Family Planning for Docs - Thriving or Surviving?

Thriving or Surviving with Dr. Dionne Gesink

July 10, 2023 Radha Sharma Season 1 Episode 5
Family Planning for Docs - Thriving or Surviving?
Thriving or Surviving with Dr. Dionne Gesink
Show Notes Transcript

“Your children are only loaned to you, so use the time that you have with them”  - Dr. Dionne Gesink 

In this episode, we sit down and talk to Dr. Dionne Gesink, a Professor in Epidemiology and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. We chat about her journey with family planning and family building as a doctorate and post-doc student. You’ll learn about how she paved the way for other professionals, the importance of leadership and how she navigates having adult children.

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Contact Information

Dr. Dionne Gesink, MSc., PhD. 


Google scholar:

Dr. Dionne Gesink, MSc, PhD is a Professor at the University of Toronto and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She completed her Doctor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research investigates the social epidemiology of sexual health, including the spatial movement of diseases and ideas through social/sexual networks. She uses mixed methods to investigate sexual health as a complex system, with connections to physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social health. The projects she is involved with are often community based and consider culture. She has worked with Indigenous, marginalized, and hard-to-reach communities, as well as the general population, to develop effective interventions that transform sexual health at individual, community, and provincial levels.

#Graduate #PostDoc #Doctorate #PhD #miscarriage #UniversityofToronto #Parenting #PublicHealth #Teenagers #SexualHealth

Radha Sharma: Welcome to Season 1, Episode 5 of Family Planning for Docs - Thriving or Surviving. This podcast is an extension of our platform at, a website created for medical trainees in Canada to highlight useful information about family planning and a professional career. Our group has a mission to inform trainees about their options regarding family planning. While navigating training, career and personal life in academia or medicine.

Radha Sharma: Our research has demonstrated that personal stories are really impactful, and we hope to provide access to a diverse number of stories to our listeners. In this episode we have Dr. Dionne Gesink. We are thrilled to have you on our podcast today. Dionne, thank you on behalf of our entire team for taking the time to share your story here today.

Dionne Gesink: Thanks for having me.

Radha Sharma: I'm gonna start with the first question, can you tell me what the day in the life of Dionne looks like?

Dionne Gesink: Oh, what is the day in the life of Dionne today? It's not very well scripted, because every day is different. So I'm the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Dalla Lana School of Public health. That takes up a huge chunk of my time. So, it can be anything from redesigning programs to helping students in crisis to signing paperwork like it really varies. And, then I'm also a professor in epidemiology. So I still have to keep my research going, which is around sexual health and the social epidemiology of sexual health. So a lot of around relationships. and then also wellness. and how we integrate wellness into public health education. So, that's how I tend to spend my days when I'm not teaching or mentoring students as well.

Radha Sharma: Very cool. I think your research is so fascinating. We will link some of your publications and work in the show notes for our listeners to take a look at as well, but very, very cool stuff. How many years of school did it take you to get to where you are now? What was your journey like?

Dionne Gesink: And then I did a 2 year Master’s, because I was not ready to go out into the real world. So I did a Master’s in Physical Geography for 2 years. Then I got a job for about another 2 years working for an environmental consulting firm and was thinking, I don't really like working for other people. So I thought, I think it's time to do a doctorate. So I went down to the United States, to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and did my doctorate in public health in epidemiology down there. That took me 4 and a half years. It would have taken me 4 years, except I had my first daughter during my doctorate, and that added 6 months to my timeline.

Dionne Gesink: And then I did a 2 year postdoc after that when I had my second daughter and so all in all, 4, plus 2 plus 4 is 10 years of sort of academic training, and then a 2 year postdoc before my first faculty position, which was at Montana State University before it came back to U of T. 

Radha Sharma: Cool and do you miss living in the States? How was that time like? So I was there during the Bush years. I actually loved living in the States. 

Dionne Gesink: I feel very fortunate for the 2 States that I lived in: North Carolina and Montana are beautiful states, the people were really kind and very, very community oriented. So even if I didn't necessarily resonate with the politics of the place, the people of the place were fantastic, and I was very happy to have both my daughters be dual citizens, but both of my daughters are very committed to Canada, and have said that they have no interest in living in the States. 

Radha Sharma: Very, very interesting. So they were born there, but they have dual citizenship. So they're here in Canada now?

