Loved in Spite of Ourselves

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved —
loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”

― Victor Hugo


I just finished Life Drawing and that was the quote that opened the book. The book was good but NOT if you are looking for a nice little pick me up. You have been warned.

What the Heck is a Work, Life, Baby Balance?

work-life-babySheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is a successful working mom.
Her husband is a successful working father, CEO of Survey Monkey.
How the hell did they manage that?

Sheryl has a book coming out in March called Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. I will be buying it, of course. As you can imagine, we are trying to figure out this whole work/life/baby balance ourselves and I can tell you this much… it is tough!

I read a lot of blogs, I follow along with what Marissa Mayer is up to, I Google a lot of things – oftentimes at 3am, when the baby has woken up for his midnight snack. I will buy Sheryl’s book and add to her fortune. I am interested in her perspective and who couldn’t use a little rah rah rah at 3am on a weeknight, when you have an 8am meeting the next day?!?

Just from following Sheryl in the past, I know she expresses the importance of:

  • Two engaged parents in childcare (50/50 split)
  • Fair grounds from employers for men and women
  • Flexible jobs for both parents
  • Woman pushing themselves

Before reading the book, I know a few things of my own too:

  • Don’t take too much advice from other people on what works for them, it has to work for you
  • Make your own rules and go after what is important to you and your family
  • Sheryl and Marissa have more money than I will ever have, so they have a few more options than I do

I don’t know what a work, life, baby, dog, exercise, social life balance is. I am working on it. As I work on it, I can only hope that I help make some changes for anyone else who comes behind me, I hope someone can learn from my mistakes and successes and I hope I can be honest with myself and the people around me about how it is going.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about working women and moms, you can read this Business Insider article, you can pre-order Sheryl’s book, you can read this piece by Anne-Marie Slaughter on why women can’t have it all or watch this interview from Sheryl on how she does ‘have it all’.

Me and Snooki

Me and SnookiAs you may know, I recently ‘came out’ that I was pregnant. Since then, everyone has been so sweet and supportive.

Today though, I had to take this host body and drag it up on a stage to present at the Agents of Change Conference. Eek!

To address the ‘issue’ I began my session with a slide called ‘Me and Snooki’.

It went something like this:

  • She has really let herself go!
  • Yes, I am 34 1/2 weeks pregnant (37 days to go)!
  • I feel fine
  • It’s a boy
  • No, we don’t have a name yet
  • Please don’t touch me
  • If something happens:
    • Someone get some hot water and clean towels
    • Please tweet my husband, @tweettweetone

Me and Snooki go to SXSW

That slide really helped me feel more comfortable with my news but there is actually more to the me and Snooki story. I found out I was pregnant right before heading to SXSW this Spring. SXSW is like nerd Spring Break. There are amazing companies, amazing sessions, and lots of sponsored and launch parties. I am not a huge partier but figuring out how I was going to mix and mingle at all these events and not have a drink was making me very anxious.

Fresh off the news that my whole life was going to change – I was packing my bags to leave the 5 people in this word that knew my news… to go to nerd Spring Break. To ease my nerves, I downloaded a few ‘How to Have a Baby’ books on my Kindle and planned to read them on the plane and when I was all alone in my hotel room while everyone else was toasting champagne and drinking margaritas.

The first book I read was awful. It was just not my thing.

As I am on the plane to Austin, this book tells me all about my pregnancy. In the book, it tells me that there will be a celebrity that announces that they are pregnant at the same time as me, that I will be obsessed with their pregnancy and I will completely feel like I connected with them. That week, hitting news stands was the BIG Us Weekly issue announcing that Snooki was pregnant.

So my celebrity pregnancy match was Snooki?!?
That was my first pregnancy/hormonal cry.

So THAT is the full story about me and Snooki! Nothing against her, but I really never felt uber connected to her but she was my first pregnancy cry. So I guess we will always have that.

Jim Loved Your Card So Much He Ate It

Maurice Sendak

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received.
He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything.
He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

“Fuck them is what I say. I hate those e-books. They cannot be the future.
They may well be. I will be dead. I won’t give a shit.”

“Live your Life. Live your Life. Live your Life.”

Maurice Sendak

There are plenty more quotes from Maurice Sendak on this post from Buzzfeed.

Believe in Magic

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Roald Dahl

The Kisses That Never Happened To Remember

Get your mind out of the gutter! I am talking about a movie.

Last night I watched An Affair To Remember, with Cary Grant, for the first time. I have been rifling through some classic lately that I never saw.

I admit I started the movie as a pessimist. Watching a movie from 1957 now is almost silly. The boat they were on was a joke of a set, the backgrounds of the places they were travelling were laughable. As I began the movie I didn’t think I would be able to get into it at all.

Then as the story progressed and our lovers had their first ‘kiss’ I was floored that the kiss wasn’t even on screen – it was halfway up a flight of stairs! In a world now where sex scenes count as PG rated movies – this renowned romantic movie didn’t even show the kiss! How crazy is that? I knew at this point that I was too engrossed in the scenery and what wasn’t being shown that this movie was. not. going. to. get. to. me.

An hour and a half later, when I found myself bolting into the next room for tissues… I couldn’t believe this movie with the no kissing (they more smoosh their faces cheek to cheek) and the silly sets and fake New York backgrounds not only got to me but got to me more than most movies I have seen.

What the hell happened?

I have reduced it to this – what wasn’t shown, what sets couldn’t capture your imagination takes over. You imagine their sweet phone conversations or the kiss or the struggles they went through. You didn’t have to be shown. I read a lot and this movie engages you like a good book. It wasn’t passive like many movies today. You needed to do a little engaging on your end as the viewer and I think THAT is how this movie got me by surprise.

Stupid love and feelings.