January 30, 2023

January 2023 Goals - Review

Time for a quick review of my January 2023 goals.  It's been a good January, despite illnesses.  Work trips and family trips were a highlight, as well as doing two 5k fun runs and 3 yoga classes.  

  • Finish 2022 Photo Album. 
    • Done! And ordered tonight, as I remembered to check for a coupon and found one for 50% off.
  • Update kids albums for Dec 2022.
    • Done! I felt like it took me ages, but I was finished last week.  The albums are taking longer now that I try to write a bit in them, probably max 1 hour per kid per month.
  • Family trip to Castle or National Trust
    • Not done, although we did walk in a forest?
  • Take family long weekend in Forest of Dean (already booked!). 
    • Done! And it was great!
  • Book Physio Appt.
    • Done! Booked and attended - yay!
  • Get a Massage.
    • Unfortunately had to reschedule, now booked for March
  • Use my 5 class yoga pass before it expires.
    • I'll probably get 4 classes done, but that's 4 more than none. Being ill for a week was not good for this one.
  • Take 1/2 day off for my birthday
    • Not done, but I took a whole day off on the Monday before, and had the Tuesday off, so did not feel short of "me" time.
  • Try to involve friends in other activities
    • Done! I saw lots of people - our holiday even included visits from at least 4 of our friends, including a family sleepover night.  A very social January.
  • Contact potentially helpful career people (1-2) in a casual new year way
    • Fail.  I emailed one person but failed to include a "let's get together for coffee" or any action at all, and she failed to write me back.  I am a bit bummed about it.  I did do well at getting to know my team in my current role better, but I feel I'm at a block in the "networking" field.  Why don't impressive professional women run open applications for ambitious (I hate that word) women to mentor?  Probably for lots of reasons.  I'm just mildly annoyed at myself for not figuring out how to connect with people achieving what I hope to.
  • Plan out my Q1 work goals
    • Nope.  Lots of change in my office now so have decided to keep the goal of "pass probation" - which I did!
  • Think positively about my contribution at my job - work on imposter syndrome (vague but true!).  
    • I think I've done OK on this one?  I have generally avoided convincing myself I'll be fired.
House Goals
  • Get quote for half-bath remodel (i.e. mouldy cold room to tiled functional room)
    • Got a quote.  Very expensive.  I think we'll wait until the summer and then see what we can do about the mould.
  • Buy new kettle
    • Done!  Nice to have an easy win.
Habit Goals
  • Eat 5 fruits and veg a day - 
    • Good until I got ill.  25% success.
  • Keep a food log
    • Done, not sure I'm learning anything but it's fun to track things.
  • Keep a time log
    • Done! And I am loving this one
I also read a lot this month - 8 books.  Updated list here.  I've enjoyed more audiobooks and nonfiction this month.  

How was your January?  Did you accomplish any goals?

January 29, 2023

"How do you do it all?"

On my last work trip I was meeting a new colleague when he asked me the following question:

"How do you do it all?" 

I stared at him rather blankly.

"How do you mean?" I said.

"This trip, how does it work with family?" He asked

I hadn't mentioned my family.  I like to think that "MOTHER" Isn't emblazoned on my forehead when I'm away with work.  I wear a wedding ring, but I don't have my kids names on a necklace or tattooed on my arms.

I stared for another minute.

"You have a family, right?" he asked.

So maybe it is obvious.  Maybe even when I'm wearing my cute-professional Boden dress and accompanying fun professional necklace the diastis and extra 5 pounds from kid 2 is just so blindly obvious.  Who knows.

As usual, that type of question isn't really about me.  It's about the asker.  I decided to be nice, and turn the conversation back on him.

"Yes, I do have kids.  Do you have kids"

"I have a 17 month old" he said, "and it is just hard.  My wife works, and I work, how do you do it?"

I was glad to confirm this was not a person accusing me of "looking like a mother" or of being a bad mother for traveling while leaving my littles at home.  This was a person who genuinely wanted to improve their working and family life experience.

I found it weirdly hard to give advice in this circumstance, because so much of what I think about is how to help women who feel like they don't have it together after having kids.  

