Gratitude notes for January 2019

I was super pleasantly surprised that somebody I rarely spend one-on-one time with asked if I wanted to have dinner tonight. It really made my evening.

I ought to pay it forward. I’ll see what I can do next week.

My body feels great lately. Especially this morning. I had a great exercise and then biked to work again. The whole thing was in fifth gear. Such a great way to start a day.

I go on walks with a teammate every other week. It’s been a fantastic communication tool to have dedicated time without anything scheduled within it. It’s essentially a one-on-one. It makes me want to find ways to connect with more people that way. Perhaps worth actively pursuing?

I spent a lot of today working with other people on tasks that weren’t necessarily what I was supposed to be working on. It’s rewarding in so many ways, and I plan to continue doing it. I’m lucky that others (hopefully) find it as easy to work with me as I find it to work with them.

My days have been consumed by work recently, but I don’t mind. I’m incredibly fortunate that I have that it’s a choice for me. My circumstances are fantastically desireable and I’m so lucky they haven’t been taken from me yet.

I learned a lot about analyzing data experiments today and how to describe their results in meaningful ways. I’ve had somebody showing me the way who’s making my learning curve a lot shorter, who I’m very thankful for.

Today was perfect biking weather. I’ve been lazy all “winter” and haven’t ridden my bike to work at all but I did today. I also get to keep my bike indoors now so I can leave my heavy lock at home, and the ride is so much lighter. Add in how much I ate yesterday and how I didn’t exercise today—my legs felt fantastic. It was such a simple thing to enjoy that I’d forgotten about over a few weeks.

I was surprised to find Pumpkin Spice Pretzels on my desk this morning! Tim bought them from the store just for me “to share with my friends”. What a nice thing to do. I really appreciate that Tim thinks of me when he goes shopping. I’m super lucky to have people like Tim that I get to see every day.

We just found out that our destination ski mountain is going to get dumped on this weekend. Everybody’s pumped. It’s fun to have something like that to look forward to.

Loved my time with everybody having dinner, watching comedy improv, and going to a bar after. It’s pretty magical that this kind of stuff can happen on a regular Sunday. It was great having so many of us together, too. This is one of those stuck-out-of-time moments that I can look back to fondly.

I’m grateful that I can spend time talking to each of my parents, and I’m so fortunate that they’re thankful in the opposite direction.

Spotify advertised Backstreet Boys’ “DNA” album today. I’m totally into it. I got into this little groove at the gym this morning as I was listening to it. I felt as good as I ever do when I’m dancing, and it hit me how precious new music is in respect to my workout experience. I totally get lost in the music, and I don’t grasp that experience as often as I could. I realized today that I undervalue new music.

I’m thankful for the safety of where I live and who I spend my time with. There are so many situations and circumstances I could be in that would encourage reactive behavior, and I’m fortunate that I’m able to operate free from worry of physical threat on an ongoing basis. I’m very lucky to be alive when and where I am.

I slept eight hours and then took a two hour nap this afternoon.

I learned about a few services today that solve “problems” I have. I can look up words via the command line with a program called dict. I also learned that I can host and attend small silent discos quite easily via Airfoil.

For weeks now, I’ve had my cell phone in “Priority Only” mode, where I only get notified (vibrate, ring, etc) when contacts in my favorites list message me. Everything else is silent. I realized today that I no longer get anxious when I’m contacted by a non-favorite. It’s the same message as it would be with a vibration, but the urgency is gone; I’m no longer called into action the moment I recieve it. I don’t miss it. I’m very happy with the change.

I’m very lucky that I have a stable frame of mind today. None of my time alone would have value if I was lost in the haze of my own past or mistakes or regrets. My clarity today could be lost in an instant, so I’m grateful it’s still intact.

Today started for me at 6am after ten hours of sleep.

Dance is such a thrill and such a release. I learned that turning to the lady next to me and giving her “the eyes” with a little shimmy is all that’s needed to make her feel part of the group. It was just as rewarding to watch the gesture sweep the room in a contagious sort of way.

I spent a lot of time researching today. This is a good thing. I undervalued this in months prior, but this is just the sort of thing that comes out of “slow work”. I think the fact that I did it and gained a deeper understanding of the subject of my research was a real win regarding my new focused pace.

I had a great time at lunch today. We ended up trying a new restaurant today and really hitting home with the quality and the vibes. I got to really get to know one of my co-workers much better and I enjoyed our conversation a lot. I feel lucky that we decided to go out together today.

Today presented me the opportunity to help several people. It made me feel really good. All I did was make myself available and be present. I didn’t have to be right about anything. I just needed to listen to what they were telling me and what they meant by their words. It’s very rewarding for me to give to people who want to improve and take it on themselves to get there; they seem to get the most mileage out of help and are the most appreciative when they receive it. They help give my time and my life meaning. I think I did a better job of showing people the best parts of themselves, today, simply by being there to witness them.

