Questions for Reflection
Each episode we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. Our supporters over at Buy Me a Coffee now have exclusive access to the PDF versions of all our Questions for Reflection. Join us today!
Beth Demme (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars Podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:05):
Where we have honest conversations about things that make us different. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:09):
And I'm Beth.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:10):
I've been in recovery for 14 years and am the author of Discovering My Scars, my memoir about my mental health struggles, experiences and faith.
Beth Demme (00:16):
I'm a lawyer turned pastor who's all about self awareness and emotional health because I know what it's like to have neither of those things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:23):
Beth and I have been friends for years, have gone through a recovery program together. And when I wanted to start a podcast, she was the only name that came to mind as co-host.
Beth Demme (00:33):
So many years. So many years. I didn't hesitate to say yes because I've learned a lot from honest conversations with Steph over the years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:41):
We value honest conversations and we hope you do too.
Beth Demme (00:43):
That's why we do this and why we want you to be part of what we're discussing today. On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled, Is This The New Normal? Reflecting on 2020.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:54):
Then we'll share a slice of life and the show will close with questions for reflection. Where we invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:01):
That is our topic. But I also want to mention we're doing another topic today that I have actually put on our topic list and Beth...
Beth Demme (01:10):
And I keep deleting it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:12):
Beth deleted it. But one of the conversations ... The one thing I was just curious about was a topic called, Can Alcohol Help or Hurt a Conversation? And I just thought that was an interesting concept yet we couldn't figure out how to fill that episode. So because today is about reflecting on 2020, we thought we'd do a little celebrating. So we have some mimosas to enjoy between our plexiglass screen here.
Beth Demme (01:36):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:37):
We are cheersing.
Beth Demme (01:38):
I think it's called toasting. Not cheersing. We're toasting.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:43):
Wait, what'd you say, you said we're cheersing.
Beth Demme (01:45):
I think it's called toasting we're toasting.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:49):
Then you say cheers after you toast, right?
Beth Demme (01:51):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:52):
So I would just cut out the middleman.
Beth Demme (01:56):
So I think what we can tell from this is that we started the mimosas before we started recording. And also it does not help.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:06):
We'll find out at the end of the episode. Also, I do want to preface this by saying neither of us drink often and we don't have an issue with alcohol. I can not remember the last time I drank, but I do enjoy a good mimosa every now and then.
Beth Demme (02:20):
And we record in the mornings. And so a mimosa is a perfectly appropriate beverage.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:25):
Yes. So it is five o'clock somewhere, but not right now. And so it's mimosa time.
Beth Demme (02:30):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:32):
Let's get into it. We're at the end of the year, we're getting into 2021. But before that, we want to reflect. So I think the first question is something that you say that you do at your dinner table when your kids are not speaking to you is ...
Beth Demme (02:48):
Yeah, we do a thing at our family dinner table called high-low. So if my kids are being especially quiet or reserved, I will say, "Hey! Hannah, what was your high-low today?" So what was like the best part of your day? What was the lowest part of your day? And actually, I got that idea from Melissa who sometimes listens to the podcast. So Melissa, if you're listening, I just want to say thanks. Because this is one of the many lessons that you taught that I've continued to carry out in my family. So yeah, we'll play high-low. So Stephanie, what is a high from this year and what is a low from this year?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:22):
Wow, well, that's like starting out really large with that question there, Beth. High and low from 2020, let me think back to 2020. I think a high is my book actually officially came out this year.
Beth Demme (03:36):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:36):
So, that was pretty cool. That was exciting. My copyright year is 2020, and I'm not mad about that. I'm not like, "Oh my gosh." So I would say that was a high and also kind of a high and a low, which is kind of interesting, is the first week of March, I went to Nashville to do an event for my book and it was cool. I got to meet other authors and do some training and it was a really neat event. But during that time, we've talked about this on a previous episode, during that time is when the world started shutting down and I was in Nashville and Disney closed Broadway closed, things that never close, closed.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:13):
So that was also low because that was probably one of the biggest, scary moments of my life was realizing that I was not home. And that was when we didn't know really how the virus spread completely. Just like, you touch a handle and you're going to die. What? The door handle will kill me. You know, it was like one of those things we just had no information. And so, I would say that was a high and a low.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:39):
And I think another high and a low was both my grandparents on my mom's side, or my mom's parents, passed away this year. Which is definitely a low, I mean, anytime someone passes away, it's a bummer. But it was also a high because right before my pop who passed away right before the pandemic, actually, we got to go down and see him. We had no idea that that was going to be our last trip with him. We had no idea the pandemic was happening.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:03):
And then my grandmother, we got to take care of her for a week. And two weeks later she passed away. So that is also a high and low. So I think, I don't know, I feel like this year kind of taught me that not everything is a low, not everything is a high, like you can look at things ... To look at things in different ways than I than maybe I have in the past. How about you, Beth?
