Transcript for Doug and Kelly - Season 3, Episode 4

Kelly Bron Johnson (00:08):

 All right. So time for another ranting and raving episode,

Doug Blecher (00:13):


Kelly Bron Johnson (00:15):

On different topics.

Doug Blecher (00:18):

What I enjoyed the last one. I thought it, I thought, um, the last one of these we did turned out really well.

Kelly Bron Johnson (00:26):

I don't even remember what we spoke about <laugh>.

Doug Blecher (00:28):

I don't either. I mean, I'm not gonna remember. I don't know. I guess it was the feeling of it. It felt like, oh, it wasn't like I wasn't a complete disaster on the last one. So it must have turned out pretty good.

Kelly Bron Johnson (00:41):

That's, that's the bar that we're, we're using right now. Right? <laugh>, the metric that we're using it wasn't as a complete disaster. <laugh>. So we'll do it again.

Doug Blecher (00:50):

That's usually my bar. I don't know if I need to adjust my bar at all. But, um, anyway, on our last episode we talked with Monetta Wilson and I, I really love talking with Monetta. And you know, Monetta, you know, is obviously a yoga teacher. So I thought we would start off by digging into our yoga experiences, cause it sounds like we both have experience with yoga.

Kelly Bron Johnson (01:21):

Yeah. I actually, there's many times in my life where I thought of doing the teacher training. I have times when yoga was used against me in the sense that I went to, I went to see a doctor. I was having some depression and mental health issues and he was like, oh, just go do yoga. Go do more yoga. And I'm like, how is that? That's not helping me. That was not helping me. He was completely dismissive in that sense, but I mean, he was Indian so it was interesting cuz he was telling me to do something that would've been culturally appropriate and made sense. But I'm, I'm pretty sure that my mental health was not gonna be cured by by more yoga. There was a point in my life where I was doing it daily and I was doing it so much that you, your body starts to crave it.


Like when you do it, if you don't do it, then you're like, it's like exercise. Well, I hear that for people. That doesn't happen to me <laugh>. It doesn't happen to me with traditional exercise, but with, with yoga it did. But, it's actually my sister that went ahead and got her teacher training out of it was kind of surprising to me. So my sister's a, uh, a certified yoga instructor and yeah, that's, it's, I guess my experience with yoga is, is from the outside of watching her do her certification and what it was like for her and, and her practice. So I don't really do yoga much anymore, to be honest.

Doug Blecher (02:49):

Yeah. Well you're as usual, one or two steps ahead of me. The idea of even become getting a teacher certification in youga is not something my mind can comprehend <laugh>. But,  yeah, I've done yoga on and off over the years and it's, I think it's been helpful, but certainly it's not like go do yoga to help your mental health is not like, or cure your mental health. <laugh> woes is, doesn't sound like a good idea, but I'm wanting to do it for probably two reasons lately. And they, and they probably contradict one another. So it's, i kind of excellent. Yeah. So the first one is cause I want to get back to running in, in marathons and I'm hoping that the, that yoga can help with that cause my body is not holding up at all or even close, it breaks down so quickly.


So I'm hoping maybe yoga can do, can help with that in terms of like stretching my body. So it'll last a lot longer than it does. And I think the other thing is like, I don't know for you Kelly, but as I've gotten older, my muscles are just so tight. Like every part of my body is just incredibly tight. My upper body, my lower body. So, you know, hearing Monetta talk about chair yoga last time, I'm kind of really interested in that idea because I have a tendency to do more, to do more, to do more. And I don't think that's the, the approach I need to be taking as I'm 40, 45 now. Yes. I'm 45. Yes. <laugh>. Think about that. Yeah. Yeah. I gotta do like the math or stuff, you know, it's like a math problem now. Like, okay. So yeah, so I've been definitely thinking about like how can, how can yoga be helpful to a certain extent to my physical and my mental health?

