Keys to the new house and someone dear to me finally got vaccinated!

Keys to the new house and someone dear to me finally got vaccinated!

Today was a spectacular day. The closing documents were signed on the new home and it recorded which means that I got to pick up the keys today! That’s enough to celebrate, right? Well, shortly after entering the new house I got a call from someone who is very close telling me they were getting the COVID-19 vaccine. I can finally breathe a little easier knowing that everyone close to me is now fully vaccinated.

It took me nearly 2.5 hours to drive from one side of the metropolitan area to the other. I had made myself a large serving of iced coffee and was listening to my classical music. It was a good combination to pass the time. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this humorous foursome of bears floating by in the other direction on this endless river of steel and glass that was the 210 freeway.

I managed arrive a little early to the sales office of another community to pick up the keys. They were busy with another client so I was invited to wait in the model homes. I’ve come to really enjoy touring model homes. This particular community is of only single-family detached homes and boy were they beautiful. I would love to live in one of these homes if I were a little older and with some kids to boss around. haha.

I took several pictures to take inspiration for design ideas of the new place. 🙂

Using the Pomodoro method at work today.

Using the Pomodoro method at work today.

To make up for my lack of productivity these last few days, I’ve been employing the Pomodoro method since I came into my office. I’m starting this during one of the long breaks (15 minutes). If you haven’t heard of the Pomodoro method, I’d highly recommend doing a quick internet search on it. You can adjust the timers to your needs, but the most common is 25 minutes of focus with a 5 minute break, and it repeats for a few cycles until you reach the long 15-minute break.

The idea behind it is that our brains start to lose focus around the half-hour mark. This will of course vary from one person to the next, but generally it’s a good rule of thumb. So giving you breaks after period of concentration, you allow your brain to take a recharge and be ready to focus once again for another period. Studies have shown that trying to force yourself to focus non-stop for hours is actually counterproductive. Even though you may be doing your best to focus only on the task at hand, your ability to retain information or work more effectively will decline over time.

It reminds me of the strategy I used to employ for running–which I’m planning on employing once again. You run for 5 minutes and you walk for 1 minutes. It lets your body recover briefly and helps you pace yourself better over long distances. It’s all about the long game!

And surprisingly, I finished this little post in the span of my 15-minute break. I was planning on starting it, and then finishing it up at lunch. Go me! 🙂

I’m planning for a healthier lifestyle

I’m planning for a healthier lifestyle

Over the past several years, I have made many failed attempts to get myself running again. I’m going to start another attempt next week. The different things about this attempt is that I signed myself up for a half-marathon that is taking place on January 1, 2022. The plan is to start next week once I’m in my new home as there will be no time the rest of this week or the weekend to get a run in. Who am I kidding? There will be no time to get a WALK in. So my walks on my way to running again, will start next week.

I am excited for the move because it will be a safer neighborhood with lots of long paths on which to walk that are away from traffic. I had initially been excited about a bike path I live near now, but it is sandwiched between a transit line and a fairly busy road that crosses very busy roads. I liked the path, but I hated the noise of all the cars and constantly waiting for the lights to turn green. The new neighborhood also feels a lot safer so I will feel more comfortable running after dark.

Making everything work will put my time management skills to the test! These last few days, my time management hasn’t been quite up to par, but I blame it on being so exhausted. I’ve been routinely going to bed at 1am for the past several months, so it has been quite a statement that I’m falling asleep at 11pm either in front of the TV or at my computer.

I will need to adopt a completely new schedule. I will need to wake up at 5:30am to get ready for work and beat some of the traffic on the days I go into the office. I don’t need to go in every day, but it’s always best to keep the same schedule everyday. I don’t want to get stuck in a pattern of being miserable on days I have to go into the office, and then waste my morning away on days when I work from home. I’ve already written a basic schedule on one of my planners. I’ve been constantly adjusting how I use my planners as I find new methods that work best for me. If all goes well, I will make make my spiral planner the one to keep track of my health (food, workouts, etc…)

I will now stop writing here, because I have said enough and it’s now time to tackle other tasks. There is no better way to get me in a productive mood, than making or talking about future plans.

Busy bee and moving again.

Busy bee and moving again.

I’m ashamed that I haven’t written here for a few weeks, but I’ve been incredibly busy and haven’t found or made the time to take a few moments and write. I have now made the transition to working from the office fifty percent of the time. I wish I was still working entirely from home, but I don’t mind this hybrid version.

One of the odd things about me is that I am at my most productive when I have a ton of things to do. I find it so easy to procrastinate when I have little to do. Does anyone else fall into this trap? Anyway, I’ve felt very productive and motivated because I have a lot of things on my plate both at work and at home.

What has been keeping my busy at home? I will be moving again to a new home. Found a new home a little further away from the Downtown LA, and construction on it wrapped up this week. The current home will be sold to take advantage of the rapid rise in home prices in the last year. The original intention was to rent it, but there’s a long story as to why that wouldn’t have worked out so well.

Even though I abhor the moving process, but I am excited for this one for the new neighborhood. Once I get settled in, I need to make a point of setting aside time to write.

At the office after 521 days

At the office after 521 days

After 521 days, I finally set foot in my office. I will only be going in once a week for the time being, but even this feels like such a chore. Not because of the work, but because of the added time having to get ready in the morning and of course the drive to the office.

