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What worked for you in 2023? What did not work this year? 

What data did you collect about yourself, your work, and your relationships? 

What do you want to take into 2024, and what do you want to leave behind? 

Yes, it’s that time of year when I share one of my favorite and most fruitful practices of looking back and looking forward – my annual debrief.  

My debrief practice teaches me the power of pausing, reflecting  – especially on my words of the year, and honoring lessons learned, victories achieved, and wounds that need care so I can look forward more clearly and confidently. And this year taught me a lot. 

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • How focusing on space and pace challenged my tendency to associate my identity with what I do
  • The challenges that came up as I really forced myself to slow down and reflect on what I want life to look like in an upcoming season of transition
  • Experiences this year that were fun, healing, and joyful
  • The practices and supports I’m carrying forward into 2024
  • What aspects of Space and Pace are bearing fruit as 2023 comes to a close and what I’m focusing on for 2024

Learn more about Rebecca:



[Inspirational Intro Music]

Rebecca Ching: What worked for you in 2023? What didn’t work for you? What data did you collect about yourself, your work, and your relationships? What do you want to take with you into 2024, and what do you want to leave behind?

Yes, it’s that time of year where I share one of my favorite and most fruitful practices of looking back and looking forward – my annual debrief. I share some highlights from my debrief along with my favorite TV shows and  movies of the year.

Now, my debrief practice teaches me the power of pausing, reflecting, especially on my words of the year, and honoring lessons learned, victories achieved, wounds that needed care, so I can look forward more clearly and confidently. This year taught me a lot.

I’m Rebecca Ching, and you’re listening to The Unburdened Leader, the show that goes deep with humans who navigate life’s challenges and lead in their own ways. Our goal is to learn how they address the burdens they carry, how they learn from them and become better and more impactful leaders of themselves and others.

All right, y’all, just a brief note: we are still counting down to my 100th episode, and a special thank you to all of those who have been listening from the beginning and welcome to new listeners! I am really excited that you all have been on this journey, and I’m really looking forward to all that we’re gonna be sharing in the new year. If you feel so inclined, it would be such a gift if you took a moment to leave a rating, write a review, and share this podcast with those you think may be interested and benefit from it. That helps us get the word out about this show and it’d be a fun way to help celebrate us moving towards our 100th episode achievement. So thank you for listening. I’m glad you’re here!


Now, I do these debriefs regularly throughout the year, and it’s meaningful to pull the lens back and look at the year as a whole – what worked, what didn’t work, highlights, struggles, victories, and how I honored my values and my commitments. I love to reflect on how my words of the year guided me through all I desired and committed to.

Now, the words I chose for 2023 are space and pace. Little did I know how these words would kick my butt. [Laughs] Now, after focusing on slowing down in 2022 (slow and bold were my words last year), I craved more space on my calendar, in my mind, and in my life. Now, I often joke that my eyes are bigger than my calendar, and I decided to dig deeper into creating more space (physical and emotional space), and that meant putting the kibosh on overcommitting and the feelings that come with being overbooked.

But here’s the rub, right? I love my work and my family, and I often struggle to separate who I am and what I enjoy outside of those considerable loves. My focus on space and pace led me through a pretty major recalibration around my identity and my capacity that I’m only beginning to understand.

Now, for those who understand the mind-body connection, I know that’s many of you, the pull to return to status quo is something fierce when you try to shift homeostasis, right (how you do things all the time). I felt it this year as I shifted my schedule and my pace and my focus. Parts of me would get really loud, screaming judgements when I wasn’t working, parenting, cooking, cleaning, producing. And it was odd. At some points, I was wondering if this space and pace focus was worth it, but I knew I was on a detox of sorts as I began to switch my homeostasis.


So, looking back, Q1 was booked solid, and I had completed another level one IFS Training as a PA. I did a foundational training with The Right Use of Power Institute. And I took this really cool training on how to facilitate high-quality online experiences. With all that going on, my husband (and it kind of happened quickly) started a new job as an assistant principal, and his availability outside work shifted dramatically.

Now, it was so cool because I watched my husband with awe and respect as he entered a tough job with intention and integrity, and so, the rest of us in our family, we needed to step up and support him. So it was all amazing. But I was cooked. And something hit me by the end of January, early February, and I look back and see how the previous year’s scheduling, which flowed into Q1 of this year, impacted me for the worst. I saw and continue to see this in those I work with. It’s a powerful wakeup call because we can’t give what we don’t have, right?

