Last New Years’ Eve I wrote my present self a letter about how I hoped 2021 would go. At this point, I still wasn’t sure if I was going to make the decision to leave Facebook or not.
Feels just like yesterday, doesn’t it? Last New Year’s Eve. One before that too come to think of it. We waited so patiently all throughout 2020 for our next chapter to start - and while the days were long the months were very short. But we’re here to talk about 2021, not 2020.
I so hope you feel valued again in whatever path you ended up taking. You deserve that and I am confident you didn’t settle. I am sure some of it was/is still scary to make such a decision when you’ve waited so long for it but the rewarding things are never easy.
I’d be remiss to not ask you to make sure you are making time for family and friends - oh I do hope Turks happened and was fabulous. But if it was postponed again - oh well - it will happen.
All I ask as we embark on another new year as you settle into your 40s is that you are not settling for anything less than you deserve and continue to have the bravery to make changes when you aren’t.
PS: Did Eric Church release his project?
I got the idea about doing letters like this from Carolyn Everson who would post hers each year for everyone to see on Facebook Workplace. At first, I thought it was really cheesy, but I’m into it now. It’s nice to put into the universe the things you hope to see for yourself in the coming year.
I feel pretty good about where I hoped this year would go and where it landed. January 6th was the final nudge I needed to realize that I wasn’t going to be able to do the things I wanted to at Facebook anymore and that I needed a change. For a woman who spent most of her life working either for the Republican Party or Facebook - both had changed a lot and I just didn’t fit in the same way anymore.
So, in March I started my company Anchor Change - which was basically a holding LLC for the various projects I took on during the year including:
Telling everyone I could about how 2024 is going to be an election tsunami with not only a US presidential election that year but elections in India, Indonesia, Ukraine, Taiwan, Mexico, UK and the European Union. Not to mention all the elections coming up in 2022.
Becoming a fellow with the Bipartisan Policy Center’s election team
Joining the Atlantic Council as a non-resident fellow
Collaborating with the Carter Center on a paper about how to handle repeat offenders
Helped launch the Integrity Institute.
Finished my book proposal which included an intro, first chapter and chapter outline to start shopping around
Talked to numerous journalists about various Facebook stories including Trump being depatformed, the Taliban’s use of social media, and, of course, the Facebook Files.
Personally, my trip to Turks and Caicos did happen for my 40 + 1 birthday and it was indeed fabulous. In fact, on my birthday (November 12) Taylor Swift’s Red album came out, Steve Bannon was indicted and Britney was freed. A girl couldn’t ask for anything more.
I also said goodbye to my cat Frankie who I had for 13 years. She was a diva cat through and through and I miss her.
Last year on Facebook I posted my top lists of the television, music, podcasts, cooking, and books so I’m doing it again below. These aren’t necessarily in ranked order and happy to discuss any and all of these.
I hope everyone has a lovely new year and thank you again for being readers and supporters of this newsletter.
Grace and Frankie
Only Murders in the Building
Heart & Soul - Eric Church
Fearless (Taylor’s Version) - Taylor Swift
Red (Taylor’s Version) - Taylor Swift
Real Best Life - Kelly Maher
Platformer - Casey Newton
Stratechery - Ben Thompson
Digital Bridge - Mark Scott
Big Technology - Alex Kantrowitz
Slow Build - Nancy Scola
The Connector - Micah Sifry
Confessions of a Political Junkie - Erick Erickson
Perspectives - Deb Liu
7 Bridges - Michael Slaby
These are some of my favorite chefs, cookbooks, and recipes from this year.
Half Baked Harvest Cookbooks by Tieghan Gerard
Sesame Crusted Tilapia on a bed of Asparagus and Soba Noodles with an Asian Sauce (In the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook)
Cook This Book by Molly Baz
Birthday Cake 1 - Mia is my goddaughter and since she was two I’ve been making her birthday cake. This year I traveled to Austin to see her for the first time in two years and we did a theater-themed one.
Birthday Cake 2 - Annabelle is the daughter of a friend of mine and I offered to make her one-year-old cakes since her birthday landed on Thanksgiving. We ended up doing two mermaid-themed ones.
I read 53 books this year according to Goodreads and there is no way I was going to narrow it down to just my top 10. Instead, I broke them out into categories.
Virgin River Series by Robyn Carr
Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
All About the Story: News, Power, Politics and the Washington Post by Leonard Downie Jr.
Mistrust by Ethan Zuckerman
Think Again by Adam Grant
Liars: Falsehoods and Free Speech in an Age of Deception by Cass Sunstein
Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power by Susan Page
On The House: A Washington Memoir by John Boehner
Sustaining Democracy: What We Owe to the Other Side by Robert B. Talisse
The Culture Map by Erin Meyer
For All the People by Michael Slaby
Non-Fiction on Tech
An Ugly Truth by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang
Silicon Values by Jillian York
System Error: How Big Tech Disrupted Everything and Why We Must Reboot by Rob Reich, Mehran Sahami and Jeremy Weinstein
Amazon Unbound by Brad Stone
Cult of We: Wework Adam Neumann and the Great Startup Delusion by Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell