Show Up Smarter: Annotations 

As much as I fancy myself a writer, I am also a careful curator. These days, we call it content curation but in the pioneer days, we just called it “get out your scissors.”

Seriously. I still remember the era before text, email and RSS feeds, when you would risk life and limb by physically taking hold of a pair of scissors and, wait for it, clip something out of a magazine. Then, you’d take the time to handwrite a little cover note and send it off (with a stamp!) to a friend or loved one to let them know you were thinking of them.

My dad even has business cards that read, “I thought you might be interested in this.” He uses them to this day and I think they are so cool and classy. I used to love checking my mail every week at college, hoping for some homegrown article he’d clipped from the Post Gazette.

I was also hopelessly addicted to saving up magazine stacks and then staying up till 3 a.m. on Friday with my door closed making collages of words that moved me, struck me, excited me.

So without belaboring it, this is basically that: A curated list of things I’ve been reading, watching, consuming lately that have moved me, struck me, excited me. Things I’ve gone back to a few times. Things that I think about when I’m running or drying my hair. Or at 2:45 a.m. when I’m stuck on the wrong side of consciousness.

Yes, I know that here in 2015 we simply tag each other under instagrams and hope the other person gets the context. Call me old school, but I think there is still some room for annotations. So here goes:

  • This entire 4-minute interview is the articulate version of my feelings on feminism, equalism, caregivism, leaning out. A year ago I was caught in the vortex of wife + parent + daughter + sister + girlboss and I’m here to tell you that it’s like going to Jupiter. The temperature and pressure become so great that even the diamonds melt. Basically a bad, unrealistic idea no matter how cool it sounds when you say it or how hard you are on the outside. Besides, if you are hard on the outside, we really need you to keep railing against the glass ceiling.
  • Speaking of parenting, this Dear Sugar podcast put a big lump of sugar in my throat the entire time I listened to it. How do you ever know if you are doing a good job being a parent? And for crying out loud, put your phone down and look your kid in the eye once in a while.
  • Amber Scorah, whom I recently had the pleasure of meeting, lost her baby on his first day of daycare just a few months ago. Now she’s using her story to call for an increased awareness about paid and protected family leave in America. I think she is so brave. “Our children can’t afford lobbyists. It’s up to us parents to demand more,” she says. We can help by visiting to call on our candidates and representatives for change.
  • As I struggle to keep my writer’s head above water in the sea of all else I have to do, I always, always go back to this Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. I think everyone should have to watch it once a month. “And what I have to sort of keep telling myself when I get really psyched out about that is don’t be afraid,” she says. “Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be.” 
  • Finally, are you dating? You must read this piece: “Marry the person who will help you to the bathroom.” As a birth vessel of two and a Crohn’s disease warrior, this should be the preeminent criteria for whether or not a person gets a second date. Life is messy. Plan for it. Grab the guy who isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves.

That’s it for now. I know it’s heavy on the parenting stuff. Parenting is…well, really freaking heavy. What can I say? I’ll branch out next time, just for you, ok?














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