Fail, Furlough, Fall, and other F words

November 2020: Notes in the Margins

November was sponsored by the letter F.

Kind of like on Sesame Street…but not quite the same.

FAIL - While I won't minimize the fact that ultimately the right person is going to take office in the US in January, I still consider the 2020 election a giant FAIL.

That this election was this close or even up for debate, makes me sad. Even when our better angels (…and I mean Stacy Abrams) come through and make good things happen, it is disgusting to sit in limbo while waiting to find out if that man could win again. That he…a walking emblem of racism, corruption, and pussy grabbing…could win more popular votes than any LOSING president in history says everything we need to know about the fundamental health of our nation. We are sick. We have failed.

And still…I believe that good will prevail…in the long run. And after doing a shit ton of damage…mostly to the already marginalized. I will still fight for good.

FURLOUGH - Covid is the regifted gift that just keeps finding it's way back in your house. And November included having to do furloughs. I won't say much here…except…as a leader, it should always break your heart to take these actions. You should shed tears. You should lose sleep. You should miss meals. And it should be awkward and terrible to deliver this kind of news.

When it stops being hard, close your laptop, pick up your shit, and leave. You aren't the right leader anymore.

FALL- And just so that we don't forget that time keeps moving us forward, no matter what happens, the leaves turned and the temperatures dropped. Fall came to Berlin and, my god is it beautiful. A city where 46% of the entire space is green or water, you can imagine the beauty that comes with the change of seasons.

For me it signals even more. An opportunity to slow down into the holidays. To reflect. To dream. To read the last 6 books to finish my Goodreads challenge just under the wire! :) And though we are in lockdown again, to have little safe moments of fellowship and fun with friends across brunch or dinner tables in our homes.

I will be Thankful…damn it. If it's the last thing I do. :)

Other notable things in November:

  • Brunch with Rosa Weselek. Well…her parents and baby brother were also there. But let's be honest. Rosa and I were pretty sure it was just the two of us. I took her Unicorns. She showed me her backyard with its amazing sandbox and "borrowed” wheelbarrow. Her sweet little blue eyes are magic and a balm for too much time in lockdown.

  • 3 Sundays of Poetry with David Whyte. He is my hero and my crush. I swear I'd be happy to have him read me a box of cereal, but instead he gets all in my (and Tanya's) business and makes me think about identity and friendship with myself and my vocation. Cannot wait until January. (If you want to experience this magic, he's doing a special Christmas event for $25. Sign up at

  • Asian Tapas (that's a thing?) with Bjorn in Klarna's cafeteria. I'm pretty sure I earned a private tour and a couple of Klarna's beers given how much attention I put into that damn building and that sweet team.

  • Tourlane closed a $20M funding round from investors. Again…won't say too much here, but it is filled with relief and pride that we can survive this crazy crisis and build a product that will be loved by our customers all over the world.

  • Dinner with Andrew & Millie…two of the sweetest and funniest people a girl could count among her friends. What a blessing!

  • Rob Bell's writing class was extra fun. That is a man who only knows how to bring joy. So much so that sometimes, his sunshine is too bright for my gloom. And yet, I keep going back. He is the only pastor I want…even if he doesn't claim the title anymore.

  • And I read a few books…though they all seemed quite serious and technical:

    • The Pragmatic Programmer by David Thomas

    • Tribe: On Homecoming & Belonging by Sebastian Junger

    • Systems Thinking Basics by Virginia Anderson

    • The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge

    My favorite of the 4 was The Fifth Discipline. It is all about building a learning environment at your company. It gave me a lot to think about and reminded me of things I've known and perhaps put aside.

One more month of this crazy year. I'm not fooling myself that on New Years Day we will all wake up in a different situation. But I do believe we need a fresh start. I'll see you at the end of the year. Until then, be safe and loved.