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Surviving Divorce: Tips & Tricks from Sarah Armstrong’s book on the Koolers Lifestyle Podcast #47

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00:00:00 Sarah Armstrong
And I actually had a woman stop me at, I was in the produce section at the grocery store right after I wrote my book. And I had. And she said she stopped and she was Are you Sarah? I’m strong, the author. And I stopped. And I was like, I guess I am because again, I hadn’t ever blessed it. Write a book and become an author. And she said, well, I was at your book signing a Barnes and Noble and I’m going to divorce. And I always, it’s always a I always said so sorry to hear. She said, well, I want to let you know that I carry your book with me everywhere and it keeps me calm. And she said thank you for writing it. And so I will thank you so much for sharing that. And she walked away, Matt and I just looked at the swelling that I don’t know and thought that’s why with this book to help someone that I don’t know and a really difficult time in life to give them some guidance that hopefully makes some call. So it was a special so. If anyone wants to connect with me on my website is gooddivorce dot guide and it has my contact in.

00:01:01 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Welcome to the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kuehlhorn, and I’m excited to have you join me as I interview community members and business leaders from the communities in which I live, work and serve through my business Kooler garage doors. We’re going to bring you highlights on characters in our communities. Why? Because community matters, and I want to know more about who is behind our business and leadership in order to understand and support the community fabric that our relationships make up. And collectively, we can build stronger communities that support our lifestyles, our youth and our health. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kuehlhorn. Today I get to sit down with Sarah Armstrong, who is the author of The Mom’s Guide to a Good Divorce. I’m very excited to talk with you. Sarah and I understand you’re from San Francisco currently, and I appreciate your time.

00:02:02 Sarah Armstrong
Great to be here with you now.

00:02:05 Matthew Kuehlhorn
So we’re going to get into your book in a little bit, but let’s first build out the context and. Tell us, where did you grow up?

00:02:14 Sarah Armstrong
So I grew up, actually in Michigan. I’m from the Midwest. And I was there and then actually headed E to school, went to Georgetown under Gut, played volleyball back in the day. I joked when I could run and jump, which was a long time ago. And then and then I headed South. Oh, sorry. I headed to Chicago, spent about five years in Chicago working for Leo Burnett, which is that. And. Advertising agency. And then I headed South to Atlanta where which worked for the Cocacola Company for 20 years and then left there to join McKinsey, which is a consulting firm for a number of years and then join Google actually three years ago to head up the marketing operations globally. So the irony with this book which we’ll talk about is, you know, I’m in the corporate world of marketing. I did never intend to write a book. So, but my path is taking all over the country and I’m happily now living in San Francisco on it. And it’s it’s been a fun journey on that. And then I do have a daughter, Grace, who was seven when I got divorced 2321 this fall, Matt, which is crazy. I can’t believe I’ve been old enough to have a 21 year old. It’s amazing. And she’s actually at Seattle University and she’s studying forensic science and creative writings and hetches and Kaba. So she’s in her. Fun stage of life with all that’s going on, yeah. So we’re we’ve had a fun time, yeah.

00:03:39 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Very cool. I have to ask, what part of Michigan do you grow up in?

00:03:43 Sarah Armstrong
The Detroit area. The Detroit Birmingham, right?

00:03:46 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Outside of Detroit? Yeah, right on. So I was rooted in Chicago till I was 11. Family moved. We moved up to Traverse City, MI which was an 11 year old, I don’t know, dream switch.

00:03:56 Sarah Armstrong
Wow. I was about to. It was a beautiful place to grow, yeah.

00:03:58 Matthew Kuehlhorn
It was idyllic for sure. And there’s a.

00:04:03 Sarah Armstrong
Lot of people that have found that don’t know it’s one of the prettiest places to suspect the summer.

00:04:07 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Truth Truth Summer is the keyword there.

00:04:10 Sarah Armstrong
Yeah, exactly.

00:04:13 Matthew Kuehlhorn
The reason I’m out in Colorado now is because of sunshine in the winter, which northern Michigan does not really help.

00:04:20 Sarah Armstrong
This is true. This is true. That’s why we’re both no longer in Michigan.

00:04:23 Matthew Kuehlhorn
That’s right. Did you study marketing in school? Is that what you went?

