J. Eddie Smith, IV
Actuary, writer, solver.
I tried the Zite app, but it only seems to serve me listy articles that make me sad about the state of web writing.
How great is your job when your company is gathering in a city to discuss, among other things, Mac workflows? Where your = my.
The fact that Excel ribbon items appear, disappear, and change sizes with the size of the window is rather maddening.
@jarrodjob Good suggestion. I’m digging it.
Anne Lamott was so right. I can't seem to do anything right without doing it wrong a few times first. Start.
Finally decided to order a Herman Miller chair. I'll say more after I've tried it. Maybe drop an affiliate link. [Grinning]
Is Omnigraffle for iPad still the best at what it does?
@tantramar @drdrang @macdrifter That would make me sound less obscure and pretentious than when I mutter “who is John Galt?”
I had to sit down and take 5 to recover from all of the information in this @drdrang post: http://t.co/9JhH7kNAbr
"It’s always a sign of trouble when you’ve built something you don’t want to use yourself." http://t.co/BdQFOJnm9z
Yes, AT&T will give you $150 cash for a new U-Verse account, but only after calling them 2 mos later to remind them. They're busy, you know.
Do something ostensible today.
@macdrifter I always assume USPS packages won't arrive. That way the worst case is that my expectations are met.
Even if a local Google search script throws an error, you may still get search results. http://t.co/cH4WTTP68X
@macdrifter It would be more comforting to read “Your package fell into the Atlantic Ocean on the way over. Sorry.”
RT @Ihnatko: Sometimes, the Samsung Galaxy S4's double camera simultaneous shooting mode is actually a handy feature. http://t.co/svQYkLJNyG
Coffee is back in style http://t.co/wm3qraRVGX
It's hard to have a 10-year plan when most of us will be targeting markets that don't exist yet using tools yet to be invented.
I will be replacing my site's RSS feed with a helicopter drop of printed posts over key First World regions later this month.
On May 14, IBM quietly announced the end of the road for [Lotus] 1-2-3, along with Lotus Organizer and the Lotus SmartSuite office suite. Lotus 1-2-3's day is done.
A significant milestone in the history of the spreadsheet, and more broadly, the PC.
The modern work of many professionals, including my fellow actuaries, runs through webs of spreadsheets. Though Microsoft Excel has been the undisputed king of desktop spreadsheets, I feel like it's been up against an innovation wall. The interface and its basic uses have been largely unchanged in more than a decade (despite a significant visual makeover in 2007.)
I think mobile represents the innovation frontier for spreadsheets. Microsoft has done essentially nothing in that space, and while the Google Drive app is pretty good in terms of accessibility and collaboration, it lacks many features that Excel powerusers rely on.
Apple's Numbers looks good visually and has more features, but it falls drastically short on file sharing and collaboration.
Whoever can come up with a truly mobile-user-friendly system for working with tabular data that has the same degree of buy-in that Excel has enjoyed since the late 1990s, will become very rich.
On the other hand, maybe the concept of the spreadsheet will itself run its course in the next decade or two. It wouldn't be a terrible thing. I've seen the wounds inflicted by both sides of Excel's blade. Replacing spreadsheets created by armchair programmers with more robust software applications is probably better long-term.
To avoid inbox shock when returning from vacation, a lot of us check email constantly while on vacation. It's a pretty awful way to live if you think about it.
Around the 10:30 mark of his TEDxNashville talk, "My Digital Stamp," Erik Qualman solves this problem:
When your vacation starts, set your email's vacation auto-responder to say:
Thank you for your email. This mailbox is temporarily full. If your email is important please resend it on [Return Date].
When you return, select all the emails you received while on vacation.
I’ve always wanted to know how he evolved into the great comedian that he became. So I asked him…
James Shelley on theatrical theory:
Aristotle pointed out that we only know a character’s true character through the choices that they make. If a character delivers a monologue but doesn’t decide or do something, the audience has been given no reason to believe them. Actions alone demonstrate character. . .
Imagine if life were more theatrical.
There are lots of places where you can pick up a tip or two on writing Markdown. There are also a ton of apps, services, and utilities for making it easier to write Markdown.
But they're not all in one place. In fact, they're very much in the opposite of one place—spread out across countless dot-coms, dot-nets, and even dot-me's. No one has ever written a book on Markdown.
