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For about a week, I’ve been struggling to know what to think or write about the news that women now make up more than 50% of the U.S. workforce. Most of the press reports have pointed out that the industries where women dominate are the ones that are growing. But I think it’s more than just that.
This iconic NYT piece called “Men’s Lib!” explained in great detail how women have been making inroads faster into male-dominated industries, while men are put off from making the same inroads into female-dominated industries. (Per the social implications of men doing jobs like “nursing,” remember: Last year there were new stories about how men feared recycling might make them seem “gay.”)
Newsletter editor Lily here.
So, I’m a roll this year with my reading goal. A lot of this is having a ton of time to read over my vacation in addition to spending my first weekends of 2020 mostly reading; I definitely don’t see myself keeping up this “book a day” pace for long, but it’s a nice buffer for when I have lots of other things happening in my life and I can’t read as much as I want to.
I do have a goal within my reading goal though: I want to get through as many of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels as possible this year.
I have done a lot of tongue-holding and walking away from my laptop over the last few weeks as I’ve seen the most storied business and tech publications write almost stunned “news” that the Softbank Vision Fund has imploded based largely on two companies that Pando long argued did not have sustainable economics. Those implosions are reverberating throughout Softbank’s portfolio, and hence, through the entire startup world.
There’s fear. There’s a pretty big number of aggregate layoffs. There’s a focus on profits not growth. And there’s the debate over whether or not there will even be a Vision Fund #2.
I’ve gotten a few emails from folks hounding me to give out our events calendar for 2020.
I am so excited that so many people are wanting to engage with us IRL, and generally it’s been exciting to see the flood of new users, new questions, and rapid engagement on the site in the last few weeks.
We have decided to take a pause with our monthly events and try a few new things. I don’t usually like to make announcements of things we aren’t going to do, because that’s just annoying. But enough folks have asked that I thought I should explain a bit.
You know my kids are total Disney freaks right? Right. I’ve defended the princess obsession and Disney’s evolution of the princess franchise with Princess and The Frog, Moana, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Frozen. But here’s a little anecdote that shows how my kids’ love of princesses still has not dimmed my daughter’s sense of ambition.
A few weeks ago in Palm Springs, we got into days of elaborate creative pool drama all about the Haunted Mansion. My kids are actually terrified of the Haunted Mansion. I tried to take them last time we were at Disneyland and we had to exit via a secret door because both absolutely lost their sh*t before we even got in the cars. (Even Evie!)
Last year was the year I was definitely going to crack the whole “meditation thing”— my New Year’s resolution that never gets resolved. I didn’t. I probably spent more time on this thread discussing why meditation is so hard for me than actually meditating.
One of the takeaways from that thread was to try to fit meditation into my life versus the other way around. In other words, to have a less rigid view of meditation. What is the path of least resistance to have five minutes of mindfulness, focus, and breathing?
Newsletter editor Lily here.
I’m a week and a half into my January challenge to visit 10 museums this month (part of this larger Winging It effort), and it’s going even better than I could’ve anticipated. I’ve visited four museums so far and am looking forward to seeing three or four more this weekend, not because I’m behind on my goal or anything, but because I’m genuinely loving seeing the city, learning about a lot of different stuff, and hanging out with friends.
I read an amazing Instagram post by my friend and fellow female founder Esther Crawford. It was about it being OK to change your mind. Not just a little, but sometimes a lot. She phrased something I’ve been feeling so beautifully. Maybe about a marriage or core beliefs or realizing a massive repressed part of your identity. Maybe something you long mocked is something that now appeals to you.
“It’s okay to be different today than you were yesterday or who you’ve tried to be for years for others,” she writes.
I’ve been absolutely dreading the day Evie loses her two front baby teeth.
I’ve not quite gotten over the loss of Eli’s adorable baby teeth with their tiny little gap. I’ve gotten used to, and yes I love, those gigantic front teeth kids get that aren’t yet right-sized for their face and other baby teeth that have grown in.
But there is something about those sweet little baby teeth. I have to look at pictures to remember them after seeing them every moment for so many years. Once they are gone, they are gone. And it happens about the time your kids are starting to outgrow other “baby-ish” things.
In 2018 I vowed to read 52 books. I just made it, but I lost about 10 weeks to work overload. So the following year, I upped it to 60 books. I again lost a few months to work overload, but I also made it. So this year, my goal is to read 65 books and if I don’t lose a few months mid-year, I should make it pretty easily by keeping up my current pace.
One of my early reads in 2020 has been the much-acclaimed Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster. I didn’t fall quite as in love with this book as other folks did. But I still recommend it if for no other reason than it was surprisingly one of the most timely books I’ve read of late.