Beth Demme (05:26):
Well, I definitely want to affirm what you just said, which is that life is definitely a mixture of highs and lows. The same thing that is, that feels like a valley, in retrospect, we can see it as more of that mountain-top type experience. And so for me, one of the lows is that we've not been able to gather for in-person worship and yet, there is also a high from that. And that's that my ability to create things has developed some more. Graphics and I've gotten to do some video production. And I've learned a lot about how not to do audio production, I've learned a lot about that especially in preparation for Christmas. I had to do many things for Advent twice, which has been super fun. All because of my own mistakes. So I would say that the low is that we haven't been able to gather in person, but the high is that I have learned some new skills along the way.
Beth Demme (06:20):
And a low is that, my family, we didn't get to take our incredible spring break trip that I had planned. And it was supposed to be like our last spring break because it was my son's senior year in high school. But we actually have had a lot of good family time this year because we're not running in so many different directions. So again, a low, but there is kind of a companion high. I think that overall, when I think about highs and lows, I've been really fortunate that COVID has touched my life in that I've lost friends, or I have friends who've lost parents or other relatives, but no one in my nuclear or extended family has come down with the virus or been impacted in that way by it. So I know that that makes us fortunate.
Beth Demme (07:13):
So when you think about your highs and lows from 2020, when you think about the year, is there a hard lesson that you're really glad you learned this year?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:23):
I think the hardest thing I learned this year, although I don't know if I'm glad I learned it, but I think it was necessary to learn, is that I think I felt like people really cared about other people. I feel like that was a thing, like a universal thing, we cared about other people. And I feel like this year has really taught me how much of a divide there is and how really selfish people are. And it's really shown a light on it in the sense of when people don't wear a mask, when people get COVID and then go out in public. And it's really been polarizing and I can sit here and berate and get mad at those people, but what it really shows me is it makes me reflect on how do I show love for other people? How do I ... What's the best way to do that? How do I make that clear that I do care about other people while caring about myself?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:16):
I mean, I don't think it's a bad thing. I think it's important that we care and love for ourselves, for sure. But I think it's not exclusive. I don't think you can't do one without ... I think you can do both. I think you can love yourself and love your neighbor at the same time.
Beth Demme (08:31):
I think the hardest lesson that I'm glad I learned this year would probably be related to Black Lives Matter, and really beginning to come to terms with some of the racist ideas that I couldn't articulate a year ago, but that I know are ideas that I had that were wrong, that I have needed to address and that I have needed to remedy. So that has been hard, but I'm glad for the progress with that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:00):
Oh yeah. I'm going to take my back and I'm going to ditto that because I completely agree. I think that was such a hard lesson to go through, is realizing that I'm racist and I can't be just not racist. I have to be anti-racist.
Beth Demme (09:16):
Yup. Like Dr. Kennedy says, if you're not anti-racist, what are you?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:19):
Yeah. And listening and learning and seeing what my part is in racism and stopping it. So yeah, I'm going to ditto that one on you, Beth.
Beth Demme (09:30):
Yeah. That's something that I know will be an ongoing work for me and for you, for all of us really to continue unpacking our own ideas and to continue to move forward in our work as anti-racists. That'll be something that I would want to continue from 2020.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:49):
Yeah. Well actually I think that's a good question. When we think of 2020, I think a lot of people just like, "I want to get past it." But are there things that have happened in 2020 that you want to keep doing after 2020 happens? And things that you do want to let go and just stay with 2020?
Beth Demme (10:07):
I feel like in many ways my family life has slowed down. We just have a different pace now. And I think it's a healthier pace. So I hope that we can keep some of that, but there is also a sense in which the pace of work has been not okay. Because we've had to do, as I mentioned, we're not meeting in person, so it requires a lot of production and, and that has created a lot of volume of work. So I would want to let go of some of that.