Our server today, Rio, brought us extra cornbread with honey glazed over it. He was a cool dude and I was happy for the extra treat.

I was surprised by the wide smile of a homeless-looking man pushing a cart on the sidewalk today. I saw him from across the street, not labeling him as the friendly sort. As I crossed the street and neared him, he appeared more gentle and gracious than most I encounter on city sidewalks.

It feels nice to problem-solve together. Slowing down and exploring for root causes puts me in a better position to contribute to problem-solving conversations. In mere days, I’m seeing extraordinary effects of slowing down my work and focusing more deeply. I’m seeing each task now as an opportunity for me to dive deeply and exercise my slow muscles. I’m still shocked how slower is better in this context.

I’m a very lucky person for all the people I have in my life. It will end eventually, so I’m very happy that I have these people today.

Laser tag was awesome tonight. Had a great group of people and a really cool venue for it. I was doing a lot of yelling, but everyone had their own elevated versions of themselves showing. I really enjoyed myself. I think most people felt the same way.

I opened my day with an email forwarded by Dad mentioning how one way of looking at our jobs as people is to give people back to themselves. I don’t know how effective I was at accomplishing this today. I had moments where I feel like I had good communication with people, but I’m not sure if I revealed to them their own strengths in a way they weren’t aware of previously. I think I can search for these opportunities tomorrow. I don’t need answers; I just need the right questions. I can do that.

I met a few people today. Daniel in the morning, a fellow resident in my building who works in finance and just moved in. Natasha served us at the restaurant but felt as friendly as someone I’d just met on the street. I was reacquainted with somebody at work who I hadn’t seen in weeks or months. My existing relationships are either strengthening or running courses that I believe will create stronger and more stable bonds in the long term. Despite the complexities of my day-to-day interactions, I have the stability and control I need to feel secure in the life I have, which lets me enjoy my life in ways that would otherwise be impossible. In not-so-vague terms, I can afford to focus more deeply on my work and my goals, which sharply degrades as anxiety rises.

I’m thankful for those who’ve taught me how to connect and also for those who embrace me today.

When my co-worker saw his name and face written on the cake I made, he stopped what he was doing and got very quiet. A smile slowly curled up his face, like he was staring into a baby’s eyes. I couldn’t have asked for a better response.

I had good practice today at “slowing things down” when I was working with somebody else’s code. I think it was a success. It took me longer, but what was different was that I allowed myself to take longer. Thoroughness was my goal rather than speed. I was effective. I’m looking forward to practicing this mode of attention more this week.

I was pleasantly surprised by someone today who went out of their way to congratulate me on something I’d accomplished. I really appreciated how deliberately they went out of their way just to say “good job”; I ought to look out for the next opportunity I have to pay that attention forward.

I want to thank two of the three elliptical machines in my building. My foot is hurt, which keeps me from running. If the ellipticals didn’t exist, I’d be a chemically-imbalanced blob now. Thank you elliptical machine on the far left and the far right for allowing me to sweat each day despite injury.

I’m grateful for each of my parents, who make my day brighter just by having a telephone conversation with me. I’m very lucky to still have each of them.

I had a great time tonight. A bunch of us went out for dinner, saw a friend’s improv comedy show, and then went out for drinks after. It was an evening that flowed and I feel very lucky that I got to spend time with every person I was with. We had a fantastic out-of-towner with us who was a wonderful addition to our group and I hope to see again sometime soon.

There was a lunar eclipse tonight!

On my drive there, a man was asking for money at a red light. He had a sign and walked like he was excited to try out for the neighborhood play. We caught eyes and I beckoned him over and gave him a dollar. He kept eye contact with me, said “God bless you, man” and held contact while waiting for my response. It was so genuine, and a smile creeped onto my face. “You too!” I finally replied. Satisfied with my reciprocation, he smiled and soldiered on to the next car. I left the encounter with a big smile on my face. That man brightened my day just by being joyful and expecting nothing more than I was willing to offer. I realize now that I could learn from his example, making a point to lead with glowing energy and a radiant smile in order to get the best from others in return. If a begger can turn a smile out of me, then surely I can do the same for others as well!

I’m learning to slow down and think about things more. It’s time I’m more than happy to allocate for myself because I believe it will make me more thoughtful and deliberate with the way I spend the remainder of my time.

I feel very lucky to have had today.

I’m extremely thankful for my parents. I hope they know that. I think I tell them as much, but there’s times when I appreciate them when they’re not even around. They both continue to grow, all while keeping me part of their lives in a fulfilling way. It’s things like this that I did nothing to earn, yet it’s something that I’ve been given. I am so lucky.

I’ve lived in Los Angeles long enough to not expect rain anymore. Today, it’s raining and it was a total surprise. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the pitter-patter sound and the cool, dim gloominess that comes with it.

I made a point of going in the hot tub this morning, obviously.