00:04:28 Sarah Armstrong
I actually did, which is itching. A lot of people don’t follow the path of what they studied, but they did study marketing early, early on and decided that was what I wanted to go into. Now I’m very specific. I got very and specialized in their marketing into their marketing operations, which is almost the behind the scenes of how marketing gets done. Yeah.

00:04:46 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Love that. Well, let’s dive into into the book. So the mom’s guy do a good divorce. How long ago did you write it and where did it come from?

00:04:56 Sarah Armstrong
That’s a great question. So I wrote it. I’ve actually wrote it and published it over a couple couple of years and then it came out into the world of 2016 and then right before the pandemic, actually I re I updated. It was a new topic. So in 20 January 2020 I I put another version out into the world. And it’s interesting, Matt, because I always like to start with the fact that I was raised by an amazing. Couple, we’re still happily married. They’re celebrating the 55th wedding anniversary this year, and they’re an example of a true partnership for marriage. And so, you know, just for the record, I’m actually not an advocate for divorce. In an ideal world, couples that get married would happily stay together for the long term. And unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, you know, And these days, it’s more common than ever. And so my journey started, you know, we we decided to get divorced with Grace was 7. And as I we went through that process we we got a divorce. And over the years since my divorce had a number of girlfriends who would come to be and asked me to help to help them think through the details of of their divorce. And you know, I always joked that the girl who never ever thought she would get a divorce, I kind of became the poster child for a good divorce And so after helping my friends. Through this challenging time in life, they would really encourage me to write down the guidance and say that I should write a book. And I’d laugh and he’d say that’s probably not happening. I just wasn’t. It wasn’t on my bucket list of things to do in my life. And I was actually to business dinner in Mexico City with a group of Latin colleagues. And when my colleagues turned to me and he said, Sarah, he goes, you’re so happy. And I said, well, yeah, And he said, but you’re divorced. And I looked to him and I said, well, someone getting a divorce is not a death sentence. My exhusband and I decided to not love being hairy to each other. Like, I’m happy, Grace is happy, Mex husband’s happy, but we’re all really happy. And I explained to him that a number of my girlfriend, I’ve been helping them, you know, through their process and that they were encouraging to write a book. And he goes, well, you should really write that. And I said no, no, no. And so the next morning, leaving Mexico City, I opened my laptop. And I wrote one line that said this book was written by a girl who never, ever thought she would get a divorce, who got a divorce and what she lived along the way. And then I wrote about 90% of the book on Delta as I traveled internationally for my job over the course of the year or two. And, you know, I didn’t know if I’d ever publish it. But I opened it one day on a flight out to California. And I looked at the file and I said, are you going to just be a file on my laptop? I’m going to do something with you. So. I focused on it and I ended up publishing it in 2016.

00:07:45 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Love it.

00:07:46 Luke Hylton
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00:08:25 Matthew Kuehlhorn
And that’s when I’ve looked through your book. What I gleaned was a lot of really practical advice and. I would probably point it towards really being mindful of a child’s experience. Does that resonate? Is that?

