Abby Davisson joins the podcast to talk about how money and love are intertwined in navigating life’s big decisions.

Abby Davisson is the co-author of the new release Money and Love, An Intelligent Road Map For Life’s Biggest Decisions. In our conversation, Abby explains The 5Cs, a framework she learned as a student at Stanford Business School, that serves as a research based guide in navigating big life choices. We talk about how money and love are intertwined, and how often in the decision-making process we can lose sight of this. If you ever wished Google would answer some of these big life questions for you, this is an episode you won’t want to miss.

Abby Davisson "Money and Love" author

“Everyone deserves the resources and skills to enjoy both love and money.”

– Abby Davisson

In this episode:

We talk about how the 5Cs were a revelation to Abby as a graduate student, and how Abby along with her coauthor Myra Strober, who was the Stanford professor she took this class from, wanted to share the framework outside of higher education to help more people navigate these complicated life choices.

The 5Cs are…drum roll…

  1. Clarify what is important to you:  to make an effective decision you must first understand what you truly want and what you don’t
  2. Communicate: as you clarify what you want, open a two-way dialogue with others involved in the decision
  3. Consider a Broad Range of Choices: few decisions are strictly either/or, and one key to better decision-making is broadening your alternatives
  4. Check in with Friends, Family, and Other Resources, sharing your thought process or reaching out to others can bring new insights
  5. Consequences: weigh the short-term and long -term consequences of different choices before you make a final decision.
choices, book, decisions, people, feel, life, important, conversation, pandemic, framework, thinking, situation, questions, clarify, family, big, big life decisions, live, helpful, move
Abby Davisson, Megan Gipson

Megan Gipson 00:03
Thanks so much for joining me on the family brain today. Today I have Abby Davison with me. I'm so excited because I just finished reading their book that just came out January 2023, money and love and intelligent roadmap for life's biggest decisions. Abby is a social innovation leader and career development expert. Most recently, she spent nine years at global retailer gap Incorporated, which some of you may have heard of, where she was served as president of the gap foundation and co founded the company's employee resource group for parents. Abby's the mom of two boys lives in San Francisco, which I am a little bit jealous of, because I miss my San Francisco days, and loves hiking. And Abby co authored this book with my wrist rover. And so I'm so excited to hear more about the book and sort of what got you ready to write it? So thanks for joining me today.

Abby Davisson 01:01
Thanks for having me. Megan. I'm delighted to be here. Yeah. So

Megan Gipson 01:04
it's interesting that this book came to me and actually the person who put me onto this book was, yeah, who I just had on my podcast, who wrote the book work parent thrive. And so some of the people listening to this might have also listened to that episode. And I think a lot of this, the concepts go hand in hand. But I wanted to sort of talk to you a little bit about what got you excited about doing a book like this? What was what was sort of your motivation?

Abby Davisson 01:34
Yeah, I wrote this book. Because when I was in my early and mid 20s, like so many people at that age, I was making big life decisions, and really had a tough time with them. Things like, should I move to this new city? Because I want to live there, even if I don't have a job? Should I? If I'm dating someone, and things are getting serious, like how do I know if this is my person? And, you know, I made the decisions as best I could. But I found them really tough. And it wasn't until I was in graduate school, and took my risk class that I realized why, which is that the conventional wisdom about how we make decisions about jobs and careers and money related things, and relationships and love related things, is that we should compartmentalize those, right? We think about rational things, when we think about our careers, like why does that? What's the advancement opportunity in this job? What's the 401k package? And then we think with in relationship decisions with our hearts, you know, how do I feel when I'm with this person? Can I can I picture us together. And that is such a flawed way of thinking because money and love decisions are profoundly intertwined. And unless you consider them jointly, you are missing a big part of the picture. And so taking the class, learning about the data, the hearing from guest speakers and their stories about how they approached big life decisions. totally revolutionized my thinking. It changed my life profoundly. And the further I got out from the class, the more I realized how important these this information is for everyone. And so my IRA and I teamed up to write the book to take it from an elite institution, Stanford Business School, where she taught it for 40 years, to empower more people as many people as possible to make big life choices with confidence. Yes,

Megan Gipson 03:50
I love it. I mean, and it's funny, because I feel like reading this and having this conversation, it's like, I want to get it right. Because I feel like people don't myself included, you don't realize what a big deal all these decisions are. And until sometimes years later, like, Oh, that was a really big decision. Or even, we never even made a decision. We just kind of I feel like for me, that's sort of my thought process was more like, Oh, it'll work out even though I'm not a it'll work out easy, easy, squeezy kind of person. Like, I just think with some of these bigger decisions, you just kind of, or at least I did, I think I gave up some control of that, like, well, let's just see what happens, you know, because I don't think I had some of these questions to ask myself even. And one of the first like, I think it's literally the first Yeah, the in the introduction. The woman, Lauren, who's upset because she got into graduate school. And then she's also in a relationship that was like, exactly my story. And I think if I had had a book like this, I mean, I read it and I was like, Is this about me? Am I Lauren? But and I remember ask I like remember where Sitting this was like 20 years ago, I remember I sitting when I asked my grandmother because I had been asking all these people, what should I do? What should I do? And she said, Megan, just do what you want. And that is what when I realized I didn't even know what I wanted, I was going around asking all these different people what they would want, maybe. And so I think that that's a really interesting, sort of under under explored piece of it. And so that kind of goes to like your, you have a framework. So maybe you could talk about the framework. And I feel like that kind of leads into that first framework point that, at least for me, I was missing, because I was looking all on the outside of like, what am I supposed to do next? Without sort of checking in with my own stuff? So maybe you could talk about that a little bit?

Abby Davisson 05:47
Yeah, well, I think it's, it's so true. I mean, no one teaches us how to make these decisions, right we are, we see maybe what our parents have done, we see how our friends and contemporaries are making choices. But the truth is that our choices are really different than the ones that our parents face. And you know, that your grandmother faced. And, and so it's really hard to ask people who might be mentors in other parts of our lives to tell us what to do, even though we want someone sometimes to just tell us what to do. And so you mentioned we have an approach that is flexible, can be applied to a lot of different life, big life decisions. But it's really sturdy. And we've road tested over the past several years, certainly when we were writing the book, and this was not a smooth road, as you know, in terms of what's been going on the last few years, right, we were like in a jeep in with potholes and mudslides, and monsoons it was. So we feel very confident that this framework can be helpful and reassuring. And the first step, as you were just mentioning, is what is so important before you move on to anything else before you ask other people their opinions is the first step is clarify, clarify what's important to you, what matters most to you, try to tease out what you personally care about, versus what society might tell you you should care about. And so, you know, in, you know, for example, my husband and I use this decision pretty these, this framework, pretty recently, we were trying to make a decision about do we move out of San Francisco to the suburbs, we have two young kids. In the pandemic, nobody had enough space. But we're really didn't have enough space living in a small footprint apartment or small footprint home. And we took a minute to clarify what was important to us, it wasn't more space, it was actually having the flexibility to be able to move our careers in directions that we wanted to and not to be tied to a big mortgage because we had a big house. But society tells us over there, you're running one room schoolhouse, and an office building and a home gym as we all were and you know, the pandemic that it's better to have more space. And so if we hadn't taken that step of really clarifying what was important to us, we would be living somewhere bigger, but maybe tied to jobs that didn't feel right for us anymore.

Megan Gipson 08:31
Yeah. What's interesting, as you were talking, I was thinking about how what you said about sometimes we only have the example of what our parents have done, or the people we know. And now we have that. And we also have what everyone else is doing on the internet and on social media. And like, here's what we do. And here's what we have. And I think he could kind of play some mind games with you kind of a lot. It can play a lot of mind games, about what one should want. And so I think it's almost like you have to double down on this like, really? Okay, that's an option here are all these different choices. What do I actually want? And then put that with someone else is a whole nother like, that's like leveling up in the game. You got it, then how do we match that with someone else? And I like how a lot of what you talk about in the book is how you talk to, like, you're not just doing this in isolation, like that. That's very clear. Like you want to have a relationship. And so how do you take what's important to you, and then work with someone else? So I think that that's an important piece of all of this.

