Episode 191 – Unstoppable Writer and Retired Military Officer with Kelly Thompson
Kelly Thompson comes from a multi-generation military family. Although, as she describes herself, she was a shy child who nevertheless wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps and so joined the military at the age of 17. In high school she took military courses as part of her studies.
Even with all that military background in her family and in her studies she says she always wanted to write.
She retired from the military after eight years due to a broken leg that did not heal well. Kelly then went back to school as you will hear.
She published her first book, Girls Need Not Apply, in 2019. It was about her life in the military. Her second book, Still I Cannot Save you, earlier this year. Both books have been quite successful. She is working on a third book, this time a thriller. I look forward to hearing more about it.
Kelly has one of those indomitable spirits that, no matter what, keeps her going. She loves life as you will hear. I am sure you will be quite inspired by her attitude.
About the Guest:
Dr. Kelly S. Thompson is a writer, educator and academic. She is also a retired logistics officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, medically released after an injury.
Kelly has an MFA and a PhD in Creative Writing, with research centered on representations of grief and trauma. She works as a mentor at the University of King’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction, lecturer, and author.
Her essays, poems, and fiction have appeared in literary magazines, trade publications, and anthologies, as well as publications such as Chatelaine, Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, _and more. Her memoir, _Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes from the Forces, was an instant Globe and Mail bestseller and was listed as one of the top 100 Books of 2019 by the Globe and Mail. Her second memoir, _Still, I Cannot Save You: A memoir of sisterhood, love and letting go, _released in 2023 and was also an instant bestseller.
Ways to connect with Dr. Kelly:
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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**Michael Hingson ** 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit
to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
**Michael Hingson ** 01:21
Well, hello, and welcome once again to an episode of unstoppable mindset. Today, we get to have a chat with Kelly Thompson. Now Kelly lived and lives in Canada. She was in the military for a while and had to retire with an injury. And I’m sure she’ll want to talk about that and tell us about that. But her main love really is writing and doing all things with writing and booked things and so on. She’s written some books, and I’m sure we’re going to hear about that as we go forward. And I don’t want to give any more away because that wouldn’t be any fun than why would we have her on the podcast? So Kelly, welcome to unstoppable mindset.
**Kelly Thompson ** 02:01
Thank you for having me, it’s an honor.
**Michael Hingson ** 02:03
Well, we’re really glad that you’re here. And why don’t we start, like I really love to do with people. And I’ll ask you to do the same thing. Tell us kind of about the early Kelly growing up and all that stuff.
**Kelly Thompson ** 02:17
Early Kelly was so different from current Kelly, very painfully, chronically shy, hid behind, my mom didn’t want to make eye contact. I attribute this in part to the bowl cut I was forced to have when I was a kid. But that aside, I also just didn’t, I just was really, I lacked confidence. And I was really, really shy. I always wanted to be a writer. And so I think when I did join the military, once I was in high school, it really blew a lot of minds. People didn’t see this happening for me, because at this point, I was very artistic. And I’m very girly. And I really loved lipstick and nail polish, and then signing up for the military. I definitely got a couple of raised eyebrows. From folks. Oh,
**Michael Hingson ** 03:04
what made you decide to join the military because that that certainly, especially for a shy person. But you know, in general, and in high school, what made you decide to go that route
**Kelly Thompson ** 03:15
911 happened, right? My final year of high school and in Canada in Ontario, I was the last year to do grade 13 They call it so it was the year you had to do to graduate to go to university instead of to just graduate with your high school diploma. And my dad was in the military. I’m the fourth generation on both sides of my family. And and I wanted an education and it felt like a way to pay for it in a world where accessing education is so steep in terms of its cost. And so I signed up, I wanted to work in casualty administration. So I really wanted to help people when they were injured. And when they were ill. It felt like a place where I could contribute something of value where my empathy would be a strong point.
**Michael Hingson ** 04:09
I’ve heard of grade 13. Before Tell me a little bit more about that. How does that work?
**Kelly Thompson ** 04:13
Well, it doesn’t work anymore, because I was the last year to do it. So this
**Michael Hingson ** 04:17
isn’t actually an extra grade. So you went to Okay.
**Kelly Thompson ** 04:21
Well, extra year. And you you could do grade 12 In order to graduate from high school, and then you could go to college or you could go you know, to a vocational program. But if you wanted to go to university, you had to you had to do they call it OAC you had to do OAC it was the final year, but I actually skipped grade 12 So I did one course that I had to do for grade 12 and skip the rest of the year. So I could graduate a year early because I was very stressed about graduating with the called the double cohort because of course then you suddenly had two years of students graduate waiting at the same time, right? And I was panicked about getting into university. So I really busted my butt those last two years of high school.
**Michael Hingson ** 05:09
But you went into the military, or did you go to college? I did. I did. At first, I
**Kelly Thompson ** 05:15
did the ROTC program. So I went to university during the school year, and every summer, I did all my training. Wow. So why
**Michael Hingson ** 05:26
did you want to do that? Really? And I mean, I have no problem with the concept of the military. But it’s just fascinating to hear someone who clearly had that goal in mind for quite a while in high school. Yeah,
**Kelly Thompson ** 05:39
I still admittedly don’t know, I, I think it was the first time you know, any of us who remember those, that monumental change in our world, it suddenly a recognition of your place within it. And I think at that age, you know, I was just 17. At the time, it was suddenly this, maybe I want to do something for someone that’s other than myself, which, you know, when you’re a teenager, you’re not very well versed in thinking about what other than yourself. So I don’t, I still don’t really know. I think for military kids like army brats, you know, growing up in that life, there’s a weird comfort in the discomfort, there’s a knowledge that, you know, things are always changing, which can be both really wonderful and really frightening at the same time, as someone who always had really chronic anxiety. Sometimes it’s good for me to put myself in a situation in which I’m forced to confront that anxiety instead of giving in to it all the time, as well. So it ended up being a really beautiful thing for me in a lot of different ways. And a really complicated thing in a lot of ways as well.
**Michael Hingson ** 06:55
It’s interesting, though, that you put yourself in a position to force yourself to confront it. I love the way you say that. And it’s not something that necessarily all that many people are really willing to do to take the chance and step out of your comfort zone like that. All on your own.
**Kelly Thompson ** 07:15
Taking the LEAP is hard, you know, I remember even showing up at basic training. And, and I mean, I started to still not gonna lie to you, I was terrified. But it was the first time I was really stepping into myself as a person. And the military really taught me what I was made of. And sometimes you don’t really know that until you reach some sort of adversity in some way or another. Or as I said, you’re forced to have a moment of confronting what it means to serve something other than yourself. But it
**Michael Hingson ** 07:48
sounds like along the way, as you were going into the military and doing the things that you did, you obviously thought about it, you processed it. And I don’t know whether you question yourself, why did I go into this, but you clearly thought about it, because you recognized what it was doing to you. And again, I don’t know that everyone necessarily does that.