Beth Demme (10:40):
And also, I would say that the self-awareness, and that is realizing that sometimes I have felt like I needed to produce things because I felt like I needed to be productive rather than this needs to be produced because it is something the congregation needs or the folks who read my blog need it. Understanding what am I doing, just trying to make myself feel valued or valuable. And what am I producing that's actually valuable. How about you? Is there something that you want to keep and something you want to let go of?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:14):
Well, as a society, I hope something that we keep is staying freaking home when we're sick. I think that we have not valued the importance of staying home when you're sick and not getting other people sick. People go to work as a badge of honor, like, "I'm going to work through this," and then get other people sick.
Beth Demme (11:36):
Yeah, it's true. "I'm so strong. I'm so tough. I'm going to power through this."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:42):
But I'm wondering, when we look back in 5 to 10 years and at 2020, what are you going to remember the most, do you think Beth?
Beth Demme (11:50):
I'm afraid that I'm going to remember the conflict. That there was this conflict between folks who believed that masks were helpful, and folks who did not believe that masks made a difference. Or I'm worried that I'll remember the political conflict between those who ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:10):
Well, I mean, it's been a heightened year of politics.
Beth Demme (12:12):
It has. I mean, every election year, I guess.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:14):
Yes. Because it's an election year.
Beth Demme (12:16):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:17):
It's interesting, because when I think about it, I think will our even remember the politics? Will I remember the craziness of the election? Will I remember the junk that we had to endure? And I don't know. I think I will remember 2020. There's certain years, I can't tell you what happened in that year. Especially the older you get the more you're like, "I have no idea. I have to look it up to see pictures for that year."
Beth Demme (12:41):
It's what Google's for.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:43):
Exactly. But I think 2020 will be ingrained in all of our heads. It will be a year that we will remember. I think the first thing I remember is, "Oh, that was the year of the pandemic. That was the year that everything changed."
Beth Demme (12:55):
You mean the first thing you will think of when you think of 2020, won't be, "That's the year the president got impeached. I remember that." You don't think that'll be the first thing that comes to mind?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:04):
I don't think I'll remember that. Yeah. I think if I think of anything politically, I'll say, "That's the year Biden was elected president." That's what I remember.
Beth Demme (13:13):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:14):
Beth Demme (13:14):
Senator Kamala Harris.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:16):
Kamala Harris. I'm so excited about that.
Beth Demme (13:17):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:18):
Yeah. I think I remember, "Wow. That was the year." For example, when you think of September 11th, 2001?
Beth Demme (13:24):
I remember where I was when I found out that there were planes flying themselves into the world trade center towers.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:31):
And I remember the same thing. I can picture it. I was in culinary arts class in high school. And I remember just the whole day we were watching the news. And I remember that was when everything changed in my life, my comfort, my outlook of life, everything changed. So I think that's the same thing for 2020. I won't remember the details of the minute things and the super frustrating things. I think I'll just overall, remember the year the pandemic, the year things changed, and my outlook changed.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:02):
But in 5 to 10 years, I feel like we'll be in a completely different place. And I'll probably remember it as, "Oh, that's the year everything changed and now we're living that change." And I'm hopeful that that will be ... We'll be in an even better place in 5 to 10 years. So it won't be something where it's like, "Oh, 2020." It will be like, "Oh yeah. That's when everything started."
Beth Demme (14:24):
Yeah, I hope that you're right. I worry that my tendency will be to remember the things that I've missed out on. That I'll, "Oh yeah. 2020 was a year that my son graduated from high school and he didn't get a regular graduation ceremony." Or "2020, that was the year that I graduated from seminary and had no graduation ceremony." I don't ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:42):
I will always be able to look back and say, "2020, that's the year I got Tosh."
Beth Demme (14:46):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:47):
My puppy, my Greyhound, that's right here with me right now. So that an exciting thing. That's something I will not forget.
Beth Demme (14:53):
And like you said, your book was published in 2020, that's amazing. That's a fantastic thing to celebrate and to remember going forward.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:00):
Yeah. It's a year to remember for sure. I think if anything, 2020 will be year to remember, whether it's positive or negative or both. I don't think any of us will be like, "Huh, 2020, what happened that year?"
Beth Demme (15:11):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:12):
I don't think that will be a problem.
Beth Demme (15:14):
Well, this year actually it'll be a couple of days before this episode releases, will be my 25th wedding anniversary. Stephen and I will have been married.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:22):
Beth Demme (15:23):
Thank you--for twenty-five years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:23):
That's a big number.
