Maybe you think I’m taking a cue from Cosmo here: Look Younger at Any Age!
Before I lose you, let me just say that it’s pretty true that anyone, at any age, is better off being younger when they interview. Example? Read more
I ask myself this question all the time: What would I have done if I had lived in Nazi Germany? I am Jewish, so I ask myself if I’d have left early on. Early enough. When I could have left.
I watch lots of movies and read lots of books about life in Nazi Germany. Read more
It is my business partner’s birthday. We have been through two years and $4 million in funding. We’re together every day, but I can’t say happy birthday. I wanted to skip work to avoid it, but I had to come in because we are getting so many media calls for our product launch—a tool that allows companies to recruit people from blogs. I sneak past his office and go to a friend’s cube and say, “I can’t tell Ryan happy birthday. I’m going to die. I can’t do it. I feel too stupid. I think I might cry if I have to do it.” And then I am actually crying. Read more
I’m going to ignore the fact that the DSM no longer includes Asperger’s as a diagnosis. Asperger’s remains a useful way to categorize people with very low social skills and very high IQ — and a high rate of manic-depression and suicide. It’s useful to separate out these people in order to help them. It’s like separating out people who have a gene for breast cancer. There are things you can do to make their lives better. Read more
As the High Holidays approach I start feeling anxiety about whether I’ll work during the holidays. Will I do two days or one? Will I write emails and send them? Or not hit send until sundown, or just not write emails at all?
It’s part of being Jewish to have a workaround for everything. For example, this is a picture of my sons participating in a not-real bat mitzvah for their cousin so we can take pictures because you can’t take pictures during the real bat mitzvah.
I’ve read that people who have willpower don’t actually have willpower. Rather they make decisions for themselves that have clear parameters and then they don’t reconsider them, so those people don’t need any willpower.
I’m pretty sure that my everything-is-negotiable approach to Jewish holidays requires an insane amount of willpower that I’ll never even come close to having. But I in that vein, I propose a few guidelines for those of you who are like me and trying to figure out what to do with social media on High Holidays. Read more
Jason Collins is a professional basketball player who just announced that he’s gay. It’s rare enough for a professional athlete to be openly gay that President Obama called him up to offer support, and former President Clinton tweeted his support, adding that he’s known Jason Collins since he was friends with Chelsea Clinton at Stanford.
Collins is a 12-year NBA veteran who has played for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards and chose to come out in the new edition of Sports Illustrated . He says, “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay. I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.”
It’s a great conversation to have, because we all do better in our careers if we are honest about who we are.
Before I tell you why I think she has Asperger Syndrome, I want to tell you why I think it’s important: Aspergers is a serious disability that is very very difficult to diagnose in girls. (I know this all too well: I have Aspergers, and I was not diagnosed until I was an adult.)
Aspergers is a mental disability that primarily affects peoples’ ability to read social cues. You might think this is a small deficit, but actually social skills are essential to almost everything we do. An inability to read social cues leads to so much isolation and misunderstanding that suicide is relatively common among people with Aspergers. Read more
My son already has experience taking care of an animal and selling it. Last year, his 4-H project was pigs. He showed them, then he sold them, and we even went to the carcass show, which is where fifty people go into a meat freezer with a agriculture professor and find out why one kid’s carcass got a blue ribbon and one kid’s got a white ribbon.
If you guessed marbling, you guessed right. But the Farmer says this is an outdated way to look at meat. He says you get lots of marbling from feeding animals corn instead of letting them graze on the grass, but corn feed is like candy feed because there’s so little nutrition.
Okay. So even though we fundamentally disagree with the carcass show judging process, my son did take care of animals and then kill them, which is no small feat for a kid transplanted from New York City to rural Wisconsin. 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