00:08:47 Sarah Armstrong
Absolutely, absolutely, yeah. The whole book is focused, Matt, on, you know, it’s it’s good. The subtitle, it says the mom’s Guide to a Good Divorce, What to Think to and children are involved. And so the whole focus of the book is if you have kids and you’re going through this process, keeping your kids in focus. Every step of the way, with every decision you’re making. And the interesting thing is that Grace, my daughter’s actually the one who coined the term Good divorce with me, hit her and it was a really poignant moment for me. Was about a year after her divorce, she was 8 and we’re standing at the CVS checking out and there was a People magazine on this, the newsstand, like right about the checkout. And there’s a celebrity couple getting a divorce. And she looked at me and she goes, Mommy. Is this a good? Is that a good divorce or a bad divorce? And I said, Grace, I don’t know what’s it, What’s the difference between a good divorce and bad divorce? She goes, well, good divorces when the mommy and daddy are nice to each other like you and daddy and a bad divorce is when they scream and yell at each other. And I said, well, Grace, it’s hard to tell what type of divorce that is from a magazine cover. But as I walked out of a CVS that day, Matt, I thought, whatever my exhusband and I were doing. You know, we were doing something right to use right in air quotes. And also I have to say, because my parents are so happily married over the years. But I did watch a lot of really ugly divorces growing up amongst their friend group. And it’s set a tone of a mental model for me of what divorce looks like right in in society. And I don’t think there’s enough good conversation about the topic of having a good divorce because most people have that mental model. Of the negative bitter divorces. And so one of my goals, all of this, I wrote the book, but it’s probably a broader goal that I’ve, I’ve come to realize is to help ship societal perception that if you’re going to have to go through the wars, that that’s where you are. You have children involved. That having a good divorce of the detainable outcome because it’s all about what’s best for your children and making sure that they’re not collateral damage, but honestly due to the divorce. And so that’s just so fundamental. And So what I think this book is about and you know I, I, I say that when we bring children into the world, you know we we make a promise to them that we’re going to raise them in the healthiest, happiest and safe environment if it’s safe. It’s a vibrant positive, right. And I joke that we like cover the plugs and we put by comments on them and we feed them organic milk and we do all these things but then the toxicity. That can come from a divorce can have longterm impact on the children’s approach to relationships, their views on marriage, and actually their overall happiness and life. So I think we know parents need to take the concept and the responsible coparenting very seriously if you’re going through a divorce, because it is one of the foundational things, that’s going to set the path for both not only yourself but for your children’s lives. And I just think it’s selfward.

00:11:53 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I fully agree with that. And this next question is starting to lead swords. Some of the practicality that I want to extract in our conversation. But when we’re talking about it, a good divorce for, you know, the children. How transparent would you recommend or were you with grace in communicating what was happening? And I’ll add a little bit of context and then let you answer that because I want to know like. I think it’s hard for folks to talk about uncomfortable things. And and this alone might be reasons why some relationships separate because people don’t come to the table and fully get into the arena. But in my experience, you know, my parents divorced when I was in 7th grade. I was 13. It blindsided me, like I had no idea. I just thought I was living in a dreamlike realm and my folks were great and I’d see other. Friends, you know, experiencing and complaining about divorces. And I would remember literally thinking to myself, man, I’m so glad I don’t have to go through this. And then it was just out of the blue. My parents set my sister and I down and I was like, it shocked me, right? And that that even had its own little piece for my journey to unravel over time. But there wasn’t any conversation. So I’m wondering, is there a line of? Like over communicating or certainly there is under communicating. How would how would you guide folks in that arena?

00:13:24 Sarah Armstrong
It’s a really interesting question, Matt, and it’s a tough one to figure out. What is it? First of all, I think it it, it depends in the age of the children, you know, what you’re sharing. It depends on what’s happened. I generally say that, you know, first of all, people don’t get married to get divorced, right. And people. Couples generally don’t get divorced for positive reasons. There’s usually some type of trigger, but children don’t get to decide that their parents are going through it through that decision process. And and your point about when do you bring them in is really important because part of it is there’s a part of wanting to protect your children right from some look, maybe you know what caused that decision and then there’s some argument to be made to share enough so that they can. Go down the path and it not have it be such a shock to the system and I it it is a really it’s a really tough question I don’t have a perfect answer for you on that. I think it really is so circumstantial of the situation of the divorce age of children what they could handle you know when we sat again when we sat grace down at 7:00 we we explained to her but again 7 is different than 7th grade in terms of you were 12 or 13 probably and you know we shared that we work and we living in separate homes and. And you know, the itchy thing at that age is that we shared this news with Grace and at the end of it she processed it. But it was, I don’t know that it fully processed for her what we were saying. And then she was, so can I go upstairs and play in my room now? I’m like sure. So it was again a different age and it probably came as a shock because we weren’t showing any signs to her of what was coming. But I think it is very age dependent.

00:15:10 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I would agree with that. A lot of relativity in there in yeah, certainly an interesting conversation to bring up and and move through and then it is something that doesn’t need to end and I think for anybody listening I think just engaging and it even being aware of the conversation is an important component.

00:15:33 Sarah Armstrong
It is. It is.

00:15:34 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Because that does impact everybody. What? What are some other practical? Pieces that you have listed in your book for for folks anybody listening that might be experiencing.

