I have to admit, even Times Square feels a little energizing these days

This week, for the first time in nearly two years, I hit a “bingo week” in New York City. I went into an office every day and I had plans every night. Just like the old days. Dinner with a colleague, a work happy hour hosted at home, cooking in with friends, a board meeting in the Bronx, and a Broadway show.

A few observations about my first full week back on the town.

It’s great to have a reason to get dressed in the morning
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of pulling on the same stretchy…


About a month ago, I kicked off a new initiative with a small group of friends called the “Back to Self” Challenge. The idea was simple: Take 30 days to rebuild a habit you’ve let go of during COVID times. Or maybe, something you’ve been procrastinating for these past 18 months.

My personal objective was to write every day (which is why you’ve seen quite a bigger uptick in posts on the blog starting in September). Throughout the first 24 days of September (today included), I’ve met this goal on 21 days — 88% of the time.

While not 100%…


Learning the rules of the playground is a formative life skill

How to use a slide

I spent an hour today on the playground with my daughter while taking my last few work calls of the day. It was basically happy hour for kids — post-school, pre-dinner. In short, a madhouse.

Kids up to 10 years old ran circles around each other, sprinted up and down the rubberized hills and ladders and slides. They drenched themselves in water and then sprinted back to do it again. It was loud and raucous. While on my calls, I trailed my toddler around the playground, up and down the hills and ladders and bridges. …


Grand Central’s Oyster Bar reopened yesterday after 18 months of COVID-imposed closures. I told my out-of-town colleague about it, excitedly, at the end of the workday. “We must go,” I gushed. “It’s a quintessential New York City experience.”

We wandered over at around 5:45 p.m. and I hoped we weren’t already too late to snag a seat at the infamous oyster bar. When we turned the corner and walked inside. I cheered audibly at the maître-D.

“You’re back!” I exclaimed.

“Yes we are!” he shouted right back.

And for a second it was just like it was, those carefree mid-twenties…


Your kitchen may be small, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little help every now and then

Stop me if this sounds familiar: You’ve got some friends and family over. You’re cooking for a small crowd. There are a couple of things on the stove, a half-compiled meat and cheese plate on the counter, and you haven’t even started on the salad dressing yet. Dinner is starting shortly, and your kitchen in abuzz.

A friend intuitively asks, “How can I help?”

You do a quick mental somersault. You think about the ingredients you haven’t pulled from the fridge yet, the recipe that’s in your head, the specificity of your plating…

“Um…um…” you stammer, opening up the fridge…


I love the process of moving into a new apartment. It’s like a fresh build of a shiny new product. While it’s certainly a lot of work to get everything “just right,” the payoff is incredible because of how fast it all happens and how tangible the work becomes.

Step 1: Define the problem and understand the constraints

In a product context, it’s really important to know what you’re trying to solve before jumping in and building. Apartments are the same way. Like any build, there are going to be trade-offs and compromises. The biggest one in my new space is that our bedrooms are below street level, with…


IRL networking — why it feels so good to be a part of a group again

When I first became a mom, in the height of the pandemic in April 2020, it took many months for me to actually feel like a parent.

Yes, our apartment was covered from head to toe in baby gear, I was up around the clock to keep her rested and fed, and I once went to herculean lengths to rescue a bag of frozen breast milk from the underbelly of a transcontinental jet (which is a story for another time…). But I still didn’t really feel…well, like a mom. I just felt like a person who happened to have a…


Four icons we’ve come to know so well this year…

Last week I attended an event with speaker Kevin Kruse, CEO of LEADx and author of Employee Engagement 2.0, who offered advice about employee engagement and motivation. Through his work in the organization and his research, he shared 12 drivers that have been psychometrically proven to increase employee motivation at work. These drivers are tied to behaviors that managers take on as part of their leadership — so, things like being able to set a future vision and holding people accountable.

He then shared a snapshot of these employee engagement drivers from a recent study in the COVID era. Interestingly…


Apparently, rebuilding habits are top of mind for many of us these days

I’ve been running something called the Back to Self Challenge with a cohort of friends and Twitter acquaintances for about two weeks now. The idea is to do something every day for 30 days that gets you feeling like yourself again.

Every day, I’m trying to encourage folks to stick to their self-reported goals. For some added accountability, I built a leaderboard where we check in daily on whether or not you have succeeded in doing the thing. As of this morning, our group has collectively completed 142 things we wouldn’t have done otherwise. Pretty cool.

My goal for this…


(This is a post about September 11. Don’t read it if you don’t want to be reminded.)

It’s impossible to forget. Twenty years ago, those of us old enough to remember have a story to tell, a memory to share, a glimpse just waiting to be captured. Many are emerging to reshare them now.

Where were you? What were you wearing? Had you had your morning coffee yet? Were you still in school? Or were you already at work? When you first found out, did you fear for your own life? For someone close to you? …

Bethany Crystal

VP @ BolsterTalent, alum of @USV, @StackOverflow and @NorthwesternU, board member at @CompSci_High and @NUalumni, co-founder of #BeyondCodingNYC

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