Brownness

Alone Time

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Recovering from anything prolonged has become quite important to me. When I dive into something and I am not recovered fully, I am guaranteeing burnout as well as not being present or being in integrity. This includes vacations. As strange as that sounds, I now see that while I am quite social, and love to engage, at some point, I need some me time that requires self-care. It could mean just reading or mindlessly channel surfing or starting a random project like selling the rest of my graphic novels. The key part is me just being.

I admit I am not good at asking for that time, and I know that will set me up for future failure, but this past weekend ended up my alone time in which I read, wrote a bit, watched two bad movies (The New Mutants and Space Jam 2), detoxed (haven’t drank since being back from New York) and went to bed before midnight on Friday and Saturday. As much as I was tempted to be out with friends, I also know that the coming month promises to be hectic and I am ending this month with a bang with my 10th wedding anniversary.

Being task oriented and also being someone who likes to be in integrity, I now have elaborate rituals for me-time which support me to perform at better levels in all areas of my life. Yet it is a delicate balance, and as I learn more about by body through my Whoop, I realize rest and recovery are essential for my health. Yet there is my insistent need to do more, and I struggle to subtract and keep adding. And there is the rub. My need for alone time grows because I don’t ‘allow myself to just be.

I know that is a disservice to the ones close to m when I don’t communicate my intentions or struggles and so I get to work on being present and open. It took alone time to figure that out, and now I get to be an adult and share with them.

Brownness

A Letter Answered

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A few days ago, an old friend asked me if I was open to writing a letter to my father. They said they just got this feeling that Papa wanted to hear from me. Now, since I journal daily, it wasn’t as much as a stretch as the person feared. I assured them that writing to my father sounded like a great idea and not strange at all. And so I wrote to Papa, mostly expressing guilt and regret for not expressing how far we had come in our relationship, how we were healed, yet I would let some parts of it go, my go to expression with him usually irritation or dismissiveness. But we also had a lot more real moments, a lot more ability to tell each other we loved, with him giving me kissings and blessings any chance he could.

It was a short letter, owing to my hand cramping and my bad handwriting, but satisfying as it felt different from my usual journalling which is mostly me going over things to do, random thoughts. After that, I got lost in the day, and later on in the evening I decided I wanted to get rid of my extra comic books that I’d discovered in my garage. Sunday seemed like the perfect day to do long pending errands, and as I took out the boxes, I saw a red photo album with my name on it. For a moment, I thought it was one that me or my wife had done for each other, but this one had actual photos in it, and then my wife reminded me that Papa had made that album for me.

Goosebumps flew through me as I paged through the album. In it were old photos of me from birth, junior and high school, college, my trip to India with another friend, and I got lost in those memories. Papa had even saved my vision plan on what I intended to accomplish by the time I was 35. I am pretty sure I was 30 when I wrote, and it was a reminder of what a different path I had taken. The path that Papa really wanted me to take all long, that of being a lawyer. The album felt like an answer to my letter. Sure, it could be coincidence, but it definitely was surreal to find it on the day I wrote him a letter after being told by a great friend to do so.

Regardless, it was also a reminder to keep on my legal tasks and to keep growing my firm. Happy Monday!

Brownness

New York, New York

As I near the end of the wedding week, I cannot but help feel grateful for the connections with my family, the laughter, the love, the stories, the fact that we still have the same affection as before, and now seeing the younger generation do the same. It was heartening to see their faces light up when we first entered the door and bathe in the mutual adoration.

I always wonder why we have such long gaps in our visit. Time here flies, and as my stomach expands from all the pizza and falafel over rice, I look forward to more days with loved ones, more celebrations, and more time to just be together. Yet there is also a growing unease that soon we will be leaving and it may be the last time we see some.

I get that it is not a great thought to have, but one of the perks and downfalls of getting older is that there is an increased chance of loss. As much as I want to pretend that it won’t or cannot happen, I also know that it is these present moments that will become loving memories so it is back to the same message for me: staying present, being grateful, and expressing love.

It is also nice to break out of my routine, and as much as I am dreading going back to the gym, I know it will be well worth it for the time I got to have in New York. The great part part is that I still have more people to see before leaving, and I cannot wait to add to my journey. I also realize that this is why it’s important to maintain family ties so you can share them with others and hopefully add to the depth of the relationships.

Brownness

June (By the numbers)

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And just just like that, half of 2021 is gone. It seems that the years go by faster and faster and I do wonder if I am progressing as fast. Yet I also know there is a tendency to either focus on the negative or that one positive thing happening in my life. I began this journey not to tout my gains, but to keep myself accountable to myself. Progress takes work, but not just that, it takes patience, perfect practice, and most of all passion.

In the beginning, I chose habits that I was already doing, but each month I am adding things that I do want to be better at. For the past 3 months, I have added daily writing as one of my goals along with doing daily pushups, working on double unders and stretching at least three times a week.

I also know that I tend to focus on tasks rather than goals and so one of my tricks is to list some of my habits as a task. Now the risk with that is that sometimes it becomes a thing to check off, but I know, in the long run, it will pay off. So getting to the numbers.

I managed perfect in only a few areas which is not a surprise. I meditated and read daily as well as intermittent fasted for a minimum of 16 hours. I also drank 64 ounces of water daily. After that, I was a bit all over the place. I did manage to journal at least 25 days, along with writing so I am quite happy about that. I also was in service to others and practiced Spanish pretty regularly. There are other habits that are just for my self-care, and I am getting better at those. I also managed to workout 20 days out of 30, and stretched for the same amount.

Where I need to improve on is getting down to 2 days a week for drinking, whereas I am average 3 (mostly Fridays, Saturdays, Sunday), but for me, the good news is that I am those 4 days really boost my work out and self care days as I am not foggy or groggy when I wake up. I am also excited to try the new wearable Whoop which is showing me the days I am not getting adequate sleep and also usings my heartrate to tell me if I should be resting, recovering or straining during workouts.

I start this month with a much needed 10 days vacation so I am giving myself grace on my habits, and planning to enjoy my tenth wedding anniversary later on in the month. I hope to keep growing, stay curious, use my passion for the things that matter, and last of all, know that I lived my best life.

Looking forward to the July journey!