00:15:47 Sarah Armstrong
You know, I have a couple that I think are are important to reflect on. One of the most pivotal moments for me in our process was we actually were going to have Gracie, a child specialist, before or after we told her we were divorced. And when we went to sit down with him before that, just to be as a couple with him, he looked at me and he goes, Sir, do you travel? And I said, yeah, I travel internationally for my child. And you look to my exhusband and he said, do you travel? And said, yeah, I travel domestic. And he said, well, Grace is about to become a professional traveler. She’s going to travel every week for the next 11 years until she heads off to college. And I burst into tears, burst into tears, and he said she’s going to have to pack a bag. And she, he went into all these things. And I walked out of that session and I looked at my exhusband and I said. I want to do everything they can to reduce Grace, feeling like she’s a professional traveler. But every week and is exhausting to think about. It just breaks my heart like I just was. So we talked about what that would look like. Now, I do appreciate there’s some socioeconomic considerations of what I’m going to share, but what we tried to do is we tried to have the basics, and I put that in her quotes and in both homes. So socks, you know, a couple pairs of jeans, a, you know, tennis shoes. Tshirts, shorts, that type of thing. And so that when Grace went to school and then when she went to either mom or dad’s house afterwards, she didn’t have to carry an extra bag to go to mom or dad’s house because she already had her backpack. She was already carrying one bag. Why was she, why does she have to be the kid that had that extra bag everywhere? And I didn’t want that for her. We didn’t want that for her. So we made, we tried to set a goal. Never packing bag. Now there’s times when there’s special things that. You know, are not going to be able to be in both homes and they have to travel with her. But we really made an effort. And then The funny thing is I can give a moment of levity in that comment is, you know, things would get out of balance if somehow all the socks ended up at one house and never know how that happened. They literally still didn’t say like how did they end the fall one out. So but we would have what I’d call rebalancing moments where I checked my ex-husband and say I think we need to rebalance. I don’t have any socks here so but the important part there is it wasn’t for Grace to go rebalance her clothes. Her items, you know she didn’t choose to live across too, right? We we did that for her and then we would carry it and hand it to the other parent and be like here, here’s the stack of stuff. And that was important because again, it’s all about these There’s all these moments in a lot of this that I talk about my book are they’re they’re very small moments that add up and to like what your child’s life looks like and making sure that. They’re not feeling like they’re the ones cuz clients see a lot of times they’re the ones that have the most impact after this divorce cuz they are literally the ones going back between both homes and having two sets of things. So it’s just it’s just one to think about. So I call it prepare the professional traveler at some point is set of gold never packing with that now another one that was another moment that just really struck me is when I call minimize the gaps. And this really reflects on the environment your children are living in within within your home and and depending on the situation of course and sometimes you both move to different places. Sometimes one person keeps at home and the other moves And our situation I was keeping the house that we’ve been living in with and Grace was can obviously have her room there and then she my exhusband was going to get a separate place but we were going to divide up all of our household goods and. Artwork and furniture. And you know, we were splitting things 5050. And so, you know, every time I was thinking about why I’m going to have to take that piece of art down and I might not put another piece of art back up, I might put a mirror, but what I tried to do is not leave.

00:19:40 Matthew Kuehlhorn
A gap.

00:19:41 Sarah Armstrong
In in that environment and the amazing story that is when we actually had a long hallway of black and white family photos from both sides of our family that were multigeneration and. I realized I needed to have give my exhusband his photos. And so I took the time and there was some effort here to get other photos printed and put in frames. And I sent Grace down to a play date down the street. And then I took the photos of my exhusband, put them in a box, put other photos up, got it all cleaned up. And about an hour later, Grace came home. And I’m standing in the kitchen and I hear this little voice from the hallway say, hey Mommy and I’m like, what’s that, Grace? She said. The wall has changed. And it literally stopped in my tracks. And I said, well, what’s changed? She said there are more pictures of me up there. It looks great. And she ran upstairs and that I just stood there holding my breath and thought, Oh my gosh, like that was her take away that, you know, And she didn’t say all Daddy’s pictures have been taken down. Her reflection was, you know, I’m up there more. And but that was a moment. What I can tell you is if I hadn’t taken the time to reframe photos and put new photos up and all lying down is taking the photos down the road. Max has been put this in a box and left those little hangers throughout the wall, you know, and dispersed the memory Grace would have. And what she’d be talking to a therapist about years from now is like parents got divorced and my mom took all the photos but my father off the wall and left those little hangers.