So David Sparks and I decided to write one.
Markdown, the third book in David's fantastic MacSparky Field Guide series, is 130 pages and 27 screencasts long. There's over an hour and a half of video. We cover Markdown instruction, application recommendations, and offer advice. We also threw in another hour of audio interviews with a few of our Markdown-loving pals: Merlin Mann, Fletcher Penney, Brett Terpstra, Federico Viticci, and Gabe Weatherhead.
Being a multi-media work, filled with audio and video, Markdown is best viewed on an iPad (iBookstore), but we also made a PDF version bundled with all the same audio and video files—if that's your thing.
The pride I have in creating this book is matched only by the gratitude I feel toward:
- John Gruber, the creator of Markdown,
- Fletcher Penney, the force behind MultiMarkdown,
- Brett Terpstra, a guy whose energy for making Markdown utilities knows no bounds, and
- Everyone else who's ever supported Markdown by talking about it or writing up a tip
This book is our attempt to build on all the great work and enthusiasm for Markdown, but more importantly, extend it to new audiences. We want to help people discover the power of plain text writing in the post-word-processor era.
I hope you enjoy this book. David and I certainly enjoyed writing it—in Markdown of course.
Marco Arment on the perils of using an LTE connection on a MacBook:
With LTE, you can burn through a 5 GB data cap in an hour if you’re downloading big video files, and it would be easy to burn through the cap in just a few days if you’re streaming HD video — which, in 2013, is commonplace. And most people’s data plans have far less than 5 GB/month today. (At least they’re cheaper.)
I was hoping Mountain Lion would add some APIs suggesting cellular data considerations, but it didn’t happen. Maybe 10.9 will.
This is really just one example of why OS X needs to become more connection-type-aware. I create a lot of video data in ScreenFlow. Every ounce of data on my computer either flows through Dropbox or Backblaze. With increasingly regularity, I'll head off to the coffee shop not thinking about the fact that, say, Backblaze, is in the middle of a 500 MB upload—or the possibility that someone I'm collaborating with just put 1 GB of video data in a shared Dropbox folder.
"In the old days" when I tethered to a 3G connection, it didn't matter as much. 3G's slowness—not to mention its unlimitedness—prevented me from eating my monthly data allowance in the time it takes to enjoy a cup of cappuccino. My Verizon LTE upload speeds are routinely faster than my home Wi-Fi upload speeds. The damage is usually done before I even think to manually pause syncing.
Not only would I like to see LTE antennas soon included in MacBooks, I'd like to see either Apple or third party developers begin to address this problem by allowing me to prohibit services like Dropbox and Backblaze from running unless I'm on specific networks.
From a recent memo to Yahoo employees announcing CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to ban all remote work:
To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.
Steve Wozniak in iWoz:
Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me— they’re shy and they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone where they can control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don’t believe anything really revolutionary has been invented by committee. If you’re that rare engineer who’s an inventor and also an artist, I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone. You’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you’re working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team.
And finally, Susan Cain in Chapter 3, "When Collaboration Kills Creativity", arguably the most powerful chapter in her entire book, Quiet:
Open-plan offices have been found to reduce productivity and impair memory. They’re associated with high staff turnover. They make people sick, hostile, unmotivated, and insecure. Open-plan workers are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and elevated stress levels and to get the flu; they argue more with their colleagues; they worry about coworkers eavesdropping on their phone calls and spying on their computer screens. They have fewer personal and confidential conversations with colleagues. They’re often subject to loud and uncontrollable noise, which raises heart rates; releases cortisol, the body’s fight-or-flight “stress” hormone; and makes people socially distant, quick to anger, aggressive, and slow to help others.
Susan Cain's book is easily one of the best pieces of non-fiction I've read in the last five years. If you manage people or simply value personal productivity, consider yourself at a competitive disadvantage if you don't at least consider the arguments she presents.
It's where I go through the harsh, but short-lasting process of deleting projects and actions—and the even more stinging process of emailing associated people to tell them I can't do things I previously promised.
It's not a fun review. But if you don't do a prescribed burn every so often, you end up growing really shitty trees.
Silicon Valley is a fantastic documentary covering the birth of American technology entrepreneurialism. Watching the entire thing for free on my iPad seemed especially fitting.
