Sunday nights at our house are dinner with me, the kids, the Farmer and the Ex. They are always fun dinners, and I always feel very lucky for that.

My six-year-old talked about his new baby cousin, Eva (who is pictured, in utero, above). “She has a terrible name,” he said, “for Pig Latin. Its Vaeay. It doesn’t work.”

We all do the vowel arranging in our heads and agree, Eva is not a good Pig Latin name.

“Mom has a great name! It’s Enelopepay.”

The Farmer says, “It sounds like it could be the name of her next company.”

The Ex says, “Yeah, emphasis on the pay.”

The three adults laugh.

And then I get nervous. About what I’m going to do next. If you have had three companies, people assume you will have a fourth. So I assume that, too. Which makes me nervous. Read more

One of the keys to my ability to work 40 hours a week and homeschool two kids is that I have great time management. Which is to say, I say no to just about everything. But learning when to say no is still a work in progress. Here’s what I know about saying no to phone calls:

1. It’s more efficient to read the book than talk to the author.
I get about ten emails a day asking me if I want to talk to someone about their book so I'll recommend it on the blog. My answer is always no.

I said yes once because it was Gloria Steinem. And it turned out to be a really disappointing phone call. If she is disappointing pitching to me, then everyone else will be, too.

Now I ask people to send me the book. If I like the idea of it, I'll read it. I just read a book by Alexandra Robbins about why high school is destroying the kids who go there. She didn't come to that conclusion, I did. But see, that's why it's good that I read the book myself instead of talking to her. Read more

In therapy lately I am learning to identify my feelings. Maybe you're thinking this is elementary, but did you know that envy is about wanting something you don't have, but jealousy is the fear of losing something you already have?

I am thinking about those two things. I am almost never envious, but I am often jealous. Most of my emotions, in fact, are rooted in fear.

I am thinking a lot lately about where my joy comes from, and one thing I love is writing well. When I have a blog post that people love I am happy for weeks. And the excitement of doing good creative work gives me energy to do more. Read more

I have never been great at picking my own clothes. I’m great at interior design, but I have a blind spot for clothes. So I email Melissa photos of my outfits, and she uses her photographic memory of my closet to edit my outfits.

When I sent her this photo, she said: “What is this?”

I only wanted her opinion about the color of the shirt, so I thought it was okay that it was blurry. But the more I look at the picture, the more I think that it’s how I feel about myself right now.

I am not quite sure who I am, right now. And given the current career climate, this is actually how most people see themselves, too—blurry from constant movement, settled on the basics, but unclear on the specifics.

And then I read an article in Fast Company this month titled Generation Flux. The article is about how careers are constantly moving and our identity is therefore moving as well.

So I am focused on how to make myself more clear about what I look like. At least right now. And here are things I think we each need to do to pin down our moving-target, career-jumping selves. Read more

If I look back on my blog, I can see that each year there were one or two ideas that just blew me away and ended up dominating my thinking. For example, 2011 my year to be obsessed with school – homeschooling and higher ed, 2010 was my year for disillusionment with happiness research, 2009 was when I started writing honestly about how unglamorousstartup life really is.

I’m excited to think about what this year will bring in terms of the ideas that will capture my imagination. Here are the early candidates:

1. Nature vs. nurture
An important book came out at the end of 2011 that got very little play in the media: Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, by Bryan Caplan The title of the book is just awful. Which is probably why it has been roundly ignored. The title should have been Why Nothing You Do As a Parent Matters. That title would have gotten a lot of media coverage, but who would have purchased the book? Read more

Somehow, last year, I got too big-picture. It's not surprising since I'm an ENTJ. I understand my deficit, which is one reason I picked the Farmer, an ISTP-—extremely short-term thinking.

At the end of the day, the Farmer walks in the house and talks about his day's accomplishments, and the weather. I used to tell him that the weather is such a stupid topic that it actually makes me uncomfortable to have him bring it up. But now I realize that the weather is a segue to talking about what is happening right now. And that's something I need to get better at.

1. Pay attention to the short term.
So my first resolution is to be more excited with what’s going on in my life in the near-term.

On January 1st the Farmer separated from his parents' farm, and he has pigs are at our farm now. (I am saying our farm now. It shows us being a team more. It's hard to write, but I guess this is a sub-resolution within the resolution: Think like a team.) He used to make the pigs have babies in crates, at his parent’s farm. The birthing process was confinement—the moms couldn't move so they couldn't roll onto the babies. Now he is letting the pigs breed while they wallow in grassy mud, and he’s letting the moms have babies wherever they choose in a barn full of soft hay bedding. The pig will roll on some of the babies probably, but probably that's why pigs have big litters.

Read more

It’s been four days since I documented my own domestic violence, in almost real-time, between me and the Farmer. The most common response I’ve heard is some variation of: “Zero tolerance for domestic abuse!”

And you know what? I have zero tolerance for things I am not prone to tolerate as well. That’s easy, isn’t it?

It’s much harder to see the issue from the person’s perspective who has the issue.

I’ve spent days reading the 500 comments on my blog and the comments about my situation on other blogs, and I’m absolutely shocked by the collective hatred and disdain for women who are in violent relationships. Read more