issue #154 - the one on quirks
What are your quirks?
I think I’m a new notebook or planner away from transforming my life - and the graveyard of partially filled planners and notebooks is proof that it’s not exactly the case, but consistency is. Thank goodness for my Remarkable tablet and a Canva Premium subscription - the graveyard now lives in a folder named “Archived Planning” on my tablet.
When I decide I’m going to be a certain kind of girly, I buy a ton of books about the topic and take months to actually pick up a book from that pile. My grand plans of learning more about Hinduism by Deepavali? It didn’t happen - but there’s always next year.
I’m a compulsive re-reader, especially come fall. Witchy season is my favorite book season and I’m halfway through the All Souls Trilogy, which I’ve read so many times I’ve lost count. And for books I really really love, I will buy them in all the formats - audiobook, ebook, and physical copies.
I am guilty of making a book series or a new show my entire personality and pleading my friends to get on the bandwagon with me.
My mood for the week during football season is largely influenced by how well the Eagles played. I’ve been on cloud 9 for the past 5 weeks…but am getting more nervous with each following week.
The older I get, the more I appreciate these quirks and am open about sharing them than I was when I was in my twenties and early thirties. I cherish these little quirks as much as I do my accomplishments and “successful” traits.
We joke about these quirks or call them our toxic traits, when in fact they’re a big part of who we are. And not that you need my permission or anyone’s permission to own your own quirks, but I hope you do and do so openly.
They make up your multitudes - and that’s a beautiful thing.
What I Read This Week
The Goddess Effect by Sheila Yasmin Marikar - speaking of books that I make my entire personality, I might have DMed Sheila to ask her where I could buy a Goddess Effect sweatshirt because this book is an icon, a legend, it IS the moment. In the Venn diagram of my favorite tropes (fitness culture, stereotypes of a city, messy protagonists), brilliant writing, and representation that is honest (like South Asian women figuring out their life), this book sits squarely in that overlap. And honestly, I’m not doing it justice. It’s one of my favorite books of the year, and one I endorse with my full heart.
Tranquility by Tuesday by Laura Vanderkam - I’ve been a longtime fan of Laura Vanderkam’s books (we’re talking 8 years now!), and what I love about her work is that it’s non-repetitive like so many personal development books, and she conducts an intense amount of research to back up the advice she offers in them. She also has this uncanny knack of writing the book I really need to read when they’re published, and her latest is even more so. The 9 rules that Laura outlines in Tranquility by Tuesday are realistic and is a permission slip to abandon hustle culture and embrace a more intuitive, peaceful way of working and living. I’m currently focused on the “3 times a week is a habit” rule, and will be working on adapting the other rules into my daily life one at a time.
Recommendations from IG (linked on my Weekly Links highlight)
MM.LaFleur x Petite Plume pajamas (gifted) - the most heavenly and luxurious pajamas that would make for a beautiful gift for yourself or a loved one
Ways to honor International Day Of The Girl
Donate to She’s The First (I have a fundraiser going on this Instagram post)
Download the Charity Miles app and select She’s The First as the nonprofit you’d like to support (every mile walked/run/swam converts to a donation by Charity Miles’ sponsors)
Purchase the book Impact, written by the founders of She’s The First
Top #5SmartReads Of The Week
How Kimye Fell From Grace (BuzzFeed News)
4-step framework for managing up (Quartz)
The rest of the week’s reads + last week’s (and conversations!) are below:
Your Questions, Answered
How do you and your husband connect with busy schedules?
Right now, a quick check-in after school drop off works for us! We review our calendar for the day, discuss who’s doing what that evening (pickup, homework, bedtime), and any purchase to review, and meals for the day.
Ask for a raise to new manager when due to peers quitting you’re doing 2 peoples full time jobs.
Document everything that you’ve done and accomplished- both in your job, and the responsibility you’ve taken on.
Don’t be afraid to reference the cost of training a new employee that would be required to backfill the jobs you’ve been doing.
If there is a peer to your new manager that knows you well, I would ask for their advice on what you’ve prepared for asking for a raise and to also get any insights what your new manager’s priorities are and how you’re perfectly positioned to help them succeed in their role.
How’s your “healthier” eating going? Trying to up my fruits and vegetables but struggling!
Given that I DoorDashed Taco Bell for lunch when this was asked…not well.
What I’m consistent with - my Athletic Greens every morning, buying precut veggies to make them easier to snack on, and restarting our Splendid Spoon membership so I always have a ready-to-eat meal that’s packed with veggies (it’s my lunch 3 days a week, and I indulge the other days).
