How to ask for help and not feel incompetent

The leasing company said they were waiting on a criminal background check. This was a good sign since it’s the only part of the rental approval process that I pass with flying colors. While we were apartment hunting, we rented a beach house priced to attract people who want to recreate Grey Gardens without the grandma’s-attic-glamour or Kennedy-kid square footage.
more…

The benefits of transparency are bigger than you can imagine, which is why transparency feels so hard

My son left. He’s in Boston now. My friend Lauren agreed to take care of him.

“Until when?” I said.

“Right now, just get him on the plane. He doesn’t have a cello and he doesn’t have a teacher and he just needs someone to help him. I can help him.”


more…

Introducing: My Patreon

I have been blown away by the comments on my last post. I am so appreciative of the kindness and support and all the ideas so many of you have shared.

I asked myself: why am I so reluctant to do Patreon? Melissa has been telling me to do it for years. And now so many commenters are telling me to do it, too.
more…

I’m too sad to write a title

When you tell your friends, in disbelief, about this post, you will say, “She’s liveblogging her nervous breakdown.”

I am doing that. Because I don’t know what else to do.
more…

Are you there, Twitter? It’s me, Penelope.

I woke up on August 12th and my Twitter account was stolen. This is not a small account. I have 130,000 followers.

Is it too optimistic to use the present tense? I’m not sure, because there is still a picture of a cat in the spot that should be me.
more…

Judge Kavanaugh has taught me so much about how the world works

I can’t stop reading about Judge Kavanaugh. I am learning so much about how the world works.

His yearbook from high school is horrifying. There were derogatory jokes about women throughout the pages. Everyone knew, but the boys were rich, and they were going to top colleges, so it was okay. I didn’t know there were yearbooks like that.
more…

This post is hard to write, so you better read it.

What I’ve learned from selling stuff on this blog is that I don’t like to do it. It’s hard to tell you I’m hating myself and then tell you, “Buy my course about happiness!”

So, I’ve decided to change my business model. Except that I don’t actually have a new business model yet. And while I’m looking for one I’m making missing monthly payments on a new cello.
more…

17 years after 9/11 and I am still surprised


I have been writing a post about 9/11 every year. Maybe because 9/11 comes right around the Jewish High Holidays, I treat my archive of posts a little like a prayer book. I read my favorite – the first one – because it’s still incredible to me that I was at the World Trade Center when it fell.
more…

Serena’s game has changed, and I’m excited to watch

This week at the US Open Serena Williams drew attention to sexist rules governing women’s attire by wearing a tutu on the court. It turned out this was the perfect outfit for her final match. 
more…

Reading fiction helps your career, but reading poetry helps more

We have known for a while that people who are most successful in business read fiction.  And people who read fiction have more empathy, no matter where they land on the gender or personality trait spectrum.
more…