In the midst of a pandemic, today we celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. We are celebrating by going camping at Allegany State Park (obviously with the kids). We don’t usually celebrate our anniversary with the kids, so this is a change from the norm (as is everything in 2020).
The kids surprised us this morning… By showing us the live bird one of the cats brought into the house. Memories!
There’s no one I’d rather share this absolute three Ring circus with.
Here’s a new COVID era term: selfishpression. When someone uses the excuse of self-expression to be selfish. Example: “I didn’t wear a mask because I’m just so ready for COVID to be over, and I want my summer back.”
Botanical prints are amazing, and I love them. I did a study based on a piece I found online, plus some looking at the many, many specimens in my very own yard.
Next I’m going to do a more delicate, better centered smaller version to refine the exercise.
Favorite parts so far: all the greens and greeny-browns, and yellows. I also really appreciate the way these little buddies flower. Most interesting challenge: matching colors across several days of work; even with an active palette, it’s tricky.
I’m going to speaking at the Remote Career Summit 2020 on Thursday June 25! Alongside other people at companies who focus on remote hiring, I’ll be participating in a roundtable discussion.
Here’s the event description:
Millions of people are now unemployed due to the global pandemic. At the same time, many tech companies have announced they will go remote permanently. Against the backdrop of these massive shifts in the workplace, we invite you to join us for this virtual event to discuss these challenges and plan for the future of remote work together.
The roundtable I’m participating in is titled “Working at the World’s Biggest All-Remote Companies: Automattic, Buffer, and GitLab” — which really says it all! I’ll be speaking with Kevan Lee (of Buffer), Darren Murph (of GitLab), and Laurel Farrer (of Distribute Consulting). I’ve been working on answers to some questions ahead of time, and I think the topics that will be discussed in the roundtable will be interesting to people on the hunt for jobs, people who are wondering about working remotely, and other companies who want to accelerate their remote programs.
If you’d like to register for the event (it’s free!) you can sign up here.
Something that I’ve found enormously helpful lately is having a sort of release valve and a way to for ramping up thinking and then diffusing the tension from work-time thinking. That kind of recreational thinking gives me a chance to puzzle over something that has low stakes, and high pay off in terms of satisfaction. My go-to is crossword puzzles.
I’ve been working my way through the Best of the Week series from the New York Times. I’m halfway through Wednesday. The books are collections of 50 puzzles from that day of the week, so they get increasingly difficult. The Monday collection was almost ridiculously easy, but still super satisfying to finish each puzzle. There was a rhythm and a similar level of expected cultural knowledge that made them varied enough to make me feel smart! Each successive collection, the rhythm changes again and the expectations around what you should be able to figure out rises. Of course, you can answer them all by Googling the clues, but it’s more fun to look up something and get lost reading about the topic for 5 or 10 minutes, and piece the answer together organically.
I’ve found that I will start to struggle with the clues and will wrestle with them for longer and longer late at night. Then I grab my crossword book when I first wake up (instead of reaching for my phone, on my better days), and I can zip through clues I couldn’t make heads nor tails of the night before. After I finish a work shift (I have basically two main shifts, revolving around childcare), I can work off the surplus buzz (and therefore not stress about work when I can’t log in and do something about it) by working on some crossword clues. It’s the perfect funnel for my overthinking. Likewise, I can help my brain get into prime mode by slipping into crossword mode for a few minutes before I go back to work. Fun and rewarding!
I’ve also been dabbling in cryptic crosswords, but they are a much bigger mental shift, and I haven’t gotten the rhythm down for how to identify the type of puzzle, and how to then decode them. It’s an interesting challenge, but I need more focused practice, and a lot of focused time isn’t something I have right now. Maybe when I’ve successfully gotten all the way through the Sunday collection I’ll be ready!
The past 4 months have been hard on everyone. The enforced time together, the unrelenting juggling of work and children, and the constant worry. I couldn’t have a better partner at my side through it all. Bob and I are perfectly balanced. I could sit home all day, and he needs to travel. I get frustrated at the kids, and he reminds me that they are just kids. When I feel that something needs to give, he helps me find solutions. When I get mad about something sexist or misogynist, he also gets mad about it.
Happy father’s day to Bob, and all the dads (including mine!) out there, especially the ones in our extended family and friends!
Here are some of my favorite Bob photos from the past year (click to see full size).