Kelly Bron Johnson (05:06):

Yeah. I think to me like yoga is largely mental. It's about kind of being in your body. And they say that and it sounds so easy, but it's not because, , I think we're constantly judging ourselves. We're constantly judging our bodies. And the positions are physical, but they're really meant to test you. I think more mentally you sometimes it's about letting go, like you said that tightness you have, learning your limits, learning when to let go. Learning it just to kind of push it a little bit further to kind of challenge yourself, but then also relax into it at the same time. It's like, it is an art, right? It's totally an art form in that sense. I was gonna ask, do you get like runners high? Do you get that like when you're doing marathons, like what, what, what prompted you or provoked you <laugh> or pushed you into doing marathons? Cause it's something like, I think it's interesting, but I don't think I would enjoy it.

Doug Blecher (06:07):

Yeah. I mean, my favorite part of running I alwsys say is when it's over. Um, so, so there's that.

Kelly Bron Johnson (06:15):

But why did you start

Doug Blecher (06:16):

<laugh>? Why did I start? Um, well I was 19 and I started running

Kelly Bron Johnson (06:23):

And so that smart though <laugh>

Doug Blecher (06:25):

<laugh>, so it was a long time ago. And, you know, I started out, I would run 20 or 30 minutes at a time, and then one day, I guess I got a runner's high that day and I ended up running for like 40 minutes or something like that. And I was like, oh wow, that I really, that that I really enjoyed that, that gave me a, some positive feelings and I was, and when I was done with that, the run that day, and this is kind of the story of my life, after running 40 minutes one time in my life, I said, oh, now I think I'm gonna run a marathon now. <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative> a li definitely a little delusional. Uh, definitely some executive functioning where there's a lot of steps to take from running 40 minutes one time to finishing a marathon. But, but yeah, that was kind of the, the story of my initial running a marathon.

Kelly Bron Johnson (07:30):

So that was the folly of youth

Doug Blecher (07:32):

For sure, for sure. Okay. It was the folly of youth. I could eat anything I wanted at that time. I didn't have to worry about as much about recovering. Like if I tried to run for a longer period of time, today would probably be a week of recovery, <laugh> from that versus, um, I could probably go out the next day when I was 19,22 or my last marathon was at when I was 28. So, yeah, so things have definitely changed since then.

Kelly Bron Johnson (08:07):

Hm hmm. But you see, I see, I see marathons as largely mental as well as everybody at that effort kind of describe it. You're pretty much just, your brain is basically forcing your body to just kind of keep going. That's how you get it done.

Doug Blecher (08:21):

So I think there's a lot of good, good things I learned from marathons and a lot of bad things. and I think I, you know, kind of trace this back to learning that I'm autistic is that the good part is like you kind of l learn to like, take things one step at a time. Like the training process. You don't just, you know, you just don't run a marathon and if you do, you're probably not gonna finish, or bad things can potentially happen if you don't take your training seriously. So you kind of learn like, okay, there's gonna be, there's gonna be some good days, there's gonna be some bad days. Ultimately things fall onto you although, although you can get support from other people in the process, but ultimately whether you, you know, that process depends on you. So I think those are some like great things you can learn.


You can learn, you can learn about your body, you can learn about what to eat and what not to eat. Those are, I think all those, you know, hydrating yourself, all those things are great things. I think the bad thing about it is pushing yourself and pushing yourself and pushing yourself to an extent that can is very likely to lead to autistic burnout or get into like deeper cycles of that. So while I love running and I think marathon running is, is wonderful and there's lots of good things you can learn from it. I think there's, as autistic people, I think there's things that we need to be really, concerned about in that process and be aware of.

Kelly Bron Johnson (10:09):

Okay. Yeah. I think that's why I have no interest in it. <laugh>,

Doug Blecher (10:16):


Kelly Bron Johnson (10:17):

I mean, it fascinates me as in terms of just like human nature and understanding how people do it. , I did, I actually signed up for a 5K run once, I never showed up, um, but I signed up for it. So that was the closest I ever got to being in a marathon. I could never, like, and always early in the morning, I'm not a morning person. I could never like, get myself to get up and get dressed to go. I probably could have done it. do some app, some zombie chasing me app kind of thing to get me, uh, the training mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, was it couch to 5k or something like that. One of those things. And it, it had zombies chasing you. So like it's <laugh> like that's the only way that I can like really get myself to run, like, to motivate myself to run. I'm either running after someone or I'm being chased. Those are the only two really scenarios where I'm going to run.

