June 7, 2018

A Few Things...

Let's catch up on what I've read lately...

How to Raise a Boy. As always, and now more than ever, I'm conscious of the way we are raising our boys. This is a great article, and this passage particularly resonated:  "... the lessening power of men (straight and white particularly) is an unquestioned societal good. ... The only thing is: There are two future white men who live in my house, and I love them very much." 

Wait Until 8th—A Pledge to Delay Smartphone Usage in Kids. I hate the never-ending battle over technology. I think we're doing okay so far. We go through phases, but in general, our kids are still the "play outside until the sun goes down" types. Aaron has a gizmo gadget, which enables us to keep in touch when necessary. It's not perfect, but it gets the job done, and it's helping us fill the gap for now.

The most reasonable article about nutrition I've ever read. 

It's Hard to Delete Facebook Without an Alternative. After the news about Cambridge Analytica, I watched the whole #deletefacebook movement happen, but I still haven't deleted my account. Because it fills a need - it helps me keep in touch with my far-away family and friends.

Americans Love Seeing Swedish Dads Out With Their Kids. And This is a Problem. I loved this article. What's "normal" here is not normal everywhere. It'd be nice if we could learn from and be influenced by other countries and cultures.

Belly is Back! Fun to hear new music from one of my all-time favorites. Also fun to read about how they decided to get back together.

‘Exile In Guyville’ Decodes Feminism’s Generational Divide. Cool article about Liz Phair and feminism.

The Professor on a Mission to Make Math Lovable. This article is about my nephew-in-law, a ridiculously smart and sweet guy. "...there is so much poetry and philosophy in math, it is really more of a humanities discipline anyway."

NBC News asked men and women in different professions across the U.S. how the #MeToo movement has changed the way they interact with people at work - if at all. This is a sampling of their responses. Many of them are not surprising, but some sure did make me sad. I'm grateful I've worked in open and accepting environments and with really good guys throughout my career, although the culture has definitely changed over the years (and that's a good thing).

In the #MeToo Era, Raising Boys to Be Good Guys. Yep, I read this stuff every day. I am hyper aware of the influences in their lives, from seeing cheerleaders on the sidelines of football and basketball games (I'm grateful that they prefer baseball and soccer), to the types of books they read and movies they watch. It is getting harder, though. But I will make them do their chores (yes lawn mowing, but also dishes and scrubbing toilets and dusting), and I will keep talking to them.

Curiosity and What Equality Really Means, by Atul Gawande. I love reading anything by him, and this commencement speech to the UCLA medical school is no exception.

Talking to Boys the Way We Talk to Girls. As always, I'm intrigued by the differences in how we raise boys vs. girls. As a mother of boys, I want to be conscious of the biases and stereotypes that exist, so I can ensure we aren't demonstrating them at home. And when we do fall into those stereotypical traps, I want to recognize it and talk about it.

To end on a light note, here are a few recipes I want to bookmark. The Best Lemon Bars. I'd also like to try some new veggie burger recipes this summer. I'm going to start with either this, or this, or this. And I made this Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad last week, and it's great. So light and refreshing - perfect for a cookout. Aaron enjoyed it and requested that I make it again.

June 6, 2018

The Spring Spiral

Every now and then, I fall into a spiral of chaos and inertia. I become unproductive, disorganized, and I struggle to prioritize and focus. I often don't know what causes it, and it is always challenging to find my way back. 

I've been in one of these states lately. There are many contributing factors, no doubt. Spring is such a busy time of year, especially for parents of school-aged children. Baseball and soccer practices and games, piano recitals, school chorus and drama performances, parent/teacher conferences, end-of-year parties and portfolio/field days, and the list goes on. Then of course there's work. I've been in a challenging role, and I'm in discussions regarding a transition. 

That all feels like a list of excuses, though, and really, I don't know what it is. What I've realized in the past is this: gratitude and presence is usually the way out. If I can organize myself around this seemingly small task - expressing gratitude each day - then I can do anything. It reminds me of that Navy Seal Commander who said we could change the world if we just made our bed every morning. I get that. 

So even though blogging is dead, and nobody reads any more, I'm going to get back to my little blog. Even if I'm the only one reading it. 

I've been spending a lot of time watching these guys. This fabulous group of boys is a ton of fun to watch.


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