00:21:16 Matthew Kuehlhorn
The questions bubbling up is. Are you developing the thoughts around this, like reflecting back? Is it based on child psychology and development and, you know, a child’s need for for certainty? Or is it more intuition of just trying to keep some consistency in the game? What’s what’s driving?

00:21:42 Sarah Armstrong
I would say the louder for me I was. I was just focused on what every at every turn. I was thinking and my ex-husband too is like what what How is this going to impact Chris? OK, now I knew it was going to impact us, but you know it. Again, we were making this decision. She was but everything that happened I was like how is this going to impact Grace down to you know she played soccer when she was younger. No, we both stood on the same side of the field and generally either next to each other or near each other. So if Grace is looking up she could see us both smiling, clappy. She didn’t need to look at both sides of the of the field. An example, you know so these things that. You know, are the the small moments, as I mentioned and the small things can add out so cumulatively to send a message to your children, you know, to their teachers, to your friends, to their, to their friends. You know, I had another. Again, I’ll share one more story. That’s just a moment. And they just had a stop as we the Graces in 6th grade. So we’re five years post divorce and we went to a current teacher conference and it graces school at this point that children go with the parents into the teacher conference and hear the comments. And so my exhusband and Grace and I go to his parent teacher conference and we’re in there for about an hour. And at the end of the discussion, the teacher looks at us and she says, wait a minute, are you too divorced? And I stopped. I said, well yeah, we got a divorce five years ago. She said, I had no idea. And I looked through. I said, it didn’t occur to me to tell you it didn’t occur to me to walk into the parent teacher conference for grades and 6th grades, like, so we’re divorced. Can we now talk about Grace’s education? And she said to me, she goes, you would be shocked it how few parents that are divorced can walk into this office and sit down for one hour with their child and have a conversation about their child’s education. It is very, very rare. And I said to her that. And she said it makes me very, very sad. And I said to her that makes me so sad because what’s more important? And two parents sitting down and hearing how their child is doing in school with their education. Now by the way, Grace is hearing this whole discussion and at 6th grade at an age where I think she could handle hearing the reflections. But again, those are those are these moments as parents are to say what’s best for our child. They should, they shouldn’t have to go to two parent teacher palaces, right? They shouldn’t have to go to one with both of you there. Or any in fairness to the teachers, the paper teachers are doing 2 grad teacher campuses for one family. So it’s just it’s again another example. But there’s all these moments in life when you’re raising a child where you can have a choice, you have a choice of how you’re going to handle it. And I I talk about taking the High Road in my book and sometimes say the High Road can be very steep some days, but the High Road is the right road to take because your children deserve it. They didn’t choose this and they really. Really deserve to live the most. And I say normal and hair quotes again, most normal life possible, even though they are living across two homes. So I don’t think any of the things I talk about in book are necessarily all the easiest path. They generally take effort, but but they’re doable and it’s so worth it for the sake of your children.

00:24:58 Matthew Kuehlhorn
The the perspective is is super mature and there’s a lot of emotional intelligence that goes into that walking those steep roads as you referenced. Can get really emotional and it’s in the emotional intelligence to kind of see the larger picture, look at it from our kids perspective where there. Yeah. Mentors or experiences, you know, in your life that helped you develop that emotional intelligence. Where does that, where does that come from?

