Cafe Witness

Friday, February 23, 2007

Breaking My Own Heart

As I mentioned on the STBD blog today, I will NOT be attending PodCamp Toronto this weekend.

Boy, am I upset about that.


Because a PodCamp in Toronto is already a near-perfect storm of events for me. Toronto is one of my favorite cities, and one I haven't been to in almost a year. And PodCamp is always a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and new, exchange ideas and be part of a thriving creative community. To mix both is amazing, but the fact that my best friend is ALSO heading up to Toronto this weekend for an Our Lady Peace concert is almost too much fun to have in one weekend.

So, as per Murphy's Law, I'm staying put -- due to my own misallocation of time and money.

What Dennis Johnson Can Teach Us About Time Management

As an avid sports fan, I check Sports Illustrated's website multiple times per day. Yesterday, breaking news informed me that former Boston Celtic guard Dennis Johnson had passed away at the relatively early age of 52. Later, it was verified that he'd died of a heart attack. One moment he was standing outside, talking with the PR person from the NBDL team he's currently coaching, and the next he'd fallen over and was en route to cardiac arrest.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Dennis Johnson's premature death is a signal that we should all be thankful for every moment we're alive on this planet, and to try to maximize all of our time while we're here.

But the deeper lesson is WHY Johnson's death is being so widely reported. After all, aged athletes pass away on a regular basis, just like retirees in any other industry. Due to having worked in a high-profile occupation, their deaths usually warrant a brief national news item, but rarely does the obituary of a player who is not a Hall-of-Famer (and Johnson is not) merit front-page mention in a national sports publication.

The reason Dennis Johnson is so fondly remembered is simple: he worked his ass off.

DJ was never the most talented player on a team. (He wasn't even a starter in his senior year of high school.) The fact that he's remembered as a "Celtic great" while having played on the same teams as future Hall-of-Famers like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Bill Walton is a testament to his work ethic and his willingness to do whatever it took to get the job done. In fact, statistically speaking, Johnson was more productive as an individual player before he joined the Celtics. Only afterwards, when he was no longer required to be a go-to guy, was his true value as a blue-collar, do-it-all contributor allowed to flourish.

This is why his death at an early age is so profound -- not because it was unexpected (the man was never a prime physical specimen) but because it hammers home one key point:

You may not be able to do everything in life well, but if you work your ass off, you may be able to do everything you want to do -- even if you don't have as much time to do it as you'd like.

If Dennis Johnson accomplished more in a shorter amount of time than some others, perhaps it's because he knew he needed to pack in as much as he could into whatever time he had. Who wouldn't want to be able to say the same thing about himself?

Which Brings Us Back to PodCamp

Not to belabor a point, but the fact that I'm sitting here ruminating about time management instead of doing the work that needs to be done is telling. It means that I'm the one to blame for missing an event that I would, on paper, "never miss in a million years."

So now I have a choice: I can either continue to fritter away time each day and never quite live up to my potential... or I can work my ass off to ensure that I never have to sit here again over a weekend, owning up to my own culpability in missing out on something I had my heart set on.

What do YOU have circled on YOUR calendar? What NEEDS to be done to ensure that that circle doesn't get erased?

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  • What I'm currently upset about missing was this weekend's event at the Creative Treehouse. I told the CT people I met at the last PodCamp meeting I would try to come and I had it on my calendar (even printed out the MapQuest directions for it). But when the weekend came, I was exhausted from a busy work week (see your next post on people shutting down for the weekend) and the ice sheet at the bottom of my driveway had gotten even bigger. So I ended up staying put in my cozy abode instead of trekking to Bellevue. Again, my apologies to the CT people, I feel terrible about not showing up.

    By Blogger Jia, at 5:35 PM  

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