The Big Rocks

I’m was in Silicon Valley in 2019 for a few days to attend our yearly Sales Engineering (SE) training. It’s a great way for the growing SE team to get together and talk shop. I find these yearly meetings very useful but they’re hectic. Fun but hectic.

I love being in California. It’s such a wonderful place for the outdoors and ‘chilling’ in cities like San Francisco. I’m a big fan of the SoCal desert areas and Joshua Tree is one of my favorite destinations. Ever since I lived in Albuquerque, I’ve had a pull toward the mountains and deserts. Yet it seems that I won’t get away this time for much-needed fun out in those mountains.

There’s always time for work, but never enough time for yourself or loved ones.

I pondered this as I was flying 36,000 feet over the United States and it reminded me of Franklin Covey. I’ve learned that YOU have to take the time for yourself. You have to make it point to go work out, hike, and have fun. It’s those “Big Rocks” that Franklin Covey once wrote about. The Big Rocks are those important things in your life. Family, love, personal care/growth, etc/ Put those in a jar and you’ll see that space is still there. Then you add sand, and the sand fills everything up. The sand is your work life. There’s always time for work, but never enough time for yourself or loved ones. 

…noise robs you of your precious time.

It’s easy to lose track of this habit and I’ve been guilty of this for sure. Still, it’s not a bad thing to lose your way from time to time, the real bad thing is not to course correct. 

To achieve this I plan on digging out my old 7 Habits for Highly Effective People and giving it another read-through. I’m going to focus on all the habits but I’ll spend time revamping my Google Tasks to accommodate something called “quadrants.”Covey broke down tasks into four subcategories and when you do that you identify the tasks that are noise.  This is important because noise robs you of your precious time. Spend more time on important tasks and don’t do the unimportant ones.

What legacy am I leaving behind?

Once you do that you can free up your time to focus on those Big Rocks, and that becomes your legacy, and I ask myself what legacy am I leaving behind?

What legacy are YOU leaving behind?


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Print Your Photos Out

My father passed away unexpectedly at the beginning of November 2021. He had some severe health issues and we knew he was living on borrowed time, we just didn’t know how short that time was.

While preparing for my father’s memorial and eulogy, our entire family searched for photos to share and use as a tribute to his life. My mother searched through her photo and wedding albums and found some beautiful photos of my father as a young man.

These were photos of him when he first came to the United States, their wedding, and when my sister and I were born. My mother had it easy to find those photos, my sister and me? Not so easy.

I realized that all our photos live online or on some backup device. It’s hard to troll through Facebook and by accident, and I mean really by accident, I found a wonderful family photo from Christmas 2019.

That was the last time our small family was together for a family gathering. As I printed that photo out I scolded myself that I should’ve printed that photo out before. As I pasted it onto the white paper board I scolded myself again that I should’ve made a second copy of it and framed it.

My son and daughter helped paste the images on boards and created a collage of their grandfather’s life. My mother cried when she saw the photos of my father that we snapped but never printed out.

It was at that moment that I realized what a travesty it is not to print out photos. It’s an affront to your family and all the loved ones in your life not to make a physical reminder of your time together.

Is this not what we do with lovers and cherished people in our life? Make reminders of our time together? Reminders of love for one another?

Why have I become so dismissive of this simple act? Why have we, as a society, chosen to share our lives on social media only to have them buried in a timeline?

Why don’t we print out those photos of us with friends, lovers, and parents? Why don’t we print out every single silly photo of us laughing, when we were young and wild?

Why don’t make tangible, tactile, and physical reminders of a time that was slowed for just that instant? When we were in states of ecstasy and happiness?

I don’t know why we don’t but I dare us to do so again. I dare us to print out our photos and put the best ones in a frame or album, and then give them away.


My partner and I hosted Christmas dinner this year, after skipping it in 2020 due to Covid19 fears. My sister and her family couldn’t make it but we gathered again and we took a family photo.

I printed it out and put it in a frame, right next to the Christmas family photo in 2019, when everyone was alive and happy. I see smiles across everyone’s face and I am reminded of that evening.

I can hold that picture frame a look at my father one more time when he was in better health, and with life in his eyes.

Print your photos out. It’s the only way to hold onto your time.