Abby Davisson 09:40
Totally. And I mean, I think your point about social media is so well taken, we are so influenced by what we see others doing and then it influences our own desires. And and you're right we're not making these decisions in isolation and I was such a fan And I have career books and I read what color is your parachute and designing your life? And those are really about you, right? Like, what color? Is your specific parachute? Or what do you want to design your life. But the truth is that when we decide to connect our lives with someone else, whether that is a life partner, whether that is someone who were caregiving for, whether that's a child or older adult, you don't make decisions in isolation. And so it's very important that you're having the conversations, once you clarify what you want. The second seed in our framework is communicate, and talk to the people who are going to be affected by those big decisions, and share what you want, hear what they want, how that lands, and have some of the conversations that might be even intimidating to have with someone who you might be just getting to know or even someone you've been with for a long time. Because clarifying what you want is quite vulnerable, actually, to share it with someone and to put it out there and say, this is actually my deep desire, you know, how does that feel for you? Right. And so, oftentimes, I think we shy away even with people we know really well from having those difficult conversations.

Megan Gipson 11:22
Right? Yeah, it's it is I think you're right. And I think what in my experience, the more clear, you could be on that it really is important to you. I think, in the past, sometimes I'll like hash things out in communication, which you can also do, but I think if you can come to that the conversation, kind of knowing that you've kind of done your internal work about this is really, I want to be clear that this is important to me, you know, and I think it's sometimes hard to get to that point. Yeah, one of the things that we have in our in our families as we are my family, is that we have moved for my husband's job a fair amount. And I would love to someday be closer to my immediate family, and just sort of talking about what would that look like? That doesn't mean we have to like blow up our current life, but like, kind of getting my husband on board with like, what could a future look like that we can integrate that in? Anyway, so it's just interesting how I think having that clarity can help you communicate a little bit more clearly. So that the other person then knows it's important to you. It's not just like a passing thought of, you know, Chinese food or burgers tonight? We don't know, you know, absolutely.

Abby Davisson 12:35
And it's not like you have to make those decisions instantly. I mean, one of the things we really advocate for is slowing down the decisions, and not feeling like you have to make them in an instant. Because you rarely do. But to your point if you plant those seeds, when it's not a pressure point, right, where it's not, you're you're out for dinner and you talk about, you know, I've been thinking about living closer to family and not something it's really important to me to do some day. You're not putting a timeline on it, but you're putting a stake in the ground about this is something I'd like us to consider and like us to talk about more. And the image I love for the clarify and communicate steps is a double helix, right? Like a DNA strand where sometimes when you share what's important to you, and communicate with someone else that actually changes what's important to them, and you, you actually kind of grow together and your desires, and it feels not like, oh, I want this and you want that. But we're actually in a system. I know your podcast focuses on this family system. And you can get to a place where you explore things in a in a collaborative way. Yeah. Because you're not saying Oh, and by the way, we have to make this decision tomorrow.

Megan Gipson 13:59
Right? Right. That's so true. And then the next point is consider a broad range of choices. Which I like that idea too, because I mean, it kind of goes back to my where should we live in the future? Peace. I don't know that it's going to be like we pick up our whole family and move somewhere else. But maybe we spend a certain amount of time somewhere else like so for me, I like that idea of like it doesn't have to be all or nothing. And that there are so many different examples that we can look to, is that sort of what that concept looks like that like you can kind of play with it a little bit. Yeah, we get very

Abby Davisson 14:38
tunnel vision when it comes to choices. Like do I stay in this job? Or do I quit? Do I marry this person? Or do I break up with them? Right and it's rarely are those the only two options? And so this step is really about have I considered this widely enough and to your point rather than do we Stay here or move closer to my family, it's how might we get at what I want and that whether that's a richer relationship between my kids and their grandparents, whether that's more time I mean, I know and Thanksgiving, it's such a high dose, right? If you don't live with, with your relatives and the holidays, right, it's just like you parachute in, you spend 24/7 together, and then everyone is like, oh, and so if you're like, I don't want to feel like that, I don't want it to be that intense, then brainstorming options to widen, the ones that you're considering is really important. And, and it's helpful to talk to people outside of your situation, so that they might put other options on the table. So you mentioned maybe we travel and live there for, you know, the summer, or maybe, actually, your family might be interested in moving out near mu. And so there are things that, you know, when we say communicate, it's not just, you know, with one person, it's everyone who might be involved, and everyone who has a stake in that decision, which I imagine your your parents would, too. Yes,