**Kelly Thompson ** 08:12
Yeah, and I think again, that’s part of like I said, the, the process of really learning who you are. And so suddenly, all these things that I thought I couldn’t do, like, if you had told me I would have been carrying the weight I was carrying or, you know, walking with broken legs or putting up mentally with a lot of the stuff that was happening around the time, I would have said, of course not I could never. And I don’t say I can never do anything anymore. It’s just removed from my vocabulary, which
**Michael Hingson ** 08:41
is really important, and really probably a good thing because we often amaze ourselves as to how much we really can do, which is why in part, we do this podcast because as I tell people, unstoppable mindset is all about showing people who listen that they can be more unstoppable that they think they can 100% So what was it like for you in the military? Or how much of that do you want to talk about? Oh, my, three hours.
**Kelly Thompson ** 09:11
You know, I, it’s very hard to be I mean, I am not the strongest physically strongest person on the planet. So it’s very hard to be in an environment where every value is placed on your physicality. And what was funny was when it came to doing, you know, in basic training, especially when it came to doing things that were about leadership, and I will also say I really kicked butt on the range. I was pretty good there. But you know, we did we would do these taskings where you had it was all about how you lead lead your troops and how you formulated a plan and I kicked butt there and yet I was really looked down upon because I was seen as physically weak but at the same time you know in I used to training. And we were right near the end of the course. And we’re in the field and it’s like, a horrible, grueling week and you’re carrying all the rucksack and everything. And I broke my leg. And I was saying, Look, you know, my leg. I in the book I say it looks like my knees swallowed a basketball. It was just gigantic. And no, they told me I had tendinitis. They gave me some Tylenol, literally for Tylenol and told me to keep going. And so I did. And it’s a it’s a decision that both haunts me because I’m, I now have a permanent disability from that. And it lost me my career that if I had stepped back and said, No, I want to have an x ray, I want someone to X ray this. It might have had a different outcome for me. So I would have marched another 25 miles on that leg broken. I did a week of drill practice. And then six weeks later, back at university, they said, you know, your pains, not matching, tendinitis. This can’t be so they finally sent me for an MRI and the broken bone has never healed properly, because it was so damaged. So I squeaked out about eight years of military service before I got medically released, they tried everything. I had nerve burning procedures, I had my own bone marrow sucked from my hip and spin for stem cells and inject it into my knee. I did that three times. I had several surgeries. And it just isn’t better. And so sometimes I thought for all the weakness they thought I had, it pushed me into a scenario where I felt like I had to prove how tough I was. And while yes, I learned what I was made of, and I did learn I was tough. I knew that mentally, before I needed to break physically to tell me that. Yeah.
**Michael Hingson ** 11:49
And you discovered how mentally tough you were. And I understand the whole concept of physicality in the army, and with basic training, especially, and so on. But there’s more to life than just being the strongest person physically, as you clearly learned.
**Kelly Thompson ** 12:07
100% and I had hoped, you know, I had these lingering dreams that once I start my actual job in the military, I’m going to show them, you know, I’m going to show them how good I am at my job. When I finally did all my training for my actual career in the forces as a logistics officer, I was the top student on the course out of 102 students, I worked really hard. But the sexual harassment was so constant and pervasive, to the point that I constantly felt reduced to my chest size and my body instead of and it was just another form of my physicality, beings being what was valued about me, instead of my brain and my ability to do my job well.
**Michael Hingson ** 12:55
And officers and leaders wouldn’t really address the issues. Well,
**Kelly Thompson ** 13:01
and I was an officer, and this is what was, you know, what was bananas about? It was I was a sexual harassment advisor. So I had all this special training, and I would give these lectures about sexual harassment, and be harassed while I was doing it. And it’s this weird power structure within the forces where, when it’s my boss who’s harassing me, what am I supposed to do? Where do I go? And especially when I would work with women whose rapists were deployed with them overseas? And, and I thought, we’re not protecting people at home. How are these people also supposed to protect people on the other side of the country, it was our other side of the world. Rather, it was really demoralizing, and I lost my love for the organization that had been my home my whole life. And even though I met my husband, so that turned out okay. Hurt. He did carry me when I broke my leg. We met in basic training. And he carried me when I broke my leg for three kilometers, so about two miles. And that’s a that’s a guy you marry Michael.
**Michael Hingson ** 14:14
Yeah. There you go. Nice, nice to have the reasons in perspective.
**Kelly Thompson ** 14:23
And I think too, I think sometimes people think that perhaps I’m against the military, which of course, I’m not my husband still serves. I can’t be a veteran and a daughter of a veteran and my husband’s still serving, and not really think at the end of the day, we signed up because we wanted to help people. And I still believe in the goodness of those people. I just think it’s an organization that really needs work to be better. And what’s beautiful is since my book came out, I get to be a part of making it better. I get invited to speak all over two different bases and get have lectures and writing workshops. So finally, I’m using my skills and training to bring to the table to make to make that space better and safer for other people. And I love it. Do
**Michael Hingson ** 15:13
you think you’re seeing improvements? Is it? Is it getting better, because I know that in the military, it’s been such a closed loop and a closed place for so long. But you know, even now, down here, we’re hearing about how we need to be a little bit more sensitive to other kinds of needs. And of course, there’s all the discussions about LGBTQ and other things like that. But are we, at the same time, I do appreciate and understand that we are looking for certain things from most people in the military, we do want people who are physically tough, because they’re going to be in physically challenging places. But is there room to look at alternative qualifications or requirements or criteria for dealing with some people who are not necessarily going to be out in the field, or jumping out of aircraft and so on? Well,
**Kelly Thompson ** 16:15
and it’s funny, because that was the kind of job I had, I had very much a desk job, and I 100% support the idea that every soldier needs to be able to be a soldier, you know, that’s what we sign up for. That’s the job. But I also think there’s a time and place for certain kinds of concessions. And of course, our militaries operate a little bit differently as well. But, you know, thinking about, we can’t have a system in place that makes people fearful of coming forward, when they’re in pain, whether that’s physical or mental. I’m definitely seeing a lot of positive change, you know, I look at when I was still serving. So this was sort of 2010, I was writing for a big Canadian magazine. And I was writing a little blog about women and what it was like being a woman in the military things about the uniform and, you know, light frothy subjects. And I got hauled in off leave, even though I had permission to do it. Our Secret Service created a file on me, I got hauled in to have this big discussion and signed a memo that I was accepting all responsibility. And my boss said at the time, do you Is it really this important to you to speak out about nothing. And I thought, you know, like, this is just having a little voice. And that matters to people, you know, anyone who’s in a marginalized community having a bit of voice matters, and it feels good. And so I kept going with that. And then I look at the negative reaction. But then when my book came out, 10 years later, the beautiful reaction of an asking me to come speak, come join the military, like come to these military events, and talk to us about how we can improve. If that’s not change in 10 years. I don’t know what it is.