Dionne Gesink: Yes, they're both at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Radha Sharma: UBC! It’s so nice compared to - I mean, the mountains and stuff. So you mentioned that you had both your daughters - one during your PhD or near the end of your PhD. And then one during your postdoc? Can you walk us through what family planning looked like for you at that time? How did you decide when you wanted to have kids?

Dionne Gesink: Yeah. So I decided I wanted to have kids when I was really young, like I was, I was kind of raised with the expectation that I would have kids. I always knew I wanted to have kids, and I kind of had it in my head. I wanted to have kids around the age of 28 and because I thought that would be sort of like a good age, I'd be sort of somewhat settled, but also young enough to still have kids. I actually got pretty close to hitting that mark. So I got married younger than I expected to. My now ex husband and I got married when I was 25, I think, and he was 26 and then we went down to the US for my doctorate. And then eventually he started his doctorate a year later, and It was while we were doctoral students, we decided. He was also very family minded and we decided that we were not going to wait for there to be a perfect time to have kids. Because we kind of decided that there would be no perfect time in the window in which you are actually able to still have kids. So, we eventually made the decision to start trying. About 3 years after we had gotten married and moved down to the States, my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and I miscarried during my comprehensive exam. 

Radha Sharma: I’m sorry to hear that. 

Dionne Gesink: Thanks, and this is something we don't talk about much. We don't. Miscarriage is actually shockingly common. One in 3 pregnancies ends in miscarriage and not one in 3 women. It's one of 3 pregnancies, and this is something I learned as a reproductive epidemiologist, because during my postdoc I was working in reproductive epidemiology.

But it's something that women don't really talk about much until it happens. And as soon as I miscarried, my grandmother called me and said, “Hey, kid, I hope you're okay, I miscarried”. And my mom was like, “Oh, yeah, I miscarried, too”. These are stories that came out after the fact. Not ahead of time. So then I, you know, waited another month after the miscarriage, and then we started again, and I think, in total from from like when we started trying until the time I actually conceived our first daughter was about 6 months

Dionne Gesink: And so I had her, I was 8 months pregnant defending my proposal. and I kind of went into the proposal defense, thinking, nobody's gonna want to make me cry. Nobody wants to be that person who makes the 8 months pregnant woman cry. And they didn't,, they were very supportive. So that went well. I had my first daughter while I was in the dissertation phase.

Dionne Gesink: My husband at the time, we split our time because we were both doctoral students. We were in the States, States has 6 weeks of maternity leave. There was no way I was handing over my 6 week old child, to any kind of daycare setting at the time, so luckily I had a very supportive husband, and the 2 of us were able to split our time. One of us would work from 6 in the morning until noon on our academic work and then the other would work from noon till 6, and whoever wasn't working, was looking after our baby essentially shift work, and then we would spend like from 6 in the evening until 8’ oclock at night, like doing family time, and then, once our daughter was down to sleep, and usually that meant one of us would fall asleep with her, because anyone who's got little kids knows it's pretty hard to put them down and walk away, because they always wake up. Whoever was still awake would continue to work from about 8 in the evening until 10’oclock at night, and then it would start again the next day.

Dionne Gesink: We would do that 6 days a week. and we would take one day off on the weekend to just have family time. And so we did that through until I was done, my doctorate, and then, I started my postdoc, and that was about it. There was a 3 year gap between my older daughter and my younger daughter and I had another miscarriage during that time. It was an unintentional pregnancy, actually, so I was kind of surprised I was pregnant in the first place, so I wasn't surprised when it miscarried. But then I had my second daughter. I got pregnant during my postdoc. I was fortunate that my doctoral supervisor was very family oriented, and he said, “6 weeks is not enough time off, so why don't you take 3 months, and then you can come back” So I had 3 months off, and then I and then my ex and I split our time until our older daughter was 18 months old, and then we put her in daycare with our second daughter. My post doctoral supervisor was a supportive person also. He had no experience with somebody going on parental leave. So he just sort of said, “All right. I have no experience with this. You've clearly done it before, though, and 6 weeks doesn't seem like the right amount of time. So what happened like what happened with you the first time?” So I told him, ”Oh, you know my doctoral supervisor gave me 3 months”, and he said, “Well, why don't we do that again? 3 months of you being off full time, and then take another 3 months to just come back part time, and then at 6 months, I'll expect you’re back in full swing”.  And so I was very fortunate that way, like the support of these 2 advisor, supervisor types really made a difference for me and having my daughters.

