Backpacks for Dinner (BFD) has been using Tuesday nights relentlessly for a long time. Specifically, since Feb of 2011. It’s a special part of our connection to Badass Backpacks. The summary origin story goes like this: I was full of bullshit excuses for why I couldn’t possibly take this idea that I had (Badass Backpacks) and somehow make it a reality. I relayed this bullshit to Rusty one night, and Rusty said to me: “One night a week. Just make one night a week. You can do this. I’ll do it with you. Next Tuesday, I’ll come to your house and we’ll do ‘backpacks for dinner'” Boom, tradition founded. But I had little idea at that time how meaningful our Tuesday night rhythm would become.
We meet once a week. No matter what. No matter the situation. We work. The rest of the week, we give way to other pressing priorities as needed… and yes amazing ideas sometimes come to us on other days of the week. But we’ve made a habit of noting those ideas, those thoughts, that noise… and remembering that we will have truly proper time to come back to it on Tuesday night. It’s beautiful safety net, because it’s a slow pace. Sometimes, really slow.
Intentionally Slow = Magic
Many of you have heard me refer to the weird pace of Badass Backpacks as one of the project’s most appealing elements. You might have heard me refer to it as “Magical” or “Powerful” or “Transformative”. With a lot of time between focused work, we’ve seen certain ideas, fears, and desires of the project be completely changed because of our built-in long pauses and slow steps that happen in between each of our official BFD sessions. Thoughtful and creative pursuits can sometimes come with a lot of noise. Within that noise there is a lot of good stuff. And the memorable ideas last. They really do. And sometimes we have fringe ideas, ones where we spout “quick write that down” — and over time, we look back at our notes and we laugh our asses off at how something which seemed so important and exciting now feels really silly and off-point. It’s powerful to see the ideas that truly last. It’s magical to see our ideas evolve, grow, and transform.
4 Roles: Parenthood, Partnership, Prosperity, and Personhood (self)
Huge hat-tip here to Carrie Contey. Carrie helped me clarify something for myself. That all 4 of these roles (being a parent, being a husband, having a professional career, and making time for myself) are all important to me. And sometimes you have to be smart about how you prioritize or organize your time. At the beginning of this project, my Tuesday nights helped me be diligent and intentional with making time for this passion of mine. At that time, I simply couldn’t figure out how to make time each and every day for Badass Backpacks, but my Tuesday nights would roll around. BFD @ 8pm. I could calm down knowing I would have that time.
Commitment to “Be On Fire”
The last year or so has been a different pace for me. No longer just one night a week, I have joyfully expanded the amount of time and focus that I give to Badass Backpacks. Important to clarify here, that I spend a whole lot of time on this project… but it’s been a natural process to start embracing the fact that shipping a project like this requires quite a bit of work. And make no mistake that all of those 5 min phone calls that I manage to knock out flawlessly during my lunch hour or the quick emails I fire off each night after my kids are down to bed are all made so much easier because of the time that we have with each BFD session to thrash with discomfort, to let long conversations thrive, to make important decisions, to move step-by-step, and to set our intentions. I love this cry from Fake Grimlock to “Be on fire”. It is an important part of my Tuesday nights — to “Make It Burn”. Get it done. Because the time is now. And even though I make incredibly efficient use of my time every day of the week for Badass Backpacks — I am still absolutely in love with the weekly pace we have with BFD. I use it as a guide. On Tuesdays, whatever it is that we need to get done in order for Badass Backpacks to keep moving… it’s likely that this Tuesday is the night to get that done.
It’s Tuesday night, so keep burning, keep moving, don’t stop. Be relentless.