So I dug deeper into giving myself space and tried to start to keep life simple, which meant untangling from my previous experiences, habits, patterns, and commitments. It felt weird but very necessary.


So Q2 and part of Q3 felt like, I think, just recovery. My mental health suffered, and the struggles showed up, and it was odd. They showed up when I was not producing or working, so when I was doing all the things, I felt great. And as soon as I stopped, I just dipped. But I felt in my soul the craving for more space, and I began to reflect on what I want this next season of my life to look like outside of just launching my kids to college and planning for retirement or looking at the existential crisis our democracy is in. And I see how many of the leaders I work with are also rumbling with their relationship with work, wellbeing, people in their lives, identity, values, and everything going on in the world. And it feels like we’re all in a snow globe that continues to shake, and it’s just not settling.

But I suspect we’re waking up to the cultural burdens around grind culture, capitalism, individualism, just to name a few. And I held tight to my commitment to not commit to anything new this year unless it was for pure fun or out of necessity just to keep life going. I’m not a big FOMO person, but man, I fought FOMO for real and a lot of self-judgment as I said no to some really cool professional experiences.

But I did attend some fantastic live concerts. Live music, ah, it’s medicine. It heals me, and seeing Adele at her Las Vegas residency last spring was pure magic. I could reach out and touch her, but I didn’t because her bodyguards were right there because she did this whole bit where she walked around, and it was just like jaw-dropping magic. We also saw Ed Sheeran live, and I’ve never been a huge fan. I’m not anti. I was more like neutral, but after what we experienced at his show, I am now a huge fan, and I love the collective energy of life music.


So seeing Pink perform live, shoot, that was thrilling and inspiring. She had Brandi Carlisle open up for her and then came out later on and they sang “Nothing Compares 2 U” together. I mean Sinéad, Prince, the whole thing for me was just, “Ah!”

Now, this was not a concert, but I enjoyed attending Alok Vmenon’s comedy show when they performed in San Diego, and their fusion of poetry, comedy, and cultural commentary was nothing short of brilliant. So that was powerful.

I was really grateful to have space just to be at my kids’ stuff this year. I used to play softball. My husband used to play baseball. So we were thrilled that one of our kids was into baseball.

My son played baseball, and he wrapped up his little-kid baseball career this year. Every spring, we have a little league in our neighborhood that’s kind of a big deal. People go and watch games even if their kids aren’t there. And his final spring season, he had a fall season with Fall Ball, our sister league, but his final season at this spring league, he had this incredible coach, really incredible human, and I loved watching him lead my son and his teammates. I saw my son grow in the sport in ways he would not have without this coach.

I saw just, again, the Captain Obvious stuff, but the power of doing the reps at their practices, which inspired me to dig deeper into some of the basics in my life, like really basic – hydration, sleep, movement. If you see me in real life, I’m walking around with a huge jug of water all the time because being hydrated is a game changer. Life feels more spacious when you’re hydrated, people.


Super basic. No fancy life hacks here. Just drinking the water, right? But also really focusing on my sleep and my movement, not as chores or ways of colluding with diet culture (which is, hello, so hard, even for me and all the training I have in that space) but as investments in my life and my future. I’m gonna be digging more into this in the new year and build on these practices I developed this year and continue to reflect on the rhythms and the reps that I’m gonna build with these.

Our family went on this wonderful holiday. We had to change up our vacation because of my husband’s new job. So we went to a place a little closer, a town called Cambria, which is a magical California coastal town, and I wonder if our future may have roots at the central coast. Our family needed the reboot, and I could see the stress of the year with all the transitions we’d been through. Because a big part of my spring, too, was advocating for my daughter, which brings me so much joy and love, but also lots of frustration, and again, I’m just like as hard as those conversations I had to have with so many people in my daughter’s life, I was so grateful that I was creating more of the space just to do what mattered so much to me, and I kept repeating on repeat to so many people “inclusion is inconvenient.” People didn’t like it, necessarily. [Laughs]

But, you know, I’m grateful for the space to even have hard conversations, not only with those in my daughter’s life and with my daughter but also with myself. I realized I’m still working through my ableism and a very dated and harmful definition of success and uncovering and shifting my ableism will probably be a lifelong process, and I really am grateful for all I’m learning about neurodivergence, and I love to support the leaders I work with who are neurodivergent.


