Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lessons From the Farm

1. Sunset Time

On my first day at the harvest Tobias, one of the farmer men who lives here, suddenly stopped mid olive raking:

"Wait! We must stop now and watch the sunset!"

And that is exactly what we all did...and what we've done every day we've been at the olive groves. Can you imagine if every day your boss told you to stop mid email and look outside to stare at the sunset?

Please do this at least once this week for me. I know I sound like a hippie farmer, but whatever you're doing can wait.

I've watched more sunsets and stared at more stars these past three weeks than I have in the last three years. I think I've been sitting inside a windowless cube staring at a computer screen for the majority of those sunsets.

How could I have turned down such a beautiful form of free entertainment all this time? I love free shit.

2. Go with the High Hanging Fruit

So I've discovered that it's not always the best strategy to go after the low hanging fruit first...especially when you step back and look at the tree as a whole.

If you have to rake away the top leaves anyway, you can usually catch a few of the low hangers on the way down. I believe this concept will have multiple applications for future me.

3. Don't Always Take the Stairs

One of the farmers, Giovanni, has been teasing me here about my bizarre little person strength after my climb up the pole the other day. He doesn't understand how I did it or where the strength came from. Neither did I.

I've noticed here that I prefer to go after the highest olives...even though I'm the shortest person.

I nominated myself to carry all the biggest rocks and buckets of dirt down a hill when we were renovating some drainage channels...even though I have the smallest arms.

And yesterday I climbed up a hill out of the olive grove...even though there were stairs just steps away.

Giovanni asked why I didn't just take the stairs, and I replied:

"Because this is how I get strong!"

I thought that was very clever of me. I felt like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde when she tells her law professor, "Because I'm not afraid of a challenge."

But I do think it's true. I like to take the harder way out sometimes or put myself in challenging situations for the sake of making it through the confirm with myself that I'm strong enough to take it.

I think that's what this whole trip is about.


  1. I can't wait to meet "future me"!
    The trip sounds amazing.
    Love, Jay

  2. How are you so senior!?!

    Ironically enough, a SVP in health the other came over near by cube and was like, "Check out this sunset!!" - though that was a first!