This is not intended as a note of self-pity but rather a kind of reminder for me in the future. 2020 will be a famously challenging year. My experience was far less painful than many due to an array of privileges.
But goodness, I still found it stressful — and fast changing. One way I found myself thinking about it was by keeping a very strange list of the actual conversations I had with family, friends and coworkers this year.
Continue reading Actual conversations I had in 2020
I have work to do. The progress I made in 2019 on a frustrating year of 2018 is incomplete, slowed by a few steps backward, despite considerable forward progress. So bring on 2020.
As is my custom, I’m publishing here my resolutions for 2020 to get a little bit closer to the person I want to be, and to hold myself accountable to those goals. Find my past resolutions here.
Continue reading My 2020 Resolutions
Short, sweet, meaningful rules to live by are a delight.
Last year I shared my own, inspired by the book, and it became a talking point among friends and family for much of the year. I love hearing anyone’s rules; even if I don’t agree with them, they’re telling of that person and a worldview. They make me think.
So, without naming any names, below I share a few sets of rules I heard from others because I just think these are so much fun. I’d love to hear yours too.
Continue reading Here are a bunch of rules to live by from other people I love
These are my priorities for the year for getting closer to being the person I want to be. As in years past, I want to share my resolutions.
Find past ones here.
I was proud of what I accomplished in 2018, which included a trip to Mexico City (and a visit to Paso de Cortes, as depicted above, where the Spanish conquistador entered the valley to attack the people sometimes called the Aztecs). I’m excited for 2019.
Continue reading My 2019 Resolutions
Anybody worth learning from has plenty they stand for.
I love hearing the rules of thumb, the standards, the conventional wisdom and the accrued learnings of these people. Similarly I try to capture tightly-phrased aphorisms and holding myself accountable with plenty of direct and specific lists and resolutions.
So of course I was a sucker for the concept of ‘12 Rules for Life.’ It’s a book published early this year by Jordan Peterson that spiraled from popular to, fitting for today’s era, being engulfed in a strangely hyper-gendered debate. The book’s over-simplified approach of ordering one’s life with structure did gain positive feedback, including a podcast episode from Malcolm Gladwell. But because Peterson is aflame in lots of identity politics, I walked away from the the book less interested in adding to that debate than with something else.
I spent the last several months taking notes of the many universal truths I held myself to, and recommended for others. It became a fun game for parties among friends and family: what are your 12 Rules to Live By?
Let me share. (I collected ones from friends and family here)
Continue reading My 12 Rules to Live By
One of my resolutions last year was to only read books by women and writers of color for a year. My goal was to both read more and to push myself outside of authors who look like me.
I fell out of the habit, so rather than clear a book a month, this lingered for 18 months, but the last 12 books I’ve read fulfilled the goal. This has resulted in a couple lasting points for me: a recognition of authors from underrepresented backgrounds and a new reading habit of more smartly using my library card (thanks for the process, SACMW!)
Below find my reading list.
Continue reading Here’s the reading list from my resolution to only read books from women and writers of color
Since my undergrad years, I’ve taken an interest in the pop science of behavioral economics. From books and articles and podcasts aplenty, I’ve found the shallow edges of the social science quite helpful for my worldview. (I also book a second-hand microeconomics textbook and dug in.)
The clearest result of that has been an entire set of familiar terms that help explain the world. These phrases have been valuable to me. I’d like to share them with you.
Continue reading Economics terms that help me understand the world
I’ve made clear I don’t really publish here for the biggest audience. My first priority is to think through or track ideas for myself, with the added benefit of being able to share with those who follow along or who are interested in individual topics.
Continue reading 5 best read posts I published here in 2017
This month marks the 10th anniversary of my first publishing on this personal site of mine. That’s a decade of publishing at least once every single month for 120 consecutive months. That sounds batty to me.
Scan my archives here.
I first bought my name as a domain in 2005 and built a little site using Dreamweaver, when it was still Macromedia, sitting in my university computer lab, but I let it lapse. I had no body of work, and even the compressed versions of short videos I was creating then were too big for my early hosting package — this was before both YouTube was at scale and Amazon Web Services had even launched, you’ll remember.
By December 2007, I felt like I had a greater purpose. I was an undergraduate active in my college newspaper, frequently writing fiction and learning as much as I possibly could. So on December 4 of that year, I bought a domain and redirected it to a WordPress.com blog template, starting with this post. I was an active and early Google Reader user, following and reading a growing array of bloggers I admired and wanted to join the conversation. I was super excited by RSS feeds.
During the next 10 years, this blog has been a major part of my personal and professional development. To look back, I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned along the way.
Continue reading Wow, I’ve been writing here for 10 years. Here’s what I’ve learned
For all the meaningful sources of life lessons I received as a kid, from my parents to religion, and the many shades of the Golden Rule, I was still a sports-crazed boy growing up in the 1990s.
That means I internalized a lot of advice from athletes, whether or not they actually ever said them (sports quotes are full of apocryphal and fictitious claims). I was amused recently to think of a handful of very-90s-era memories I have about lessons from North American sports legends. In addition to being stuck in time, this collection is funny because I am so far from a knowledgeable sports fan today.
So these are corny for all sorts of reasons. Yet I do find myself thinking of these even today.
Continue reading 4 lessons from sports stars that stuck with me as a kid