This post originally appeared in my newsletter, Borrowed, Learned, & Thought. BL&T is sent weekly on Mondays. In every edition, I share lessons learned in agency leadership, life, and e-commerce. This post does not include all the details shared in the newsletter sent via email. Subscribe here.
"Music has the power to stop time. But music also keeps time. Drummers are timekeepers. Music conserves time and serves time, just as time conserves and serves music."
From "Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove" by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Ben Greenman [Book]
Happy new year! I hope you enjoyed some time off with friends and loved ones. I was grateful to spend last Tuesday with my longtime friend, Kyle.
Kyle and I met in fourth grade and have been friends ever since. From elementary school to college, all the way to taking our first jobs in NYC, we've had quite a journey together. He was my drummer, roommate, and the list goes on. Kyle now lives in LA, so it was a treat to catch up in person. Despite the physical distance of our homes, I'm grateful that we're still close, so really, there wasn't too much "catching up" to do.
When Kyle moved to LA, we were both living in Brooklyn. Years later, I own a house in our hometown. Showing Kyle around Dana and I's new place was surreal. Kyle and I grew up about 10 minutes down the road — I would have never thought I'd be back. If there's anything this year taught me, it's that life isn't worth predicting.
Anyway, Kyle and I met his parents for dinner in the evening. I can't remember the last time I saw them, so we had some actual catching up to do. It's no surprise we ended up reminiscing about my and Kyle's time playing music just about everywhere locally. As the night came to a close and Kyle and I went our separate ways, I sat in my car for a second thinking, wow, where does the time go?
My mind traveled back to family dinners over the holidays. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's sat at family dinners listening to their elders share tales of times past, remarking on how fast time moves. Mine certainly did. As a young kid, I understood the concept, but there's a difference between understanding and experiencing.
For example, when Kyle broke his collar bone several months back, I could understand how painful it must have been to do daily tasks (pre-surgery). But, since I've never broken my collar bone, I couldn't fully empathize with his pain. So, as my elders commented on the speed of time, I understood what they meant, yet in the mind of my younger self, there was so much to do - I couldn't relate.
Looking back on old times with Kyle and his parents made me realize that things have changed — I can relate. Time stops for no one, and as I write this, I'm thinking — maybe that's okay.
Growing up, I remember piling into our minivan for family vacations. We had no GPS back then, so there was more to the trip than packing our bags and jumping in the car to go. Planning included a trip to AAA to gather the necessary maps to get us to our destination. While my parents followed the maps at every turn, we could always count on a gas station stop to pause, reassess, and confirm that we were on the correct route, especially if my dad made a wrong turn.
I didn't realize until I sat down to write this weekend that this is what this newsletter has been for me - a weekly checkpoint to pause, reassess, and look ahead. When time feels like it's moving at lightning speed, this newsletter helps me slow it down. I'll admit, it can be challenging to find the space, but after my first full year of writing it, the impact is clear.
When I turned 30, I remember an ounce of fear in my gut. My life flashed before my eyes. It was scary thinking that the past 30 years were time I could never get back. A year and a half later, my perspective has changed.
It's not worth trying to stop time. Putting your hands up and letting it fly by you isn't the answer either. It's finding your unique rhythm and a path to staying grounded. Wasting today worrying about yesterday or tomorrow is time you can't get back. Wasted time. For me, this newsletter has played a critical role in finding that rhythm. When all my other habits fall by the wayside, it's there to keep me in check.
A big part of what keeps me showing up is you. There may not be hundreds of you there, but you're there. If I ever feel like throwing in the towel, I imagine you might just be there waiting. Thank you for that.
This time last year, I was 17 newsletters in and hadn't published much to my website. Since then, I've published 148 posts and written 52 newsletters. My goal from the start has been simple, to spend more time with my thoughts and put ideas into the world. I appreciate you taking the time to read each week; I look forward to continuing this journey with you this year.
Am I living in today? Yesterday? Tomorrow?