Doug Blecher (11:10):

Well, , one, I know you could do it. And two, I feel that races are not very inclusive, I guess like the rest of our society, like you said, they're early in the morning, a lot of time at the beginning of the races near the starting line. It's like a crowd of people and they'll and they play music and things like that. And it can be really loud and overwhelming in those spaces. So, um, so yeah, if you ever do,  run a 5K race, which I know you could start and finish,  I will be interested in your feedback on the accessibility and the, you know how inclusive or not inclusive that experience was for you.

Kelly Bron Johnson (11:55):

Yeah, Kelly takes two hours, <laugh>,

Doug Blecher (11:57):

It's all, it doesn't matter. We all run our own race. So <laugh>,

Kelly Bron Johnson (12:04):

I actually, you know, when I was a kid, I remember now we did, we did one and two K races back around Mount Royal, around the hill,, when we were small in elementary school. But we trained for that. The teachers actually had us running around the school at lunch and doing laps and things to do it. And that was fun. That was actually fun. Yeah. Had those little p and everything, so that was fun. But yeah,

Doug Blecher (12:23):

<laugh>, so this, this, this conversation kind of leads into something I think we wanted to talk about today, which was, uh, self-care.

Kelly Bron Johnson (12:33):

Yes, yes.


So what, what's your self-care? What's your, so I can tell you, like, I'll share what my actual, like the, probably one of the only physical activities I do with self-care is my kayaking. I love to kayak. I've got two kayaks now. So,  they're inflatable kayaks, so I can pretty much take them anywhere I want. It's just, you know, it's more controlled by weather. And then my schedule, so like, I do try to get out. Um, but we've had, we've had a really rough summer so far cause we had forest fires, the air quality was bad. Then we had some sort of crazy hailstorm, sorry, not crazy, just wild. And then we had,  a tornado last week on Thursday, <laugh>. So it's not really kayaking weather. But yeah, knowing that you have to kind of schedule those things in otherwise,  work or other stuff will envelop it, swallow it up.

Doug Blecher (13:36):

Well, for me, when I think about self-care, I think about, autistic burnout and I feel like I'm always in burnout to some extent. And I always have to be careful of those cycles. So,  for me it's making sure that, you know, so I've, I've learned a lot about like what works for me and what doesn't and kind of like signs that I'm going through, I'm starting to go through a, a bad cycle of burnout or I'm about to, but what I've learned is making sure I'm not near people as often as possible. I think that helps me to not necessarily go through burnout. I'm in like a cycle right now where I'm having like a lot of meetings and stuff like that that are somewhat unavoidable. So now I'm trying to look at my schedule and seeing how I can like, get out of some of those meetings and still things move in a positive direction.


so that's definitely a big thing, a big thing for me. Big thing for me is saying no to a lot of like social engagements. Definitely boundaries with a, with a lot of these things. If I do go to a social engagement, I'm giving very, like, I'm telling people ahead of time like, Hey, I can only be there for an hour or, you know,  so definitely like planning for these things more. And then also like on a daily basis, I start every day like thinking about like things I'm grateful for. I heard Steve Harvey actually talk about this once and how like that's been a practice for him for like 30 years and I started trying it. I don't think I do it as well as apparently as Steve Harvey does it, but,  <laugh>, you know, I think that's, that, that's like a good starting point for me each day. And then that kind of leads into me meditating for about 15 to 20 minutes each day. And as part of that meditation is like focusing on my breathing. So, and then just remembering to breathe throughout the day, like, I probably need to breathe right now. I've talked too much. And it's your turn, Kelly <laugh>.

Kelly Bron Johnson (16:10):

Breathe. Breathe.

Doug Blecher (16:11):


Kelly Bron Johnson (16:14):

Yeah. Breathing is so important. People don't,  I used to have signs up around the house that said breathe. Yeah. And I have like, I have my Google home that's probably gonna go off in a minute and tell me that I need to go and wash my hands or take a drink of water or something <laugh>. But yeah, those kind of reminders to do things,  because I think we have to be proactive and we have to kind of be preventative in that sense. Like I think when people think about self-care, I had one counselor who said, you know, like if you wait till you're already tired or overwhelmed to do it, it's too late. And not that you shouldn't do it then, but you need to be doing little bits of it more regularly before that happens so that you're not,, in that state.


