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Last week, I had a whole week without my kids which felt like about 6 months without them. (If I returned your email last week, or belatedly weighed in on a Chairman Mom thread, that was probably why…)
I was reminded this past weekend, when we were finally reunited, of why I love life with them so much more than without them, despite all that sleep, time to read, and the luxury of not disciplining anyone for a week.
There was a moment that was so Eli…We were leaving the zoo and the two of them were planning a version of Aladdin we were going to perform for Apple Paul. (Somehow, it’s always assumed I’ll be in the cast…in fact, I was going to be Aladdin. Which sounds like a compliment but it’s actually third billing. Evie clearly has to be the outrageous Genie and also Rajah, and Eli of course has to be Jasmine and also Jafar.)
I’ve been enjoying going through the responses on what workshops you all want out of the Chairman Mom Flee. (Haven’t bought your ticket yet? I think we have about 15 left. And yes, you can still apply for a pay what you can ticket, courtesy of Silicon Valley Bank! Email me at email@example.com)
I think I have a friend who can teach a class on self-defense, and by popular demand, my hypnotherapist I keep raving about is coming. But there are a lot of requests for someone who can teach survival skills…anyone know someone amazing?
It’s over the halfway point of the year…how are those New Year’s resolutions coming?
Yesterday, I wrote about my mounting struggles to meet my goal of reading 60 books this year. It prompted me to revisit my entire list of New Year’s resolutions. What have I stayed committed on day after day, and what barely lasted the first three months of the year?
I made 16 New Year’s resolutions, ranging everything from financial health to physical health.
The best-performing one is the cliche that most people struggle with: Fitness. I had a goal to work out four times a week and walk or run at least 15 miles a week. I do far more than that and have consistently every week this year. Fitness is my lifeline to sanity. It’s my non-negotiable.
Last year I had a New Year’s resolution of reading a book a week. That sounds like a lot to some people, but I live with someone who reads a book a day. I saw how much Paul was learning from non-fiction or reveling in fiction all year and knew I had to do better. I got super behind during Chairman Mom’s launch, but managed to squeak across the finish line a few days before the end of the year.
So, of course, this year, I upped it to 60 books. And again, I was off to a raging start, thanks to welcoming in the New Year in a sleepy Mexican village with a massive used book store. With no work and no kids and no itinerary, I started the year doing Paul’s book-a-day diet, going on a hike, jumping in the ocean, and then eating face-numbingly spicy fish tacos.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
I don’t know if this was always an in-your-twenties thing or just a Millennial thing, but everyone I know is either getting a dog or thinking about getting a dog. It’s especially true for every cohabiting couple I know. On top of the fact that dogs are very cute, I think many of my friends see them as a good trial run for taking care of a living, breathing creature with the person they want to spend the rest of their life with. The rationale seems to be that if y’all can’t figure out how to take care of a dog together (which is more labor-intensive than a goldfish or a cat), taking care of a kid (or multiple kids)—as well as the slew of other run-of-the-mill life occurrences—probably isn’t going to go much better. Not sure if that’s entirely true, but hey, it’s been interesting to watch. I’ve become quite the pup party attendee recently and have nailed the “we got a dog!” gift.
Well, this is a bummer.
It’s been a summer of feeling great about spending every disposable kid-friendly dollar you have on Disney. There’s Black Ariel and the defense of Black Ariel, the super-feminist Jasmine in the new Aladdin, the subverting of the princess ideology in Ralph Breaks the Internet, Bo Peep emerging as a kick-ass porcelain action hero in Toy Story 4, and news that the remake of Mulan won’t repeat questionable elements of the first one, like Eddie Murphy as a dragon or songs like “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” and instead focus on a truer-to-history story of a badass warrior. Did you hear about the groups boycotting Toy Story 4 because a gay family was in the background of the kindergarten scene? The subtlety of it was what angered these groups. Treating same-sex relationships as if they are normal!
After a brief July hiatus the San Francisco Preach is back! Join us August 5 for wine, food, badasses and two very special guests!
First, we’ll hear from Suzy Loftus, who is running for San Francisco District Attorney, the job made nationally famous by Kamala Harris right now. Suzy is a mother of three and would be the first mother to serve in this position in the city.
What does that mean? For one thing, she has a track record as the president of the San Francisco Police Commission of improving the department’s response to violence against women and children.
Last weekend, Paul and I sat down to watch a movie and after he rejected a few documentaries I wanted to watch as “too challenging” or “too depressing” given the state of our world/lives/weekend, I suggested the Netflix romcom Always Be My Maybe. Paul, after all, shares the musical taste of a 13-year-old girl, the science behind Hallmark holiday movies, and I kept hearing all about that Keanu Reeves cameo.
I enjoyed Keanu, and some of the San Francisco in-jokes…and that was about it. We spent the entire film screaming about how horrible the character of the male lead was and how utterly unbelievable it was that (the phenomenal) Ali Wong would have been remotely interested in him.
Today’s intro is from Chairman Mom engineer Monica Engel, and it’s all about the conflicting feelings around changing one’s name after marriage.
(P.S. Before we dive in, make sure you RSVP HERE to our FREE Chairman Preach event in Seattle that’s happening TONIGHT at The Riveter! See you there!)
I’m recently married and I thought I would have had my name change figured out by now. I had a decently long engagement, just over a year and a half, and since day one I really struggled with the thought of a name change. My maiden name was my life-long identity and the last of its kind in my family. I am the youngest and last of my generation—made up of all women who changed their last name with marriage—to get married. I felt as if I was the only one left holding down the Engel fort.
Our culture is so conditioned to want instant and amazing results on everything. Startups need to have hockey stick growth. Weight loss plans need to lose 10 pounds in the first two weeks. Love at first sight was so the core to every fairy tale that Disney finally explicitly mocked it in Frozen. Flipping houses is better than lazy old appreciation over a 30-year mortgage.
But we all know that most things that are meaningful and lasting take time. The most patience I’ve ever had was when I was going through my divorce. I kept telling myself that we’d spent 15 years putting our lives together and it simply wasn’t going to be pulled apart in a matter of weeks or even months. Looking back now, I’m glad we took the time. (Not so glad we spent unnecessary money fighting over things with lawyers that we’d already privately agreed on… )