Lesley McShane is in perpetual motion. She is a seasoned cyclist, a producer, a wife, a mother, and an advocate for women over 50. She also hosts not one but two long-running podcasts, The Friday Night Beer Blog Podcast and the New Old You Podcast
In this episode, you’ll learn how to prioritize yourself, guilt-free!
My name is Sandi McKenna, and this is Unforgettable Conversations. The podcast that is your roadmap to resilience, sharing, extraordinary stories from people, just like you and me who have weathered life's storms. You'll find inspiration and motivation in every episode. Leslie McShane is in perpetual motion. She is a seasoned cyclist. A producer, a wife, a mother, and an advocate for women over 50. She also hosts, not one, but two long running podcasts. The Friday night beer blog podcast and the old new you. In this episode, you'll learn how to prioritize yourself. Guilt free. Now let's get this conversation startedsandi:
Leslie McShane. Welcome to unforgettable conversations.Lesley:
Wonderful. I'm so excited to be here.sandi:
you're not only a beer aficionado and a blogger and a podcaster, or you also are a cyclist.Lesley:
I am a cyclist. Yes. I've been a cyclist for forever and ever, and my husband is as well. I raced bicycles for on and off for about 16 years. He still races. He's 58. luckily in our country we have in the amateur ranks, when you get over 35, they break up competitions in five and 10 year groups. So he races, like a 50 to 59. So he's getting at the top of his age group. So in a couple of years, he's going to be one of the youngest. He's really excited about being the youngest in his age group. We ride a lot, during this. Summer months we, we ride quite a bit, probably six days a week. We're big fitness people, for sure.sandi:
So turning 50, didn't stop you from doing the things that you loved.
Turning 50 for me, I was excited to turn 50. I think like a lot of people I've been through a lot of crap in, in my life. And sometimes I feel like I'm lucky to have turned 50. I started that blog. I actually started that blog when I was 49. Cause I was kind of feeling that tug of I need something for myself. My kids were gone. I had an empty nest and I had that real feeling like I need to start focusing on my self or I might explode. so instead of feeling sad that I was turning 50 I felt like there were a lot of possibilities ahead of me. And, when I say that I might explode then I kinda did because, once that Pandora's box was open for me, I, in the last year and a half, I've written four screenplays. I wrote a book. I started an affirmation instagram page where I send out, an affirmation every day I started the blog. I've done two podcasts. I'm still working some, I'm freelance. So pandemic kind of killed the freelance life a little bit. I've been busy. I have been very, very busy.sandi:
Well with that said, where do you get your energy from? I mean, is it vitamins the cycling, the things that you're talking about take a lot of both mental and physical energy. Where do you get your energy from?
Oh, wow. That is, that is a good question. I can't imagine not doing those things. I've been writing forever. I've been doing a lot of things that I do forever. I think for me, I get up ready to go because I have set in place a morning routine that gets me started on the day. I get up. I meditate. I write what I'm grateful for. I write out my intentions for that day. I physically write out every day, my goals for the year, my goals for the month and then I journal a little bit about what's, what's kind of going on in my crazy head. And then I hit the ground running. I have a plan every day. I know what I'm going to be doing. Now sometimes that plan will go to shit, but knowing what I'm doing and where I'm heading today and tomorrow, and the next day, keeps me motivated for sure.sandi:
I want to touch on your morning routine, which I find so incredible. Mine is really just kind of, I wake up and it's nothing major, but you have a really terrific morning routine. And if you could just, go into that a little bit, I think that's a really awesome thing.
Sure. I'm big into fitness. I do ride, but I also work out in the morning. So I have had people for years going, how do you work out every day? I didn't have time. I mean, and I've done this through my whole life where my kids were going up and it has to do with setting priority. because working out for me always was a priority. So I just get up earlier. So when I decided to start putting some more definite morning habits into place, I had to get up even earlier. But I found when I started getting up earlier to do these things, there's something about a quiet house. That's dark. and you have a cup of coffee and you sit down. First thing I do is meditate. I meditate with an app on my phone and I do some breathing, intentional breathing, and I've been doing this for three years. It's amazing how loud it is in your head, even though it's so quiet all around you. So this meditation really helps you quiet, what's going on in your head. So once I get to that quiet, then I take out my notebooks. I write what, I'm thankful for five things that I'm thankful for. I will tell you, I right at the top of the page, in my journal today, I will celebrate this thing. So I picked something to celebrate every day. Today, I am celebrating you. And I wrote that down this morning. I want all of my focus and attention to be on you today. Then I write out what my other intentions are for the day and this is kind of setting my path to get me to what my goals are. So then below my intentions are I write out my yearly goals. and then I write out my goals for the month and I write them every day because I find that if I go for a week and I don't write down what my goals are for the year I have to go back and I can't remember. So, repetition, repetition, repetition keeps those things top of mind. And then I journal a little bit, I don't journal a ton, you know, I use whatever's left at the bottom of the page and just kind of write out some things. and then I, work out, I read a little personal development, and I pray every day. And then my day is good to go.. And I tell you what, having those things set in place really kickstarts, a successful day for me, like I said, it could go to shit, but on the whole I feel motivated for and excited for what I have going on.sandi:
I'm going to take a cue from that. That's really great advice. It really is. And I do a lot of those things, but I don't write anything down.Lesley:
Yeah. I'll tell you what you know, you, you deal with conversations and that's a lost art writing is a lost art as well. I was writing a thank you note to someone the other day, and my son walked by and he goes, oh, you have great handwriting. And I said, well, it's because I write alot. If you don't write a lot, when you do write something, you might be able to read it, you might not, your hand may hurt. If you don't use it, you lose it for sure.sandi:
You, you also produce things for museums, which I find fascinating. How does one get into that?
