Category Archives: Knowledge

Smart Words from my Therapist

Water is water even if it’s in Lake Michigan or a glass on your desk.  There’s a crap load of it in Lake Michigan and only a small amount in the cup, but it’s still all water and a sip of it is still going to taste the same in your mouth.

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Is This What’s Really Going On? Notes from Therapy

I screwed up some scheduling and it’s driving me crazy.  It didn’t matter in the slightest – God love me some absentminded economists – but it makes me feel like a screw-up, out of control of everything, second- and third- and forth-guessing myself.

I hate myself for it.

I hate myself for it.

That is depression. Depression is your toughest critic, your meanest boss, your cattiest friend.  In short, depression is an asshole

I know perfectly well it’s depression and yet?  Still can’t make it go away.   So instead I spent an hour reality-checking with my therapist.  Working through the steps of telling my depression to fuck itself; to focus on that everything was fine; to come up with new shiny successful tasks; to second-guess my emotions, not myself.

My new motto for the week is “is that what’s really going on?”

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I think I liked it better when the motto was “is it really snowing again?!?!?”

Things you learn you can never unlearn

A couple of years ago I worked for a famous economist (yes I did go with the funniest picture I could find of him).  His big thing was education and labor market returns, e.g. making money and having a good job.  His work focused on what you learn in nursery school, soft skills like perseverance and self-motivation, and how they doom you forever if you don’t have them.

So of course, whenever I procrastinate or have problems keeping the locomotive of my life chugging along, I immediately think of my soft skills.  Would things be better in my life if I had wiggled less in kindergarten or stuck with the song flute?  Did I somehow fuck up my life when I was four? No pressure there.

There are psych studies showing that your soft skill bank can be spent out – make you wait patiently in a room for 20 minutes and you’ll have less ability to resist the cookies afterwards.

This is a long way of saying that I’ve been feeling a little lacking in the umph-skills category right now.  I’m so excited about a few new opportunities (and sad about some bad news) that I can’t seem to focus on the day-to-day, even the fun stuff like blogging.

Ironically, I have always craved being that person who had the little minutia all tied up, never behind on anything with a clean in-box and clear conscious.  And I am so not that person as much as I refuse to accept it. Today, though, I’m going to blame it on my nursery school teacher and try to move on.

Things I’ve been reading – worth using a few of your New York Times free articles on

The Freedom and Perils of Living Alone I think I’ll need to be with someone who has lived alone. We can commiserate and help each other resocialize.  Feral people living alone?  I like it!  How much of our co-habitating behavior is socialization, how much is performative?  One big takeaway – marketing needs to focus on the one-person household, not just the traditional female HH shopping model.

How Companies Learn Your Secrets “But even if you’re following the law, you can do things where people get queasy.”  Take away lesson, quant is creepy!  Actually, I found the pushback to this article really interesting – it’s clear that most people aren’t aware of how much data is collected on them every single bit of every single day and how much effort is spent trying to manipulate their behavior.   Also of interest, how much of the article was on using the same science to hack your own behavior – in that way it’s almost a little bit of an advertisment for the writer’s book (speaking of incentivizing behavior).