91 episodes

When she turned 40, Stephanie did something a little ridiculous. Instead of having a party, she had forty drinks with forty people in forty different places - and each drink had a connection to her friend or the relationship.

What began as a wacky way to celebrate, and to extend the milestone into a yearlong adventure, turned into something else. The 40 Drinks Project was a powerful, soul-searching journey that changed Stephanie’s life profoundly.

Growing out of the project, Stephanie became captivated by the big “four oh,” and how other people dealt with the milestone birthday. The podcast captures conversations with people about their life experience around turning 40 and what 40 means to them. No matter how you slice it, 40 is a crossroads, the halfway mark if you will. We’ll talk to people in their 40s to see what turning 40 was like for them.

And we’ll talk to people in later decades to reflect on their 40s and how they were different from previous decades. And we may even catch up with some of the original Forty Drinks friends to see how they’re doing.

The Forty Drinks Podcast

Forty Drinks Stephanie McLaughlin

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

When she turned 40, Stephanie did something a little ridiculous. Instead of having a party, she had forty drinks with forty people in forty different places - and each drink had a connection to her friend or the relationship.

What began as a wacky way to celebrate, and to extend the milestone into a yearlong adventure, turned into something else. The 40 Drinks Project was a powerful, soul-searching journey that changed Stephanie’s life profoundly.

Growing out of the project, Stephanie became captivated by the big “four oh,” and how other people dealt with the milestone birthday. The podcast captures conversations with people about their life experience around turning 40 and what 40 means to them. No matter how you slice it, 40 is a crossroads, the halfway mark if you will. We’ll talk to people in their 40s to see what turning 40 was like for them.

And we’ll talk to people in later decades to reflect on their 40s and how they were different from previous decades. And we may even catch up with some of the original Forty Drinks friends to see how they’re doing.

The Forty Drinks Podcast

    Turning 40 and Going from the Streets to Safety to Shock and Awe

    Turning 40 and Going from the Streets to Safety to Shock and Awe

    Allison Doss has a multi-faceted midlife transition that took her through several harrowing phases. She moved to the “big city” after high school and was quickly recruited to become a stripper. She went from stripper to high-priced escort to homeless and drug addicted, prostituting to pay for her fix. At 40 she got into recovery but quickly replaced her pursuit of drugs with the pursuit of a man, who she ultimately married. That should be enough lessons for one person, but her husband came out to her as trans, which sent Allison into a relapse before she recommitted to recovery and to healing.
    Guest Bio For Allison Doss, what started as the life of a party girl in her 20s, ended as a drug addicted alcoholic prostitute at the age of 40. God‘s gift of desperation came in the form of another drug addict, who jumped her and cut her face and instilled fear that she knew existed. She began the journey to recovery at 40. She met a man, fell in love and got married. And just when she thought that she had created a life that was predictable and stable, her husband confessed to her that he thought he may be transgender. Nothing rocked Allison to her core like the love of her life not meeting the expectations for the marriage she had planned for them. Her story is that of transformation of surrender and self discovery. She found freedom in letting go of control of others and allowing them to walk their own path without her interference.
    Turning 40 and Going from the Streets to Safety to Shock and AweIn this episode of the Forty Drinks Podcast, Stephanie talks to Allison Doss, who moved from a farm in Louisiana to Washington DC when she was 17. She was recruited to be a stripper,  which she thought was quite glamorous and made her a lot of money. That career introduced her to a party lifestyle and she eventually evolved into a high-priced escort, flying around the world on private jets. But the party didn’t last forever. She didn’t realize that she had slipped into addiction and, by the time she was 35, she was homeless, into heavy drugs, and prostituting herself to pay for them. Nobody knew where she was and she didn’t want to be found. 
    Allison is honest about the turning points in her life, including losing custody of her children, living on the streets, and a violent encounter that eventually led her to seek recovery at the age of 40. When she entered recovery she met her “new drug of choice” - a man she would pursue vigorously and who would ultimately become her husband. 
    She reflects on the process of making amends, reconnecting with her children, and the challenges she faced when her husband came out as transgender. This revelation sent Allison into a relapse, which she would blame on her husband. Recovery and healing led her to a deeper understanding of herself and the concept of control. This is the story of how she found her way back and healed her relationships, most importantly the ones with herself and her children and the lessons learned about life, expectations, and the release of control.
    “I thought there was something wrong with me,” Allison said. “So I went on this journey to dissect the fabric of my own cloth to discover what's wrong with me.  And, of course, there was nothing wrong with me.”
    Guest ResourcesConnect with Allison on Instagram
    Do you have the Midlife Ick? Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise. www.fortydrinks.com/ick
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Turning 40 and Embracing Intimacy Over Sex