Well, I tell you what, when I, when I was growing up, I wanted to be in film. I created my first movie poster for this movie that I was going to write and direct and produce actually that movie poster hung in my dad's house forever and they recently just downsize and so he gave it to me and it's hanging in my basement. So that was what I always wanted to do. When I was younger, you know, I felt like you had to go to film school to be able to do that and going to film school, wasn't really in the plan for me. I'm in Kentucky, so I chose the next best path for me. And for me, I grew up watching educational television on PBS. Over my shoulder, I've got Mr. Rogers back here. I grew up watching Mr. Rogers, Sesame street, electric company, zoom, all those shows. Those had a lot of impact on me. So when I decided to stay in Kentucky and I wanted to go into television and television production, educational television came calling to me. I interviewed for a job at our PBS station here and I did that for seven years and I loved being part of that. And then my children were born and I decided to be home as much as possible for them. So I went freelance and I'm lucky enough to live in a town that has a company that produces and focuses on museum experiences. And so I hooked up with this company and other companies, but this company primarily, and I've worked with them for 25 years on museum experiences and we've produced museums around the world. It's been a great learning experience.sandi:
The tone that I get and everything I hear that you say, nothing is alike from cycling to the beer, to the museums, to the screen plays, your podcast, everything is a little bit different. Is there a central theme to everything in your life or is it just you chase your passion?Lesley:
You know, I think it's a little bit of both. This is a question that I've been asking myself a lot recently because I'm trying to figure out what my next path is for sure. Where I want to spend the second half of my life. So I've been thinking about this a lot. And at one point I would probably have thought, well, I do what feels good. I'm chasing this passion. I want to try a little bit of everything, but if you stop and I have been doing this thing where I stop and examining, the things that I've been doing, I find this pattern weaving through everything. I always say I have all the pieces and I've got to put together thing. But the thing that I think that we've through is this education, thing that I was talking about with the educational television in the museums, because even in the cycling, when I took a break, my son who was around cycling his whole life. I mean, he grew up at a bike race. He decided he wanted to race his bike. And when he turned 10, he could get a license to race his bicycle. And you know, you look around there just, aren't a lot of cycling clubs for young kids, for juniors what they're called. We lived in a big dry pocket. We had a lot of kids that rode their bikes, but there wasn't anything organized for them. So my husband and I decided to take it upon ourselves to start a junior cycling team. And we did that and we were leaders of that team. So there's that educational thing that we were teaching kids how to ride bikes. So even education was in the bike racing, you know, in my career and now with the podcast. My podcast, the new old you focuses on women over 50 and the issues that they have, and the things that they're going through. And I'm bringing on guests that educate the audience on how to overcome certain things or how you recognize skin cancer, all these sorts of things. That's the little thread that I see weaving through everything that I've done in my past, that may help direct me to know where I'm headed. That is a long answer to a very short question.sandi:
That's a great answer. Which brings me to my next question, I'm a woman over 50 and I can tell you the one thing that really struck me after I turned 50 was I often felt invisible. Like people just didn't pay attention to what I did or had to say. And I think that's one reason that I started to travel and do things on my bucket list because I was like, dammit, I'm going to get your attention. Women over 50, they really don't have much of a voice or they haven't. If you let your hair go gray, it's like, I just saw an article about Sarah Jessica Parker was out to dinner with Andy Cohen, who also has white hair and she had gray hair and they focused on the fact that she had gray hair and sitting and talking to a man the same exact age as her with gray hair and never pointed out like, oh, she's let herself go. What is your advice for women over 50 like me that felt invisible, that, might want to let their hair go gray and, still be taken seriously.Lesley:
And this is why my podcast can be for anybody, but I focus on women over 50, because I did feel, and I do feel like we can be forgotten once we turn a certain age or we're pushed aside or we're too old, or we were just here to raise our children and now that our children are gone, we have no use. That's why I'm focusing on this group of women, because, I started joining Facebook groups of women over 50 and some of the things I was seeing made me so sad, they talked about how lonely they were and, unsure of themselves. And then I, put it out to my Facebook friends. I said, I may be starting this podcast. What are some of the things that, you know, you want to hear about? And it was a whole lot of, What do I do now? I was like, wow, there's, there's a huge need here for first of all community, because you know, we all may feel like we're alone, but just like in your podcast where you're sitting down and you're having conversations with people, you learn that there are a lot of people out there that feel exactly the way that you do. It's always been said that women are always in competition with each other, but I feel like, especially when you get over 50, you need a community of people to say, you're going to try something new, freaking go for it. I'm here to support you. I'm here to spread the message. Do it, do it, do it because the more you support other people, the more you're going to be supported. And I think, especially at this age, after, our kids are gone or we're, thinking about taking the next step that we have a lot of people around us, you're not an island and no, you're not alone.sandi:
And what do you find that most women are looking for after 50? What is it that they're hoping to find?