And it’s becoming more and more of them. It’s almost like a subspecialty of mine because so many people are getting later-in-life diagnoses, especially in our work together, and it’s been fun to help them build a life and a business that supports their nervous systems and supports them thriving in their ways, not these prescribed ways of what it means to be successful or professional.

So Q4 started with my first in-person conference since 2019. I know, yowza! And I celebrated that. That was a real important space moment because my husband came with me and the kids didn’t, and I love my kids. And my husband and I, we really struggle to get time away without the kids for a lot of understandable reasons, logistical reasons. So going up to San Luis Obispo was a delight and another reminder of how much we love the central coast. If you have kids in school, this time of year can be hectic. Yet, I was noticing I was starting to feel the fruits of space and pace. I was noticing even though the kids were busy, my husband was busy, I had a lot going on, there were a lot of logistics, I was noticing my nervous system calming down instead of revolting as I did more wondering and wandering and having spontaneous conversations with neighbors and friends from afar and planning and having creative sparks to finally get going on my book proposal, which will also involve just writing for the heck of it. And I’m noticing the backlashes of not everything being super locked in and compressed starting to have an impact. I’m starting to see some of that self-trust showing up.


So, as 2023 winds down, I celebrate the no’s that kept me from overcommitting and the yesses to my wellbeing, my relationships and creative practices, especially in my garden. I have so much more to learn!

So my words of the year helped me reclaim a life that worshiped the false gods of productivity, optimization, efficiency, urgency, the kinds of work that grinds us down even when we’re doing good stuff.

Now, I read this recent excerpt from Anne Helen Petersen’s brilliant Culture Studies Substack. It took my breath away when I read it, and it put words to so much of what I’ve been feeling as I debrief my year and my focus on space and pace. I suspect you might relate to this except where she’s unpacking her work and writing about burnout. She said:

“It was an incredibly useful exercise for me just thinking through it, recognizing its shape, character, finding words to express the feeling that I must work all the time. But also, I feel like a fading smudge of gray on the wall of my own life. And I think it was useful for others who found themselves in a similar place. The contributors and contours might have been different, but there was something valuable about having words to describe the feeling. It reminds me of the idea of sociology as a form of “ungaslighting.” It helps you understand that if your problems are the result of structural forces, then you’re not the only one dealing with them. And moreover, it’s not your fault. At least, well, not entirely. Maybe not even mostly. And that, that was powerful.


I had been blaming myself for my own struggles within this system for so long, thinking it was a failure of spirit, of work ethic, of tenacity, whatever. Every day I came with a new way I wasn’t doing enough and could do more. So writing about burnout the way I did essentially avoiding the self-help model entirely, gave me the permission structure to chill out, to take stock, and stop trying so damn hard, at least for a second, a minute, a day.”

Amazing, huh? I mean, Anne really summed up so much there, and then another Substack that I follow, Laura McKowen, who writes a lot about sobriety and writing, she had a post this summer where she had a couple quotes that also stopped me in my tracks. She quoted a Parker Palmer quote where he said:

“Is this, the life I’m living, the same as the life that wants to live in me?”

I’m like, “Oh, dang.” That was, again, when I was kind of in that end-of-recovery period, and I thought, “Okay, what does that mean?” I’m still rumbling with that. Like, what is the life that wants to live in me? And this is something I’m wanting to percolate more as I go into the new year.

And she had a quote from Stephen Covey who said:

“You have to decide your highest priorities and have the courage, pleasantly, smilingly, unapologetically to say no to other things, and you do that by having a bigger yes burning inside.”

Okay, so I’m not sure how else to be smilingly, especially to the women out there, right? But I get his point. But what I’m taking away from that is getting really clear on what is that bigger yes burning inside of me, and I’m wanting to find something that is bigger than just work, just family, but I mean, again, those are my loves and there are so many other things I love to do. But I’m just playing around with that.


Laura, in that Substack, also wrote:

“About these quotes, too, is it served as a guide and a reminder that although I was saying some painful no’s, they served what I wanted most: to use my voice to write.”

