On Thanksgiving morning, my 94-year-old dad was taken by ambulance due to complications from an infection. He is still in the hospital and on his way to a full recovery. I couldn’t bring myself to write these last couple of days because, frankly, I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions. I initially feared the worst before they were able to stabilize him. Then we had to deal with the situation of not being able to visit him because of the pandemic, so we were limited to phone conversations with him. Some of the initial conversations with him were worrisome because he said many incredible, bizarre things. Once he started being himself again, and we realized the incoherence was due to the medication, I felt this huge relief.
I initially envisioned a much longer post to make up for the two I’ve missed. However, it’s too personal for the web and best reserved for the old-fashioned pen and paper of my journal. I still can’t see my dad because of this pandemic, but today I was so thankful to God that I could pick up the phone and talk to my dad.
Today is Thanksgiving in the United States; it was very different from other years for many reasons. I needed a little escape today, and thanks to the YouTube algorithms, I was suggested to watch another Japanese railroad video. However, this time it was in the snow. I’ve written about my love for cold and snowy winter landscapes. There is something soothing about the silent solitude of being outdoors in the snow.
Working from home has me constantly looking for ways to eliminate distractions and focus on my work. However, sometimes I find that a good strategy is to give in to those distractions strategically. For example, I reward myself for high concentration periods by watching something while doing tasks that don’t require my full concentration. In writing this particular post, I had to turn off the television because I was unable to type beyond the first sentence.
So today, I was watching videos of footage traveling through Japanese railroads. These videos were footage shot from a camera fixed to the train’s front as it traveled through Japan. There is no dialogue, commentary, or any music. It is just the raw ambient sound aboard the train. I love staring out the window when traveling regardless of transportation mode and try not to sleep so as not to miss any scenery. Working while glancing at the unfolding scenery made me feel like a dedicated professional committed to his work even while traveling abroad. For a moment, I was reliving that thrill of traveling abroad and looking at unfamiliar places. It has made me consider traveling to Japan–once it is safe to do so–to ride on these trains and get off at random stations in the countryside and either walk around the immediate area for a bit or sit at the station to contemplate the scenery around me while I wait for the next train.
I have previously slipped up on posting here every day and in the past I would ended things there being proud of my streak until that point and that was that. Instead, I remain committed to these daily posts and continue to press forward despite the imperfections. It may seem silly to others, but I’m actually quite proud of myself!
Now on to other topics. I have been watching a show called Grace and Frankie on Netflix (actually it is my second time watching it), and love watching the dichotomy between the two main characters: one is a woman focused on rules, efficiency, and decorum; and the other is the free spirit. While I admire and strive to be Grace (the one all about the rules), I admire the spirit of Frankie who names her subconcious and records self-affirmations for herself. So to loosen up my spreadsheet and decorum loving butt, I will name my subconcious Wagner! We’ll see if down the road I’ll remember that I’ve given it a name.
Yesterday, my youngest nephew officially became a teenager. He hit his milestone 13th birthday in the middle of this pandemic. Hence, the celebration was small, and smiles were hidden behind masks. It’s strange to see him growing out of his childhood, and I am reminded of it every time I speak to him. Every time I get a phone call from him, I expect to hear a child’s voice, but instead, I am greeted by the deepening voice of an adolescent. I try to think back on when I was 13, and the memories are still fresh, and oddly I felt like an adult back then as I do now. I guess that’s always the case with every adolescent. In your own eyes, you see yourself as an adult when the rest of the world continues to see a child.
I’ve recently been reading, watching, and researching a lot of historical events and figures. It has all been so fascinating. Some things read like a plot from the mind of a literary mastermind and yet it’s all true!
It’s late, won’t want go into details now, but perhaps a post or two about what new things I discover.
Today I went to a running store to get a good certificate for a friend. It has been a few years since I’ve set foot in this type of establishment and I couldn’t help but feel a bit of nostalgia. I was a frequent flier at these stores to constantly buy nutrition, replace shoes, and stock up on lots of other equipment for my daily runs and my races.
When I first started frequenting these places, I felt like a fraud. It took me a while before it felt like a runner. I managed to run 5 full (26.2 mile) marathons in a single year and more just as many or mlfw half-marathons.
I miss those days.
But what does the above picture have anything to do with running? Nothing really. It’s just a picture I took at a park where we had a pandemic safe lunch.