Season 1
33 Minutes

Ep. 19 | Steven Petrow | Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old

Steven Petrow, 63, is an award-winning journalist and book author who is best known for his Washington Post and New York Times essays on aging, health, and civility. His just-published sixth book, Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old is a funny and poignant FOURTH ACT page-turner. Steven is also an opinion columnist for USA Today, where he writes about civil discourse and manners. His 2019 TED Talk, “3 Ways to Practice Civility” has been viewed nearly two million times and translated into 16 languages.

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Steven Petrow  00:00

Over time, so into into my 60s, I just have been thinking more about what matters to me how I want people to think about me, and I don’t really want people to think about me, oh, he was executive editor at Time Magazine, or he was at this or that. That’s not who I am. And they’re these values called eulogy values. And so basically, you know, if your and I were to be at each other’s funerals now, what would we want people to be saying about us? Yeah, I’m hoping that people might say things like, he was kind, he was a good listener. He loved his family, whatever, whatever they may be. But that’s kind of a real shift in how you live your life.

Achim Nowak  00:43

Hey, this is Achim Nowak, executive coach and host of the MY FOURTH ACT podcast. If life is a five act play, how will you spend your fourth that? I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold and unexpected for that, listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you’re listening on. Let’s get started. I am so delighted to welcome Steven Petro, to the My fourth podcast. Stephen is an award winning journalist and book author who is best known for his Washington Post and New York Times essays on aging, health and sibility. He’s also an opinion columnist for USA Today, where he writes about civil discourse and manners. Stephens wonderful. 2019. Ted Talk three ways to practice civility has been viewed nearly 2 million times and translated into 16 languages. Stephen is the author of six books, many of them on LGBTQ lifestyle matters. His latest book, stupid things I want to do when I get old is just out. It is a poignant fourth act and fifth act page turner. And I cannot wait to discuss some other delicious details with Steven. Welcome. I am so glad to be with you today. Thank you for having me as a guest. Oh, it is my pleasure. As I’ve told you before we record it. I’m, I just enjoyed your book so much. And I want to get to it quickly. But before we do a question I asked in every podcast, and it feels pertinent to our conversation. Who did you want to be when you grew up when you were young boy? Did you have an idea of who you want it to be?

Steven Petrow  02:39

You know, I did. And I’m gonna tell you it was it was this meteorologist at W CBS and Gordon Barnes. And I was a little 13 year old National Weather Service reporting station. And I would call into the city every day to like, give the time low temperature and my dad was like, Who’s calling Manhattan everyday was a toll call. Oh, that’s me. And then I was calling Gordon Barnes every day. And so it’s kind of crazy. I don’t know what this tells us. But that’s the truth.

Achim Nowak  03:18

Well, the truth is the truth. Did you have a little crush on Gordon Barnes? So did you just admire his expertise?

Steven Petrow  03:25

I found that science was something I was very proficient in. Yeah. And I guess I derived a sense of self worth and self value from that. And it was something I could do by myself. You know, I’m kind of now extrapolating in my mind, you know, my dad had me playing Pop Warner football, which was completely the antithesis of who I was. You know, I can’t even say I was a young gay boy, I didn’t even know I was gay. But I knew I was different. So I think I found safety in. Yeah, whether it makes sense. But I was weird. But they thought I was weird, because I had all these maps of hurricanes that I did every every day. And so that was the safe, weird.

Achim Nowak  04:06

My version of that was we travel a lot on childhood. And I loved studying maps, and studying maps and understanding where things were was incredibly comforting. So I completely understood what you just said. Did you, you’re 63. Now and you’re very open about that. In your book. You and I are going to celebrate our age in this conversation. Let me just claim that upfront. When you were younger, did you have any sense of what 63 might look like? What people that age were like how they lived? Or was that just completely removed from your reality as a young person?

Steven Petrow  04:43

Well, I think many among our generation, yeah, good look, sort of fast forward ahead to see what older life look like and usually that man, what was it like for our parents and their friends, and so on, and And it was it was a very different setup than it is now, if only because people, our generation are living so much longer now. And we have generally been so much more active and have eaten healthier, but I really I really had the the notions of, you know, 50 Plus or 60 plus being a time of decline and withdrawal and disconnection and therefore, initially approaching it with trepidation.

