This was my public declaration of priorities for the winter of 2018-19. Here’s my current one: Now.
I’m focused on how I can boost the signal for peer health advice at every level of our health care system.
Advisory portfolio: I’m working with an interesting mix of organizations these days, including AARP, Before Brands, Ciitizen, Cambia Health Solutions, and Atlas of Caregiving. I also maintain virtual office hours as a mentor for CSweetener and my own network of rebels, community data organizers, and action-oriented dreamers. My time is divided pretty evenly between start-ups and legacy companies, playing the role of ambassador and connector.
Next: I’m looking for partners who want to work on a new measure of how U.S. adults are using technology to gather, share, and create health information. I want to both pick up where I left off at the Pew Research Center (with their blessing, by the way) and expand the scope to include new questions. I’d love to hear from people who have ideas about collaborations and sponsorships for this work. The Pew Research Center has also given me permission to republish my 2013 opus as an e-book. Please ping if you’ve got tips on how to approach that project: SusannahRFox(at)gmail.com.
- PRAIRIE FIRES, by Caroline Fraser.
- This biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder is not only teaching me about the agricultural history of the upper Plains and Midwest, but also about the roots of the casual, vicious racism that the U.S. displays toward Native people. As for the way the railroads, media, and U.S. government flimflammed pioneer families? It feels searingly relevant as people run up debt playing today’s shell games, believing unproved, empty promises of wealth and well-being.
- BECOMING, by Michelle Obama.
- There are moments, reading this book, when I’m transported back to a time when the Obamas were in the White House and this woman of purpose was the First Lady. Those moments are healing — even intoxicating — as I let go of my worry about the current state of the world and sink into the beauty of Michelle Obama’s observations and memories. Her parents who taught her and her brother, for example, to forgive a crotchety relative: “Even if we didn’t know the context, we were instructed to remember that context existed. Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.” When she writes about falling in love, losing a baby, and the death of her father, her words bring forward all that I felt when I went through each of those episodes in my life. Obama is letting us in on her previously-unseen history, the context of her life, which makes her glow even brighter in my eyes.
Currently open browser tabs:
- Presentation Skills Considered Harmful, by Serious Pony (Kathy Sierra)
- This is my go-to post when I’m feeling nervous about an upcoming speech — or talking someone else down from a ledge. Kathy is one of the best speakers I’ve ever seen so it’s especially affirming to read that she suffers from stage fright.
- Expectations vs. Reality, by Paige Trevor
- The winter holidays are an incredibly stressful — and lovely — time of year. I’m missing my Dad, thinking of other people who aren’t with us again this season, and trying to focus on what matters. Paige’s wise & funny post is helping.
Featured image: I take a picture at the same spot in the woods about once a week, capturing how the light changes. This was a sparkly day in mid-November when the leaves were a mix of green and yellow.