And yeah, I just spent the last week doing a training from nine to five. So I was Monday to Friday in an office with a group of people from nine to five. And I am not used to that at all. Yeah. It has been five years since I have done anything nine to five with a group of people, <laugh>, or nine to five at all. <laugh>. So I came out of that. I mean, yes, it was a training too, so there was some, you know, learning and braining involved, but I was utterly exhausted. Like just absolutely drained. Like, anyway. And I'm still recovering from that now. It's Monday and I'm getting back into my regular work and stuff. But I am, I think it's really important that we put, you know, that putting boundaries around our work life. I had some other projects and I'm just like, yeah, I'm not meeting with you this week.


I'm in a training too bad. So sad. You know, I don't say it like that, but,  I think especially as entrepreneurs, but anybody really, but especially as entrepreneur entrepreneurs, it's important to put those strong boundaries around your work and your time and make sure that you have time, time reserved for your own care. And not just care. Like there's, you know, sleeping, eating, like I refuse to have people book me through lunch meetings. I hate that. You know, don't book me through my meals. Those are my sacred times. You know, trying to book me in. I don't know when sometimes when they hear, oh, well you're doing this training, can't you just step out for an hour or 15 minutes and have this call? No, no, I can't. I'm going to focus on one thing. Right. Things like that.


Its so it's funny cuz I have, I have two summer interns this year and I started out the relationship basically telling them, like emailing them right off the bat and saying, look, these are my, my work boundaries. I work within this box. I do have some flexibility, you know, given that I'm trying to manage two people. But, you know, I encourage them to have their own boundaries and to share those with me and not to be scared to, to tell me. And anyway, I've asked, so we're trying to make a meeting. We have not actually all three of us met together yet cause we've been trying to find a time that works for everybody. But when I asked them, when are you available <laugh> rather than telling me when they're available, they're telling me when they're working at their other job when they're not available.


And I'm like, that's great, but that shouldn't mean that because you're working nine to four with somebody else. That all the other time outside of that is free for me to book. Right. <laugh>, right? Like, you have to come, there's transit time if you're going to work, you have to eat, you need to do, you know, washing. Maybe I don't what, and sometimes you just need to do nothing. That's also part of your day. That should be part of your day. Yeah. Doing absolutely nothing. And so like it's, it's, I feel like I'm,  I must sound nuts to them. I don't know. <laugh>, I'm trying to, I'm like, I don't wanna be told when you're not available because you're working for someone else. I want to be told when you're available, when all your other priorities have been satisfied, cause your work should not be the priority. So I'm, I don't wanna act what that means. I can what book you at three o'clock in the morning or I can book you through your dinner. I can, you know, like I can book you through the concert that you got tickets for, like what, you know, like it shouldn't be, everything is available. So yeah, uh, we're working through that <laugh>. I'm trying to, to have them understand boundaries. Which also leads me to an interesting conversation if you wanna talk about the Jonah Hill thing. Have you heard about this? No,


Don't think stuff with Jonah Hill?

Doug Blecher (20:49):

No. I, I have no. Okay. I am in, I live in a bubble, so I I usually have no idea what's going on. Let's, let's talk about it.

Kelly Bron Johnson (20:59):

Yeah, so he, he, he rec his, his wife left recently left him. He has gotten into another relationship and found,  and, and had a child with this other woman. And the ex-wife is basically trying to warn, apparently warn the new woman and anybody else that wants to be involved with him about the way that he was controlling. And she has shared text messages and things from him where he basically said, well, so she's, she was, or she still is, whatever, she's a professional model and a surfer. So, you know, she spends a lot of her day by the sea, by the ocean, wearing bikinis, wearing wetsuits, that kind of stuff. She teaches, so, she teaches men as well as women. And basically he, during their marriage, he had said, you know, I want you to respect my boundaries.