I think they need to be seen. We spend the first 50 years of our lives focusing on other people so, so much. Even if you don't have children, you're focused on making your boss look good at work or supporting your husband and what he's doing, or, your children, if you do have children. I think like you said, we feel like we become invisible. And I think a lot of women, when they turn 50 are kind of like, okay, I'm tired of supporting everybody else all the time and not feeling like I'm supported so I'm going to do my thing and. Stand back. I think that when women do that, there's a lot of pushback from those around us that we have taken care of so long. They're not used to seeing us in this kind of role. So I think that that's why communication is very important. Tell those people around you, this is what I'm going to do. Don't try to talk me out of it. Just support me if it works out. It's great. If it doesn't work out, that's fine. I'm going to try something else, but I need you to see me and that I need your support now.sandi:
What in your interviews throughout the interviews, and you've done quite a few, what are women doing after 50? What do you see them exploring? What new things are they up to?Lesley:
in my podcast I have a weaved in what I call the inspiration series. And I talked to women who are over 50 some, well over 50 that have embraced the life in the second half. I've talked to one woman I talked to she's a well-known sculptor and didn't become a sculptor until she was 55. And she has commissioned pieces everywhere. I've talked to women who went back to college at 50 got either their first degree or another degree. I've talked to many women that, made a pivot, even though some women feel like, well, that's it, you know, I'm just going to hang on until retirement. Life short, but when you turn 50, you still have a long way to go, God willing. It's never too late. I think that, that is the piece of advice that I've gotten from most women that I've interviewed is that it is never too late to start the rest of your life.sandi:
The next chapter.Lesley:
that it's a clean slate. It's like you're 20 all over again. You can do anything you want to do.sandi:
And there are so many women that been kind of in their little sheltered world until they turn 50. And then you realize the years are getting shorter. They go faster. I mean, the weeks right now, they go so fast. For me, I'm like in the blink of an eye, you know, it's another week. So really it's either now or never.Lesley:
You might as well start now start doing something. So what, what's next for you? You've got a pretty full plate. I don't know how you can fit anything else into your week. Yeah. What's next? Everything, you know, I I'm still in that creative explosion mode. I want to do. Everything. I want to be successful at everything. I know that that's not gonna happen, but I'm willing to give it all a try, you know? I think that you can do anything with a little bit of hard work. just because you're over 50, doesn't mean that you're not going to have to work hard at something and educate yourself and be willing to take chances and step outside of your comfort zone. That's the big one is stepping outside of your comfort zone. I'm doing that every day. social media. I've never been a big. Social media person, but, there's something about sharing yourself that, makes you realize, oh, well, that's, that's who I am. That's who I am. so there are good and bad things with social media, but that's definitely one of the good onessandi:
and there's still a much larger representation of people over fifty on social media 50 now isn't what it was when my grandparents were 50.Lesley:
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. It's completely. Completely different. I mean, it's completely different. I remember my mother turning 60 and I was like, wow, she's 60. But now that I'm in my fifties, I can't say that I can't wait to be 60 because I have a while to go and I have a lot of things that I want to do, but 60 doesn't feel old to me at all. My best friends are sixty a nd they're amazing and vibrant and out there and doing fun things. I'm going to be like that.sandi:
Yeah. That's how I want to be. I just want to stay youthful Have you run into anybody on the podcast that wasn't a youthful 50 or older?
I have not because that's not who I search out to be on my podcast. I want to be invigorated from the conversations that I'm having and I want to put these people who are vibrant into an audience that feels like they, are feeling old. I want you to say, Hey, I want you to look at this person and say, you're the same age as that person. You can do the same things that they can do.sandi:
And what do you think some of the misconceptions are about women over fifty?
