Parenting Lessons Continue

I remembered bringing my son to the school bus stop for the first time.  It was hard to let go.  I worried all day how he would come out at the end of the day.  That precious moment and others like it are forever etched in my memory but long forgotten to him.

Now in his twenties, my son, fully grown, depends little from me.  In fact, I am mindful the stage of life he is in and avoid to be a burden to him.  It’s his time to soar.  Letting go is par for the course.  And those precious parenting moments remain with me.

When emptynester happened, I cheered for my reclaimed freedom and gave little thought to my evolving role as a parent.  In retrospect,  my relationship with my son transitioned to a different level, more mental/ emotional.   We are almost equal, adult to adult.

Certainly, I wish my son continue to fly high.  But truth be told, I have learned and grown much from him since day one.  An education that is priceless.  Moreover, my parenting education will continue albeit without much of his presence.

Does parenting lesson ever end?

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Week In Review – 10 Feb 2019

My week started with a unusually warm weather on Monday.  Followed by my visit to the city of New Orleans.  A nice break from the Old Man Winter altogether.  The only thing is the city’s reputation being the Big Easy, guaranteed my weight will only go up.

Coincidentally, Mardi Gras Marathon was this Sunday in New Orleans. Even though not a participant, I attended the race’s expo on Saturday since I am visiting.  It is then, I realized how much the topic of marathon is an emotional anchor for me.

In other words, even though not competing in the race, I was in my elements at the expo.  I felt the kinship with other runners through our journey.  Running marathon means a lot to me, and I find happiness in it.  Without a doubt, it was a case of flash critical thinking.

Have a nice week!

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Let the Good Times Roll

The French phrase “laissez les bon temps rouler” (pronounced “Lay-say le bon tom roo-lay”) describes New Orleans like nothing else can.  It means, “let the good times roll.”

The passions for food and fun are so contagious and admirable, New Orleans has earned its nickname of Sin City fair and square.  And I mean that sincerely.

Because it’s that same spirit motivated the people of New Orleans to rebuild their  homes, businesses, and communities after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina wiped out 80% of the city.


To be continued.



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Critical Thinking, Part 2

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.  ~Viktor Frankl

Critical thinking means staying objective and thinking critically, a skill that does not come easily (see part 1).  So it stands to reason that when we are in a haunted state, this skill  becomes even more difficult.  Simply because we are distracted. 

What is a haunted state? You wonder.  The haunted state I referred to includes, but not limited to, the following:  when we are sick, hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (think the acronym SHALT). 

A haunted state puts our body and mind off-balance and makes the process of critical thinking practically impossible (hence the suggestion of don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach).

That is unless you are highly trained in mindful practices and able to detach yourself from the distracted mind & body like Viktor Frankl (a Holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning).  Then critical thinking would be achievable. 

Any recommendations for maintaining or practicing critical thinking in spite of  a haunted state?

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Chilling in the Big Easy

New Orleans is getting ready for Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday (March 5).  In 26 days, the City will be mobbed with revelers from all over, including the locals.  It is a good time to visit before the place gets really crazy.

The Big Easy is no stranger to me.  I used to visit the city for business trips.  It has been more than 20 years since my last visit. Reason for this trip is to escape the winter cold of the north.  With temperatures in the 70’s,  New Orleans easily becomes my choice.

Little did I realize that the City was partying for, other than Mardi Gras, another reason – in protest of their beloved Saints’ missed opportunity for the Super Bowl.  No wonder New Orleans is nicknamed the Big Easy.

Interesting to see what else remains and what has changed.


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My Weight Story

Each year I train for marathon.  During the 20 week training, a definite benefit is I can have unlimited food and still lose weight.  Because the amount of calories my training consumes, I would feel fit, healthy and lean.  A wonderful feeling indeed.

Take last year for example.  My marathon was early September. And I enjoyed my lean weight for several months afterwards.  This included the major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas when plenty of foods would be available.

It all changed quickly when the cold weather arrived.  My weight started going up as the temperature came down.  Simply, I was running less during my off season.  But my caloric intake remained constant to keep my body from shivering.  And I rationalized the extra pounds are my winter reserve.

While not feeling overweight, I am not my tip-top shape.  Make sense for off season I suppose.  Further, any weight I have gained will have to come off when my marathon training starts in two months.  Then the cycle repeats.

Does your weight go through cycles according to the season?

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Happiness is subjective. It’s different for you, for me, and anyone else. While different, everyone is entitled to it.  At least in the US Declaration of Independence,  the “pursuit of Happiness” is listed as one of the unalienable rights.

Along with it being subjective comes several dilemmas, as are all self directed things.

First, It is never quite what others tell you.  Because what makes others happy may not necessarily work for you.  Each circumstance is different.  Is it food when one is starving, relationship when lonely, or support when failing?  Tough to say.

Second, One may genuinely not know what s/he wants.  An envied person may not be a happy person as the story goes.  Unless one has experienced the journey of value clarification, it is difficult to appreciate what happiness means.

Last, How does one go about finding happiness?  This is the perennial question.  And the answer is – Happiness is where you find it.

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Lucky Monday

Believe it or not, Mother Nature smiled on Washington DC today. After the polar vortex of last week, we got a sunny without-a-cloud sky.  Temperature hit 60+ degree Fahrenheit (15 degrees above average).  And not surprisingly it made all the difference for my run.

Unlike the typical cold & windy February weather, today felt like Spring. Everything seemed brighter and lighter. Children were frolicking outside in the school playground. Their laughter spilling over. Neighbor across the street were in short sleeve fetching his mail. 

Spotted a few snow patches scattered in the shades along my route – won’t last before the day is over, said to myself as I trotted by them. What a contrast today was compared to the single digit temperature when I ran over the weekend (when I had to periodically shake my gloved hands to keep my fingers from freezing).

Recognizing six more weeks of winter are yet to come per “Potomac Phil” dead or alive.  I will take weather like today’s any day.

Was your Monday lucky as well?

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Week In Review – 3 Feb 2019

Say goodbye to January 2019.  And hello to February (along with the Super Bowl and Chinese New Year).  A relentless pursue for me is my searching for life’s meaning (who isn’t), and the answer for me is still open.

For sure, instead of succumb to pressures and settle for an answer, I believe in my creative force and imagination will prevail.  And the only failure is if I give up.  Therefore my quest continues on finding answers.

Meanwhile the world keeps on moving, evolving, and changing.  Of particularly note are the digital technology and artificial intelligence.  Amazing feats have been accomplished in this aspect.  Nevertheless, it is difficult sometimes to ascertain what is real versus otherwise. If not careful, one can be easily lost in the shuffle.

Take care and have a nice week.


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My Canvass Awaits


Plenty of food for thoughts in this FranklinCovey video.

What will your masterpiece be?

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