Megan Gipson 16:15
yes. And I want to say, I'm just picturing right now. So for those who have not seen the book, the book does a really nice job. So this is the framework we're talking about. And then within these different sort of categories, you use the framework to break down different situations. So it could be something like, do I want to move in with someone? Do I want to move? Do I want to take this job or not take this job. But what I like is that it kind of each, each topic that you talk about, gives some very concrete questions to ask and like, kind of like, turns it in on every direction. Like, have you thought about it from this way? Have you thought about it from this way? And I like that, because it just sort of helps open up questions that you didn't even know you add, like, oh, I never even thought about that part, you know, about like, I don't know, getting depressed from too much cold or whatever, whatever the thing is, you know, it just, it kind of gives you some questions to ask that might not even be on your radar, which I think helps you consider your choices differently. When you when you like, don't see that other side of it. Right? And

Abby Davisson 17:22
that's where we're other people can be helpful, right? When you're in your own situation, you kind of have blinders on. And you only see like, this is the thing that's hard for me, right? When we were in our home non stop with our kids on Zoom school. It was it just felt tight, right? It just felt small. And so having conversations with people, you know, who lived in the cities that we were considering moving to like who who we said kind of give us the unvarnished, good, bad, ugly about living here. And we, you know, gives you a chance to not see the grass is greener. Because I think that sometimes what we do too, is we say, Oh, if only my life was like this, it would solve all these problems. And sometimes we take our problems with us, right? And so even sometimes. So even if you think you solve for the thing that is, you know, the biggest challenge, something else pops up. And it turns out, that wasn't the silver bullet. And so thinking about all the different choices, and to your point at having other people look at your situation with you. So they could say, well, but you love you know, where you live, you love that you can walk everywhere, how would you feel about having to drive everywhere, and for me, like that would not feel good. We live in a place right now where you know, real estate has walking scores, right, and we have a 93 walk score from where we live right now. And when we were looking at know houses that were bigger, it was like a six. And I probably have

Megan Gipson 19:05
like a point five score. It's a nice, it's beautiful. If you just want to walk if you have a destination you're trying to get to not so much. But it is it's all these pluses and minuses and I think that that goes back to the clarifying like, we really liked that part. And and, you know, it's, it's it is tricky to kind of I think it's I guess the way I think about it too is no scenario is going to be perfect. So like how do you really consider what's going to be optimal, and see how it goes. You know, and play it out and sort of course correct as needed. But there's a lot more that we can do to think through some of these things versus just kind of winging it. Yeah. And I try

Abby Davisson 19:51
them on for size right? I mean, you don't have to, you can rent an Airbnb and live somewhere for a month to try it out. Before you pack everything and sell your home and move somewhere, right, you can try to prototype is in the language of, you know, the design thinking movement to say, let me so I have these choices that I've laid out there, how can I get more information about them without actually making one of them? Right? You know, if you're considering moving in with someone, have you taken a long trip with that person? Have you traveled? Have you kind of faced some of the challenges that you're going to face? When things are your pipe breaks, and you have to fix it? Right? That's some of the things that are the less romantic side of, of living with someone to test it out before you actually give up your lease and make that decision. So that that can also be very helpful as a way to de risk the choice but get more information. Right?

Megan Gipson 20:54
Yeah, no, I like that. When it's, well, I want to get so the the last step, it's clarify, communicate, consider a broad range of choices, check it with other people. And then the last one is explored likely consequences. Can you talk a little bit about that just as the last step?

Abby Davisson 21:12
Yeah. So I think as humans, we have this bias, this tendency to really focus on the short term, it's our human nature, right? Because that's what's right in front of us. But when you make these big choices, as you mentioned, they can be really life changing, right. And they can have implications, not just for the short term, but for the medium term in the long term. And one of the things that we advocate is to really think about the consequences in different timeframes. So that it helps you see, okay, maybe moving to a new place would be hard in the short term, because we wouldn't know very many people, and we'd have to start over. But after a few years, you would meet new people, you would make friends, you would build a community. And so that part that would be really hard in the short term, actually, would, would be less hard in the long term. And so by zooming out a bit, and by considering all the things that could go right, in the short, medium, and long term, and all the things that could go wrong in the short meeting long term, you're more mentally prepared for when one of those things does happen, but then also to consider the broader implications for your life than just this job is so awful, and I need to leave it tomorrow. And yes, that might make you feel better tomorrow. But what how would that make you feel in a year?

