Napa nostalgia and secrets of people with all the time in the world

img_2467I am writing this from the Napa valley in California, where I came to do a time management workshop. One of the great parts of my job is that I get to travel to various lovely places where people do corporate retreats, but then since it’s not my actual corporate retreat, I am “off” once I’m done. I seldom stay long, but it’s like a lot of mini-vacations bedecking my life.

I visited Napa in May of 2014 with my husband’s siblings and spouses to celebrate my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday. We went to several wineries per day (helped greatly by renting a limo so no one had to drive). It was a great trip — lovely, pastoral, amazing food (French Laundry!), fabulous wine — though I feel I never had the proper chance to cement it in my brain and savor it in memory, because a few days after coming home I learned that kid #4 was on his way, and that somewhat startling news had a way of crowding most other things out of my mind for a bit.

But anyway, as I was walking around the little town of St. Helena after my 3-hour workshop today, I realized that a tasting room I’d passed looked familiar. I checked in with the family and sure enough, we’d been to Orin Swift on that 2014 trip. I thought about leaving it at that. Napa is nice, but I’m also away from the kids on the weekend, which is usually a great chance to write. I really need to make some progress on my next book, which is about the secrets of people with all the time in the world. I knew full well that if I started drinking wine at 3 p.m. I would not make any progress.

Then I figured that probably, people with all the time in the world would say “hey, you’re in Napa!” and go back to the tasting room.

So I did. I enjoyed tasting several wines, including the dangerously smooth-sipping 2014 Mercury Head (a cab that runs a cool $120 a bottle). I chatted with the tasting room attendant, who suggested I try Farmstead, a Napa cuisine place not far from my hotel. I did for dinner and it was good too.

Of course, I have not done any of the projects I set out to do today. I guess I should have remembered from past weeks that I generally don’t feel like doing much after giving a speech or leading a workshop. And I like to explore places too. This may wind up being an interesting tension as I want to act like I have all the time in the world, but I need to get a book written on time.

10 thoughts on “Napa nostalgia and secrets of people with all the time in the world

  1. I took the approach of having all the time in the world this weekend when my 7 year old needed a little extra attention and loving. Alas, the laundry did not get folded and put away, but no one but me seems to care that it’s in baskets and not their dressers.

  2. I had one of those decisions last year after a conference in Bethesda a) spend a much-needed day in a hotel room working on my thesis, or b) spend a glorious fall day wandering around the monuments in DC (where I’d never been before). I’m so glad I went with option B – wonderful memories and the thesis did get done (just) in time.
    For the book: I also wonder about those who are able to give the impression of having all the time in the world. I usually feel ok about time, and how much I squeeze in but I get comments like ‘Oh you’re always so busy’ etc that suggest I’m giving the impression I’m squeezed, even if I don’t feel that way myself.

    1. @Lily- maybe you give that impression to people you don’t really want to hang out with. Not a bad thing necessarily – your personal feelings are what matters 🙂

      But it is true that some people really exude all the time in the world, at least once they’ve decided to speak with someone. I was laughing with one interview subject (who has a lot going on!) about how when I’d asked to set up an interview he told me that Thursday and Friday were open so just name my time. Whoa!

  3. Completely off topic – but would you be able to write a post (or maybe you have already done one) about the tipping point re motherhood and fulltime career. At what number of kids does working a full time professional gig become untenable?

    1. @Clare – I don’t think that’s necessarily the right way to look at this question. There are men with large broods who work full time professional gigs, in part because large broods can be expensive! Presumably some women feel the same. One’s support system matters a lot; family nearby (or a nanny who can stay overnight) makes travel more doable. Also, I think there’s a lot of self-selection. There may not be that many women who are full-on gung-ho about a professional career who also want big families. But I kind of think that if one does fall in both categories, you’ll figure it out.

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