And that is, I don't want you to be, teaching men. I don't want you to be taking pictures of yourself in swimsuits. She's a model,  <laugh>, and, and, uh, I don't want you to be having dinner or coffees with women who are unstable or full of drama. That's what,  something like that. And he said, these are my boundaries. And those arent boundaries though. <laugh>, those are demands, right? Because the boundary is not what the other person is doing. The boundary is for you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So he could have said something like, um, I'm insecure when you take pictures of yourself in the swimsuit,  even though I think you're beautiful. And so, you know, you know, he can't say, shouldn't say, don't take pictures of yourself in the swimsuit. He should say, since I'm insecure I just want you to know and validate that for me.


But, I need to work on myself. Right. It should be like, and if you don't, if you don't stop taking pictures of yourself in swimsuits and posting them, then I'm gonna unfollow you on your social media so that I don't see them, or I'm gonna go seek therapy or I'm gonna leave you because I can't, I just can't take it. I'm, I'm too much of a baby, um, <laugh>. So, yeah. Anyways, so it's been this interesting debate on social media over like boundaries and what they actually are and what they're not. And it's interesting to see how different people are siding with him. I obviously don't. I think they were demands there were controlling and there were demands and, and if he really was that insecure, he should, I mean, they should have just parted ways ages ago rather than him try to tell her what she should wear or what she should do. So,

Doug Blecher (23:48):

So this, so this is intersections. So I'm just curious, like in this situation, like with boundaries, where do you see the intersection of boundaries and autonomy?

Kelly Bron Johnson (24:04):

So, again, the boundary is what, what you need to do for yourself, for your own health, right? So it allows people, you're expressing, you're, you can express it and you can still say that you're insecure or that you're whatever it is. But you are only in, you're only responsible for yourself. Other people are, you know, other people. So I think,  how do I express this?


Yeah. You know, it's, it's kind of like allowing other people to be autonomous as much as you need to be autonomous, right? It's the kind of thing like where you say, like, if you keep calling me, the B word, I'm gonna leave you. That's a boundary, you know? Cause that's what you are going to do about it. It doesn't stop the person, it doesn't stop the other person if I'm calling you whatever they wanna call you. And that's where it's where that, I think where that line is in, in my opinion, right? So the other person can still do whatever the heck they want. The only thing that changes is what you are going to do in return about it.


So yeah,

Doug Blecher (25:23):

I get so concerned about my own autonomy, but I also get concerned about,  placing demands or requests that restrict other people's autonomy.

Kelly Bron Johnson (25:48):

Yeah. I think even like if the case I just brought up, like let's say, let's say your partner is calling you the B word. You know, asking for a certain level of respect to me is not, controlling unless you're saying, well, again, unless it's something, unless you make a boundary that doesn't become a boundary that ends up being somewhat, that you're harming them in some way, in retaliation, there's different, so like if you say, like, if you call me the B word, I'm gonna slash your tires.

Doug Blecher (26:26):


Kelly Bron Johnson (26:27):

That's not a boundary, that's a threat.

Doug Blecher (26:29):

<laugh>. Right? For sure.

Kelly Bron Johnson (26:34):

But yeah, if you come with a B word, I'm just gonna leave. That's, that's not a threat. I mean, well you could, you could perceive it as a threat as well, but it's an action that you will take that doesn't, can't say it doesn't hurt them cause it could hurt them, but they have a choice too. There's nothing essential right. About calling somebody that, it's not like,  yeah, it's not, it's not an essential way of communication. It's not a healthy way of communication. So I think just asking for like a certain level of, of non toxicity


Yeah. Early based level. But I think especially, you know, if we're talking about in the context of neurodivergent, people, a lot of us come from a lot of trauma, right? And we have a hard time making boundaries. We have a hard time expressing our needs. And, and we get, I think sometimes too in, in our learning to try and express boundaries, we kind of go really far the other way sometimes. And we, and in that effort we end up kind of,  going more into the threat level rather than just the regular assertiveness level. And then sometimes I've heard people say, well, I've set this boundary, I've said this, but they still don't listen to me mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so they think they kind of just have to repeat it louder, whereas no, actually you've done it right. The person is not respecting you, so now it's time to cut ties.