**Michael Hingson ** 17:58
It’s interesting, though, that your boss started the conversation, I’ll be 10 years earlier. Is it really that important to you to talk about nothing?
**Kelly Thompson ** 18:07
Mm hmm. And, yeah, and it just comes to whose stories do we value? Right? Well, not all. Not all military stories. Stories are war stories, just like not all workplace stories, involve a computer, you know, it’s just, it was just a different perspective. And at the same time, I was getting lovely emails from women in the military saying, Hey, this is the first time I’ve seen a story about us. And it’s nice to be seen in the world.
**Michael Hingson ** 18:40
So how long have you guys been married now? Oh,
**Kelly Thompson ** 18:45
12 years now. And I still like
**Michael Hingson ** 18:47
him, Michael, it looks like it might last for a while.
**Kelly Thompson ** 18:51
Well, and I’ve known him for 20. So that’s, that’s saying a lot. I still like him. I still love him. He’s still that guy. Who would carry me with my rucksack at the same time. Although I was thinner than so it was probably a little bit easier that way now.
**Michael Hingson ** 19:09
Well, there you go. There’s always that so does. So do you guys move around? Or does he move around a lot or we
**Kelly Thompson ** 19:17
move every two years, every two years? Like clockwork? We’ve been all over Canada, one side to the other. Right now we’re in we we’ve been in Colorado Springs for two weeks. So we’re here for two years. He can retire in four and a half or five. So we’ll see where we go from there. But this is you know, I remember he deployed for a year, a couple years ago, and here’s a long time to be away from your partner. And he said and I remember being you know, all grumpy about it. And he said you have to remember this is what we signed up for. We knew some that this and it is this is what we signed up for. So sometimes I’ve learned since leaving the forces that I’m still involved in a million different ways. And it gets to be under my own. My way that suits me and brings me joy, and what a gift that is.
**Michael Hingson ** 20:11
And the very fact that you analyze and think about that and come up with that is, I think, really important and relevant. Doing your own self analysis is always an important thing and a helpful thing to do. 100%
**Kelly Thompson ** 20:27
I bring that from therapy, Michael. There you go.
**Michael Hingson ** 20:34
So tell me, what do you think about Colorado so far? So you’ve been there two weeks that it must be different than Canada?
**Kelly Thompson ** 20:41
Well, there was a shooting my first night here, which is definitely seeing people carry weapons. Is is unreal, to me. This is not something you would ever see in Canada. But gosh, it’s beautiful here. The why is
**Michael Hingson ** 20:59
that? Well, why is that that you don’t see an in Canada, but we see it more and more here in the US.
**Kelly Thompson ** 21:06
I think it’s just a different different gun control different gun laws. Accessing a weapon in Canada’s is pretty difficult. In terms of purchasing one, and to be honest, I wouldn’t even know where to begin with just as someone who knows how to operate a weapon, I wouldn’t really know where to begin. So it’s a lot trickier to access there. And
**Michael Hingson ** 21:33
then yeah, you guys don’t seem to be dying, or have any more and maybe less weird people than we encounter here and other places. Oh,
**Kelly Thompson ** 21:43
I’m sure we have many weird, I’ve made many of them. But we definitely don’t have the weapons problem, right the same way. And I think it’s just the gun control. Ya know, how that line with your audience, but also, it’s, it’s also just a, you know, a different mentality I’m cognizant of, of just a different mentality and people wanting to assert their, their rights. I heard
**Michael Hingson ** 22:12
one person from Congress, I think it was last week, say something like, and it’s an interesting concept, we need to get away from talking about gun control, and maybe talk about it in terms of gun responsibility.
**Kelly Thompson ** 22:27
I mean, I just I can’t imagine I saw I honored the drive out here. So just a couple of weeks ago, there was a man who was very upset that he couldn’t bring his weapon into the bookstore. And it’s like, probably don’t need it in the bookstore. I know, I do get to shoot a book. I mean, surely, I have hated many a book. But I don’t know if I feel a need to be violent with it. So that has been a change. But the people are lovely and welcoming. I mean, you cannot beat the view of these mountains. And, you know, tonight, we’re going on an art walk. And our neighbors are wonderful and have invited us over for barbecues. I mean, it’s just been, there’s not much to not like here in Colorado so far. Yeah,
**Michael Hingson ** 23:17
it’s a great state. Although my skin
**Kelly Thompson ** 23:19
is so dry, Michael, I’m gonna be broke for body frame. go to Costco. load me up with the big tubs.
**Michael Hingson ** 23:29
But definitely, it’s, there’s so much and you know, I like I like Canada as well. And I’ve spent not a huge amount of time that I spent a number of times both in speaking and then earlier in selling. You know, for me, I think that there’s beauty everywhere in the world. And it’s a matter of looking for it and realizing it. And I just I think around the United States. I haven’t found a place that I wouldn’t want to be although I do question some places that emphasize fried foods so much. But you know, that happens.
**Kelly Thompson ** 24:06
You know, even driving through Kansas, and I’ve heard a lot of people say bad things about Kansas. And I thought, but can you beat the beauty of just seeing forever? Like, there’s just some, you know, and this is the part about moving every two years we have lived in deserts. We’ve lived in rainforests, we have lived in a place where there was snow, nine months of the year, and it was well over your head. And there’s just You’re right. There’s beauty everywhere. And if you’re going to be someone who walks into it negative and go, Oh, well, this isn’t like home, then you’re going to be awfully grumpy and negative the whole time. You might as well enjoy it.
**Michael Hingson ** 24:39
Yeah, well, it isn’t like home Hello. It’s easy enough to figure out and so it’s so what,
**Kelly Thompson ** 24:46
and how wonderful is that? You know who?