Beth Demme (15:24):
And we did a time capsule when we got married in 1995. And so we have it, I thought that we had lost it in one of the moves, but we found it. Well, he found it, my husband found it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:36):
You should open it on the podcast.
Beth Demme (15:37):
So we're going to open it next Wednesday on our anniversary.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:41):
On the podcast?
Beth Demme (15:42):
Not on the podcast. But it's really odd because we were both surprised at how heavy the tin itself is.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:49):
Probably has a VHS player in it.
Beth Demme (15:51):
Maybe it does have a tape in it. It's like an oversized Charles Chips can. I don't know if you're familiar with those.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:57):
Beth Demme (15:57):
But this is like a tall, sort of skinnier one of those and it's surprisingly heavy. But my point is that in 1995, when I thought about the year 2020, it sounded forever away, forever in the future. We're going to have flying cars, people will be able to teleport or whatever. And now, here we are. So ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:19):
No flying cars.
Beth Demme (16:20):
No flying cars still. Still, come on Jetson's. What are you waiting for?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:23):
Not even self-driving cars.
Beth Demme (16:26):
We're close on that though.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:28):
But are you, do you have one?
Beth Demme (16:30):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:30):
Beth Demme (16:31):
So have you ... When you think about 2020, and we've talked about the mask debate and the pandemic and how it's affected the year, and we've talked about Black Lives Matter, and the fact that it was an election year. When you think about all that, have you lost family or friends or connections in all of this mess that is 2020? That has been 2020 so far?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:53):
Yeah, one of the things I mentioned was my grandparents passed away this year and we didn't go to their funerals because it just was my pop who passed away in May, which was when the lockdown was still happening. And then my grandmother passed away in August. And like I said, we had just seen her and I see a funeral as for the survivors, not even really for the ones that have passed away. So I had had that time with her and didn't feel like I needed to be at the funeral. And it just was unsafe, we hadn't been traveling in May, we definitely weren't traveling. And so we did not go to those funerals.
Beth Demme (17:27):
But a lot of people didn't even have funerals this year for those reasons.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:30):
Yeah. And they did have funerals and a lot of my family did go to those funerals. And there's been a lot of family members that are kind of not taking the pandemic as serious as me and my mom are. And it's frustrating and sad to see because they will ... Certain things they'll say and attitudes they will have towards us. I actually had ... A cousin actually wrote something very, very vicious to me on Facebook. And I deleted it pretty quickly because it was no need to have that in such a public forum. If she really cared and wanted to have conversation, she could have messaged me on any messaging, private messaging app, no problem. But so it was just basically kind of a personal attack for no reason. And that was really ... That was hard because me and my mom has just been very ... Trying to be as safe as we can, been following the CDC guidelines, been watching the news, been doing everything we can to keep ourselves and other people safe and taking it all very serious. And a lot of my family's not kind of in that same boat.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:39):
And so I do feel like there's going to be a lot of fallout from this year. Obviously we're not seeing family. So we haven't really had kind of hashed it out. So I don't know what it's going to look like after this year when we can get back to seeing people in person, what that's going to look like. But I do feel it's going to cause a divide that I don't know if it's repairable, how that's going to look. So it's been hard. That's been definitely a huge struggle to have this thing that we all are seeing differently on. And having people kind of judge us remotely.
Beth Demme (19:18):
And not respect your decisions.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:21):
Yeah. And to not listen to ... Them themselves listen to the CDC and listen to the how many people are dying, how many people are getting sick, those things that are very clear and there's no debating on the facts of those things. But how, if there's a fact, there's going to be two sides of it. Even though it's literally a fact there's going to be a side that's like, "That's a lie. That's a conspiracy. Aliens created that."
Beth Demme (19:53):
We did not land on the moon.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:54):
Yes. Oh yeah, we did an episode about that.
Beth Demme (19:57):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:58):
I'm pretty 90% sure we did now.
Beth Demme (19:59):
Yeah, I'm 100% sure we did.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:01):
I'm 90% sure.
Beth Demme (20:02):
So between the two of us that averages out to something pretty high.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:05):
Beth Demme (20:06):
95 or something.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:07):
So we probably didn't, but we'll see. Beth, that's one of our future episodes. We have it on our list one day to go to the moon so we can verify it. We can see the flag there. If it's not there, then I'll be right. And if it is there, then Beth will be right, and that's her favorite place to be.