Right? But I think, I think especially as autistic people we're so, we give people so many chances, we give people too many chances sometimes. And that's the sad part, right? Because sometimes that might be one of the only close friendships that we have, and so we kind of hang onto it and we give a lot of, a lot more grace than is necessary to the point where we're actually getting harmed ourselves. So I think it's, there's a line that we have to,  you know, we're talking about boundaries. We're not, we're talking about not getting hurt by other people, but also about not allowing ourselves to be hurt and not hurting ourselves and the process. And we forget that. I think a lot of people forget that. And even going back to self-care, you know, it's not just the avoidance of things, it's also doing things in a way that we're not bringing harm to ourselves in the process.

Doug Blecher (29:07):

Its a learning process.

Kelly Bron Johnson (29:11):

Yeah. But yeah, it's, but I think it's something that people forget all the time. Like I think about another example just,  we're talking about my, uh, not just my son, but kids learning to express themselves and learning how to health healthy debate and a discussion instead of a giant argument or they, they're calling you names and things like that and I was saying, you know, I just don't take it personally. So yes, my, I've my son call me dumb and stupid and things. And it's more about at this age, at this time, at this level of maturity he has, it's more less about the words in his case. And it's more about acknowledging the anger.


And helping him to learn to express anger in ways that, that don't hurt other people, but also don't hurt himself. Cause with him, he goes from one extreme to the other. He can go from hitting somebody and then he can go to like, let's say punching himself and he hasn't really done that, but let's just like use that as an example. Mm-hmm. And so this understanding that yes, you can be angry, yes, you have these emotions or we're not gonna hurt other people, we also deserve not to hurt ourselves. And so how do I, you know, teaching him how he can be angry in ways that don't harm anybody or anything, including himself. And I would even say him first. <laugh> <laugh>, right? Right. Because I say, especially when when people internalize anger, they go to things like cutting and burning and hurting themselves, , or hitting themselves. And, and that's not, that's not healthy either, but we'd go, well, at least, well at least he's not hurting other people. Yes. But you're hurting yourself, so protecting everybody but putting yourself for first, you know?

Doug Blecher (31:05):

Yeah. So I know we're right now in, disability pride month. What, what are you thinking about this month in terms of disability pride?

Kelly Bron Johnson (31:25):

 I mean, not much in the sense of like, this is, to me it's like really a more of an American thing. I don't see it really recognized here in Canada. So I don't even know, like, and for us, like it's kind of smack dab like in the middle. It's right after pride month. Aand then the, the weird thing is that like Quebec, or maybe it's just Montreal, I don't know. We celebrate pride in August. I don't know why. Right? So it's like super confusing to me because we have pride in June, like for the rest of the world. And then we have another, like, it feels like another pride in Montreal in August.


Which is great for our tourist industry. But anyway, so July <laugh> is up in the middle of like, in the middle of this in between and it just doesn't feel, I don't know, we have a lot of stuff in October. We have like,  disability employment awareness month in October,  which I feel is like more recognized or celebrated here, but it's not really a pride thing, right. It's hard. So all that to say, I think I feel very confused by it. I haven't made any posts about it. It's not something that I feel that is really celebrated here <laugh>

Doug Blecher (32:54):

That's interesting.Yeah. I didn't realize, I didn't realize it. Like it wasn't like a a So it's not really even like a thing in Canada then?

Kelly Bron Johnson (33:05):

No, not that I've noticed. No. I mean, maybe I'm out of the loop, but No.

Doug Blecher (33:16):

Now, in our last episode with Monetta, one of the things that,  she was talking about was, accommodations in, in the workplace and, and things like that. So I know you were just talking about, , like that nine, you know, working nine to five with people, which sounds really scary. I don't know how anyone could possibly do that and not burn out within two weeks. Like,  so like, so what do, like what do you think about in, in regards to like, even accommodations in, in that situation in other situations? Just not to be dealing with burnout at work?

