New Year 2018

My joys: Food and kids. #bestnine2017 via Instagram
As I suspected, New Year festivities disrupted my routine quite a bit. However, I’ll publish what I can here and take a moment to share a resolution for 2018.

My primary goal for the year is to be more social. Over the past several years, my two sons grew out of the larval stage during which they require constant physical care. During that time I ruminated over many business and creative ideas but never took concrete action. I feel that I did so much ‘thinking without doing’ that now I can start ‘doing without thinking’, in a sort of Zen state. However I can’t do anything alone. My ideas are all collaborative, and if I don’t taking action to include others, share my ideas, receive criticism, etc, all of my thinking will amount to nothing.

Dec 24-31 stats

Weight: ?

Neglected to measure.. again. However, based on how I feasted through the entire month of December, it’s not going to be pretty next week.

Mindfulness: 1 day, 5min

Avg daily sleep: 6h 19min

This sleep data doesn’t include afternoon naps with a toddler, which would add at least 30 minutes on a few days.

Heart rate min/max: Not measured

Avg daily exercise: None!

I can’t count chasing a toddler up stairs several times a day, can I?

Avg daily steps: 5567

The only thing keeping my heart pumping?!?

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Christmas 2017

Missed posting last weekend due to Christmas, nursing a sick family, and coming down with a cold myself. Recovered now, but assume it will be difficult to post this weekend as well with the New Year festivities. Hoping to be more active on social media, though, and that the highlight of the holiday will be more exciting than a nap.

Kidding aside, the real highlight was introducing our family’s first piano into the mix.

❤️ Christmas morning. via yukamila on Instagram

Mindfulness: 1 day, 14min

Avg daily sleep: 5h 53min

Heart rate min/max: 58/108bpm

Avg daily exercise: 4 days, 13min avg

Avg daily steps: 5494

Snickerdoodles, the key to weight loss

First #snickerdoodles of the season! via Instagram
It’s officially December and the annual eleven month moratorium on all things Christmas has been lifted. Commence merriment.

Weight: 97.5kg/215lbs Obviously measured before the cookies.

Mindfulness: 1 day, 1 min Better than nothing, all too literally.

Avg daily sleep: 5h 30min

Heart rate min/max: 61/119bpm

Exercise: 3 days, 11 min avg

Avg daily steps: 8533

UX Design, door stops, and other Japanese wonders

For the past few years, I’ve taken an interest in Design Thinking and user-experience design. It turns out that Japan abounds in carefully considered designs everywhere from toilets to shoe horns, instant noodles to vending machines.

The spirit of omotenashi thrives everywhere. Take, for example, grocery deliveries. Like any modern Japanese home, ours has a massive steel door with a hydraulic arm that pulls it closed. Secure and convenient, except when receiving a delivery. How many times have I stood, awkwardly struggling to simultaneously hold open the heavy door, receive a package or pizza, and sign or pay for it?

Imagine my delight when the gentleman delivering our order of groceries brought his own doorstop. The echoes of my palm smacking my forehead must have been heard for blocks.

People here generally enjoy deep satisfaction from simple solutions to problems, annoyances, and minor inconveniences.

Didn’t you know that the flag of Japan is a pickled plum on a bed of rice? via Instagram
I came down with a head cold this week. Japan hasn’t alleviated that discomfort, although they come pretty close by way of an affordable and efficient hybrid socialized health care system, and superfoods like umeboshi.
As detailed in the article, “Umeboshi”: The Health Secrets of Japan’s Sourest Fruity Treat, shared in my Flipboard magazine, Life in Japan, pickled plums, like green tea, can boost the immune system, although it seems that I didn’t eat enough before this week.

Weight: 98.2kg/216.5lbs

Mindfulness: 1 day, 10min avg

Avg daily sleep: 5h 41min

Heart rate min/max: 69/100bpm

Exercise: 2 days, 10min avg

Avg daily steps: 8194

Time warp

The past week was a boulder dropped on me at about 8:30 on Monday morning. Obviously too much to do, to which was added annoying little clerical tasks that rank highly in importance, urgency, distractiveness, and apparent pointlessness.

Weight: 99.3kg/219lbs

Avg daily mindfulness: 12min over 1 day

Avg daily sleep: 5h 39min

On the topic of building habits, my problem seems to be temporal.

Am I using reminders as a high tech form of procrastination? Could be. Always has been one of my strengths. Part of this habit building project is trying to decide whether to purchase a subscription for Productive. Using the free version, I currently have three goals:

1 Publish this blog once per week.

2 Write for business once per day.

3 Write for pleasure once per day.

Will see how it goes.

There are three more stats I’ll start including as well:

Heart rate min/max: 58/112bpm

Avg daily exercise: 15min over three days

Avg daily steps: 7328

Why blog, anyway?


#2016bestnine via Instagram
This blog is neglected. I started it two years ago as a way to gather creative ideas and reflect on personal experiences in opposition to my professional teaching blog, Symphony of Ideas. That hasn’t happened. At least not in as substantive a manner as I had hoped.
And I know what the problem is: Discipline. At the beginning of 2017, one of my resolutions for the new year was to publish a post here weekly. Didn’t happen. Then, Harvard Business Review was kind enough try to motivate me with Jennifer Porter’s article, Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It). Still didn’t happen.
Now, the summer vacation offers precious time. If I don’t start making a habit of writing now, it would take a miracle to build the habit after the next school year begins.
The ace up my sleeve is Connected Learning MOOC. They’re the ones who got me hooked on digital publishing and online sharing in the summer of 2013, and without any major life events scheduled, I plan to participate this summer less peripherally than in the past. You should too! Sign up for CLMOOC here.
Why blog? Who knows? Just write, share, and see where it leads.

June 27, 2016 at 08:29AM

Based on the responses I’ve seen, #Brexit is like trying a spontaneous divorce to cope with a midlife crisis.

via Twitter