I did get a strange feeling as if the last 521 days were a dream and I was only gone for a day or two. It was only a quick transitory feeling because I was wearing a mask and there were only a handful of people in the entire floor. We were only supposed to be gone for two weeks. It’s hard to believe the reality is that I was away from my office for 521 days.

Daydreams of a simpler life

Daydreams of a simpler life

Photo by Satoshi Hirayama on Pexels.com

I am constantly seeking to better manage my time to do all of the things I want to do and, of course, all of the things I need to do. I have never quite reached a place where I am completely satisfied with how I manage my time. I try to tell myself that the important thing is to continue on the journey and that life requires a constant questioning and self-reflection in order to be better tomorrow than we are today.

I want to be able to laser focus on the tasks I set out to do, but the truth is that I daydream quite a bit and, honestly, I love that about myself. I enjoy wondering about things and constantly looking for more “useless knowledge” to fill my mind with.

I sometimes look through my social media where I rarely ever post anymore. I am grateful that I am no longer constantly posting and scrolling. It’s an activity that can be harmful if you’re not careful, but I don’t want to completely delete my accounts because of the memories on there and the old friendships that I see on there like ghosts of from a past life.

I was watching a video today about gardens in Kyoto and I daydreamed about going to live in Kyoto in solitude and spend the rest of my days as a gardener and groundskeeper. I felt a desire to dedicate myself to an activity that would allow me to be in nature most of the day and live a humble life without luxury and only saving to the occasional trip to explore around the country. It’s not something I could bring myself to do in real life, but it is certainly nice to think about it.

Dudamel conducts Gershwin at the Hollywood Bowl

Dudamel conducts Gershwin at the Hollywood Bowl

I was at the Hollywood Bowl again tonight and it is so far my favorite concert of the season. I knew it was going to be my favorite given my high expectations of Gustavo Dudamel and tonight being an all-Gershwin program. The program listed the Cuban Overture, Rhapsody in Blue, “other selections”, and An American in Paris. I knew whatever “other selections” was would no hold a candle to everything else. So when this guy walked on stage with a sparkly purple sports quote started singing with what I would describe as a deep woman’s voice, I was shocked. Shocked in the sense that I didn’t know what hit me when his powerful and beautiful voice sang “I’ve Got Rhythm”, “Summertime”, “Someone to Watch Over Me”, and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”. I was so moved by his voice that it even teared me up.

My Hollywood Bowl experience

My Hollywood Bowl experience

Yesterday, I went to the Hollywood Bowl again. It took over sixteen months between my last concert before the pandemic lockdowns, and it took just four days after that for my next one. The pandemic threat still hangs very much in the air, but at least I feel some sense of normalcy by being able to be back at classical music concerts. I even missed the annoying people:

  • The hungry snacker reaching into a noisy bag to retrieve something and worsens the disturbance by doing so slowly and carefully which slightly lessens the noise by prolonging it over an excruciatingly long period of time.
  • The music lover providing audible sound effects by sighing and moaning accompanied by head nods and sways just to show how emotionally touching they find everything and prove to no one in particular that they know what the music is about to do.
  • The “connoisseur” providing audio commentary before and after so we can all know how cultured they are because they read the program or Wikipedia.
  • And unique to the Hollywood Bowl: the eager patron preemptively lifting their ass out of their seat as the conductor approaches the podium so that those around can go from confusion to awe as they realize that this person has been to the Hollywood Bowl before and knows that every performance there starts with the national anthem. 

Yes, I can be slightly judgmental, but I behave and show no outward expression of what is happening in my mind. When the music begins, I let everything go and lose myself in my thoughts (barring any egregious interruptions). I like to enjoy my music simply. I like to do my research on the music and educate myself about it as much as possible, but when the music begins, I let myself fall into a state where I let go of logic and allow the emotions to take over. There is no culture or ignorance, connoisseur or novice in this state, just raw music as it exists for you. It’s your own personal experience.

Over the fever and past the lost appetite

Over the fever and past the lost appetite

About an hour past midnight, the stomach cramps were going away, and I was finally sleepy enough after reading for a couple of hours. The thermostat was set at 78º because that’s about as warm as I can tolerate it when going to sleep and because it’s better for the environment. I usually have to sleep with no covers on at this temperature, so when I got the urge to get a blanket to cover myself with, I knew that whatever had caused the stomach cramps was not sending me into a mild fever. For better or for worse, I like to let my body fight off whatever it’s fighting off on its own. I see pain as the body’s warning system, and it is something that shouldn’t be quickly dismissed using pain medication. Likewise with fevers: as long as they’re not high fevers, I think you should just let them run their course. Fever is the body’s way of preparing the battleground to make it easier to defeat whatever is infecting you. So I listened to my body and put on a blanket to “feel” comfortable even though I knew this meant an elevated body temperature. Later in the morning, I began to feel the cold sweat that usually signals the end of a fever. My body was now taking steps to bring the temperature back to normal. I felt relieved but still a little weak and with little appetite. It wouldn’t be until late in the afternoon before I felt 100% again.

I’m probably one of a few people that, in the middle of feeling like crap, you can’t help but marvel at the body’s immune response.