I can't recommend this film enough. It's a look into one of the most important tipping points in American history and the lives of men who sowed virtually all of the seeds that would grow into the technological standard of living we have today.
For me, one of the obvious sub-themes was how critical government spending was to the creation of technologies that would have otherwise had no market because they were unaffordable to 20th century consumers.
I think the defining distinction between the last twenty years of government military spending and the spending that took place in the 20th century is that this recent round seems to have produced no technological side benefits for society.
World War II, the space race, and even the Cold War of the 20th century were all boons for the American economy—intentional or not. Post-1980s military spending has only served to buy a nice, heavy yoke that will likely adorn the middle class's neck for the rest of my working lifetime.
This century, the consumer has clearly replaced the government as the primary client of new technology. The most successful companies seem to be those that cater to the consumer rather than the bureaucracy. I just hope the consumer can keep up.
via Justin Blanton
I have an uncommon-to-most but highly frequent-for-me workflow where I convert PDF slides created from the LaTeX Beamer package to Keynote presentations, which I use in my actuarial education work.
Until about six months ago, I had a tenuous relationship with Evernote. I had a few niche use cases for it—mostly storing reference photos that didn't belong anywhere else. My biggest worry with developing a dependence on Evernote was that, in its early days, there was no practical way to get groups of files back out.
But last year when Evernote added a feature to easily save note attachments (e.g. PDF) to system folders, I decided it was time to start using Evernote as a full-blown mixed-media content management system.
Evernote's cloud-based OCR and fast search were always really attractive features for me, but the "TypeAhead" search in Evernote 5 was game changing for someone (me) who goes to Evernote multiple times a day to retrieve information.
Being able to throw hundreds and hundreds of PDF pages into a single hole, walk away, and have them indexed so that I can get to anything from a single search field is almost too good to be true.
The iOS apps associated with Evernote 5's release deserve as much praise. They are faster than ever and make it extremely practical to get information in and out.
My coworkers and I are also sharing notebooks through Evernote Business. I've never seen a more effective tool for pooling information. It hit me the other day that this is what we were chasing last decade during the wiki craze: a repository of information that users can search quickly. The problem with wikis was that only geeks cared to learn the syntax. Evernote works because putting information in is as easy as getting information out—for everyone.
For what it's worth, I still don't use Evernote for any kind of technical, web, or creative writing. That's all in plain text. Word processing documents, spreadsheets, and other working files still live in Dropbox. My Evernote "objects" tend to be static, mixed-media reference items that would melt away in a conventional file system.
I have no affiliation with Evernote, and they don't sponsor anything I do. I guess I'm just writing this for anyone who might still be on the outside of Evernote looking in. It's worth the dive.
Dan Benjamin's latest podcast, Quit!, wasn't really created for me. At least, I'm pretty sure it wasn't. But that hasn't stopped me from listening to every episode so far.
I was reflecting today on why I listen to this show. I'm not interested in quitting what I do. In fact, I sorta already did that back in September when I left my corporate actuarial position to work full-time on my previously part-time role in online actuarial education.
So in a sense, I guess, I represent what a lot of the listeners of Quit! want to be—someone who had the stones to stop doing something they weren't fully emotionally invested in to do something they were.
But I think the real reason I listen is because I have this insatiable urge to be around people who have any kind of entrepreneurial spirit. Quit! fills a void in my ears. It's a form of entrepreneurial entertainment that doesn't exist, at all, in mainstream American culture.
In 2013, mainstream cable television remains obsessed with archetypal twentieth century careers. How many shows about doctors and lawyers can you fit between the hours of 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM? Maybe it's not a coincidence that two of the most bemoaned and expense-bloated industries of modern America also boast the most romanticized career paths.
Which leads me to an aspect of Quit! that really troubles me. . .
A lot of people who call into the show are 18 to 25, and they sound trapped. Truly trapped. These are people with no kids. They aren't married. They really have no responsibility to anyone but themselves—and they have the voice of a burned-out 45-year-old with four kids, a resetting mortgage on an upside-down home, two car payments, and a deck of maxed-out credit cards.
Why are these people, barely out of childhood, already so afraid of change and so unable to take any kind of risk?