**Michael Hingson ** 24:49
Yeah, get to experience new things. Well, when you did retire from the military, what did you go off and do? I
**Kelly Thompson ** 24:57
immediately decided I was Living in Ontario at the time, close to Toronto and decided to move out to Vancouver to work in publishing. And then I had a major health crisis, I discovered I had a bad thyroid disease and needed to have my thyroid killed with radiation. And so I was off work a long time I was quite ill, I lost 30 pounds, my nails fell out, my hair fell out. wasn’t a good time. And so I thought, Okay, well, maybe this is it. So I had an undergrad graduate degree in professional writing. And I thought maybe this is it, I’ll get my master’s degree in creative writing. Oh, finally, I always wanted to write books, maybe this is what I’ll do. So going from being in the military, to doing a fine arts degree was perhaps the largest culture shock of my life. And I, you know, I would, I was talking to this one woman, and she was, she was having a hard time with this story she was working on. And she said, Oh, it’s so hard. It’s like basic training. And I went, No, no, no, it’s not. It’s not. It’s definitely not really, really big culture shock. And so I did that at the University of British Columbia. And at the same time, I had the time of my life, I learned to be more comfortable expressing myself again, to have fun and play a little which the military doesn’t leave a ton of room for that, understandably. And that’s how I came up with girls need not apply and wrote my first book, and was really lucky to get an agent. And the it’s been a ride and how lucky I’ve been.
**Michael Hingson ** 26:46
And so when you moved out to British Columbia, you weren’t married yet?
**Kelly Thompson ** 26:50
No, no. And Joe was out on the island. And finally, we got together, and we decided to keep each other. So now, I, you know, we could never be together because we were in the military. And we lived across the country from one another. So when I was he was in the West, he was in the West yet, at Jos, an air traffic controller. And so he was on an Air Force base. And now I have a job where I get to follow him all the time without being angry because I lose my job. So it’s been, it’s kind of a dream. And I decided to go on and do a PhD as well in creative writing. So now I I teach at Canada’s only creative nonfiction master’s degree program. It’s always been online, so I again get to keep my job and professionally life is feeling pretty. Dream Bodie?
**Michael Hingson ** 27:44
Well, you know, and it’s all a question of how you look at it. And we we all deal with changes you mentioned September 11. And I remember I remember the day, of course, in a very vivid way, having been there. But I also I think was raised, recognizing that I’m going to face a lot of changes and surprises in my life, you know, walking across the street, for me can be more of a surprise than for you. Because you may see the lights of a car coming at you and make a decision. And I may or may not hear that car. Or I hear a car coming from a side street. And I’m expecting it to stop. And then suddenly, even though I know I have the right away in the traffic, the car decides not to and I have to deal with that. And so I’ve learned a lot about surprises and learned a lot about reacting to different things. And maybe that helped me on September 11. Because when it happened, I also knew what to do because I had learned what to do. And I had established a mindset because of the knowledge I gained about what to do in an emergency in the World Trade Center that had helped. But it still is a challenge. I think for me to understand why so many people can’t deal with change, whether it’s the World Trade Center or so many things and like even with a pandemic, we’ve had so many people yelling about masks and locking down and and a lot of political shots, right? Well, Dr. Fauci didn’t say initially that we needed to have mass and all the change his mind, what’s the problem when the guy doesn’t know what he’s doing? Well, he had a president who specifically heard about it before Fauci and never pass it on. So you know, come on, but it’s a matter of what information you have and what you learn to do with it. But we’re, we don’t learn to analyze very well, it seems to me or we don’t learn that. That change is okay. We say it is, but we hate it when it happens.
**Kelly Thompson ** 29:52
Absolutely. And you know, when I said that I joined partly in the forces I was constantly forced into change, you know, you’re always moving one day you you’re living on one base and the next they tell you, Oh, you’re going here for four months, and you’re away from home and you have no control. And I think the older I get, you know, I’m, as I approach 40, I, I have more acceptance of the things that are out of my control. But it’s also been, I don’t know if you’re a Brene, brown reader, Michael. But she talks about how everyone’s just doing their best. And when I look at it like that, I have a different attitude to either people who hurt me or people who make choices that hurt others. We’re all just trying to do our best and get by. But I do think if we had more talks about not expecting everything to be rosy all the time, we might adapt a wee bit better.
**Michael Hingson ** 30:55
I’m not sure that I would totally buy into we are always doing our best. But I think that we’re always trying, but it doesn’t matter whether somebody else is really doing all they can to do their best or not. It still doesn’t give us the right to judge.
**Kelly Thompson ** 31:10
That’s true. Yes. Well put. And
**Michael Hingson ** 31:14
so from that standpoint, it’s probably a good perspective that everyone is just trying to do their best.
**Kelly Thompson ** 31:22
We’re at least at least we’re trying something. Trying something.
**Michael Hingson ** 31:26
And that’s always a that’s always a good thing. So you wrote girls need not apply. That’s right. And so how long ago was that?
**Kelly Thompson ** 31:35
That came out in 2019. Ah, just and it was a hard time for me because it was the year after my sister died. And it had been a really difficult two year timeframe because my husband was deployed for that year, my sister was diagnosed the day after giving birth and died a year later. And so from cancer, yes. And she had been an addict for a long time. So we had a, we had had a complicated relationship, except for the previous couple years that she’d been sober. And she never got to see that dream. actualized. So I had a on top of missing her it, it made the book celebration, this dream of my entire life. A little stifled without her there.
**Michael Hingson ** 32:28
So I wrote about it. Well, there you go. So another thing to write about, needless to say,
**Kelly Thompson ** 32:33
yeah, so that actually that book just came out as still I cannot save you came out in February this year. And so this is my first book in the US actually, girls need not apply was only available in Canada. And so it came out in February. It’s been wonderful. The response from folks and others, it’s talking about sisterhood, it’s talking about loving someone who’s wounded you in a couple of different ways. But it’s also really looking at mental health. I talk a lot about suicidality in that book and feeling almost guilty for having those feelings when my sister is dying, and who am I to to be depressed. And it’s funny how we kind of internalize our own ableism half the time you know, not realizing that well, it’s an illness. I’m, I’m struggling with an illness. And so yeah, it was a complicated difficult book to write
**Michael Hingson ** 33:33
a bad. Yeah, but working through it is part of what probably is very refreshing. Well, refreshing probably is not the best word but but cathartic for you and helps you be able to move on because you are able to talk about it. And learning to do that by writing it is always a good thing.
**Kelly Thompson ** 33:54
Absolutely. And it’s why I love teaching so much because they my boss jokingly calls me sort of the trauma room, everyone who has a really complicated book ends up getting being my student in terms of complicated emotions, you know, some people are writing books that are sort of more research based or biography or audit. Yeah, biography based. And it it’s a real honor to sit with other people’s stories. When we think about it, it’s a way to really, I mean, you know, from writing your, your book. There’s something wonderful about taking a little piece of your pain and hoping that in the hands of someone else, they find a small part of their own healing or maybe, you know, a prompt to talk to other people or at the very least, a sense of being with other people who understand them.
**Michael Hingson ** 34:44
Yeah. Or trying to and sometimes it’s it’s a completely different environment. And we don’t always learn but hopefully, when we read something that’s different from what we’re used to. And we think about it, we’ll learn from it, which is always a good thing.