Megan Gipson 22:40
Right? Yeah, no, that makes so much sense. And it's funny, because I think as I think about this, I think I could picture someone challenging the idea by like, Well, life is just messy. And you just got to kind of take what comes, you know, and and is that true that that life can be messy? Yes. Like things pop up all the time that we don't anticipate. But I also think that there's so much power in grounding down on like, what are the things we can think about? Like, yes, there are going to be these random things that come out of nowhere that no one anticipated. But I think that, especially when you start to feel a little like, without a guide, without a map, there's some questions you can ask yourself for what the next step will be, like, what what are the choices I do have within this messy world? And I think that that, for me, helps me feel more grounded within like, what are the things that I can think about? Given that, you know, mess vector, that we all would like to shoo away sometimes? So I think I think it makes so much sense.

Abby Davisson 23:46
No, I think these choices don't get easier. And we're not necessarily saying, oh, follow this framework. And these choices will be easy. And sure everything will go your way. Right. But what we do know is that if you follow this approach, you do feel more confident on the other side of it, because you have considered things from multiple angles, you've taken your time you've, you've followed something that is proven approach. And regardless of what the outcome is, you have more confidence in your process. And I think so many of us when we make big decisions, we can have a tendency to second guess ourselves and to say, like, Oh, was that really the right thing? And, and that can be quite painful. I mean, I have, you know, before I took my race class, I definitely had that tendency and it doesn't feel good, right? If things don't turn out the way that you that you want. Like if you if you take a job and you think it's going to be great and then you know, a couple of months in you're like, Ooh, this is not this is not the right call. It's it's kind of adding insult to injury to then be like, Oh, I really they made that choice wrong because they are now in a situation you're not happy about. And then you're beating yourself up for putting yourself out there. And so we do think that life is messy. Obviously unanticipated things come along. It's not that this framework is a silver bullet. But it is a way to calm that swirling and spinning that we do around these big choices. And we wanted it to be reassuring to people. And that's, you know, really so important when you're making these decisions is to feel like, well, I did the best I could.

Megan Gipson 25:35
Yes, no, it's funny, because it reminds me of I feel like I've had multiple moments in my life where I want to like Google, what should I do next? What where should I move? You know, just things like that. And it's like, this is actually if you are feeling compelled to like Google, and have Google make a decision for you, like this is a much more, reading the book and going through some of this process is a much more helpful way to sort of like you said, stop some of that swirling of like, I don't really know, here's some steps that can help you sort of think through what you want. And what I like to and what are the things you talk about is just the changing dynamics of families, that families show up in all different ways now, and and have for a long time, but there's a little bit more acknowledgement that families are all different. And that the dynamic, it's not sort of like single breadwinner, you know, gender roles, like all of it has been put into the blender, which is great and freeing for so many people and a little bit confusing sometimes. Because like, what are we supposed to do? How are we supposed it's not always easy to then if there's no clear setup, then what? And I like how your book sort of speaks to that, that because of, you know, all the changes in the dynamics of, you know, breadwinning? And how families? Look, we have a lot more questions coming at us.

Abby Davisson 27:03
And not only do we have more questions coming at us, we have more choices. And that can be really paralyzing. You know, there's this book of the paradox of choice, right, that there's data and research that shows the more that you more choices that you have, actually, the more daunting it is, and the more you can kind of be paralyzed. And actually when you narrow down, and you and you know, there is I mean, not that I wish we could go back and by any means to the days of single breadwinner families. But the choices were simpler, right? And so how do you with the many choices you have? confidently make them in a way that feels right for your particular situation. One of the things I loved when we were doing the research for the book was the survey that we sent to many, many people to ask them about the big life choices that we're on their mind and how they made them. And to your point, I mean, no family is the same people have different situations, different financial situations, different relationship situations, different caregiving situations. And so it's you might see on social media, people making, you know, one specific choice and and feel like Oh, should does that what I should be doing but there is some there's a power in hearing all of the different stories, that and choices that people are facing and realizing okay, I'm not alone in feeling overwhelmed, even if you know, I'm in a same sex couple and and there's a you know, heterosexual couple like, we we are our situations are different, but some of the choices that we're facing are very similar. And so you can learn from people's stories that are different from yours, you can certainly feel there's some universals that we feel more reassured by knowing that it's something that so many people faced and the the topic that we heard more about in that survey than any other one was about moving and about, you know, should I stay? Should I go? I mean, part of it is when we did the research, which was in in the pandemic, and people were suddenly spending more time than ever at home and faced with those questions. But, you know, that is such a fundamental question. And it's one that you don't make only once some of these other decisions that we cover in the book are ones that you make, and then you know, yes, you can decide to have more than one child or you can decide how to have children. But once you make that choice, like you've made that choice, you cannot return your children no matter how many times some of us have wished for that right and so removing it comes up again and again. And you know, if your partner moves a lot for their career or if you have choices about moving for yours or both. It does come up again and again. And so I think that is If it's helpful to know that there are some choices you're going to need to make over and over. And this can be a helpful way to think about those.

