life Parenting

Running Revelations, Personality Modes, Etc

January 26, 2021

I was listening to No Stupid Questions (this episode) during my longer run on Sunday (50 minutes / 4.6 miles) and Angela Duckworth (who I love) made some comments about the concept of good versions of oneself crowding out the bad versions, which she attributed to Aaron Beck, who apparently is known as the father of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

I greatly enjoyed this discussion for two reasons: a) I definitely feel that I have a variety of ‘modes’ (or . . . versions of one self?) which come out in different contexts based on habit, and I liked that she normalized this and b) I knew what she meant about the crowding.

Her “bad mode” was a resentful parent who sulked and felt angry when her family went on an outing without her. Her solution to this was to decide to immerse herself in her work while they were gone. “Working mode” prevented “sulking mode” from emerging.

I’m on call this week, which amplified my interest in this because . . . I am not always at my best mode on call. BUT, perhaps if I put more energy into remembering to channel “Helpful mode” and “Team player mode” and “Empathetic mode”, then “Grumpy tired mode” will have less room to maneuver.

(This then led me down the rabbit hole of other forms of crowding out. I can crowd mindless Instagram scrolling out with reading, for example. I absolutely do that, in fact. And I feel it makes me happier!)


Listening to a podcast while exercising and want to remember something to refer to later?

TAKE A SCREENSHOT. I mean duh, but . . . I never thought of that before!

You’ll be able to see the episode AND where you were in the episode when you decided you had to capture such brilliant revelations (oddly this happens more while running . . . I think it’s then endorphins).

Thought I find this podcast pretty brilliant whether I am moving or still


I took all 3 kids to the zoo on Sunday while Josh was on call. It was fun. I do think we have reached an age cohort that is less difficult to solo parent. And THAT is something to celebrate!


  • Reply Rebecca Reich January 26, 2021 at 6:52 am

    The screenshot. That is brilliant!! Thank you! Frees up sooo much mental space 🙂

  • Reply Grateful Kae January 26, 2021 at 7:19 am

    I like this concept too, especially with habit formation. I’ve started trying to focus on this more in the last couple of years. There definitely is something just “nicer” about saying you will, for example, “increase servings of fruits/veggies to X per day” versus “cut out X snack food” or whatever it may be. Seems like the more positive trend and focus has to be a better start. 🙂

    • Reply Milly January 26, 2021 at 10:52 am

      I like this too. I have also read some recent studies that say it’s not so much about the “bad” food that we eat. It’s more about how those habits decrease the good foods we eat. It was a bit of a “duh” moment for me but quite impactful. By focusing on increasing good foods, bad foods will get crowded out a little bit.

  • Reply Sam January 26, 2021 at 7:50 am

    This episode sounds really interesting. My husband’s a therapist, so I’ll be curious to discuss it with him.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns January 26, 2021 at 8:43 am

    I haven’t heard of that podcast so will check it out, especially that episode. I like Angela Duckworth, too! The mode thing makes total sense. I had major resentment toward my husband at times this summer when he was going golfing (usually on a week day afternoon and he would get home by bedtime – so he wasn’t stranding me with our son for hours on end). I was envious and felt resentful at times because I did not have an activity that would safely get me out of the house for 1/2 a day. I could have worked on crowding that out. In normal times, I would have had an activity I could do but Covid made that really hard – at least for me!

    I hope this strategy helps during your call time!!

  • Reply Angie January 26, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    What a great perspective! It reminds me of the book “Make Time” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. Have you read that? I will have to check out that podcast episode.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.