**Kelly Thompson ** 35:03
100%. And I believe that’s also why I ended up taking this whole area of study into a PhD. So I would, I was particularly examining how we use writing and to cope with grief, and cope with loss and pain. And to take it, you know, I never thought this would be a way I would take it in terms of getting a PhD, it wasn’t something that necessarily interested me. But I started getting really into the different forms that people have used over the years, you know, when you think about, I remember when my sister died, there’s a part in the book where I write about feeling like I wanted a sandwich board, like one of those outfits that people were to advertise things that would just say, I’m grieving, you know, if I’m crying randomly in the grocery aisle, it’s because I’m grieving. And when you think about it, we used to wear, you know, we used to wear morning clothes, we wore black clothing to announce that we were sad. Sometimes I think some of those, those old traditions might have helped me a little bit in a couple of different ways.
**Michael Hingson ** 36:12
So well, I know, I think about a lot, how I reacted to September 11. And all that happened, and then how I react to my wife of 40 years passing last November. And both, for me were very personal. But Karen’s passing, certainly in a lot of ways is a lot more personal. And there’s more grief. But I remember, go working through and going through what happened on September 11. And so I also work to try to get to the same place mentally, with Karen’s passing that I do with them that I did with the World Trade Center, because they were both challenging times. But ultimately, Karen wouldn’t want me to sit and mope and not continue to move forward. As I tell people, I’m not going to move on from Karen, because that would mean I would leave her and, and forget her, and I won’t do that I will move forward. But as I tell people, the spirit in her case moved faster than the body. And that was a problem. But she’s out there. And I know that if I misbehave, I’m going to hear about it. So I choose to keep that idea. And so I’m sure that that will happen. If I ever misbehave, I’m going to hear about it.
**Kelly Thompson ** 37:38
Do you think you’ll write about Karen Michael?
**Michael Hingson ** 37:43
I’m I? Well, we Yes, actually, yes. Working on a third book, because our second book running with Roselle came out in 2014. It was meant more for kids. And it was a workbook rather than a picture book. It was more about me growing up and Roselle growing up the guide dog in the world trade center and how we met and all that. So there’s not nearly at all as much about September 11 in it. And more adults by thing kids, as I’ve learned over the years, really? No, yeah. But during the pandemic, I realized that, in fact, I was not afraid at the World Trade Center. And I realized why over the years, but I never did anything about it, to teach others how to deal with fear. And so we’re writing a new book, we’ve got a publisher for it here in the US. And we’re working through it now and going through all the edits. And there will be a fair amount in there about Karen because she had a an illness in 2014 where she had doubled pneumonia as well as acute respiratory distress syndrome was in the ICU for a month and and was able to come out of that. But then what happened this past November so yep, she’s a major part of the book in a lot of ways.
**Kelly Thompson ** 39:08
I’m glad to hear it and I can’t wait to read it.
**Michael Hingson ** 39:12
Well, we’ll keep you posted.
**Kelly Thompson ** 39:13
Well, what do you think about it as a world we’re we’re going through such a collective grief right now you know, the last couple of years have robbed us of loved ones on top of experiences and, and even the ability to grieve considering how some people had to say goodbye as well. And I think the more story, you know, sometimes I remember my parents saying, Well, why do you want to wallow in this and sit with it? I said oh, I’m here anyways, you know, to assume that I am not thinking of her constantly. Is is a disservice. I might as well make something beautiful of it. And I think your beauty will come to from sharing your story and and when other people find a nugget of comfort there.
**Michael Hingson ** 39:59
One The things that I tell people is ironically, I put myself in a situation where I would have to talk about September 11. And that is because afterward when the media got my story, and people started asking for interviews, Karen and I talked about what we should do. And I said, if I can help people move on from September 11, and learn about blindness, and blind people learn about guide dogs and so on, then it was worth doing. And literally, we had over a six month period or so, seven month period, hundreds of interviews. And the other part about that is, there were there were some newspaper, but a lot of TV and radio and a lot of people came to our homes. And I love to tell people how it was fascinating to see all the different styles and processes that people went through to do interviews, for example, an Italian film crew came. And they had 14 people crowded into our living room, a few of whom just sat around, and were directing everybody else and not doing anything except doing a lot of talking. And then we had three people from New Zealand, a couple of times to people from a Japanese station. And you contrast the 214 people from Italy. And it’s just amazing how, how different groups worked. I’m assuming they all came out, okay, and everyone was happy with it. But it was certainly just so funny to see all of that. And then people started calling and saying, Would you come and talk with us and tell us what we should learn. And so I have been doing that ever since. Because I have decided selling philosophy and selling life is a whole lot more fun than selling computer hardware. I bet it is. And it is it’s a lot more fun. The pandemic slowed things down, but we’re working on picking up again. And so that’ll be okay. But watch
**Kelly Thompson ** 41:54
some of your beautiful lectures. So what a gift you are, when you do travel to those things, well, always
**Michael Hingson ** 42:00
looking for it. So anybody who’s out there who knows how many places to hire a speaker, we’d love to hear from you. And, and you know, just email me Michael at Michael H. I had accessibly.com There, we got that plugin. But but the reality is that I think that I grew a lot by allowing myself to go through those interviews because I did what we all really need to do in one way or another. And that’s to talk about our feelings. And I got asked really weird questions, but a lot of good, very complex, thought provoking questions. So I have no complaints about the choices I made.
**Kelly Thompson ** 42:44
You know, I, it was something in my study that I realized, even in the books I was reading, the exact moment that the person died, for example, was often skipped over in the book. And I’d think well wait, we were leading up to this huge moment. We don’t have to turn away all the time from the things that hurt us. And there can be a lot of reflection that comes from leaning into those moments a little bit.
**Michael Hingson ** 43:09
Right. Yeah. And we we shouldn’t skip it. We don’t need to be graphic and gory and all that stuff all the time either. Some of my favorite detective and mystery stories are frankly, not the violent ones. Yeah, I understand their murders and all that. Well. My favorite detective outside Sherlock Holmes is neuro Wolf and reading all the rest out books and so on. You don’t see people getting killed and reading all the graphics Stephen, you don’t need to, we should use our minds more and create our own imaginations. But I love the books because they’re puzzles. And I will admit, so there’s a guy whose name is Robert Goldsboro, who has taken over writing the near wolf books after Rick stout past. And I have to admit that I have been able to figure out in advance of the end of the book a few of the bad guys in his books. I never was able to wreck stout. I hate to say it, but I was always good at doing that with Mary Higgins Clark, but that’s okay. So they were fun to read.
