Thrive

Today we celebrated my aunt’s 60th birthday. Though we aren’t related by blood she has been a part of my life since I was just a wee lad. I’ve always admired her lively energy and her ability to bring joy and laughter with her wherever she goes. She has been through a lot these past few years, enough that would probably extinguish the spark of any other person, yet she remains a beacon of positivity and hope. Thrive on Auntie Rina ❤ I am very thankful to have you in my life.

Two other things I’m thankful for:
(1) Moments of silence that don’t need to be filled.
(2) Relationships that have reached the point of open vulnerability.

Rough

Past couple days of my 10 task challenge have been a little rough. Not because the tasks feel hard, but because there have other things going on in my life unrelated to the tasks; spending time with friends and family, driving homes, Thanksgiving stuff. The things about 10 tasks is that it doesn’t leave a lot of room for flexibility, but maybe thats’s more of an issue of the choice of tasks. I think the exercise is still valuable, but I think part of the practice is practicing self-compassion when you fall a little short on the stuff you set out to do.

Thanksgiving 2022

It’s a kind of wild to think about what Thanksgiving was like just 1 year ago. I have so much in my life to be thankful for, and even though we should be thankful for our good fortunes everyday, I for one am glad that there is a day (any kind of controversy/mythology aside) where people are encouraged to take a pause, perhaps in the mayhem of travel, family drama, and food comas, even if for at least a brief moment, on the things that make life worth living.

Intention

Just to build off of yesterday’s reflection, setting very specific and defined tasks work for certain bigger picture, but maybe aren’t so good for others. As an example, part of this months challenge is to play through a piano piece I’ve been working on twice everyday. Going through this process I have been playing the piano more, but I’m not sure if I’ve been getting any better at playing this piece. I still make a lot of mistakes, or I’ll make new mistakes that I hadn’t made since first learning it. I think part of it is I’m not practicing with intention; I’m practicing to get through and over with it. I don’t take the time to work through spots that are giving me trouble and reinforce proper form and stuff.

Going

The one thing that is hard about goals is that sometimes at get so focused on outcomes that I forget what it’s all for. As cheesy as it sounds, it becomes all about the destination, rather than the journey. At the same time if I cut myself too much slack and say I always gotta slow down and enjoy the journey then I may not get where I’m tryna go and that is a potential source of distress in itself. It’s ok to be goal and outcome oriented, but just got to remember that the small things are important too.

Jambalaya

Sometimes I just feel very thankful for all the people who have been a part of my life, past and present. Every interaction I’ve had throughout my life big or small, has probably left at least a small mark on who I am today. Every conversation, every exchange of words or of glances is data that get processed and applied into my decision making whether I’m conscious of it or not. At least, it’s kinda romantic to think that that’s the case, I actually have no idea.

Our Kids Should be Watching Anime

Yesterday during Grand Rounds, the speaker was talking about growth mindset vs fixed mindset. At this point the concept of these mindset have been beaten to death in academic and professional development lectures and the like. Today though, I was thinking about how exposure during childhood can orient us toward one mindset over the other. Not to brag, but I feel like I’ve always had kinda a growth mindset, and I feel like watching shows like Pokémon growing up were big in fostering that. This idea of being being kinda shitty at something, but slowly getting better through hard work is a common theme throughout anime and sets up good example for kids in overcoming obstacle and pushing through adversity.

Then I thought about more western programming. Maybe I have selective memory now that I’m thinking about it in order to prove a point, but a lot of the American TV watched growing up was built more around fixed characters and archetypes. The stories were more situational than progressive. Characters personalities were fixed, and you knew what to expect out of them; how they would behave and how they would react to different situations which made for good TV for kids in its on way, but not in a way they sets up kids to be growth mindset oriented.

All I’m trying to say is anime is good for kids.

Affirming Strangers

Fridays are dedicated education days so no surgery work today.

One of the tasks I assigned myself for this month was to affirm a stranger every day. It feels like a simple task, but one that has been hard to be consistent with. I’ve found that when you are trying to find something to affirm a stranger about it can be hard to come up with something, either that or I just feel too awkward about complimenting a random stranger to say anything. Uncalled for affirmations are weird, but they don’t have to be creepy. I guess my goal in assigning myself this task was to be a bit more out going and to try to look for the good in strangers. So far still needs some work.

Choices

I’ll state the obvious: life is full of choices. Knowing that isn’t all the helpful though, despite how often people say it. Knowing that I have to make a choice doesn’t relieve any of the pain or anxiety that comes with actually having to make it. That said, I am a firm believer that every person makes the best choices that they can with the information they have available to them at a given moment, otherwise they wouldn’t have made said choice. Event when that choice turns out to be detrimental or ends up causing the person pain, in that moment or at that time, the decision served some sort of function or seemed like the right thing to do under a specific set of circumstances. We can never say for certain whether the ultimate outcome is net good or bad. Sometimes people say there are no good and bad decisions and it always depends on what you make of it, but I’m not convinced that is 100% true. But also what do I know, and maybe it simply doesn’t help to think that way.