"look at your household chores balance" was not an appropriate response here.  "Can you outsource more?" was another not helpful answer.  "How is your sleep"? was not relevant, because I can assume if his sleep is bad it's not because hers is great.

Here's the advice I gave:

1. 17 Month olds are really hard.  It does get easier at 2.  I don't know why this is.  You are in a hard part, towards the end of a hard part.

2. Read some Cal Newport.  Think about where your time is going.  Think about how you see work time and home time and computer time. If you can, use your phone less, read the news less, scroll the internet less.  You might be doing it more than you know, and if you do these things less you may have time for other things.

I sometimes find it hard to "give advice" because I think about this all way too much, and forget what it's like to not think about gender and time and work and family and priorities all the time.

As an example:

When a female friend says "I went to the Doctor but the treatment isn't working" I want to say "that's because all of medicine has been systematically ignoring the experience of women since medicine was born! Who is in trial groups for drugs? Men! Who approve research for drugs? Men! Who listen to women with less empathy than they listen to men? Men!  Of course you have been failed by your doctor, he was educated to fail you!"

This is not what I should say.  I should say "That's so hard, I'm sorry"

The "how does one do it all with kids" question so often comes from women.  I'm glad that men are starting to ask.  It's a good sign.  I want to have a good answer. 

So, internet hive mind, what is a foundational and gender-blind habit that could help this very nice man with his working wife an 17 month old daughter?

January 28, 2023

Quick Saturday

 Horray! It's Saturday!

This morning I did park run again.  The good thing about doing a 5k just after ones personal worst 5k time is that one usually gets a better time!  I did get a better time.  Today was 36 minutes, as compared to last week's 40 minutes.  I tried to stay at exactly 12 minute miles and mostly just enjoyed being out.  Sure, it feels lame and far above the 10-11 minute miles I used to breeze through, but it's been a long time since I did running.  It's mostly fun to be out.  I listened to hamilton and saw two friends I hadn't seen for ages. 

Runners lined up at the start of a very cold parkrun

We have had 3 nights of reverse lie-ins and I am very into this early bedtime thing.  I could do it forever as long as I didn't have any evening social engagements ever again.  I still slept till 7am today, so I think I just need sleep right now.

This afternoon was birthday lunch at a greek restaurant.  I love greek food.  Why do I not eat/cook more greek food?

Andy and the kids managed a small amount of gardening.  He took down a poorly placed pear tree, which was sad for the tree but happy for the summer usability of our garden

He did have a grumpy looking helper.

Andy is making Lamb curry for dinner.  The kids are mildly fractious. My 10 minutes of interrupted writing is now over.

January 27, 2023

On Birthdays and Normal Days and Sleep Days

Wednesday was my birthday, and I am now a yearly cycle closer to being 40.  Horray! Weirdly, I do not see 40 as being some weird cut off for being "old" the way it once was.  For me, 40 sounds great.  

If 0-20 is basically childhood, and 20+ is when adulting starts, then I am really in the middle of my adulting groove right now.  I didn't particularly enjoy being early 20s.  Life got good at 30.  If this is a trajectory then 40-50 should be awesome. 

So I am perfectly resigned to 40 being around the corner, and still being of an age of cool.  It's not like turning 60...? or 70?  70 is old.

On my birthday, Isaac said that we should weight me so we can see how I get bigger and bigger each year.  So right little dude.  

My actual birthday was spent in work, because sometimes the continual accomplishment of small tasks is a nice place to be.  I know I'm supposed to think big picture and do things for me... but I already had two days off for our holiday so wasn't super keen to use up more leave in January.  I will take a "me" day in March, at the end of Q1.

For my birthday, Andy and I are doing 5 nights of reverse lie-ins.  This is where you go to bed really early.  We are on day 2. It's a somewhat fun experiment to try and be in bed by 8:30.  It's so easy to let a 9:30 bedtime slip to 10 or 10:30, and so much harder to move it back to 8:30.  

This morning I woke up at 4am and decided it was time to get up.  Hopefully this means I am catching up on sleep debt? 

