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The Mystery of Leadership: On Kingdomtide, The Secret Life of Bees, and Becoming a Curious Expert

kingdomtide and bees
Kingdomtide, by Rye Curtis & The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

If anyone can be a leader, are all leaders experts?

Crazy times, huh? When you don’t encounter as many people in day-to-day life as you used to, you tend to think a bit more. I’m generally more of a pensive person – happy to observe the intricacies and tendrils of life unfolding – but since about mid-March, this pensive side has gone into high gear. Well, in one sense. There is a lot more time to “think.” What’s missing from my “I’m happy to watch” perch is, well, there’s nothing to watch. I can watch my husband and two teenagers, but that could get a little creepy. I watch the dog; she likes it. I go out for daily runs, but there’s not a lot of action out there, folks. So something that I now find interesting to watch is Twitter. Not in a mindless, scroll-yourself-silly kind of way – I try really hard to curb mindless social media scrolling – but, again, in an observational sort of way. Our tangible interactions with others are curbed, so we’re looking for leadership and engagement in different places. Maybe we’re seeking “expertise” too. Well, Twitter’s the place for those who have it – and those who think they do.

Continue reading “The Mystery of Leadership: On Kingdomtide, The Secret Life of Bees, and Becoming a Curious Expert”

Just for Women! (?) On Olive, Again; Unless & “Domestic Fiction”

Copy of stone diaries body papers
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout and Unless, by Carol Shields

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in a Starbucks trying to get some work done when I overheard a man and woman talking about Little Women…presumably about the new film adaptation and its Oscar buzz. The woman was trying to explain “what” Little Women is – as in what it’s about – and was struggling a bit. “Well, it’s about four sisters…” To be fair, even if using the most straightforward way to describe the plot, it sounds a little homespun and maybe even boring: “Little Women follows four sisters as they grow up during the Civil War in the Transcendentalist hotbed Concord, Massachusetts.” And? So after the woman trailed off with the “four sisters” bit, the man replied, “But is it for men?”

No, sir, I’m sorry. Men not allowed. (Sheesh.) Continue reading “Just for Women! (?) On Olive, Again; Unless & “Domestic Fiction””

Music to My Eyes: A Lifely Read Wrapped 2019 (aka My Top Books of the Year)

2019 A Lifely Read WrappedI love to read (obviously), but I also love to listen to music. I’m a Spotify user, and something the Swedish company does toward the end of every year is provide Premium users (fancy!) a graphically appealing “snapshot” of their year via music. Therefore, early December brings a flurry of people sharing factoids about their listening habits.

Spotify tells me that I spent 42 hours in 2019 listening to R.E.M. alone. Apparently I listened to 235 new artists this year and really “vibed with” Dan + Shay. (Huh? Really?)

What I also realized is that our family has held a premium membership since 2015 (Dad, happy to have you be the 5th user), and that 2018 was actually the year that I listened to Spotify the most (74,000+ minutes).

Stats like those are fun because of the presentation and the teasing out of what could just be another boring “best of” or “my favorites” list. Sometimes there’s something a little funny that maybe you didn’t realize about yourself and your preferences – like the fact that I apparently enjoy listening to country – that jumps out from Spotify’s vibrant graphics to tell you: Stop boxing yourself in. Continue reading “Music to My Eyes: A Lifely Read Wrapped 2019 (aka My Top Books of the Year)”