    Turning 40 and Embracing Intimacy Over Sex

    Karl Beckstrand was exposed to gay sex at age 8 by a male peer. Because of that experience at such a tender age, Karl developed a dysfunctional relationship with sex. He became hypersexual from that first encounter at age 8 until he was about 40, at which point he went to the other extreme and became a recluse for a decade. Here, he tells the story of how he learned to get his emotional needs met in a healthy way.
    Guest Bio College media instructor Karl W. Beckstrand is the best-selling author/illustrator of twenty-seven multicultural/multilingual books (60 e-books—reviews by Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, The Horn Book, and School Library Journal). Raised in San Jose, California, he has lived abroad, earned a B.A. in journalism, an M.A. in international relations and conflict resolution, and a broadcast & film certificate. His western novel, To Swallow the Earth, won a 2016 International Book Award. Beckstrand loves volleyball and singing (in rock bands or choirs). His Y.A. stories, e-book mysteries, immigrant biographies, self-help, Spanish/bilingual books, and STEM books feature diverse characters—and usually end with a twist. See: Amazon, Apple/iBooks, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Follett, Ingram, Walmart, Target, and PremioBooks.com
    Turning 40 and Embracing Intimacy Over SexIn this episode of the Forty Drinks Podcast, host Stephanie McLaughlin talks to Karl Beckstrand, who reflects on his early experiences with hypersexuality and his attempts to suppress his attraction to men. He discusses the negative impact this had on his relationships and his decision to become a recluse for 10 years. Karl eventually realized that he needs emotional connection rather than sexual encounters to fulfill his needs. He opens up about his deep and lasting friendships with men, which he describes as "bromances." Karl challenges some of the societal norms in the gay community and emphasizes the importance of meeting emotional needs in relationships. This episode offers a unique perspective on relationships and personal growth in midlife.
    Highlights:
    Karl shares his early exposure to sex by a male peer and how it led him to act hypersexually along with his attempts to suppress his attraction to men.He discusses the negative impact of his out-of-control behavior on his relationships and his decision to become a recluse for 10 years.Karl realizes that he needs emotional connection rather than sexual encounters to fulfill his needs.He opens up about his deep and lasting friendships with men, which he describes as "bromances."Karl challenges societal norms and emphasizes the importance of meeting emotional needs in relationships.
    If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be honored if you would rate, follow, and review the Forty Drinks Podcast.
    Guest ResourcesConnect with Karl on Facebook 
    Connect with Karl on Instagram
    Do you have the Midlife Ick? Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise. www.fortydrinks.com/ick
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    • 42 min
    Turning 40 and Saying Yes for a Year