Here are some good things:

  • I am happy it's Friday, and a short day in work.  Time to plan February fun.
  • Tomorrow I may do park run in very cold weather.
  • Meal plan for the week has gone well and tonight it's spaghetti hoop fish bake which looks super ridiculous
And here is my little-nerd.  Kid are funny:

January 24, 2023

On illness & resilience

The best part of being ill is being not ill anymore.

On a recent Thursday while working from home when I wondered why it was so cold.  I checked the thermostat and it was not cold.  It turns out, I was cold. Or rather, I was warm.  

I told my colleague on teams that I was going to take a nap for an hour as I wasn't feeling well.  

I finally got out of bed on Sunday.

I have not been that useless in a while.  I looked at a planner page as if it was Japanese (not tho Hobonichi kind of Japanese, but actual illegible Japanese.  My daily to do was blank.  On Sunday I got out to the grocery story, then had to lie down for another hour.

I didn't think about the day ahead, the week ahead, or the hour ahead.  It was very unlike me.  

Thankfully, after some sleep, I returned to the world of the living.  

I had decided on a word of the year this year - "health" - but I'm going to make a January pivot.  I'm going to chose "resilience".  Because I am not going to be healthy all the time.  

I'm not going to be able to make a perfect sports schedule but hopefully I can have a resilient one.

I'm not going to have an idea social calendar but hopefully I can find space for people I miss on illness weeks.

Maybe it's the damp climate, maybe it's the fact that I'm not from here and I have two young kids.  Maybe it's the weekly enclosed train ride or the open plan office, but I get ill a lot. Normally, the runny nose or mild cough variety.  But so far this winter I have had three fever and "in bed useless" illness varietals.  

I am thankful to be feeling better now and hoping that it lasts a while!

January 23, 2023

Holiday Recap - Forest of Dean adventure

We are back from out weekend away.  This was a trial weekend to see whether we wanted to book more family holidays and travel.  The answer is somewhere between a tepid and a resounding YES.   

We spent 3 nights in a 3 bed cottage an hours drive away, in the Forest of Dean.  We arrived after work/nursery on Friday - around 6pm.  There was a bit of faff getting out - we needed to do the shopping, we both had work until 3pm, we had to pack etc.  

On arrival we had oven pizza and bedtime, which turned a bit chaotic as Lilah instantly learned how to climb out of the travel cot.  Eventually they both slept in the bunk bed - Isaac on top and Lilah on bottom.  Double kids in bed and no travel cot will make future holidays much easier.

Saturday was Andy's biking day, kids were a bit shambles.  Our friends (who also live an hour away, but in the other direction) came to visit.  It was a solid family adventure day and we were all asleep by 8:30pm

Sunday was my ladies mountain biking day and new bike day for me.  It started a bit south when the brakes froze on overnight and we couldn't move the car.  I went biking, Andy pivoted.  Due to timing issues the afternoon became a bit more chaotic with friends and plans than expected, but the evening ended with a working car and we visited our friends for dinner.

Monday morning we went to the trail center as a family.  This is the day we will probably remember most fondly, because this:

Kids at the jump park.  Kids on bikes. Lilah yelling "Send it! as she bumped over the skills section. I'm fairly sure Isaac went down a single orange dot downhill on his pedal-less bike.  Lilah is basically unstoppable and refused to get off.

We packed up the house and made it home by 1.  Kids were asleep by 2:30.  I even managed a short nap myself.   

Future Notes:

  • Be more proactive on meal planning & shopping - either order groceries for collection or delivery on the day of departure
  • Make the kids a packing list that I can follow each time (I forgot all their toiletries)
  • Have far more snacks than reasonable, and then a few more

Holiday Verdict:

  • Holidays 1 hour a away are a winner. 
  • Getting home from holiday at midday is also a winner. 
  • Having a nap on returning home from holiday is a triple winner.

January 19, 2023

Thursday Update: Work Trip

I am currently on a work trip, writing from the lovely city of Manchester.  My hotel room is on the 9th floor, with all the big city vibes one could hope for:

On Wednesday I visited Leeds for the first time.  What a city!  And a great accent.  I'm ready to move to the north. 
On arrival to Leeds it was snowing.  The train between Manchester and Leeds was a fairytale jaunt through snowy British landscapes
This trip is 2 nights and 3 days.  Unfortunately I haven't managed as much sleep and quiet time as I wanted.  Last night I finished dinner with colleagues at 7:30 and was excited to get back to the hotel and read and hopefully be asleep by 9:30.  

