Divorce is always on my mind because I got a divorce four years ago. Not that I wanted to. In fact, when I thought we were going to a couples therapist we were actually going to a divorce mediator. And then, when it was clear that we were going to have to get a divorce, and I had all the money to fund it, my lawyer finally said to me, “If you drag your feet any longer, you’re going to have to get a new lawyer because I’m retiring.”

So we got a divorce. I hated it. (And of course, I blogged about it the whole time.) Subsequently I have become a vocal critic of divorce. I think it’s an incredibly lame and selfish route to take. Here are five reasons why:

1. Divorce is a cliche among people in denial. 
I see divorce in every story. For example, as soon as I heard about the school shootings in Chardon, OH, I got stuck on the fact that the kid’s parents had just gotten a divorce and left him with his grandparents. I blame the parents.

Heather Armstrong is a great blogger who I have followed for years. But I’m really stuck on the news that she just announced a separation from her husband.

Armstrong supports her family with her blog, dooce.com, which is about herself, so of course, I watch her really closely. In her post announcing that she had asked her husband to leave, she said the two common, and delusional things we hear from divorced parents all the time:

“I can’t be a good parent if I’m not happy and I’ll never be happy in this marriage.”


“The kids are doing so well. Kids are really resilient.”

I’ve heard those things so many times. From parents who are getting a divorce who are full of shit. Read more

A while back, someone was interviewing me and asked me if I’ve tried yoga.

Right now a zillion people are thinking I’m writing about them. Because so many people, in the middle of an interview, decide they need to recommend to me that I do yoga.

The person tells me that yoga changed their life and they think it would help my life.

So I say that I have been practicing Ashtanga yoga for fifteen years.

This shuts the person up. Because I am, invariably, much more studly about yoga than the person telling me that I should do yoga because they do it.

So they say, invariably, “Oh. I don’t read about it on your blog. Why don’t you write about it?”

First of all, I do write about it, occasionally, like now, to tell everyone that I am better than they are.

But in general, yoga is a topic you should never write about. Because telling someone how your life is great because you are so disciplined to put your leg behind your head every morning is just not interesting. People don’t want to hear about how great you are and how you’re the most healthy person around. Anyway, truly healthy people do not feel compelled to tell the world about how healthy they are.

Not every morning. I mean, I don’t do it every morning. Although every morning that I don’t do it I hate myself for not doing it. Read more

Phone call. It’s Melissa.

“Hi,” she says. “Can I come see you today? I can get a flight out of Austin at 5pm.”

Of course I say yes. I assume she is breaking up with her boyfriend because she’s pretty much agoraphobic except for going to the stable to ride her horse or going to the office for her job. Both of which require only sporadic household departures.

“No. Everything is great,” she says. She explains that she has decided to try Adderall. She popped one pill at 9am. At 9:30 she felt a tightening in her stomach and a rush in the front of her head. At 9:50 she called me.

I am upset that she discovers all the good things before I do. When I was 27, why was I not finding fun pharmaceuticals to improve my wellbeing?

1. Judge your pharmaceutical choices by deciding if you attract good people when you are on the medication.

The update from Melissa – besides that she is finding the perfect drug regimen for herself – is that she has a boyfriend.

Actually she moved in with him. Here she is painting his bedroom.

But I don’t want you to think I’ve been holding out on reporting this. I wrote the Melissa-has-a-boyfriend post but by the time I was ready to finish it, they were practically married and the post seemed outdated.

Not that I actually wrote that post. But I thought about it. I thought about it every time some guy would send me an email asking if Melissa is single. I should turn my blog into a dating site because Melissa has had a lot of offers. And I keep thinking I need to write a post about how she has a boyfriend, but then I think, what if the boyfriend doesn’t work out? I don’t want to kill her chances for finding someone through my blog. Read more

I always thought leaving New York City would be good for me because when you live there, the push to get the best of everything is very strong. New Yorkers are maximizers, a term coined by psychologist Barry Schwartz for someone who is always thinking they can do better. These people are generally unhappy.

There’s a spectrum, for sure. But if maximizing were a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest in NYC everyone is in the 6-10 range. And the 6s think they’re really laid back. I wanted to be in the 1-5 range, where research shows that people lead much happier lives.

I knew I’d need to leave New York City to do that. In Madison, WI, I have to admit, I remained a maximizer. I got a lawyer from Chicago to sue the schools for their incredibly poor compliance with IDEA. I flew to LA for haircuts. I refused to stop flying American Airlines even though smaller, scrappy airlines had more flexible schedules out of Wisconsin.

But the truth is that you do become who you live with, and the maximizer is slowly being knocked out of me. Which has been my goal all along. Research shows that people are happier in rural towns than in cities, primarily because there is no way to be an maximizer. (I have argued before, many times, that people who live in cities don’t care about happiness, so it doesn’t matter that they are not happy.) Read more

Last fall I took my kids to Hermosa Beach. It was a big moment for me because the whole time I was playing professional volleyball, in my 20s, I dreamed I would have a family and live in Hermosa.

It’s a great beach town with top-notch volleyball. There’s proximity to good career opportunities in the LA area, and a culture of kids growing up with sand in their hair.

The day we arrived I realized that it might be really hard to leave. I worried that maybe I’d never go back to the farm. And the more the kids loved the water, the more closely I looked at For Rent signs. I thought maybe I could split my time between the beach and the farm.

But then something happened. We didn’t miss only The Farmer (who doesn’t like to leave the Farm). We missed the animals, and the feeling of being in a cozy warm house surrounded by snow.

Which made me realize that when we think about relocation, we think about the wrong stuff. Read more

After the Facebook IPO, Sheryl Sandberg will become number two on the list of richest self-made women. She is the COO of Facebook. For those of you not familiar with her career, there’s a nice summary in the New York Times. But the bottom line is that she is really smart (Harvard), a really hard worker (startups, Google, Facebook), a great speaker (here’s a commencement speech) ,and she’s married to a guy who is also making tons of money in startups.

There is nothing, really, that is bad to say about Sandberg. And she works very hard to encourage other women to go as far as she has gone.

The problem is, very few women want to be Sandberg, but there is very little discussion of this.

Sandberg has two young kids. She runs a company that is very public about having “lock-ins” to move fast enough to compete with Google, and they have open hours for kids to come to Facebook offices to say goodnight to their parents, who are working very long hours. Read more