourselves. It's just to, we like to talk about the, the experience that we chose rather than parenthood.
And it doesn't matter how old we are because we could have a toddler right now if we wanted to, or if not, if we wanted to, if we were able to have one, cause we don't know, we haven't tried.
Rick: I mean, we're really at the age where we could have grandchildren. I just said that. You
Veronica: said child. No, no. I said grandparents.
Rick: great. We could be grandparents. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That is, that's a whole nother stress, right? You think grandparents are stressed? I never really asked that question. It depends.
Veronica: I don't know. I mean, um, I could ask my parents, I guess. Someone just, I forget who I was talking to. Maybe it was Rand. I can't remember who we were talking to that they were saying that.
They're, um, someone, maybe it was his sister. Yeah. That's a little younger than me, but just by a year or two and she's a grandmother. So, you know, you just never know at our age, what, what can
Rick: happen. Yeah. Yeah. I'll say another thing that I just to pivot out of that is, you know, one thing I am very grateful is [00:35:00] the ability to learn and grow intellectually and just be able to read.
Yes. And. I just didn't do a lot of that, I was so focused on my career and, you know, I wasn't, I didn't spend a lot of time really, um, self educating. I never really, I just thought you, in order to learn, you go to school. And you really taught me when we met. Like, no, you can actually learn on your own. I'm like, what's that about?
You're like, they're called books. And I'm like, oh, and I have learned, I have a learning disability of dyslexia and reading comprehension. So like, I never really loved to read. Right. You know, I've heard of self help books, but I always kind of brush them off. Like, uh, there's self help. I've heard of that genre of books, you know, um, you know, I'll read a fiction or maybe, but, um, but now that there's podcasts and there's, you know, audio books, yeah, and I'm an auditor.
I'm an auditory learner. Is that what you say? Auditory learning. Um, now I'm an auditory learner, you know, It's been amazing. [00:36:00] Like I'm reading Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, and it's like, every time we have that, the point of bringing this up is because we have the time to do this, you know, and I'm not saying again, parents don't look at me giving the caveat.
I'm not supposed to do that. I'll stop. Sorry. It's, but, um, it is nice to know, like, I could wake up and spend an hour and a half stretching and listening to two chapters of that book and feeling better and really. Growing and learning,
Veronica: right? Exactly. Yeah, it's amazing. I mean, we have so much gratitude for that.
Rick: Have you always been just a natural learner, by the way, just a side sidebar here? I have.
Veronica: I have. So I've always, uh, learning to me was just fun. I know that we've talked about it. And, you know, school for you is just like this Dreadful place. And actually I can understand that because back then we didn't have all the services that they have now.
We didn't have all the, um, you know, school psychologists necessarily school aids, like [00:37:00] all the help that you may have needed as a child, right. That are provided to children. Um, now, so I could understand being in a classroom and like not, and, and having to read for 45 minutes and, and not understanding anything that it says.
Like that's really. frustrating. It's very frustrating. It's, you know, it's, it's really, I mean, being with you, you're the first person I've been with, with, um, a reading comprehension issue. And I've really come to understand what it means, what it is, how much it affects you. And yes, we're so happy that you have all these other ways to, to avoid that now, um, for the most part.
So, um, I didn't have any of those issues. So for me, especially being, you know, having immigrant parents and being an immigrant myself and just trying to take advantage of this opportunity, I just felt that, you know, I'm in America and this, you know, trying to live the dream. [00:38:00] So I very much felt from the time that I was.
In first grade, that this learning is a privilege. I really did. And I took that to heart and I took that way past college graduation. And anytime I have an opportunity to learn, I take
Rick: it. Yeah. I think even if you had kids, you'd still be figuring out a way to learn. Yeah. Yeah. I
Veronica: just really enjoy it. I like to learn how to do things, uh, especially the things I care about and passionate about, but I also like to learn just random things.
I like to learn about them. I
Rick: know. I don't like to learn. You do. I do. I didn't realize that there is joy in that, you know, again, but I was confused when you said that. I was like, you must just be an outlier because all my friends hated school too, but I guess birds of a feather and all, you know? So it was like one of those things where I'm just like, wait, school sucks.
And that's the overarching theme. And you're like, I love school. And I'm like. Oh, you're one of the few people that I, you were like in [00:39:00] the class with the apple, full on, first to raise their hand to answer a question. I'm like hiding in the back because I didn't read my chapter of homework or if I read it, I certainly didn't understand it.