Beth Demme (20:23):
I do like to be right.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:24):
Right on the moon.
Beth Demme (20:25):
But before we can go to the moon, we have other places we have to go. We have to go to New York.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:28):
Oh my gosh, can you remember before that?
Beth Demme (20:31):
We were going to go to New York City.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:32):
Yes, for like our 50th episode. We're way past that.
Beth Demme (20:35):
Yeah. We're like ... This is episode 64.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:38):
Beth Demme (20:38):
We're way overdue.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:39):
Maybe 100, possibly 100 we could go to New York.
Beth Demme (20:41):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:42):
I don't know what state New York will be in at a hundred though. I'm so sad for New York, I love New York. And they're just devastated by this. I mean, every place is, but I mean, because Broadway is such a huge part of New York. I love Broadway.
Beth Demme (20:55):
Yeah. I definitely, when Broadway reopens, I want to go. Cause that'll mean restaurants are open too.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:00):
Beth Demme (21:00):
So that that'll be good.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:01):
We need to eat when we're there, that's important.
Beth Demme (21:02):
For sure, yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:04):
We should get pizza. I heard Sbarro's is the best pizza place in Europe. If you know that reference, let us know. What TV show told us that Sbarro's is the very best pizza in New York City? Beth wouldn't know because she doesn't like that show.
Beth Demme (21:20):
I actually don't know the reference, but the idea of mall pizza being the best pizza in New York City just cracks me up.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:26):
Which is why you need to watch the show that you refuse to watch because you think it's sad.
Beth Demme (21:29):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:31):
Yes! It's not sad, it's super-
Beth Demme (21:33):
It's sad, cubicle dwellers, it's sad.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:35):
What'd you say?
Beth Demme (21:35):
Cubicle dwellers, it's sad.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:37):
There is nothing shameful in being a cubicle dweller.
Beth Demme (21:41):
I agree. But on that show, they make it seem depressing and terrible and-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:47):
No, They're just showing it like it is.
Beth Demme (21:50):
Steph, what if there's never herd immunity and the vaccines don't last very long?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:55):
Whoa, whoa, whoa. First of all, what is herd immunity? That sounds like some sheep junk.
Beth Demme (22:00):
I think that it is a reference to that idea that there's enough immunity in the community that the virus stops spreading.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:11):
Well, I do pay attention to the news, the real news.
Beth Demme (22:15):
Well then why did you ask me what herd immunity is? Because if you were paying attention to the news, I'm pretty sure you would know what it is.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:20):
Well, I wanted you to explain it, which you didn't do a great job at it. But what I was going to say is the answer of herd immunity is 70% of society has the vaccine, is what we need. Has the vaccine and or has the antibodies, which means they've had COVID and they are immune for a certain amount of time, which we don't know how long that will be for yet because science hasn't figured it out. But, so you're asking me if we don't achieve the 70% that we need to achieve ...
Beth Demme (22:47):
What if, what if that happens? And what if this is our new way of life that we have to continue having this debate about masks or not? It's not really a debate, but that we continue to have this polarization between those of us who wear masks and the person who was in front of me in the pickup line at Willie Joe's barbecue the other night who did not wear a mask, and he was leaning himself into the restaurant. What if, what if, what if?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:13):
Well, I will tell you, Beth, I just ordered some more KN95 masks. So I'm prepared for the what ifs and the what might bes. And if you don't know, KN95s are awesome, great masks that are equivalent to N95s, but they are not for medical use in the United States. And that's why we are not taking medical mask away from it professionals here in the United States. And there is no telling when we're actually going to have N95s available to the regular public. So I just bought some more in case we aren't at herd immunity and I'll just figure it out.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:46):
I think I've learned for years now I've really tried to live one day at a time, my cliche from celebrate recovery that I hate and love all at the same time. So I think that's kind of how I'm taking it. I don't know when, if, how we're going to get to herd immunity. I'm just taking one day at a time. And so I'm wearing my mask today, I'm being safe. When I go out, I am not doing things for fun. I'm doing things for, I need food and not eating inside, just all of those kinds of things. So I'm preparing but I'm also just living each day. What do you think, Beth?