And writing is a big thing on my action plan. How to incorporate that in some different ways, my relationship with writing.

So, as I look forward to 2024, I choose rhythms and reps as my words for the year, and I hope to dig deeper in what I’m learning about myself and my relationship, not just to work, but how I want to do life and relationships. So those are some of my debrief highlights. Now, onto my favorite bits of culture this year!

[Inspirational Music]

Rebecca Ching: Leading is hard. It is also often controversial as one navigates staying aligned to one’s values, mission, and boundaries. Navigating the inevitable controversy can challenge your confidence, clarity, and calm.

Now, I know you don’t mind making the hard decisions but sometimes the stakes seem higher and can bring up echoes of old doubts and insecurities during times when you need to feel rock solid on your plan and action. Finding a coach who gets the nuances of your business and leading in our complex and polarized world can help you identify the blocks that keep you playing it safe and small.

Now, leading today is not a fancy title or fluffy bragging rights. It is brave and bold work to stay the course when the future is unknown and the doubts and the pains from the past keep showing up to shake things up.


Internal emotional practices and systemic strategies are needed to keep the protector of cynicism at bay and foster a hope that is both actionable and aligned.

When the stakes are high and you don’t want to lose focus, when you want to navigate inevitable conflict between your ears and with those you lead, when time is of the essence and you want to make hard decisions with confidence and clarity, then Unburdened Leader Coaching is for you and where you deepen the capacity to tolerate the vulnerability of change, innovation, and doing things differently than the status quo.

To start your Unburdened Leader Coaching process with me go to www.rebeccaching.com and book a free connection call. I can’t wait to hear from you!

[Inspirational Music]

So at the top of the list for podcasts is the Conspirituality podcast and Maintenance Phase podcast. Maintenance Phase did this really excellent two-parter on RFK. Both Conspirituality and Maintenance Phase, they do such a good job of digging into things, citing sources, and even they humanize and show some level of respect for the people they disagree with, and they don’t dehumanize those, even though some of these people that they talk about do some really shitty things. But this series on RFK, there was stuff I knew about, like RFK’s been speaking a lot about vaccines and impact on autism, and it’s something (for a lot of obvious reasons, right?) I have looked into and read a lot about, and that’s been debunked, but what they talked about was the study that was misquoted.

There was a book that I still need to get my hands on that Whitney interviewed all of the people in that study and how horribly the families and the individuals they studied were treated. I mean, the lack of ethics. Again, it’s so horrible. So I want to dig deeper into that, but, I mean, just such rich stuff.


And then I just watched a live podcast, it was on TV, with Chris Hayes, who has the Why Is This Happening? podcast, and he had Rachael Maddow, who’s a yellow co-host on MSNBC, talk about her book Prequel on what we can do to save democracy, and it was actually really moving. I had my husband watch it with me. My husband, for those of you who don’t know, is a historian, and I often get him to listen or read things to get his smell test on, so I don’t get suckered into some things that are out there. And there was so much beautiful wisdom there. It was just really rich on her writing process, how she ended up writing this book.

But she talked about 2024. This is kind of my summary, but it’s really how I’ve been feeling also. But she said 2024’s gonna be a weird year, and it’s gonna be really important that we connect with our people and in our community and talk about things other than politics and to surround ourselves with folks who aren’t necessarily just like us, too, and to connect with our neighbors. And just to be in community is gonna be essential in real life. And it’s something I’ve been really focusing on in our community and our neighborhood. It almost feels like a spiritual practice. And then she said, “If you care about democracy, then find races and states where there’s a lot at stake and get involved.” I just loved that call-to-action. So I would definitely check out that episode.


All right, so what I watched. Oh, my gosh. In my space and to help quiet the noise between the ears, there were a lot of fun shows to watch! But I’m gonna talk a little bit about Taylor Swift. I’m a Swiftie by admiration of her business prowess, her leadership, her creative process, her strength. Her music, I like, and I’ve been digging into it a little bit more just reading her lyrics. I’ve never been drawn to a lot of her music, but I’ve kind of been drawn into the whole orbit of the Swiftie world, and it’s been so uplifting. It’s been medicine to watch what she was doing at The Eras Tour and talking to people who went to the concerts. But seeing she surpassed the movie industry and just went right to the movie theaters with her deal for her movie and how she treated her whole crew, and this whole thing with her and Travis Kelce. Like, my whole feed is now dialed into Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, and he and his brother’s podcast, I just love! It’s just been nice. I don’t know!

