goodbye 2020

The defining quote of November: If you wake up in a puddle and smell pee, your water did not break. When I first heard this, I considered it highly unlikely but nevertheless searched for incontinence underwear. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime because I immediately gained twenty pounds of (probably water) weight and bodily functions became a bit of a struggle

The defining thought of December: What’s the point of being hyper efficient with regard to things that don’t really matter and creating unnecessary tension in relationships, what matters most? When we went to lactation clinic to discuss supplementing with formula (and Zo pooped on the scale and the nurse had to engage another nurse to help clean up the explosion), I overheard comments on latching and felt thankful that this was not an issue we encountered. Four weeks later, Zo has developed an elaborate pooping dance and seems to be occupied with this dance every (okay every other) time I try to feed. After yet another thirty minute wrestle, I made an executive decision: I will pump and he will bottle feed. And this is just fine because maximizing breast feeding is not what matters most

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Dear Therapist: because when she is fixated on perfection, you start to feel that her love and acceptance are contingent on performance // You might end the letter by explaining that the greatest gift she can give you as a parent is the freedom to be who you are

It is possible that Zo turns out to be more ENTJ than I am but if I had to guess, the defining challenge of our relationship will be my ability to suspend judgment. This is something I have contemplated over and over again. Do I sit with silence? Do I fake it till I make it (e.g. you are doing great)? Only time will tell but right now I am inspired by these six words

“College athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response: I love to watch you play”

p.s. he took this lovely picture and not overly concerned that tummy time turned into nap time

will you gamble with me

If you have conviction on a particular direction even though there’s no consensus, it’s helpful to say, “Look, I know we disagree on this but will you gamble with me on it? Disagree and commit?” By the time you’re at this point, no one can know the answer for sure, and you’ll probably get a quick yes.

This isn’t one way. If you’re the boss, you should do this too. I disagree and commit all the time. We recently greenlit a particular Amazon Studios original. I told the team my view: debatable whether it would be interesting enough, complicated to produce, the business terms aren’t that good, and we have lots of other opportunities. They had a completely different opinion and wanted to go ahead. I wrote back right away with “I disagree and commit and hope it becomes the most watched thing we’ve ever made.” Consider how much slower this decision cycle would have been if the team had actually had to convince me rather than simply get my commitment.

Note what this example is not: it’s not me thinking to myself “well, these guys are wrong and missing the point, but this isn’t worth me chasing.” It’s a genuine disagreement of opinion, a candid expression of my view, a chance for the team to weigh my view, and a quick, sincere commitment to go their way. And given that this team has already brought home 11 Emmys, 6 Golden Globes, and 3 Oscars, I’m just glad they let me in the room at all!