**Kelly Thompson ** 44:14
The and this is an I, I love nothing more than a good thriller. And I love to be I read everything. I read a little bit of everything. I read poetry, I read, self help. I read research books, I read memoir, fiction, literary fiction, beach reads, you name it, I want to read it and I am surrounded by books, both on my phone on my reader on my computer in my office. And I’m never happier than when I’m immersed in someone else’s story because I think we’re we’re storytelling animals. It’s how we connect with one another. It’s where you know, looking at your Giving your speeches, it’s where we, we find hope. It’s where we find community. I have a book box at the end of my driveway, actually a free a free little library. And I set it up everywhere I move. And I stuffed it full of books and people learn pretty quick. I got the goods out there, Michael, I got brand new staff that I put out right away. And I will say normally, it takes people about six to eight weeks of it being out before anyone will take anything, they kind of need to like circle it a little bit. Look at it from afar.
**Michael Hingson ** 45:36
She really doing what she says, yeah, in Colorado,
**Kelly Thompson ** 45:39
I have already had to refill it. And it’s only been out for nine days. And I think that’s the most magical, wonderful thing.
**Michael Hingson ** 45:47
Do people bring books back after they read them?
**Kelly Thompson ** 45:50
Yes, they bring them back, they bring new ones they little kids love going to it too. And I have a chalkboard on it so that kids can write to me. But you know, sometimes they’ll write that they want more of a certain thing. So then I keep an eye out on book sales or that kind of thing. And it is the most wonderful way of community building that I can find because there’s just nothing better than slipping into a book.
**Michael Hingson ** 46:13
I love fiction, because I think they’re more than anyone else or anywhere else. People really are forced to use their imaginations to create the books, because they’re really stretching their minds to get some of the plots that they get. Although at the same time when you’re reading things like memoirs, and so on. It’s amazing what people have gone through that you never thought what happened. I mean, like even September 11, who would have thought, but somebody did it. But still the imagination of writers and then fiction and everywhere. But the imagination, especially in fiction, I think is just so incredible. And I am always so amazed when I read a book. And on airplanes, I read fiction because I don’t want to concentrate too hard. But I’m amazed at this, the the kinds of plots and the kinds of things that people have come up with. I
**Kelly Thompson ** 47:09
and this is that my next book is fiction, actually. And it’s a thriller. And I am completely paralyzed by choice. It’s like suddenly, what do you mean anything can happen? I find it I am like you also worshipping all the fiction authors. How do they do it? And also like you when I fly, or when I’m driving, and I’m listening to a audiobook. I really like I want something that’s that’s kind of fun, fast. But that’s going to keep my attention. Yeah, yeah.
**Michael Hingson ** 47:41
Although I remember when I, we were working on running worth Roselle, I spent a flight across the country, editing the book. That’s not the only time I really worked at a book for a whole long flight. But it was fun. And I knew what I wanted to do with it. So it was okay. But still, I love to read light things, relatively speaking on airplanes, because I don’t have to concentrate as hard. And I also don’t mind concentrating as hard. I just want to be able to do it, where I can truly concentrate
**Kelly Thompson ** 48:14
in your own space. Yeah, I get that. Which
**Michael Hingson ** 48:18
is, which is cool. Well, you spent time in the military, you came out of the military. And you’ve been going around doing this and that and the other stuff. What did you learn what lessons did the military really taught teach you that you have taken beyond military life?
**Kelly Thompson ** 48:35
I always say tenacity, because military military life. You have to just keep going. And then alternatively, in writing life, it’s so full of rejection. And we’re just here by ourselves in our own little world, slinging it out hoping people buy it. And it’s a very lonely job. And so I have learned that there’s nothing that will if I want to do it, I will find a way to make it happen. I’ve also learned the military gave me some excellent organizational skills, which I have learned in the arts world is not common. It may it gives me a bit of a bit of a shine because I’m very organized. And I carry that with me. It I always say it taught me what I was really made of and how I how willing I am to give parts of myself if I feel it’s going to be for something bigger. And it really built my my sense of community. You know, the beautiful thing about the military is that it is a family and that continues on even when you’re gone. So I am so much more active in my community now because I felt you know, when I was in the military, I traveled a lot and I was away from home a lot whereas now I work from home. So I have, I volunteer a lot and give back a lot of my time and I, in teaching, I always feel like I thought leaving the military would mean, I was leaving that sense of home. And instead, I’ve learned Home is where I’m going to make it. And I can find home in a lot of different places, not just physically, but in the communities that I surround myself with. So yeah. Do you
**Michael Hingson ** 50:30
still keep in touch with people from the military and have a lot of contact? Well, I’ve got
**Kelly Thompson ** 50:35
the one I’m married. So definitely, there’s yeah,
**Michael Hingson ** 50:38
there’s that guy, you made that commitment.
**Kelly Thompson ** 50:41
I talked to him once in a while when I feel like, but I also, I definitely have a couple of really good friends that I’ve kept in touch with. Because I’m often lecturing with the military. I’ve actually a lot of new friends as well, which is within the forces, which has been really wonderful. And it’s fun here, because we’re meeting people who are in the American military and talking to them. And we talk about how it’s different and how it’s the same. And there’s still that sense of camaraderie. So I have about about seven or eight really good friends who I still talk to, from the from the military, but I think I’ve made a lot of new ones, too. And it’s been wonderful, as
**Michael Hingson ** 51:22
Joe decided yet to try to teach you how to be an air traffic controller, so you can go off and earn a lot of money here in the US since we have a shortage and supplement his income. Oh,
**Kelly Thompson ** 51:32
my goodness, gracious, Michael, I can barely park the car in the garage safely, much less land an airplane. So no, I’ll leave that to him. It often sounds like a whole different language when, and he’s at a point where he’s doing sort of more a management role of it. But definitely an he’s one of those guys, you’d be very pleased to know his landing your plane, because they say it’s a very, very stressful job. He’s very calm about it. And he’s the he’s the person where if you knew he was on the other end, you go, okay. I can keep reading my fiction novel. Yeah, while
**Michael Hingson ** 52:14
I’m landing the plane. Well, you talked about organization, you just gave me a bright idea. You want to start a, a an online seminar organization for artists?
**Kelly Thompson ** 52:27
Gosh, where would I even begin? I love a good spreadsheet. Let me tell ya, I love it. You just say yeah, so go over my computer files. I don’t I don’t hate this idea, Michael. Yeah, I’m gonna have to start actually, I’m volunteering. I’m teaching a writing program at the local juvenile correctional facility. I’m all about sort of expressive writing. And I’ve taught all different ages and all different kinds of programs. And I’m really looking forward to starting this up. So this is where I feel like I’m going to find a way to give back, which always makes my heart sing. So it’d be nice to get back into the community.
