The Passing of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade

June 29, 2018

It's been sad reading about the passing of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade recently. Two people who brought a lot of joy to many of us through their pursuit of their respective passions: fine food and amazing handbags.

Both of them are gone.

While many of you know Bourdain as the host of several different travel shows, what is less known is that he was a great writer. His wit and caustic humor was on full display in his break through book Kitchen Confidential. He could write! Reading his book was like a conversation with this amazing personality.

Kate Spade went from working at Mademoiselle magazine in the accessories department to launching her own brand of handbags out of her New York apartment. No prior knowledge of handbag design or construction, just passion and a determination that she was on the right track. She liquidated her 401K, her partner and her cobbled together what little money they had and did trade shows and gradually built a business from scratch. You should listen to her being interviewed on NPR:

I have been thinking about both of them a lot. Many people may think how can they possibly take their own lives with so much wealth and fame?

Everyone has problems.

I have never met either one of them, but I can imagine they had a lot of stress. Bourdain was traveling around 200 days a year for production of his travel show on CNN. He had business obligations galore and constant requests for speaking engagements and dinners. He was twice divorced and a daughter that he doted on but often from afar. 

Ms. Spade had sold her namesake company and had launched a new one. Maybe it was not the great success she had hoped for? I don't know but a new business with creditors, public scrutiny coupled with depression and alcoholism put her in a dark place.

We all have problems.

In my life, I have what I call a 'soft addiction.' I am a night owl. While the world sleeps, I stay up to one AM, sometimes two AM reading and then pondering that drifts into melancholy. Doesn't always help to have a steady Simon and Garfunkle playlist going on in the background.

The trouble for us night owls is that we have to get up early the next day to work, get kids to school and generally function at a high level. The next morning we may be exhausted by 11am, cranky and more prone to depression. For me, the rare night that I can get to bed at a decent time (e.g. 11pm), the next morning I feel like a million bucks! While I am not depressed, my world view is much darker when I don't get enough sleep.

So, if you are feeling down, do get help, but before you get professional help, get a good night of rest. Your morning will be sunny like the photo in this post, which is what we all deserve!


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