Radha Sharma: I'm so happy to hear you had such a supportive environment both at home with your husband and then with your supervisors. Do you think that was a common experience for other men and women in your field at that time?

Dionne Gesink: That's a great question. There were not that many people in my doctorate having children. A lot of students wait until they're done, but much like med school. When you go for a doctorate, you're in school for 10 years, like easily 10 years, and that's on the fast side. So you can, you get kinda older, and a lot of people don't recognize the fertility decline. That happens because our biology has not kept up with our sociology. Like so socially, women are older when they have their first child now. But our biology is still behind in that respect. So there was only like, in a way, by me having a a child as a doctoral student, it actually helped my peers decide to have kids sooner too, so I was the sort of I was the first one in my cohort to have a child while a student, and there were 2 other friends of mine that had kids. Well, that got pregnant while they were students.

Dionne Gesink: And, getting back to your original question, I think the culture at the University of North Carolina Chaplin Hill and the School of Public health was very supportive of family building, and so in that sense me and my peers had good experiences. Even though it was the US, and you, you know you kind of had to figure it out, how you were going to manage having a baby while still not really having time off, and not necessarily having parental leave in a way that we have here in Canada.

Radha Sharma: We were talking a little bit earlier about how you were kind of, the first person in your program or the first person that you saw that was pursuing a doctorate/post-doctorate while also having young children. I’m wondering, what sorts of challenges came with that?

Dionne Gesink: There wasn't really anyone ahead of me that had done this. So I didn't have a model to say like, Oh, this is gonna work out. But I kind of had enough of an internal drive that I was like, I'm gonna be the change I want to see. And so I'm gonna do what I want to do until somebody in a position to stop me says I can't do the thing I want to do, and I never encountered that. So I was a bit nervous, would I? Would somebody at some point say, you're not performing well enough, or you're not doing well enough. And luckily that never happened. so it was sort of an internal anxiety that didn't play out. I think I was raised. My mom would always say, don't fail yourself. Let others do that. I kind of like to use that as a little bit of a touchstone around like, okay, I'm not going to stop myself until somebody else that can stop me stops me, because again, because, having children was really important to me, it was something I knew I wanted to do, and I wasn't going to sacrifice having children for some sort of career academic thing.

Dionne Gesink: Because if I couldn't have kids then that wasn't the right match, and so it was a little bit sort of being ready to accept the consequences of, If this is not a good match, then it's just not a good match, and I'll find a plan. B. I think anyone who's gone through a doctoral program - and I kind of wonder if this is maybe true for medical students and residents - there are always these challenges academically, where you're like, okay, if I don't pass this exam. Or if I don't pass this hurdle, what's my plan B? What's my alternate career path? And so it's kind of how I approached having children too. I was like, Okay, I'm gonna have kids. And if for some reason that creates a barrier for some reason, then what's my plan B. And I'm going to be okay with Plan B. Often, if you think about what's the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario isn't necessarily that bad.

Radha Sharma: I think I've heard this now a couple of times. The worst case scenario tends to be in our head. The anticipation oftentimes is worse than the actual consequence, if there is any consequence. I think it's empowering that you became the role model that other people can look up to, because now, obviously, things are becoming more normalized. And yeah, growing up, I didn't think twice about being a parent one day, and then also, being a doctor one day like those were not 2 separate things in my mind, I just kind of assumed that I'd be able to do it. 

Radha Sharma: You spoke a little bit about your ex husband being a support system for you. Who else was kind of in your corner at that time? Anyone you want to give a shout out to? 

Dionne Gesink: Yeah, so definitely, my ex - super co-parent man. I was able to get where I am because he's an invested father, still is, even though we ended up getting divorced. We co-parented. We've always co-parented really well, so I've been very, very fortunate that way. The other thing is like we were in North Carolina. I'm from Toronto. My ex is from Windsor. We had effectively no family nearby, like his sister was also studying at UNC. So she was nearby, so so she was a help, but she also had her own kid, after she finished her doctorate, so she was a help. 

