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Newsletter editor Lily here.
I feel like we’re starting to reach yet another stage of the pandemic — at least, it really seems that way in New York City. Our brand-new mayor just lifted vaccine mandates in places like bars and restaurants and mask mandates elsewhere, and people, myself included, have #THOUGHTS on all of these changes. A side effect, however, is that it appears that the city’s coming alive again just in time for spring.
As we all know by now, things can see so promising and hopeful one day and then totally awful the next. And that doesn’t even factor in the fact that just because things are better in the city doesn’t mean they’re “good” for everyone.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
Do you ever listen to a podcast and become absolutely obsessed with it off the bat? After hearing about the acclaimed Headgum podcast Dead Eyes for months, I finally decided to take the plunge earlier this week — and I’m floored by how much I needed to hear this right now.
The premise of the show is silly on its surface: Middle-aged comedian and actor Connor Ratliff tells the story of how he was fired from a tiny bit role in an episode of the HBO epic miniseries Band of Brothers over 20 years ago. But here’s the big catch: Ratliff heard from a casting assistant that the whole reason he lost the part after he was hired was because Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks (yes, America’s Dad), who c0-created the show and directed an episode, said that Ratliff had “dead eyes.”
It’s finally truly January for me.
I had such high hopes for January 2022. I’d spend Christmas on my first full vacation in 11+ years getting healthy and whole. We’d spent two months on a first quarter slate of courses we were super bullish on. I was finally going to get back into my house in January…or so the estimates were.
And then I got Omicron. And then the world did. And then we all fell into an existential kind of burnout. And then nothing did what it was supposed to for the business. And then our house was delayed. And then. And then. And then.
Tonight is our THIRD AND FINAL free Zoom workshop to augment our upcoming Boss Up Your Financial Game course.
I am so excited for this course to begin; it was really transformative for me last year. It forced me to get out of my shame/fear zone with a lot of things like taxes, insurance, debt, budgeting, my total lack of savings, credit, and everything else about money that makes me feel slightly queasy.
I have always been pretty good at bringing money in, especially given the gendered odds against me. I’ve made high salaries despite being a writer most of my career, I’ve gotten paid $30,000+ for hour-long keynotes, my first book deal was a near-record for a BusinessWeek reporter at the time, I’ve raised some $10+ million in venture capital as a woman, which is sadly less than 1% of the people who raise that much. I paid my San Francisco mortgage for a year or so with nothing more than a Patreon podcast every two weeks.
I finally got a chance to watch Turning Red last night with my kids, which is remarkably late to a new Pixar/Disney release for us. (I took my kids out of school early to see Toy Story 4. Worst or best mom? You decide.)
You know what I love about the age of Disney/Pixar we are living in apart from EVERYTHING?
Every single movie causes controversy right now. What many have perceived as a safe, formulaic, or even problematic brand is aggressively working at being less of those three things. The new Disney CEO’s f***up around Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill not withstanding, Disney is pushing culture, not just mirroring a cozy same-old, same-old back at it, whether it’s LGBTQ+ issues, race, culture, gender, female empowerment…you name it.
I was struck in recent Office Hours by how many of our members are from Russia or Ukraine, or have loved ones in either or both places.
I’ve been asking them what the rest of us can do to support them, their families, and communities at this time.
Community member Yuliya shared this concern: “Sadly the majority of citizens in Russia (including my mother and grandparents) support the invasion because of inaccurate information that the government streams. If there is not enough resistance from within, my country will fall into a very dark time of dictatorship like we have not seen since Stalin times. If you are in the position to help, below are some verified resources. Appreciate your positive thoughts and anything counts”
Our Nourish Your Life course was a hard one to get over the finish line marketing-wise.
I couldn’t understand it given how incredible the course is and how widespread women’s broken relationship with food is, along with the frustration around the everyday task to get food ON THE TABLE and the fact that — like it or not — we all need to eat every day. Some of our threads on easy weeknight meals and food ruts see our most traffic.
The disconnect made no sense to me, so I talked to women who expressed interest in it or clicked on the course link 1,000 times but never signed up. Universally, I heard a lot of fatigue. “I need this but I’m so DONE after the last two years of pandemic living that even engaging with the topic of dinner is a trigger for me.”
Last week, I attended the incredible Upfront Summit in LA. The lineup was everything you expect from that event: Top business leaders, top politicians, athletes, Hollywood celebrities. Paris Hilton talking about NFTs. Alanis Morisette talking about her upcoming meditation album.
I’ll tell you who was hands down the best, the most inspiring, the person who said what I needed to hear: LL Cool J. In part, because he wasn’t trying to be “LL Cool J at a tech conference.” He was just talking about his life and his career.
Thank God I’m back.
Was I on vacation? Nope. I’ve been physically here, but in every other way, I’ve not been me for a few months. The last six months almost broke me.
I felt like I was starting to crawl out of the hole in February, but like Eurydice, I’d glance back or stumble and get sucked back in.
In the last five days or so, I finally feel back. It feels like the end of Back to the Future when Marty’s transparent limbs start to get solid again and he regains his strength and suddenly does a killer guitar solo.
Last summer, I started a newsletter called Comfort Food, all about my attempts to create a new home in Southern California around the food I was eating and cooking and mostly missing.
I wrote about 20-something issues and then just stopped. It all became too much and I couldn’t do it anymore.
Daily writing is the easiest thing I do. And I can write about food in my sleep. I was just that burnt out.
I decided to start up again this week, not just because I’m feeling better and I’m SUPER inspired by our Nourish Your Life Course. It’s also because the third cohort of Ready, Set, Write starts this week, and it was during the last one that I birthed this newsletter.