It’s August, Already!

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    Time to get those summer bucket list items finished up! There are tons of ideas in this issue of RFM, including some tips for connecting with your teens from this month’s Real Mom (page 24), and a slew of RVA staycation ideas from one of our favorite travel writers, Wendy Irvine (page 28).

    I know our family has a lot left to accomplish on the summer list, but one thing I crossed off my personal list recently was a solo 8-hour drive to visit family. Knowing the long trek was not going to be fun, I decided to get out of my music comfort zone and reach out to my Facebook family for podcast recommendations. Like binge-watching or Instapotting, you either love it or you have no idea what it is. I got plenty of responses from both sides of the aisle on the topic, and I was truly surprised to learn just how many podcast choices there are these days. From current events to fictional series and humorous interview-type shows, the suggestions ran the gamut. After figuring out how to even listen to a podcast (I chose the Stitcher app), I settled on the NPR series, How I Built This with Guy Raz, which provides the backstory on self-made businesses and the people who built them. I scrolled through the episodes and chose companies I either use or admire, starting my podcast journey – and roadtrip – with Kate and Andy Spade. It goes without saying that it was an inspiring, yet sad choice, knowing how the story had tragically ended just days earlier. I went on to hear from Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List, Katrina Lake, founder of Stitch Fix, and wrapped with Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle (and only then did I find out that they just celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary on July 13 – hard to believe, isn’t it?!). Each of them started very small and had not a single inkling that they would become the behemoths that we know today. Their interviews were inspiring, and I can now recommend at least one podcast if and when someone asks me in the future.

    All this is not to announce an RFM podcast (although that would be cool!) or an RFM expansion into new markets (but that would be awesome, too – if I started, say, Honolulu Family Magazine, I’m sure I would need to go scout out the area, right?). What I asked my Facebook friends after they offered up so many podcast options was, “When do you listen to these?” The answers were mostly in the car and when doing mundane tasks, like vacuuming or weeding or washing dishes.

    With so much information coming at us from so many different directions 24/7, I’m left to wonder, When are we ever alone with our thoughts anymore? For me, I do my best thinking in the shower. While I was driving around three tween boys the other day, I posed the question, “When do you do your best thinking?” “When I’m pooping!” one said right away, followed by laughter and nods of agreement from the others. “When I’m laying in bed,” another chimed in. “In the shower,” my son added. “What do these things have in common?” I asked. “You’re alone with your thoughts,” they all agreed.

    So with today’s assortment of waterproof speakers, devices attached to hands at all times, and insomnia that leads to endless late-night social media surfing, I challenge myself and all of you (as soon as we finish reading another fabulous issue of RFM) to spend some time alone with your thoughts. I’ll bet we’ll all be amazed by the thoughts we’ll think up!

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    Margaret Thompson
    Margaret Thompson never thought she’d be a business owner (or a mom for that matter!), but after realizing a need for a high quality, content-focused magazine for Richmond area families, she dove in! With twenty years of marketing and project management under her belt, she pulls all of the pieces together each month to get RFM out to our eager readers. Mom of two young boys, Margaret and her husband Chris live in Hanover County.