Achim Nowak  05:32

Now, I have to get through your book, because some people might read your book, and it might induce more trepidation. Or it might induce some comfort, or bone, or lows. You know, as I mentioned, stupid things I won’t do when I get old and you have a whole list of stupid things that you are affirming you want to things you want to do now, you won’t do tomorrow, and you won’t do at the end. The first one and so many are classic, is I want to just open the conversation and you fill it in any way you wish. I want color my hair, even if it worked for Diane Sawyer. So it’s a it’s a lovely title for that little nugget. How have you reconciled your own hair coloring?

Steven Petrow  06:16

Well, before I answer that, do you mind if I tell you a little bit about the genesis of the book? No, no, go for it. So while I was, you know, having this great trepidation about what I was going to become, when I got older, my parents were moving into their 70s. And so I started keeping a list of 10 things, and there were 20. And there were 50. And there were 100. And, I mean, there were there were things like sort of on the smaller side, I will pick up the throw rugs when I start tripping over them. I you know, I won’t forego a hearing aid when I can’t hear anyone. I won’t compromise my independence by giving you a little bit of it up earlier on. And then that became an essay in the New York Times, which got a lot of attention. It was interesting was people started sending me their lists. I got to 300 lists, and I thought this is the thing that people are doing. Because we are telling ourselves, we want to do things differently, and we have things better. And then that became this book. And yes, um, that chapter, that chapter about me and Diane Sawyer is the first one. I had the privilege of CO hosting a benefit with her probably about 20 years ago now for the National lesbian and gay journalists Association. And as we’re getting ready to go out on stage, we’re kind of just joking. And she’s I said, it’s like, what are your tips for being beautiful and being older? And she said, Well, you know, anchors don’t get older, they only get blonder. Mm hmm. And I thought, well, that’s great advice. So I when I got my hair colored, and it was a disaster. And my friend, my best friend, you know how you always worry, your friends aren’t going to tell you the truth. Well, my best friend Ben said to me, Stephen, you know, you look like a trashy Secretary from Staten Island. And he meant no offense to secretaries or to Staten Island, but I become dislike all over honey blonde. You know, and so one of one of my lessons was, you know, don’t go to a hair colorist unless you can afford to go to Diane Sawyer is. But the other was sort of this road to acceptance and authenticity. And even though we’re on a podcast today, this is now my natural silver hair, and which is a lot easier and have fewer chemicals in it. And you know, and I learned the lesson that many, many men have learned which is we’re kind of like very binary, suddenly, we have brown hair again. And we had you know, silver hair and I think women do it much better than men.

Achim Nowak  08:45

For our listeners, you know, recording with video so I can attest to his very authentic looking gray hair with many different shadings to it. It actually has a lot of character. It’s white, it’s non white. It’s so the classic beautiful gray that you want. Yeah, well, it is what it is. I am who I am. Well related to that. And I’m so picking my own favorites that jumped out that made me chuckle as I read your book, you’re another one of your wants is I want to I want to lie about my age, even on dating apps. And any of our listeners who have been on dating apps know that game. Boy, tell us some stories about that because you tell us about yourself. But you also tell about other people and friends and the rationale for lying about Oh, ah, talk to us about that.

Steven Petrow  09:35

I got divorced from my husband about three years ago now. We’d been together for 14 and there had been websites and I think match calm had existed prior to our getting together. But this whole world of apps was something that was brand new, so three, four years ago, so I was actually 59 Yeah, who would ever believe somebody was actually 59 you know, They’re their life if I say that, so I was pushing it down a little bit, and then it felt uncomfortable and and then when I would meet people, they would say, so are you really, whatever age I said, Well, now I’m actually 59 it became awkward and became like, well, that’s the first topic of conversation. And that’s a problem. So, I did an experiment, I was on three different apps. And I was sorry, became three different ages, I was young. And then I was that I was my real age, and then something in between. And what I learned was, it really didn’t matter except to me. If someone who’s younger was looking for an older person, a daddy, now I was gonna qualify whether I was 59, or 62. If they wanted someone age appropriate, that was fine. And if they didn’t want someone quote, unquote, old, I was gone. I’ve done so that really kind of like push me to be 63, or whatever my age is. And in next week, I’ll be 64. Yeah, and part of my interviewing was fellow I went to college with he suddenly appeared on on one of these. And he was now 10 years younger than me. Wow. I was actually like, Wow, you look terrible. For that age. You look fine for our edge. Yeah. And I said to him, Well, how does that work out for you? Kind of like, paused and everything. He said, Well, when I meet people, I always tell them my real age. Behind that what happens? I said, and he said, Well, half of them get up and leave. But half of them stay. Yeah, that was his strategy. You know, last I looked, he was still single. I’m still single, too. So I, you know, honestly, may only go so far and need a little bit of magic to

Achim Nowak  11:44

I was thinking my own. This is a silly story from my own dating life. But I remember having your first date with a fellow who claimed to be 34. And when we met in person, he said, You know, I have to be honest, I’m actually 42. And my little voice went, No way. This dude is 42. He’s older. So I googled him, and we can find out everybody’s age. And he was 49. So even the admission of the real age was a lie. Because you’ve written so much about this, and I don’t want to get overly heavy on it. But beyond basic ageism, what is that about?

