Journal: Wednesday, April 29, 2020

In Personal

Quarantine Day 43. When writing these entries, sometimes I wonder what I’ll feel when I eventually read them later — probably years later.

Curious, most likely. I’d probably just skim, reminisce, then carry on with my day. I know this because Google Photos often reminds me where I was, and what I was doing, “on this day in year ____” every morning.

3 years ago, I was in Salzburg on this day; I’d be leaving for Innsbruck soon. Has it only been 3 years? (Or rather, should I say: “It’s been 3 years???“) I suppose, 3 years from now, I’ll look back and think: “wow, it’s been 3 years since the Great Pandemic? The Great Reset?” I wonder where I’ll be then.

Thinking about what I want to do, where I want to go, and the meaning of my life has started to encroach on my daily life. I’m long overdue for a midyear check-in on my 30th-birthday reflections, and my 2020 New Years Resolutions. I’ll probably write about my thoughts on those, at length.

But in this entry, I’ll just talk about what happened today.

So what happened? Well, for the umpteenth time, there was an all-company all-hands. There’s one every Wednesday now (it’s been that way for the past 6 weeks, I think). After skipping a few (they’re 1.5 hours long), I realized that these all-hands actually do contain some useful info (or at least “pop news” that my coworkers will later reference), and like with my post yesterday, some celebrity of some sort.

Today’s “celebrity” was Colin Powell. I didn’t even know he was on our Board. But he regaled us with some stories from his time in the military, and as Secretary of State under Bush 43. Generally, I like speakers who use stories to frame a narrative; there’re too many speakers who just spit out facts like a lecturer covering a checklist.

Other than that, the main thing I had to get done today were product metrics for a monthly operations meeting. I had left some work incomplete yesterday night; now I faced a hard deadline: 3PM.

But, I also needed to present my team’s user stories and capacity plans for the next three months. This would happen during a meeting going from 1-3PM. My portion would probably take about 15 minutes. But now that I’m (even) more ingrained in cross-functional, cross-product projects, I knew I had to pay attention throughout the readout.

As we approached 3PM, I told Yixin, who was helping me out with the metrics, that I wouldn’t be able to finish the report completely. Maybe we’d backfill them later. (As it turns out, the operations meeting was cancelled.)

As the workday ended, I had two meetings to join. One was a conversation with Frank Shorter, hosted by SFRRC. The other was a weekly “hump day happy hour.”

Compared to the conversation with Joan Benoit Samuelson a couple weeks ago, this interview with Frank Shorter went much smoother. It also helped immensely that Frank was super talkative and a great storyteller. And boy, did he have some crazy stories, including being carried by the crowd to the front of a Bay to Breakers race in the 80’s (?), the “imposter” finisher of the 1972 Olympic Marathon, and witnessing the assassination of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes before the 1972 Munich Olympics began.

In any case, I enjoyed every bit of it, though later into the conversation, question and answer delved a little into basic training theory (where I didn’t learn anything new).

After that conversation, I joined the happy hour. This week, Kristen, Melissa H., Tiffany, Natasha, and Joe were there. I joined right when they were discuss the idea of changing last names. I won’t go into detail here, but ultimately they asked me if I’d change my last name — to which I answered: “why would I consider that? I don’t think I’d ever get married!”

I ended up not running today, in favor of getting more personal stuff done (there’s just not enough time in a day!). But now that I’m writing this, I kind of regret not going out even for a short 5K. I’m thinking that perhaps I should commit to running at least once a day, every day, and never go more than two days in a row without running. This has definitely been harder without a goal race, or a training plan. I’ll probably try to draw up a plan tomorrow…

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