    Turning 40 and Saying Yes for a Year

    Joe Scales approached 40 wondering why he wasn’t happier. He had a job that paid well, two incredible kids and he had been married for 20 years. He wondered why he didn’t have “it” all figured out yet (when it seemed like everyone else did), which led him to questioning many of his decisions along the way. He realized that the problem was himself and his focus on questions that began with “why.” There were plenty of other questions that he could ask that might help him shake loose of his malaise, like: Who do I want to be? How do I get there? What do I need to feel fulfilled at the end of the day? Answering those questions, and spending an entire year saying “yes,” led Joe to a much better place.
    Guest Bio Joe Scales grew up in Kansas and Oklahoma. He has two kids, 30 and 27 and was married to his high school sweetheart for 25 years. They eventually ended up getting divorced and he took a year to work on himself before he started dating again. He’s been remarried now for almost two years. Joe has worked in marketing and advertising for his entire career, including stints in Print, Radio, and Television. Today, he owns a poker media company that merges two of his favorite past times, marketing and poker. He publishes a weekly podcast and a monthly magazine that are dedicated to the everyday poker player. Both can be found at www.anteupmagazine.com.
    Turning 40 and Saying Yes for a YearIn this episode of the Forty Drinks Podcast, Stephanie talks to Joe Scales, who reflects on his early marriage and parenthood, the pressure he felt to make ends meet and how he started questioning his own happiness as he approached 40.  Joe began to rethink his life choices; he had a burgeoning feeling of wanting to make a bigger impact in the world. At the suggestion of a friend, Joe committed to saying yes to new experiences for a full year. He discovered a passion for acting and found a new sense of fulfillment in giving back to others. Joe also talks about how important it was that he found a partner who allowed him to be himself and supported his personal growth.
    Highlights:
    Joe reflects on getting married and starting a family very young and the pressure he felt to make ends meet.As he approached 40, Joe wondered why he wasn’t happier. He also felt a burgeoning desire to make a bigger impact in the world.Inspired by a friend, Joe said yes to new experiences and opportunities for an entire year.Joe discovered a passion for acting and found fulfillment in giving back to others through charity work.He emphasizes the importance of self-care and self-reflection in finding happiness and purpose in midlife.Joe discusses the significance of finding a partner who supports personal growth and encourages positive change.
    Joe's story highlights the power of changing perspectives in finding happiness and purpose in midlife.
    If you enjoyed this episode, please rate, follow, and review the Forty Drinks Podcast.
    Guest ResourcesFind Joe on Facebook
    Find Joe on Instagram
    Do you have the Midlife Ick? Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise. www.fortydrinks.com/ick  
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    • 50 min
    Turning 40 and Transitioning From Warrior to Civilian

    Turning 40 and Transitioning From Warrior to Civilian

    John Lawyer spent more than a decade as a warrior in the Middle East and, upon his return to civilian life in the United States, struggled with his identity and how to engage with the world. He went from someone who was “important” in the desert - someone who directed where troops and airplanes went - to being just another person living in what he thought was a muted world that moved in slow motion. And then one night he woke up to a profound moment of clarity, some call it an awakening, that helped him see what he was meant to do in this next phase of his life.
    Guest Bio From desert combat zones to a battle within, John Lawyer transformed from soldier to spiritual seeker. He acts as one of several guides for Kishar, a non-profit online spiritual community. This community is a place for people to share their journeys and explore their own unique spiritual path. John is an omnist and believes in the validity of most spiritual and religious beliefs around the world. He offers individual spiritual guidance and coaching services as part of the Kishar Spiritual Community.
    Turning 40 and Transitioning From Warrior to CivilianIn this episode of the Forty Drinks Podcast, Stephanie talks to John Lawyer, a military veteran who experienced a profound midlife transition. John talks about his journey from serving in combat zones for more than a decade to coming home and feeling stuck and disconnected. He discusses the challenges of reintegrating into civilian life and the toll that war took on his mental health. John also talks about his spiritual awakening and the importance of letting go and being open to the Universe. A middle-of-the-night moment of clarity when he was 40 helped him understand his purpose for the next phase of his life. He shares his passion for helping others on their own spiritual paths and discusses the nonprofit spiritual community he co-founded called Kishar. 
    If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be honored if you would rate, follow, and review the Forty Drinks Podcast.
    Guest ResourcesFind John on Facebook 
    Find John on Instagram
    John’s offer for Forty Drinks listeners: Join the Kishar Online Spiritual Community OR get one-on-one Spiritual Guidance / Coaching
    Do you have the Midlife Ick? Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise. www.fortydrinks.com/ick
    Listen, Rate & SubscribeApple Podcasts 
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    SponsorThe Forty Drinks Podcast is produced and presented by Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications

    • 47 min
    Transition vs. Change: Navigating the Midlife Transition

    Transition vs. Change: Navigating the Midlife Transition

    Welcome to Season 5 of the Forty Drinks Podcast. I’m kicking off the season with an exploration of transition versus change, which are entirely different things according to William Bridges, PhD in his best-selling book, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes. 
    Transition vs. Change: Navigating the Midlife TransitionStephanie McLaughlin kicks off season five of the Forty Drinks Podcast by exploring the concept of transition versus change, inspired by the best-selling book by William Bridges, PhD, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes.  
    The way William Bridges presents the two concepts, they are not the same thing at all. These two words are not interchangeable. A change, he says, is situational and external. It could be starting or leaving a job or relationship, having a baby, moving to a new place, the death of a parent, getting married or divorced, starting or buying a business, leaving the military, changing career, your kid going off to college. All these are CHANGES. 
    A transition is psychological and internal. It is the reorientation or redefinition of the self that you go through in order to incorporate these changes into your life. Unless this transition happens, he says, change doesn’t work. 
    Further, transition, as Bridges presents it, is a three stage process. First, there is an ending. Then there is a neutral zone. Then, there is a new beginning. He describes the subject of the book as: “the difficult process of letting go of an old situation, of suffering the confusing nowhere of inbetweenness, and of launching forth again in a new situation.”
    These concepts, and more from the book, will provide a framework for the midlife transition that we’ll go back to throughout the season.
    Do you have the Midlife Ick? Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise. www.fortydrinks.com/ick  
    Listen, Rate & SubscribeApple Podcasts 
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    Google Podcasts
    SponsorThe Forty Drinks Podcast is produced and presented by Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications

    • 30 min
    Turning 40 and Rewriting My Story

    Turning 40 and Rewriting My Story

    Stephanie Rose checked off a huge number of major life events in her early 30s, in a bit of a whirlwind fashion. She met and married her husband, bought her first home, gave birth two her two kids, and experienced the death of her mom. Then, at 39, she started a business and realized she didn’t really have a frame of reference for who she was any more and felt like she needed to get to know herself better. So she used exercises from Julia Cameron’s The Artists’ Way and then developed some of her own. Using these tools, Stephanie is reframing things from her past. Looking at harder moments and realizing she did the best she could with the tools and capacity at her disposal at that time.
    Guest Bio Stephanie Rose empowers women to remember their magic through knowing themselves better and live a life that lights them up through mindset shifts, easy to try tips and giving themselves the permission they only think they need to change their lives. She shares ways to find the time to do more of what you love and reframe the way you live your life on her blog at FireflyScout.com and on Instagram and LinkedIn @FireflyScout.
    Turning 40 and Rewriting My StoryStephanie Rose is a woman on a mission to help others know themselves better, believe in themselves, and take aligned action towards living a life that lights them up. In this episode of the Forty Drinks Podcast, Stephanie shares her journey of self-discovery and transformation in her 30s and 40s. She checked off a lot of the “adult boxes” in a very short period: mariage, house, babies, death of a parent, starting a business. Then she realized she really didn’t know who she was anymore. 
    From moving around as a child to finding her footing in Michigan, Stephanie reflects on the impact of her experiences and the importance of finding her true self. She discusses the significance of embracing her quirks and celebrating her own uniqueness. Stephanie also talks about the decision to leave her corporate job and pursue her passion for helping others, and how she navigates the challenges and fears that come with following her purpose. Tune in to this inspiring episode to learn how Stephanie has embraced her optimism and is empowering others to live their best lives.
    Highlights from the episode:
    Stephanie's experience of moving around as a child and the impact it had on her sense of self.The power of journaling and morning pages in uncovering thoughts and feelings.Embracing quirks and celebrating uniqueness as part of self-discovery.The decision to leave a corporate job and pursue a passion for helping others.Navigating challenges and fears while following one's purpose.
    If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to rate, follow, and review the Forty Drinks Podcast to stay up to date with future episodes.
    Guest Resources "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron
    Find Stephanie on Facebook
    Find Stephanie on Instagram
    Find Stephanie on LInkedIn
    For Forty Drinks Listeners: Get Stephanie’s Firefly Scout Journaling Guide
    Do you have the Midlife Ick? Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise. www.fortydrinks.com/ick
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    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

Dr. Jackie Black ,

Fabulous Episode with Dr. Susie

Forty Drinks podcast is so well done - wonderful host who is a curious, warm and engaging interviewer. Dr. Susie Castellanos Hansley is a terrific guest who shared her powerful story that has something for everyone of us to take away and use for our personal growth. Great episode that is not to be missed. Well worth your time.

AdaPiaD ,

Accessible and Authentic

I love listening to Steph and her guests. This is like having a group of friends over to share stories - and I never want it to end!

Annette Copeland ,

Fabulous host and great topic!

I love your show so very much! The topic is so relatable to us 40 somethings and beyond! Thank you so much for allowing me to be a guest on your podcast! It was a treat!

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