Oh, well, that we have outlived, you know, what we were put here for or whatever. But I tell you what you look at Hollywood or you look at women entrepreneurs now, and so many fabulous, sexy, successful women are over 50 and over 60 and follow those people, see what they're doing. And then act as if. That's kind of been the big thing. It's kind of like act as if you want to be fabulous. Why can't you be fabulous? If you feel fabulous, then you'll be fabulous.sandi:
I love that. I love that. What have been the interviews, on your podcast, that have resonated with you personally?
The first story that comes to mind is a podcast that I did for the inspiration series with my friend, Denise Everett who I used to race bicycles with I believe it's been, yeah, three years ago, she was involved in a moped accident and she got hit head on by a truck. She and her husband were just tooling around some back country roads, and a truck came out of nowhere around a corner and hit her head on and she actually died twice in the helicopter on the way to the hospital, but pulled through. She is now quadriplegic and she lives every day with gratitude, and works as hard as she possibly can to get as much function back to make her life as normal as possible. Since the accident, her youngest daughter got married and had a child and, you know, she talks about the fact that if things had gone just a little bit different, or if she hadn't fought as hard as she had or been as in shape when she had the accident, she might not have been able to live to see that little boy. She is thankful every day for every day that she has been given.sandi:
Wow. And what do you think is the difference between somebody like her, who had this tragic accident, has been able to find joy and somebody that would have had an accident like that, and just given up? What do you think was the key to her, feeling the way that she did?Lesley:
I think there are probably a couple different keys and like I said, she was, and she is an athlete. I will say that she, has found a new athletic purpose. She got a hand cycle. She has a little bit of movement with her hands, and she's going to be racing that hand cycle. She's amazing. I think part of it is because she took care of herself and her body, through her life. She was a big runner, big, big cyclist and a so that is part of it. I think the other part is that she is a very strong individual. She knows who she is. She is not apologetic about who she is. She's a very strong personality. That loves herself. You can tell she, she loves herself and loves her family. So I think, just the ability, and confidence in herself, not to give up. The knowing that there is so much more. Because if you're given a hard set of, situations that you can't make the best of them, because you can, you never know what life is going to bring you and the the joy that life is going to bring you.sandi:
What would you like your legacy to be?
Oh, wow. Again, you know, it, that's another one of those things that you really don't put a lot of thought into until you get to a point where you're like, okay, Whew. If someone were to read my obit, what would I want it to say? You know, you hear people say that all the time, what do you want your obit to say? And that's something that I've been putting a lot of thought into. But I write in my, journal for my long-term goals every day, I have a list of 10 things and one of them is I want to help and if, and be as much help to as many people as possible. I would hope that, I could be someone that people could come to if they need a smile or need a word of encouragement or somebody to support them and whatever it is that they feel drawn to do, because I'm your person, because I'm doing the same exact thing.sandi:
Is there any advice that you have for women over 50 or women who, are creating a new them out of their old self?
I think my biggest thing is that I've had to push through. I've had to push through a lot of imposter syndrome of putting myself out there. If there's something you want to do just do it, you know, try things out. You don't have to be set in one path forever. Like I tell my kids when they went to school, if it's not working out for you, you're not in prison, you can come home. So if you try something new and you try something on and it doesn't work for you, you've earned it, just put it aside. Find something else. You may never know that something that you learned from that path that you didn't like may help in your next path. Everything kind of weaves together. I think in life, everything just sort of happens for a reason. So, don't wait, jump on those things now. Time is going to pass anyway. So you don't have to do it all in one day. Just do one little thing today, do one little thing tomorrow. Just change your life. One little degree. And you're going to end up in a totally different place than you thought you would and probably for the better.sandi:
Great advice. And so what's next for your podcast? First of all, where can people listen?
I have two podcasts.. So the first one is, the new old you, and that is the one that focuses on women over 50, I'm really going to be focusing on goal setting and clarity and making a pivot and setting daily habits, creating daily habits to help you be successful. My other podcast is a Friday night beer blog. It's every Friday night with my husband, Mike or pickle, as we call him in the family. So everybody in the audience knows him as pickle. both are on apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, all the places. So you can find me there. My website is LL mcshane.com and that's where the actual blog is posted. We always like to say on Friday nights that we do the podcast, because some people just don't like to read, but if you like to read, then that's where the blog is.sandi:
Thank you, Leslie. I really appreciate you being.
Well, thank you for having me today. I told you before we started that I could talk forever and that is certainly true.sandi:
You're a great conversationalist.
Well, I thank you. Thank you. And so are you I don't know about you, but Leslie certainly left me inspired with her. Can do attitude. As always thank you for tuning in this Monday and every Monday. All the links are in the show notes below. Have a great week