Beth Demme (24:23):
I think if it continues, I'm going to have to venture out and try more and more things while I'm wearing my KN95 mask. So eventually, I'm going to get on an airplane again. Eventually, I'm going to go somewhere and I'm going to have to just come to terms with the risks involved in that. Just like there's risk involved in everything. I mean, there's a chance that the plane is going to crash, I had to come to terms with that risk. I'm going to have to come to terms with those risks when it comes to COVID as well.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:50):
So something that I'm curious about, this year has been very polarizing as we've kind of talked about. So I'm curious Beth, do you still trust your family or friends the same amount that you did let's say in 2019 or previously?
Beth Demme (25:05):
I want to say yes, but the answer is probably not quite because it's hard to get together with friends, even in very small numbers, not being confident that they're taking COVID precautions.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:18):
The same as you.
Beth Demme (25:18):
Yeah. And also, I always feel like I have to disclose to anyone I'm spending time with like, "Just so you know, my daughter has a part-time job in Moe's, she's out in the world, you need to understand the risks that you're ..." I don't know that I'm as trustworthy, and I don't know that I have the same level of trust for others.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:38):
It's been very eye-opening because a lot of times I hear people say, "Oh yeah, we've been doing the right thing. I have no idea how we got COVID. You know, we're doing the right thing." And the more I kind of dig into the conversations, the more ... Like, if somebody is eating inside a restaurant, I'm sorry, that's crazy. Taking your mask off anywhere in public is just a crazy thing to me. That is a huge way that ... This is how the virus spreads is people to people. And if you are eating, you are spreading. So I really ... I have to kind of dig in and ask questions. And so I will say like, "I don't trust anybody anymore." When it comes to them saying, "Oh yeah, we've been doing everything right. Oh yeah, I've been safe ..." I don't trust you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:21):
And I actually asked you, Beth, yesterday, we are still-
Beth Demme (26:25):
Don't look at me when you say that. It hurts my feelings.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:27):
We are recording in person with our plexiglass between us. But I did ask you a series of questions yesterday and you answered them honestly, I hope. So as we come to a close here, Beth, I think we've been talking about, is this a new normal? I don't think we answered that. We haven't actually even said those words since the beginning and the title, but we have reflected on 2020. So we've done the second part of our title. So I'm pretty proud of us there. But when I'm really thinking about this episode, what we started out by saying was we are enjoying mimosas and because it's nine in the morning-
Beth Demme (27:01):
It was nine in the morning hours ago when we started.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:04):
It's now 11:10 in the morning Eastern Standard Time. And I think that what I want to kind of wrap this beautiful thing up with here is Beth, do you think alcohol helps or hurts a conversation?
Beth Demme (27:19):
I don't know. What do you think?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:21):
I'm unsure, what do you think?
Beth Demme (27:26):
I don't know that our conversation has been very different than it would have been without the mimosas, other than it's just been fun to have something bubbly. What do you think?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:35):
I think there's a lot that I'm going to have to edit out. There's a lot of more talking than I would normally have to edit out. So I wouldn't say it's completely ruined the episode, but I feel like when I listen back to this episode, there's going to be times where I'm like, "Oh my gosh, stop talking." And I'm going to have to edit that.
Beth Demme (27:58):
I feel like that happens to you in every episode when you're editing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:02):
It is true, but it will be interesting if I notice that more with this episode. So as we close 2020, and we enjoy our mimosas, I want to say cheers to 2021, may your mask be KN95s and your health be not COVID infested.
Beth Demme (28:24):
Beth Demme (28:29):
We have so much fun making this podcast. And we've heard from some of you that you're wondering what is the best way to support us. So we've decided to expand the podcast experience using buymeacoffee.com. You can go there and buy us a cup of coffee, or for Steph, a cup of tea.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:44):
Beth Demme (28:45):
Or you can actually become a monthly supporter and that will give you access to PDFs of the questions for reflection as well as pictures, outtakes, polls, and more.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:54):
The kinds of things that we would put on social media if we had a social media channel, but we actually don't for the podcast because we decided from the beginning that we didn't want to add to more white noise in your life. So one of the great things about Buy Me a Coffee is that you'll be able to actually get an e-mail when we post new content. You can go straight there and you don't have to deal with ads are being bombarded with other content. You see exactly the content you're looking for without a bunch of distractions. We plan to post probably once or twice a week. And we're excited to get your feedback as members on our Buy Me a Coffee page, which we are lovingly calling our BMAC page.
Beth Demme (29:26):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:27):
BMAC. So you'll be able to find a link in our description to find out more and to sign up.