00:25:30 Sarah Armstrong
Interesting. Well, again, I think I watched two amazing parents raise. Myself and I have two younger brothers and they were a model for me of being amazing parents and always, you know, you know, we were, we were just so loved and you know, it was just such a nurturing environment that I think for me, even though I was making a very counter decision to how my parents had chosen to live, I didn’t want to lose what I felt was so foundational to my childhood and and to growing up. So part of it was that I think, you know, how can I still? Give grace all that I thought she deserved. So it comes there. The other thing, Matt, that I’d said I learned over the years and I didn’t realize was such an important thing. As I talk in my book about developing A compartmentalization muscle, and I I joke that I do Pilates. So I focus on, you know, having the strong core muscle that a compartmentalization muscle is really about figuring out when emotionally are you meant to react to something. In the moment And when do you need to set it aside and still process that emotion that may be had in the moment, especially when your children are there. And I think that is one of the biggest things when you’re in a divorce and when emotions are high and button and buttons could be being pushed at any given moment about what you allow your children to see and the emotions you share or thoughts you share or that you know little side comments you might want to say. And so I talked about you know, building that compartmentalization muscles so that when you need it, it’s there for you and it’s it really is you have to practice it. And that I think is one of the most important things that that parents that are going to divorce can can reflect. By the way, I think a compartmentalization muscle has lots of lots of uses throughout life. But that would be the other piece of it for me was one was the goal of the life that I wanted grace to have regardless of the divorce and the other was how was I going to react? In the moment or in those moments when I might, you know, have a different emotion that I wanted her to see.

00:27:34 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yes. Yeah. What I hear in that is almost a little bit of like a Victor, Victor Frankel perspective where we have this experience, but we don’t have to react right away like we can Createspace. And if there’s a higher outcome that we’re after, whether it’s an environment for our children or a relationship in our professional lives, right, like that’s definitely applicable and just. Noting where that space can happen and not be as reactive and be more intentional.

00:28:04 Sarah Armstrong
It’s exactly, yeah, that’s there’s a lot of better being intentional. There’s a there’s a whole mindset of positive intent that I think even though again I always say getting divorced as an action, OK, you get divorced in generally in society. There’s a negative comment connotation to that action completely Appreciate that. Yeah, but. Every other decision around that, once you’ve decided you’re doing that, everything else you do, I want everyone to try to think about what’s the positive coming out of this, that you can then go and live your happier life your your children can still would be in a positive environment. It shouldn’t be this negative cloud that follows you and your children for the rest of their lives. You know, I I do say that I think sometimes society puts a scarlet letter and those individuals that get divorced and I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t think it’s right. And I think that we have to change that against societal perception. As I mentioned earlier, I actually went to the dentist recently and they were asking for, you know, all the information on the form and when you get to status, it said, you know, single, married, divorced and other. And I thought why do we need to tell my dentist that I’m.

00:29:13 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Divorced. Yeah, that is interesting.

00:29:15 Sarah Armstrong
I’m like, they’re cleaning my teeth, who like, who cares, Who cares? But but that’s an example of like, there’s all these small micro moments in your life. There’s reminding you, oh, by the way, you got divorced. Interesting. And I think for kids too, it’s like my parents are divorced. They have to. That’s something they have to share. My parents are divorced. But I always wanted Grace to say my parents are divorced. We’re really happy. And they basically always said I want to be. Grace will stay at the end of this. You know, when she looks back on her childhood, my parents did the best they could. You know, given the situation, they did the best they could. And so that’s, that’s been our goal.

00:29:50 Matthew Kuehlhorn
One thing I wanted to touch on Sarah, and then we’ll we’ll start wrapping this up, let people know where we can get a hold of your book and get a hold of you. But what I heard in in your discussion of keeping like the gaps, like that technique of of replacing the gaps to me resonates around identity and yes, humans, the environment really affects how we feel about ourselves, the identity, the beliefs that we have about ourselves. And so I just wanted to recognize that because keeping that consistency likely gave a solid foundation for Grace to just remain who she was and and give that consistency, give that foundation and the environment. And I think that is a really poignant piece to bring forward. You know, in my experience, when my folks divorced, my dad moved out, which created a couple of different things like 1. My mom was more of the the business, like I was at her house for school and then I’d go to dad’s house on the weekend and kind of party and play right. And so just that dynamic alone was interesting. But then anytime I was at my dad’s place, like I was the traveler. I was just hanging out for a few nights and didn’t have my thing. So it gave some insecurity around my identity.

00:31:10 Sarah Armstrong
Really. Yeah.

00:31:13 Matthew Kuehlhorn
And I would, I would imagine there’s got to be like. Good science and child psychiatry and could probably go deeper.

