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Life Lately

May 19, 2017
AUTHOR: Emilie
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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Isn’t in interesting how sometimes we do things in phases?

If you’ve been following me on my personal twitter for any amount of time, you’ll know that for about 16 months I was obsessed with the concept of #Inbox Zero. In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s the idea that you have no emails left to read or, my issue, “handle.” I’m great at reading emails as they come in but addressing them, whether it’s responding, forwarding, or doing whatever is being asked of me, I’m not very good at anymore.

In the same vein, my Pocket has started filling up again. If you’re unfamiliar, Pocket is an app that stores articles to be read offline. I used to read Pocket articles while standing in line at the grocery store and between things. I was always obsessed with getting down to zero at least at the end of the week. That hasn’t happened lately.

Reading blogs is always something I used to do daily. It’s definitely not something that happens daily anymore. In fact, now I have probably 20 blogs that I keep a daily pulse on, but the rest get read through in a bulk-sesh once per week. Anything that doesn’t get read withint a couple of days of being published is unfortunately just “Marked as Read” because keeping up would be impossible.

The current phase of life I’m in has prioritized other things over responding to all my emails, reading the articles I’ve stored in Pocket, or reading blogs. These priorities are the house, freelancing, coding, getting to the gym, and doing the other things I need to do for me, for my household, for my family.

Nonetheless, I’ve been reading some cool things lately. Here are some I thought I’d share.

Erica recently wrote “How Much Do You Pay Your Babysitter?” As I commented on that post,

I am the resident babysitter for most of the families at my gym and their immediate circle. I have about 30 families who use me as their first phone call whenever they need a sitter and I love all their kiddos. I usually babysit two or three times per week for a total of 20ish hours.

I charge $12/hour for families at the gym (3 kids or less, $15 otherwise) and $15/hour otherwise. Part of the reason I’m a real stickler about my prices is that I don’t charge families with a deployed parent. In some ways, that means that the parent who is going out on a date night is subsidizing the mama who just needs to go out for a girls night. Maybe that’s unfair to some families, but it is something I feel *very* strongly about.

I don’t say this to brag or because I want praise. I say this because sometimes it’s okay to pay a little more and/or get less of a “good deal” when your money is going somewhere worthwhile.

I am obsessed with this new grocery app. Casey and I share one grocery list that we’ve named “Grocery”. Now I just say to Siri “Add eggs to the grocery list” and eggs are added. No need to open the app or coordinate who added what where and whether something got written down. It’s one list that we both can live-update. It’s easy to update because I always have my phone; I can add to it whenever I finish something or as I am planning. I’m a big Siri user any way, so this is really just icing on the cake. Best part: I now always have the most up-to-date grocery list with me. If I find myself near Aldi’s (my go-to grocery shop), I can knock just a couple of things off my list.

Maybe grocery apps are super boring, but I love knowing that we can finally be comprehenseive about adding things to our list. I hate going grocery shopping and then trying to remember if I checked the eggs/milk/breads. Also, I think Casey has added beer like four times.


Have you ever had that thought about that thing that you’re just not good at? Clearing your mental cache, as Ben Orenstein writes, can free you up for more growth in new areas you hadn’t considered before. As he writes,

This experience has made me wonder what else I recorded in my brain long ago that no longer applies. What a waste to go through life with negative self-assumptions that aren’t even true anymore.

I wonder what skills I have that I told myself I didn’t have.


One of the (few) downfalls I’ve stumbled upon from working remotely has been the lack of opportunities for paired programming. Sure, this is in large part because I’m the most senior technical member of my team but it’s also because people don’t like to pair virtually if they don’t know how to do it. In order to improve as a programmer, you need to be pairing with more senior folks. Just another professional challenge to address.

In case you didn’t know, I’m working my way through Learn Python the Hard Way. You can see some of the code in my Python repository on GitHub. It’s a great place, but I definitely don’t suggest starting with it. If you’d like to learn how to code and want to know where to start, I suggest trying One Month’s HTML/CSS course. There is one starting on Monday!

I have tooooons of blog posts to write. I have a couple of cool new books to review (ICYMI: Review of Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry) and the next installment of my 168 Hours Series. I have allocated my time to coding lately, which is great (and related to my focus on my career/professional things this month), but I hate that I sometimes feel like I’m not giving his space, you, your attention, which I’m so grateful for, the love and gratitude it deserves. Thank you for being here and for consistently coming back.

Update: After writing this post, I decided I wanted to catch up on my email, blog reading, and Pocket articles but one at a a time. In the next seven days, I WILL hit Inbox Zero! (Maybe?)

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