All About Leslie
I don’t recall if my son or eldest daughter was a babe in arms when the idea that eventually became this podcast hit. Either way it takes me back about a decade and a half.
I had spent the previous few years teaching myself how to run a household, which I thought I needed to learn because my parents had done so much of life’s busy work for me that I didn’t learn how to do it myself. It dawned on me that day as I chatted with other moms-at-home, each of whom seemed to be drowning in life admin or plain old ignoring it (“it” in this case being bags of trash lining an entry hall) — I was typical. Most of my cohort hadn’t been taught this stuff because we had Better Things To Do. What made me unusual that day was that I had spent a few years trying to figure out all this stuff, which my husband had dubbed “life administration.”
My unusual-ness was probably a product of my history. In my last office job before law school, I created a land based office for a summer sailing camp. I had to figure out what the job was and make templates and instructions for how to do it. After law school, I found that I preferred organizing and strategizing cases over arguing them myself. I switched to in-house from firm work quickly. I just happened to be an administration synthesis gal.
Anyway, sometime around that day with moms and my infant, I decided to write a book on basic life admin for at-home parents who had trained to be professional somethings. Why that group? For starters, it was my group. It was what I knew. But the big reason: we led by example and taught others our mistakes.
We hadn’t learned life admin because we had those resume-building Better Things To Do. Then, when we attempted life admin, we tended to run houses with kids and spouses as offices with coworkers and staff. It just didn’t work very well, for anybody.
I didn’t start writing immediately. First, one needs time to reflect on mistakes and successes before doling out advice to others. Second, I wasn’t done having children. When one has four under five, let us just say it is a few years before one can realistically make progress on a big project. Research and planning? Doable. Actual action? Not so much. For a good two years my life was 90% life administration just to achieve the basics of food, clothing, and shelter.
During the research years, I learned, among other things, that houses weren’t offices and spouses weren’t coworkers. Alas, by the time I was ready and able to write I had also figured out that a book wasn’t the best medium for this kind of advice anymore. Life comes at you fast, you know. So add on another few years of learning new video media, and here I am, a recovering lawyer, wife, and mother of 4, with a podcast and videocast — not a book — called Life Administration.
Huge thank yous to my kids, for all the lessons, and a bunch of laughs while learning. Another thank you goes to my friend, producer, and co-host, Ryan, who keeps me on task and sweats the tech details for me. And I will never have enough thanks to give my husband who has been my biggest supporter and source of encouragement, and who helped in many ways, from coining terms like “life administration” to providing the CNN voice over on the podcast. (He has an awesome voice.)