They were rather horrified by this, and instead cajolled me into one more drink.  It was fine, but I didn't get back to the hotel until 9:30, and after calling home, reading, and getting ready for sleep I didn't get to bed until 11:15.  

This trip has reminded me the joy of traveling to new places.  I love being somewhere new.  I thought I didn't like traveling anymore - but it turns out I don't like traveling with a 2 and a 4 year old.  That's OK!

I have also disclosed to certain colleagues I meet that this trip is my holiday - that I have a 2 and 4 year old at home and this is my monthly me-time of rest and work.  Everyone I have said this too agrees, and many people respond with "wow, yes you must be tired" or some other form of sympathetic understanding.  

When I took this job I hid the fact that I had kids.  Now, I am working on finding a group of other career driven women to connect to, because it *is* very hard.  I don't want everyone to know I have kids.  I want to connect to those who understand what it means to be in the world I am in right now - who remember this time themselves and can maybe send some encouragement or advice my way.

In my quest to find out who might relate, I started asking a friend-colleague about which women in leadership had kids.  It appears above a certain professional level only about 50% to 40% of the women in leadership had children.  As he continued narrating he mentioned many of the men in leadership have kids.  "so lots of the leaders have kids" he concluded.  

"Yes" I thought, but didn't say "the world is very inclusive of parents in leadership, as long as they are male"

January 17, 2023

Currently Thinking: Women - Change and Consistency.

Here's why I'm so intellectually interested in "the experience of women": They make up 50% of the population.  

There are so many underrepresented and under privileged people around the world, but none of these groups make up 50% of the world. 

There are representation/achievement issues for people of color, non binary people, disabled people... the list goes on.  But those people are not 50% of the population.  Women are 50%.  Half of everything should be women.  Half the CEOs, half the professional chefs. Half the famous singers, half the politicians, half the world leaders. 

It's not half.  It's not close.

Men get the amazing privilege to approach each day the same.  Their bodies don't work on a monthly cycle of hormones, subtly and un-subtly changing how they experience each day.  Men don't take 9 months out to have their bodies manipulated by foreign beings, then recover from that and come back stronger or weaker... and then do it again.

Men can go to work every day of the week, put in a similar effort, then return to work the next day with the same.  

Is that natural?  Does anything in nature put in steady-state effort? 

Our life and our planet are in a continual cycle of renewal.  The waxing and waning of the moon. The changes of the season.  Life is filled with sprints and pauses, building and laying the groundwork.  

What if the Male approach, the one that creates CEOs and world leaders, the effortful denial of of the constant of change, is wrong?  What if women are not "less-than" men, or "men with issues to overcome".  What if instead, Women experience life in the way it was meant to be experienced.  

What if Men are the anomaly?  

Perhaps a monthly cycle of effort and energy, followed by a phase of inward regeneration, is how the business world, the professional world, the political world should work.  Perhaps this world has been so dominated by a cycle-less 50% for so long that we've lost sight of the importance of change as a constant.

Perhaps women aren't "less than" at all.  And the questions might not be "how can we make women more like men" but instead "how can we make men more like the world?" 

January 14, 2023

January 1st to 14th, books and other micellany

I recently finished, abandoned, and started three different books in rapid succession.

Finished: Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 
It was a fine book. I understand there is some controversy about it?  There was a lot of Tennis, but I am good at skimming.  The characters were not engagingly flawed like those in Malibu Rising.  Maybe I should read more from TJR. I don't think this book was great, but it was a fine read.  I probably would not recommend it the way I would recommend Malibu Rising.