Make fun of myself. Yeah, we had
Veronica: different experience, but yeah, learning is huge for both of us now. And we do like. Take to take the time to do that. Sometimes we'll even go on a walk and listen to a book together. Like, I think we have like three books on hold that we want to start reading when we go on our walks.
So that's that we really enjoy doing that as well.
Rick: Another thing, if you're not doing that and you're listening to it, I, I, you know, and, and you struggle with it, especially, you know, cause if you, if you love, love it, you're most likely doing it, but if you struggle with it, just know that, you know, figuring out a way that's.
suit you best to learn and grow and learn all these new things. It's really fun and, and I really enjoy it and it's easier for me to have conversations with people I'm talking about sometimes.
Veronica: Yeah, absolutely. Another thing that we're grateful for, which we've talked about it in the past is that [00:40:00] we have the time to work on a relationship.
That takes time.
Rick: That takes a lot of time. A lot. And it's, you know, we also let's set the stage here. We, we, uh, we live in a 600 square foot. Pretty much an alcove studio. It's a small, it's pretty small. It's
Veronica: a small apartment.
Rick: And we work together pretty closely. But we have figured out little things to make it work through trial and error.
And that error was very rough on our relationship for a little while because the trial and error part was, was tough, but we figured it out, which is the good news. And there is, there are ways to figuring that out. But let me just set
Veronica: it up. We had to, we lived in a bigger place and had to have an emergency.
Move, I won't even get to that story because that was a complete nightmare and leave our lease early and we needed an interim place and we found this, um, [00:41:00] because we had about two days to move, uh, and it's a beautiful place, but it is
Rick: really tiny. But regardless, you know, a lot of people that, you know, because their, their jobs switched from.
You know, going into the office to work from home. So a lot of couples are confined more than I would think before COVID.
Veronica: Right. Um, and that's Right, we have friends who they both, yeah, we
Rick: have I mean, I know a lot of people and before I didn't, it was always that more traditional, you know, either both people went off to work or one person left the house and you didn't see them till later.
We've implemented that back. That's my first tip for those who do work, try to work in separate areas. And I'm not talking separate areas of your apartment or your house or wherever you have to be. But actually go, create, make a coffee office, your, a coffee office, make a coffee shop, your office, or
Veronica: any place that's available,
Rick: and what's nice is when we go and do our own thing, and when we come and come back to the apartment around five o'clock, it's really.
It's [00:42:00] refreshing. You know, it's nice. It's like, Oh, there you are. You know, we can talk to each other on Slack or whatever. Call each other.
Veronica: No, that has been good for us to not be on top of one another. I
Rick: think that was the most key thing was,
Veronica: you know, because what happens is there's underlying issues, right?
And you don't really. Sometimes you can deal with them, deal with them, try your best, but then when you're on top of each other and confined in a really small space, those issues can't run away anywhere. You have to face them. And then on top of that, because you're in a confined space, there are more issues that build on top of that.
So yeah, needless to say, we had a rough time for a while. We're in a much better place, but we both, Really need to do a lot of self reflection and a lot of Evaluating our relationship and are we happy? Are we not happy? Are we taking it to where we want to take it to? And I think separating for a little while was good [00:43:00] We didn't have separation.
I just went home to visit friends for a while and and yeah, and we've been working steadily on that and And it's going really well after we figured out what all the issues
Rick: were. Yeah, I think our rock bottom was when, um, I think we both looked at each other equally. And we were just like, I am sick and tired of looking at you.
And you're just like, And I was like, me too. I think we both said it at the kind of equal, we were both on the same page. Yeah, we were,
Veronica: we were both exactly. And you know what, I'm happy that It was like one of us was like, And the other one was like,
Rick: and you know, anyone would be, I mean, maybe there's a couple couples out there that would be able to
Veronica: knowing like, yeah, we were just like, I can't even look at you.
Yeah. That's how much, that's how annoying you are. Like, and then it transferred from work to like every single thing around the house. Like if you picked up something up that annoyed me, I was just like, Oh, I can't stand you. And I was [00:44:00] doing the same thing to you, but
Rick: yeah, but to take it deeper, you know, outside of just.
You're working together because a lot of couples don't work together, but, um, you know, being child free and be able to work on our relationship on a deeper level. I mean, we've, we've always been, we've talked a little bit about how we've been in therapy. Um, relationships do take work on the surface. They might seem like they look, you know, we've seen like you guys are so perfect and blah, blah, blah.
