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. Read more

I saw a graph about when anyone is most likely to have a birthday. My mom and ex-husband and now-husband all have a birthday in the first week of April. This is statistically unlikely and it makes me think there is something I should know about astrology. Read more

Empathy is one of the key signifiers of workplace success. Exhaustive research shows that when businesses fail, it is often because leaders have stopped focusing on understanding different types of environments and instead remain insulated in their own domain. And the Harvard Business Review shows that empathy is key to successful product design.  Read more

The first year we lived on the farm, my son showed pigs. He did okay (and I got one of my favorite posts of all time). But he realized that the county fair is not about pigs, it’s about social skills. You have to be able to guess what traits of a pig the judges will like this year, which requires talking to neighbors and pig feed sales guys who come by the farm. It’s a networking thing: “How’s the weather? How are hogs this year?” Read more

If you want to understand Generation Z (born in the 200o’s), take a look at Pope Francis. He is not just a new pope. He is revolutionizing the Vatican in a way that generation Z is likely to revolutionize secular institutions. For those of you who are not following Pope Francis, you should. He is so cool he makes me want to give money to the Catholic church. He is a Gen Z mascot. Read more

First of all you’d be surprised how many meetings I attend given that I live on a farm and I hate to leave. And, to be honest, every time I’ve written advice about how to handle yourself in a meeting, I’ve actually written about how not to handle yourself.

Like, how to gross out investors. How to disrupt a board meeting by tweeting about a miscarriage. How to look crazy in a parent-teacher conference.

For me, each meeting begins with trying on every outfit I have and sending Melissa a picture to ask if it is okay for a meeting. The pinnacle of each meeting is when I wow people with my ideas, which is immediately mitigated by my insanely terrible social skills. Read more

We are at the dining room table eating dinner and my eight-year-old son who is dying to have a girlfriend tells us, “Taylor Swift said she’s only going to date guys who have sisters because they understand women better. Is that true? I think I need a sister.”

I say, “I read that, too.”

Matthew says, “I don’t want to hear quotes from Taylor Swift at the table. She keeps dating men and then writing about them. I can’t stand it.”

“Really?” I say, “You can’t stand it? How do you put up with me?” Read more

I’m still stuck on that study in the Harvard Business Review that I wrote about a few weeks ago. The data shows that what women want from their career is respect, and what men want is a series of engaging problems to solve. This struck me as totally true. Read more

No one wants to seem old and outdated. The key to avoiding this is learning how to think like the next generation. So recognize what you care about that younger people don’t care about. Not like a house and mortgage – that stuff is dependent on what stage of life you’re in. I’m talking about things that are not dependent on stage of life – values and your outlook, which tend to be more generational.

When it comes to Generation Z, the most jarring shift  is that they’ll be obsessed with the bolstering of public institutions. This is a generation that cares about consensus-building and sticking with the systems that bind us together. And in order to rebuild after crisis, the generation will stress conformity – because noncomformity is a guilty-pleasure of a generation with no crises (like the Baby Boomers growing up in the 50s). Generation Z will focus on being part of the whole rather than differentiating themselves as special. Read more

I get up at 5am to drive my son to his cello lessons in Chicago. On Saturday he’s in lessons for four hours. I wake him and he says, “No. It’s too early. It’s too hard to drive to Chicago all the time. I can’t do it.”

I don’t say anything. I sit on the side of the bed, in the dark, and I can’t force a seven-year-old to drive sixteen hours a week for cello. This is crazy. I can’t do it.

My son glances over at me from his squishy warm pillow. I decide I’ll let him sleep.

Then he throws off the covers, bounds out of bed and says, “I’m just like the kids in the video! I have to work hard if I want to be great! All great artists suffer! I have to suffer on the drive! Let’s go!” Read more