S2-EP24: Debbie & Sam on The Gap Year For Everyone, Silver Linings, Not Should’ing, and Season 3

Aug 14, 2020


Debbie Weil brings her husband, Sam Harrington, back on the show to reflect on 2020 (the gap year for everyone), to wrap up Season 2, and to talk about Season 3 of The Gap Year Podcast.



Debbie brings her husband Sam back on the show to reflect on this remarkable year of 2020 and to wrap up Season 2 of the podcast. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has published almost twice as many episodes as the usual every other week schedule. Debbie shares with Sam how creating and producing the podcast has kept her sane.

She finds comfort in knowing that this podcast was a way to maintain her sanity while also sharing the stories of others: about getting comfortable with death,  about changing your mindset, about the future of travel, about stepping into a leadership role, about the science of happiness, among many other topics.

In this final episode of Season 2, she and Sam reflect on the past few months of this new normal. Sam shares how routine has been the key to getting through this time for him – in fact to enjoying this time. They share a few silver linings of social distancing. And they talk about should-ing and putting pressure on themselves to accomplish things. Debbie admits that she has relaxed a little about that as the weeks have gone by.

Finally, they look ahead at Season 3. The season will explore the gap year we’ve all been forced to take, collective reinvention, change and transition – along with how to figure out what’s next in midlife and beyond. And even though that is a broader topic than gap years, per se, they both decide that Gap Year should remain the title for this podcast. See you in the fall for Season 3 of The Gap Year Podcast!


What Debbie and Sam talked about:

  • What has kept Debbie sane: meeting podcast deadlines and finding and interviewing thought-provoking guests
  • Sam’s sanity: his daily routine of cooking, shopping, exercise (a pause on writing)
  • Their different relationships to should’ing on themselves
  • Silver linings of 2020 so far: socializing with two friends at a time (instead of in big groups)
  • The uncertainty of the future and the November elections
  • Polarization in Maine as it relates to the pandemic
  • 2020: a sort of gap year for everyone
  • How to use this slowing down time intentionally


Previous episodes featuring Debbie and Sam:

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Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."