Megan Gipson 30:08
Yeah, well, and it's funny because I feel like some of the curse and the blessing of the pandemic lockdown days was that, for me, at least. And I feel like other people I've talked to it kind of made you realize, well, I am making a lot of choices. But we're often so busy that we don't even realize the choices we're making. So we've like kind of had, it slowed us down so much, that we kind of had to look around and be like, Wait, where am I what's happening here, you know, and it sort of made you kind of reassess some of the choices that you are making. And if it's like, it was the blender, like of all the choices, it's like, the pandemic, like, the blender was taken off, the top was taken off the blender, and it was like, wow, like, there's so much happening. But I think it's kind of exciting to to remember, you do have choices, you know, that I think sometimes we can feel stuck, you know, like, this is just what it is. And I actually when I was reading this, I started thinking, Oh, I wish I had had this when I was younger. But I'm still making all kinds of choices. You know, I mean, there's some choices I've already made. But I think that Well, first of all, in the book, you kind of walk through different stages of life. And I'm maybe not at the first stage more in the middle. But I also think that even some of those early decisions you can revisit, you know, here's here's something we've kind of just gone with, let's let's have a conversation about it. Because it's not working for me or it's not working for you. So I think that a lot of the things that if you feel like, Oh, my relationships already cooked, I already have, we already have our thing, that there's a lot of things you can revisit and sort of reassess. Is this how we want to be doing it?

Abby Davisson 31:47
Absolutely. And I think the pandemic, you know, one of the Silver Linings is it did it was kind of a reset button right about what you want to allow in your life and you don't. And to your point, the chapters cover everything from, you know, is this my person? And should I move into that with them all the way to? What if this relationship isn't going well, and we need to think about separating or even divorcing, and eldercare. And that is something that if you still have living older relatives, you will have to face one time or another and none of us like to think about it. And it is a topic that in our society, we don't talk about very much. But it's so important to have those conversations before you're in a situation where you need to make a snap decision. And, you know, my own personal experience with this is that my mom had an accident, and had fell and on the steps concrete steps outside of my childhood home on what was supposed to be the last day of her work before she retired. And suddenly, I she had brain swelling and bleeding and was in the ICU and my dad and I were making some choices that we didn't think we would have to make for decades. And that was such a challenging time when you're already grieving about a tragic accident to be trying to think about, okay, well, what is the right environment for her? And how should we be, you know, what does she even want? You know, I mean, that these are, these are things and we provide a lot of questions in that chapter to have with your loved ones at a time when, you know, maybe you don't, you know, there's not a flashpoint. And it's so, so important to do to have these conversations. And I think we do ourselves a disservice as a society for from, you know, by shying away from that topic.

Megan Gipson 33:45
Right? Yeah. Well, and what I I'm just thinking about how how that those kinds of conversations are very hard. And sort of like it takes to to have the conversation, right. So like you could even if you're thinking through some of these things, and say you have a partner or an aging parent, or a child who doesn't want to have the conversation with you about whatever the topic is, sort of going back to what you said about like your own due diligence, I've thought through this and like, I, I would like to have a conversation about it with this other person. And sometimes there's only so much I maybe this is getting too much into like therapy land, but like, I feel like sometimes there's only so much you can do and you kind of I've done my due diligence, and I'd like to have this, this conversation. And what do you suggest when when there's a sticking point there?