Abandoned: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.   
I got two hours into the 7 hours audiobook and I just couldn't do it.  He had an interesting point about default truth theory - that we default to thinking people are truthful - but he didn't seem to have more to say.  And then, it was just narrative on narrative of sexual abuse.  Maybe it would have pivoted elsewhere if I kept listening, but I try hard to curate my intake away from horrific stories of paedophelia and so listening to him describe Larry Nassar and Jerry Sandusky, then listening to audio versions of victim impact statements... just felt icky.  I know there are horrible people in the world, but at what point does reading transcriptions of horror make someone accomplice to the horror?  This book came recomnded from multiple sources so maybe I've had an odd reaction, but it seemed a bit like a dumber more media flashy version of Thinking Fast and Slow (which I loved).

Started: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
I got this at the library a few weeks ago, and judged it by its cover.  It looked hefty and not interesting. I've recently gotten back into audiobooks so got a copy of this and am actually enjoying it as an audiobook.  I have read a lot around habits recently so some of it seems repetitive now, but probably only from reading other books on habit formation written after this one.  I think it's going to be a good audiobook listen.  

Random Realization: The power of Habit made me realize why I stopped running.  In 2015 I was really into running - I had run clubs 2-3 times a week and did half marathons/10ks fairly frequently (well, maybe 4 half marathons?  But that's a lot for a year).   I was living in Portland at the time and all the run clubs were from local bars.  As soon as I moved back to the UK I stopped running - and I think it's because British run clubs don't run from bars.  I loved going for a run then hanging out with my friends and having a beer.  I needed all those things.  Going for a run then seeing friends was not fun.  Going for a run then having a coffee was not fun.  Run then beer.  Run then beer. Run then beer.  On repeat.  It was great.  I should probably form a better habit than run with beer, but my current habit is "don't run" and I do miss running.  Or maybe I miss beer?  I'll need to read further into the book to find out.

Tis the season to be fever-y: I've come down with another brutal cold/flu/tonsillitis thing.  On Thursday I wondered why the house was so cold, but when the thermostat showed 18c (64f - normal) I wondered if perhaps I was cold.  Having recently bought a thermometer I discovered I was, in fact, 38.8c (102).  I slept for the rest of Thursday and much of Friday.  Friday and Saturday brought on the most sore throat I've had in memory.  Now I'm only worried to see if the kids get this illness.  We had much fun planned for the weekend but I have been majorly useless.  I know I'm generally ill from October to April, but could I be less ill please?  Maybe just a runny nose, not a full on lie-in-bed sad ill?

Have you read any Taylor Jenkins Reid?  What's your favourite?  Do you have any magic cures for sore throats?

January 11, 2023

Playing Big by Tara Mohr

One of my goals this year is to read a professional development book ever month - specifically ones written by Women.

I just finished Playing Big by Tara Mohr.  

The most interesting idea I found from this book is that school may be one of the factors holding women back from workplace success.  She discusses how the attributes that make one good at school - hard work, following rules, clearly identified development rubrics, are generally not applicable in work.  

Girls are generally better at all levels of eduction, and have more of it, than men.  But board rooms? CEOs? Those are almost always majority men.  

Very few of the skills which make us good students make us successful in our careers.  Hard work will get you a job, but it will not necessarily move you up the ladder.  Knowing the "right answer" may not be as important as quickly reading a room and providing a desirable answer.  And how many career questions have "right" answers anyways?

Learning to understand one teacher's preferences will get a good grade in a class.  In work, you're constantly balancing the preferences of many leaders - sometimes with contradictory aims.

Tara goes into great detail about this and I see it around me too - new hire women will generally be more educated than men.  We recently hired two graduates - a man with a masters and a woman with a PHD.  They are in the same role.  The woman has already been referred too as a very hard worker, very switched on.  The man has put himself forward for difficult projects without clear answers, and is already being highlighted as a potential leader.  

The woman is approaching it like school and I'm sure receiving nothing but praise, but I can already see that in two years her career will be behind her less educated colleague.  In two years he will have collected ambiguous success and/or failure.  She will have two years of hard work.  For whatever reason, his will be recognized.  

Yes, there are problems with work and society and no, I am not arguing that women need to be mini men to succeed.  But what Tara makes clear is that while lots is stacked against women professionally, we also are not doing the most we can to help ourselves.