**Michael Hingson ** 53:10
Good for you. I know that when I before we moved to California, I still, I’m sorry, before we moved to the east coast in 1996. While living in California, I traveled to the east a number of times for business. And I was in midtown Manhattan, it was before they cleaned up a lot of it. And I could go up town as well. And people said, Oh, you don’t want to go up there. It’s a really bad neighborhood. And what I learned was, yeah, there are weirdos and all that. But mostly, if you treat people right, and you deal with people appropriately, they’re going to respond. And I, I never had a problem going anywhere around New York. And maybe I was just fortunate. But I also really do firmly believe that. If you meet people where they need to be you can, you can bring them on, but they need to know that you really care about them. And if you can show that, then they’re going to be all the better for it. And they’ll react positively for the most part don’t think I
**Kelly Thompson ** 54:14
100% agree and treating people with respect from the from the start. Not acting like you’re, you know, people go through different life circumstances and have different levels of power in this world. So I go in meeting everyone where they’re at, like you said, and showing them respect, and I think that goes a long way in the world.
**Michael Hingson ** 54:39
It does. I’ve been amazed well in the in the big cities, especially so many people come up to me and say Does your dog bite? And you know, I understand where that’s coming from. But my response is, I wouldn’t want to be the person to try to find out and I like that. And they go, What? What do you mean? What are you talking about? I said, he’s not trained as a guard dog. He’s a guide dog, he’s not trained to attack. But if you have a great relationship like I do with my dog, my dog will very well react if he or she feels that somebody is endangering us. And so I wouldn’t want to be the person to try to find out. And I’ve actually saw an example of that and talked about it, I think, a little bit, we’re going to talk about it again and in our new book, but I was on college campus at UC Irvine. In the time I was there, there weren’t very many students, but 2700. But several would bring their dogs to the campus and they would just let them run loose. And then they’d get them at the end of the day and a number of them cited golf travel around in a pack. And they were coming after us one day, and I had this mild mannered golden retriever for a guide dog. Who wouldn’t, wouldn’t take offence at anyone. These dogs started getting close and they started growling and barking, he jerked away from me. I still had the leash, but he jerked so I ended up losing the harness handle. He spun around, hunkered down, as it was described to me by somebody who thought and he just started growling at them. He completely intimidated this pack of dogs. I’ve never seen before or since any of my dogs do that. But that told me that if they feel in danger, no matter what the dog, they will react. And in my case, if I have a good relationship with my dog, then that feel of endangerment will definitely spread to me as well. And I think that that he was protecting both of us. So I wouldn’t want to be the person to find out or try to well,
**Kelly Thompson ** 56:50
and last time you and I chatted, I watched Alamo climb up into your lap. So there’s a good enough relationship where he would protect you.
**Michael Hingson ** 56:59
But he’d rather be in my lap? Well, you
**Kelly Thompson ** 57:01
know, don’t they all bites the exact same? Yeah.
**Michael Hingson ** 57:06
So how do you deal with dark times? I mean, you’ve had several challenges, how do you deal with that?
**Kelly Thompson ** 57:13
I, I always deal with it with therapy, always. I have a lot of support through my therapist, I surround myself with people who are in my corner, but also honest with me, you know, sometimes it’s people who can, who can stand by you in moments of darkness are pretty spectacular. And I write about it. And I talk about it openly. You know, you mentioned earlier, there’s this inclination to not talk about when we’re struggling emotionally. And I think that’s very much a cultural thing. And it’s definitely something that’s carried over from the military, you know, disability is looked at as bad, it is bad, and you will lose your job. And that’s how we view it. And we revere people who are injured in the forces, you know, they get they get in the Canadian military, you get stripes on your uniform, if you’re injured in combat, and that kind of thing. And, and there’s like tiers of disability that are respected and mental health was not one of them. And that’s really changed in a wonderful way. And it only changes when we talk about it. So I’m always really open about it. I give a lot of lectures and public talks about struggling with mental health, learning to not find shame in it. I read a lot of other people’s stories to see that I’m not alone. And so at the end of the day, I’m always turning to words somehow to find solace,
**Michael Hingson ** 58:42
but I think you must be pretty good at
**Kelly Thompson ** 58:44
it. So far, it’s going okay. Yeah,
**Michael Hingson ** 58:48
but you’ve you’ve said that writing about being a person with a disability is a really hard
**Kelly Thompson ** 58:55
luck, less. So writing about it, but But actually, the first book writing about it was really hard. Because it came with this strange sense of shame. You know, in the military where it was, you know, this was the height of Afghanistan war, and we were everyone was deploying, and I wasn’t because my leg was constantly being operated on. It’s weird to be shameful about a part of your body or your mind that isn’t working quite up to par. So I felt Yeah, I felt weird shame. And I was embarrassed to write about it because I, I call it the misery Olympics. It’s like, well, I don’t have it as bad as this person in this person in this person, which of course, is a ridiculous way just because someone else is in pain doesn’t mean I’m not too, right. So I stopped doing that I stopped doing the comparison. And there’s been a lot of freedom that’s come from that.
**Michael Hingson ** 59:51
And the more you write about it, as it comes up, probably the I won’t say easier, but the less pain In fact, it is to write about
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:00:00
it. Absolutely. Especially because then people send, I’m sure you get them to the lovely emails from people who say, Oh, thanks for writing about this, or thanks for being honest about this. And I was at a Writers Festival in Vancouver. And a lady had asked me a very similar question, sort of how do you write about these dark things? And, and I said, like, go to therapy, and I take my medication. And then someone else raised their hand and said, I’m on medication too. And it was like a movie, a slow raising of arms when people say, Yeah, me too. And, and the lady said to me afterwards, you know, we never, why don’t we ever say that? Like, it’s something shameful, you know, taking a Tylenol for physical pain is not something we look at. with disdain, yeah,
**Michael Hingson ** 1:00:48
why don’t we consider talking about disabilities or, and, of course, mental health is even worse, but a dark thing, that’s, that’s part of the issue is that we, we still regard anyone with a so called Disability is less than, and yes, they’re not as good as we are. And I would never want to become like that person. Of course, I love. And I’ve done more of it lately to talk about disability saying that every single person on the planet has a disability. And the problem for most of all, y’all, as they say, down south, is that your light dependent, you know, you need light in order to function, Thomas Edison made the electric light bulb so that you have a way of covering up that disability. And we’ve done so much to make sure that you have light whenever and wherever you need it. But suddenly, the power goes out, and you don’t have a smartphone or a flashlight right in front of you, you’re in a world of hurt. Don’t tell me that isn’t just as much a disability as being if you will, light independent. The only thing is that there are a whole lot less of us than they don’t tend to do as much with the technology, although we’re getting better at it, but we got a long way to go. But you know, we’ve got to get away from this whole idea that’s that it’s dark, and someone who is different than us is less than us. But I guess a lot of people would say, well, that’s just human nature. And I believe that we don’t need to say that it isn’t human nature. It’s what we’re taught, but it’s not human nature.
