Week In Review – 26 Jan 2020

During the winter months, one of my fears is having car problems. Who wants to be caught with car issue in the cold, right?  But that is what happened to me this week.  Fortunately I manage to dropping in on myself under the circumstances.

In short, I empowered myself to face my fear and solve my car problems. What could be better? Keep my sense of curiosity and playfulness.   Nevertheless, the experience improved my winter mood insofar as I am not 100% captive to the weather.

My car problems, while personal, pale in comparison to the impeachment trial of our president this week.  The trial is not over. But the jurors seem to have reached a verdict.  Swift justice it may be, but the process is not as much of a struggle as I anticipated.

I have also been spending extra screen time  following the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.  Whether the virus will be pandemic is yet to be determined.  Its magnitude is affected as China celebrates its new year and experiences the world’s largest annual human migration.

Stay tune!

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Non-stop Exploring

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Curiosity and play are the two gifts we have since birth.  The two gifts that will keep on giving for a lifetime. In fact, our age should be a non-factor. But sorry to report that more often than not, it is.

As we get older, the farther we become from exploring our world.  We are more set in our ways.  We are conditioned by our habits.  And dare I say, determined by our fear.  The world is shrinking and the walls are closing in.  Little options exist?  This is more common than I like to admit.

“Go ahead and explore,” I say, especially to myself.  I am retired.  My time and energy are at my disposal.  Use them for exploration.  Why not?  The benefits are immense – learning novel concepts, adapting new habits, and improving quality of life.

And the best part?  All it takes is to keep our curiosity and playfulness front and center  towards our immediate surroundings.  No costs and no fuss.  For there are much to see, do, and enjoy.

What’s your favorite exploration?  Travel, reading, or something else?

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Too Much Screen Time?

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My phone has a feature call “screen time.”  It tracks how much time I spent on my phone every day.  Nifty metric especially for people who are analytical and interested in that kinds of data. But the thing is that my phone is not the only screen I interact.

I have multiple devices other than my phone.  Computer, tablet, television, etc.  Some I have more than one of each.  What is the real picture on how much I spent staring at flat screens has take into account of all my devices. More than just what my phone tracks.

Should I be worried?  Not at all, if you ask me.

Of course overindulgence is not good.  But screen time to me is no different from time spent on reading, blogging, exercising, sleeping or anything else.  It is a subset of how I spent my time.  At the end of the day, if I am productive, happy, or not will depend how I invest my time.

I am free to adjust depend on the situation.  An occasional binge watching will certainly skew the metric but does no real harm. So why not?

How do you feel about the “screen time”? 

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Dropping In On Myself

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Sounds a bit spooky, isn’t it?  Dropping in on myself.  But that is exactly what I have been doing lately.  Think of it as flash meditation. In any given moment, dropping in to see how I am doing.  Any place.  Any time.  And if desired, alter the state of my feeling.

Just today, I was on my way to the shop to get my car fixed.  While enroute, my car went dead in the middle of traffic.  There I was, waiting for the tow truck to show up, supposedly within an hour.  I was on pins and needles.

You see, despite my emergency flashers blinking, cars were coming right up to my bumper. As if awaken at the last minute, drivers were pulling out left and right from my car’s behind.  Honking all around by them, by others honking at them or me?

As I called the dispatcher to inquire the tow truck status, I dropped in on myself.  And what I noticed was: my voice was about to crack.  Trying to not sound panicking but seeing the cars kept coming in my rear view mirror, I really wanted to say where the heck is the damn truck?

But instead, I said something to the effect, “given the circumstance I would appreciate if the tow truck can come sooner rather than later.” The tow truck finally showed up, a bit late.  But the notable moment was I managed to reframe my energy to stay calm and did not freak out.

Thanks to me dropping in on myself.

Do you catch yourself in the midst of . . .?

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Winter Mood (Yuk!)

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There are many downsides to winter.  One of the biggest negatives is the lack of connection with nature.  I like nature but not in the cold. Instead of dwell and admire the beauty of the season, I minimize my exposure outdoor just to stay warm.

If must (emphasis on the necessity), I venture out as a byproduct of going from point A to point B.  Like home to grocery store. Even so, there is a big difference in temperatures between the sunny side and the shades.  My mind is already somewhere else.

I bear down my head, pull up my collars, try to get out of the cold as quickly as I can. As one can easily see, my body is shriveled, muscle tensed and mood shortened.  Not a pleasant nor relaxing state to enjoy the nature.