I highly recommend this book - certain chapters are much better than others, but my favorite ideas are as follows:

  1. School is not work.  Skills that excelled you in school are not those that will excel you in work
  2. Criticism and praise say nothing about you.  They inform you about the person giving the criticism/praise.  Don't be too happy with praise, don't fixate on criticism, learn from both
  3. Know your audience - you don't need approval from the best or the existing leaders to move forward.  If you have an idea, get approval from the people you are selling to, the people your idea affects.  Don't chase leaders in a field, they have little vested in watching you succeed.
Please feel free to recommend other professional development books for women - I need 11 more...

January 8, 2023

Sunday Sports and Social Club... and Llanishen Parkrun 5k

I like hitting the new year resolutions with middling intensity.  I managed to do some form of exercise three times this week, which counts as a habit:

Monday: Beach with family friends.  Outside ✓ 

Tuesday: Lunch time walk.  Hot yoga with sports buddy. Outside ✓ Sports 

Wednesday: Lunch time walk.   Outside 

Thursday: Lunch time walk. Barre3 & StretchingOutside ✓ Sports 

Friday: Lunch time walk. Outside 

Saturday: Parkrun 5k. Outside ✓ Sports 

Sunday: Lunch time walk.  Outside 

Parkrun is an awesome free weekly 5K hosted around the world but majorly in the UK.  Last year a new Parkrun started by our house, only a 10 minute walk away. 

It turns out, I have not only retuned to pre-baby fitness, I am actually at "pre-any exercise at all levels" of fitness.  This is the second Parkrun I've done since Lilah was born.  The weather was awful, heavy rain before, ankle deep mud mid course... but still, I've never been this slow in my adult life:

Another telling factor for my current lack of fitness is heart rate... I managed to stay at 175 for the entire 39 minutes.  I'm fairly sure that my Garmin said I was in zone 6?  Is there a zone 6?  I did wonder if my heart was going to explode, which would be a real bummer. It did not.  But still, this seems excessive:

Parkrun keeps all the results for each runner, which means I can see my times since my first ever 5k.  Here's 10 years of results (thanks internet!)

Apparently, I like to do a Parkrun in January. Also apparently, I did Parkrun 3 months postpartum with Isaac.  This is ridiculous not because of the postpartum-ness, but because of the fact that Isaac didn't' sleep at all (well, he didn't sleep more than 2 hours in one go) until he was 6 months old, which means I didn't sleep at all, which means how did I do anything at all.  Apparently, I have always been nuts.

January 7, 2023

January 2023 - Goals

It's a fun time of year, setting yearly and monthly goals.  I think I'm particularly into habit goals this year, but I still like my Monthly goals as well.  I meant to post this earlier, but here's the January list:


  • Finish 2022 Photo Album
  • Update kids albums for Dec 2022
  • Family trip to Castle or National Trust
  • Take family long weekend in Forest of Dean (already booked!)


  • Book Physio Appt
  • Get a Massage
  • Use my 5 class yoga pass before it expires
  • Take 1/2 day off for my birthday.


  • Try to involve friends in other activities - kids or sport.
    • (this is actually a very social month for me already, so I don't plan on making more goals because I already have so much fun planned!)


  • Contact potentially helpful career people (1-2) in a casual new year way
  • Plan out my Q1 work goals
  • Think positively about my contribution at my job - work on imposter syndrome (vague but true!)

House Goals

  • Get quote for half-bath remodel (ie moldy cold room to tiled functional room)
  • Buy new kettle

Habit Goals

  • Eat 5 fruits and veg a day
  • Keep a food log
  • Keep a time log
I bought Andy the 2023 Almanac for Hanukkah this year:
It's a very twee collection of tides, moon charts, daylight hours, seasonal recipes and other monthly miscellany.  January's intro was particularly good:

January 4, 2023

Currently Thinking: Gender & Society

How did Matt Haig become the writer for depressed people?  I guess Virginia Woolf couldn't always hold the throne there.  I liked The Midnight Library, and perhaps its the audio book version of Notes on a Nervous Planet that's getting to me, but when depression is a disease more likely to affect Women than men it's interesting to me that the more mainstream writer on the topic happens to be a man.