As Cameron Herold said in his 2010 TED Talk, kids just don't grow up around entrepreneurial role models. Instead, they're groomed to conform to traditional career paths. And when they get too close to the electric fence that guards socialized education, they're shocked back inside. Many of the behaviors of highly successful entrepreneurs, even CEOs, are punished in school.
And so when someone, even early in life, gets an itch to do something that doesn't conform to social stereotypes, it's met with a paralyzing mental dissonance. If America was a polytheist society, Risk would surely play a Satanic role.
This is a serious modern economic problem—one that no one seems to be talking about.
For every kid that wants to grow up to be a doctor or lawyer, we really need a thousand kids that want to go out into the world and solve other business and social problems.
I truly believe that job creation will happen naturally as more entrepreneurs enter this century. As I said recently, it's ironic that we're so short on jobs in a time of problem surplus. The boilerplate careers from the last century just aren't solving today's problems, and no amount of government stimulus is going to grow jobs in the infertile soil of last century's fields.
So parents, I guess this is for you:
If you have kids, understand that they are not going to learn to make their own success and their own rules in grade school. They are not going to learn it in college, and they are most certainly not going to learn it in a cubicle. That leaves you. Cameron's talk has some great tips for fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in young kids.
Good luck to you, and God help me and his teachers when my son enters grade school.
As you may have seen Brett Terpstra announce, the latest nvALT beta is out. I sincerely appreciate all of the work David Halter and Brett have put into nvALT, which remains the starting point for virtually everything I write—from meeting notes to blog posts to large writing projects.
If you enjoy nvALT as much as me, I strongly encourage you to follow my lead and click the donate button at the bottom of Brett's nvALT page.
Lately I've been reading a lot about the supposed manipulation of Apple's stock price leading up to its Q1 2013 earnings call. I've also seen the theory that markets are interpreting Apple's cut of component orders as weak iPhone 5 demand.
The fact that there's so much chatter on otherwise technology-related sites leads me to believe that a lot of Apple customers have become Apple investors. I've written before about why I think this can be a very bad idea. But that aside, I thought I would attempt to debunk the stock manipulation theory a bit and, along the way, do a little Stock Options 101.
Before I offer an alternative explanation, let's review what a call option is by example:
- Johnny thinks AAPL is going to rise above $500 in a month
- Billy isn't so bullish on AAPL and wants to make a little money right now off of Johnny
- Billy sells Johnny a call option with a strike price of $500
- If AAPL is higher than $500 in a month, Johnny gets to purchase AAPL from Billy for only $500; Johnny can then immediately sell AAPL at its actual market value and pocket the difference
- If AAPL is less than $500 in a month, nothing happens, and Billy keeps the AAPL stock
- In either event, Billy gets to keep the money Johnny paid for the call option (the premium)
Johnny is willing to risk the cost of the call for the possibility of making a gain in the future, while Billy is willing to risk losing out on future gain for the immediate gratification of receiving the call price.
Suppose Billy isn't like you and me. Suppose Billy is a ruthless manager of a massive hedge fund. And suppose Billy has written (sold) a lot of call options with a $500 strike. If Billy could figure out a way to make the price of AAPL go below $500, Billy would be assured not only of making a profit (the income from the call options he sold), but he would also be poised to reap any rewards of a price rebound after the call expiration date.
This is the call-option-stock-price-manipulation theory in a nutshell. Is it possible? In theory, yes. Very large investors, by virtue of controlling such a large share of the total market, can manipulate the price of stocks by buying and selling them in huge quantities.
A very entertaining example of such manipulation was carried out by Russell Crowe's character, a London-based bond trader, in the movie A Good Year.
However, such shenanigans are typically only possible over very short periods of time. Markets (or rather, the other big boys) get wise quickly and collapse the gaps. Moreover, such manipulations will probably only move the price slightly, but razor thin movements can translate into million-dollar gains for high volume traders.
Million dollar masochists
If anything is manipulating Apple's share price by way of option trading, simple Econ 101 forces are the most likely culprit. Maximum Pain Theory (MPT), defined by Investopedia, is one possibility:
. . . most traders who buy and hold options contracts until expiration will lose money. According to the theory, this is due to the tendency for the price of a underlying stock to gravitate towards its "maximum pain strike price" - the price where the greatest number of options (in dollar value) will expire worthless.
There are different views as to why MPT occurs, and there are certainly those that don't even believe it's real. But the tendency of stock prices to move toward "high interest" strike prices is too evident in empirical data to ignore.