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:02:16
And I also think, you know, a lot of people assume that I regret my military service, because it’s less left me with a disability. And I also have rheumatoid arthritis now, which, of course, makes a lot of these things a lot more complex.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:02:32
Well, you just have that. So the Joe can carry you around more?
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:02:35
Oh, it’s all part of my plan. Mike, that’s
**Michael Hingson ** 1:02:37
what I thought. Yeah. So you’re not listening? Are you? My wife had side, my wife had ra starting in 2017. So
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:02:46
yeah, it’s quite the quite the adventure. And I often get a lot of people who look at me and say, but you’re fine. And, and well, I am fine. And this has nothing to do in a lot of ways. I am fine. And in a lot of ways, my disability has become a superpower in terms of creating such a deeper sense of compassion and empathy for other people in all walks of life and, and different experiences, that I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:03:19
And that’s the real issue, isn’t it? Yeah. So we’ve talked about a lot today. What inspires you?
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:03:29
Every day people, you know, I think we often review revere people in big positions of power, or people who are in the news who are doing really great things. I admire a single mom who’s waking up every day and making breakfast for her kids and working two jobs. I admire the person who gets up despite crushing depression, and somehow it gets out of bed and makes their cup of coffee. So I’m really inspired by those everyday things. I’m really inspired by my marriage. I think Joe and I are people who work really hard at our marriage, even though it feels that kind of working hard also feels easy. Yeah, as we care about each other, but I sometimes feels like a bad feminist to say that my marriage feels like one of my greatest accomplishments, but it does, because we work really hard at it. And, and he’s wonderful to this day.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:04:34
And marriage is something that you should work at,
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:04:36
isn’t it? Absolutely.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:04:39
We we did it for 40 years, we had good times, bad times and everything in between, but I wouldn’t trade any single memory out of any of that for anything. Because it was all part of of what who we were and what we were together. And I’ve gotten those 40 years of memories and they sometimes come up at the most unexpected times when She’s great. I love it. And and that will always be the way it is. Yes,
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:05:05
exactly. So I’ll keep cherishing my marriage and honor viewers
**Michael Hingson ** 1:05:09
do that. Absolutely. One of these days, we’ll have to meet Joe. Oh,
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:05:14
I tell you, if I do a book club, they don’t give a hoot about me, Michael, they want to meet Joe. They always want to meet Joe. And, well, I know
**Michael Hingson ** 1:05:23
the feeling everybody always wants to meet the dog. I don’t care. If you really want to complex when you get when I go to Guide Dogs for the Blind, or any student goes back to Guide Dogs for the Blind. They all know the dog’s names and they don’t know the students names.
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:05:40
What gives you a bit of a cough. I almost made me cry, laugh.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:05:48
They know the dogs. They don’t know us. So I know my place in the world. And then the other the other part about it is we have a cat. And the cat runs the house, right? There’s no question about it. When the cat wants to eat our cat yells at me until I come and pet her while she’s eating. She wants to get back rubs while she eats. And she won’t eat until I come in. And she gets very offended if I don’t. And she’ll come seek me out if he has to. But it’s you know, so it’s nice to know where you are in the scheme of the of the food chain.
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:06:20
Yeah, well and I’m gonna start making these kinds of demands. There you go. One’s got to come bring bring a bring a back scratcher to me while I eat dinner every day.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:06:30
Try that and see how well it works.
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:06:32
I’ll report back.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:06:34
Yeah, let me know. I want to really thank you for being on with us today. This has been absolutely a lot of fun. I’ve enjoyed it. You’re getting close to five o’clock and dinnertime or you know, or you can always have one of those libations you know, I suppose but at least it’s getting close to dinnertime.
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:06:53
I’m fully admitting that Joe even brought me a cocktail stick tiptoed in here while I was on our chat, and Bravo cocktail. Well,
**Michael Hingson ** 1:07:02
my gosh, where the heck is he? I’ll keep him. Oh, yeah, I mean, you know, well, we’ll have to do a podcast interview with Joe. That’d be cool. You know, I love to say it. And I say it probably way too often on this podcast. I feel sorry for people who don’t drink because when they get up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re gonna feel for the rest of the day. Way too much Dean Martin, for me. But anyway,
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:07:26
I think we’d get along just fine. Yeah, well,
**Michael Hingson ** 1:07:29
I am going to get to Colorado again, at some point soon, because I’m on a board there. So when I get up, I’m going to be there. I’ll let you know. We’ll have to get together. I
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:07:37
will be there with the red carpet. Well for you and can the dog
**Michael Hingson ** 1:07:41
Well, or for the dog and me. I know how it goes.
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:07:47
Michael, you’re just a gift.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:07:49
This has been fun. I really appreciate it. And any last things you’d like to say to people.
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:07:58
Um, to be kind, above all else to be kind, being kind, being empathetic and compassionate. Doesn’t have to be a strike against you. It can be a beautiful thing.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:08:10
Yeah, we don’t need to have meanness.
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:08:14
Oh, we just don’t there’s enough of that in the world without actively seeking it.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:08:18
Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you again. This has been fun. I hope all of you out there listening have enjoyed this. I know we have. We’ve laughed and we’ve had fun. I hope you have left as well. Love to hear from you about our episode today. But first before I give you my contact information, Kelly if people want to reach out to you and and maybe communicate in any way how might they do that? My
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:08:42
website is Kelly S. Thompson as in Sarah thompson.com. And I’m on Twitter at Kelly s underscore Thompson and Instagram at Kelly S Thompson writer. There you go see photos of my dog though, let’s be honest. Yeah, I
**Michael Hingson ** 1:08:59
know. That’s why I don’t use Instagram very much because it’s usually all photos so I don’t get much out of Instagram.
**Kelly Thompson ** 1:09:06
That’s true. That’s fair. Yeah. Well, thank
**Michael Hingson ** 1:09:09
you again. And I hope all of you have really liked this and you will please let us know we’d love to hear from you. You can email me at Michaelhi at accessibe A c c e s s i b e.com Or go to our podcast page www dot Michael hingson.com and Michael Hingson’s m i c h a e l h i n g s o n.com/podcast. Love to hear your thoughts. Wherever you’re listening, please give us a five star rating. We appreciate that. We appreciate and value all those ratings, especially the five star ones, of course, but we want to know what you think and whatever it may be. And whatever you do, if you know anyone else who wants to be a guest on unstoppable mindset, please let us know. Reach out to me, provide an introduction. We really do appreciate it a great deal. And again, Kelly once last time, this has been absolutely fun and I want to thank you for being here with us today. Thank you so much for having
**Michael Hingson ** 1:10:14
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit
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