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Something occurred to me the other day, which I just shared with my Sisterhood cohort this week: For the first time in my memory, I will not have any resolutions on my list that have to do with health, fitness, or weight.
I told Paul this and he was like, “Right, because you are in great shape and you’ve accomplished that.”
That may seem logical to a dude. But many women know the headf*ck we get into with body image has nothing to do with getting in shape. It has to do with relentless self-criticism and an unhealthy standard women are held to in our culture. I am in good shape, and I am proud of how hard I worked to get in good shape. But I’m not the thinnest I’ve been in recent years. I weigh nearly 30 pounds more than I did five years ago or so, in fact. And back then, I still wanted to lose “another five pounds.”
I am deep in my navel-gazing period of assessing 2020 and thinking through resolutions for 2021. I wrote before about how I was setting weight and fitness aside in 2021. There are a few other things I’m setting aside too.
Daily meditation practice is another thing that I have had on a New Year’s resolution list for a while. This year I finally did it. I’ve let it lapse a bit in the final weeks of the year, but I feel like I’ve gotten into enough of a habit and seen the benefits that it’s not something that has to be on a list anymore. It’s just a part of me.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
After six months in New York, I’m back at my mom’s place upstate for the holiday season. It’s truly like I never left: She’s making me tea by the gallon every day, my brother is still completely nocturnal and gracing us with his presence once a day around dinner time, and I’m perpetually in a state of stress over my work and the world. At least we’ve elected a new president since I was last here in June.
I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a weird place as we end 2020 and pray that 2021 is at least marginally better. I’ve had an increasingly large pile of work, and the fact that every TV show and movie is premiering on Christmas Day this year due to the pandemic means that everything has a very hard deadline this coming week. The problem, on top of being perpetually stressed, is that when I get overwhelmed, all I want to do is procrastinate by napping and reading.
Those of you who suffer through my endless Eli stories know that Eli is pretty good at calling me in. Body shaming has become a big focus. I’m not totally sure where it’s come from, because both my kids are pretty lean and I try to be good at not ever saying anything about weight or dieting or any of that in front of her.
She asked to have the padding taken out of her Mario costume because it was “body shaming” Mario. Words that never would have occurred to me as a child. I am hoping these kids grow up without the issues I did as a result. (I had a mom so consumed by body issues that she cut herself out of pictures when I was growing up.)
As driven as I am, I always start to check out around this time of the year. My birthday is December 29th, so the end of the year is the one time I give myself to just STOP. I usually see family for a week—my week of service to everyone else, my parents, my kids, my siblings—and then I take a week for ME.
Kids are with their dad. Sometimes I go away to places where there’s no electricity, even. I love the slow down, the reflection, and the space for gratitude and learnings from the year that was, and then I love to come roaring back in January. (Y’all know I take resolutions seriously!)
We have a core value at Chairman Mom: We don’t want to play nice with the world as it is, we want to remake it so that it’s more fair. And, we believe, if it’s more fair it will also be better for everyone.
Today, we are introducing something that will only change the world for 10 founders. But we think the ripple effects will be huge.
Chairman Mom is partnering with Janice Fraser to launch Chairman Mom Advance. It’s a virtual startup accelerator that’s designed specifically to give a leg up to underrepresented founders. In this proven and incredibly powerful 10-week program, we are going to teach you to play to your strengths and be clear-eyed about your weaknesses so you can compensate for them. We are going to tailor the playbook to you. Because you are not a young, rich, white dude in a hoodie.
After more than 100 virtual Chairman Mom events in this pandemic, we are down to the final two for the year! After this week, our Zoom account and our events team will be taking a MUCH needed break before coming back strong in January!
So if you want to get your last moments of virtual Chairman Mom goodness, please join us this week!
On Tuesday, Samantha Barnes of Raddish and I are co-hosting an event on holiday baking! Grab a beverage of choice and let’s all bake together, talk holiday nostalgia and traditions, share recipes, and high-five each other for making it this far!
The other day we were brainstorming content for our Sisterhood Course and Megan suggested a segment before the holidays on “home friends.” I had never heard this phrase before but I immediately knew what it meant.
Those people from childhood or adolescence that you cling to and have continued to cling to. The few who made “the cut” in your life as so many others fall by the wayside.
I wound up recording a talk about home friends with one of my oldest home friends, and I’ve been editing it all morning. It’s fascinating to think about what makes home friends distinct from family. They have that added benefit where they know your history and all your BS but you don’t have the same baggage of family with them. You don’t have to perform your role.
I actually said this in an internal meeting yesterday and then it occurred to me that no one in another venture-backed Silicon Valley startup has probably ever uttered these words in a staff meeting: “Catherine, can you take the lead on internalized misogyny for March?”
I have so much to tell you all in coming weeks about what is going on with Chairman Mom, but here’s what I love the most about where we are in this moment: We have absolutely gotten here on our own terms by challenging the very institutions we should be cozying up to, whether it’s the patriarchy or cool girl white feminism.
I didn’t know I needed “Warrior Women Wednesday” in my life but I ABSOLUTELY DO.
It’s Wednesday, COVID is surging, California is re-locking down, I haven’t eaten a full meal in five days, and I have five straight hours of calls today.
So I was happy to see some awesome inspiration this morning from Susie Kahlich of Pretty Deadly Self Defense (gulp!). I’m just getting to know Susie because she is joining our Sisterhood Course from Germany! (FYI: The waiting list for the next go-round just went live in case you want to stay posted! No obligation if you add your name!)