Your holiday mantra: “Accept yourself and accept others”

I read two stories on the same day just before heading into the holiday season that made me feel—momentarily—better about the world. 

The first was this one about Chick-Fil-A, under pressure, ceasing to give money to groups criticized by LGBTQ activists. I wanted to send members of my extended family the article: Even Chick-Fil-A is softening on gay rights! That shows something is changing in our intractable polarized country as even chicken sandwiches have been political.

The second was this story about Mr Rogers. I know, there is literally a new think piece about Mr. Rogers every five minutes. But this one stood out. It had to do with Mr. Rogers’ view that his show was his way of becoming a pastor and how the core of his religion was affirming that people are perfect the way they are.  Read more...

Forcing it

In January, I posted about my inability to make daily meditation stick. This thread continually pops back up, with close to 30 answers now. But one of the most interesting came last week from @sarahkpeck. I wanted to highlight it for those who have long since stopped checking updates on this thread. 

“@sarahlacy I’ve been thinking about this question for a few weeks now—read through this entire thread, thought about habit change and habit shift, and have an answer I can’t get out of my head. I’ll try to write about it and see if it sticks. Read more...

Peace at home

Based on that subject line alone, this post could be about Memphis or about San Francisco. 

I’ve lived in each for roughly 20 years, and each city has equally inspired and disappointed me. What’s more: I’ve only lived in these two places. Their molecules, atoms, food, water, and oxygen is what makes me me. And I’m wrestling with my relationship with each place and what it represents to me right now. In other words: I feel peace in neither home. 

But this post is about San Francisco. I wrote about my frustration with a place that once represented so much hope to me here and here recently. But lately, I’d been starting to hate my house itself. Which is striking because I’ve long been so proud of being able to provide it for my kids, and I worked so hard to keep it after my divorce. I bought this house off little more than my words as a woman who so many powerful forces have tried to silence. I’ve hosted dozens and dozens of transformational dinner parties for amazing women here. How could I hate this place?  Read more...

Everything I have to say right now about Frozen 2

True confession: As I was watching the first third of Frozen 2, I kept wondering where it was going. And then in the second third, I was like “Oh no…is this gonna work?” Fortunately, the third third redeemed the whole thing, pulled it together and made me immediately want to go see it again and listen to the soundtrack on repeat the rest of the holiday weekend. 

But, yes, it was a bit of a mess, and some reviewers have pounced. (Couldn’t possibly be because it’s *the* vehicle of Jennifer Lee, the one time industry outsider who took over Disney animation after a #metoo casualty. No, no, I’m sure it’s not that…)  Read more...

Sly dessert foxes

“You know, that Fox you met when you were hypnotized was right,” Eli said the other day. “I’ve noticed that foxes are always described as sly just for looking out for themselves. It’s not fair.” 

I’ve written before about the bizarre, mind-bended conversations I’ve had with different versions of myself, giant hawks, foxes, and other visitors during my hypnotherapy sessions. This one with a mama fox came just as I was worried about a big confrontation looming at work, and the inevitable gender-based blowback I was fearing. “You think you’ve got it bad?” the fox said to me before explaining that no matter what she does, she’s always called ‘sly.’ “People are going to say what people are going to say, you just have to look out for the people who count on you,” she said.  Read more...

“We’re alive and well, y’all! Life is good!”

Last week, I got a note from Orangetheory Fitness telling me it was my anniversary with them. I know I’ve talked a lot about OTF in various Chairman Mom posts about exercise and fitness. (And to anyone who will listen generally…)

But this note was opportune, because after more than 100 workouts and even being named “member of the month” one month this summer, I totally fell off the OTF bandwagon around August. 

There were all the usual reasons why. I had been traveling and got out of the routine. Work had gotten too intense for me to step out at noon everyday for a workout. I lost my tracker band and didn’t want to spend $100 on a new one. These little things added up and before I knew it, I was just out of the habit. Just like that, 10 months of routine, discipline, and results went up in smoke.  Read more...

Beyond the WeWork flameout

Over the past few years, as I’ve done keynotes railing about the Valley’s toxic masculinity and lack of diversity, people have asked me what would actually be different if women and people of color had been instrumental in building things like Facebook and Twitter. Some even argue the gargantuan success of these companies show that those stats on the benefits of diversity must not really be a thing.

I’ve long countered that if women and people of color had been central in building social media, we simply wouldn’t have platforms that treated these groups like so much sh*t. I’ve seen this first-hand, as our all-female dev team has built out Chairman Mom. Privacy and avoiding toxicity are pretty much the only things that matter.  Read more...

“Bring/don’t bring that into the 2020s!”

Newsletter editor Lily here.

During the last turn of the decade on the eve of 2010, I was 15. I didn’t really have any specific hopes or dreams or resolutions that I was trying to make happen over the 10 years that followed. Mostly I was stressed out about getting into college and dealing with friend drama and wearing way too much eyeliner that made me resemble a raccoon. (Ugh, at that last one.) Plus, in late 2009, we as a country—and a world—were in the bottom of the recession. There was just sort of a depressing and aimless feel to much of what was happening at the time. Read more...

WWQD?

My kids and I have spent a week talking about Quilty. ICYMI: Quilty is a seemingly everyday tabby cat who was adopted and then returned to a shelter in Houston. During his brief stint in an adopted home, he learned how to open doors. So having had the taste of freedom and the power that usually comes with thumbs, Quilty started to regularly free himself and other cats in the shelter. 

Clearly, this is the kind of thing social media was designed for and the reason people like me are cat people. Sadly, there’s no footage on Quilty’s Instagram page of him actually escaping. There’s one of him trying and a lot of the staff walking him back to confinement. The genius of Quilty seems in part to be his refusal to perform the trick for cameras. Obviously as his fame grew, everyone wanted to adopt Quilty and he’s now in a new home.  Read more...

The surprising virality of “sign up energy”

Last week, Lily wrote this newsletter intro about the energy unleashed when she signed up for a marathon, essentially making a promise to herself. Things snowballed. By the end of the week, we had all agreed that the Utah Valley Marathon (almost all downhill!) looked pretty great, and Lily and some friends, plus Paul, maybe Monica, Catherine for the half, and I all got on board to join her. There are 57 replies on the thread in our Slack channel—and we have a notoriously quiet Slack life at Chairman Mom. Looks like we may have to take a company-wide vacation day on June 6 of 2020.  Read more...