One explanation for MPT stems from the simple supply and demand forces around call and put options. Puts are, in a sense, the opposite of calls. If an investor buys an AAPL put at a $500 strike, they're purchasing the option to sell AAPL for no less than $500. A put buyer clearly believes the price of a stock will fall below the strike.
Calls, puts, and the underlying stocks on which they are written are inextricably linked in liquid trading markets. Direct investors in stocks use option activity to gauge investor sentiment about the future. Think of them as financial weather forecasts. If calls are in high demand, that means a lot of people think the stock will rise. The opposite is true if put demand is high. And clearly, as the price of a stock moves up and down, so too does the value of call and put options. It's a big ole circle of pain.
Further complicating the path to an option expiration date is the fact that options can be bought and sold themselves. The prices of calls and puts change right up to their expiration dates as more information becomes available and as investors place their respective bets.
If a stock price is well above the strike ("in-the-money" as they say), call holders are likely to sell their positions and cash out. If, on the other hand, the stock price is well below the strike, put holders will take their profits. This selling pressure from both sides will push the stock price itself toward the strike.
Clearly, the closer to the strike the final stock price, the less money put and call holders will make—this is the tendency toward maximum pain. The empirical fact that few people actually make money on long options supports this.
Of course, the sellers don't lose money. As in the example above, they keep the option premium.
The most important part of this post
If the above is confusing, or if you had to read it two or three times and still don't get it, or if you think that MPT is "unfair," you really don't have any business investing in individual stocks. I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm just saying you're better at making money doing things other than playing stocks.
The examples above are as vanilla as it gets on Wall Street. Calls and puts aren't simple concepts, but they are as trivial as learning to count to ten in the world of high finance.
Whether true stock price manipulation is at play or not, there's not much chance you're going to beat the people who do this kind thing for a living. Would you enter a surfing contest where your opponents were not only better at surfing but could also create and calm the very waves on which you're competing?
If you love Apple, buy Apple, not AAPL. Use the technology to get paid for making things yourself.
I joined Rob Agcaoili and Gabe Weatherhead on episode 17 of Generational to talk about some GTD basics: defining tasks and projects. We wanted to make this a sort of "GTD for real people" chat. But the more I think about it, the less I'm sure I represent real people. I'm glad Gabe and Rob were there.
From Steven Greenhouse's recent piece in The New York Times:
“Some people think it’s a law that when productivity goes up, everybody benefits,” says Erik Brynjolfsson, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “There is no economic law that says technological progress has to benefit everybody or even most people. It’s possible that productivity can go up and the economic pie gets bigger, but the majority of people don’t share in that gain.”
This sums up one plausible dystopian scenario I see for this century. While I want to believe technology will enable individual economic prosperity by enabling individuals to do things that were previously difficult or impossible to do on their own, I wonder how many individuals we have left.
Ours is a society raised on entitlements. Not just governments, but large companies have become paternalistic entities—deities almost. "Society" has become a kind of endowed insurance through which we transfer the risk of all individual failure at the cost of all individual gain.
In truth, you are entitled to nothing. It really wasn't that long ago on the timescale of humanity that hunger ruled the day. Literal hunger. Survival was an individual's sole responsibility to himself—and to those in his immediate circle of care. Members of groups had well-defined roles, and they acted out those roles with a clear purpose: to solve the problem of survival today so that they may solve it again tomorrow.
Now things are ominously opposite. We think work should just exist for the sake of getting paid. We think that a job should "be there" for someone who followed steps one, two, and three.
The connection between work and problem solving seems to be all but completely severed. Perhaps the greatest folly of our time is the apparent absence of work in an era when so many problems exist.
The purest form of problem solving starts with individual curiosity. For those that still have that daily hunger, technology will be an accelerant for prosperity. The future is less bright for those that have lost the fire to help themselves.
At the start of each day, I’ve been writing down three to five goals that I want to accomplish that day. I’m using Day One since it’s with me everywhere, but you could just as easily use a sticky note.
A few times a day, I look at the list and ask, “Am I working toward at least one of the items?”
I’m quite sure this isn’t a novel concept, but I’ve been having great results with it lately. It’s not a replacement for OmniFocus or any other project-planning system either. The goals on the list usually originate from my OmniFocus perspectives at the start of the day, and they aren’t of the “next action” nature. They’re simply destinations I want to reach by the end of the day.