Kelly Bron Johnson (34:00):

You know, I, I've done it in the past. I was just really tired. I was really tired. I've done things where, uh, there was one workplace prior to the one I had before I started this company,  where I took Fridays off, I negotiated for Fridays off, which lowered my salary because I was working fewer hours. But it was kind of one way to kind of compensate. And for them too, it was even worse because they were eight to five. So like, I was up even earlier, like, and then just not, not really a morning person. I think part of like, to reconcile those kind of things


Is the fact that even though people say they work nine to five and they, let's say they go into an office nine to five, no one's actually working, honestly. Yeah. Honestly, people are working maybe max four hours out of that time if, if they're going be honest. Cause all they do is they call meetings. So there's part, you know, an hour at lunch, there's a two 15 minute breaks. There's bathroom time,  <laugh>, there's, there's people are scheduling other things. They're organizing parties for their, you know, their kids. They're,it's true, they're still on social media, they're doing all sorts of other stuff. Then they get up, but they have a coffee and they go talk to somebody or then, oh, somebody brought in donuts, it's okay. Everybody, let's go to the cafe. And everybody goes to the cafe and that's another 10, 15 minutes gone again.


 and just, you know, walking around real slowly, they go to the supply room, they get a photocopy or they get like a pen and they come back and then they sit down. But they're like, everybody like pretends and they look really busy, but then they call a meeting and the meeting they don't get anything accomplished. Of course, when you're in the meeting, you can't do any other work. But they just call tons of meetings. So all that said, like, I think people need to like,  be a little bit gentler with themselves. I think, you know, the autistic me is like, you know, went in with the idea, well if we're going nine to five, that means we're working nine to five, then we're gonna work from nine to hundred

Doug Blecher (36:21):

100 Percent yeah.

Kelly Bron Johnson (36:21):

Then for break to lunch and then works for lunch even. And then top, you know,

Doug Blecher (36:25):

What's lunch? Who, why would I even think about lunch? That idea. Why are you come into my head?

Kelly Bron Johnson (36:30):

Cause I forgot.

Doug Blecher (36:31):


Kelly Bron Johnson (36:33):

Like, you know, and, and we work like, like workhorses. It's kind of nuts, you know? The thing is that I work best in those kind of spurts. I work great. If I have two hours of focus work, I get it all done. That it's fantastic. But the office is rarely a place where I can do that. And so realistically, and I, I did all my business stuff, my business plan, I've been doing my hours and checking things out and yeah, I work max four to five hours a day,  four days a week. I, I don't work Fridays. That's one of my boundaries. Although now I have a temporary meeting that has been booked on Fridays because it's the only day that was available. But anyway, I digress. It's for a short term. Those kind of things. So,  you know, but in the end, like, do I work maybe two, maybe I have four to five available if there's no interruptions if kids aren't running around.


But I mean, honestly, I'd probably work about two hours a day, about four days a week. Yeah. And the funny thing is that running my own business and doing it my way, I actually make almost the same salary I was making when I was working 40 hours a week, um mm-hmm. <affirmative> going into an office for someone else. So to me that kind of just shows you like, it's, it's, it's not,  the amount of hours that you're working have nothing to do with what your salary or what you're worth or the value that you're bringing. And I think people have gotten lost along the way and businesses kind of, they feel good to have like an office filled with people who are, yes, that person's definitely working hard. We've got all these people working 40 hours a week,  and here they are, they're sitting in their seats, everything's warm. But not realizing that has nothing to do with productivity and that has nothing to do with output. The realistic output is much, much less than that.

Doug Blecher (38:36):

It seems like the employment world, the adult world is just basically an extension of school where it's just like attendance. Is it like you, you get in trouble if you don't have a certain attendance percentage. Yeah. Or yeah, that's it. All these things that are inconsequential to quote unquote productivity,

Kelly Bron Johnson (39:01):

The actual value. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, school's train you for work, that's all it is really. Yeah.

Doug Blecher (39:11):

Nine to five seems, well first of all, if I did nine to five at a location in one location, which I don't know how anyone goes to one place any Monday through Friday, does that. But,  regardless of the environment,  donuts every day would be required. I would take lots of bathroom breaks, some of them I would really go to the bathroom and other times it would be get to get away from people if they had access to, communicating with me with spoken language, those things. Lunch, I would definitely avoid any human contact at that point because it's just like, too much is going on there. <laugh>, I guess I would I would make accommodations for myself in in those, in those situations.

