Edition 58: A reflection







Out. Then in.

I am still tired. 

However, my partner is an amazing human being and made us a new logo, and kept my love of yellow and orange at bay. 

Other than that, it’s been a year. I am writing this straight, making it more a letter to you, though you’re probably (hopefully) out of office and not thinking about leadership right now.  


Let’s start with the breathing out. 

From Rupi Kaur, a poet I found and fell in love with this year (You can see her lovely illustration with this on her Insta):

when they buried me alive
i dug my way
out of the ground
with palm and fist
i howled so loud
the earth rose in fear and
the dirt began to levitate
my whole life has been an uprising
one burial after another

It has been an amazing rewarding, and difficult, year for me. I would not change my choices, but I did not anticipate so much of what actually happened. And the thing is, no one can. You just can’t know anymore, but you have to surf even though there are days you can barely stand.  

This year, I learned:

  • The power of my own words, and why sometimes it’s better to stay silent, process and speak when I’m fully digested.
  • Support does not have to come from directly around you. It’s the 6 pm calls from your friends to talk over your weeks and deliberating whether you screwed up or not. Those matter as much as programs and certificates do.
  • Acts of kindness are a practice. They might not be received well. Recipients might be ungrateful. It is the act that is nourishing.
  • Part of leadership is being a sponge, and taking it all in. The trick is to figure out when and how of dispose of everything so you can absorb more. Otherwise the weight will kill you.
  • I need to drink more water. I am always dehydrated. Hydrating and feeding oneself is an accomplishment.


I did not write a Neiman prediction this year. I debated, and thought about it, but I have more worries than optimism. 

But I try to view each year as something new. I get a new notebook, (an A5 this time!), a new pen maybe, and I set new goals. I find a theme for the year. Last year’s was power. 

In these last two weeks of the year, focus on the out, so you can get ready for the in. Try to get back to null, while things are allegedly slow, so you can test the scales next year. Let go of whatever it was that you’ve been holding on to. It’s less about starting fresh, but taking a step forward. Everything that has been pushed out can stay out. Choose carefully what comes back in. 



I have been pretty obsessed with this Farmville+Sims-type game, Stardew Valley

I had been playing the Harry Potter/Pokemon Go game, but this is so much more relaxing and fun. Plus, it’s made by an indie developer.


Reading // Highlighting // Subscribing // Eating

Reading //
Shadow and Bone, the most recent of my strong-women-centered fantasy obsession. Apparently it’s going to be a Netflix series?

Three sentences I highlighted this month //
(concept inspired by this great newsletter)

If you listened to our concerns, we wouldn’t have had to yell for your attention.

People don’t have to understand your boundaries for you to be allowed to enforce them.

Ideas are like rose bushes: they need to be consistently pruned and trimmed down. 

Downloading //
I was once a huge fan of Spark. It was really great at sorting my email and it had a calendar. However, it’s a bit bloated and there have been privacy concerns. 

I’m now testing TwoBird, which is from the Notability folks. It also prioritizes your email, and also tidies up by archiving all those newsletters you haven’t read. 

Eating //
I made this delicious Thai-inspired meatball soup and my husband demanded it get in the rotation. My edit of the NYTimes recipe includes panko and an egg so the meatballs don’t fall apart. We ate ours with bean thread noodles.


Jobs jobs jobs

I do this to learn out loud and share with others. I don’t get paid for it, but I will take a free coffee if you’d like to buy me one.