Why was Oliver Burkeman's book 4,000 Weeks so successful... and yet Laura Vanderkam's work is less so?  Is it because Men don't read books by women?  How come English - a degree which is dominated by women (2/3 of English BAs are awarded to women) becomes a professional field dominated by men?  Women don't get published as much as men in literary magazines.  Research by female authors is far less likely to be cited than that of male authors.  Why are we losing out on one of the few skills so dominantly female?

Today at work a young female engineer asked me on teams if she could leave a meeting early because she wanted to finish work at 4:30.  I said she should ask the group - but instead of asking to leave early she should tell them she needs to leave early because she has another meeting.  Women so often feel the need to give reasons for the things we do, professionally or personally.   We ask rather than tell.  Male engineers don't ask me for permission nearly as often as female ones do.

Many workplaces have started offering early finish on Friday afternoons, or on the last Friday of the month.  Considering that mothers are more likely to work a 4 day week than men, and more likely to have Fridays off, does an early finish Friday become a gender advantage employment benefit?  If mothers are losing out while men/fathers/women without children are reaping a benefit "for all" then is it really a benefit for all?

The Authority Gap by Mary Ann Sieghart gets an honorary mention as a 2022 non fiction best.  It had a slightly more optimistic end than Invisible Women.  

January 3, 2023

Tuesday January 3

Yesterday we managed to take a family photo AND a trip to the beach, fulfills my habit goal of going outside and my 2023 goal of taking a family photo.  The family photo is OK, but here are two happy kids grubbing in sand:

We spent two days at our friends house for new years as a mini-holiday.  The only downside to mini holiday is that mini child did not sleep well at all. I'm not sure if it's because she was born during Covid times (no traveling), or because we just haven't made an effort to sleep not at home, but she does not like sleeping not in her bed.  

We got home yesterday and after unpacking etc I was in bed at 8:30.  I have a 5 year journal and the entry for January 2022 was "went to bed at 8:30".  The 5 year journal is great for determining what things are cyclical.  Apparently on January 2nd I go to bed at 8:30.

I managed to get up before the kids this morning (habit goal!) and have scheduled an outside walk today.  I also made a vegetable soup yesterday for dinner (eat more fruits and vegetables) and have a fruit and veg filled grocery delivery showing up in an hour.  

I also stuck my 2021 reading list on the blog here.  I can't figure out how to combine my reading lists into a drop down.   I'm hoping to design the blog nicely this year as I'm not enamored of blogger, but also don't want to spend the time to make a pretty blog.  There is a 2023 goal of "fix blog design" which is nice and vague and might involve paying someone to make it pretty for me.  Or paying my husband (in beer) to migrate it all to WordPress... and then make it pretty for me.

I haven't had a lot of time for reading blogs recently - if you've come across good habit or goal posts for 2023 will you share them with me?   I'm looking forward to reading everyones intentions this year!

January 1, 2023

Top books I read in 2022.

I have had an *awesome* reading year.  It's somewhere over 50 books, which is amazing considering I didn't read for about ten years of my life.

I keep a running list of my books I've read here

And a list of books to read here

But since everyone like a list... here are my winners of 2022:

Best Fiction:

No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood:  It's unlike anything I've read before.  I thought it was dumb, trendy, then poignant, then surprisingly crushing.  I think about it a lot.  It also made me cry.  How does a book written like a twitter make one cry?  I'm not sure, but it was a devastatingly good read.

Runner Up: Fiction:
The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed

Best Non-Fiction
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez.  This book blew my mind.  It changed how I see everything.  Perez reminded me of me - I was never a feminist.  I knew that women were equal now.  But then, all her data, and lack thereof, made me suddenly realize how unequal the world is.  When I looked around boardrooms why did I see 12 men and one woman? Why was I having so much trouble finding someone like me at higher corporate levels?  Why did the glass ceiling seem to be lowering on me after I had children?  I can't really explain how amazing this book is in a short blog post, but I wish it was required reading.

Runner Up: Non-Fiction
Tranquility by Tuesday by Laura Vanderkam.  

What is the best book you read this year?  What are you excited about for 2023??