Have you heard? Personal blogs are back in a big way.

The industry is seeing people and teams moving away from centralized platforms and back to publishing on personal sites and blogs. Brad Frost wrote about it, Andy Bell created personalsit.es, and Signal v Noise moved away from Medium, to name a few.

There’s been a resurgence of RSS which warms our little web hearts.

(We know a great many of you stayed with and maintained your personal blogs over the years and that warms our hearts too!)

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A visual back-and-forth between the old &yet logo and new.

Have you had some work done?

Hitting certain age milestones has a tendency to inspire reflection. Sometimes that includes the very literal reflection of staring deeply at our faces in a mirror, questioning: does the person staring back really show the world who we are now?

2018 marked 10 years of existence for &yet. Suddenly we found ourselves reflectively daydreaming about ways we might spruce up this older, wiser double-digit version of ourselves. Why not give our decade old logo a mini-facelift?

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In the middle of 2018, I took a 3-month sabbatical from work. It was something I’d been wanting to do for over a year, while I was experiencing pretty severe burnout. I’ve previously shared a bit of what that felt like. I was able to stabilize myself for a while with significant help from my personal and professional support system. But extended leave was still calling me.

There were logistical decisions to be made and questions to answer. How long would I need? What kind of financial place would I need to be in? Would &yet hold my job for me? That all felt easy compared to the more nebulous and philosophical questions on my mind. In hindsight, three months isn’t that long, but our country’s culture has a way of punishing those who step away from work. And it encourages us to punish ourselves.

I had a lot of thoughts. What if taking time off doesn’t help? What if this time away damages my career in some way? What if I forget things, fall behind?

What if I lose a part of myself?

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Illustration of yeti faces in a video call.

&yet has been remote-friendly for a long time, but right now we’re the most remote we’ve ever been. We have team members in Seattle, Portland, Folsom, Phoenix, Pennsylvania, and Germany. The folks in Tri-Cities, Washington (a sort of “HQ”) work remotely too from co-working spaces, coffee shops, and home offices.

We love gathering together, but sometimes it’s just not an option. So this past December we decided to try an all-remote holiday party. Some activities worked really well and others not as much. Here’s a rundown of what we did!

👍 Recommendations

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In December the &yet team had an all-day, all-remote holiday party. One of our activities was live-collaborating on a Recommendations doc for all the things we enjoyed throughout 2018 (and earlier years too). There’s some good stuff in here so we figured we’d share it with you!

(Things are organized in the order they were added and include some comments that were left in the document, too.)

Books (nonfiction)

  • One From Many by Dee Hock
  • Principles by Ray Dalio
  • Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
  • Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms by Dr. Hannah Fry
  • The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer
  • The Art of Gathering: How we meet and why it matters by Priya Parker
  • The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavitz
  • Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles by Taisa Kitaiskaia
  • A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life by Parker Palmer
  • The Dance of Intimacy by Harriet Lerner
  • A Soprano on Her Head by Eloise Ristad
  • The Chairs Are Where the People Go: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City by Misha Glouberman
  • Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard
  • The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
  • The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  • The Courage to be Diskliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
  • Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine
    📝 +1
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  • The Seven Day Weekend by Ricardo Semler
  • How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
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