Dionne Gesink: But also my peer group was a huge support, like epically huge support. They became our chosen family and our family down there. So we needed them like they actually anticipated. They, in fact, almost over anticipated what we needed. When there is need in the community, if an individual has a need, the community comes together to support that person in a very organic way. And so we had that happen with my peer group. There's a group of 6 or 7 women that I was close with during my doctorate, because I'm in public health, it's a pretty female dominated field. And they just they made dinners for us for 2 weeks and brought them over, and then I also had neighbors, so I've gotten to know our neighbors, and a lot of them had young families, and they also like brought over food and dropped it off, and sort of gave us a lot of moral support and and physical support as well. 

Radha Sharma: It really takes an army. 

Dionne Gesink: It does. It takes a community for sure. 

Radha Sharma: Now that you're kind of in a leadership role. How do you see the culture kind of changing in academia, if at all?

Dionne Gesink: Through my role, I see the anxiety that doctoral students have around achieving

because it's really hard to get an academic position. They are training to become professors if they can. And there's this panic to publish and have a really strong CV. Sometimes students are so focused on that they feel like it's not a good time. It's not a good time to have a family yet. I gotta wait until I finish my PhD. Or I need to wait until I've got my first faculty position, and then it becomes, I've got to wait until I have tenure. If you wait until you have tenure like you're going to be 35, 40, and your fertility is going to be tanked, you'll probably need a lot of intervention or support, if you want to have kids. My bias is always towards being very supportive. So I always talk with my doctoral students about like there is no bad time to have kids. So if you want to have a family, I always say, do not wait. If you want to have a family, don't wait. do it during your doctorate. It's a good time to have a kid. I had my first child during my doctorate. If that is something that you want to do, do it now, don't feel like you need to wait. But I also tried not to put pressure on people, because not everyone wants to have the family. And there can be sort of like this social expectation that women will have children and want to have children, but it's not necessarily true, so I try to see it in this as open a way as possible. And then I have a very diverse group of students. So I also don't want to just assume it's the women that want to have children, or that they're going to have ease with having children, because some of my students are in same sex relationships, some of them are men who want to have children, and they've got a male partner. So like I just try to have that have it be sort of an open, non burdened conversation where I just sort of salt it through and say, Hey, if you're thinking about it, it's not a bad time, and having them think about what does what does it look like for them, or what does it mean. Even if you don't want to have children, that's totally fine. And let's create a culture where it's okay to have other responsibilities outside of work, whether it's child rearing or looking after older parents, or looking after other family members, or whatever it might be. There's room, and, even if that's not your experience, you're aware of it for others. 

Radha Sharma: I'm going to shift gears a little bit and talk about your kids, or I guess they're adults now, so I don't know. My mom still calls me a kid. So I will go with that. How old are they now?

Dionne Gesink: So my youngest is 19 on Monday and my oldest is 22 in July.

Radha Sharma: Amazing! Happy early birthday to both of them. A lot of the trainees, and maybe physicians that are watching this may have younger children like I talked about earlier, and they may be interested in learning what it's like to be a parent and have adult children. How has that changed from when they're really, really young to them being, you know, adults.

Dionne Gesink: Yeah, that’s a great question. There is a story arc to this. Babies, like when they're babies and toddlers, and up to the age of about 7, like you gotta just keep them alive.

Radha Sharma: It’s like survival. 

Dionne Gesink: Right like alive, attaching well and they're gonna cry. And every time you think you're getting into a rhythm they're gonna let you feel comfortable for a day or 2, and then they're gonna change the rhythm on you, and you're gonna be exhausted. Once they hit 7, it really is the age of reason. They start to be able to carry their own stuff. You don't have to carry an entourage of bags with you for all of the things that might happen, like the puppy diapers, or the change of clothes and the bottles and the food. You don't have to carry all that anymore. They can manage a lot better. They sleep better. They're able to interact with you better. I took my older daughter with me to Greenland, When she was 7. She was able to stay up and not have a breakdown the next day. And she was able to sit quietly while I was in meetings and do her own thing. And she really took in the experience. She still talks about it today. So 7 to like about 11-12.

