Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

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Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“11 Be-All-End-All Marriage Mistakes That Lead To Divorce” [via HuffPost]

Really, it should be a $100 bill: “A campaign to get a woman on the $20 bill is gaining serious traction” [via Quartz]

“Spice Up Your Relationship With This 30-Day Challenge” [via Popsugar Love]

“A Stay-at-Home Parent Is Not a ‘Luxury’” [via NYTimes]

“Girls Who Steal” [via Gawker]

I’ve been very moved by the story of and, especially, the writing by renowned young neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi, as he faced stage 4 lung cancer. In “Before I Go: A Stanford neurosurgeon’s parting wisdom about life and time,” he writes about facing imminent death and his changing perception of mortality and time and the joy he continued to find in life. In July, he and his wife welcomed their first baby, a girl. In his essay (linked above), he writes of her: “I hope I’ll live long enough that she has some memory of me. Words have a longevity I do not. There is perhaps only one thing to say to this infant, who is all future, overlapping briefly with me, whose life, barring the improbable, is all but past. That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.” On Monday, Paul Kalanithi passed away. He was 37.

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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15 comments… add one
  • avatar

    RedroverRedrover March 13, 2015, 12:18 pm

    For that stay-at-home parent one, I’d actually argue that in many instances, having both parents be able to work is a luxury. There are lots of SAHM’s who’d like to work, but it doesn’t make financial sense because the cost of childcare is more than what they’d make working. So they have to stay home because it’s what they can afford.
    .
    Check out this article:
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/04/08/pew_report_on_stay_at_home_mothers_a_rise_in_the_number_of_sahms.html
    .
    Only 20% of SAHM’s are like the author of the article (married with a working husband). She had the luxury of choosing to stay home or not. As did I (I chose to work). As did many, many married women with working husbands. It’s the rest of the women who don’t have the luxury, and who unfortunately are much more likely than the general population to end up in poverty in old age.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy March 13, 2015, 1:10 pm

      I actually disagree with the author. I DO think it’s a luxury to be a SAHM, at least when it’s a decision that is made as a preferable choice. To have a choice is a luxury. That doesn’t mean that I think it’s luxurious job by any means. I don’t know any SAHM who is sitting around in the lap of luxury, that’s for sure (those kinds of SAHMs exist, but not in my world).

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover March 13, 2015, 1:21 pm

        Yeah, that’s what I was getting at in my last paragraph. None of the options are luxurious (on their own, if you’re rich I guess they are), but it’s a luxury to have the choice.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy March 13, 2015, 2:31 pm

        I do agree with the author that a lot of people who would be the first to say, “Oh, what a luxury that you get to stay home,” are the same people who could make the choice to do so if they wanted. It would mean making some sacrifices (the same sort of sacrifices Drew and I have made), but they could. Just because you choose something different that is hard in its own way (because being a parent who works outside the home is definitely challenging), doesn’t meant that the option you didn’t choose is easy or one of luxury. I have a couple of friends who have made comments to me about how lucky I am (and I am lucky to have choices), but these are the same friends who always wear designer clothes, drop $800 on a single purse, eat lunch out every day, get their nails done every week, and take regular international vacations. And they see their kids for a few minutes in the morning before the nanny comes and maybe an hour at night (on the nights they make it home before bedtime). There’s no right or wrong choice. It’s such a personal decision. But I don’t see one choice being any more of a luxury than the other.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover March 13, 2015, 2:55 pm

        Yeah, that makes no sense. I think this is another example of people trying to validate their own life choices by putting down the opposite choice, or making it seem like it wasn’t available to them. I don’t know if it’ll ever stop, really. It’s human nature to do that. Maybe if expectations change so that women aren’t the ones bearing most of the childcare burden. But I doubt it. We’ll just have more factions. 🙂

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray March 13, 2015, 12:56 pm

    Man, I’ve only read Paul Kalanithi’s quote above and I’m balling. Can’t stop crying! I hate death. It seems so primitive. I mean, we can build all these really cool things and we can FLY! In the sky!! And to outer space!! It just seems like we should be able to avoid death. That’s all I’m saying.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover March 13, 2015, 1:22 pm

      So sad he didn’t get his wish of having his baby be old enough to remember him. 🙁

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    • kare

      kare March 13, 2015, 3:33 pm

      Yeah I definitely burst into tears reading the quote. Fortunately I’m working from home with my cats.

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  • avatar

    ktfran March 13, 2015, 1:04 pm

    Another blog I read daily is “A Cup of Jo,” and this was her sister’s husband, Paul Kalanithi. So, so, sad!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy March 13, 2015, 1:12 pm

      Yes, it’s her brother-in-law.

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      • avatar

        ktfran March 13, 2015, 2:36 pm

        I really like her blog too, but I don’t comment usually, just here. You two are my fave reads!!!! Oh, and Elements of Style. Ok, I have three go-to blogs.

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  • avatar

    K March 13, 2015, 1:30 pm

    Although I’m not married, I liked the marriage mistakes article because some of them apply to relationships in general. I’m trying to work on the “not putting sex on the back burner despite low energy” one. My guy has a long commute and is out of the house from 6:30-9:30 every day. Lately we haven’t had weeknight sex because he is too tired, but I’m hoping this is just a phase.

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  • avatar

    Vathena March 13, 2015, 1:32 pm

    I’d avoided reading anything by Dr. Kalanithi because I knew I couldn’t handle it, and I was right. I feel a little ambushed, Wendy 🙂 Geez, now I’m going to tear up all afternoon. I want to go and give his wife and daughter a big hug.

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  • something random

    something random March 13, 2015, 1:55 pm

    Just chiming in to say I really enjoyed these links. I’ve read them all except the 30-day challenge and I feel like I’m a better for hearing these perspectives.

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  • avatar

    Taylor March 13, 2015, 4:16 pm

    The Dr. K article was touching, and brutal, and lovely. The girls who steal was an interesting juxtaposition to it – the small ways in which people steal our happiness, when in the big picture, they shouldn’t matter (but, often do).

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