Steven Petrow  12:15

So I’m going to put on my like, scholarly hat. Please do. Look, it’s not a scholarly book at all. But it is informed by interviews and by. And so there’s a concept it’s called everyday ageism, or casual ageism. Yeah. And it’s different than the discrimination we might face in the workplace or in, in healthcare settings, and so on. But it’s kind of a cultural negativity over the last several years, friends, friends send me these means and they think they’re funny. They’re not meant to support the notion of my book. I’m going to describe this for you, because we’re on a podcast. The title is TV tray for seniors. And it’s an older guy, and he’s got the toilet seat around his head. And he’s using the toilet seat cover as his tray and he’s, you know, it’s cutting up his dinner, don’t laugh, patent pending, you’re just upset that you didn’t think of this great invention first. So you know, at first we say, Oh, he maybe that’s a little bit funny, but it’s really not. And, and there’s so many ways that these kind of messages are in the culture, in part of it is the birthday cards that we send that I’m sending you a short birthday card, because you won’t have time to read. And this has an impact on our health. It has an impact on our physical health on our mental health. And the more we internalize, internalize this kind of ages, the middle so shortens our lives and said last year, up to seven and a half years shorter, which is like the equivalent of being a smoker. So this is not good for us. And the book is raising the ways that we have internalized ageism. And trying to show that their path to make different choices and think about ourselves differently or retrain ourselves to think differently.

Achim Nowak  13:59

Yeah, thank you for that take on that. Another one of my favorite mentions in your book, and it’s funny because there to me these mentions are all bittersweet because they’re funny, but there is a reality behind it for many people. You say I want to limit myself to friends my own age and and you mentioned these wonderful cultural icons, the movie Harold and Maude with with Gordon and Anna Madrigal from Tales of the City. These wonderful quirky older gals Who are these bomb livan to basically say screw decorum? I’m just gonna live my life. And younger people are really drawn to that sensibility and they have these younger friends. How do we cultivate friends of different ages when we’re aging together with our friends for a long time or if we’re business people, we tend to socialize with people in our age brackets and the net does national conference towards them our own age.

Steven Petrow  14:59

I think The word is intention. Yeah, we make it a priority. And I tell the story in the book about my friend, Denise Kessler, who was 33 years older than me. And she was 77 when I met her, and I was in my late 30s. And she was interviewing me ostensibly to be a tenant in a duplex of hers in San Francisco, but she was really interviewing me to be a friend. And she had set out to cultivate younger friends. Because her friends were getting older, some of them were getting ill. And she feared also that her her sisters would pass, because they were older than she is, it was great for her to have this coterie of younger people. And it served her well, because she was kind of last woman standing by the time she died at 98. Of course, for someone like me, it was also wonderful, because I got the perspective of this friend had grown up 20 or 30 years earlier. And that really helped me to see the world in a different way. And it also provided a role model, as well, as you know, one of the themes in the book is that there’s a difference between being older, or old age, and being sick, or ill, we kind of played them in this culture, but they’re really very different. And there were times when she was ill. But that never really overtook her sense of who she was. And she remained creative and engaged and connected to people. And so I saw that lesson. And you know, my very intentionally have cultivated younger friends, inviting them over doing things in the journalism world, you know, it’s often a younger person’s game. And so, you know, if not only for the need to understand new technologies, but new ways of seeing the world, it’s very useful. But you have to say to yourself, I want to do this

Achim Nowak  16:50

A word from your sponsor. That’s me. I invite you to go to the website associated with this podcast, fourth, you will find other equally inspiring conversation with great humans. And you will also learn more about the my fourth act mastermind groups where cool people figure out how to chart their own fourth acts. Please check it out. And now back to the conversation.  You know, I was lying in bed yesterday morning and telling my partner that I’m interviewing this fellow Stephen tomorrow, and I mentioned the title of your book, stupid things I wanted when I get old, and I read to him all of the things you want to do. They were lying in bed, and he’s he’s chuckling his reactions. When I read one, there was a quizzical response, I think, no, because I think this is one of those two, just a really big fear. And you mentioned about your aging parents, I have a mother who’s 96. alive and wellness senior home, but it’s someone I won’t be afraid to fall. And you actually put in the caveat, yes, you read that, right? Because you probably knew that. Wow, that’s a real fear for people. How do you dance with that one? How do you dance with that fear?

