I suppose it’s natural that as we get older, our age-mates start to die. It was a shock, this week, though, that a woman whose voice underlined the pain and depression of my college years would pass. When someone who shares your birth year dies, and especially someone who’s achieved such a level of public recognition in the same span as you’ve been given, it gives you pause.
Oddly, at about the same time as that news came out, other news, about studies showing how our standard work week is killing us, was also released. Then I stumbled across an opinion piece on capitalism and the human inclination toward conformity. My think-reading week was capped by a fictional representation of being a woman and working in the tech industry. Somehow the intersection of all these pieces put me in a mindset to poke at my own sense of imposter syndrome. (Am I really a leader in my organization? Do I do enough to foster the skills and talents in the people I’m committed to supporting?)
The third point of my thought triangle of the week was the “backlash” against the #metoo movement. On the one-year anniversary of the first women’s march, there was a second, just as big. While on the one hand, it seems there is some power to being female at the moment, there are still hurdles for all of us to overcome. It feels particularly important to note that the pernicious myth of the “self-made man”–who never had a parent, or a teacher, or a society of any kind influence his work or support his achievements–has deep roots in American lore. Americans’ vaunted individualism, as pointed out by the writer on capitalism above, is significantly undermined by the hormones and cognitive biases that form humans’ biology and pushes us to conform–to gender norms, to expectations, and to beliefs.
So rather than do anything productive this weekend, I wallowed in scifi. There was an interesting article on space.com earlier this week that said astronomers are finding that our solar system is unusual because it has planets of such varied sizes. It put me in the mood for gonzo space opera. Jen Foehner Wells delivered in spades with her 4th installment in the Confluence series. I loved how she wove in timely cultural references in the vein of “meanwhile, back on Earth” with wildly imaginative descriptions of alien races and cultures. I’m back to thinking about my own space opera stories, and have ideas bubbling.
On the other hand, I STILL need to finish edits on my Red Slaves books. I did at least approve the final recording corrections for the novella in that series on Friday. It will be the first audiobook version of one of my stories, so I keep anxiously looking for links as an indication that it has gone live. I’m not sure how long the final compilation and release process takes for audiobooks, though one spot at Findaway Voices (the vendor helping me make this happen) indicated some places can take as long as a month to post new audiobooks. We’ll see how well I manage my impatience, but I can promise I will be sharing links just as soon as I have them.
As for my other goals? We didn’t start with yoga this week. I was lucky enough to get home before 10 most nights given projects that required my presence at the office until late. My phone says I averaged 3,666 steps per day, up from last week, but also reflecting the long hours at the day job. We did at least increase our meditations. Date night was keeping up with Star Trek: Discovery, and discussing the splash of that SPOILER.
This week should be slightly less intense on the day job front, though there remains all the work I couldn’t face doing this weekend. I’ll be taking baby steps forward and keeping an eye out for my ROW80 buddies.