Dionne Gesink: Those are great years for you, your children. My children were really interested in discovery, and I was able to be part of that with them. Then they hit the “tween” years, and things start to change, at least with girls. So I had 2 girls, and that I'd say 12 to 15 were the struggle years. There was a lot of identity struggle, a lot of trying to figure out who they were, and they got to go through that. And you've got to sort of stand back. One of the pieces of advice that I got from an Indigenous elder. So I worked a lot with Indigenous communities and indigenous elders. So, you need to start treating them with more responsibility and more expectation as they approach those teen years. and give them a bit more responsibility. So with rights comes responsibilities, and with less oversight comes more responsibility. So getting them sort of trained into that. So I took that to heart and started to give my kids a bit more freedom, but also a bit more expectation and responsibility. And then, after they get through those challenging years, it moves into the years that I refer to, as, “I am neither to be neither seen nor heard”. ‘Cause they’re teens! I needed to be nearby. It was like I was on call. They didn't want to hear from me. They didn't really want to see me. I should just shepherd them around to whatever they needed to get to. But when they did want me, I needed to be right there and ready to spring into action, because when they wanted me, they really needed me, and it's a little bit like birds practicing flying. They need like a solid launch pad, and they need cushions to fall on if they if they don't launch properly, so that as they're learning, they they get the practice, but they have a catch. And then they went off to university and it and you just have to hope that it's like a Disney movie, except you're the parent that that's died off like. You have to trust that everything that you taught them when you had them is gonna help them be the best that they can be, and that they'll take it further than you ever expected. So I've been fortunate in that. My daughters have exceeded my expectations. They're much better than I was at the same age.

Radha Sharma: 

What's the best thing about being a mom to your daughters? 

Dionne Gesink: That's a great question. I think the experience of having unconditional love like literally unconditional love. My kids could do anything. And I think it's amazing, for in fact, they've told me, Mom, you gotta stop telling us you love us so much, and it's giving us an unrealistic sense of self. So the experience of unconditional love, for sure. In that, like my love for them is totally unconditional. I think for me, it'll be more conditional, but I don't care. It's also a real gift to go through this arc with them. So I was taught when I was working with Indigenous elders that our children are only loaned to us, and my kids were quite young at the time, and I thought, Oh, my gosh! That's sobering, and probably very true. And so I took it to heart, and I just kind of kept reminding myself. They’re only loaned to me. They're gonna be off on their own. So I gotta make the most of the time I have with them. And so it was wonderful to sort of re-experience life and relearn things through the eyes of my daughters. And and to have a chance to like foster generosity and compassion, and a lot of other traits that I value in them, and see them take it further than I expected, or hoped. And so yeah, I feel like I've got some pretty amazing daughters who are going to be great citizens, I think, out there to contribute back to society in a meaningful way. And there's been learning like I  learned when my kids were little, if I was thinking about work I'd get very impatient with my kids, and I had to put this rule in place, that if I was home with my kids and my kids were awake, I was not even allowed to think about work so that I could just focus on them. And I could have patience and just focus on their needs and what they needed, and I could have more fun with them.

Dionne Gesink: But every now and then, you know, you screw up, and as my kids have been older, I've just looked at them and said, Listen, you need something to talk about with your therapist when you're older. So you're welcome.

Radha Sharma: That’s so funny. My friends and I talk about that all the time. There has to be a little bit of something to talk about, because that's what kind of informed our lives as well. 

Dionne Gesink: So I gotta leave room for them to be better than me. 

Radha Sharma: The cycle continues on and on and on. I’m sure they’re really proud of you and you’re likewise really proud of them.

Radha Sharma: If you were given a magic wand and somehow you could go back in time, and you were afforded the opportunity to change one thing about your life. A) Would you change anything B) If so, or if not, why would you?

Dionne Gesink: My God! So many things I would change - like just one thing. I can't pick just one thing I would change. 

Radha Sharma: Maybe your top 2?. 

Dionne Gesink: But yeah, I'll cluster it into a positionality. I would change my positionality. So like I mentioned, it took me a while to figure out that I should not think about work when I was with my kids. I would spend more energy doing that kind of thing - just having fun and being patient with my kids and not rushing. Rushing is a terrible thing to kind of put on your kids. I'd be stressed because I was a new assistant professor at Montana State University. My kids were young. I was trying to get them to daycare. I'd start 2 hours before we had to leave to try to get daycare on time. We were always late. It was a gongshow trying to get out of the house and I would get really impatient and like not a nice side of me would come out. Chill out Dionne is what I would say to my younger self. Who cares if you're like 20 min late, for you know what you perceive as the start of your day. The other thing I would change is the way I approached parenting my younger daughter. So my older daughter was very reasonable. Even at a young age I could say no. First off - It's good to say no to kids, because they're when they're little their language isn't that developed. So some parenting strategies say, Don’t say no, just explain why they shouldn't do something. No, the kid needs to know clearly this is a no, and then you can explain why. So, anyhow. So we did that with our older daughter, and she was very reasonable and was like, okay, mommy, I won't do that. My younger daughter was the complete opposite. She was very emotional, and so I would try to use these same tactics and strategies on my younger daughter, and they just would fail ethically every time. One of the pieces of advice that you hear when a child is having a temper tantrum, you let them have the temper tantrum, and it'll fade out within. 

