5SR - March 5, 2024

Hitha on mental healthcare, millennial media, and how creators earn money

Today’s curator is the founder of #5SmartReads, Hitha Palepu. She’s a consummate multihyphenate - CEO of Rhoshan Pharmaceuticals, author of WE’RE SPEAKING: The Life Lessons of Kamala Harris and How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip, and professional speaker. Hitha is an unabashed fan of Taco Bell, Philadelphia sports teams & F1, romance novels, and is a mediocre crafter. She lives in NYC with her husband and two sons.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

For me, the warning signs of recession and the push to return-to-office full time fall in this pattern, even when we have concrete data that shows flexible work environments has been a boon to the economy.

There are a number of reasons why someone opts into flexible work environments (caregiving duties, health conditions, disabilities). Whatever their reasons, they’re delivering significant value (record high labor force participation exceeding pre-pandemic numbers, improved employee retention).

Moms are among the first to opt into flexible work, and usually the first to be let go when return-to-office mandates are issued. In returning to the status quo, we stand to lose a $650B addition to the GDP and $1T to the economy over the next decade.

As I said - it’s insane.

Jason Kelce wasn’t the only one tearing up yesterday. I sobbed as I watched his retirement announcement, and cried again when I read this piece.

It’s not uncommon to see a man thank his mother and his partner during the highest moments of his career. But Kelce’s praise of his mother and wife during his remarks felt different.

He didn’t just acknowledge their love and support of him in his incredible career. He generously shared his mother and wife with all of us (especially over the past two years), and celebrated it in a way I’ve rarely seen.

I think a lot about this Gloria Steinem quote: “though we have the courage to raise our daughters more like our sons, we’ve rarely had the courage to raise our sons like our daughters.”

To see this man be openly generous, vulnerable, and kind to everyone who’s supported him (including his band teacher!) is so important in redefining masculinity. I’ve always been grateful for Jason Kelce as an Eagle. I’m even more grateful to have him as a role model for my sons and all the kids out there.

Los Angeles’ investment in occupational therapists to help unhomed people transition to indoor living again has shown remarkable progress in its pilot.

Proposition 1 would build on that statewide - but it won’t go all the way to fully resolve the homelessness crisis.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the lofty expectations we have for a single bill, a single election, or from a single leader or elected body. We expect full solutions from one of these things, whereas governing and elections are honestly more like flossing - you notice the effects over time, with regular action/participation.

Prop 1 is just that - a more significant step in addressing the state’s homelessness issue, and with reliable funding due to the proposition process.

In a time when mental health is cited as a root cause for many of these country’s problems, it’s heartening to see a state do something about it.

I’m in the midst of planning the next chapter of my content business (#5SmartReads, sponsorships), mostly out of necessity because of Instagram’s algorithm change.

I shared a bit on Instagram about how the change has impacted my reach and impressions on the platform, which has impacted my income that funds #5SmartReads fully. Grace goes deeper in this essay in how she earns her income as a creator, and I’m in agreement with her predictions (and am using some of them in my planning).

I’m particularly here for longer form written content, creator vacations (spending last week offline was so restorative!), and for more regulation of social media platforms.

This is so depressing - but it’s also a very necessary read, and one that’s helping me plan what’s next for #5SmartReads.

Spoiler alert - it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

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