Friday Reflections

 1.) Kizzmekia Corbett is just getting started. If you're tired of me talking about this woman, sorry to you.

2.) Chimamanda Adichie demonstrates the tyranny of priests and other so-called men of God, as she describes how her family's priest bullied them, harassed her,  and disrespected the memory of her mother. 

How to Cure Languishing: Six Deep Work Tips for Thriving at Home and At Work

 Before you continue on this post, first check out the FIRST PART

Done? Okay good. Now that you've heard all the virtues of flow and deep work in that first part, you may be asking,

But How? How Do I Do Deep Work?

I'm glad you asked. A potential challenge to the idea of deep work is that our brains don’t just immediately listen to our desires/mind and focus when we tell it to. As you may know if you read this blog, I use some form of the Pomodoro technique a lot. I am also a fairly disciplined person. My friend recently said I have a gift of discipline and she wants to learn to be like me, but she is my friend and part of being a friend is gassing your friends up, so take that what she said with a grain of salt. My point is even with all that discipline, I can tell you that you may be resolute in your decision to focus on your work, but your mind can still refuse to accept and just focus, especially when you're working on something deeply uninspiring or for which the solution is hard. Maybe your mind just wants to, I don’t know, watch videos of cats on YouTube. Even I will admit this is a challenge to the deep work thesis, but it’s not fatal and there are a ways around this.  So, in a real world, how does one do deep work? Here are some tips from Cal Newport’s book:

How to Cure Languishing: The Secret to Thriving At Work and At Home

On January 5th—the day I resumed work after the holidays—I posted on Instagram that getting back to work after a two-week break was particularly hard. In retrospect, it seems a little silly, but I spent the entire break dreading the return.  Motivational speakers would probably say if you are that terrified of returning to work, it’s not your passion or whatever. The thing is I don’t kid myself; work is work. There are other ways to express my creativity and fulfill my passion that aren’t necessarily work, but work will not always be fun. Hence, not wanting to return. The way I ultimately dealt with my return was to remind myself that I have done harder things and succeeded. It’s very important that we remember that. In addition, to tackle the problem and to get into the groove of the new year (at the time), I decided to go back to my toolshed and take another look at my productivity tools. I wanted to better understand how to work harder and smarter without constantly feeling depleted, how to produce more, and I wanted to better understand how to enjoy working—seeing as we do have to do this for the rest of our lives, no? To solve problems, I utilize three tools from the aforementioned toolshed:  reading, challenging my brain, and taking a critical look at things. I have done (and I’m still doing that) with productivity and working. Here is what I have found. Now this IS going to be a long post (that I have also divided into two/three parts, depending), so feel free to read a little, pause and continue later.

In sum, the kernel argument of this post rests on two things: the importance of deep work as the cure for “languishing”.

Book of the Month: Early Morning Riser By Katherine Heiny

When I first opened this book, and on the first page, I saw "2002", I was like uh oh. Here we go with all the time travel authors take us on. It turns out this was quite the linear progression and was incredibly easy to follow. That's not all I loved about the book of this month so let's get into it. The book of this month is Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny. It's a heartwarming, funny, poignant book about love, unconventional family, happiness, friendship, and community. 

Friday Reflections

1.) Most of today's reflections are YouTube videos. It is a signal for me to spend less time on YouTube, but I suppose it does tend to be easier for people than reading another long form essay (my favorites).

2.) Tabitha brown envisioned being "America's mom".

3.) Some life errands are terribly boring. Pay bills. Make calls. Check bank statements. Be on top of things. Ugh. And it's interesting we have to do this for...ever? 

4.) Marcia Fudge grapples with America's acute housing crisis. The housing crisis, while not flashy or sexy enough a problem to make politicians pontificate, is still very dangerous. Skyrocketing rent, lack of available units, and a few people buying all the available properties because "investment". I don't think you can live in 8 homes at once, please remember that. 

5.) Quit social media or at least spend less (much less) time on it. I am on some kind of rallying cry to get us less addicted to these things. I am now "back" on social media but don't go as often anymore. I'm sufficiently weaned off it, but I know as with addiction to anything, it is always a dangerous slippery slope. 

6.) One tip for reducing social media is to first get rid of FOMO. Second, stop being so nosy. I am a very nosy person, but now, I just don't care if I don't get to see another person go on vacation or another make a fool of him/herself. These things always find their way to you anyway. 

7.) Jimmy Kimmel surprised Quinta Branson with the 6th grade teacher she named her new show after. This was heartwarming enough as it is, but trust Jimmy Kimmel to make it even more beautiful. 

8.) As I watched  #7, I thought, is there any teacher in my past that made such an imprint in my life, and people, the answer is no. Okay okay, if I definitely DEFINITELY had to produce one then maybe Mr. Foster from primary 5. But otherwise, I just never had a special connection with my teachers nor did anyone have a great impact on me. Lol. 

9.) Here is an heartwarming story that is both bittersweet and funny (characteristic of Katherine Heiny's writing) about her mother who is suffering from dementia.

10.) Foods that fight inflammation. 

11.) The hidden costs of Ivy Leagues. I've never understood the hype behind these schools. They are soooo toxic. I can't imagine going to a place like this or wanting your child to go to a place like this.

12.) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Addresses The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. Truth telling is already bravery, but when it is directly addressed to who it is meant for, well, that's just an additional level of courage. One, I strive towards.

13.) It's a wrap, people. I always try to keep these under 10 but alas, LOL. I hope these tide you over the next week especially when you get bored at work or life. I'm happy it's Friday. Have a good weekend!

Planning a Trip to Cancún? An Unforgettable Vacation Experience in Cancún, Mexico

Long long ago, I went on a vacation…I’m just kidding, mostly. It was just September last year but it feels like a distant past now. I’m not sure why it never actually got shared on this blog, but here we are now. Do we still share stuff like on this on our blogs? Or is that very 2008 now? Who cares? What matters is I have decided to bring some sunshine your way this gloomy, long January. As I type this (on Saturday, January 29),  a major winter storm is happening across the States and it's been snowing so much here since yesterday that we are now blanketed in snow. What better time to reminisce about the sun, and the sands, and cold drinks, and delicious foods than now?

Needless to say, this is quite a picture heavy post. I will try to provide as much information as I remember, knowing that this has happened so long ago and events have since taken over.

Getting there.