BL&T No. 089: Simple Moments with Family & Friends

Personal Growth

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.


"The way you spend your time is a result of the way you see your time and the way you really see your priorities."

From "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change" by Stephen R. Covey [Book]


Being able to hang with family more often and casually was something I was looking forward to when Dana and I moved to my hometown. When we lived in Brooklyn, I had accepted that having dinner with my parents on a weeknight would likely never be in the cards. Friends and I would chat about it now and again; we all found it a bit upsetting; however, we enjoyed our life in the city, work was there, and that was that. Then, the pandemic changed everything, and now, here we are. Never say never, I guess!

Several moments last week reminded me of those past conversations with friends and how much life has shifted since February 2020.

On Wednesday night, I got to see my younger brother Justin dance at a weekly jazz night at a bar about 10 minutes from my house. I also played a few songs at an open mic for the first time in who knows how long. It was surreal standing on stage performing just blocks away from the now-closed venue I used to play open mic nights at every Wednesday in High School.

On Thursday night, I had a casual dinner with my parents at a nearby restaurant that we frequented when I was growing up. I brought a bottle of wine, and we caught up on the week.

On Friday night, Dana and I met my parents and some family friends at a restaurant to celebrate my Mom's (soon-to-be) birthday. Justin came by with his friend, a neighbor who grew up across the street. He told me how he was studying for the bar, and my mind wandered back to him and Justin drawing with chalk on the driveway as kids. Then, we geeked out about motorcycles. It turns out that we may ride together now that he's back home, too. As Dana and I hugged everyone goodbye, I smiled at the thought of a 10-minute ride home, not the usual 2 hours back to BK.

On Sunday afternoon, we didn't hang with family; Dana and I took a ride to NJ for a barbecue at Barrel co-founder Sei-Wook's new home. It was fun to see Sei-Wook's son, Henry, playing with Barrel's other co-founder, Peter's kids, Grant and Teddy. We brought Gizmo along, too; that added another level of entertainment. I drove home thinking about how nice it was to have a casual hang with New York friends and time with family just days before, without ever packing a bag.

These are all pretty simple moments, and yet I think they're what matters most in the long run. Grateful that they're possible and to be living life in balance. On that note, I'm looking forward to hosting friends from our old BK neighborhood this week for a friend's wedding nearby.

Beyond the warm and fuzzy, last week was a solid week at Barrel. Whether it was a conversation with the team or a client, I could feel the forward momentum all week long on a number of our current initiatives.

On the new business front, I've been thinking about how we approach new proposals and what mindset is most productive as we navigate one deal to the next. Read on for more thoughts on this topic: New Biz Proposals: Are We Putting Our Best Foot Forward?

Thought Starter

Am I making time for what matters most?

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