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Episode 42: AFGO Part 1 of 2
Episode 42: AFGO Part 1 of 2 with special guest Dave Conley
Leanne Linsky and The Boyfriend give you a heads up that they experienced some technical difficulties during the Skype interview with their guest. Also, this is the first part in a two-part interview.
Leanne and The Boyfriend talk about how sometimes we get exactly what we need when we need it, especially when it comes to relationships. People come into our lives just when we need them.
Meet our guest, Dave Conley! Dave has been a technology executive, entrepreneur, and startup consultant. Now Dave is a health and wellness coach who helps lifelong overweight people lose 1/3rd to 1/2 of their bodyweight — just like him.
Dave has been married twice. He met his first wife when he was still in college. They met at work when they were just 21 years old. It was a summer job, and Dave was an usher and she was a park ranger. They had a big Catholic ceremony when they married. Dave laughs that getting married at such a young age was his way of rebelling. He and his wife weren’t good for each other. The divorce was a bit of a surprise, but it turned to be a pivotal time for him. He was 23.
They were living with her parents house, and one day his wife didn’t come home. He and her parents began looking for her. They were calling hospitals and police departments when she called him from a co-worker’s house and said that she wanted a divorce. That was a really weird day..
“I am there with her parents looking for her and I get the call saying, ‘Hey, I’m at my co-workers house and I don’t want to be married anymore.’…Yeah, that’s a hell of a phone call.”
At that point Dave was just in shock. Even though he know it wasn’t a good marriage, he didn’t see it coming. He ended up living with her parents for while and only saw his wife once or twice more before their divorce. Dave wasn’t sure what he was going to do, but he knew he had to do something.
It turned out that the divorce was the reset Dave needed, and it was only about six months later when he met someone really special.
“It was a slow invasion into her apartment. It was like, ‘Oh I’m going to leave some clothes here. I’m going to leave some toiletries here. Why don’t you have a drawer, or why don’t i move some stuff out of the closet for you. After a few months it was here’s your key. It was just a slow move in.’”
The relationship with Carol just really felt perfect. It organically and naturally happened. They decided to get married one rainy November day and went down to the courthouse and got married that weekend. They even stopped and got those rings out of the gumball machines.
It was the little things that made the marriage to Carol different. The way they spent time with each other. It was a 1+1=3 relationship, and his wife was passionate about everything she did – from landscaping to doing taxes.
Dave steps back and tells us about his journey from College to his career in technology. His divorce was final and he ended up landing a job as a project manager for AOL. And this was when he met Carol. Great things started happening all at the same time.
Eventually things started changing again and Dave took a year off work to help his sister-in-law divorce his brother. He and Carol helped take care of his niece and nephew during this time.
Dave decided he was ready for a change and took a job at the Patent Office and was looking at a career in government. The more he was promoted the more miserable he became. A friend asked “When were you happiest in your career?” … Then she asked me the perfect question at the perfect time, “Why?” And that’s when he realized he wasn’t making a difference like he used to. He was in a miserable job, a pack-a-day smoker, and weighed 330 pounds.
One day Carol caught a cold and was sick for a couple days. This was unusual for Carol so Dave called the doctor. She wasn’t feeling well and had a band appeared across her back. The doctors said this is often a sign of a heart attack and to get her to the hospital asap. The doctors ran tests and it wasn’t her heart. They kept her in the hospital. Dave and Carol were shocked because this was just a cold, right? The doctors put a tube in her chest so she could breathe easier. The next day the nurse came by early to check on her and suddenly Carol was rushed down the hallway. She had a stroke and passed sixty hours later. They knew Carol had had Psoriasis (which is an autoimmune problem) for years. It was determined that when the doctors put the tube in her, her body attacked it and started producing white blood cells as fast as it could which caused the strokes.
Dave and Carol had never spent more than three months apart and now she was gone. Dave was not okay. He stopped eating and drinking and the grieving process began. He wasn’t sleeping and he spent a lot of time crying. His friends and family were growing concerned.
His friend has just earned his pilot license and took Dave for a ride in the plane which turned out to be a life-changing moment for Dave. That’s when it clicked. He realized he really didn’t have much control over his life. He was in crisis. He knew he wasn’t taking care of himself. He was even drinking water so he started there. He made himself drink one liter of water each day. It was his way of battling his grief and depression. Once he made progress, he started to eat again, and then move again.
This is how Dave started to rebuild his life.
“When you lose a spouse, everything changes…Suddenly it’s just you.”
Dave’s life went from fine to not fine. Losing Carol was much different than his divorce. Unconciously, he at least knew that his first marriage wasn’t working. When his first marriage ended, it was just dealing with the untangling of the assets.
With Carol, it was just sudden and awful. They were planning a vacation. They had just celebrated holidays together. Then all the sudden it was gone. His world was turned upside-down.
This was Dave’s rock bottom. He needed some serious self-care. And this became his life’s purpose.
“I was all about work or all about distraction. It feels good to sit in front of the TV set and eat a Ben & Jerry’s and have a glass of wine – or scotch. Right? It feels good. That an easy distraction. …That’s how you put on 330 pounds.”
Our favorite moments:
04:40 Meet Dave Conley
14:30 Married for the second time!
21:30 Dave lands a job
25:00 Helped his sister-in-law with her divorce
30:02 Carol caught a cold
36:45 How was Dave?
44:08 Grieving over a divorce or death
Question of the Week: “Do you feel you moved into marriage too quickly?”
What you’ll learn:
- Sometimes divorce takes us by surprise
- Love finds us when need it most
- Sometimes it’s more than just a cold
- About the grieving process
What you won’t learn:
- How to save a marriage
- How to fly a plane
- The Boyfriend’s true identity
Tweet: As much as divorce can be a surprise, it’s nothing compared to death. Ep42 #lifelafterdivorce #death #divorce #podcast
Tweet: When it’s right, it’s easy. Ep42 #Marriage #divorce #thelittlethings #communication #podcast
Tweet: “When you lose a spouse, everything changes…Suddenly it’s just you.” Dave Conley Ep42 #loss #love #selfcare #lifelafterdivorce #podcast
Tweet: “A friend asked ‘When were you happiest in your career?’” #Divorce #loss #happiness #marriage #selfcare
Tweet: Dave laughs that getting married at such a young age was his way of rebelling. Ep42 #divorce #marriage #podcast #rebel