Mind The Beet is about sharing our slice of life as two working parents who are raising two young kids. 👨👩👧👧 We explore what it means to be 21st century grown ups:
We try for human and vulnerable writing that breaks through the barriers put up by our digital screens. So we might share some top 10 lists, product recs, and thought provoking ideas that you can put into your everyday life (hey, it’s good to be practical and useful! 🛠), but even more important, we try to share our own stories and lived experience across parenting, career, leadership, and life. 📖
We publish once a week every Sunday. 📅 It’s free to subscribe.
A few of our favorite posts from our archives:
✈️ Work Travel and Mom Guilt: Helen’s tips for traveling as a working parent.
💭 Finding Purpose in Tech Careers: Adam’s journey to becoming a purpose maximizer.
🤝 Building strong relationships at work: Helen’s story through multiple careers.
🏖️ Adam's Field Guide to Happiness: The Secret to Amazing Paid Time Off
👨🍼 My First Year of Fatherhood: Adam’s polished memories from that crazy, sleep-deprived first year.
🎁 The Gifts We Hope to Give: Learn a bit about how we approach parenting and leadership
🥱 Burnout & Boredom: A Manager’s Pandemic Retrospective on Mental Health: Learn about Flow and other tips for managing burnout
👶 Advice on Hiring a Nanny: Practical tips for working parents
🎙 The Studio: A product guide to building a custom telepresence room
📚 Information Diet: Recommendations for news outlets, analysis, podcasts, and newsletter subscriptions from an information junkie
👨👩👧👧 Brave Parenting. It’s OK to not be perfect. It’s OK to be scared as a parent - even in the everyday moments.
🏄♀️ Why New Grads Should Surf, Not Climb: The #1 piece of advice for new grads.
For the product managers out there, here are posts specifically on the art and science of building product:
⌛ How does a product leader manage their time? Thoughts on time & task management and what’s worked for Adam
💎 From Product Manager to Product Leader: A career guide with a focus on the most important inflection point.
🛠️ Honing my skills as a product manager: Helen’s journey to transfer into the profession.
📣 My 10 Favorite Productisms: Pithy sayings with pearls of product wisdom behind them
🔗 The People Angle: How to build x-team products
🍰 Celebrating 16 Years at Microsoft: Adam’s mondo advice post
If you are looking for parenting product recs, try our recs on 📚 books, 🎲 games, and 📺 TV.
Who We Are
👋 Hi there! We are Helen and Adam - we’ve been married for 10 years, have two young children, and both work demanding and fulfilling careers. As we both approach 40 and our kids enter school full time, we have passion to talk authentically about how we’ve created true partnership in our marriage, career, and household and what’s next in our lives. We live in Kirkland, Washington.
Here’s a few posts we’ve done that show our own slice of life:
👃 Getting to 👃 me: Adam’s favorite smells
How You Can Help
We want to grow by word of mouth. We aren’t striving for mega-scale with the newsletter: We want hundreds of subscribers who are genuinely curious about our slice of life and eager to engage with us and share a good post with their friends.
One of the biggest gifts you can give us is to take a favorite post and share your own thoughts about it on social media while tagging us.
Why We Write
We started this newsletter to practice great writing, especially how to be vulnerable and authentic in public. Writing is a passion pursuit for both of us and it is fantastic to have a productive passion we were working on together.
It took us a while to figure out that the “product” of this newsletter was our own life. It’s not just a way of helping people save time or hack their careers. Maybe other writers are going for that and hope for 10K subscribers. The product is ourselves - you subscribe because you want to get to know our lives and thinking a bit better, whether you know us personally or not. We are exploring how as leaders we can scale in a broad forum like this our own thoughts and experiences - so this is very much a “learn in the open” project.
Finally, we truly are seeking to understand vs. be understood. Our goal is not to get the world to agree with what we write about but rather to use it as a way of being curious about how people respond. You can private reply to any email you get from this newsletter and it’ll go right to our inbox.
What’s Up With The Beet?
Reading is a great passion of ours and for a slice of life blog like this one, coming of age and character development focused novels seem very appropriate. As such, we were struck by Tom Robbin’s Jitterbug Perfume which includes this quote:
The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. The onion has as many pages as War and Peace, every one of which is poignant enough to make a strong man weep, but the various ivory parchments of the onion are quickly charred by belly juices and bowel bacteria. Only the beet departs the body the same color as it went in.
Beets consumed at dinner will, come morning, stock a toilet bowl of crimson fish, their hue attesting to beet's chromatic immunity to the powerful digestive acids and microbes that can turn the reddest pimento, the orangest carrot, the yellowest squash into a single disgusting shade of brown.
At birth we are red-faced, round, intense, pure. The crimson fire of universal consciousness burns in us. Gradually, however, we are devoured by parents, gulped by schools, chewed up by peers, swallowed by social institutions, wolfed by bad habits and gnawed by age and by the time we have been digested, cow style, in those six stomachs, we emerge a single disgusting shade of brown.
The lesson of the beet, then, is this: hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown.
So we decided to name this space Mind the Beet. Whether it’s wielding complex systems so they serve you not consume you or finding the balance we want not what society dictates in a marriage - we aspire to maintain our own way of doing things even as we fully embrace the systems that surround us.
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