And then Friends clips because, rest in peace, oh, Matthew Perry. That one felt hard. He was definitely one of those celebrity crushes, but I just loved him on the show and followed his career, loved anything he was in. And so, watching these Friends clips too has just been very therapeutic. I don’t know. It’s just been really, really powerful. But yeah, I have been just like decompressing with clips of Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce and his brother’s podcast, and Friends clips, and I have a very good feeling that I am not the only one.


But just mad respect for Taylor Swift. I mean, I just get it, and her business savvy, her talent, her endurance, her commitment, and I watched a documentary about her a few years ago, and that’s I think where things started to change and I went, “Dang, she is one incredible leader.” So just had to just acknowledge that.

Movies I Watched:

Okay, so movies! All right, where do I start? All right, I recently just watched Nyad. I was blown away and bawling by the end and have so many thoughts about that. You know how you watch a movie or a show and then you do a deep-dive Google search, right, because you’re not ready to be done with it yet? And learning a little bit more about her and her personality, I have so many questions. Just her recognizing that even her commitment to swimming isn’t an individual sport, it’s a team sport. And her friends, her crew, but also her drive on never giving up. I mean, I have parts of me going, “But sometimes it’s okay.” But that was just not gonna work for her. Some people I know, they get something in them, and they have to just — whether it’s an artist, an athlete, an entrepreneur, you have to download it, and so, I recognize that. But I just loved the story, and the acting was phenomenal.

I saw the classic Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret with my family. It came out during my birthday week, so one of my presents was to have my family watch it with me. And they obliged.

There was a very sweet movie, again, I just love sweet movies, Sitting in Bars with Cake. It surprised me! It was just sweet, about friendship, about family, about life, about death, about love, about coming of age.

And then Air, which is about the Nike story and Michael Jordan. So well done.

Okay, I’m confessing that, I don’t know if I could say I loved this movie, but I loved watching it with my family because we were all — it was so ridiculous. But Cocaine Bear.


I don’t know, just the title, right? But it was so ridiculous and outrageous, and everyone was so into it. We’re yelling at the TV. We’re laughing. We’re grossed out. We’re cringing. I don’t know. It was like a family experience. Yeah, what kind of parenting? “We watched Cocaine Bear as a family. All wholesome fun!” but we loved it.

I was also really touched by You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah. Adam Sandler and his real-life daughters played his daughters in the movie. And it was one of the better kind of coming of age — not better necessarily, but it just really hit a lot and touched on a lot. And so, I recommend that.

There was this movie. It didn’t get a lot of press. But the movie about the Boston Strangler. It was mostly about the reporters, those two women reporters who had such an uphill battle reporting this story because of, hello, sexism. And the actors that were playing it were phenomenal. Yeah, I just really enjoyed that, and it got me thinking a lot about how so many before me have paved the way and had to do so much and we still have a long ways to go.

All right, I am going to confess that I’ve actually been suggesting this movie to people, and that’s Old Dads. I don’t know how I ended up watching it. I think it was a night where I was having a hard time falling asleep, and there’s an actor in this movie that I really like, Bobby Cannavale. I thought, “All right, let me check it out,” because he’s such a diverse actor, and oh, my gosh, is this smart. It’s cringey. It’s not appropriate for kids. But there were things that were said and things that were addressed in ways in our culture and, oh, my gosh, the mom stuff? Now, of course, it’s a movie so it’s hyperbolic, but I am surprised that I watched it and that I liked it. I’ve been talking to clients and colleagues about it. I’m like, “Okay, I think you might like this.” They’re like, “I watched it too!” So I think I’m not alone in that.


The Barbie movie. I brought my husband and my son to see it, and so, we were going. It wasn’t a question. And I mean, Ioved it, yes. If you know me, you know that I have talked about Barbie as not a great role model for women, for body, confidence, all of this stuff. My goodness, just what a feat by the director, by what Greta did. All of it was a delight. Ryan Gosling brought it. I think we all now will talk about “we beach” now, right? “We beach.” There were so many things from that movie.

