Friday miscellany – well, weekend too

I gave speeches in Houston and Toronto this past week. The audiences were great. Houston was amazingly energetic for the post-lunch spot (it may have helped that the man who introduced me gave away an iPad – that tends to fire people up!) Toronto’s audience was a particular sweet spot for me — close to 2000 women, mostly corporate. There is nothing quite like 2000 people laughing and clapping at something I just said. I signed books after and took copious selfies with people. Very fun. And then listened to Malala talk about girls and education. She has certainly thought about her own laugh lines, which I appreciated — it’s a good way to keep people engaged given the seriousness of what she’s addressing.

Other travel details: The hotel gyms were fine. The treadmill I ran on in Toronto had the unfortunate side effect of shocking me (hard!) every time I touched the panel. I was really weighing whether I should change the speed or leave it be, given the results of bumping things up or down a notch. The plane flights were…sigh. The ride home from Houston was bumpy the entire time. The pilot was delusional in terms of his optimism. He kept saying “it should even out” and then he’d turn off the seat belt sign, only to have us (and the beverage cart) go flying. My flights to and from Toronto were both delayed by approximately the length of the entire flight. I got home shortly before 1 a.m. on Friday night (Saturday morning). The 3-year-old woke up at 5 a.m. My husband got him. Even so, waking up at 7 a.m. was hard. My planned 8-mile run turned into a 5.4 mile run.

Spring is coming in fits and starts. On Thursday before I flew to Toronto, we all ate dinner outside. We did so on Saturday night too, grilling steaks (then the temperatures plunged to 39 and rainy on Sunday). Last year, our March deep freeze stopped all our flowering trees from blooming. Much of March was snowy this year too, but fortunately the blooms weren’t far enough along to be affected. So now the plum trees and magnolia are blooming. It’s like pink clouds of cotton candy — so beautiful.

We are also back in our kitchen! I’ll do a full post with before and after photos later, but in the meantime, I’m on Instagram at @lvanderkam if you want to see a peek. The master bathroom is still a work in progress, though this is mostly because the township electrical and plumbing inspections have been…slow.

I am approaching the end of my third year of time-tracking (it ends April 20th at 5 a.m.). I have been processing some of the logs, figuring out sleep and work numbers. It really is fascinating (well, for me at least) to see where the time goes over the full 8760 hours that make up a year. More to come on this in the next few weeks as well.

Finally, if you’d like to learn what other people have learned from tracking time, check out this article from Dorie Clark at Harvard Business Review. She tracked her time for 30 days. One take-away — email takes a lot more energy than it does time. Something to think about!

I spent a few hours this evening signing and addressing book plates for people who pre-ordered Off the Clock. If you’d like to “feel less busy while getting more done,” as the subtitle promises, I’d appreciate if you’d order a copy as well. Thanks for considering it!

4 thoughts on “Friday miscellany – well, weekend too

  1. Don’t fret…that 5.4 mile run will serve you just fine! Life gets in the way, but your regularity counts more than a lot of distance.

  2. Malala?… you skipped by her–this cultural/political/generational icon–so fast, I wondered if you were avoiding saying what you really thought. What were our thoughts about her and her presentation, other than her laugh lines?

    1. @Louisa – more that it’s a short post. She’s awesome and I support girls everywhere going to school. Amazing to see someone who’s so young accomplishing so much. I got to see about half of her talk (she was being interviewed by a moderator) between the conference organizers needing me to do other things.

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