Beth Demme (29:32):
And I want to say special thanks to my friend from seminary, Abby, who bought us a coffee recently. Thank you, Abby. We appreciate it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:47):
Beth, Merry Christmas.
Beth Demme (29:50):
Yeah, Merry Christmas.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:51):
This actually is coming out on Christmas.
Beth Demme (29:52):
On Christmas day.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:53):
That's pretty exciting.
Beth Demme (29:54):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:54):
What happened on Christmas day?
Beth Demme (29:56):
On Christmas day, December 25th, the year zero.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:02):
Beth Demme (30:03):
Not really you guys, not really.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:05):
Beth Demme (30:06):
We celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th, but he probably wasn't really born in the year zero and he probably wasn't born on December 25th, but it's a perfectly appropriate celebration that I fully endorse and embrace wholeheartedly.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:20):
So was Santa born this day?
Beth Demme (30:24):
I would like to refer you back to a year ago when we recorded an episode about why you hate Santa. So I don't even know why you're bringing up the man's name right now.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:32):
You know, I have a new thing about that that we probably want to do new a episode about. I'm now even more offended by Santa because I realize the Mrs. Claus thing. First of all, she has no name, she's Mrs. Claus, Santa Claus has two names. Santa Claus.
Beth Demme (30:46):
No, Santa is an honorific like Saint, like San Francisco.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:51):
Nicholas is his name.
Beth Demme (30:53):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:53):
What is Mrs. Claus name? She is Mrs. Claus, and she bakes cookies. I don't like it. I don't like it at all. Why can't she bring us all of the presents? I can get behind that, Beth, I can get behind that.
Beth Demme (31:07):
So you just hate men. If Santa was a woman, you would love the idea of children being lied to? Because that's what you told me last year that you did not like about Santa, that it's a lie.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:16):
It is a lie.
Beth Demme (31:17):
And I was like, "No, it's something we can embrace."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:18):
But now it's a sexist lie, and I'm even more mad about it. So yeah. And I also want to answer the question, "Does alcohol help or hurt a conversation?" I think it hurts it because I feel like this is a hot mess and I'm a little bit embarrassed. And I don't know if I'm going to be able to keep a lot of this.
Beth Demme (31:37):
I think you'll be able to pull 25 minutes out of it, which is all we really need.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:41):
It's been an hour, Beth.
Beth Demme (31:42):
Yeah. You'll be able to get 25 minutes out of it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:44):
Well, I want to say if you want some cool information about the Bible, Beth has a lot of it. And she knows a lot of stuff about the Bible that is incorrect, that we think is in the Bible and it's not really in the Bible. And she has this cool document about falsities of the Bible things and stuff.
Beth Demme (32:05):
I think you might be thinking about my Christmas Bible trivia.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:07):
Beth Demme (32:08):
So when we think about our nativity sets, we always think about Mary having come into Bethlehem on a donkey, but the Bible doesn't say that she did. So there are other things like that, that I've picked out for you. And I've put together in a Bible trivia. And I actually released this as a PDF about five years ago and it's been really well received. Lots and lots of folks have downloaded it and enjoyed it. And I did it as a PDF because I was thinking people would want to use it at Christmas parties or in Sunday school classes. And those are things that happen in person in groups. And we're not doing that this year, because as we've mentioned, it's still 2020.
Beth Demme (32:45):
So this year I have re-released it in a format that you can pull it up as a quiz on your phone, or even use it as a screen share in a zoom call, because I know lots of smart people are doing weekly or biweekly or monthly zoom calls with friends and family. And so there's a way that you can do that. So you can find all of that at Bethdemme.com/christmastrivia.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:07):
At the end of each episode, we end with questions for reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read and leave a little pause between for you to answer, or you can find a PDF on our Buy Me a Coffee page.
Beth Demme (33:18):
Number one. What is the hardest lesson you're glad you learned this year? Number two. In 5-10 years, when you look back on 2020, what do you think you will remember most? Number three. What's the best thing to come out of 2020? And number four. What if there's never herd immunity and this is our new way of life? How will that feel to you?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:46):
This has been the Discovering Our Scars podcast. Thank you for joining us.
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Mental Health Advocate. Author. Podcast Host. DIYer. Greyhound Mom.
I'm a mom who laughs a lot, mainly at myself. #UMC Pastor, recent Seminary grad, public speaker, blogger, and sometimes lawyer. Learning to #LiveLoved.