Sunrise / Sunset: 7:11AM / 5:43PM
Foo Song: No Way Back
So you may wonder why I’d mention Uma Thurman here. There are basically two reasons, both having to do with time.
First of all, I can’t get the time challenge out of my head, and dealing with the fallout of getting behind is tough – tough to catch up, tough to feel like I can never quite live up to the expectations I set for myself. Time for self discipline!!! Fallout Boy’s song Uma Thurman deserves a quick reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VTxYQL2SbA
Second, trying to get a move on with my goals brings me back, for some weird reason, to a memory when I was baffled by a subtitle in a movie while learning Spanish. I saw Pulp Fiction in Mexico while studying abroad. I couldn’t help but read the Spanish subtitles that flashed across the bottom of the screen. During the ketchup joke, I saw “apurate” come up as the punchline. Knowing ketchup is “salsa de tomate,” I was confused. But once my Spanish came up to speed, I actually got it. That’s always magical. When I understand something better now in retrospect than I did in the moment.
“Three tomatoes are walking down the street papa tomato, mama tomato, and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Papa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato, and smooshes him… and says, “Catch up”It works great in English and Spanish yet kind of magically with different lines.
It works great in English and Spanish yet kind of magically does so with different lines. When poets translate verse from English to Spanish and vice versa without losing the underlying meaning and tone, that’s really an art form, so much better than literal translation, and probably pretty tough for Google Translate to emulate. I also like that. As much as I love technology and innovation and new apps, a sliver of me remains a Luddite and fiercely independent, hating to use GPS’s, preferring to wander and get lost to find my way. If that makes sense.
Anyway, in Spanish, the punchline is one of more elegant double meaning: “apurate” means, “yo, move it / hurry up!!” but could also mean “puree yourself.” Amazingly enough, there’s actually a Facebook Group dedicated to the Tomato joke … https://www.facebook.com/The-Ketchup-Joke-pappa-mamma-and-little-baby-tomato-Pulp-F-171829926167296/info/?tab=page_info
Why do I bring this up here? Because I’m madly trying to catch up, on a bit of a treadmill. So, even though my readers may browse this blog in chronological order after I’ve completed my 42nd lap around the sun, that’s just because WordPress allows me to post retroactively. In truth, I’ve composed this thing whenever possible with notes all over the place (literally) and stealing bits of time whenever I’ve been able to write posts.
However, one of the aims of this blog was to train myself to write more consistently, to develop routines, and to become just a little more systematic in attacking goals. As I lamented in yesterday’s post, time always seems to get away from me, yet almost all of my ideas and aspirations take time. Lots of it. Since I haven’t figured out how to clone myself, I feel more and more pressure every day that I lose in getting on top of my goals, but some days are more harried than others. Some days I just give in and relax, stop trying so hard, and things just flow.
Here’s the plan I came up with, what I’m calling a Tomato Sandwich Approach to getting it done, one slice at a time, with enough variety and consideration of busy periods in my calendar over the next month to be totally caught up by the time I go to bed on December 1, assuming I can stick relatively close to such a systematic plan:
Time management is either learning to pack more into less time by finding efficiencies or learning to say no and actually doing (or trying to do) less, focusing on greater focus (!) and effectiveness. Considering the first definition, yesterday I had the good fortune of “meeting” (via Skype) a true multi-tasker named Enrique Rubio. It’s odd, but there are some people you just click with automatically. Enrique reached out to EcoLogic basically with a blind/cold sales email from his startup social enterprise, Projectionary. A colleague passed his inquiry along, and I almost dismissed it, especially conscious of managing my time (thinking about the second definition of better time management). But something about his email grabbed my attention. The powerful one word name? The simple, fairly elegant platform?
In any case, I spoke with Enrique yesterday, saw his Twitter handle and bio, and noticed that not only does he work full time at the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), he’s also part of this startup team, he runs his own blog and advice column on topics of leadership, and he’s an ultrarunner. After we met, I connected him to Deborah Elizabeth Finn at Tech Networks of Boston (she’s a huge connector, the kind of person I really admire) and wrote him from my personal email, explaining that I had seen his non-IDB and non-Projectionary stuff and was impressed. Just like that, after a brief Skype call and an email back and forth, I identified someone with whom I have a ton in common. I invited him to join me on the Ultra Trail Los Nevados in Colombia in August 2016 (something I want to commit to, but I need to make the time – time, time, time …) and told him of my dream to build an AT in Colombia. His response was almost exactly what I would have said (and did say, back in 2004, with my Switzer Fellowship interview, and which always makes me wonder what I’m doing living in coastal Boston …): “Your idea of creating the “AT” in Colombia sounds amazing!! I’m Venezuelan, but I’ll be more than excited to help you with this when the time comes. The mountains are my most sacred place and I love them more than any other type of landscape!”
So I laid it out there, took a risk in telling him a little more than you might normally tell a new acquaintance, and voila. I’m amazed at how many people I’ve already amassed as possible collaborators for a TransColombia Trail. And at a time when hope is in the air, but time is in short supply, as always.