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I have had to sheepishly admit to myself that—after totally and completely nailing the summer—I have just in no way nailed the beginning of the school year from a mom POV.
I am the first grade class parent, but missing the first meeting. I missed the first morning of school and have no adorable picture to share on social media. I have been so late at pick up and drop off that I’ve barely even reconnected with the other parents. I’ve yet to do an inventory of what pants and skirts from last year still fit my children or bought them new uniform shirts. Evie went to school with a hole in one knee and I forgot—FORGOT!—to do her hair in any way. (Fortunately it was in a top bun from the night before that still looked cute.)
I was a mixed fan of HBO’s Silicon Valley but there were moments of utter brilliance. Less the jokes or the storylines, but more how bitingly incisive it was when it came to the nature of startups. One of the best moments was when the CEO of Hooli defended how mean the company had become by saying it was the inevitable drift as a tiny idealistic startup became a mega-success and had to keep delivering jaw-dropping growth numbers to Wall Street. “Do you think you’re going to be any different?” (He said something like that, I’m going from memory here.)
Today’s newsletter is written by Chairman Mom team member Catherine Connors.
About 10 years, I made a bucket list. I didn’t call it a bucket list, exactly — I called it a “Life / Bucket / Seize-The-Day / I-Wanna-Do-Cool-Sh*t List.” I put it on a page on my blog title Vita Brevis, List Longa, because I am pretentious and also because, yes, life IS short and that’s why you need to make a list if you want to make sure that you fit as much as possible into that life.
I hadn’t thought of that list in a year or two, until someone posed the question on Chairman Mom the other day: “What are some awe-inspiring things that you want to do?” Ah! “I can answer this!” I thought. “Because I have a list.” And so I went back to that list, and did a little inventory on where I am on the Doing Cool Sh*t front.
There are a few infuriating things in the news I can’t bring myself to write about this morning. Instead, I’m going to write about this delightful story about the return of MOM JEANS in The Atlantic.
Like everyone without kids wearing flared hip-huggers when the SNL skit was aired, I was totally confused why moms wore such horrible high-waisted jeans. Fast-forward many years and children later and I LOVE THEM. In particular, I love that brands like H&M are actually branding shorts and jeans as “MOM JEANS.” (I bought some last week…and they look amazing.)
Newsletter editor Lily here.
I’ve always been a very go-go-go person. I grind away at my work. I’m seen as THAT put-together person, the emotionally sturdy friend, the one who never seems to get tired. This was a point of pride for me for over two decades of my life.
And then a year and a half ago, I hit the first real wall of my life. I’ve had trouble getting and staying motivated, I feel a little bit lost, I just don’t feel like doing anything. Zora Neale Hurston once said, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” I feel like the past 18 months has opened up a ton of questions as to who I am and what I value, and now I’m just trying to figure out how to make the next year or so one that answers those questions.
Richard Nash is an amazing friend and supporter of up-and-coming authors who don’t fit the mass market mold. When he sends me a book and says I should check it out, I make a point to.
I just finished a slim little volume that rocked my world called The Seed: Infertility Is a Feminist Issue. In it, Alexandra Kimball argues convincingly that feminists have either ignored or outright shamed infertile women. Taken along with Jesus Feminist, both books tell a story of how narrow traditional feminism is from completely different points of view. (Interestingly, both are written by Canadian authors.)
Last year, I sat in a gorgeous Old West town absorbing tough love about getting my financial sh*t in order. The speaker spoke not about just putting a percentage of money away every month (ha!) or what you should have been putting in you 401(k) all these years. She talked about introspection. She talked about figuring out what it is you want from your money. And then she talked about the tough choices you were gonna have to make to get there.
How badly do you want it? Because most of us can’t magically whisk ourselves to a place with a cheaper cost of living. Or suddenly wave a wand and make more money.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
Growing up, I never really learned how to eat vegetables properly and didn’t always have the healthiest diet. This didn’t really bother me much as a kid, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized never really learned the ins and outs of vegetables as I went from childhood to adolescence to now full-on adulthood.
It’s always been one of those tiny things that made me feel self-conscious. When I got to college, I didn’t know how to build a basic salad at the salad bar, and I lacked any knowledge of how to cook a vegetable—or how it was supposed to taste. When I started getting into networking situations that required me to look healthy-ish and order a salad or vegetable, I’d just end up getting what the other person got because I didn’t know what to do. And obviously, vegetables are good for you, so I always felt like I was missing out on a major food group.
I just finished reading Margaret Atwood’s Payback. No, it isn’t a book about some epic feminist revenge. It’s a little known book she published just after the financial crisis about debt. It’s not a book that teaches you how to manage your money, or explains how we got into the financial crisis. It’s a book about the nature of debt. How debt is woven into religion, into sex, into power, into our sense of virtue and right and wrong going back to ancient religions and through today.
I’ve spent most of my adult life being a total snob about boutique, very local hotels. Even when I travel around the world, I ferret out the locally owned, totally unique option. And there’s a lot to love. The delightful touches of the Japanese soaking tub. The phenomenally chic hotel bar.
But, well, I guess I’m just getting old. Because lately I am super into no-frills hotels. The kind that have a pantry where you can grab some mac-n-cheese and a half bottle of wine when you check in—no need to call room service. The kind where you can grab yogurt and a banana in the lobby for free, not waste time at a sit-down breakfast. The kind that has COFFEE IN THE ROOM. Many boutique hotels make you call down for coffee. Why? It’s wasting all of our time.