Friday miscellany: Portland, Patreon, virtual talks…

It has been a week. I made it back home from my first business trip in ages last night. I went to Portland, Maine, which was lovely — such a cute water front town. I ate at one of The Holy Donut shops near my hotel, and quite enjoyed the experience. Perhaps what I enjoyed most about it, however, was being able to wake in my hotel room, decide to go get a donut, walk down there and get breakfast as part of my morning. We’re still figuring out the morning routine here at home. Suffice to say, there aren’t leisurely 7:45 a.m. strolls to a donut shop.

Of course, travel has its challenges too. I got on my 4:09 p.m. flight out of Portland, we taxied toward the runway, and then there we sat, because Philadelphia had a ground stop. We did eventually make it out a little after 5:00, though, so we were on the ground in PHL at 6:20, which meant I walked into choir practice only 2 minutes late (they were already warming up…it is a very punctual choir).

A few announcements. First, if you have ever been interested in hearing me speak…the University of North Carolina School of Medicine is hosting a fall Women in Medical Sciences retreat on Friday, September 24. This was going to be an in-person event, but with the delta variant of Covid, it has gone virtual. So they are opening it up to the general public. You can register here. The event is free. I’m probably speaking around 10:30 eastern, but if you’re going to register, please do try to come for the whole thing (which is approximately 9 a.m. to noon). There are other good speakers, including former podcast guests Lori Mihalich-Levin and Christina Shenvi. We’ll all be talking work and life and productivity.

Second, and speaking of work and life and productivity…When Sarah Hart-Unger and I began the Best of Both Worlds podcast four years ago, we wanted to reach a market we thought was under-served: women who loved their careers and their families, and wanted strategies for thriving in all spheres of life.

We love talking about these topics, and we love hearing from listeners, but we’ve really been wanting to create more of a community for the show. So this fall we’re launching the Best of Both Worlds Patreon community for those who’d like to get more involved beyond listening week to week.

Nothing about the podcast itself will change right now. But BOBW Patreon members will have access to monthly online meet-ups where we’ll talk about perennial Best of Both Worlds topics: childcare logistics, family activity schedules, setting career goals, and so forth. Our discussion forum will allow people to interact with others in the same boat. And we’re publishing monthly guides with all our best tips (September’s, on kid activity schedules, is already up and ready for reading!)

The first discussion will be on Tuesday, Sept 28th at 8 p.m. eastern (don’t worry, we’ll record them for members who can’t make it). So if you’d like to join us, please join the Patreon community by then! Membership is $9/month. We look forward to building a network where we can all help each other get the most out of life. If you have any questions or you are on the fence about it feel free to reach out to me at laura at lauravanderkam dot com. I am really excited about this — it’s a community I would want to join, just like BOBW was a podcast I wanted to exist! So, we create them 🙂

Speaking of kid activity schedules, it’s going to be quite a weekend, with a kid’s scout camping trip, karate, soccer, baseball, tennis, a wedding, and a half-marathon. In theory it all fits…

14 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: Portland, Patreon, virtual talks…

  1. Oooooo! I already have 9/24 marked off as a retreat day for Q4 planning. I think using the morning for a Women in Medicine conference would be a great addition to my agenda!

    1. @Gillian – excellent! So glad that worked. I’d add for anyone thinking about it that you don’t have to be in medicine to come. I assume the majority of the audience will be in that field since that’s who it’s been advertised to, but anyone is welcome and the productivity/time content is certainly for anyone.

  2. I wish a community like that existed when I became a mother a couple of decades ago. Back then, New York Times and other newspapers published articles about “Opting Out” and I was often asked why I would ever want to work now that I had a child. I’m so excited that society has changed and that you’re forming a supportive community.

  3. You have many fun activities planned for the weekend! Would you mind sharing how you’re currently thinking about Covid? I’m still sitting on the sidelines so to speak waiting for the numbers to go down. Thank you!

    1. @Dee- I’m not sure where you’re located but the vax percentages are pretty high where I am and cases are moderate. My husband, 14-year-old, and I are all vaccinated. We generally mask up anywhere indoors where we can’t spread out. My too-young-for-vaccine children wear masks almost everywhere — not because I insist on it but they just generally do, out of habit. (Not the baby, obviously, but he’s mostly outside or not too close to many other people). Their schools require universal masking. With those precautions in place, I’m pretty comfortable with trying to live something close to what we normally would. We’ll be masked in the corrals at the start of the half-marathon, and everyone had to show vax or a negative test to run, for instance.

      1. Thanks! This is very helpful to think about. Vax rates are not great in my neck of the woods, unfortunately. So still seeing friends outside at parks for now. Luckily the weather is cooling down, which makes it more enjoyable.

    2. FWIW, my kids just went back to school in person in August for the first time since March 2020. We don’t have great vax rates where we are. Both kids’ schools require masks all day and enforce it. One school tests the class for COVID weekly (pooled test, individual tests if the class comes up positive, which knock on wood, it hasn’t yet in 5 weeks). We test my older kid weekly because her closest friends at school are also unvaxxed bc they’re too young (otherwise the school is at 85% and all the faculty are vaxxed). My younger one had an indoor playdate with a friend from school and they wore masks inside but not outside, and it seemed fine and her parents were supportive. We’ll relax once both kids are vaxxed but that seems like a ways off.

  4. Congratulations on creating the Best of Both Worlds Patreon community! I will be joining for sure. Now, if we could just create an online gift shop so I could get myself one of those BOBW mugs… 🙂

  5. Laura, I have to take a minute and just say thank you for changing my life. You have become my favorite author, my go to, and often what feels like my best friend when im in a crisis. You have simplified my life TREMENDOUSLY, by educating on time and showing how time can be rearranged and meaningful with effort. I went from being beyond stressed out every single day to now waking up and looking forward to whats ahead, because i know theres a plan in place for no matter what dilemmas occur. THANK YOU. I dont think i can say it enough!!!

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