Steven Petrow  18:10

So superficially? I think our generation knows. And we’ve seen once an older person starts to fall. Yeah. It’s usually the beginning of a progression. Yeah. It’s it’s not a good progression. So we’re all we’re all, you know, at some point, frayed afraid of that. Part of what I’ve tried to do for myself, and then when I try to do in the book is confront those fears, and also create work arounds or pass throughs. Initially, I was in a yoga class, and we do inversions. And you fall, yes. And they teach us how to fall safely, so you don’t hurt yourself. And for the longest time, I wanted to write an essay about that, but it just didn’t come together. And then we did a family vacation and my siblings and their kids to Hawaii, we were all surfing. Remember the instructor, the first thing he said was you have to learn how to fall safely. Because if you’re a beginner, all you’re going to do is fall. And so he taught us and so I actually learned that there was so much freedom in not fearing the fall and knowing that I knew how to protect myself in a way that was much more of a metaphoric one. Yeah, how to confront fears, how to protect yourself and how to maybe take some steps to prepare for them so that you will be better equipped when you come upon a precipice, literal or metaphoric.

Achim Nowak  19:32

I love how you sort of use it as a metaphor for fear or facing fear, overcoming fear. When you talked about surfing, I became a pretty good wind surfer in my mid 30s, I lived in the Caribbean. And that was me really facing my physicality. And I realized because I was not a very athletic child, and I wanted to prove myself that I could do it. And I realized windsurfing is not about brute body strength. It’s about the balance on the board and there’s a difference For the water and the wind, however, as I’m thinking about projected head, I’m 65 now, but if I see myself my 70s or 80s, the question is that balancing that I feel like I can do on a surfboard. While I do it as my body changes, right? Will I be able to do balance? Similarly, and I don’t know, because that will be discovered as we all get older, right in our own way.

Steven Petrow  20:23

It will be and of course, for some, there will be physical limitations. But I remember the surf instructor said to me, Your problem is not physical, its mental. Yeah, you’re frayed. And you need to get over the fear. And once I did get over the fear, it was fine. Actually, it was fun to fall in those circumstances, because I wasn’t going to get her. I think as I take that, you know, sort of into the future, I’m going to keep that same same attitude about it and be mindful. And also realize there will be times when physicality does play art, and to listening and to listen to my body that way.

Achim Nowak  20:58

One of the milestones that not everybody, but many people faces the need for a walker, or that kind of assistance, and you have one of your wants, as I want let a walker ruin my style. And then you add, but I’ll still use it. I just remember, my mom loves her Walker now, but boy did she resisted tooth and nail for years to talk about the style part and talk about making peace with having a walker and because it’s easy for you and I to say that now because we don’t need it yet.

Steven Petrow  21:28

Right? I just want to read a part of it wonderful. So many people fear, the stigma of being marked as old and hearing aids are one of those stigmas, walkers. rollators are, we tried my siblings, and I tried very hard with my parents, but especially my dad on these issues. He was just steadfast against them. And the way we actually got him to use what was essentially a cane was we started calling it a walking stick. So that was kind of just a matter of language, right? And walkingstick Well, that sort of inspires you to think that you’re English country, gentlemen, and you’re wearing tweed, and this and that. And not, you know, an older person who is reliant on on this tool is the same thing is true with walkers and whatnot. And I think we need to realize there are trade offs. And what is more important than our continued independence and mobility, just about nothing. You know, in my book, it is a hard step to accept that you may need a little help. And I had this conversation with my dad many times and did not succeed. But at the book sort of talks about the many ways I tried to do it, because he would then have greater infant independence for a longer period of time or so I hoped. And so the professionals set. So here, when the time comes, or before the time comes, I hope that I can go back to my list. And initially the list was meant countability to myself, and I have started using it that way now because to go back and say well, okay, I am going to use this tool to help me so that I can preserve more of this. And I think someone who got an early copy of the book was robbed me today and said, Oh, you know, the Scandinavians have even a new role later, it’s so high tech and high high function, high design, you know, who wouldn’t want to use it? You know, I’m sure it’s lovely, but it’s still putting lipstick on a pig. But we need to, we need to sort of play around with our mind.