Kelly Bron Johnson (40:07):

 Yeah. Have you? Yeah, I used to. I used to get up and take a walk. I used to walk around the building at my break. Um, I was by myself. No one else joined me, although I don't think I invited anybody else, but it wasn't something that other people did. Like, I felt like I had to get out and have fresh air. Feel the warmth of the sun on my body. Like those kind of things. Yeah. Like you go back, you're in like heavy air conditioning is very cold and then you go out in the heat and then you come back and, but I mean, I had, I had, I had some friends, we spent a whole lot of the day texting and sending, you know, Instagram memes back and forth to each other all day and making each other laugh, um, in between working and , and then going to meetings.


Yeah. But that's kind of how I accommodated myself. But,  I don't think now, again, the lifestyle that I have now, the lifestyle I've created for myself,  the fact that I know this works, the fact that I know that the nine to five exhausts me so much and it only seems to be getting worse as I get older. I would, I would, something financially would have to be very dire for me to have to go back to, to that. I don't, yeah, I don't, I don't see how I could and I couldn't do it for long. I would, I would burn out. I would have a mental health crisis or something causeI couldn't do that. I don't know.

Doug Blecher (41:39):

It takes me a while just to even like wake up and like, I don't like to, to be able to like, get dressed and get in my car and go somewhere and be there by nine o'clock. That just doesn't seem like I could do that for a very long period of time, regardless of the eight hour schedule or not. That would be another big factor for me.

Kelly Bron Johnson (42:09):

Yeah, I can get up and get out. It's the regulating myself all day long. And putting on that face, like that mask of, you know, I'm friendly and approachable and I don't always just mangle conversations. You know, yeah, I mean, so I, the week was interesting because it was a training I wanted to do. It was something I definitely wanted to do and it was with interesting people and that was great. So, I mean, it's not, it's not the fault of any of them. It's the, I just don't have the capacity to do that all day. But I wouldn't, I wouldn't be comfortable. I wouldn't be happy. I'd be drained.

Doug Blecher (42:56):

Definitely. This is a much, much better life for me. Talking on Zoom, <laugh> for sure at limiting my, you know, I have to do stuff in the community sometimes, but yes, definitely limiting those things. Anything else Kelly, that you wanted to talk about on this episode?

Kelly Bron Johnson (43:16):

No, I, I could ask you like, so how many hours a week do you realistically work

Doug Blecher (43:22):

Realistically? well, like on on on every Monday I'm working from my office at home. Um, so, but I, there's a few days I'm out in the community and I always limit that to about two to three hours, try to make that the max, otherwise I start to really get drained. So probably realistically, I'm still doing probably 40 hours over six days a week. But it's a lot less than it used to be. I won't tell you how many I used to be and how inefficient it was as well. So yeah, so I am probably still doing 40 hours and hoping to be down to 25 to 30 hours <laugh> in the next year or two. I think that, I think my overall mental health would, would be a lot better off for that. So like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like in the in the last couple years, I hired,  an assistant that's been super helpful and I have, uh, a website administrator and that's been helpful and help with a lot of the processes. So I'm definitely doing a lot less stuff than I was. But still I'm doing too much stuff and I feel that still my body feels that and my mind feels that as well. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So yeah, that's kind of where I'm at right now.

Kelly Bron Johnson (45:06):


Doug Blecher (45:09):

I was just gonna say, I, I need to continue to learn from you and maybe be down to less than 40 hours. I think I'll be, be better off.

Kelly Bron Johnson (45:19):

Yes. I think the next topic we should talk about, but it's probably autistic entrepreneurship. It's my other thing that's just like super, , top of mind for me. And that's something that's like one of my passions as well is kind of getting more people into entrepreneurship, but again, doing it that, you know, that self-care way accommodating ourselves. Doing what's best for us, standing up for ourselves. Boundaries.

Doug Blecher (45:42):

Well, yeah, definitely. We'll be talking about boundaries and, and, uh, definitely that's what we should talk about the next time. Next one of these discussions occurs. So episode six will be all about autistic entrepreneurship. Look forward to that. And,  thanks everyone for listening. We will have an interview, uh, in our next episode and it's gonna be a wonderful interview. I'm very excited about it, but, so join us next time and I don't think you'll wanna miss it.