The Best of Both Worlds podcast officially launched a year ago this week! Today’s episode looks back on Sarah and my favorite moments, our cringe-inducing moments, and what we’ve learned along the way. A few highlights and surprises:
People like hearing us talk. Curiously our Sarah-and-me dialogue episodes are our most downloaded. Although I think this is partly because we haven’t done a good job describing the guest episodes in the headlines people see on iTunes. We are definitely shifting this for year 2, because we have amazing guests.
Our traffic has grown a lot in the last few months. Consequently, almost all of our top-downloaded episodes have been recent ones. If you just joined us since April — welcome! But I hope you’ll go back and check out some older episodes. We covered some foundational issues early on (part-time work, childcare, how many kids we have).
Zencastr only acts up when we have high-profile guests. Murphy’s law, right? We had horrible technical difficulties on our Deena Kastor episode (still sad about that one). We also had technical issues for Gretchen Rubin, Manoush Zomorodi, and Meredith Bodgas, though we managed to solve those without listeners being able to tell (not so much the Deena episode…sigh). Usually our software works great, but it’s like it can sense when we’re really, really hoping everything goes well.
We have gotten better at having a not-in-the-same-place conversation. Practice really does help. Listening to some of the very first episodes, I hear a hesitancy as we’re trying to talk that we no longer have. I hope listeners feel we’ve improved at our podcasting skills (including our interview skills — I’ve interviewed thousands of people in my life, but interviewing people for a podcast is different from print. I’d say trickier – and I have great respect for people who do this for TV now, since they have to worry about visuals too.)
We are really enjoying ourselves! I hope that comes across. We are 55 episodes in, and hope to do hundreds more. We’ve talked about wishing we started this years ago, but oh well.
Now, in the interest of being helpful, and not just self-congratulatory… we also discuss the back-to-school phenomenon. Frankly, I find all the articles on the “craziness” a bit much. It will be fine. Schedules will get ironed out in a few weeks. Probably no one will go to school without shoes, or if they do, it will only happen once.
That said, some of our tips:
Make a spreadsheet with the schedule. If you have a lot of kids, or a lot of activities (or both), seeing them visually can help. You can repurpose one of my 168 Hours spreadsheets for this.
Create a launching pad. Shoes, backpacks, coats, sports gear all go in one place that you pass through on the way to the car (or bus). If things leave this zone (e.g. books for homework) they must come immediately back afterwards. While I doubt we will continue this streak indefinitely (picture me knocking furiously on wood), I am happy to report that our launching pad meant we never missed the bus last year!
Don’t sweat lunch. Personally, I think school lunch, or “hot lunch” as I like to call it, is fine. And easy. And a lot better than it used to be. If you disagree or your kids don’t like it (or it’s not an option), teach them to pack their own lunches pronto. This does not need to be a sport in the parenthood Olympics.
Buy your own school supplies. Ok, that’s just two notebook-and-pen-lovers talking 🙂 Also, schedule your own activities. Parents are allowed to have fun and pursue their own interests too.
Homework is not about you. You already went through fifth grade! I think keeping this in mind helps keep school projects in perspective.
We’d love your feedback on the podcast. We’ll do a formal survey soon, but in the meantime, feel free to comment here, or on Instagram, or on Sarah’s blog.