Brownness

May (by the Numbers)

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

As I continue into June, I thought I’d look into how I did with my habits in May, and while I added some new ones, and continued old ones, I also took out some, and it hit me that I do have a need to fill in the entire page of the Habit Journal which may not serve me as I putting down either things I do anyway or struggle to come up with something just so the page can be full. Taking the time to absorb the numbers, I do some patterns of struggle like stretching daily or not drinking on weekdays. More often than not, the challenge for drinking is Fridays which is technically the start of the weekend, but then I also inevitably drink on Sundays which is the weekend. My goal is ideally get down to 1-2 days as I have begun intermittent fasting which is providing some much needed clarity and detoxification.

Ok enough explaining, how did I do on my habits in May? I only managed perfection in meditating (something I have been doing now for years) as well being sure to hug and kiss my wife daily (kind of a weird thing to track, but I wanted to be sure she knew she was cared off, and it was important because of the Pandemic). I did only half the month for drinking as well as stretching. I did a bit better with working out at 18 days, but only managed 22 days for writing daily (but either way a huge improvement). I also manages to journal almost every day as well as do 25 pushups daily, but I want to get to 100% for those habits as they truly serve me in my self-care.

Then I had a bunch of minor ones like practicing spanish or being in service or being vulnerable which were harder to track as what is being in service or vulnerable truly mean. As for the Spanish, it is something I have been doing for a while now so adding it just meant being able to tick something off. I still struggle with beginning with hefty goals and then becoming a bit too task oriented and not appreciating my progress or my why.

Its good to track as I tend to lose sight of my goals, but I also get to practice caution and not just become about marking it off rather than see the reason. So I get to rest, get back to Beginners Mind and I start the new month with new goals (although I still managed to fill up the page except for one area so that’s a positive). I get to own my progress, and I am proud of how 2021 is shaping out to be, but I also a ways to go, and that is more than okay.

Happy Monday. How is your 2021 going?

Brownness

Sukhpal

Yesterday, I got the chance to go the religious services for my old friend Sukhpal where I got a chance to see others I had not seen in decades. I couldn’t help but think of the times we had together. My first group of real friends who I saw pretty much on a weekly basis. He supported me in so many ways from when I threw my first house party at my Long Beach house to coming to the events I promoted when I graduated from college.

We’d met at Sikh camp, and they were first non high school friends I had. I felt seen, popular even because suddenly from being a loner I had two groups of friends. I never could believe it. Yet somewhere our group dissipated, life happened as some got married, others stayed in further places and I went on a different path. Yesterday, I wondered what would have happened if I had stayed in touch. At least, I could have reached out and supported my friend in some way, visited him, see if there was a way I could be of service instead of finding out about his funeral a few days ago, not even aware that he had been sick for years.

Yesterday as I saw the others, again and again, I wondered what happened? It was a slow drift. There was no disagreement, no animosity, in fact, there was pure joy when we saw each other, and I just felt I’d taken a longer detour that moved me away from those who gave me so much when I was younger. When I needed it, they gave me a sense of myself, of who I could be. I remember Sukhpal and I and others just glad to see each other, so much to talk about, to laugh, share what was going on. And now, he too is gone.

My mom said something that stung a bit. More and more, I go to religious gatherings because someone has passed. That’s a sobering thought. It’s painful to realize that as I reach 50, it is very likely that those around me will pass and so will I. It forces me to reevaluate what kind of life do I want to live. Do I want to pass the time, or have time pass me, or do truly just be present and be grateful.

Only time will tell. I love you, Sukhpal. I am sorry I wasn’t there through your pain. I know you are at peace now.

Brownness

Memories on Memorial

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

This past weekend, I got to experience amazing generosity for which I was truly grateful, but more than that, taking the time to really think about those who have sacrificed so we could have this freedom is deeply humbling. It’s interesting I used to believe that expressing gratitude for this day meant I was a spouting a certain type of politics when really I got to just check in with the reason for this holiday.

Do people use it to say their beliefs? absolutely as is their right. For me, it was different as the past few years I have worked out with many first responders, veterans, and essential workers, and it has clarified for me how many heroes I am lucky to have around. People who are willing to give up their lives for us, for this country, for people whose beliefs they don’t share, for ensuring that we continue to be a great democracy. And while so many at my gym Murph, I only managed a 3.5 mile with a vest in the heat so I could perhaps just perhaps feel a tiny bit of the pain these people around me choose so easily on a daily basis.

Then there are also the memories created this weekend with two different sets of friends who showed the same type of kindness, thoughtfulness and graciousness in hosting. Gratitude filled me as they heaped on not only food and drink, but meaningful conversation, deepening our bond. For that, I could only thank them endlessly but also be in gratitude for being so blessed. And so as the weekend came to a close, my amazement hasn’t.

Here’s to an amazing June.