This week, Sarah returns from a longer-than-planned summer break, and previews what’s to come in the new season of Conversations on Conversations.
Sarah Noll Wilson
Hi, everyone. Welcome back to this week’s episode of Conversations on Conversations, where each week we explore different topics to help us have more powerful conversations with ourselves and with each other. I’m your host, Sarah Noll Wilson. And it has been a minute since we’ve been together. We intended to take a break this summer, and then that break extended longer than we wanted to be. So this week’s episode is going to be me and you for a little bit of time to catch up, to see where we’ve been, and to talk about where we are going. We were so thrilled at the response to Season One of the show. We have had the opportunity to have conversations with some incredible people, we have been changed and moved, we know that you have as well, we’ve heard some incredible stories about the impact that our show has had. And so we thank you for continuing to stay with us, to be with us, and to be in conversation with us. So what’s been happening over the last couple of months? You might be wondering why we took such a long break?
Well, first and foremost, our intention was to take a break so that we could properly take some time to rest. In full disclosure, as many – I know, as many people are experiencing, I found myself managing and navigating – maybe not managing is what I want to say – some pretty serious burnout. I am so fortunate to do work that I love. I’m so fortunate to do it with a team that’s amazing, with clients who are incredible. And, you know, with the last two and a half years, my resiliency was just low, my tank was empty more often than not. And in early May, I found myself struggling emotionally and with focus and with energy and with enthusiasm. And my guest and good friend, Rachel Sheerin – who was on the show, and we talked about burnout – she and I were having a conversation where I was quite tender. And she said some pretty powerful words to me. She said, Sarah, you need rest. You need full body, lay on the couch, don’t take a trip, like you need full rest and recovery. And so that’s what I intended to do on my break. And while on said break, I – after two and a half years of avoiding it – unfortunately picked up COVID. So I’ve been navigating that for a little while. So part of this break was an intentional break.
Part of this break was an unintentional, but necessary, break. And I’m happy to report that, you know, we’re almost three months from when we had our initial exposure. On one hand, we’re still dealing – and when I say we, my husband and I – we’re still navigating and dealing with some symptoms from it, the fatigue is very real, the brain fog is very real. But we’re certainly in a much better place than we were three months ago. And I want to take a moment to just talk about a little bit about what that experience has been like, especially related to the work that we’re trying to do with this show.
And how do we have those conversations? And also how do we think about the impact that this can have on the people that we love and the people we support, and our colleagues and our bosses and everyone that we’re working with? You know, there was a reason I lovingly say that I tried to avoid getting COVID For as long as we did. We certainly, by all measures, had a mild case -mild being that we weren’t hospitalized. You know, we were fortunate that we were able to rest it took about two and a half, three weeks to get over the intensity of the symptoms. But navigating the long term has been challenging. It’s been challenging mentally, emotionally, physically.
You know, when you’re so high energy and you want to be on the move all the time, it can be really hard when your body says, Yeah, we’re just done. And that’s the thing with fatigue, is – I used to think I understood fatigue, when people would say that, or people colleagues or friends who deal dealt with chronic fatigue, that I thought it was just being tired. And now I understand. It’s not it’s not just, like, Oh, it’d be nice to take a nap. But it’s – fatigue is, when it’s from a sickness or an illness, is your body basically just shuts down and says, You need to find a couch or something, or else I’m gonna make you find a couch. But some of the ways that this experience has shifted me is multiple, you know, one is it just deepens my resolve to do what I can to make sure that I don’t hopefully pick it again – pick it up again, and I don’t pass it along to anyone else. But also, you know, because of our circumstances, was a real opportunity for my husband and I to get really clear about on how we want it to show up for each other? How did we want to show up in our relationships? Right? You know, what, what were the commitments we wanted to make of how we want it to be, and in navigating this time.
And so it’s been, it’s been a challenge. But I am, I’m happy to report that it feels like we’re on the upswing and improving. You know, but it got me thinking, you know, as I was resting and missing out on some trips that we were really looking forward to for work, is that I was really grateful that I was in a situation where I could rest, I was really grateful that I was in a time where I could do what I needed to do to take care of my body. Because the consequences of not doing that would have been far greater, I am convinced. So if you have experienced COVID, and maybe are navigating some long COVID, I want you to know that I see you. And if you want to connect and chat about it, certainly feel free to reach out. If you know someone who has experienced COVID and now is experiencing some long COVID I just I invite you to be really patient, really understanding. I think in times like this, it’s helpful for us to make sure we understand that what may not feel like a big deal to us could be a really big deal to someone else. And you know, when you are navigating an illness that isn’t quick, that is longer lasting, having people just simply acknowledge, like, I’m sorry that you’re still dealing with this, you know, and being supportive goes a very, very long way. So, we are in a place now of hopefully a new chapter. You know, I am proud and celebratory in coming to you today.
I feel the best I have felt mentally in a while, I feel the best I have felt physically in a while, I feel lighter. I am so excited for us to explore and experiment together on the show. So where are we going next? What is, what can you expect from season two? We are going to be in a place of experimentation. And what that means is that the intention behind the show doesn’t change. But the delivery, we’re just going to explore different paths. So some weeks I might be interviewing a guest, some weeks there may be roundtable discussion. One episode, Nick and I are going to have a good conversation about what it’s like to support a spouse with mental illnesses from our respective experiences. We’re going to explore longer episodes, we’re going to explore shorter episodes.
You know, one of the things that we very much anchor ourselves in with our work and on the team is this idea of perpetual learning. And perpetual learning is an intentional practice of exploring, of experimenting, and then of evolving, and then we just continue down that path. We explore, we experiment, we evolve. So over the next couple of episodes, you’ll just you might be seeing some different things. And what we’d love to hear from you is, what resonates? What do you like? What do you appreciate? What would you like to see us try or do different? You know, we we started this show with the intention to have impact, with the intention to give people a place to pause, with the intention to give tools and practices for how we could show up differently, to role model what that looks like. So if there are topics, if there are styles that you want us to explore, please reach out to us.
You can always connect with me on social media, my DMs are always open. You can also shoot us an email at podcast at Sarah Noll Wilson dot com. But mostly, I just want to say I hope you are all well. I hope that you have been able to find time this summer to rest, recharge, do what you need to do so that you can continue to be your best selves and to do the work that you are meant to do, whatever that means for you. And we’re so grateful that you’re continuing to join us on this journey. We cannot wait to come back. We have some incredible interviews already recorded that will start dropping here in the coming weeks. And so with that, I just want to give you a wholehearted Thank you. Excited to be with you.
And we’ll see where the next Conversations take us. This has been Conversations on Conversations. Thank you so much for listening. And remember, when we can change the conversations we have with ourselves and with others, we can change the world. So please be sure to rest, rehydrate, and we’ll see you again next week. Bye, everyone.
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Sarah Noll Wilson is on a mission to help leaders build and rebuild teams. She aims to empower leaders to understand and honor the beautiful complexity of the humans they serve. Through her work as an Executive Coach, an in-demand Keynote Speaker, Researcher, Contributor to Harvard Business Review, and Bestselling Author of “Don’t Feed the Elephants”, Sarah helps leaders close the gap between what they intend to do and the actual impact they make. She hosts the podcast “Conversations on Conversations”, is certified in Co-Active Coaching and Conversational Intelligence, and is a frequent guest lecturer at universities. In addition to her work with organizations, Sarah is a passionate advocate for mental health.