00:31:19 Sarah Armstrong
And sure there is. Yeah. No, it’s it’s so interesting to reflect on. You know, I will share one really interesting moment at, you know, through the journey with Grace. And it was right as she was getting ready to head off to college and it was the summer before, so August about two months ago and she came home one day from her dad’s and she said mom. And I’m working on thinking about what I’m going to take to college and I’m calling it the great consolidation, I said. Why is that? She’s what’ll be the first time in 11 years where all of my stuff is in one place and it. And I had him on my I said oh Grace, you know. And she by the way, Matt she never once complained. Never in 11 years. She never once complained about living across two homes. Never once said, I mean she was amazing but I said, Grace, I am so happy that you finally get to have all of your stuff in one place. You so deserve that And so I do think kind of to your point about it does you know, even though I think we’ve done the best we can. They’re going to be things that are you know race for fucked out down the road that we’re due to the divorce and you know there’s going to be aspects of why she chooses to live her life she chooses moving forward that may be from that you know and but it was a moment where I thought wow you know even though I think we did all you know best we could and and we we tried to manage both the gaps and not packing a bag all those things there. There’s still you know there’s stuff that things have to to process.

00:32:41 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Absolutely. I appreciate the the perspective and really the thinking outside of oneself, right? That’s also another maturity type of perspective. And for the listeners, where do we, where are we able to track down your book? How can people reach out and connect and learn more?

00:32:56 Sarah Armstrong
Yeah, happy to share. So the month’s guy do a good divorce. It’s available on Amazon. And it’s actually available in paperback. I’m on a ebook Kindle, Nook combination. And then it’s also I went into the studio during the Pandemic, I did Audible version, so it’s also available on Audible. And the one thing I’ll say not about the book is it’s it’s written in these bite sized pieces. So there’s about 185 topics, but there’s just a topic per page. So it brought it and it might might go into two pages, but it might be a paragraph, it might be a page. And it’s and it’s broken into 3 phases, preparing for the change during the change and post the change. And it’s also not meant to be red cover to cover because when you’re going through a divorce, there’s so much coming at you and you you’re only able to take in so much and process so much. And actually I was given a number of books during my divorce and they were thick and dense and I opened them and I closed them and literally never touched them, didn’t read them. And so I wrote this book very intentionally to be something that could be consumed. Why do you need that topic that you might long reflect on and you can even the the way the table contents laid out you can really look for that topic and look go to that page and and check it out. But it was written with that kind of mindset and mind and I actually had a woman stop me at. I was in the produce section at the grocery store right after I wrote my book and I had and she said she stopped and she was are you Sarah. I’m strong the author and I stopped and I was like. I guess I am because again, I hadn’t ever blessed to write a book and become an author. And she said, well, I was at your book signing A Farms and Noble and I’m going to divorce. And I always, it’s always a I always said so sorry to hear. She said, well, I want to let you know that I carry your book with me everywhere and it keeps me calm. And she said thank you for writing it. And so I will thank you so much for sharing that. And she walked away, Matt and I just looked at the swelling that I don’t know and thought that’s why with this book. To help someone that I don’t know and a really difficult time in life to give them some guidance that hopefully make some call. So it was a special so if anyone wants to connect with me on my website is good divorce dot guide and it has my contact information. You can buy the book from there. It has some other little background points around the journey of writing this book so if please reach out.

00:35:24 Matthew Kuehlhorn
We will include your website and a link to your book and our show notes, Sarah and. You know, I have to say that I again really appreciate the mature perspective, the thinking and that mindset of thinking outside oneself, right? Like that is sometimes challenging to do, especially with emotional roller coasters and, you know, just being human. But I want to give a shout out to you and and appreciate that, and I really appreciate your time today and and the insights that you’ve offered and and the book that you’ve written.

00:35:59 Sarah Armstrong
Matt, thank you so much for having me on and I do hope those that are listening can reflect on this and and and consider the fact that wherever you are in your journey that a good divorce can be entertainable outcome. But it does take effort and a lot of patience but it is so worth it for your children. So thank you so much for having me.

00:36:17 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Absolutely. Thank you. We’ll talk ladies and gentlemen. Thank you so much for listening to the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. We count on your subscriptions, your likes, your shares. And I encourage you to do that now. If you’re watching on YouTube, go ahead and subscribe. Lower right hand button. If you’re on audio, download this, share it, And we look forward to having you on the next one.