Moontower #65


All kids want their mama. And for good reason. Mamas are the best. It’s no contest. Of course, that doesn’t take anything away from fathers’ impacts. And if we sum the total hours fathers spend with their children I’ll bet it’s less time than they spend with mom. So in the spirit of a father’s impact-per-hour, I’ll be brief.

Read Charles Eisenstein’s essay The Age Of We Need Each Other (Link) (Link with my highlights)

It’s one of the best things I’ve read in a long time. I suspect different people will get different things out of it. I’ll share my own reading of it:

Its message is the antidote to all the abstraction that makes us feel helpless. If all the top-down strife is leading to daily bottoms-up anxiety this essay has a remedy.

It reminds me of the advice to break giant problems or endeavors into manageable bites. Except the giant problem is not “making a living” or “getting healthy”. It’s finding the purpose of your life. Sometimes we just don’t know what we are “supposed” to do right now. I think the answer lies right here in this essay. It affirms a timeless truth. A truth so simple it’s easy to forget:

You are, can be, or will be somebody’s world. It might just be one person. And that is not just enough. It’s everything.

Most of the people I consider heroes are people I personally know. They are unsung. And this becomes more true as I get older. I think that truth is a clue to what you are “supposed” to do.

Anyway, read the essay yourself. See what you get.

In a similar vein, I’ll share the Michael Crichton quote I keep on my main Notion dashboard.

If you want to be happy, forget yourself. Forget all of it — how you look, how you feel, how your career is going. Just drop the whole subject of you.

The quote continues.

We all know this is true because…

If you want to know how the whole essay goes check out Happiness. (Link)

The Money Angle

This week I published the 4th and final post in what turned into a 4-part series on option concepts notably the greeks and convexity. The new post is specifically about a position’s convexity with respect to volatility.

It doesn’t take long for novice option traders or hobbyists to get familiar with gamma which is the convexity of an option position with respect to the change in a stock price. But vol convexity is usually not a topic you become familiar with unless 2 things happen at the same time:

  • You oversee an options portfolio as opposed to just a couple line items.
  • Implied volatility makes a large move.

Here’s the full post, Finding Vol Convexity. (Link)

Here are all 4 posts in Moontower Spaghetti order:

  1. Lessons From The 50 Delta Option (Link)
  2. Where Does Convexity Come From? (Link)
  3. Why Option Traders Focus On Vega (Link)
  4. Finding Vol Convexity (Link)

Last Call

In continuing with both the brevity and keeping-things-simple theme for this week, here’s a single post to check out.

How To Feel Better When You Don’t Know What’s Wrong (Link)

My take:

You might dismiss David’s idea of a “cupboard sheet” as obvious, quaint, or maybe silly. If it is to you, hat’s off. Sometimes I need a reminder that one of the easiest ways to address anxiety is to focus on your inputs. That’s what the cupboard sheet ultimately does. And the explicit, almost juvenile, form it takes — a kitchen list — is actually perfect.

When stress is in control the last thing you want to do is think. Stress narrows your focus and forces you to fixate on small number of stimuli. The ones that are causing the stress. A list is a dummy-proof way to see the wider menu. Taking a walk might be just what you need and you might have thought of that if you could see beyond the fight-or-flight response that your boss just triggered.

Create your list when you are in a good state. It will serve as a quick reminder of the healthy options on the menu.

From my actual life 

Happy Father’s Day to my own dad, all the fathers, grandfathers and single moms on the list. Tying together this week’s ideas, I want to mention a thought I’ve had that can apply to any parent.

The balancing act is real. The last few months families are playing Jenga on the head of a pin. There’s no carpooling or nanny-sharing. It’s all you, all the time. It’s easy to think of how you fall short. What you didn’t get done. That’s a framing problem. You are forgetting the small victories. Sometimes it’s best to measure the week’s progress by how someone else did. You might have missed some deadlines, but if that’s what it took for your spouse to make theirs or for your kids to discover fishing instead of an afternoon of iPad, those points aren’t less real because they didn’t show up in the “you” column.

Not everything giving you pride has a line that is easily traced back to you. Hows and whys are often opaque and not easily tallied. Here’s what I wrote last Father’s Day:

I’ll share something I will likely remember for every Father’s Day to come. Last year when Zak graduated preschool the ceremony was right around this time of year. The kids presented their families with all the crafts they did during the Spring session. One of the projects was a picture and description of what they wanted to be when they grew up. As expected lots of cops and firefighters. Zak however forever warmed my heart when his project pronounced that he wanted “to be a dad”. 

This was and remains my proudest moment. From my point of view, I’ve done nothing but show up. I’m constantly battling my own insecurity. I catch myself overcompensating when I “parent”. I’ve had Zak tell me to put down my phone. There is so much we all want to do better when it comes to our kids. But I’m not sure you need more than just showing up. It’s probably all they need. And you too. (That’s why the phone thing stings so bad of course).

Photo Credit: Yinh’s ‘Gram

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