And I, and it's. It's very nice that they see it, but like everyone, you know, we're real, we have problems. We need to work on those problems. We have, we come from different backgrounds. We have our own trauma and all that comes and feeds into the relationship obviously. So you need to unpack that. You need to have, be at a therapist and really dive into that and understand each other's trauma or back quote unquote baggage that you bring to the relationship to be able to and your personality traits and your differences and all those things.
Yeah. You know, since we do have extra time in our schedules, we spend a lot of time really focusing on those things. And I [00:45:00] think that's really important and it's, it's nice. I feel like I also know you on a deeper level, um, because I'm able to really dive into and understand, you know, where you, where you're coming from literally before you met me.
Veronica: Yeah, absolutely. And I also think it was good this time around because, um, we've mentioned her before we had and still have, um, an amazing couples therapist. I mean, she's incredible, but she's very expensive. She's very, very expensive. And at this time, we felt like we were in crisis and we really could use her.
And we got to the point where like, we're just going to have to, you know, figure it out and start talking to her. But we know that that's not accessible to everyone. And we We, we felt like, okay, that's not really accessible to us right now. So what can we do ourselves right to get the ball rolling on that because, um, we don't want to go into that financial hole of seeing her, you know, every week, at least once a [00:46:00] week or twice a week.
And we weren't able to do that. So just for people listening out there that may have be having issues with, with, um, your partner, it, it's, it is possible to also just work on it yourself. self as best as you can, and maybe just hold yourself at a level that is somewhat bearable until you can get some professional
Yeah. And I, and just to, to bridge the gap there until you can, you can find someone that works with you or you can afford it, you know, I think what we've learned and I can share this because if it helps someone, you know, it's going to make my day. But what we've learned is Being fully transparent with each other and putting our egos to the side has been our best solution to, to really reset when we're having a bad go of it, right?
Is to just really try to stay calm and just be completely honest with ourselves and with the other person about everything that's in her is hurtful as it might be. Or if [00:47:00] you're trying to defend your side. It's never going to go anywhere. If I'm trying to defend myself, if I come into an argument with you and I'm like ready with my armor on and I'm ready to defend what, how I feel, it's going to go bad because you're going to sense that and your armor goes right up and now you're clinking together and it's just like going nowhere.
So. I just can't say that enough, but it has to come from both parties. That's the problem. Yeah. You know, one person's transparent and the other one isn't. It's not going to happen. But if you're both just honest and transparent and you're coming down and sitting down with good intentions to be like, I'm wrong about this stuff and I understand that and I want to change vice versa.
You do the same. Yeah. How can it not go well? Or at least help? Well, that
Veronica: it's, it's really difficult to get to that point, right? To get to the point where somebody can say, I'm half the problem. I think that that is a struggle in some people's relationships and really not only acknowledge it, but try to work on what you're doing and your part to let that happen, right?
And sometimes what [00:48:00] you're doing is, um, can be coming from love and kindness and respect, but it's still not... The right thing to do at the time or the right way to handle something. So yeah, so we love having the ability. We're very grateful to have the time to work on our, um, on ourselves. Cause we're both very complicated.
Rick: We're very complicated. You're fiery. I'm stubborn and that doesn't make for a good combination. Um, so work on your relationship. Um. Really, I want to kind of close with the whole work, you know, taking care of ourselves for, and really we talked about that from a physical mental space, but also in a financial space even earlier.
But, you know, what our life is going to look like in 10, 15, 20, 30 years from now, you know, and I think that's important. I mean, what do you, what do you value as far as gratitude? about your future self at 70 or 80 [00:49:00] years old? And what are you doing now to prepare for you to be happy in that, at that time?
Veronica: I mean, I'm not going to get into, cause that's going to be a whole other hour podcast as far as like financial planning. And as far as estate planning and all of that, I think that I feel that. I am responsible for how my 70s, 80s and 90s are going to look like. And I don't feel it in a way that it weighs on me, the responsibility, but I feel it in a way where it actually Liberates me because I welcome that right like I want to Take care of like we just talked about my mental and my physical health, right?
I were really big on building community Because I am a social person and I do want people around me and that's really important to me And that's something I work on all the time and [00:50:00] have always worked on. I think that building community is It's huge. And especially, I mean, there's so much research out there saying that elder, um, the elder community feels very alone, but this isn't just about being child free.
It's all, yeah, there's a, there's a problem of isolation as you get older and it's parents too. And the fact is that. It's our responsibility to be aware of that and check on that. And as you get older, like who is around me? Who can I support that maybe could support me back? Who will be there for me? And I will be there from back.
And sometimes it's family. And a lot of times it's not. So building community is extremely important to me because I see. So many of, you know, our parents, our friends, parents, uh, you know, just feeling really alone and isolated. And I feel that that is something that we can take responsibility for, whether you're an [00:51:00] extrovert or an introvert, you know, for example, like in our community, we have introverts.
It doesn't mean that you have to hop in the community and be like loud and, and, you know, show off and post every day and be a part of everything. It's like, no, maybe you just want to, um. You're a little less alone. Yeah. Maybe you just want to see that other people think like you, that other people, maybe you just want to be aware that we even exist.
Like it's just really up to us to feel safer. And that to me is really important. That's something that I think about all the time. Um, and the last part is, which I said is like thinking about our financial future, because I think that the thing that concerns me the most is not about all those. Fearful, um, you know, fearful comments that people say about child.
Free people. I think it's about the fact that we are all living longer, right? So it makes me think a little bit extra about, okay, if we're going to live beyond and obviously [00:52:00] that's just. None of us have a guarantee, but I'm saying if the human population is going to live longer because of technology and because of what they're going to be able to help us with and our help in the future, that makes me think about like, okay, then therefore we need to be prepared to, if we're going to live longer to be able to take care of ourselves financially, right?
Sure. There's different things that go into it, but there aren't. I, I feel that because I have that sense of responsibility for what my life will look like when I'm older, I have like a sort of, it feels safe to me because I'm in control of it right now. Yeah, I
Rick: like that. And in bringing it back to your community point, I think it is so crucial to.
Build your, especially as a child free person to find your people. I mean, I know that's kind of a corny saying, but it is true. You know, it's, you gotta find your tribe. You gotta, because I mean, it has been proven that your health [00:53:00] depends on it. You know, people live longer that interact with more people.
When you're isolated and alone, it's been proven scientifically. This isn't me. That,
Veronica: yeah, we did a video on it. I did a video on it to show like what happens when you live in isolation.
Rick: And, you know. I know your dream, which is to own a retirement community that's all child free at some point. You would love to do that.
I'm not against it. It seems like a big undertaking, but how great would that be just to, you know, on it, you know, you don't have grandchildren coming in to disrupt the flow. You know, it's more like we're all in this together and we're taking care of each other. I mean, we never, everyone leaves this planet alone.
I get that death is, is, is there, you know, there's no escaping it, but. You can certainly be, you want to feel like you're, you're, you're, you know, you're part of something and you're part of a community as you, you know, because it's fun, you know, while you're, while you're here, you want to have fun, you want
Veronica: to be active, and we want to, I mean, we've heard from several people.
Uh, people in their seventies and [00:54:00] eighties talking about who live in retirement communities and telling us that it's actually still happens in those communities where everyone's talking about the grandkids visit for the holidays or whenever the visit is and they're sitting around and just. Just sharing photos of all the grandkids and that they sit there just feeling bad about themselves.
Not bad about themselves. Just isolated from the conversation, you know, similar to how we were isolated, um, you know, in your twenties or your thirties when you're sitting around a big table with all your mom friends and you're feeling isolated because all they're doing is talk about the kids. So it's funny because I had never really.
Thought of that before, but the more that people share that with us, that that's happening in retirement communities as well. I always just thought that was really interesting. So yeah, that's where the idea sparked of like, we need to have our own, um, space to. to, uh, to live in when we're older. So we'll see what we could do about
[00:55:00] Well, I'm certainly happier. Um, and, uh, thank you for that. Cause you really, this is really the beginnings were all you and building this. So thank you for introducing me to people here in Austin and making friends with. You know, you know, they're like minded child free people as well as everyone in our in our community.
But yeah, yeah, of course,
Veronica: and we're doing it inside our community. But we also encourage if you're listening, if you're watching, like, take your time this month to appreciate the little things the fact that you can run to the drugstore whenever you want, or the fact that you can go to the gym at whenever you want, if you can, or the fact that you can manage your schedule, even if you're nine to five, that is very, um, It's strict on their time the fact that before and after your day can look like whatever you want it to be So yeah, let's all just take time this month.
And um, I think it's really important that we appreciate this lifestyle and this choice Uh, because it's just a beautiful path
Rick: to life. Yeah [00:56:00] Yeah, the life that's in front of you is your life, you know, whether you have kids or not and yeah That's a great message You know, really just appreciate, take a step back from the stresses that we talked about earlier and everything, all the outliers that come into you, even though you don't have children and realize that there's so much to be grateful for.
I love that message. We'll end on that and sending gratitude to everyone that's listening or watching. And, uh, we will see you next time. Bye.