Happy birthday to...
"Happy birthday to ya'..." - Stevie Wonder
The five:
  1. We learn as children that there’s no such thing as “can’t”, and then as adults, we start using the phrase all the time. Why? Also, why do we keep asking each other “what do you do?”  
  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not to have children. it’s an agonizing decision. Here are five mental models to remove some the confusion around parenting. There’s also this from The New York Times on how the cost of motherhood is heading North and tripping up young women, and then there’s an entire book on why having kids is worth it. As a Generation Y’er (or Millennial, or whatever we’re calling my generation these days), I found this exploration of why Gen Y yuppies are unhappy 💰very revealing. Meanwhile, Lifehacker has a guide for just about every stage of your financial life: the 20s-30’s, 30s-40s, 50s-60s, retirement. If you want to go the entrepreneurial route, here’s what you might be able to learn from fitness about how to be a better entrepreneur.  
  3. Were you a big fan of the low-carb diet like I’ve been. Well, there’s apparently new evidence that it will shorten your lifespan. Speaking of shortening things, here’s a great tweet storm on how to identify a marriage that’s destined to go off the rails. Speaking of marriage, how did it become so hard? Here’s NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast with an answer. While we’re talking about the brain, here’s how to leverage prior knowledge to enhance learning.  
  4. This is one of my favorite leadership principles. 💰And here’s my new favorite podcast from Bob Sutton and Huggy Rao at Stanford. It’s called Friction, and it’s all about the nature of organizational friction and how to remove the sources (my personal favorite episode is on the toll of micro-management). Here’s why neither rewards nor punishment are better than the other. 💰 And here are three time-management tips from James Clear. Long email delays are the worst; here’s how to navigate them, and here’s how to be more engaged at work. That being said, beware self-help. Austin Kleon has two pieces on self-help: one making the case for why the term is an oxymoron, and the other outlining his five thoughts on self-help
  5. Oh, to see the world like Vincent Bal. Also, take another look at the color gray. But, as we see the world as tourists, we’re taking a toll on the places we love. That being said, life is short (and that’s the point) 💰, so it’s important we find an ecologically friendly way of getting out and seeing the world. 
💰 = Paywall, though please do consider paying to read what people write. Writers like to eat too. (Apologies if I miss one…) 

How to have a great birthday 🎂
This week is my birthday week. Once upon a time, I used to have big birthday bashes (and I do miss those). But nowadays, as I get older and become more penurious, I am holding back on big birthday celebrations. Instead, I either spend the day alone or with a couple of close friends.  

This year, I had the privilege of spending a day with my sibling. He’s my hero, so it’s the best birthday present ever to spend a day with your hero. I also got to see a number of good friends on different days of the week and reconnect with others. It was a marvelous way to spend my birthday day and birthday week overall.  

I also took a break from my regular routine (thus the newsletter being late this week, and the essay being particularly short). Instead of packing Saturday with my usual course work, laundry and newsletter writing, I took a nap, got my nails done and ate sugary, fatty, meaty, delicious foods I never indulge in.  

I’m paying the price in the form of a sugar-hangover-meat-sweats combo today, but it was worth it to take a day or two to enjoy the foods I love, and also be mindful the day after of why I don’t indulge in those foods on a regular basis. Sometimes, it’s worth breaking the rules in order to be able to remember why you hold to them in the first place. For some people, this is the kiss of death to being able to uphold a routine. So, it all depends on knowing yourself and being cognizant of how resilient you are in your routine.  

So, here’s to breaking routines, time with friends and family, and beautiful birthdays.  
Thank you a million times...
Thank you so much to my long-time donor Natalya Pemberton! Natalya is a culture and design enthusiast learning Sustainable Systems at the innovative Presidio Graduate School.

She has generously supported E is for Everything on Patreon. Please jump on through to learn more about both them and their projects.
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...to me.
Emi Kolawole · E is for Everything HQ · Palo Alto California 94306 · USA
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