Radha Sharma: Yeah, it'll go away.

Dionne Gesink: Yeah, it’ll go away. Not with my younger daughter. One time I was trying to use this approach. 2 hours. She was in a tantrum for 2 hours. And I was like, Okay, clearly, this is not working. So I got to think of something else. So then, I was like, you know what? I'm just gonna do the opposite. She's a bit contrarian. And so the next time she had a temper transfer. I just like grabbed her in my arms, and I got really close, and I just held her while she fought for about 2 min, and then she stopped, and then I was like, Hey, where's your reset button? And she pointed to her stomach. And so then I pushed her reset button, and she was fine. I wish I had figured that out sooner, and recognizing different kids need different strategies and try to like, see the personality of your child and recognize that they're going to be different. They're all going to have different needs and respond differently.

Radha Sharma: It's not one size fits all. It would be easier that way though. One of the questions that I have now, is for any advice you have for medical trainees or graduate students, doctorate students, anyone, really, that's in a position where, they have a journey where they are training for a long time and they're thinking about family planning. What piece of advice or wisdom do you have for those individuals?

Dionne Gesink: I'm going to repeat what was told to me. Your children are only loaned to you, so use the time that you have with them. The other thing I would say is, if you want to have children, there is no bad time to have children. So you don't necessarily need to wait. And then, trying to remember to put your kids first if you do have them. And this is something my ex and I have done, even like we've always put our daughters first, and even as we got divorced, and as we've co-parented post divorce, we've always agreed. We put our kids first, and what is good for them and our kids having access to both of us, and that freedom and us having a good relationship is good for our kids. And then I think the last piece of advice I'd give is one that my mom gave me. She pointed out to me that once your kids reach the teen years, they have their friends and they start to work - It's very hard to get them to travel anywhere with you. So if you want to get travel in with your kids, you gotta get it in before they hit those years. so travel with them young, travel with them often, if you can afford it, even if it's just small trips, places. I got divorced when my older daughter was about 8 and my younger daughter was 4 or 5. So money was tight. And I just sort of was like, okay, if I'm paying my mortgage, that's my savings account. And I want to have my children have the experience of going to other places and seeing how things are different in other places. I want them to have that diversity of experience, so I'll take them places, even if it feels like I should be saving for some reason, like I can save once they're working, and with their friends all the time, and as long as I'm not going into debt. Then, like: let's just go and have, even if it's a simple time.

Dionne Gesink: I also made my children plan our holidays like they had a lot of, say I, especially as they got older. I was a geographer before I became an epidemiologist - a geographer and an ecologist. So I'd make them. I'd say, Okay, pick the country that you want to go to. And then I want you to map out the things you want to do like map it out on a map, so we can figure out where we're gonna like, where things cluster and where we're going to go visit. And then that way they couldn't complain about the trip. 

Radha Sharma: Thank you so much for sharing Dionne - all of the lovely stories about your daughters. I ask all my guests this and it's in the name of the podcast - Dionne, are you thriving or surviving?

Dionne Gesink: So I'm gonna throw a third one in there which is, I’m adjusting because my children have left home, and I'm now an empty nest. So I'm adjusting because I'm no longer - I guess I'm surviving the change, starting to move into allowing myself to thrive, because if I feel like you know the grief and the loss of them moving away from home. So I feel a little guilty about feeling like yay, I can do whatever I want. My house stays clean now. 

Radha Sharma: I like that in between, transition phase - adjusting. We just want to give you another huge thank you on behalf of the team. It was an absolute pleasure chatting with you again and you can find Dionne's contact information in the show notes from today's show. This is Radha and Dionne signing off.