Abby Davisson 34:38
Yeah, well, I think you can use this book as a way in to say, Hey, I just read this book about making big life decisions. There's a whole chapter on retirement and elder care. And I'm curious how you're thinking about that. I can tell you what I've been thinking about for myself, but you're gonna get there earlier than I am. And so You know, but have had the conversation as a, hey, you know, I read this book and it had an interesting chapter. And so you could kind of neutralize it that way. You don't have to come at it quite as directly, right?

Megan Gipson 35:12
No, I like that idea. That's a good idea. Well, thank you so much, this has been so helpful. And I am going to keep this and I, what's kind of fun, too, is I think about like, I'm not going to be heavy handed, I'm going to tell myself that in advance. But like, I like some of these questions for like, I have younger kids, at some point, they're going to be in a situation where they're wondering, you know, do I move in with this person? Do I get married, and I can be like, Oh, I read this book. And just, you know, here's some of the questions that as, so I think it can also be helpful, not just for yourself, but if you have a person in your family or a loved one friend, working through some things, it might be a good way to help support someone else, too, just in sort of helping them get through whatever they're dealing with.

Abby Davisson 35:55
I love that. And it's it's so interesting, my co author and I are almost 40 years apart. And so her contemporaries are in their 80s. And so many of them, as she's talked about, the book has have said, I have to give this to all my grandkids, like they're not going to listen to me about I mean, you you talked with your grandmother about what should I do in this situation? You know, imagine if she had handed you a book and said, you know, do what you want. But here this is, here's some information that might be helpful. And so that is our deepest wish about the book is that it is something that people can use to empower the people that they love to make decisions and have more confidence about those decisions. So I love that, that you're going to store it away for your own kids on the

Megan Gipson 36:38
am I am. Well, is there anything that you were hoping that you could share with me that I haven't asked you about?

Abby Davisson 36:46
I think if people take nothing else away from this conversation, other than slow down to make these decisions, that would be enough. There is talked about a lot the framework, there is helpful data and stories, but we get so in our heads and feel like we have to have to make a choice. It's very uncomfortable to sit in ambiguity and to sit in uncertainty. And so our human instinct is to just push through and make a choice. But if we do without really being intentional, that's when we get into situations that lead to regret. And to prevent that the slowing down piece is so crucial. Yeah,

Megan Gipson 37:38
no, that makes so much sense. And I and I would say to what I'm thinking about is, I'm a therapist, and I have some young adult clients. And I think sometimes there is pressure put to like, well, what are you doing? What do you what's your decision? You know, sometimes people can feel pressure from others. And so I think the more that you can remember, like you're saying slow down, and like if someone else is pressuring you to like, well, you should know, well, do they really know? You know, I always say that, like, do they really know people pretend they know a lot of things. But sometimes you have to slow down to like, get in touch with what it is you truly want. And sometimes it does take some time. So I love that advice of slowing down and sort of considering all the different angles. And I think like, like I said before, I think you guys give a lot of very concrete steps and conversations. Honestly, I was thinking back to we did a a premarital class. And I think I thought these questions would be there. Oh, it was not it was just like, Oh, you guys like each other? Okay, good. Like something maybe how many kids? Do you want to have Have a nice day, it was very basic. And this I think is such a good walkthrough of just sort of all the different things that can come up and sort of how do you think through it? So I love what you guys have put out there.

Abby Davisson 38:59
Oh, thank you so much. Yeah, we I agree. This is the book I wish I had 20 plus years ago, but I am still going to be using this going forward. It's you're not done making choices until you're in the ground. And so it is definitely useful at all different stages.

Megan Gipson 39:17
Yeah. And if people want to learn more about the book or where to get the book, what's the best place to direct them? Is there a website or Instagram?

Abby Davisson 39:26
Yes, our website is money, love And then my Instagram is Abby dot Davison at our Abby dot Davison. Okay, I'll be posting things about our book. They're

Megan Gipson 39:42
awesome. And I'll share all of that in the show notes. So everybody knows where to find you. And I'll post a link for checking out the book. Thank you so much. Again, this was fantastic. Yeah, so nice talking to you. Likewise

Learn more about Abby Davisson and Money and Love:

In this episode, we cover:

  • How life choices are constantly evolving
  • How the change in gender roles and family structure has changed
  • Why big life choices feel overwhelming
  • How to approach a partner to engage in the process
  • The benefits of slowing down to make more deliberate choices
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