I’ve been surprised at how much more focused I feel using this simple approach than working out of OmniFocus perspectives. Here’s what I think is happening:
Working out of perspectives can, at times, feel like smushing ants with my thumb. There’s always another task waiting to appear. A shrinking list is more visually satisfying.
My daily list spans all of my perspectives and contexts. “Run three miles” isn’t likely to appear in the same OmniFocus perspective as “Make screencast on mortgage-backed security interest rate risk”. A simple goal list shows what I care about doing, not where I need to be.
A short goal list is realistic with respect to time. There’s only so much time in the day, and if I can knock out even two or three quality goals a day, that’s a good day.
It encourages honesty with myself. I’m much more likely to put things on my daily goal list that truly matter. It’s hard to physically write down things that I don’t care about.
It makes every day count. Building a daily goal list helps me squeeze more out of days when deadlines are distant. It’s as if I’m making the day itself a de facto deadline for getting the goals done.
Perhaps best of all, it can be reviewed at the end of the day retrospectively. My biggest complaint with most GTD systems is that they are heavily biased toward prospective reviewing. Little emphasis is placed on where you’ve been and what you did. Sometimes, to me, GTD feels like a car with no rearview mirrors.
I think if you try tracking simple goals for even a few days, you will begin to notice previously hidden patterns in your behavior. If you routinely reach the end of the day without doing the things you wanted to do at the beginning of the day, the way you work isn’t working.
It may not even be your fault. It could be your work environment. But whatever the cause, getting sidetracked from goals is an awful kind of stress for people who care about getting the right things done. It’s a problem well worth fixing.
I use the Mac, iPhone, and iPad versions, which all sync via iCloud. Day One is a beautiful app, and it supports Markdown, which is pretty much all I think in these days. ↩
This country needs to develop a better understanding of the complexities of various conditions and respect for the profound individuality of its children. We need to emphasize that being introverted doesn’t mean one has a developmental disorder, that a developmental disorder is not the same thing as a mental illness, and that most mental illnesses do not increase a person’s tendency toward outward-directed violence.
As I said yesterday, read Susan Cain’s book Quiet. Here in the west, we’re roughly a hundred years into a romance with extroversion. The economic and social virtues of introversion, even autism, are only now audible for a society that’s been too loquacious to care since the late 19th century.
But the world is changing. Today, we desperately need people who not only want to turn away from stimulation to think deeply about problems, but have an innate passion to do so. We need noise-cancelers, not more noise.
As any species’ environment changes, certain genetic attributes can shift from liability to asset. That’s even true of autism, though the typical workplace—filled with incessant distractions and attention-needy coworkers—poses a significant barrier:
[The] emerging understanding of autism may change attitudes toward autistic workers. But intelligence, even superior intelligence, isn’t enough to get or keep a job. Modern office culture — with its unwritten rules of behavior, its fluid and socially demanding work spaces — can be hostile territory for autistic people, who do better in predictable environments and who tend to be clumsy at shaping their priorities around other people’s requirements.
Even though digital technology has led to significant productivity increases, the modern workday seems custom-built to destroy individual focus. Open-plan offices and an emphasis on collaborative work leave workers with little insulation from colleagues' chatter. A ceaseless tide of meetings and internal emails means that workers increasingly scramble to get their "real work" done on the margins, early in the morning or late in the evening.
Forced collaboration is arguably the most celebrated-on-paper but degenerative-in-practice organizational scheme to date. Read Susan Cain's book Quiet to understand why.
This morning was hard. A lot harder than Friday. Maybe it was the noticeable look of grief on the faces of other parents as I walked into my son’s day care. Maybe it was his teacher telling me that they’re going to start locking the classroom doors from now on.
Maybe it was how I suddenly became aware of this invisible but intensely palpable collective grief, fear, and sadness being felt by a million other parents at that very moment in time as they dropped their kids off at school.
This is the part of parenting they don’t tell you about. And they shouldn’t.
It was almost too perfect hearing John Lennon on the radio as I drove away from my son this morning:
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
It is, but line four is the one to hang on. As are your memories. No terrorist can rob you of those. Act today in a way that creates as many positive experiences as you can.