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Enjoy the long weekend! (& Friday Links)

It’s Memorial Day weekend—which besides being the unofficial start to summer is a time for us to think about those who sacrificed their lives in the name of our country. It’s easy (for me) to feel fraught at displays of patriotism lately, but my anger at this administration should not mean they get to lay claim on that. So I found myself looking for some fresh inspiration, and found this list, “17 Memorial Day Quotes to Honor Our Nation’s Soldiers.

Some favorites:

“Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” – Charles de Gaulle

“I love America more than any other country in the world, and exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” – James A. Baldwin

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain

“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America.” – William J. Clinton

It was just what I needed to read.

Thank you to those who gave their lives in service and to the families and friends who miss them.

Here are some more links of note, along with some favorite picks from the holiday sales (another hallmark of Memorial Day weekend, right?)…

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Thinking About: How do you prioritize? AKA Do you answer your email?

When it comes to email, I am drowning. The ideal of “Inbox-Zero” gave way a long time ago to archive-everything. This was not intentional. I use the flags and the stars, I bulk delete unread messages in those less important “promotions” tabs, and I do my best to reply quickly to quick notes rather than read things twice. I always reply to personal contacts—if not always as quickly as I’d like—and try to reply to every reader question, but when it comes to ill-suited PR pitches and “would you share this?”-queries, I often hit delete. I used to take the time to say “thank you, but no,” but at some point, I realized that a lot of the emails were from businesses who send out queries en masse and I just started deleting those outright. They always follow up anyway.

Still, it feels rude to do this, and consequently I resent the intrusion into my headspace.

So when I read KJ Dell’Antonia’s opinion-piece for The New York Times this past January, “Why I Didn’t Answer Your Email: Because my inbox will always be waiting for me, but my children will not,” I found myself nodding along in recognition. She describes how she repeatedly sits down with the intention to reply to an email, only to be interrupted by more pressing matters—like her children or her work. And yet, that unanswered email is always on her mind:

“Instead, I hovered somewhere between mindful presence in the bedtime moment and awareness of your email and many others. I spend a lot of time in that gap, sometimes drafting mental responses to emails, which I am later surprised and dismayed to find I have not actually sent.”

She doesn’t say it outright, but I kept thinking about the decision fatigue that mounts throughout the day, all of those mental tabs kept open.

In fact, the article so resonated at the time that it even made me feel a little guilty: how often had I made the wrong choice and responded to a stranger when my child was waiting for my attention? My thought echoed in her allusions to parenting the very young: “I think that I would have answered your email if you had sent it earlier, by which I mean several years earlier, when these children were smaller and their conversation more repetitive.”

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Do you know your Enneagram number?

personality test enneagram

“What number are you?” I can wager that many of us have been asked that lately—with other parents during a play date, on a Saturday morning workout with a girlfriend, or maybe at a meeting of a book club. Just this weekend, in fact, on a girls’ trip to North Carolina, three of us found ourselves pulling out our phones to take the quiz. I knew I’d taken it before but I couldn’t recall the results.

A bit like CBD and Salt straps, Enneagram numbers are everywhere, promising to help us to better understand ourselves, our relationships—even our parenting styles.

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