Judging from my cohorts, hurrying on their way to somewhere, safe to say that I am not alone in feeling the winter mood.  I miss the outdoor activities in warmer times: casual strolls in the neighborhood, leisure conversations with passerby, sun bathed yard-work, etc.

How do you keep your mood up during the winter?



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Waiting, Part 2

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Patiently or anxiously waiting. Two feelings wrestle each other as I am expecting a car mechanic to show up at my front doorsteps to fix my car.

The appointment has been scheduled and rescheduled three times for various reasons (by the mechanic side). The question is why I am sticking with the same outfit? Why don’t I take the car to someone else? After all the car is still drivable.

The answer: I did. I took the car to a local shop, spent quite a bit to replace the faulty part, but the problem was not fixed. A frustrating episode to say the least. Hence, I decided to rely on my past experience with the mobile mechanics, hoping it will pull through.

Thirty-five minutes passed the appointed time. No sign of anybody coming. No text or message of “on my way”. It is a cold day (27 degree Fahrenheit), and I don’t envy the thought of working in the cold. But that’s part of the reasons why I am hiring someone to do the job.

The other part – a professional who can get to the root cause of my car problem as well as showing up on-time.  So here I wait. Suspended in space and time. Going nowhere.

Part 1, here.


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Impeachment, A Fair Trial?

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The impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump will begin tomorrow.  With anticipated chaos from media coverages and nauseating political commentaries, here is a thought I want to share before the trial starts.

Certainly no one knows how would the trial end (even though speculations of acquittal has been circulated based on the number of Senators from the Republican Party).  I contend that the process is a necessary struggle for our democracy regardless the outcome.

The trial may inconvenient some people: senators campaigning for their elections, Chief Justice hearing the Supreme Court cases, average citizens going about their daily routines, or whatever.  But the trial must go on.  Because democracy is not free and happens beyond the ballot box.

Moreover, as Brene Brown said, hope is a function of struggle, the impeachment trial gives American people the unifying hope that justice is served.  Right to a fair trial is a guaranty under our Bill of Rights afforded to everyone, president included.

Will it be a fair trial? We shall see.

How do you plan to keep up with the impeachment trial?

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Week In Review – 19 Jan 2020

Almost three week into the new year, I am slow in getting back into my running. Yup, I can blame it on the weather, but the winter is far from over.  What’s the use?  In any event, I am not going to let my perception nor the cold weather control me.

To the best extent, everyone works with the environment given. The other choices are to change the environment or change oneself. Whatever the option, makes sense to give the proper time and attention it deserves before deciding.

In spite of the path of least resistance, convenience should not be the excuse nor the rationale for our behavior.  Just because we can does not mean we should.

Have a nice week!

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1st Cold Run Of 2020

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The car dashboard says 25 degree (Fahrenheit) outside when I started my run. This cold may be nothing for some folks. But for me, it is my first cold weather run for the year 2020. And no question, I came prepared from head to toe with only my eyes exposed to the element.

The overnight snow dusted the trail.  Partially covered ice patches dotted along the way.  Suited me fine as I wasn’t interested running fast but out to get some fresh air and exercise to work off the calories collected over my holiday feasts.

The air was crisp and frigid.  Made more work for my lungs.  But the ground was frozen hard.  As I Jogged first couple of miles, my body finally loosen up.  At the end, nine miles later, the temperature climbed up to 29 degree – not warm enough to dwell for any post-run small talk.

But at least I broke the ice for my 2020 cold weather running.


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Something In The Air

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The air this morning was different.  It’s got a bite to it. Besides the wind slapping my face, what caught my attention was the overcast sky, laden with clouds. So thick, they looked ready to burst.  Hair on the back of my neck whispered, something is in the air.

It is January here in the Mid-Atlantic.  Winter is punctuated not by amount of snow but killer Nor’easter that threatens to blow one’s socks off – menacing folks to stay indoor.  Needless to say that forecast of precipitation of any amount creates a panic.

The morning air is dry and tight like the stone I kicked up along the way. Not even a sound can be heard other than my huffing and puffing and the occasional blowing of my nose.  Almost like the calm before the storm.  But I am not broadcasting.

Deep in my gut I can feel this air is a prelude to precipitation and a harbinger of the snowstorm that is going to grace our area. May be only a dusting, but for sure something is in the air as I hurried my steps.

Happy winter wherever you are!

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