I was listening to Dr. Gabrielle Lyon’s interview on The Skinny Confidential Podcast and she recommended front loading your day with protein and doing more strength workouts. It’s something I’m going to try after talking with my physician and getting the all-clear, and I’m going to make a bunch of veggie cups and load my @onepeloton stack with strength workouts.
At 1 point you were considering a 3rd… do you feel at peace without? Same boat here!
We were- and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it at times. But the truth is that I physically and mentally can’t handle another pregnancy/ c-section/ bout of PPD and PPA again and neither can my husband and our parents.
I do feel a lot of peace with it, and am savoring my time with these two incredible kids I call my own.
How was Diwali on the Hudson. Is it invitation only or do you buy tickets?
It was incredible! It’s a ticketed event- anyone can attend and I’m so proud of my brilliant friend Megha Desai for the incredible impact she’s made in the lives of children and women in India.
What are your thoughts about the remarkable tablet? Debating on getting it!
I am that person who things a new notebook or planner will change her life )anyone else??).
What I love about the Remarkable is that I can buy different planning PDFs or mock up my own in Canva and use them until I’m ready for something new, and also have the same device to hold my notes from meetings or random brainstorming. I also used it heavily for research for We’re Speaking (I sent all the articles I used for research to my Remarkable, and did a lot of outlining and free writing on it when I got stuck on a section).
I haven’t bought a single notebook since getting it, and I’m obsessed. My link will give you $40 off your tablet (its still an investment, but one that’s super worth it for me).
Can you please remind me of the name of the care package company you like?
Small Packages!! They are the best and they also have build-your-own-box feature. The founders are about to launch Present, which is your one-stop-shop for knowing your loved ones important dates and reaching out to them with a text, a video message, or a card or gift right in the app!
How many R.Vivimos dresses do you have? I got 1 and now want 10!
I have the same 4 that I bought back in 2019 and they’re still going strong!
I cut the ties off mine and wear a lace half tank underneath them.
Currently SAHM for 1.5 year, itching to go back to work but want baby #2, should I bother finding a job now? (Actively trying for baby now).
Have you considered any flex/remote work via Motherhood Untitled, Allobee, Power To Fly, or We Are Rosie?
All of these platforms are founded by mothers who firmly believe in work-life integration and that you can be a present parent and team member at a company!
I would check the job listings on these sites to see what could be a great fit for you.
I actually just wrote a piece for Mother Untitled about how I’m planning a downshift in this next chapter of my career. I’m a massive fan of Neha and her platform and mission to reframe what it means to be a stay-at-home-parent.
How do you remain so consistent with your posting schedule? Is it hard?
Having a series like #5SmartReads gives me reason to post daily, but I couldn’t do it without the incredible Taber Stockstill who fully runs things here-posting on IG daily, managing the team of contributors, and prepping the newsletter.
It was harder before I had Taber, and it can still be hard to keep up with it all, but I try to spend my weekends offline and give myself the break we all need from technology.
My husband and I are doing our annual Glenmere Mansion trip at the end of the year to celebrate our anniversary.
Your favorite types of exercises or workouts?
Mellow walks in Central Park while listening to an audiobook is my favorite workout - good for your physical and mental and emotional health.
FORWARD_ Space workouts are also a lot of fun!
What would you wear to London in December?
An oversized blouse with a vest or sweater layered on top, skinny black trousers or leggings, a great water-resistant sneaker or boot, and a crossbody bag that’s weather resistant as well.
My book has lots of outfit ideas and sample packing lists!
Team Kathy, Kyle or Rinna?
None of them. I think they all behaved poorly and I’m Team Garcelle ALL THE WAY. Can we get Sheree Zampino upgraded to full Housewife status?
That said, if I had to pick just one, it’d be Kathy.
Tips for easing back into work post baby when you work for yourself/from home?
The little things - taking a shower and changing into my work cozies (just different leggings and soft button down tops and sweaters), having a start work and end work ritual (Amanda Goetz recommends a bath to mark your end of work commute!)
The big thing - a phase in schedule was valuable for me and for my team members when they returned form parental leave- whether it’s a limited job scope or number of hours, giving yourself time to ease back in was immensely valuable for us!
How best to help a family member dealing with depression?
People process their depression differently - when I’m in the throes of an episode, I don’t want to talk to anyone but I really valued the “sending you love, no need to respond” texts from friends. My Hugimal brought me a lot of comfort when I was really in it, and I’d recommend it as a gift for your loved one.
When I started to come out of it, I love a low key hang- a Target or Homegoods run, a walk or sitting on my couch and eating Taco Bell.
May you embrace your quirks and share them proudly - and have a wonderful week.