I wanted more about — I guess there’s a part of me wanting more, and that seems probably ridiculous because what they did was incredible. The speeches, the script. Will Farrell was amazing. I mean, all of it was incredible. I think I need to watch it a second time and just have my notebook with me. But I went a couple weeks into the craze. I wasn’t wearing pink. But I was like, “Who’s gonna go see Barbie?” And then I’m reading about all the people going to see it and how moved they were, and I was like, “Oh, shoot. I want to be a part of this!” So I actually went and saw it in the theatre. So definitely well done, and there has been so much written about that movie, and it’s so much great commentary that is worth checking out. It’s definitely something that was a game changer.

All right, I saw my Marvel DC movies, Guardians of the Galaxy 3, The Flash (which is DC), Antman. I love them. I love them all.


My son informed me, though, that The Flash was one of the lowest-performing DC movies of all time. Eh, I know there was some controversy with the actor. I love that stuff, and I actually wanted to go see the last Indiana Jones in the theatre. I’m not a huge fan of it, but as an eighties child, it just felt really important to go see how this ends and do it in the theatre.

Yeah, and then just some really cute rom-coms: Finding You and then Somebody I Used to Know. Alison Brie’s in that, and it was just sweet.

TV Show I Watched:

All right, but the TV is where there’s some juicy stuff, and I don’t know if I can cover all of this here. I will say at the top of my list, though, is Fleishman Is in Trouble. That show, as many people said to me, shook me. Claire Danes, phenomenal. Everyone acting in that was phenomenal. And how they just — I don’t want to say too much to spoil it. I don’t want to spoil it because you just have to go into it. It is phenomenal and captured so much of what women go through, trauma, relationships, marriage, parenting, work, sexism, again, I mean, everything. It was powerful.

I really enjoyed Based on a True Story – super fun. And the series The Power was really provocative. I don’t want to say too much.

Okay, on Amazon Prime was this series called Deadlock, and it was so smart and funny and just odd, but I loved it.

The Diplomat, oh, so well done. I can’t wait for the next season.

Wednesday, legend status. So smart.

A couple of documentaries, though. Shiny Happy People, I was shook for a while because it landed in a lot of ways.

And then the Murdaugh Murders, so chilling.


My whole family got into The Last of Us. I hate zombies, but this one I could tolerate a little. And they’d always kind of wait ‘til the end to show the zombies. It was mostly about the people, but I was always stressed.

And then I started getting into British crime, so Case Histories and season one of The Tower is awesome.

And then there’s this odd series called Class of ‘07, kind of an apocalyptic, end-of-the-world class reunion for a bunch of women at a girls’ school, and it was dark but there was also some really interesting cultural commentary that’s worth it.

Jury Duty, brilliant! A brilliant premise.

Hunters season two, oh. Especially right now, really heavy but really well done.

You season four. It’s good. It’s starting to kind of — they’re gonna keep going with this, I wonder.

Painkillers, oh, my goodness. So powerfully well done. Yeah, so well done.

Loved Daisy Jones and The Six. Loved, loved, loved it!

And I’ve really gotten into the whole Bosch series: The Bosch Legacy. I dig it! I love a good crime show or cop show that’s not — well, it’s very coppy, but I love it.

Fall of The House of Usher, so good.

All The Light We Cannot See.

I was late to the party but finally watched all of Succession and needed lots of showering afterwards. Holy cow.

Only Murders in The Building season three, loved.

Oh, my gosh, Lessons in Chemistry, I watched it just kind of like, “Oh, it’s a new show, Apple+.” It was breathtaking how it was done. Love, again, sexism addressed, the character — I mean, everything about it was phenomenal.


The Morning Show season three I probably could do a whole episode on unpacking Morning Show season three. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it when it started because it had a different feel, but really, every character just went deep into their humanity. We’ll leave it there.

I have to say I loved Shrinking, also Apple+. I have a lot of people asking me about that show, and clearly, people have been in therapy, maybe there were therapists also consulting on this show. No, therapists should never have their clients live with them. I want to be very clear. I did not love that part at all. But there was just so much of the realness of it, I just loved it.

You know, I’ve got to give a shoutout to Lincoln Lawyer season two. Just a fun little lawyer crime thing, but there’s also this series called Bodies, which is this time-bending thriller.

