How to embrace a whole new life
With author Eliza Reid, First Lady of Iceland 🇮🇸
Welcome to At The End Of the Day! This newsletter is in podcast mode 🎧
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New episode with an old friend 🎓
In the spring of 2020, I was trying to convince myself to go to my 20-year university reunion. I have never gone to a school reunion in my life but there was something about the number 20 that made me think, Let’s just do this. It will be so interesting to see the directions that people’s lives have taken.
Well, we all know how that spring turned out. Every party on earth was canceled (besides Boris Johnson’s). Insert big buzzer sound here.
Now, cue up the At The End Of the Day podcast episode for this week. It features an old friend from those university days, Eliza Reid. Twenty-five years ago (I know, it boggles the mind), at the University of Toronto, we were going to weekly “Lit debates” (a nerdy, parliamentary-style student debate that was actually attempted stand-up comedy revolving around a weekly keg) and eating meals in Strachan Hall, a very Harry Potter-like setting before Harry Potter was a thing.
Eliza was a big-hearted student leader type, and I haven’t connected with her besides a few Facebook messages scattered across a couple of decades. Well, the life of my friend Eliza has gone in delightfully unexpected directions.
These days, she is the First Lady of Iceland. When I first heard this, years ago, my thoughts were, “What? How?”
We explore that and more in the podcast this week, with the overarching theme being my search for advice on how to embrace a totally new kind of life.
Eliza has written a book called Secrets of the Sprakkar: Iceland’s Extraordinary Women and How They Are Changing the World. We discuss it in the podcast. I really want you to read this book because this is a week when I feel a ton of despair for women (see: Depp v. Heard, which is not a trial about assault but rather a trial about whether women can have ownership over telling their stories).
Secrets of the Sprakkar is Eliza’s story. It’s her perspective as an outsider who is smart as hell. It’s funny, inspiring and feels like spending time with an old friend.
I have two copies to give away! To be entered in my giveaway, just hit reply with “Sprakkar” in the subject line. You can also “like” and share this Instagram post below.
I will pick two winners at random, one from my inbox and one from Instagram. Contest closes Monday, June 6 @ 8 p.m. ET.
Good luck! And congrats to the winners of last week’s giveaway of the book, Can You Believe It? How To Spot Fake News and Find The Facts, by Joyce Grant. If you know parents or teachers, let them know about this important book by forwarding my newsletter from last week.
As for the grown-up readers among you, forward today’s newsletter to your Book Club, your friends who love Iceland, or to your old friend from university days, especially if you had to skip that reunion.
Thank you for reading and happy listening!
✨✨✨ At The End Of the Day is edited by Laura Hensley and the podcast is produced by Olivia Trono ✨✨✨
I’m a First Lady, and It’s an Incredibly Weird Job, The New York Times. Eliza wrote this in 2019 and included the very quotable phrase, “I am not my husband’s handbag”
‘Frustrated with democracy’: Why some people don’t vote — and what that costs us, TVO. “There has to be community engagement before there is political engagement.” Nam Kiwanuka wrote this before this week’s election in Ontario and indeed, we wound up with the lowest voter turnout in history
The apathy election? Ontario sees lowest voter turnout in its history, early data suggests, CBC. I don’t think voting is the only way to participate in a democracy. But with so much power concentrated in a party that plans to put a highway through the Greenbelt and has consistently defunded education, even throughout a pandemic, this is such a sad reality
Twitter thread from Jad El Tal. Across the province, voter turnout was about 43% but in this riding, it was 28%. This is a problem
What The Amber Heard Verdict Can Tell Us About the Limits of #MeToo, Friday Things. This is a sharp round-up of thoughts, especially for those who (like me) couldn’t stomach the everyday details but want a bigger picture on the cultural impact of the outcome
What is DARVO? By Jennifer J. Freyd. DARVO (Deny, Attack and Reverse Victim and Offender) is mentioned in the Friday Things link above. I can’t stress enough how important it is to know what DARVO is and how sadly effective it can be. When #MeToo was making headlines in 2017, I met Jennifer J. Freyd of the University of Oregon, who coined the phrase DARVO. I’ll never forget that she said, “This is a pernicious harmful response and you can pick up the newspaper and find plenty of it.” Now, I can’t unsee it, not only in individual actions but in politics at the highest level
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