Achim Nowak  23:28

Yeah. I mean, where my thoughts are going, as you’re talking is, and I think of my my journey with my friends with with HIV and AIDS and my friends who died. At what point before you we die? Do we surrender to what the physical reality is that we’re living in? I remember my mom happened to her early 90s. She lived in a walk up she had there was no elevator, one flight up. And she tried to camouflage for me that she had a hard time walking up the steps. No, and there was great effort. And even with the apartment, walking from the kitchen to the living room, she had to hold on to the walls to get to this sofa. But everything was almost like a choreographed dance. So I wouldn’t notice. And of course I did. It’s so much easier to say, Okay, this is where it is. Right?

Steven Petrow  24:17

You know, it isn’t it isn’t. And one of the things I learned so I start off kind of snarky and sassy in this book. And I’m, you know, I’m the son who knows everything. And I’m keeping my list. And then I’m writing about in the book. And my parents have both passed away now. And I came to have a much greater jail, much greater depth of empathy for them and the choices they were making. Because so many of them were fear based. And here is a very real thing I have I have fears and so I’m hoping they’re here to unpack that fear a little bit to bring some humor to some of those suits, as well. Because they’re, they’re very common to I mean, I have heard so many stories from families. about all of these issues. Can I tell you one one little story that’s please do. It’s been one of the most common ones. And my parents, they they lived in a house that was actually on a cliff. This is a real cliff, like looking down at the beach and there, they were not near their children. And they loved they loved it there. And it was beautiful. And there was a time I guess, when they were in their 80s. We wanted to have a conversation with them about moving into a continuing care facility. Yeah, they would be both closer to my brother, and better protected over time. And so my brother took them on a tour of a place near them, and it was very nice facility. And that I think they had lunch and there was the delicious salmon dish. And then my brother said to them after the tour, so what did you think? My mother? She just says, well, you’re now Jay. I don’t like fish. End of conversation. Yep. And then my dad said to him, do never we’re going to age in place. But then the thing that people said was, but we don’t want to be a burden to your children. Yeah, that is that is sort of a common theme that I have heard from so many people. You know, parents and elders say we don’t want to become a burden. And then we they make choices that make them a burden. And my parents made a series of choices that certainly created a burden on on us. I’m not saying that without love. But there were calls in the middle of the night 911 hiring health aides firing helmets, they were still out by the cliff, there was weather. So I’m hoping that both I and I hope that other people will sort of realize the contradiction between some of the choices we make and this statement, I won’t do not want to become a burden to you. And I actually have two years ago, I signed up for one of these continuing care communities here in North Carolina, I’m going to tell you, it was hard to go on that tour, it was hard to look into the future. But I wanted to do better. And I did not want to be a burden to my three nieces, who might you know, sort of have to step up. So I made a deposit. And now I don’t have to think about it for a while. And you know, and we’ll see what happens. But those are the kinds of decisions we all can make that can make a difference. And sort of align us with the values that we were using to

Achim Nowak  27:21

I just saw applaud you for making that choice and putting the deposit down. Because in my mind, it means when the moment comes, you can still decide yes or no, you can make decisions.

Steven Petrow  27:32

And it helps in your waiting list too. So nobody’s going to be calling.

Achim Nowak  27:38

In it’s a dance between children and their parents. Like my mom told me she wasn’t she had put herself on a waiting list for a place. And when I checked the place, she had lied, she had never done it. It was just the way to it’s the way she played that game, right? Because she didn’t want to hear me nagging.

Steven Petrow  27:57

Right, my dad would lie about taking his medication, and then he will have a 911 episode, and we find out that he’d been throwing up in other high blood pressure medication in the toilet for some reason. Yeah, lying to my doctors. And so I’m not gonna lie about my meds, I’m not gonna lie to my doctors. Those are two things that I have done somewhere in the past. I’m not a doctor. And I’ve seen you know, I’ve seen studies. And I’ve seen in real life, you know, what can happen?

Achim Nowak  28:26

Since we’re both have been talking about our parents The last item in your book, which is beautiful and poignant. And I think so relevant for all of us, you write about your parents a lot is sort of real life data that informs what you’re writing about. Yeah, but the last I want is, I won’t be disappointed in my life. And on one level, to me that feels like, Well, yeah, that’s a no brainer. But it takes intention to get there as well, doesn’t it? Would you talk about that, since that’s the last I won’t that’s in your book?

Steven Petrow  28:58

Yes. When I was younger, and I’d say up until, you know, up until my late 50s, early 60s, I judged myself based on what are called resume virtues. Now, what was my job title? How much money did I make? How many people was I managing it, those kind of external elements are very much a part of what American success is defined as, and my father and I, you know, my father was very much that way. And he was a very successful person as as, as a journalist, and as a professor at NYU, over time, so into into my 60s. I just have been thinking more about what matters to me how I want people to think about me and I don’t really want people to think about me, oh, he was executive editor at Time magazine or he was at this or that. That’s not who I am. And they’re these values called eulogy values. And so basically, you If you and I were to be at each other’s funerals now, what would we want people to be saying about us? Yeah, I’m hoping that people might say things like, he was kind, he was a good listener, he loved his family, whatever, whatever they may be. But that’s kind of a real shift in how you live your life. So this really came to a head a couple of years before my dad died, and that he asked me one day, like, what matters to you? And this was a very undead like question, because he was much more in his head, not in his heart. I was kind of shocked. And I kind of stumbled through an answer. That was my, my husband at the time, my family, my health wasn’t particularly articulate. But I think I hit most of the notes that that were true. And then I said to him, dad, so what about you what matters to you? And he was the man who had been so strong in his resume virtues. And he looked at me, and he shrugged his shoulders and just kind of said, Hmm, I don’t know. And that made me profoundly sad for him. Especially because after he died, he was remembered for being a wonderful teacher and for being a mentor to so many. But he did not, he did not feel that he did not say himself that way. I think that, again, it’s about how to reshape how we see each other how we see ourselves, as well as to make decisions that are more in alignment with who we want, who we said we want to be.

Achim Nowak  31:37

I’d love to end with a more personal question for you, if you don’t mind. Maybe? Well, this is all in the book, I just riffing off the book, you’re very open about the fact that you entered your 60s. And you are getting divorced. Yes, that because there can be a certain comfort of being coupled, entering into older age, comfortably partnered, whether it’s a working relationship or not, is a whole other conversation. And I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but almost like a security blanket is taken away. So as you look forward to your own life can be around work around personal whatever. And because this is called the my fourth act podcast, the question so what are the things that Stephen wants more of in his life or less of in his life, because for many of us, this is a chance to be intentional about how we want to create our own life going forward.

Steven Petrow  32:32

That’s a very pertinent question. And I think it’s especially pertinent, pertinent, as you alluded to earlier, as we’re coming out of this pandemic. So we’ve lived through quietly, homebound in certain ways, I’ve been much more introverted and inward focused. And now we’re kind of crossing this threshold. And it provides an opportunity for decisions and choices. And so I’m trying to decide when do I want to go back like traveling, like every other week to do this? Or to do that? Do I want to stay so, so busy in that way? or How can I find new ways to do the things that I, for my work, you know, from my personal life, and yet stayed stay grounded and stay more present? That’s something I’m very sort of actively struggling with right now. I don’t, I don’t have the answer to it. Other than this is the optimist in me saying, the pandemic and now this exit from the pandemic is giving me and many others opportunity to see more clearly how we want to live. And then we go, and we make our choices. And then we can make different choices again, but it’s it’s like a wide open field. And it’s a it’s a little scary to have to say,

Achim Nowak  33:59

Well, I bet what what I loved about you said is it’s an open field, and we get to make the choices. It can feel uncomfortable when the choices aren’t clear yet. But the key word for me was that we do get to make some choices, which is awesome. And we should not and I say to myself do not be held back by the fear of this big field. Yeah, run into it. Nice. I had another question. But that was the perfect ending. So I want to stop here. That was just a wonderful final statement. For our listeners are going Gosh, I want to read more about Stephen other books he’s written Obviously, I’m the title against stupid things I won’t do when I get old. But where would you like to direct people to find out more about you and all the other things you do?

Steven Petrow  34:46

Well, I have a website,   So, that has that has links pretty much to everything that I’ve done way more than anybody would want any of my other books and so on. So that would that would be great. place to start. Thank you for allowing me to mention that.

Achim Nowak  35:03

Thank you for the conversation. Steven. It was great to be with you today by like what you heard, please go to my fourth act calm and subscribe to receive my updates on upcoming episodes. Please also subscribe to us on the platform of your choice. Rate us give us a review and let us all create some magical fourth acts together. Ciao


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