Queen Charlotte, whoa. I should have expected more, but I wasn’t gonna watch it and clients kept saying, “Rebecca, I’m surprised you’re not watching this. You’d like it.” They were right. My clients are always right about this stuff. And the depiction of love, mental health, relationships, friendships, so much, really, really well done.

And then just a shout out to Jennifer Lopez in The Mother in all her glory was awesome.

Season Finales or TV Shows Canceled:

Oh, seasons, finales, or shows that were canceled. Billions. I really loved this show, and the finale season was like a Gen X easter egg heaven. So much pop culture drop.


Ted Lasso. Ted Lasso, that’s all I have to say. I’m still listening to the soundtrack. I miss them so much.

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Oh, that ended but so much, so much good stuff in that show.

Now, I’m late to the party on Barry but I started it and ended it and wow. Wow. Just wow. But well done.

And then some shows that were canceled that I loved. Perry Mason on HBO, which is now Max. I actually really liked that show. I’m bummed it’s not coming back.

Total one-season wonder, such a fun guilty pleasure but Glamorous, but loved it. I loved the characters. They were not realistic, but it was just fun. I don’t know why, it just made me in a good mood.

Firefly Lane was canceled after two seasons, or maybe it was supposed to be ending. I really liked just the story of friendship and love and family.

And then I’m super bummed the first season and only season of Alaska Daily was canceled. I really liked that show.

TV Shows I Hate-Watched:

I am introducing a new section called shows I hate-watched, and I need to kind of just be open with you about this.

I hate-watched Sweet Magnolias, and my family is so frustrated with me because I keep watching the show. When they tell me there’s more I’m like, “There’s more episodes coming!” And I’m yelling at the TV, and they’re like, “Well, why are you — don’t watch it.” I’m like, “I have to!” I did a little research on hate-watching. It’s a thing. There’s a whole psychological benefit to this.

Okay, Virgin River is maybe not full-on hate-watching, but it’s getting there. It’s getting there.

The Summer I Turned Pretty, maybe not full-on hate-watched, but there was some, “Come on,” stuff.

I was hate-watching the second season of the Sex and the City update, and then I didn’t hate it, and then I really loved it. But I started off hate-watching it going, “What is happening here?”


And then I watched the latest season of The Real Housewives of New York only because Jenna Lyons, who formerly worked at J Crew is kind of a legend in her own right in so many ways, but her own story is so intriguing to me. But I kind of — my son would be like, “Why are you watching this?” I’m like, “Jenna Lyons.” He’s like, “What does that mean? What are they doing right now? Why are they so dressed up when they’re just getting tea? Why are they talking that way? Are they friends? Why are they on a trip and they’re yelling and punching –,” you know, they weren’t punching but they were getting a little — anyways. He would just groan when I put it on. I’m like, “Jenna Lyons, I want to see.” And she just was so — I just loved how she responded, and then you know how they do the post-show conversations? Oh, my gosh. But also I’m glad it’s done because those kinds of shows just suck the life out of me.

So, there you have it. Some of my pop culture debrief of 2023.  

[Inspirational Music]

Thank you for listening to the show this year! I’m honored you took your time to listen to these Unburdened Leader conversations. I don’t take that for granted, and I am excited about everything I’ve planned for the new year. I can’t wait for you to listen.

So, I’m curious. Do you have a word or words for 2024? And how do you want to debrief 2023? And what’s stirring in you around your relationship with work and productivity? However you reflect on the year while also looking ahead, I hope you do it in a way that is not tied up in all the noise and pressure of this time of year. And this is the ongoing work on an unburdened leader.

All right, y’all! Thank you so much for joining this debrief episode of The Unburdened Leader. You can find this episode, show notes, and free Unburdened Leader resources, along with ways to work with me at www.rebeccaching.com!


And if this episode moved you or you appreciated it, ’d be honored if you left a rating, a review, and shared it with some folks you think may benefit from it. That sure helps us get the word out about the show. And this particular episode was produced by the amazing team at Yellow House Media. Thank you for listening!

[Inspirational Music]

That’s a wrap!

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meet the founder

I’m Rebecca Ching, LMFT.

I help change-making leaders get to the root of recurring struggles and get confidently back on track with your values, your vision, and your bottom line. 

I combine psychotherapeutic principles, future-forward coaching, and healthy business practices to meet the unique needs and challenges of highly-committed leaders in a high-stakes world.

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